US internet users pegged Tokyo-based Canon as the best manufacturer of digital cameras, with Kodak, Sony, and Nikon also receiving support for the title, according to a larger-scope, technology-based study conducted in the spring by Ipsos Insight. Some 24% of Internet users chose Canon as best manufacturer out of a list of 15 brands.
Canon’s endorsement is highest among those who are younger, college-educated, and with high annual incomes. Kodak receives strongest support from older, less-educated consumers.
The Ipsos study also examined ownership of various consumer tech devices. US consumers are eager to use their amateur photography skills and print their own images: 70% of US Internet users reported owning a digital camera, and nearly the same amount (61%) reported owning a home printer capable of printing photos.
Strongest ownership of digital cameras occurs among young internet users, while strongest ownership of home printers occurs for the more mature internet users.
“This suggests that while the younger digital camera owners with children in their household are using their cameras to capture family pictures, the grandparents have printers for the pictures they’re receiving via PC,” said Leslie Rich, VP with Ipsos Insight’s Media, Entertainment, and Technology practice.
“Aside from mobile phones, these two products – digital cameras and home printers – are the most common technological devices in households right now. Americans are embracing their love for digital photography and sharing images within their social networks. The online photo storage and sharing industry will benefit from this and continue to grow.”
Consumers also indicated an overwhelming desire for cheaper ink cartridges when provided a list of features and functionalities they would be most interested in. HP and other manufacturers face stiff competition in the ink cartridge business from non-traditional players like Walgreen’s and even local grocery stores.
Higher-quality digital photos and all-in-one devices (scan, fax, print) were the second- and third-most expressed desires, respectively.
“HP has long owned the ink cartridge business at a very profitable level, but consumers have caught on,” Rich said. “With the amount of printing the amateur digital photographer is doing, ink cartridge costs are quickly coming under fire. Local ink refilling services and generic cartridges are plentiful for consumers – the HPs in the business should be very worried. While these new cartridge refilling options are criticized by the brand-name producers as being lower in quality, consumers are likely to sacrifice some quality in response to the perceived price-gouging by the industry leaders.”
Rich also points out: “To Kodak’s credit, they appear to be the only brand-name in the printer industry touting their low-cost cartridges for their all-in-one printer in a current online marketing campaign.”
About the study: Data were collected through an internet-based sampling and data collection methodology using the Ipsos US Internet panel, and accurately reflects the online population (18 years and older). A total of 1,183 respondents completed the online questionnaire between April 3 and April 8, 2007.