UK shoppers spent nearly one fifth more on cameras this Christmas than they did at the same time last year. Market research company GfK's figures show that although camera sales volumes only rose a little, the amount of money spent between December 20 and 26th climbed by 19%. Fixed-lens (compact) cameras led the way, with unit sales up 2%, while interchangeable lens cameras sales volumes fell 4%. However, because the average selling price of interchangeable lens cameras has increased since late 2008, their sales were up 20% by value.

'The reason for the fall in sales of changeable lens over the second half of 2009 is clear,' said Matthew Gibbs, GfK Account Director for Photo: 'the average changeable lens camera sold in this week was 25% more expensive than the same week in 2008. More consumers as a result have opted for a top-end fixed lens model. Given a price uplift of a quarter though, a drop of only 4% in units is not actually all that dramatic.' This shift to high-end compacts was accompanied by an increase in the value of sales, with the 2% boost in units sold leading to an 18% increase by value. 'Retailers have not discounted to anything like the same degree,' said Gibbs: 'not only were more consumers buying a fixed lens camera, they were spending on average 17% more on their camera than a year ago.'

The growth in camera sales contrasts with sales in other technology areas, with mobile PC sales making no progress on 2008 figures and LCD TV sales during Christmas week falling 18% compared to the same period last year.