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J.D. Power and Associates Survey Digital Camera Satisfaction

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September 23, 2004 � J.D. Power and Associates reported the results from their 2004 Digital Camera Satisfaction Study yesterday. The study measured consumers� satisfaction with their cameras� performance in four different price ranges: $199 or less, $200-$399, $400-$599 and $600 and up.

Kodak was top-ranked in the two middle price categories, while Sony took the $199 or less category and Canon topped the rankings in the $600 and up category. The study asked consumers about their satisfaction in four areas: performance, connectivity, appearance and cost.

Sony and its Cyber-Shot line ranked highest in the $199 or less category because of its �LCD viewing screen, overall ease of using features, initial setup and overall functionality,� according to a press release from J.D. Power and Associates. Kodak took top honors in two price segments, both with citations of excellent performance and ease of use. Usability is what Kodak aims for with its EasyShare series of cameras. Canon was ranked highest in the most expensive category of the survey, mostly because of its variety of features and functions.

Ten digital camera manufacturers participated in the study: Canon, Fujifilm, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony and Vivitar. The study surveyed 4,260 digital camera consumers who purchased a camera between November 2003 and June 2004.

The study also found that almost two-thirds of digital camera consumers researched products online before making their purchase, while camera buyers who interacted with salespeople ranked them lowest for effectiveness. �Digital camera buyers rate their online buying experience better than their traditional retail buying experience,� the J.D. Power press release read. �In each price segment, those buying through an online retailer are more satisfied with the buying experience than those purchasing through a traditional retailer.�

Also, digital camera consumers printed pictures at home 57 percent of the time, while 18 percent printed at a retail location, and 9 percent printed through an online photo site. 16 percent do not print at all.

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