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Still cameras still rule

February 15, 2011: Recalcitrant consumers continue to defy the pundits’ predictions of the supremacy of the mobile phone for picture-taking, according to a recent US report.

While people are using mobile phones more often to take pictures, your actual camera remains the image capture device of choice by most people, according to US market research company The NPD Group.

The report stated that 50 percent of photos are taken with digital still cameras, while 42 percent are taken with mobile phones. (Stills-capturing camcorders, games consoles and other gadgets like tablets amount for the remaining 8 percent, one would assume.)

The 13-17 age group reported taking 54 percent of their photos with a mobile phone and 36 percent with a camera, while mothers reported taking 40 percent of their photos with a mobile phone and 55 percent with a camera.

Of as much interest to photo retailers is the steady inroads digital still cameras and mobile phones are making in video capture. There was nearly an even split in the amount of video captured on mobile phone versus camera, at 35 percent phone/34 percent camera.

Only 27 percent 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 (camera or phone or whatever), those favoured by more than half of respondents included:
– Ease of use
– Long battery life
– Easy to carry

While mobile phones tick these three boxes, other sought-after qualities tilt the field in favour of the trusty camera:
– 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…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,’ said executive director and senior imaging analyst at NPD, Liz Cutting.

(Image courtesy of Nikon Australia.)

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