Copyright Scott Bourne 2003 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 2003 - All Rights Reserved

Since switching from Canon to Nikon (a switch I am still very happy to have made) I have noticed one disappointing thing about Nikon gear. It needs repair more often than my Canon gear. In fact, a great deal more often. I went years at a time without needing to get any of my Canon gear repaired. Within the first year of owning Nikon gear, I’ve had to have my 14-24 F/2.8 repaired (under warranty) for a sticky zoom. I’ve had a MB-D80 battery pack just literally fall apart while on the road – I just tossed it in the trash. I had a brand new SB-900 flash go bad on me (It wouldn’t hold power. On a side note it should have been repaired under warranty. But even though the unit hadn’t been available for sale for less than a year – meaning it HAD to be under warranty – Nikon wouldn’t make the repair for free because I couldn’t produce the receipt – which I couldn’t do because I bought it at a Ritz in Florida and their computer wasn’t working. I paid cash – gave them my business card and asked that they mail me a receipt – then they went bankrupt so you know how that one ended…) and lastly, my 200-400 case had to be recalled due to a faulty bottom. Lest you think that this is just an unusual run of bad luck, it turns out that it’s not all in my mind.

According to the most recent issue of Consumer Reports – the Nikon DSLRs are the least reliable. On a scale of one to seven with seven being the worst, Nikon scored seven, while Fuji, was the most reliable with a score of three. Canon came in with a score of five – right in the middle. I will note that Canon has been having a run of bad luck of its own lately with autofocus problems on the 1D MK III, a mirror problem on the original 5d  and problems with the 5 d MK II and the new problem of some people’s lenses just falling off their cameras, but according to Consumer Reports, Nikon is having more issues.

Curious, I did more research and found out that on the compact side of the fence, Panasonic point and shoots were the most reliable with a score of three and Casio the least reliable with a score of seven. Nikon was second least reliable in the P&S list with a score of six and Canon was again in the middle with a score of five.

Now I don’t know if this means anything to anyone, but if reliability and the need to hassle with warranty claims, etc., is important to you, then take this information into account before purchasing a camera.

Even with the reliability problems I’ve had – followed by very poor customer service, long repair times, etc., the Nikon is still the camera for me. I do wish that they would at least catch up to Canon when it comes to reliability.

Your mileage may vary.

P.S. – don’t flame me – send your emails to Consumer Reports :)