The UK camera industry fears compact system cameras (CSC) will kill off sales in the rest of the photographic market, according to research by industry analysts.
?One of the frequent questions from manufacturers and retailers is whether the growth of CSC will cannibalise sales from existing SLR or fixed lens segments of the market,? writes GfK Retail and Technology spokesman Matt Gibbs in the latest GfK newsletter.
?The danger for this is clearly there ? there are very few households not owning a DSC [digital still camera], so growth within a new segment has to come from a repeat purchaser,? he adds.
?The key question is whether this repeat purchaser switches from an existing segment, or whether they are making an additional purchase.
?In truth it?s too early to gauge this, but what?s clear is that, so far, retailers are hedging their bets.?
The news comes as consumers are expected to have snapped up 10% more interchangeable cameras in 2010 than the year before, as retailers give more shelf space to this market, according to GfK.
A year ago retailers stocked, on average, around six SLR cameras and between one and two CSCs, according to GfK.
Latest figures show that retailers stock an average of nine SLRs and around five CSCs ? a near doubling of shelf space devoted to changeable lens cameras.
Sales of changeable lens cameras ? which includes DSLRs and compact system cameras ? grew by a third during September and October.
?The simple fact is most stores now have a greater selection of changeable lens cameras than has ever been the case before,? writes Gibbs.
He added: ?Compact system cameras have obviously been one of the main stimuli behind the current growth rates, although it?s worth pointing out that both SLR and CSC are currently in growth compared to 2009.?
Gibbs said growth in high street shelf space combined with a rise in consumer demand signals a ?vote of confidence from all sides for this product category?.