Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

March 07, 2005 08:56 ET

ALMOST HALF OF CANADIAN ADULTS OWN/HAVE ACCESS TO A DIGITAL CAMERA

A Three-Fold Growth in Digital Camera Ownership Since 2001 Attention: Lifestyle Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor VANCOUVER, BC--(CCNMatthews - March 7, 2005) - Over the last three years, the proportion of Canadians who own or have access to a digital camera has increased almost threefold. Currently, 45% of the Canadian population owns or has access to a digital camera, according to a new study from Ipsos-Reid, Canada's leading public opinion and marketing research company. This is a dramatic jump from the 16% figure found in 2001.

"The increase in digital camera adoption is quite remarkable", says Rhys Gibb, Senior Research Manager of Ipsos-Reid. "And as the technology proves to be as good as or even better than traditional film cameras for the average user, the take-up rate will only grow".

Those most likely to have moved to digital photography include men (48%), those under the age of 55 (50%), and those with household incomes of $60,000 or more (61%). This is also the general profile of those who are more likely to be early adopters of technology items as a whole. Across the country, the penetration of digital camera ownership is quite uniform. The one exception is the province of Quebec, where about one-quarter (29%) own or have access to a digital camera. This is far behind the levels in other provinces such as Ontario (52%), BC (51%) and Alberta (49%).

When we ask online Canadians who do not currently own or have access to a digital camera in their homes, almost one-half (49%) plan to get one within the next year. This includes 16% who are very likely to purchase a digital camera and 33% who say they are somewhat likely to purchase one. Of course, there are some who are reticent to enter the world of digital photography. Twenty-seven percent of those without a digital camera say they are very unlikely to purchase one in the next year. Younger Canadians (18-34 years of age) are the most eager to get onboard the digital bandwagon as 58% of them who don't have a digital camera plan to get one within the next year. Regionally, the digital divide should actually grow over the next year as people in provinces such as BC (59%) are much more likely than people in Quebec (43%) to purchase a digital camera within the next year.

Retailers are also seeing the effect of this proliferation of digital camera technology. "Canadians as a whole are becoming more familiar with digital camera technology," says Phil Johnston, Divisional Merchandise Manager, Photography, Camcorders and Digital Imaging with Best Buy Canada. "In our stores, customers used to spend a lot of time at the displays with questions about the basic functions of digital cameras. Now, most shoppers we see either already have a camera in the household or have at least used a friend's digital camera. Canadians are becoming much more knowledgeable about what they're looking for in a digital camera."

As digital photography has increased in Canada, so too has use of related services as Canadians explore different ways of printing and sharing their photos. In fact, 34% of all Canadians have used an online photo service or uploaded pictures via the Internet to a website for display. In addition, 23% of Canadians have taken digital images into a photolab for processing, while 12% have uploaded digital images onto websites and ordered prints online. While these figures reflect relatively low penetration levels compared to traditional film processing, they can be expected to increase sharply over the coming months as more and more people get digital cameras and look for more ways to make use of their photographic results.

The Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report is the largest, most comprehensive and authoritative source of its kind about quarterly Internet trends in Canada. The results are based on two separate data collection instruments. In the first, 1,000 web users from Ipsos-Reid's Canadian Internet Panel are surveyed online. Panelists are chosen through random telephone surveys conducted on an ongoing basis across Canada. Results are complemented by a further 1,000 interviews via telephone with Canadian adults in order to verify results of the panel, and track issues among non-Internet users. Telephone interviews for this release were conducted between January 5th and 10th, 2005 while the online data was collected between January 6th and 14th, 2004. These data are statistically weighted to reflect the population proportions of regular online users by online expertise and regional distribution. Our panelists represent approximately 14.4 million Canadian adult Internet users who are online for one hour a week or more (there are a total of 17.9 million adults who have Internet access). With a national sample of 1,000 (for each component), one can say with 95% certainty that the overall results are within a maximum of ±3.1 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire population of Canada's regular online users been surveyed. The margin of error will be larger for sub-groupings of the survey population.

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For more information on this news release, please contact:
Rhys Gibb
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos-Reid Corporation
(604) 257-3200

Lori DeCou
Director of Corporate Communications
Best Buy Canada Ltd.
(604) 412-1012

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