The U.S. imaging market is growing despite the overall consumer technology market showing flat revenue, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service, as high-definition video is quickly becoming an integral part of camera functionality.

In August 2010, 43% of all point-and-shoot camera units sold and 65% of all detachable lens units sold had HD video capabilities. Among recent digital camera buyers surveyed for NPD’s annual Recent Digital Camera Buyer Behavior Study, 35% reported that their digital camera had become their sole video capture device.

“As HD Video has become more commonplace on detachable lens cameras, we’re seeing a shift in the DSLR buyer makeup, from the older male without children at home towards the dad of the household,” said Liz Cutting, executive director and senior imaging analyst at NPD. “Buyer profiles of detachable lens cameras today more closely match those of the higher-end camcorder. The challenge is on for each type of capture device to find its niche within distinct members of the household to ensure longevity.”

Detachable lens cameras and camera lenses were key imaging revenue drivers, up 26% and 33%, respectively, for the first eight months of 2010 (January – August) compared to the same time period in 2009. Not only were they among the top five growth segments in technology, but they also exhibited some of the highest average sales prices (ASP); prices that have continued to grow over the past year. Detachable lens camera ASPs rose 5% to $884, and lenses were up 7% to $446 compared to last year. While point-and-shoot digital cameras were flat in average price, those priced at $200 and above were up by 2% in units this year through August, while the overall point-and-shoot market was down 5%. Total camera accessory sales were up 21%.

[Source:  Retail Tracking Service.  The NPD Group.  20 Sept. 2010.  Web.  28 Sept. 2010.]