Digital Camera Still Top Device for Taking Pictures

While mobile phones continue to increase share of voice and share of image capture, the dedicated camera remains the image capture device of choice by most consumers, according to leading market research company The NPD Group's December 2010 Imaging Confluence Study. 

The device with the largest percentage of all photos taken was the digital still camera, at 51%. Close behind, however, was the mobile phone, at 42%. Demographics play a factor in which device consumers choose for image capture. 13–17 year-​olds reported taking 54% of their photos with a mobile phone and 36% with a camera, while Moms reported taking 40% of their photos with a mobile phone and 55% with a camera.

As more devices are capable of both still and video capture, the usage pattern for video also skews towards cameras. There was nearly an even split among amount of video captured on mobile phone versus camera, at 35% phone/​34% camera. Only 27% of video was reported being recorded on either a traditional or pocket camcorder.

When surveyed about the most important features in their next photo capture device (regardless of the actual device used), those favored by more than half of respondents included:

  • Ease of use
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to carry

These three attributes are easily satisfied by today's smart phones.

But other highly sought-​after qualities are those for which a dedicated camera is best suited:

  • High quality photos in low light environments
  • Optical zoom capability
  • Fast response time between pushing the button and capturing the image

"Mobile phones have allowed more people to capture spontaneous images and videos on the go; with increasingly better quality and the immediate gratification of instant sharing, the imaging industry benefits with more widespread enjoyment of photos and videos," said Liz Cutting, executive director and senior imaging analyst at NPD. "But the future for dedicated cameras is bright, as their dual purpose of still and video capture opens the eyes of consumers to multimedia memories. Imaging marketers should capitalize on the need for better and more creative editing, sharing, archival and printing."

[Source:  "2010 Imaging Confluence Study."  The NPD Group.  8 Feb. 2010.  Web.  8 Feb. 2011.]