Camera phones and YOU.

Started 3 months ago | Polls
tcg550 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,960
Re: Camera phones and YOU.

I use my smartphone camera and my DSLR pretty equally. The only thing I use my DSLR exclusively for is when I'm paid to to shoot events.

nicodimus22
nicodimus22 Senior Member • Posts: 2,992
Re: Disconnected
5

tcg550 wrote:

nicodimus22 wrote:

I have a GoPhone that I rarely use, with a camera on it that I never use, to post photos to social media that I'm not on.

As you use social media to declare that.

DPR is social media now? I thought it was a photography gear forum owned by Amazon. Silly me.

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The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 22,494
Re: Disconnected
2

nicodimus22 wrote:

tcg550 wrote:

nicodimus22 wrote:

I have a GoPhone that I rarely use, with a camera on it that I never use, to post photos to social media that I'm not on.

As you use social media to declare that.

DPR is social media now? I thought it was a photography gear forum owned by Amazon. Silly me.

Online forums have always been considered social media.  Glad you learned something today.

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OP sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 14,944
Re: Fun with the phone camera

Mackiesback wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Jonsi wrote:

I think phones had a huge affect on P&S sales, not so much DSLR sales. But in both cases it is about convenience, not because they want "better".

For sure, phones definitely hit P&S sales hard. But ILC sales are down by 1/2 from the peak. And it seems most of those sales are at the bottom of the market. Definitely seems like phones are having an effect there too.

Perhaps an effect, but I think it is far easier to pin it on the fact that the pipeline is full, and the new models don't offer enough of an upgrade to keep the early adoption/saturation ordering cycle humming at the same level as it was when the pipeline was just getting filled. This happens with TVs, Home PCs, heck, it is even starting to happen with cell phones. It is ridiculously predictable, and has nothing to do with the quality of the product or the condition of the economy.

Market maturity does play a part, but as you said, that's a default condition for pretty much all electronics. ILC sales have done much worse over the last decade or so than cell phones, and some of that has to be attributed to the fact that for many cell phones have made ILCs just as redundant as compacts.

People speak to the superior IQ of ILCs over compacts as if that matters to people who mainly view photos on a 3x5 screen, and aren't really concerned with cutting edge IQ in the first place. Many of those people bought DSLRs back in the day and will never buy an ILC again.

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Mackiesback
Mackiesback Senior Member • Posts: 6,712
Re: Fun with the phone camera

sportyaccordy wrote:

Mackiesback wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Jonsi wrote:

I think phones had a huge affect on P&S sales, not so much DSLR sales. But in both cases it is about convenience, not because they want "better".

For sure, phones definitely hit P&S sales hard. But ILC sales are down by 1/2 from the peak. And it seems most of those sales are at the bottom of the market. Definitely seems like phones are having an effect there too.

Perhaps an effect, but I think it is far easier to pin it on the fact that the pipeline is full, and the new models don't offer enough of an upgrade to keep the early adoption/saturation ordering cycle humming at the same level as it was when the pipeline was just getting filled. This happens with TVs, Home PCs, heck, it is even starting to happen with cell phones. It is ridiculously predictable, and has nothing to do with the quality of the product or the condition of the economy.

Market maturity does play a part, but as you said, that's a default condition for pretty much all electronics. ILC sales have done much worse over the last decade or so than cell phones, and some of that has to be attributed to the fact that for many cell phones have made ILCs just as redundant as compacts.

People speak to the superior IQ of ILCs over compacts as if that matters to people who mainly view photos on a 3x5 screen, and aren't really concerned with cutting edge IQ in the first place. Many of those people bought DSLRs back in the day and will never buy an ILC again.

I am sure there is a percentage of soccer moms that bought a Canon kit at Costco who have now moved to their phone, but I still remain somewhat unconvinced that the cell phone market effects much more than the old compact market. I just don't see the two end users overlapping much.

Pure speculation, of course.

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OP sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 14,944
Re: Fun with the phone camera
1

Mackiesback wrote:

I am sure there is a percentage of soccer moms that bought a Canon kit at Costco who have now moved to their phone, but I still remain somewhat unconvinced that the cell phone market effects much more than the old compact market. I just don't see the two end users overlapping much.

