When you think of the top two camera manufacturers in the UK, you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking Canon and Nikon. But, if you were to put that down in a pub quiz today you would lose a point.

According to the latest GfK figures for the UK market, it t urns out that Sony has been working its socks off and has taken the number two spot from Nikon when it comes to interchangeable lens cameras.

“Sony overtook Nikon in volume sales of interchangeable lens models for December 2010 - notching up 25% compared to Nikon's 20%,” reports Amateur Photographer, after asking the number crunching guys for the stats.

The news may come as a surprise to most, but it shows that Sony’s hard work and innovation is starting to pay off. Pocket-lint contacted Sony with the news and the company had this to say:

"Achieving number 2 position in the December GfK data for DLSR cameras is a fantastic milestone for Sony," said Rachel Banin, head of Digital Imaging, Sony UK. "We recognise the challenge in maintaining this position in a very competitive marketplace, but we can see from the data that it indicates acceptance of compact system cameras and a rapidly changing market dynamic in the UK".

"Sony’s NEX-3 and NEX-5 allow anyone to easily achieve professional quality pictures and movies they can be proud of using a very small camera. We’re really excited that consumers are recognising the value of these cameras and choosing to buy them". 

Last year it was nominated for an Innovation of the Year award at the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards for its mirrorless Alpha model, narrowly missing out to Microsoft’s Kinect.

Many believe that Nikon and Canon have been slow to embrace new technologies in the same way as Sony and other players like Samsung, and it now seems to be taking an affect on their market share.

Nikon is rumoured to be launching a mirrorless camera later in the year, however. But, whether that will be enough to get back into the mix is yet to be seen. One thing will be certain, Sony must surely now be setting its sights on Canon for the top spot.