The DSLRs that Nikon released last year are performing even better than expected, as Nikon's head of camera unit said the company is shipping 35% more units year-on-year.

In 2005, Canon held over 50% of the market share, with Nikon's share amounting to a little under 30%.

In an interview with Reuters, Senior Managing Director Makoto Kimura said, "Conditions for [the D50, D70s, and D200] are very tight worldwide. We can sell as many as we can produce".

Nikon are set to exceed the forecast of shipments, which is set to rise to 30.6% this financial year to March.

In the same interview, Kimura admitted that the imminent release of Sony's and Panasonic's new DSLRs was a long-term threat that may impact the market in "three to five years", depending on what products they will subsequently be able to develop.

Kimura expects that DSLR prices will go the way of analogue SLRs, and drop to as little at $300 for the most basic models in a few years time.

"In the film era there were mass-market SLR models selling at $300."

"So there are people out there that want to take pictures with an SLR that costs about that much. I don't know when it will happen, but the next target after $500 is the $300 mark."