Pure speculation, of course.

Let's look at this from a different perspective. Rather than looking at things from the view of camera type, look at it from the view of viewing medium. I'd say over time there have been 4 types of photo viewers:

  • folks who still get photos printed at the pharmacy, regardless of camera
  • casual computer viewers
  • serious computer viewers & printers
  • smartphone viewers

Folks in group A are an increasingly vanishing group. They are totally outside of the technology paradigm.

I wager most ILC buyers were in group B during the upside of the ILC boom. For context, the Iphone and Android phones first came out in 2008. However, cell networks were generally trash in the context of data until maybe 2011? That also coincided with the launch of Facebook mobile, which I think was the main driver of the switch in how many people stored and viewed photos. That's about when the standalone camera became an albatross in the workflow for casual users. Remember, about 2/3-3/4 of people in the developed world are on Facebook.... a scary stat... but I think it's highly unlikely that the remaining population are the majority of ILC users.

So coming back to my group, I think group #2 mostly became group #4, because the majority of photographers just wanted the lowest path of resistance to decent IQ and easy photo viewing. Once phone hardware and mobile networks became useful in the realm of snapshot photography, the supplanting started. 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.

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bosjohn21
bosjohn21 Forum Pro • Posts: 22,028
Re: Camera phones and YOU.

I  have used my phone for some pic but its to much work getting the files on the computer with the cloud you gotta wait and wait. but on the other hand I attended a concert in Thailand last winter and the searched all our bags for cameras and camcordrs but left every one with their smart phones. and if you looked from the stage to the audience all you could see was a wave of smart phone happily recording the event andblocking every ones view who had the misfortuen to be behind them The wer almost as annoying as the screaming girls heheheheh. ok i lied the cameras were not all that annoying and I was shooting stills with mine.  Which  begs the question about why bother with the search in the first place.,  because its mildly annoying when every one is holding his or her phone up but qite another if every one were holding up a camcorder or a full dress DSLR or a noisy camera.

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John aka bosjohn21

Mackiesback
Mackiesback Senior Member • Posts: 6,712
Re: Fun with the phone camera
2

sportyaccordy wrote:

Mackiesback wrote:

I am sure there is a percentage of soccer moms that bought a Canon kit at Costco who have now moved to their phone, but I still remain somewhat unconvinced that the cell phone market effects much more than the old compact market. I just don't see the two end users overlapping much.

Pure speculation, of course.

Let's look at this from a different perspective. Rather than looking at things from the view of camera type, look at it from the view of viewing medium. I'd say over time there have been 4 types of photo viewers:

  • folks who still get photos printed at the pharmacy, regardless of camera
  • casual computer viewers
  • serious computer viewers & printers
  • smartphone viewers

Folks in group A are an increasingly vanishing group. They are totally outside of the technology paradigm.

I wager most ILC buyers were in group B during the upside of the ILC boom. For context, the Iphone and Android phones first came out in 2008. However, cell networks were generally trash in the context of data until maybe 2011? That also coincided with the launch of Facebook mobile, which I think was the main driver of the switch in how many people stored and viewed photos. That's about when the standalone camera became an albatross in the workflow for casual users. Remember, about 2/3-3/4 of people in the developed world are on Facebook.... a scary stat... but I think it's highly unlikely that the remaining population are the majority of ILC users.

So coming back to my group, I think group #2 mostly became group #4, because the majority of photographers just wanted the lowest path of resistance to decent IQ and easy photo viewing. Once phone hardware and mobile networks became useful in the realm of snapshot photography, the supplanting started. 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.

You have made a solid effort, but I am still not convinced people who spent $1000 7 years ago for ILC rigs transformed into smartphone viewers.  I just don't see it.

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OP sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 14,944
Re: Fun with the phone camera

There are plenty of things people spend huge money on that they no longer use. That's consumerism. I spent $1300 on a flat screen TV in 2008. It's sitting in a bedroom, perfectly functional... unplugged.

