Falling prices have combined with the global consumer downturn to slow down digital camera sales revenue at Nikon in an increasingly cutthroat market.

Nikon now expects to sell 500,000 fewer digital cameras for the year to 31 March 2009 than it had previously predicted.

The company said today: ?In our imaging business, intensified marketing competition pushed down the price of digital cameras and sales have slowed down??

Global unit sales of digital SLR cameras for the year to 31 March 2009 will be 5.7% down on the previous forecast, and lens shipments will be 6.1% fewer than the earlier figure.

Nikon expects to sell 3.3m DSLRs and 4.6m lenses over the 12 months.

However, predicted unit sales of compact cameras will remain unchanged at 10 million units, according to figures released today.

Nikon today reported an overall net loss of 2.3 billion yen for the third quarter of 2008.

Nikon had previously forecast a profit of 26 billion yen for the three-month period.

The strength of the Japanese yen took its toll on sales, the company added.