For the first time interchangeable-lens cameras will make up more than half the value of digital cameras shipped this year, according to an industry report. And further growth is expected as smartphone users pursue photography as a serious hobby and splash out on camera kit.

Though overall global demand for digital cameras is predicted to have fallen by 24% by the end of 2013, the interchangeable-lens camera segment will continue to see growth, according to the Worldwide Digital Camera Market report by Futuresource Consulting.

Arun Gill, a market analyst at the firm, said: ‘Interchangeable-lens cameras will account for one in every four digital cameras shipped this year.

‘That’s up from less than one in five in 2012 and – of greater significance – for the very first time the segment will account for more than half the total digital camera trade value.’

Trade value is defined as the body-only selling price of a camera, less any taxes.

Futuresource predicts that system cameras will have grown 5% this year, to almost 21 million units.

‘Although consumer demand for fixed-lens cameras is falling across all regions, the rapid uptake of connected mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets means there are more camera devices in use than ever before.’

‘Growing base of photo enthusiasts’

Gill added: ‘And here’s the interesting part: as consumers’ experience of capturing mobile photos develops, their interest in photography is likely to increase.

‘Now we are seeing a growing base of photo enthusiasts, especially in less-developed countries, who desire a high-end digital camera with advanced features such as larger optical zooms and bigger image sensors.

‘This will provide an opportunity for further growth in higher-end camera sales, particularly with interchangeable lenses.’

Meanwhile, Futuresource blames the ‘relatively weak’ 6% growth of the CSC market in 2013 on a ‘lack of consumer education’.

‘Demand for DSLR cameras has been driven by entry-level models becoming more affordable,’ it adds.

‘While CSC will represent almost half the interchangeable [-lens] camera market volume in Japan, DSLR remains by far the most popular format globally, with 80% volume share expected for 2013.’