Plus I'm sure many of those folks spent that $1000 several times over on smartphones in the interim. There is no payoff for the hassle of ILCs for most people, even factoring in sunk costs.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,223
Re: Fun with the phone camera

Mackiesback wrote:

You have made a solid effort, but I am still not convinced people who spent $1000 7 years ago for ILC rigs transformed into smartphone viewers. I just don't see it.

There's always those who bought a DSLR thinking it would make them a good photographer. Never figured out how to use it properly and then resorted to a smartphone.

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Tom

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,223
Re: Fun with the phone camera

sportyaccordy wrote:

There are plenty of things people spend huge money on that they no longer use. That's consumerism. I spent $1300 on a flat screen TV in 2008. It's sitting in a bedroom, perfectly functional... unplugged.

I bought my 52" Sony Bravia in 2009 for $1300 and still use it every day. I have no desire for anything better.

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Tom

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Raymond Cho Senior Member • Posts: 1,783
Re: Disconnected

The Davinator wrote:

nicodimus22 wrote:

tcg550 wrote:

nicodimus22 wrote:

I have a GoPhone that I rarely use, with a camera on it that I never use, to post photos to social media that I'm not on.

As you use social media to declare that.

DPR is social media now? I thought it was a photography gear forum owned by Amazon. Silly me.

Online forums have always been considered social media. Glad you learned something today.

Yep on DPR we talk about gear after gear until the cows come home and debate and debate.  In the real world many working pro's are probably using an array of diff gear and older gear.

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Raymond Cho Senior Member • Posts: 1,783
Re: Fun with the phone camera

Yep. I know a good few families who got a family dSLR or even a film SLR back in the years. A few years ago I saw them using it once a year thing with a big family / friends event but I haven't seen them now. 1 or 2 others have used it still now but is also the 1x or 2x thing a year. These 1 or 2 are a bit more into photography, they used to be with a camera club but have withdrawn for some years now.

Going back to the others, the family ones who don't use them now. They shot them in small JPEG, they didn't even print photos out, they stored a year + of photos onto the 1 memory card. All of these people have probably spent more on their phones than their SLRs.

What many of them want is a easy to use to camera, that produces excellent family photographs at a touch of a button, without needing to do any post processing.  So I guess when dSLRs were more popular with families, they would simply juts hand over their memory card to the lab.  With film SLRs they would just shot Fuji Superia or Kodak Gold and take the film to the local pharmacy or Walmart for a set of prints.

Back on topic. Yes with with individuals I know at my camera club. They are human too. They do like the ease of photography. When they are on holidays they are often on holiday mode, they do use their phones. Many times they might leave their real camera in the hotel. Not everyone has a compact camera, I guess they see it as a bit waste of money when they have a dSLR and for other times they have their phone. There have also been images presented to the club that was taken with a phone. 1 or 2 of them was even a finalist.

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Raymond Cho Senior Member • Posts: 1,783
Re: Fun with the phone camera

sportyaccordy wrote:

I'd say over time there have been 4 types of photo viewers:

  • folks who still get photos printed at the pharmacy, regardless of camera
  • casual computer viewers
  • serious computer viewers & printers
  • smartphone viewers

In general the desktop computer is largely gone. People have laptops of course but many I know have one but it's dated. Less people now need to sit down with their laptop and run a word processor / spreadsheet. It's the phones now ....

Students etc would however use laptops.

sportyaccordy wrote:

There are plenty of things people spend huge money on that they no longer use. That's consumerism. I spent $1300 on a flat screen TV in 2008. It's sitting in a bedroom, perfectly functional... unplugged.

Plus I'm sure many of those folks spent that $1000 several times over on smartphones in the interim. There is no payoff for the hassle of ILCs for most people, even factoring in sunk costs.

Maybe not $1,000US. But certainly those $500US entry dSLRs (or film SLRs) with the 1 or 2 kit lenses.  Perhaps $1,000US back in the day or more like $800US.  Ie the 2006-2009.

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Tim Reidy Productions
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Re: I ticked 4, BUT...

usually I use it when I forget my main cam.

