Are Smartphones Killing Point-and-Shoot Cameras?

Paul Lilly

Here's an interesting riddle: If integrated cameras on smartphones and cell phones are so much better than what they were just a few short years ago, why are there so many crappy mobile photos on the Internet? Figure that one out and we'll assign you a similar case related to YouTube videos. But we digress. The real point here is that smartphone cameras are continuously improving and are now responsible for snapping more than a quarter of photos and videos.

The NPD Group's new Imaging Confluence Study found that the percent of photos taken with a smartphone (any smartphone) jumped from 17 percent last year to 27 percent this year. At the same time, the share of photos taken on any camera dropped from 52 percent to 44 percent.

"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."

It's not all grim news for dedicated camera makers. Detachable lens cameras grew 12 percent in volume and 11 percent in dollars and cents within the past year. Point-and-shoot cameras with optical zooms of 10x or more also grew, increasing 16 percent in units and 10 percent in dollars, NPD Group said.

Which do you use most often to snap pictures and videos, a dedicated point-and-shoot / DSLR, or a smartphone camera?

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