It may be good news for consumers with an eye on their spending, but not for camera makers. The average price of an SLR in the UK has plummeted by u00a3136 u2013 more than 20% u2013 over the past year, according to official figures.
The average selling price of an SLR was £486 in August, compared to £622 in the same month last year – a drop of 22%, according to figures seen by Amateur Photographer (AP).
This contrasts with a 5% increase in the average price of fixed-lens cameras, while compact system camera (CSC) prices rose by around 4%, according to market analysts at GfK.
Commenting on the decline in SLR prices, GfK account executive Simon Whitehead told AP: ‘Consumers have shifted their purchases towards the lower specification entry-level models, which typically command a lower price.
‘When this is combined with the price erosion that is almost expected nowadays – and a shrinkage of the SLR market – the fall in prices that we have observed can be explained.’
He said that fixed-lens camera prices rose because bridge cameras and superzoom models, for example – which are more expensive than low-end compacts and have suffered less from smartphone growth – now make up a larger slice of the market.
The average price of a CSC was £380 in August 2013, while consumers could expect to pay an average of £125 for a fixed-lens compact.
The news comes as the value of Britain’s imaging market fell 24%, compared to August 2012 – slightly less than the 26% drop in July.
SLR sales declined by 30%, CSC sales 32%, and bridge cameras by 38%.
Revenue from sales of fixed-lens cameras fell 32%.
GfK says the imaging market has suffered from the loss of several ‘high-profile’ retailers at the end of 2012 and start of 2013, the ‘cannibalisation’ effect of smartphone and tablet growth and a ‘high-level’ of camera ownership across the market.
Though GfK does not name Jessops in its latest market newsletter, it is no secret that UK camera sales suffered after the 187-shop chain went into administration in January.
Jessops has since bounced back, with Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones at the helm, albeit with a smaller number of stores.
Camera chain Jacobs was among the UK retailers to fall by the wayside in 2012, closing all of its 19 outlets.