Image resolution is the most important factor when buying a digital camera, with features such as face detection and GPS ranking lowest, reveals a worldwide survey of photography enthusiasts.

The Rise of the Amateur survey, conducted in March 2013, shows

that the older the photographer the more importance they place on

resolution, with those aged 45 and over considering image sharpness and

detail the top priority.

Photographers aged 30 and under, however, said they believed high ISO/low light performance were more important in influencing their purchasing decision.

On average, the second most important factor was focusing speed and accuracy, according to the results of a poll conducted by the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) and photography website DP Review.

Camera brand, continuous shooting capability and live view were placed well down the table of importance when choosing new kit – positioned 14, 15 and 16 respectively from of a total of 20 factors enthusiasts were asked to rank in degrees of significance.

GPS was deemed to be the least important factor across all age groups, while the inclusion of user-friendly features such as face detection, subject modes and ‘intelligent auto’ ranked second from bottom.

The survey, which pulled in more than 5,100 responses from US and non-US countries, reveals that mirrorless system camera ownership rose 13% compared to a year earlier.

Enthusiasts aged 45-55 were the largest group to own a DSLR, while those aged 55 and over were most likely to own a non-SLR interchangeable-lens camera.

The number of enthusiasts taking pictures daily, or several times per week, using a mobile phone grew 10% over the 2012 figure.

Almost 11% of enthusiasts said they had ‘completely switched from a compact camera to a mobile device, and more than 20% have partially switched’.

Nearly all of those who responded (96%) were male.

More than 30% of respondents were over 55 and almost 80% described themselves as being ‘advanced or proficient in photographic ability’.

Further details of the Rise of the Amateur survey are published in the full report which available to buy via the PMA store at www.pmai.org/online/storehome.aspx