Market research firm Lyra released a report about the digital camera market. They report that digital still camera shipments have surpassed 63 million units in 2004 - more than 35 percent more compared with 2003.
Worldwide digital still camera shipments will surpass 100 million units in 2008.
In 2004, for the first time ever, Europe became the largest market in terms of unit shipments, taking the top spot from the United States, which is now second in terms of shipments. Japan is the third-largest market.
The 3-megapixel category remained the most popular digital camera segment in 2004, but shipments are increasing in the 4-, 5-, and 6-megapixel segments. Most point-and-shoot cameras now shipping are 4- and 5-megapixel models, and Lyra expects that, by 2005, 5+-megapixel cameras will account for more worldwide shipments than any other segment.
"The desire to produce prints from digital cameras is now a key factor in the consumer purchase decision. Many new camera buyers do not go to the store looking just for a digital camera—they are looking for a total photographic solution," says Robert Palmer, director of Lyra's Digital Photography Advisory Service. Camera and printer bundles proved very popular last year, and Lyra expects these solutions to gain further momentum in 2005. "Explosive growth in digital camera sales will fuel the market for photographic prints," says Palmer. "More than 18 billion prints were produced from digital camera images in 2004, two-thirds of which were produced in the home."