Shoot: Cameras Giving Way To Smartphones


People are using their smartphones to take pictures more and more, but they’re still looking toward single-use devices (such as digital SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras) to get the quality photographs they desire to preserve memories.

According to a new study from the Consumer Electronics Association, 55% of consumers still consider a point-and-shoot camera as their primary photography device. However, the number of people who considered a smartphone to be their primary photography device has tripled over the past two years to 18%.

Capturing spur-of-the-moment shots was a primary driver for those using their smartphones more. According to the study, the average person takes about 35 photos a month with a smartphone, compared with 32 a month with point-and-shoot cameras. However, the image quality afforded by digital SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras still holds sway over people. According to the survey, 93% of respondents said point-and-shoot cameras had the highest digital image quality.



“I see the chance for up-selling digital SLRs as dissatisfaction with point-and-shoot cameras and smartphones continues,” says Charles Colby, president of Rockbridge Associates, which conducted the study with the CEA, in a webcast presenting the results. “I think people are starting to take more photos than ever and they’re starting to think about the quality of those pictures.”

With 61% of photos taken as spur-of-the-moment shots, consumers liked the portability of smartphones. The study also found that consumers who used smartphones (and to a lesser extent, tablets) were more likely to use sharing applications, such as sending images via SMS services, email, or posting on social networks. Nearly a quarter of consumers (74%) ranked smartphones highest when it came to ease of sharing.

“People are starting to go crazy with sharing and it seems to be generating excitement about photography,” Colby said, although he noted that tablets were not catching on in the same manner as smartphones. “People just aren’t taking as many photos with tablets. I don’t think they’re as easy to use as expected.”

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