A large number of people who use ink supplies to produce hard copies of their favourite photos may be taking advantage of social networks to share snaps with their friends.

Warin Tantiphongpanid, senior director and general manager for consumer imaging and information at Canon in Thailand, explained to the Phuket Gazette the popularity of these websites is driving sales of digital SLRs.

"The SLR camera has become more popular among the teenage group because such a camera opens a whole new world of photography for them – the vast functions give users incentive to share online," he said.

Mr Warin added the devices are also proving to be in high demand among amateur film-makers, who find they are a good-value alternative to specialist video recorders.

The executive also told the publication that one of Canon's printer manufacturing plants in Thailand has been disrupted by the recent floods that saw much of the country – including some parts of the capital Bangkok – left underwater.