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57even Forum Pro • Posts: 13,728
Re: Fun with the phone camera
4

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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OP sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 14,944
Re: Fun with the phone camera

I agree on the IQ point. But IQ hasn't been a huge driver of sales for quite some time now. It's been usability and convenience. For example yes that D600 is not far off from the Z6 in IQ. But compare the two cameras' autofocus and video capabilities. The Z6 allows you to do a lot more and gives you much more options to get the shot with the same IQ. Obviously if you don't care about any of that then the D6xx is a steal... and I'd wager for many old DSLRs are more than enough. But IQ hasn't been a reason to upgrade in some time now. Even Sony's top IQ camera uses an old sensor.

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57even Forum Pro • Posts: 13,728
Re: Fun with the phone camera

sportyaccordy wrote:

I agree on the IQ point. But IQ hasn't been a huge driver of sales for quite some time now.

And I would suggest that it started around 2012.

It's been usability and convenience. For example yes that D600 is not far off from the Z6 in IQ. But compare the two cameras' autofocus and video capabilities. The Z6 allows you to do a lot more and gives you much more options to get the shot with the same IQ.

Yes, but FF isn't really defining the camera market, any more than Mercedes define the state of the car market. The recent offerings in the D3xxx and Canon Rebel market offer very little over the previous versions.

And that's the part of the market which is declining fast.

Obviously if you don't care about any of that then the D6xx is a steal... and I'd wager for many old DSLRs are more than enough. But IQ hasn't been a reason to upgrade in some time now. Even Sony's top IQ camera uses an old sensor.

Hence the major decline in the frequency with which people upgrade.

And like I said, even sales of high-end phones are faltering. When you can get a very good phone for $100, not many people are that bothered about spending $700. When you talk about usability and convenience, you have to consider price as well.

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OP sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 14,944
Re: Fun with the phone camera

57even wrote:

Yes, but FF isn't really defining the camera market, any more than Mercedes define the state of the car market. The recent offerings in the D3xxx and Canon Rebel market offer very little over the previous versions.

And that's the part of the market which is declining fast.

I would argue the opposite... just in the last year or so we've had 3 new FF systems launch. I think Sony has made 2 FE bodies for every APS-C E body over the same period. And I'm not even going to get into lenses. As you said the entry level crop bodies offer very little over previous versions. Why? Maybe it's manufacturers fueling a death spiral. Or maybe they have concluded that huge investments and upgrades at the bottom will yield very little payback.

Obviously if you don't care about any of that then the D6xx is a steal... and I'd wager for many old DSLRs are more than enough. But IQ hasn't been a reason to upgrade in some time now. Even Sony's top IQ camera uses an old sensor.

Hence the major decline in the frequency with which people upgrade.

Again this only makes sense if you think IQ is the only reason people upgrade. For most it hasn't since 2012.

And like I said, even sales of high-end phones are faltering. When you can get a very good phone for $100, not many people are that bothered about spending $700. When you talk about usability and convenience, you have to consider price as well.

People in the market for $700 phones are not looking at $100 phones, and vice versa... just like people in the market for D850s aren't cross shopping them against D3400s.

Plus faltering in the phone world means no longer growing. And even with that, the numbers are still massive. Apple still sells 200 million Iphones a year at $800 a pop... it's very possible 1 year of Iphone sales dwarf all DILC sales ever. And on top of that ILC sales are in complete freefall. So smartphones are only relevant in terms of their impact on camera sales.... smartphone sales are totally irrelevant in the context of cameras, outside of reminding folks about the relative scale.

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Laybourne
Laybourne Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Fun with the phone camera

sportyaccordy wrote:

57even wrote:

Yes, but FF isn't really defining the camera market, any more than Mercedes define the state of the car market. The recent offerings in the D3xxx and Canon Rebel market offer very little over the previous versions.

And that's the part of the market which is declining fast.

I would argue the opposite... just in the last year or so we've had 3 new FF systems launch. I think Sony has made 2 FE bodies for every APS-C E body over the same period. And I'm not even going to get into lenses. As you said the entry level crop bodies offer very little over previous versions. Why? Maybe it's manufacturers fueling a death spiral. Or maybe they have concluded that huge investments and upgrades at the bottom will yield very little payback.

It's not about how many FF systems are launching. It's about how many people are buying them.

This thread makes that all too clear: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62804818

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