Pentax Ranks Highest in Online Buyer Satisfaction with DSLR Cameras

June 29, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras | 11 Comments | |
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J.D. Power and Associates have published their 2012 Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Online Buyer Report. Responses were collected via PowerReviews - a social commerce network recently acquired by Bazaarvoice - and reflect the attitudes of actual DSLR camera owners who used an e-commerce site to make their purchase. According to the report, Pentax ranks highest in online buyer satisfaction with a score of 899 (on a 1,000-point scale), followed closely by Nikon (891) and Canon (888). The average price paid for a digital SLR camera has increased from $937 in 2011 to $1,291 in 2012, reflecting a shift towards more prosumer-oriented and semi-professional cameras.

-Press Release

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: DSLR Camera Average Online Purchase Price Increases By More Than $350 from 2011

Pentax Ranks Highest in Online Buyer Satisfaction with DSLR Cameras

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 28 June 2012—Online buyers of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras pay $1,291, on average, for their camera, up from $937 in 2011, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Online Buyer ReportSM released today.

The report examines satisfaction with digital single-lens reflex camera brands among verified online buyers. Responses were collected via PowerReviews—a social commerce network recently acquired by Bazaarvoice—and reflect the attitudes of actual DSLR camera owners who used an e-commerce site to make their purchase. The study measures satisfaction with DSLR cameras across five factors (listed in order of importance): picture quality (including picture clarity, sharpness and color); durability and reliability (including damage resistance, battery life and sturdiness); variety of features (including zoom, image stabilization and low light settings); ease of operation; and shutter speed/lag time (overall speed of the camera, including shutter lag time).

Pentax ranks highest in online buyer satisfaction with a score of 899 (on a 1,000-point scale), followed closely by Nikon (891) and Canon (888). Pentax performs particularly well in durability and reliability; variety of features; ease of operation; and shutter speed/lag time, while Canon performs well in the picture quality factor.

“Pentax’s customer base has shifted since 2011 from casual photographers to those who consider themselves semiprofessional or professional photographers,” said Sara Wong Hilton, director at J.D. Power and Associates. “In fact, across the industry, the results indicate a slight increase in self-identified semiprofessional photographers, possibly leading to the purchase of more high-end camera systems.”

Despite a shift in DSLR camera buyer demographics, overall satisfaction remains stable (888 in 2012 compared with 887 in 2011).

The 2012 Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Online Buyer Report is based on responses provided to J.D. Power and Associates through PowerReviews from more than 8,100 verified buyers who purchased a DSLR camera online. The study was fielded from May 2011 through April 2012.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial’s leading brands include Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at

About Bazaarvoice
Bazaarvoice, a leading social software company, brings the voice of customers to the center of business strategy for nearly 1,800 clients globally like Best Buy, Costco, Dell, Macy’s, P&G, Panasonic, QVC, and USAA. Bazaarvoice helps clients create social communities on their brand websites and Facebook pages where customers can engage in conversations. These conversations can be syndicated across Bazaarvoice’s global network of client websites and mobile devices, which allows manufacturers to connect directly with customers. The social data derived from online word of mouth translates into actionable insights that improve marketing, sales, customer service, and product development. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice has offices in Amsterdam, London, Munich, New York, San Francisco, Paris, Stockholm, and Sydney. For more information, visit, read the blog at, and follow on Twitter at

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11 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Zoe Thornton

I have been saving up for a DSLR and have been asking around and searching online as to which would be the best option for me. I was going to buy a Nikon but after reading this I am now reconsidering. Cheers for the article, it enlightened me.

4:10 pm - Friday, June 29, 2012

#2 Warren Lyons

The article also noted that the average price paid for DSLRs has gone up. Could it be that sales of entry DSLRs are losing out to bridge cameras, large sensor compacts, or compact system cameras?

5:40 pm - Friday, June 29, 2012

#3 Ray

This is comical, if taken seriously.

Powers charges clients a fee to do a report. They then give it to the client. The client then decides to release it or not.

