Massive demand for Canon?s EOS 400D and Nikon?s D80 digital SLRs meant high-street stores were not able to fully meet consumer needs over Christmas, AP can reveal.

A Canon spokesman told AP: ?All models in Canon’s range of DSLR cameras are in good supply with the exception of the new EOS 400D. This is a result of extremely high demand, not only in the UK and European market but worldwide.’ He added: ?We are in constant communication with the EOS 400D production facility to ensure that all our customers’ orders are fulfilled as quickly as possible.?

Nikon and Canon?s 10-million-pixel consumer flagship models were both announced last year.

Nikon UK?s group marketing manager Jeremy Gilbert said the demand for digital SLRs ?outstripped industry forecasts? – affecting ?popular models? including the D80 and D40.

In an interview with AP he said this reflected a ?huge resurgence? in SLR photography and the positive state of the market.

Pointing out that Nikon UK supplied more DSLRs to the market than the year before Gilbert added: ?Capacity hasn?t enabled us to deliver to the volume that is really required? There are more customers than there is product.?

Speaking in general terms Gilbert told us: ?The DSLR market growth is currently tracking at 80% over the same period last year, exceeding industry forecasts. As a consequence, there has been some product shortage.?

A shortage of top-selling models was believed to be a key factor behind lower than expected sales figures at high street chain Jessops over Christmas, where like-for-like sales fell 6.9% for the six weeks to 5 January 2007, compared to the same period the year before.

In a statement announcing its Christmas trading results Jessops said: ?While demand for digital SLR cameras remained strong over Christmas, disappointingly we were unable to satisfy all of this demand due to major worldwide supply shortages on the most popular digital SLR models from the two leading camera manufacturers.?

Jessops claimed: ?This compounded the like-for-like sales decline in the period and has impacted profits.?

A Jessops spokesman declined to discuss the extent of the digital SLR shortfall or tell us exactly which models affected its profits.

Canon launched the 400D last September, telling us that – in the following month – it was reported to be the second-best selling digital camera according to figures it received from market analyst GfK.

Jessops said its Christmas trading results were also affected by the market for digital compact cameras which, it reports, ?continues to be soft?.