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Which DSLR camera brand?

Which DSLR and mirrorless camera brand to buy

By Ryan Shaw

Article 2 of 2

To help you buy the best DSLR camera, we reveal the brands that have a fantastic reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

A DSLR camera is a big investment – you’re not just buying a camera, but investing in a system of lenses and accessories that you might be using for many years to come. The good news is that most DSLR camera brands are pretty reliable.

Our annual reliability survey shines a light on the most dependable brands, including Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony. Combined with our rigorous lab tests, this means we can recommend the best DSLR camera for you to buy and bring you our in-depth DSLR camera reviews.

For each brand we'll tell you its average test score, how reliable it is and how other owners rate it, plus we provide an overall verdict. We have ratings for all the major DSLR brands, including Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Pentax and Sony. 

Below you can see the differences between the best and worst DSLR camera brands.

Below, we’ve collated all our camera test results plus our unique reliability ratings and customer service scores, so you can see how DSLR cameras from all the major brands compare.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Brand name Average review score Reliability rating Customer score
68% 87%
Specialising in optics and imaging products, this is one of the most recognisable camera brands. It's likely to have something to offer no matter what kind of camera you're after.
71% 86%
This specialist digital camera brand ranks highly for reliability ratings year on year with its range of high-quality and advanced cameras, with one Best Buy model costing less than £300.
74% 83%
A well-known brand that makes lots of audio-visual products, this camera brand produces models that are typically reliable and score well in our testing,
65% 79%
Originally founded in 1917, this brand began as a manufacturer of lenses for eyeglasses. Since then, it has evolved to be a fantastic camera company, with good reliability and customer rating.
68% 73%
A long time maker of lenses, this brand is very well known, with a big reputation. Its cameras are reliable but aren't as successful in our testing as other top-rated brands.

Table notes
Sample size 886 (reliability), 1,012 (customer score). Based on a survey of 9,513 Which? members in March 2017. Test lab data correct at July 2017.


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Choosing the best brand of DSLR camera

The table above provides a snapshot of people's real-life experiences with their DSLR cameras. The higher the reliability score, the less likely it is that the camera will develop problems.

DSLRs are the most expensive category of all cameras, especially when you add additional lenses, so you want to ensure you're not stuck with an expensive paperweight after only a couple of months of use. 

From our survey, the top-ranked DSLR brand was the best for reliability and average test score, and secured the equal highest amount of Best Buy awards for the category; a worthy, first-class brand.

99%The highest DSLR camera reliability score

At the bottom of the rankings, the lowest-scoring DSLR brand was not successful in securing any Best Buys, producing the lowest average test score, and only 79% of survey respondents would recommend the brand to a friend or family member.

Of all the DSLR camera brands we surveyed, the best of the best received a brilliant 99% reliability rating and a 87% customer score. In comparison, the worst picked up a 73% customer score.

How we calculate the best and worst brands

Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite tech brands. Every year, we ask Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own - from how happy they are to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they're home. This year, almost 10,000 Which? members told us about more than 30,000 devices.

We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey. This year, we had enough respondents to report on popular high street DSLR camera brands, such as Canon and Nikon, as well as other well-known brands, including Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. The most recommended brand has a customer score of 87%, compared with 73% for the least recommended brand.

Our reliability surveys help Which? to uncover common DSLR camera problems that can affect owners over time. Combined with our in-depth lab tests, this means we can recommend the best camera for you to buy.