There has never been a better time to buy a digital SLR as figures show the average price falling by over £100 in the past year.

In the first three months of 2007, the average selling price of a DSLR (body only) was £466, compared to £567 in the same period in 2006, according to figures released by market analysts at GfK.

That equates to a fall of around 18% in 12 months and 35% since the summer of 2005 when the average DSLR price stood at around £715 ? around £250 more than now.

However, the news prompted GfK to warn the UK industry: ?We have seen volume sales grow quite significantly over the last six months but this, of course, cannot go on indefinitely and a decline in volume will likely be followed by a value decline.?

The value of the overall digital imaging market in Britain dropped by 8% in the first three months of the year, compared to the same quarter last year, despite the number of digital cameras sold rising by 3%.

High-street camera chain Jessops is among the firms hit by plummeting prices.

In March Jessops blamed its expected half-year loss of £8.5m on deteriorating market conditions – citing a 16.3% drop in digital compact camera sales (in value terms) for February, compared to the month before.

?These market declines have been driven mostly by significant falls in average selling prices in the UK, causing further pressure on sales and achieved margins,? said Jessops in a statement issued at the time.

At the time of writing Jessops was advertising, for example, a Nikon D40 digital SLR with an 18-55mm lens for £339.99, if bought online.

At its launch in November last year Nikon set the D40?s price at £449.99 complete with an 18-55mm lens.

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