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Dennis Hissink : September 22th 2004 - 14:02 CET

Kodak, Sony and Canon Top Rankings in Study

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KodakKodak ranks highest in customer satisfaction in two digital camera segments, while Sony and Canon each rank highest in one, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Digital Camera Satisfaction Study(SM) released today. The inaugural study measures the satisfaction of digital camera owners across four price segments: $199 and less; $200-$399; $400-$599; and $600 or more. Overall digital camera satisfaction is based on performance across four factors: performance, connectivity, cost and appearance. Sony is the highest ranked brand in the $199 and less price segment, performing well above the rest of the segment in the areas of performance, connectivity and appearance.
Owners cite the LCD viewing screen, overall ease of using features, initial setup and overall functionality among the brand's principal strengths.

Kodak ranks highest in both the $200-$399 and $400-$599 segments, which together make up the bulk of digital camera sales. In the $200-$399 segment, Kodak performs particularly well in the performance factor, especially with regard to the initial camera setup and ease of use. In the $400-$599 segment, Kodak receives its highest ratings in performance and connectivity, which includes the ease of connecting the camera to other devices and accessories.

Canon, which released its much-anticipated digital single lens reflex (SLR) camera, is the highest ranked digital camera brand in the $600 or higher price segment. Canon has exceptionally high ratings from owners on camera features and functions.

The study finds that as digital cameras reach the mainstream market, buyers are less technologically savvy than the industry's early adopters and are primarily looking for quality cameras that are easy to use and make saving, sharing and viewing pictures easy.

"Some manufacturers are struggling at designing digital cameras for this new type of consumer and have not mastered a way to align camera functionality, ease of use, connectivity and camera appearance for each customer segment," said Ron Conlin, partner at J.D. Power and Associates. "Sony, Canon and particularly Kodak have been innovative from a consumer perspective. Kodak, which emphasizes ease of use with its EasyShare system, is an excellent example of a brand that targets mass-market buyers with a series of products and accessories that meet their needs."

The study also demonstrates the clear differences in buyers and camera use from low-end entry price segments through the high-end. High-end camera owners take more pictures of more dynamic objects and are more advanced at using the Internet as a tool for picture sharing and posting. Buyers in the lower-end price segments are largely first-time digital camera owners, who tend to take fewer pictures and take pictures of more static objects, such as people at birthday parties.

The 2004 Digital Camera Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,260 consumers who purchased a digital camera between November 2003 and June 2004.

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