High street camera shops face tough times ahead as shoppers move to buying cameras in non-specialist stores and over the internet, warns market analyst GfK.

The news comes a day after high street chain Jessops announced it will axe 200 assistant manager jobs across its store network and a 5.1% drop in like-for-like sales.

?Shopping patterns are changing with consumers purchasing their cameras in variety stores and online,? said a GfK spokesman. ?This will have an impact on the traditional camera stockists,? he told Amateur Photographer.

The average price of a compact camera fell 10% in the six months up to the end of February ? dragging down total sales value by 1%.

This is despite an 11.5% rise in the number of compact cameras sold compared to the same period last year.

Over Christmas, competition was so fierce that the average price of a compact dropped as low as £99.

?By and large it is only the high volume of sales that will keep value in the market,? added GfK which predicts that the volume sales of compact cameras will slow this year. ‘Competition is increasing and prices are now highly competitive.’

However, the digital SLR camera market continues to boom with a near-20% rise in sales value and 17% increase in sales volume for the half-year to February compared with 2007.

GfK predicts further DSLR growth this year with consumers most likely turning to stores for advice before making their purchasing decision.

Camera model shown for illustration purposes only