However, Powers only comments about the client's services and products and customer feedback and does not do comparison.

As a buyers guide they rank right up there with a red headed user's opinion from Peoria.

7:40 pm - Friday, June 29, 2012

#4 Rene

They should check the large number of Pentax deserters who have gone to Olympus, Canon, Nikon, etc in recent years. Apparently this report surveyed those who are still around and are buying Pentax. They are the die-hards who have invested a lot in Pentax lenses and cannot switch. These remaining owners are however a loyal and united bunch, always talking up Pentax. I don't blame them, as they feel so threatened after Pentax got sold twice and is only a tiny part of what it used to be, with a market share of 5% or less, and nothing interesting in terms of competitive cameras in the pipeline. These supporters always get good polls whenever there is one, on RiceHigh, Dpreview or any site or forums.

Some said considering Pentax after reading this. Think and research. There is only 1 DSLR model now, and it is one with out of date AF, flash, AE and everything except the Sony sensor in it. The same sensor is in Nikon D5100, D7000, Sony NEX-5N and other cameras. The viability of Pentax is still a question and its ability to innovate and provide service and good products are also big question marks.

4:56 am - Saturday, June 30, 2012

#5 Timeless

Like it or not J.D. Powers and Consumer Reports drive customers to purchase certain products over others. In this case it doesn't matter because Consumer Reports thinks lowly of Pentax and J.D. Powers thinks better of them.

6:03 am - Saturday, June 30, 2012

#6 Steye

I was like many consumers; always move with big names until I tried my hands on Pentax. I am not surprised. From pricing to features, from functions to ergonomic, Pentax is the sure winner. Pentax deserters? I don’t think so.

10:58 am - Saturday, June 30, 2012

#7 Walt

The number of outlets carrying Pentax has increased greatly of late. I can go into Fry's and check all of the models out. I can get on on Costco's site. Pentax is available from most retailers. To some who say the autofocus is terrible I say that was true 5 years ago, but no longer in 2012. Flash system - yes that is a valid point. However, a new modern top end flash unit is coming out so expect that situation to improve. The 180 max shutter is fine too, and you can have the higher shutter for exposure balance with the external flash. Unless you are doing weddings it is a non issue blown way out of proportion. Pentax is not as innovative as Sony, yet they were the ones (like it or not) who introduced the HDR, the RAW on last jpg taken (Canon copied that) , photo filters such as cross-process, alignment correction in camera with SR, GPS module (again, Canon now has one), native Adobe DNG support (Nikon and Canon hello?). The Pentax DSLRs are very sturdy and well built. They tend to be loaded with useful features only found on much more expensive bodies and offer superior overall performance in their price range (FPS , firmware speed etc). Finally they have a simple interface that is very easy to use even by a novice. The K30 that is coming out has 0 view finder, weather sealed body, focus peaking and does 6 FPS for $850 . That is not competitive? People are splitting hairs between the Pentax , Nikon and Canon DSLRs, but they are all excellent and they have an excellent set of lenses. You cannot go wrong with any of them. Ricoh owns Pentax and they will keep it viable so people should not use that as a consideration.

7:26 pm - Saturday, June 30, 2012

#8 JS

@Walt-I agree

7:19 am - Sunday, July 1, 2012

#9 esperanto

11 points on a 1000 point scale is nothing. All three are good choices. I think the lens selection should be the more deciding factor, if there's drastic differences(haven't looked into that one closely enough).

10:04 am - Sunday, July 1, 2012

#10 jezza

why no direct link to the review?

scroll down...

esperanto is right, the 11 points out of 1000 is nothing, and could be removed by statistical variables. In fact, with Olympus being at 872 the spread is actually very small. One could think if the report was run again then a different picture would emerge.

And what does it all really mean? It's totally subjective of course so doesn't really mean much...

10:13 pm - Monday, July 9, 2012

#11 Buy Camera Online

I have nothing to say because I am totally agree that pentax is the highest in online satisfaction.

7:12 am - Wednesday, July 10, 2013