Monday, December 3, 2007

The Charts: Best selling digital cameras at Amazon (and a Buyer's Guide of sorts)

We haven't done a new episode of the "The Charts" in quite a while, and we apologize to the fans of the Charts posts! So here we go now, with a snapshot of the best sellers at Amazon. Please keep in mind the rankings are based on a snapshot, they are not based on long-term data! And with the explanations out of the way, let's see if anyone other than Canon makes it to the top 10. (Yes, Canon is very popular on Amazon). (Prices and availability can change at any time, and it is obviously beyond my control).

1. Canon A570IS. Quite a bargain at $155, with an IS lens and PSAM.
2. Canon A560. At around $136 it is another bang for the buck A-series. I would recommend people to get this instead of an A4xx-series, even if it costs a bit more
3. Canon SD1000. At $176 this is Canon's mass market Elph
4. Canon A720IS. This is a camera to trade-off with the A570IS. At $195 you get a 6x instead of a 4x lens, and a newer model. This was a made-for-lots-of-sales model with a starting price of $250.
5. Canon SD850 IS. For those who don't want an entry-level Elph, this at $260 is an option.
6. Canon SD750. People who don't mind getting an older model, and think that's where the real bargains are at, may find it interesting at $209.
7. Canon SD800 IS. Wide angle option #2 among the Elphs at $240, starts at 28mm. You can thank Panasonic for forcing this with their FX-series.
8. Sony W55, pink - at $170 this model would have probably been in the top three (if not #1) if it wasn't available in so many different colors. This is good news and bad news for Sony. It means it's selling a lot of these, but it is not in the traditional Sony "luxury" price-range of $300ish. But since Sony's digital camera financial results were good the last time they reported, why should I be complaining? :)
9. Canon SD870 IS. This is the #1 choice in wide-angle Elphs. You do pay a small premium as it costs $306 (vs $240 of the SD800), but the choice is yours. It's good to have choices!
10. Canon Digital Rebel XTi (aka 400D) with the 18-55 EF-S lens, black finish of course, and a price tag of $630. This is the first dSLR in the top 10, but there's more coming up!
11. Canon G9. It may not have the defining features or the "heat" of the original G-series, but don't judge this GINO by what it is not, but judge by what it is. With fewer cameras in this segment, this is a very good entry, especially at the price of $440, and now with RAW. Sure it has its negatives like just about any camera, and there's always room for improvement. But here's a newsflash: The perfect camera will never be built, or if it is, it will cost more than the Nikon D3 :-)
12. Canon S5 IS. This makes a power duo with the G9 as it offers users Canon's long-zoom. Other companies have jumped to 18X and 15X super zooms, but as it is typical with Canon, they are among the last to jump on new fads, which partially explains why their balance sheet is so pretty. The price of this puppy is down to $343, making it an interesting decision, what to get, this one, the Panasonic FZ8, FZ18, TZ3 or the Fuji S8000fd or the Olympus SP560uz? Me, I'll take them all if they accept monopoly money as a method of payment :)
13. Nikon D300. Look at what we found at lucky #13! The second most talked about digital camera of the season. You can guess who is the most talked about one. It appears to be finally in stock in enough quantities that it's in-stock status doesn't jump all over the place like the NASDAQ. And this is also good because the price remains at $1800. As you may recall, some places had jumped up the price because demand was more ...demanding than the supply :)
14. Nikon D40. A Nikon DSLR with a kit lens for under $500? Yes sirreeee, the sub-$500 DSLRs from Nikon and Canon are here, although the $500 barrier was broken because of prices sliding over time, not because they were announced at $500 or less. This comes with the 18-55 DX (not VR) lens for $480.
15. Canon SD1000 black. In addition to the silver edition at #3. Since no hard sales numbers are given, we have no way of knowing whether combining the sales of these two would be enough to take over the #1 spot, or perhaps the Sony W55 quartet ended up selling more. Amazon, please tell us! We are dying to know!
16. Nikon L11. From a $5000 D3 to a $94 L11. Yes, a Nikon P&S with a 3x zoom lens for $100. Don't expect miracles, but don't expect a "Hello Kitty" either.
17. Canon Digital Rebel XT black, with 18-55 EF-S lens. We mentioned the sub-$500 DSLRs at #14. Here is Canon's entry. This guy (350D) is a generation older than the Nikon D40, but has two more megapixels for those who count . It is priced $10 less actually, at $470. An interesting twist in the price wars as Canon appears to be wanting to pick up in sales. It will be very interesting to see the DSLR sales for Q4 2007. Will it Nikon or Canon?
18. Canon SD750 black. This is the second model, the first one found at #6. Same price, at $210.
19. Sony W55 silver. Same price ($170) as the first one at #8.
20. Panasonic TZ3 silver. This is the camera that put the "fun zoom" subsegment of superzooms on the map and may be Panasonic's first blockbuster camera outside of Japan. Both Canon and Sony have released competitors, but it looks like the TZ3 is still leading the way. The price is very tempting too at $240. It will also be very interesting to see what Panasonic releases as a follow-up at PMA-2008. Given the popularity I would hope they offer a more advanced model, with PSAM as well, perhaps a dual TZ-5 and TZ-4 (vs TZ3, TZ2), and perhaps offer a more "grown up" model, let me call it TZ-10, perhaps an homage to the Panasonic FZ10 which was the first "grown up" FZ-series models, emerging from the modest FZ-1. Anyways, back to reality, this camera would have been much higher on the charts if it wasn't available in four different colors.
21. Canon SD950IS. The flagship of the Elphs (Ixus, Ixy, Pixie, Tennis Model Camera) at $356 features the obligatory 12mp 1/1.7x" sensor. With IS.
22. Sony W55 black, for $167. This is the third version of the W55, the other two are at #8 and #19.
23. Canon Digital Rebel XTi, body only, black finish, $550 even. Another wow price-wise when you consider where Canon DSLR prices were a year ago. The version of the 400D with the kit lens is at #10 and the only DSLR in the top 10.
24. Canon A460. At around $115 this is a nice bargain, but I would recommend getting the A560 or A570IS instead.
25. Sony W55 blue. This is the fourth color of the W55 in the top 25. Not bad eh? The others are at #8, #19, and #22. Too bad we don't sales data, it would make an interesting battle between this and the SD1000, and the A-series model for the top seller spot.

