Smartphone Cameras Giving Point-and-Shoot Snappers a Tough Time

December 24, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It’s kind of hard to think of a time when a phone was just a phone, not a smartphone.

But now, a phone can do just about anything; make a call, play music, take photos and videos, and even tweet.

It is so good at doing whatever it does, so that the devices which used to do all the things earlier are not really needed now.

Yeah we are coming to our point. Camera equipped smartphones are increasingly being preferred over traditional point-and-shoot cameras for, well, taking photos.

A study conducted by the NPD Group found that smartphones took 27 percent of photos this year, up from 17 percent last year. The numbers for traditional cameras are downstream, from 52 percent last year to 44 percent in 2011.

The study also revealed that unit sales of point-and-shoot cameras were down 17 percent this year and money spent on them were down 18 percent through the end of November.

Why though? Because, camera in a smartphone is good enough to take a decent picture! It needs to be said that smartphone cameras have evolved over the years, from just 2 megapixel in the original iPhone in 2007 to 8 megapixel in the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II now.

Also, photo-based social networks have gained popularity; Flickr earlier announced that the iPhone 4, released in mid-2010, was responsible for more photos posted to their site than any other device.

But the traditional camera is not at all dead. Unit sales of cameras with detachable lenses are up 12 percent in the same time period, and point-and-shoots that have optical zoom great than 10x were up by 16 percent.

Basically, customers expect some really sophisticated features on a camera, which a smartphone camera cannot offer.

What is your take on this study?

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