Smartphones receive more love, cameras become second choice

Smartphones Replacing Cameras

Smartphones seem to have become the preferred choice for capturing photos and videos, apparently making a noticeable impact on cameras and traditional camcorders in the market. This has been brought forth by NPD’s new Imaging Confluence Study conducted in the U.S.

The aforementioned study claims that about 27 percent of photographs have been captured with a smartphone within this year. Last year, the percent recorded was 17, which means that this activity has seen a 10 percent rise within a single year. The scenario is quite different when it comes to the share of content captured by any camera. The number dropped from 52 percent in 2010 to 44 percent this year, when it came to the use of a camera for snapping up images.

“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,” states 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.”

Furthermore, NPD’s Retail Tracking Service also gives numbers which probably highlight the direction camcorders and lower end point-and-shoot cameras are headed for. Pocket camcorders saw a fall by 27 percent in dollars and 13 percent in units, while traditional flash camcorders saw 8 percent decline in units and 10 percent in dollars. Additionally, the first 11 months of the current year saw the point-and-shoot camera market down 17 percent in units and 18 percent in dollars. But it wasn’t the same story for point-and-shoot cameras with optical zooms of 10x or greater, which grew by 16 percent in units and 10 percent in dollars, with an average price of $247.

Apart from highlighting how smartphones have come to become an important tool for capturing images, the study reveals another high point with regards to detachable lens cameras. The detachable lens camera market witnessed an upward trend by 12 percent in units and 11 percent in dollars, again recorded in the first 11 months of 2011, with an average price of $863.

The NPD findings come as no surprise since more and more smartphones flooding the markets have been seen laying emphasis on decent cameras. Today, a lot of cameras embedded in handsets offer users with as many options as entry-level snappers. And such devices probably score higher points than cameras on the portability and multi-functionality front too.