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1 in 4 photos and videos now taken with a smartphone

Smartphone killed the camera star

Smartphones are now supplanting traditional cameras for the average consumer, according to market research firm, The NPD Group’s new Imaging Confluence Study, reporting 27 percent of all photos taken this year where done so with a smartphone, up ten percent from just a year ago. Photos taken with a traditional camera dropped to 44 percent from 52 percent last year.

“There is no doubt that the smartphone is becoming ‘good enough’ much of the time; but thanks to mobile phones, more pictures are being taken than ever before,” said Liz Cutting, executive director and senior imaging analyst at NPD. “Consumers who use their mobile phones to take pictures and video were more likely to do so instead of their camera when capturing spontaneous moments, but for important events, single purpose cameras or camcorders are still largely the device of choice.”

The report claims the first casualty of the shift toward smartphones has been camcorders which lost 27 percent of sales dollars in just the last year while low-end point and shoot cameras also took a hit, dropping 18 percent in dollars in 2011 while traditional flash camcorders dropped 10 percent in dollars.

It was not all about casualties, as NPD reports detachable lens cameras increased by 12 percent in units and 11 percent in dollars over the same time period, with an average price of $863; and point-and-shoot cameras with optical zooms of 10x or greater grew by 16 percent in units and 10 percent in dollars, with an average price of $247.

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Have smartphones killed the camera star? Not quite yet, but this past year has seen a dramatic rise in videos and photos taken with a smartphone over a traditional camera or camcorder, a trend that is likely to continue as smartphone cameras continue improving.

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.



  1. lakawak

    December 25, 2011 at 6:12 am

    They have absolutely NO way of knowing how many pictures were taken with standalone cameras. All it means is that people who take pictures on smartphoes are far more likely to upload them to some website than people who take pictures on digital cameras. And of course, for 800 x 600 Facebook pictures, a smart phone is going to be OK.

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