Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The impact of smartphones on the camera industry

As an avid camera user for over 50 years, both professional and non-professional, I ran across the above chart (click on it for a larger view) a couple of years ago and was amazed how much this data reflects my personal use of camera equipment! Since originally seeing the chart, I keep running across confirmations that smartphones are destroying the camera industry. 

In particular:

  • I use my iPhone for almost everything these days. Fewer and fewer of my photographic projects require my Canon 5D MkIV DSLR camera.
  • After spending years learning to light real estate interiors with flash, I was blown away by the beautiful images of interiors that come straight out of my iPhone 12 Pro with no artificial lighting by me.
  • Nikon appears to be struggling financialy because their business is focused just on camera gear.
  • Even though many professional photographers will claim that smartphones are just “toys", more and more are praising smartphone cameras and admitting that they use them for professional work.

So this single chart is a fantastic illustration of what has been and still is going on generally in the camera industry. I doubt this trend is over because smartphone makers keep adding more and more computational power and bigger and more built in lenses every release. Smartphones in your pocket are getting better and better each year. Traditional camera gear is getting better and better too, but why would I want to drag around all that weight when they can get as good a image 95% of the time with my iPhone?


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