Sales of digital compact cameras have defied expectations, reversing the decline in total sales value brought about by falling prices.

?Up to this month the value in the market reported a year-on-year decline with a falling average price,? states GfK Marketing Services in its report on Britain?s imaging market for the third quarter of 2007.

?As of September this has been reversed with such a large number of sales going through, the sheer volume of units sold has now propped the value back up.?

GfK adds: ?It is also fair to say that the last two months of this quarter have seen prices slightly higher than that of the promotional-heavy summer months.?

In terms of compact cameras, sales for September amounted to 355,500 units, compared to 294,100 units in September 2006. Total value for the month was £43m this year, £1m more than last year’s figure of £42m.

Around 1.5m cameras (including SLRs) were sold in Britain for the three months from July-September. This compares to 1.2m units in the same period last year.

Total camera sales value rose from £209m in 2006 to £210.5m for the third quarter of 2007.

The figures suggest that the average camera price fell from around £174 to £140.

Analysts cite the ?sub-£100? price point as having the most influence on the direction of the market.

?If we look at year-on-year trends we can see that nothing over £200 shows either a volume or value growth,? continues the report.

Digital SLR sales remain around the same as the third quarter in 2006 ? around 7% of the total imaging market in terms of both volume and value.

GfK highlights the ?dilemma? now faced by consumers considering whether to upgrade their compact or buy an SLR instead.

?From the price trends it is clear that there is a lot of first-time SLR buyers looking for the right kit to get them started, but coming in at a comfortable price point.?

Picture: The camera shown here is for illustration purposes only

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