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Picture-taking grows in popularity

A new survey of northern hemisphere consumers finds that smartphones and tablets are  complementing rather than replacing digital cameras and personal computers for picture taking and sharing.

Picture-taking continues on an upwards trend, according to the latest 6Sight Social Imaging Survey. The survey was conducted among 1065 North American photo-taking consumers, 76 percent of whom own smartphones and 90 percent own digital cameras. For comparison, an additional analysis was conducted among 440 Europeans.

‘With the proliferation of camera-equipped and internet-enabled devices, as well as the fast growing array of often free photo sites, apps and software, people have more choices than ever before for taking, enhancing or sharing photos,’ said Joe Byrd, president and co-founder, 6Sight.’

The survey found most people use several devices for taking photos. Nearly 60 percent of the survey’s digital camera owners who take at least one photo a month with that device also own a smartphone with which they take at least one photo a month.

The respondents use smartphones most frequently to take photos (not surprising given that smartphones are generally taken everywhere), but take far more photos with their digital cameras: 91 percent of smartphone owners take at least one photo a month with their smartphones, compared to 80 percent of the digital camera owners who do so with their cameras. But the survey found digital cameras are used more for taking a larger number of photos: Digital camera users take more than two times as many photos than smartphone users do.

On average, the survey respondents enhance or alter 25 percent of their photos prior to saving or sharing them. Smartphone apps like Instagram or Path have not persuaded people to ditch their PCs for photo enhancement: more than 80 percent of the respondents still use their computer most to alter or enhance photos.

If there is the beginning of a shift from computer to smartphone and tablets, it is for sharing photos. The survey’s respondents overwhelmingly share more photos than six months ago from their smartphones or tablets, no matter whether this is through texting/emailing or through uploading to photo sharing or social network sites.

Although they also share more photos than in the past from their computers by uploading their photos to photo sharing or social network sites, they have started to use computers less for sharing photos through email or texting. Those who share more photos do so primarily because software, hardware or web services have made it easier to share photos. Those who share fewer photos give personal rather than technology reasons, such as less time available for taking photos or fewer occasions for sharing them.

When people share photos in-person, they most often do so by sharing photos from their devices’ screens (computer screens, followed by smartphone and camera LCD screens), topping hard copy such as photo prints and photo albums, and display on television.

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