Live View will become the norm and video capture will soon be introduced into digital SLRs as they increasingly mimic functions of compact cameras, market analysts predict.

Live View will become the norm and video capture will soon be introduced into digital SLRs as they increasingly mimic functions of compact cameras, market analysts predict.

The forecast comes as demand for DSLRs continues to grow among mainstream consumers.

?Consumers who are upgrading to DSLRs are no longer just hobbyists, but also include families with young children who are looking for cameras with no shutter lag,? said Mette Eriksen, director of InfoTrends Digital Photography Trends Service.

This year and next will be ?critical years? for manufacturers as they launch products designed to ?hook in? first-time buyers of DSLR systems, claims InfoTrends latest research into the buying habits of US consumers.

The North American Consumer Digital Camera Forecast adds: ?Although DSLRs are feature-packed, vendors are increasingly striving to incorporate the simplicity of compact cameras? Automated features common in compact cameras, such as redeye removal and face detection, will make their way into DSLRs as Live View becomes standard. This may also be the year that video capture becomes possible in cameras with interchangeable lenses.?

The report draws on figures for the US suggesting that, in 2007, the DSLR market grew by 40%, compared to compact sales which rose 24%.

It continues: ?In essence, entry-level DSLRs will become fancy point-and-shoot cameras with interchangeable lenses during 2008.?

On Tuesday, Canon became the latest manufacturer to unveil a new DSLR aimed at entry-level users, the EOS 1000D (pictured).