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SLR camera prices crash 22% in a year

October 3, 2013

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.