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J.D. Power Ranks Digicam Brands

Westlake Village, Calif. — J.D. Power and Associates announced new digital camera customer satisfaction rankings yesterday.

The rankings and related findings were based on a survey of 8,000 consumers who had purchased a digital camera between April 2007 and March 2008.

The company studied cameras in four body types: point and shoot, premium point and shoot, ultra slim and d-SLR. They used four metrics — picture quality, performance, ease of operation, and appearance and styling — to measure customer satisfaction.

In the point-and-shoot category, Fujifilm’s S series of Finepix cameras took the highest score (757 out of 1,000), followed by three model lines from Kodak (V, Z and M).

Canon’s G series of PowerShot cameras tied with Panasonic’s ultra-zoom TZ series for top score in the premium point and shoot category (773). Panasonic’s FZ series came in second at 766.

Sony took top honors in the ultra-slim category with its T series, followed by Casio’s Exilim and Fujifilm’s Z series.

There was also a tie in the d-SLR category, with Nikon and Canon sharing a high score of 823.

The complete rankings for each category are available here.

When shopping for their next camera, customers ranked weatherproofing and greater internal memory as must-have features, J.D. Power said.

Digital camera buyers turn to the Internet most frequently as a source of presale information, J.D. Power found. Recommendations from friends and family, reviews in print, and in-store help followed, respectively. The study found that digital SLR users snap an average of 454 images a month, while point-and-shoot owners capture just 83.

Customer satisfaction was higher among consumers purchasing an extended warranty vs. those who didn’t, the company said.