Camera phones and YOU.

Started 2 months ago | Polls thread
57even Forum Pro • Posts: 13,571
Re: Fun with the phone camera

sportyaccordy wrote:

I don't think it's any coincidence that ILCs immediately began to fall in sales a bit later (they peaked in 2012). There is a strong argument for causation IMO.

Correlation is not causation. There are plenty of other reasons too.

2012 is when Sony's EXMOR CMOS sensor went mainstream across many FF and APSC sensors, with on-chip ADCs and low read noise. If you look at the numbers on DxOMark, there has not been a major improvement in IQ since that point.

If you bought a Nikon D5xxx camera around 2012, there really is no compelling reason to upgrade it. Many who own an ILC will use it mainly for vacations, or for kid's sports days, etc. It's not a big hobby for them, and they will keep it till it breaks.

Before 2010, performance improvements with each generation were huge. The first 'wave' was the point and shoot in 2000, then the migration of ILC owners in 2004-6. At that time, I was using a 6MP APSC camera which was next to useless above ISO 400.

Between 2004 and 2012, I bought 9 cameras, changing systems twice and than migrated to mirrorless. Since 2016, I have seen nothing that tempts me to upgrade from what I have. I have all the lenses I need, and the accessories I accumulated over the years are all quite functional. Cameras just got to be good enough.

So, in the last 3 years I have made zero purchases in a camera store.

Phones are not useful for my particular needs. Nor do I view images on phones, or post images to Instagram or Facebook. I have several prints hanging in local bars, coffee shops and restaurants, and several on the walls at home. I do not see carrying a small mirrorless camera with me as a burden.

But if my buying frequency has dropped so substantially, it is likely that the same is true for many others like me - regular upgraders who no longer feel the need to upgrade, and don't shoot enough frames every month to wear cameras out prematurely.

Even if you discounted phone cameras altogether, there is evidence that the decline would still have been rapid - back to the level of SLR owners in the pre-digital era I suspect. And there it will stay.

High-end phone cameras are not selling either. Growth and consumer spending has been in the doldrums since 2008, and its sliding into recession right now.

I agree that phones wiped out the digicam market, but I would take some convincing that they account for more than 10% of the decline in ILCs. There are too many other reasons that IMO are far more convincing.

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