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Strong Demand for DSLR and Compact System Cameras Propel Overall Growth of Digital Camera Market in Last Twelve Months

Digital single lens reflex (DSLR) and compact system cameras, also known as mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera continue to be the driving force behind the growth of Southeast Asia’s digital camera industry, which attained a value of USD 512 million in the last 12 months. Latest digital camera retail audit report by GfK Asia on the six key countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines revealed that although compact cameras still dominate the region’s overall camera market, considerable surges in demand continue to be seen in the other two higher priced segments.

Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera (Source : Wikipedia)

The category with the highest average price, the DSLR, sold over 529,000 in April 2011 to March 2012; over 20 percent more than the previous period. According to the leading global market research company, this camera type is rising considerably in popularity especially across Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines where it registered volume growth between 1 to 12 percent. While Thailand displayed the greatest potential, it was the consumers in Malaysia who bought the most DSLRs–nearly one in five cameras sold in the country belonged to this segment.

“It is worthy to highlight that the flooding in Thailand last year had impacted regional supply of DSLRs as some of the factories which are located in the affected areas had to shut down, leading to supply shortage in the months after,” commented Mr. Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital Technology at GfK Asia. “Due to this reason, DSLRs did not perform as well as it would otherwise have towards the end of last year after existing supply ran out. However, sales have since resumed to its normal level and we can expect the segment to turn in stronger performance moving forward.”

Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera (Source : Wikipedia)

Another star performer in digital still cameras is the fast expanding mirrorless segment, which registered growth of 78 and 55 percent in sales volume and value respectively, contributing 7 percent to the overall camera market value. Levels of penetration have been deepening in three of the six markets tracked.

“GfK findings are reflecting consistent, incremental sales from mirrorless cameras in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand over the last three consecutive quarters, with the highest penetration being reflected by Singapore at 7 percent, trailed by Malaysia at 6 percent in the first quarter of this year.”

Major camera manufacturers anticipating the high growth potential of this segment have been quick to widen their range of offerings. From 19 models available in the market in the beginning of 2011, consumers in the first quarter of this year had a repertoire of over 39 models to choose from.

“In the midst of intense competition among brands for the consumer dollar, we can expect the average camera prices within each category to continue heading south,” Mr. Tan said. “This move may in turn win over those consumers seeking value for money, and could potentially increase the demand of the high end cameras which are driving the industry’s performance and bring about an overall market growth,” he concluded.