UK sales of digital SLR cameras have continued to defy the recession to become one of the ?best performing? technology products, according to official figures.

Last month, volume sales of DSLRs rose 60% and value growth jumped 45% compared to January 2008, according to GfK Marketing Services Ltd.

Consumers snapped up nearly 125,000 DSLRs in December 2008 and January 2009.

?Far from being affected by the general downturn in retail sales, the DSLR market has actually seen sales accelerate in January 2009,? said GfK?s account director for retail and technology, Matt Gibbs.

‘Good news’ for retailers

Gibbs said that buoyant sales spell a double helping of ?good news? for photo retailers, as it means consumers may then go on to buy lenses and accessories for their new camera.

?To put this volume into perspective it equates to about 50% more DSLR cameras than were sold in the whole of 2004.?

And there is evidence that escalating demand for DSLRs is already fuelling a growth in lens sales with a ?doubling? of turnover in January compared to the same month the previous year.

The UK?s lens market was worth £14m in January.

New DSLR market

It seems the DSLR boom has failed to dampen the thirst for compact cameras, with sales rising 7% over the same period.

However, Gibbs said that growing DSLR sales figures suggest consumers are switching from compact cameras to DSLRs as prices fall.

Last month the average price of a DSLR stood at £488 with many models now costing under £400.

?Buyers who first entered the DSC [Digital Still Camera] market a few years ago with a compact may well now be choosing to upgrade to a DSLR when they re-enter the market,? according to GfK.