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Digital camera shipments to U.S. up 22 percent

A model holds up Canon's new digital SLR camera 40D during an unveiling in Tokyo August 20, 2007. Shipments of digital cameras to the United States in the third quarter rose 22 percent, driven by demand from consumers replacing older models at discounted prices, according to industry data. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shipments of digital cameras to the United States in the third quarter rose 22 percent, driven by demand from consumers replacing older models at discounted prices, according to industry data.

Research firm IDC, in its quarterly report, said camera makers shipped 8.4 million units, fueled by customers desire for fashionable models with new features such as image stabilization.

Japan's Canon Inc 7751.T remained the top selling brand, with a 23 percent market share. Next was Sony Inc 6758.T at 18 percent, while Eastman Kodak EK.N had a 15 percent share, IDC said.

South Korea's Samsung 005930.KS saw its U.S. market share halved to about 4 percent, IDC said.

IDC analyst Chris Chute said he expects Kodak to have a strong fourth quarter, benefiting from promotional deals during the holiday shopping season.

Digital camera shipments so far this year have been stronger than expected, reversing a trend of declining growth seen over the past four years.

In many cases cameras, which come in multiple colors, have become a kind of fashion item, much like tiny mobile phones or Apple Inc's AAPL.O iPod digital music player.

Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Leslie Gevirtz

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