The India Prosumer Digital Camera market comes of age: Continuous decline in ASVs leads to sharp rise in share of cameras sold with > 12 MP resolution

CMR Guest

CMR Guest

Most digital cameras support a number of ‘modes’ for use in various situations. Professional digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera modes provide a large variety of manual aperture and shutter speed settings, consumer point-and-shoot (P&S) cameras come equipped almost exclusively with automatic modes, while amateur prosumer cameras often have a variety of both manual and automatic modes.


Prosumer digital cameras borrow their design from SLR cameras. With a muscular build and protruding lens, this type of camera feels like an SLR camera when held in the user’s hands. The most striking features of prosumer cameras are high zoom, electronic viewfinder, and full manual exposure control.


Therefore, these cameras are more suited for serious photography enthusiasts. When shooting using high zoom, the camera needs to be kept absolutely steady to get blur-free shots. Because it’s impossible to keep the hand absolutely steady, the buyer need to make sure the camera has optical image stabilization, which acts as a counter mechanism for shakes.

Table 1: India Digital Camera Sales (in thousands) by Form Factor, Oct-Dec 2010 *

Form Factor

4Q 2009 (Oct-Dec) 2009)

3Q 2010 (July-Sept 2010)

4Q 2010 (Oct-Dec 2010)


(4Q 2010 over 3Q 2010)


(4Q 2010 over 4Q 2009)













Total Shipments







* Source: CMR’s India Quarterly Digital Camera Market Review, 4Q 2010, April 2011 release

Growing competition in recent quarters has led vendors to launch feature-rich cameras at affordable price points. This market activity typically starts around the April-June quarter and culminates in large sales during the ‘festive’ months lasting August-January, backed by heavy advertising in popular media channels and promotional schemes.


As per CMR’s study the digital camera price segment “below Rs. 10,000” contributed around 75% of total sales in the country during the October-December 2010 quarter.


The current market trends point to multiple camera ownership backed by an increasing consciousness and demand for high performance cameras amongst urban Indian households in the large metros. Users are looking to buy better quality, high-resolution cameras for personal use. Digital camera vendors are innovating in terms of design, functionalities and technology, pushing out products to consumers at ever lower prices. The most significant reflection of this trend is in the launch and offtake of a large number of prosumer camera models aimed at the amateur / serious enthusiast.


Vendors have found increasing acceptance of digital cameras amongst first time buyers in ‘B’ and ‘C’ class towns and have started to focus on strengthening their reach into these areas to further grow the market. This is expected to help the penetration of digital cameras to rise from the current level estimated to be below 5% to 10% by 2015.

Figure 1. India Digital Camera Market: Typical Configurations, Sales (% of units) and ASVs, 4Q 2009 versus 4Q 2010

Quarter: 4Q 2009                                                                                4Q 2010

Most Shipped Configuration/s: < 10 MP (55%)                              10-12 MP (45%), > 12 MP (39%)

Overall ASV: Rs. 11,000                                                                     Rs. 9,700

ASV: Average Sales Value

Source: CMR, 2011

CMR expects the P&S camera category to grow at a CAGR of 30%, while DSLR cameras would grow at a CAGR of 63% in terms of units over the period 2010-2015. The overall India digital camera market would grow at a CAGR of 32% in terms of units over the same period. The India digital camera market would touch 41 lakh units in 2011, of which 38.4 lakh units would be P&S cameras, while the remaining 2.6 lakh would be DSLR cameras.

Interestingly, the number of mobile handsets with cameras sold in India during 4Q CY 2010 was 304 lakh units or 63% of all phones, as compared to 138 lakh units or 42% of all handset sales in 4Q CY 2009.

Even though prosumer cameras are packed with plenty of features, a buyer / user can still scout for additional features such as in-camera image and video editing, and face detection. Some cameras offer night vision for shooting in the dark. Finally, the ergonomics should be carefully evaluated. The camera should have a firm grip, easily accessible buttons and intuitive user interface. If you still want a better camera, look for an entry-level digital DSLR camera.