Figures from the latest Canon Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index (CDLI) reveal that Australians are continuing to buy more and better digital cameras.


September 17, 2009: Figures from the latest Canon Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index (CDLI) reveal that Australians are continuing to buy more and better digital cameras.

The Canon CDLI is independent research commissioned by Canon and compiled by GfK Retail and Technology Australia using information on retail sales (units and Australian dollar value) provided by participating retailers. It showed that Australians defied the global economic mood, buying more ‘digital lifestyle products’ in the first six months of 2009 than in any other first half since the Index was initiated in 2003.

Digital cameras were star performers, both in increasing units sold and in maintaining the average selling price of the category.

While the big-selling categories of LCD and plasma TV screens increased unit sales but suffered average selling price drops of 11 and 8 percent respectively, digital cameras held their value, reversing the trend in previous CDLI reports.

Around one million cameras were sold, slightly up in volume terms on the first half of 2008.

An estimated 72 percent of the Australian adult population now own a digital camera. Australians are getting more involved with their photography, with increased sales of DSLRs and top-of-the-range enthusiasts’ compacts. Darren Ryan, general manager, Product Marketing, Canon Australia, pointed out that in 2006, DSLRs accounted for 16 percent of the value of digital camera sales. Three years later, the figure is 27 percent. Canon says this supports findings that Australian consumers are becoming more conscious of the quality of the images they are taking and are gravitating towards ther creative opportunities offered by DSLR cameras.
It was testament to people’s passion around digital photography and their desire for ‘better creative outcomes’, he said, and noted there was ‘lots of good technology coming through’ now and in the immediate future from all manufacturers, which should help keep people interested.

‘Despite relatively high household penetration and dropping average selling prices in recent years, digital still cameras are the second-highest category in volume terms and values are also up. We’re seeing consumers more engaged in the category than ever, and using more of their leisure time to create, share and express themselves through high-quality images.’

He said that although the Government stimulus package to consumers would have helped ‘to some level’ a comparison of digital lifestyle products with other retail categories would indicate there was more at play.
Total unit sales in the first half of 2009 for digital lifestyle products covered by the Canon CDLI grew by 8.4 percent to 5.91 million units, while the revenue generated increased by 7.2 percent ($174 million) to $2.598 billion, compared with the first half of 2008. This compares to just over 1 percent growth for the entire retail sector, according to ABS estimates.

Digital Camcorders didn’t come along for the ride, with a 5 percent drop in unit sales in the first half. It’s a technology in a state of change, with the shift from Standard Definition (SD) to High Definition (HD) recording as well as the introduction of flash memory formats.
Ryan said that the introduction of a range of new technologies had increased choice and confusion in the minds of consumers, and he expected the camcorder category to come good ‘when it simplifies itself a little more’.

The full January – June 2009 CDLI report can be accessed here.