Demand for fixed-lens cameras – a market that has been badly hit by the smartphone revolution – plunged 24% in value terms.

The news comes as overall sales for the UK photo sector dropped 21% in each of the first three months of 2013, compared to figures for the same quarter in 2012, reports GfK Retail and Technology UK Ltd. Digital camera sales fell 22% month on month.

Online sales were down 3.1% in March 2013, compared to the year before.

Asked to explain the apparent fall in demand for cameras, a GfK spokeswoman said it was ‘hard to compare March 2012 with March 2013 as they were not like-for-like’.

GfK partly attributes the higher sales of last year on ‘premium products’ launched around that time.

Commenting on this year’s data, she added: ‘New technologies still attract more and more consumers. For example, touchscreen digital cameras grew in sales value by 47% in March 2013 compared to the same period last year.

‘Furthermore, with the growth in importance of connectivity, Wi-Fi cameras enjoyed one of the highest growth rates in digital cameras, every month.’