Quick Roundup outside the Top 25
26. Nikon S51 matte black $193
27. Nikon L14 pink $120
28. Panasonic TZ3 black $250
29. Canon SX100IS $260
30. Kodak C613 $100
36. Panasonic FZ18 black around $350
37. Panasonic TZ3 blue, $253. This is the 3rd color, the other two at #20 and #28
44. Nikon D40x with 18-55 DX (not VR) $626 (not a Mazda)
46. Panasonic FX30K $200
48. Panasonic FZ8K $257
49. Olympus E510 with the two-lens kit. Hey, we have our first non-Canon/Nikon DSLR! Price at $659.
51. Nikon P5100 $306
56. Sony H9 $389
58. Nikon D80 body only
**. We could be doing this all day, but at some point we have to stop :(

PS1> If you are using Internet Explorer, the links above will not work for you. I am using one of Amazon's widgets to create the links quickly and it currently has a problem with IE. Please bother Amazon and ask them to fix it, I think they got tired of hearing it from me :-) IE users can visit and search for the model name mentioned above. The names are chosen so that the camera model is the first shown in the results page

PS2> Prices can change at any time. They are provided for reference and also as a way to frame the ranking of the cameras. For example if a camera is sold at Amazon for less than the rest of the web, it is obvious that it will rank higher. If it is sold for more than the rest of the web,it will obviously rank lower.

PS3> If you find this long winded Chart/Buyer's Guide helpful, useful or entertaining, and if you are considering buying these cameras mentioned above, please consider "tipping us" for our efforts by making your purchases through our links :-)

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