Camera production graph (1933-2016) compared to smartphones

This graph will give you an idea of why smartphones are killing the camera industry (based on CIPA data):

Via Petapixel

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  • jet

    it is also the reason why adobe only seems interested to code software for smartphones today.
    they are busy coding for iphones and android while lightroom for desktop has not seen a real update since 2013.
    i mean there where obviously new versions but just minor stuff.
    the latest photoshop was also a very disappointing release.

    • multimotyl

      Are you sure? Lightroom is much better now, than it was two years ago. Especially stability, panoramas and most importantly for me: Geometric corrections. Everything else is pretty perfect already, so no need to improve much.

    • paige4o4

      I wish. Lightroom mobile is still missing some really basic features, like applying presets to multiple images at one.

  • masterac

    it’s sad that people think a smartphone is better, if nowaday they are almost equal with good lightning, i didnt see yet one that can top a dslr during the night or in low light.

  • masterac

    it’s sad that people think a smartphone is better, if nowaday they are almost equal with good lightning, i didnt see yet one that can top a dslr during the night or in low light.

  • masterac

    it’s sad that people think a smartphone is better, if nowaday they are almost equal with good lightning, i didnt see yet one that can top a dslr during the night or in low light.

    show me a smartphone that can do this

    • Ron Wilson

      People aren’t buying smartphones because they think they’re better than a DSLR, or because they have any desire to make images like the one you posted. Rather:

      1) Most people don’t mind spending money on a phone, and if it happens to have a camera to take selfies and family pictures that they can instantly share to facebook and instagram, well great.
      2) Those same people don’t have extra money to spend on a camera. They’re not photographers and they don’t care.
      3) People who unhappily lugged around a big bridge camera for years will find that a smartphone camera fulfills all of their needs, AND fits in their pockets. Heck, my smartphone shoots 4k video, and 1080p at speeds up to 120fps. Shaky handheld video from my D800 cannot compete, except for low-light and shallow depth of field qualities.

      • ^^this.

        • silmasan


      • Dmitry Anisimov

        but you can’t shoot planes or birds with smartphone

        • J-Man

          But 90% of the market doesn’t shoot birds or planes…
          But what they do shoot is easily covered by a smart phone, and since they would normally carry a phone with them now days, they don’t see the need of a second device to take casual pictures.

    • In fact there are many already – f.e. check this out

    • Piooof

      Show me more than three friends interested in taking that picture.

    • Laud Farter

      It’s not that smartphone images are better–it is a better balance of tradeoffs for most people. Your needs/requirements are simply different, not better or worse than others. You value low noise night shots; others value convenience, portability and sharing. Which is better? Depends on your needs…

      None of this is new–back in the film days, compacts and disposable cameras vastly outsold 35mm SLR’s, which in turn vastly outsold 120 and LF format cameras, despite better image quality. Most images are for personal consumption–family and sharing–back in film it was the 4×6 print, today it is the smartphone image. Even choosing a DSLR is a series of tradeoffs–If you really treasure image quality above all, shoot a 16×20″ Deardoff!

    • nwcs

      BTW, blue is unnatural for a night sky.

    • Thylmuc

      Smartphone photography might eventually get there. We don’t know. Progress is significant
      In the end, of course, nothing beats sensor size.

      • Doesn’t have to be a single large sensor though. ‘Phones that can combine the output of multiple small sensors coupled with lenses of different focal lengths can provide much of the ‘missing’ IQ, while still retaining all the virtues of a ‘phone.

  • Thylmuc

    Funny also just how fast that all went. The first year where I can see something green is 2003. Which I find very recent. Also the trend to equipe phones with cameras is just, well, novel.
    As a camera company, it must be extremely difficult to first cope with that huge boom, trippling roduction in about ten years, and then back to one fifth in about 5 years. What a ride.

  • VanHoff

    The industry just found a way to sell a lot more cameras in the digital era by creating the need of them and meeting (and melting) those necesities (working togheter with an interdisciplinary team) in one single device that is a best-seller: the modern cell-phone.

    We, the photographers are doing good as always, the real challenge here for us is to reinvent our products in the middle of this oversaturated digital era in which the language of the image itself has changed.

  • 1741

    The www as good as it is has a lot to answer for

  • Talaf

    The most hit is clearly the compact market, rather than the DSLR market which seems to stagnate. Tables would be nice!

  • Nuno G.

    “This graph will give you an idea of why smartphones are killing the camera industry”

    Yes, it helped a lot, but in my opinion, another big responsibility why that is happening, it’s the rise of prices of digital cameras (and lens) each year that it passes!!!

    Canon and Nikon, for example, they don’t loose any opportunity to rise prices of bodys and lens…

    I bought my 60D almost after it was released under €800… now a 80D, can only be bought over €1000… and if you want to buy a good lens, good lens generaly over €500, €1000 or more!!! Crazy prices!!!
    Right now, only very few persons, that are into amateurism or into as a hobby, can shell out that kind of money. Photograph has become a very expensive hobbie for most persons. That’s why the current quality of mobile phone it sufficient for most…

    Prices are digital cameras and accessories are overpriced!!!

    • Piooof

      As the market contracts, prices are necessarily pushed upwards in order to generate the same revenue. Development and manufacturing costs being pretty constant, there’s no alternative. Use your smartphone or accept the idea you’re part of a minority for which prices will continue to inflate 🙁

      • Nuno G.

        yeah yeah yeah… #greedy

  • Ed

    Reminds me of a statistic from the American Civil War; at the outset, the industrial production of the entire American South was 1/4 that of New York State alone

    Game over.

    Would explain CaNikon’s ‘deer-in-headlights’ stance in re: to FF mirrorless. Not sure they’re fully certain what to do next, aside from substantively withdrawing from market altogether.

  • TinusVerdino

    They are not. Just cheap compacts

  • Pancanikonpus

    I got a smartphone could deliver 240fps which not this device main purpose but this thing not even can be done by most decent pricey apsc mirrorless/dslr. yet smartphone price is cheaper than imaging devices. How stupid is that…go hell dslr and mirrorless lol…

  • Mac Gomes

    Well, that is not really suprising. As when you are going for a renewal of your contract, most of the times it comes with a new phone. So, yes ofcourse it skyrocketed

  • Awesome graph. Great perspective.

  • johnny

    Canon/Nikon is trying to cover up the loss on compact digital by increasing the price on lenses. I bet they will getting even higher in the future.

  • MonkeySpanner

    I bet smartphone and PC manufacturing graphed together looks about the same.

  • ZMWT

    With so many stupid people buying smartphones, ask yourself again, how much knowledge about yourself you give to manufacturers and services that were designed around data gathering idea. More people use smartphones, and take ‘photos’ with them, more they become exploited by the system and who-knows-who, and are constantly surveilled, 24/7. Like chicken in the poultry farm.

  • iv

    Smart phones are killing camera industry why?
    Dslrs with lenses are heavy and bulky and pricey but they offer good IQ pics
    Bridge and compacts better in terms of weight and bulkiness but pricey ,normal quality when compared to high end Dslrs
    Smartphones much smaller quality normal nearly as same as bridge and compacts,not bulky.
    The best way IMO Full frame mirrorless with ultra light lenses or full frame bridge and compacts and not pricey if they want to survive

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