Although many of the results of J.D. Power and Associates' annual poll of digital camera purchasers aren't surprising, some stuff just doesn't add up.
The results, which were released Thursday, sent me searching its site for a description of the survey and rating methodology. But I couldn't find one.
For example, Digital SLRs: Nikon and Canon are, unsurprisingly, rated best among the 8,000 people polled. But Nikon's ratings in the 4 categories--picture quality, performance, operation, and appearance--are 3, 5, 5, and 4 dots, respectively. Canon's are 4, 3, 3, 2. Yet both get 5 dots overall.
So if the overall rating is from a survey, people are perceiving the cameras as more than the sum of their parts (which actually makes sense). But if the overall score is based on a mashup of the subratings, then J.D. Power needs a little more transparency than: "Please note that J.D. Power Consumer Center Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power and Associates awards."
Poor Olympus, Pentax and Sony's ratings in all but appearance are 2 dots; 3 dots means "about average," but 2 dots means "the rest." So what does 1 dot mean?
Then take the Premium Point-and-Shoot category, which is ruled by the Canon G series and the Panasonic TZ series. However, this category throws in such disparate subcategories as megazooms (Canon S and SX series, Cyber-shot H series, Olympus SP series, Kodak Z series) and regular old expensive compacts (Canon SD series, Panasonic FZ series) with the enthusiast cameras.
Based on the ratings, Panasonic beats all for megazooms and Canon's SD are the favored expensive compacts. But the surveyed indicated that what they liked most about the Canon SD is its appearance; everything I've heard from people says the opposite (they love the photo quality and performance but just tolerate its looks).… Read more