Digital camera sales have nose-dived by around 29 per cent in five years, recent figures have shown.
According to research conducted by market research firm Mintel, the digital camera market was worth around £598million in 2011. Although an impressive figure in its own right, this represents a significant drop from 2006, when the market was valued at around £843million.
By 2016, Mintel predicts that the market value of digital cameras will drop even further to around £523million.
Camcorders have also suffered a similar fate to digital cameras, having seen their market value drop by 21 per cent in the same five-year time frame; from £354million in 2006, the camcorder market had dropped to £279million in 2011.
It is believed that the boom in smartphone sales, and the rapid advancement in the technology used in the cameras on these devices, has at least partly contributed to the downfall of digital cameras and camcorders.
Although 80 per cent of Brits currently use a digital camera or camcorder, only 40 per cent rely exclusively on these devices for capturing images, with 45 per cent relying on their smartphones.
While 71 per cent of consumers preferred the quality of photos produced by a digital camera over a smartphone, 21 per cent of digital camera and camcorder owners admitted that smartphones were probably a better long-term investment.
Indeed, around eight per cent of Brits have already admitted that once their digital camera or camcorder breaks down, they were unlikely to purchase a new device to replace it.
Samuel Gee, Mintel Technology Analyst, said: “As newer technology continues to improve the specifications of top-end equipment, measurements like megapixel density or the top level of optical zoom possible will become meaningless to consumers best served by less expensive, middle-of-the-field devices.
“Camera manufacturers must choose to either invest in a web service that complements captured photos or video, or to focus on including new, innovative hardware capabilities and modifications, to retain consumer interest.”