Friday, April 10, 2015

Camera Sales -- When Smartphones are Included

Here's a figure showing annual sales of cameras over time, with smartphones included. The gray bars are analog cameras (CIPA stands for the Camera & Imaging Products association, which collects this data). Compact digital cameras are the blue bars. Smaller categories of digital cameras include D-SLR, which stands for "digital single-lens reflex" camera, and mirrorless, which are cameras with interchangeable lenses.

Specialists still need specialized cameras, but for basic personal and business use, the camera as a separate tool is dying. I suspect that extremely cheap and easy imaging, along with technology that can recognize and "read" those images, will change the way we manage our personal memories, our sharing of experiences with others, our record-keeping, and all the paperwork of society in dramatic and often unexpected fashions.

Homage: This figure appears in a blog post by Michael Zhang at the PetaPixel website. He credits a photographer named Sven Skafisk for collecting the data on smartphone sales and adding it to a previously existing figure. I learned about the post from a link at the Instapundit website.