Do you remember how even a couple of years back, cameras were still all the rage. Sure, smartphones offered decent quality but there was still a considerable difference between what they could do and what professional cameras were capable of. Now it seems the difference is getting smaller and smaller, the line is getting blurred as companies like Apple or Samsung push the limits of mobile photography.
Mirrorless or DSLR cameras are still powerful pieces of equipment that offer unmatched quality photos, but lots of people all around the world just prefer the comfort of using their smartphones. Why’s that? This is precisely what we’re going to talk about. With the help of a study made by Passport Photo Online, we’ll take a closer look at mobile photography in 2022 and talk statistics, facts, and trends.
What’s changed?—Key statistics
It will certainly come as no surprise when I tell you that most people have ditched professional cameras and settled for the best camera phones.
We all like to snap a picture or two now and again, and it is only logical that an investment into a high-end camera might be a bit of an overkill, especially if someone’s not necessarily an expert. They probably wouldn’t even know how to make the most out of the newest hits on the market, such as the brand-new Olympus OM-D E10 or Sony A7R. Smartphone cameras will do just fine - that seems to be the message most photography amateurs send. Whether they’re just snapping pics for fun or taking high-quality photos for their product page, for instance, they’re fully content to stick to their iPhones or Android smartphones.
Hence, it’s not surprising at all to see that, according to the study, as much as 91% of people prefer to use smartphone cameras, and only 7% opt for digital cameras, while the rest choose tablets. Moreover, this glaring difference will only get bigger in the years to come. The numbers are believed to reach an even greater disproportion, namely, up to 94%.
All this follows a trend that started all the way back in 2010, when smartphones officially flooded the market and became, for all intents and purposes, a must-have purchase. It was during the rise of smartphones that we’ve seen a massive photography craze. Can you imagine that during that time, people took roughly 8.6 billion photos?
To put this into perspective, this number is 7x larger than the number of photos that were taken in the previous decade.
It’s also worth mentioning how much did the emergence of smartphones affect the sales of digital cameras. Back in the day, almost everyone had a digital camera hidden somewhere around the house, ready for a spontaneous photoshoot or another vacation. When smartphones appeared on the market, they successfully pushed digital cameras out of the spotlight, delivering a heavy punch to the industry.
The sales of digital cameras dropped by a whopping 86% since 2010. Thus, we can safely say that the arrival of smartphones was a catastrophe for companies that dealt in cameras. The next ten years from what seems like a birth of an ultimate nemesis, worldwide camera shipments suffered a major blow as well. They dropped by 93%, effectively putting an end to the growth of the camera and photography equipment industry.
The rise of various social network platforms and apps like Instagram or TikTok has, without a shadow of a doubt, played its part, as it is significantly more convenient to manage the content you produce exclusively through your smartphone.
After all, it has been established that we take a lot of photos. Selfies, for instance, are all the rage nowadays, with a person’s average total of 597 per year. We sure do like our faces!
Let’s dive in a bit deeper
It’s always grand fun to see the advancements of technology, and reading about technicians and scientists around the world break what we previously thought was the limit. Smartphones’ photo-making capabilities are no different. In fact, I surely wouldn’t lie if I said that the quality of a smartphone camera seems to be one of the key factors in choosing a new phone.
After all, there are so many uses for well-taken photos. Perhaps you’re a blogger and want to beat the competition by adding amazing photos to your website? These photos may be your metaphorical golden ticket into the big leagues, but perhaps there are even more competitors’ mistakes to take advantage of. Use Ranktracker’s SERP Checker and find out!
Reaching for perfection and beyond
Back in 2021, 40% of all smartphones had 48-64MP (Megapixels) sensors, with only a small fraction (3%) reaching for the stars with their 108MP. By most standards, 48-64 is already a pretty good standard. It reminds me of the discussion around how smooth video games can run nowadays on personal computers, with 60FPS (frames per second) being a perfectly acceptable standard, but we’re already approaching 100’s.
To complete the analogy, Motorola X30 Pro, which came out in June, has already achieved 200MP, bringing smartphone photography to a completely new level. Its ISOCELL HP1 camera is a sign of what’s to come, and this model has officially become the one to beat. The question is, though, for how long?
Mobile photography trends we’re seeing
Of course, when we’re talking about smartphones, eventually it comes down to the immortal rivalry between iOS and Android. Everyone saw this point eventually coming up, and the study delivers on showing us the professional photographers’ preferred option. When taking non-professional photos, Apple smartphones are the ones that get the nod, winning by quite a margin of 86-14%.
What do the experts think?
Smartphones, however, still are more of an accessory to trained professionals, who ultimately declare digital camera supremacy. Sure, more than 6 out of 10 of them still take half their photos on smartphones, but the same percentage would actively avoid using their phones for work. They’re the experts and who but them can pass the ultimate judgment on what kind of equipment is fitting for work-related matters?
How about regular users?
We’ve all grown accustomed to a constant flow of photos, flooding the internet and social media platforms. Photography seems to have become one of the most popular past-time activities. Everyone and their mother are doing it, literally.
You only need to take a quick look at only social media platforms or quickly run through your Messenger or WhatsApp feed to see tens of thousands of photos uploaded and shared across the internet.
Is it strange? Not necessarily, especially if you consider the events that shaped the last two years across the entire world. The pandemic played a big part in this photo circulation, with young adults (18-24 years old) being the main perpetrators of this trend. A certain void appeared in our lives, a hole that we filled with photos.
80% of American travelers admit that photo-taking is their most commonly used smartphone function. What’s more, nearly all of them, with the exception of just 10%, claim to have never taken photos with anything else besides their phone.
To top it off, if anyone was hoping for digital cameras to make a comeback, it is estimated that smartphones will dominate the photo-making industry even more. 93% of all photos are expected to be taken with smartphones in 2023.
Photo-sharing across the internet
Now look at Instagram. Think of all those millions of users and their impressive collections of photos. You get the feeling that every second must bring at least a thousand photos, which is quite close to the real number.
Almost half of American Instagram users (48%) use photo-editing apps and tools regularly. Perhaps it’s not surprising at all, considering how many such apps you can find in addition to the functions Instagram offers by default. Editing photos to improve even the tiniest details has become pretty much a norm.
All those Instagram profiles upload photo after photo, gathering likes and followers, and climbing up the ladder to the top. It is no different when you’re managing your website and optimizing it so that finds its way to the highest places in search engine results. To keep track of how you’re doing and monitor your SEO campaigns, look no further than our Rank Tracker.
Wrapping things up
These are the most notable mobile photography statistics from 2022, along with the most interesting trends and predictions. As you can see, smartphones have successfully pushed digital cameras out of the equation to a certain extent, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone. Not by a long shot, since professional photographers still reiterate the supremacy of modern digital cameras over their smaller cousins that fit into our pockets. Our smartphone cameras are getting better and better, and we’re likely to stick with them instead of going (pardon me, digital camera users) old-school.