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InfoTrends sees continued DSLR sales growth, increasing CSC market share  
Thursday, November 10, 2011 | by Eamon Hickey
In a new study on the interchangeable lens camera market, market research firm InfoTrends projects continued strong sales growth for the category overall and increasing market share in the U.S. for what it calls CILCs (compact interchangeable lens cameras). 

The study breaks the interchangeable lens camera market into DSLRs and CILCs. It concludes that CILCs will account for less than 10% of the U.S. market this year but will have close to a 20% share by revenue and volume by 2016.

Separately, a Bloomberg article includes another indication of the continued seemingly gravity-defying growth of interchangeable lens camera sales. Commenting on what he sees as relatively limited damage to Nikon's business prospects from the flooding in Thailand, an analyst from CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets noted that his firm continues to project the global interchangeable lens camera market to grow more than 40% this year. 

A press release from InfoTrends contains more information about its study.

Press Release

InfoTrends Releases In-Depth Study of the Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera Market

DSLRs Market Leaders, CILCs Gaining Attention

(Weymouth, MA) November 9, 2011…In the short span of a few years, the digital interchangeable lens camera (DILC) market has undergone some significant changes. The most notable has been the evolution of the market into two segments: digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and compact interchangeable lens cameras (CILCs). To gain insight into this dynamic market opportunity, InfoTrends announces the release of a detailed multi-client study entitled,  The Evolution of the Consumer Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera Segment – Strategic Opportunities with Photo Enthusiasts.

According to the research, the DSLR segment will continue to account for the majority of sales in this market, but CILCs are gaining significant shares in some regions of the world. “In 2011, CILCs will account for less than 10% of DILC unit shipments and revenues in the U.S. By 2016, we expect CILCs to represent close to 20% of shipments and revenues,” commented Ed Lee a Group Director at InfoTrends. “As a whole, the DILC category is projected to achieve high sales growth.”

The study revealed several challenges and opportunities for the market segment. Overall, education will be critical to driving growth. Over 20% of point & shoot camera owners and over 30% of non-owners who plan to purchase a DILC within a year are unsure about which type of camera they will purchase. “There is a degree of uncertainty about the advantages and disadvantages between DSLRs and CILCs. Equipment manufacturers must continue to inform potential purchasers so they can make the decision that is best for them,” continued Lee.

In the DSLR segment, results indicate that manufacturers should focus on entry-level DSLRs as a way to introduce point & shoot owners to interchangeable lens cameras. Offering more compact sizes and lighter weights will help DSLRs compete with CILCs and make the choice to switch from a DSLR to a CILC more difficult for buyers. They should also continue to innovate and improve features and functions in professional grade and mid-level DSLRs to address the needs and desires of photo enthusiasts and professionals.

CILC manufacturers need to spread the word. Category awareness is one of the biggest challenges for this segment. “Nikon’s entry into the CILC market will be a significant factor in spurring CILC sales due to the company’s strong brand name and significant marketing communications budget.” A more robust line of lenses will also help to bolster sales. The selection of lenses is currently limited, and some potential buyers have shied away from purchasing these cameras as a result.

The Evolution of the Consumer Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera Segment – Strategic Opportunities with Photo Enthusiasts considers why consumer-level hobbyists and photo enthusiasts are choosing one particular class of camera over another, examines brand level influences on the category, studies additional use cases related to images and HD video, and identifies significant year-over-year changes where applicable. The study also provides:

  • A comparison of DSLR owners, CILC owners, and future purchasers of DILCs to understand user perspectives, behaviors, and attitudes
  • Demographic profiling and trend analysis
  • User buying behavior and product preferences
  • Feature usage and future requirements
  • Detailed examination of accessories
  • Use of related devices, software, and connectivity solutions

In addition, the study provides an in-depth understanding of the consumer digital interchangeable lens camera owner today and what may be in store for the future. It segments, sizes, and forecasts the camera hardware market by specific price bands, and also provides recommendations for both hardware vendors and software/service providers.

All players in this marketplace, including digital camera vendors, accessory vendors, software, service, and output vendors will benefit directly from the findings of this study. For information or to purchase the report, contact Matt O’Keefe at +1 781 616 2115 or

InfoTrends, a Questex company, is the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry. We provide research, analysis, forecasts, and advice to help clients understand market trends, identify opportunities, and develop strategies to grow their businesses. Additional information about InfoTrends is available on the Web at .

Copyright 2011 InfoTrends. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reuse of InfoTrends materials is strictly prohibited without prior written consent.

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