Canon is the most Popular Camera brand according to Consumers

Back in 1685, a man by the name of Johann Zahn created the first camera that was small and portable enough to be practical for photography. However, it would be another 150 years before technology caught up and it was actually possible for his vision to be built. Today, over 300 years later, not only is a hand-held camera an essential product in most households, but consumers have multiple options of brands and types to choose from. But how do people know what to pick?

In 2010, Sortable, a Waterloo-based startup company, launched, devoted to helping consumers find the right camera for them. Sortable surveyed more than 275,000 people over a six month period and found that: In the ever-growing market for cameras, many brands have joined the war to become the best product. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm and Olympus are among the many companies vying to come out on top. However, according to consumers, it is Canon that is winning the camera war. The survey shows that 33% of consumers favour Canon to the competition, among the favourite types being the Canon T2i, T3i, 7D, the new 5D Mark III the Powershot S95 and the SX40. Trailing close in second place is Nikon, favoured by 27% of consumers. Nikon has produced many popular brands such as the D5100, D7000 and D3100 DSLRs, the Coolpix P500 and S9100.

Today, not only do consumers have multiple camera brands that they can choose from, but they also have the option of choosing a type of camera that is right for them. During Sortable’s research, they found that consumers’ favourite types of cameras are DSLR’s and Point and Shoots. DSLRs are versatile cameras with interchangeable lenses that are traditionally used by professional photographers, but are becoming increasingly more popular among entry level users. In contrast, Point and Shoots allow the everyday person to quickly and easily capture the photos they want, without having to make many adjustments. It’s not surprising that these two types come out on top. What is really surprising is the surge in popularity of the Mirrorless cameras. A relatively new technology, Mirrorless cameras stuff a DSLR size sensor into a small portable package, with interchangeable lenses for greater flexibility. Canon has yet to enter the Mirrorless market, and Nikon has just entered, with the Nikon V1 and J1. As this type of camera becomes more popular, Canon and Nikon will have to step up their game in order to keep their market share in comparison to Sony, Panasonic and Olympus, who have grabbed the early lead in this Mirrorless market.

So, how do you know which camera is right for you? Well, you can take the advice of other consumers and of your family and friends, but ultimately, the choice is yours. Each brand of camera and each type all have their perks and flaws. It’s up to you to find your camera (and a little help from Snapsort and Sortable might be handy). Here, in 2012, our world has certainly come a long way since Zahn’s initial camera concepts.

Most Important Quality In a Digital Camera?

samsung sh100
Samsung SH100's wifi support connects with consumers - by Samsung

When thinking about the most important qualities in a digital camera it might depend on your perspective. Professionals are looking at chip size, resolution, dynamic range and speed. Most consumers just want to be able to take nice pictures and send them to grandma.

In 2001 Johnathan Kaplan and Airel Braunstein formed a company called Pure Digital Technologies to create an inexpensive digital camera to compete with disposable film cameras. The idea was to have customers bring back their digital cameras for printing, just like a disposable film camera. The company would save money by not needing to manufacture a lot of cameras, which they sold for $20 each.

The idea bombed because customers wanted a cheap digital camera, but they didn’t want to bring them back. Some people were content viewing their photos on the tiny 1.4 in screen, others figured out how to hack the cameras and download the pictures.

Lots of camera sales, but few returns destroyed Pure Digital’s margins and the camera failed. But it did point out that consumers were willing to sacrifice lots of quality for price and convenience.

It comes as no surprise then that Reader’s Choice Awards for 2011 reflect the changing trends in the consumer market.

The trend seems to be toward convenience of sharing photos. This is reflected in an increase in people using their cell phone cameras for more of their photography needs. Cell phone manufacturers have wisely responded by making cell phone cameras better.

In the Reader’s Choice Awards, consumers are going for the models that make sharing easier. At first I was skeptical of wifi-enabled models like the Samsung SH100 and Panasonic FX90, but now it appears they had the pulse of consumers all along.