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Low-Cost Prosumer Video Camcorder Market

The professional video camcorder market experienced a groundswell of activity in EMEA last year, with incremental growth outstripping the previous year's performance by nearly three to one, according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting.

"In 2008 we saw the development of a pure non-tape pro camcorder segment at the lower end of the market -- a significant milestone for the industry and a core driver for last year's phenomenal growth," says Adam Cox, Senior Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting.

The huge success of the low-cost Sony HVR-HD1000E -- as well as several other entry-level products -- contributed to pro camcorder sector growth in 2008. With new products from Panasonic and JVC due for release in the first half of 2009, further market activity is ensured.

"As the price of broadcast quality hardware continues to decrease, professional video production has become available to a wider audience," says Cox.

"In particular, the prosumer segment has grown significantly over recent years and accounts for almost 30 percent of market volumes; however, the comparatively low cost of products sold into this vertical translates to less than 25 percent of the market in value terms."

The UK continues to be the largest pro camcorder market in the EMEA region, followed by Russia, France and Germany. As a whole, Western Europe commands 65 percent of the EMEA marketplace, with the remainder shared almost equally between Eastern Europe and Middle East/Africa.

HD functionality dominates the market across all these territories, with more than 75 percent of pro camcorders shipped in 2008 capable of shooting in HDV or better. However, the versatility of many of these products means that much footage is still shot in SD.

Moving forward, HD and non-tape segments will continue to drive the market, and as more programs are broadcast in HD the demand for full-HD camcorders for use as backup will grow, allowing HD to fuel market growth for a second time.

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