Is iPhoneography Affecting DSLR Camera Sales?

This is more about capturing the moment verses photography as a hobby. For the moment.

Apple’s continued endeavor to improve the quality of the lens in the iPhone, along with the seemingly unending influx of apps and products designed to customize what users can get out of their phone’s camera, seem to have presented a veritable, albeit intriguing challenge to both the professional and amateur communities.

Communities, who not so long ago might’ve sworn by the DSLR, are now finding it harder to ignore the arguments accessibility (mobile devices have now become a part of our physical existence) presents over, say, professional purism.

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It isn’t that hard to figure out why users expect a trend shift here. Being a phone, the iPhone is infinitely more convenient to carry around for a user, and also affords them the luxury of being able to click things they’d otherwise pass up on, thus eliminating the equipment constraints, which any pro will tell you, can be a pain in the wrong end to tug along everywhere.
 This is more about capturing the moment verses photography as a hobby.

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Besides the ergonomic convenience, the device also has to itself a plethora of editing & adjustment tools and apps, all of which are considerably simpler, more intuitive, and more varied by use, compared to a professional editing suite.

A visit to the App Store will convince you, as there are more than 8,000 apps for photography alone. Instagram, and similar apps have allowed the users to click–upload–share their photos in real-time, which conveniently merges in the social network habitat existing around us.

There’s something else that most people forget. DSLR cameras are islands. You can only click photos through them. When was the last time you could edit the photo on-device? So, there’s also a computer or a tablet involved, which also implies Photoshop or Lightroom. Cost aside, not many people relish the idea of learning those complex software, just to polish up photos for daily use. Smartphones do that in a snap! Pun very much intended.

So, are the obvious advantages enough to trump long-term users’ fealty to their DSLRs?

Not entirely. While iPhoneography has its perks, it still isn’t a bona fide substitute for a DSLR. Professionals, hobbyists and enthusiasts seem to concur that while the iPhone may provide an excellent avenue to help photograph enthusiasts looking to develop their creativity or pursue their inspiration, there’s things like producing print-quality photos that iPhones simply can’t do.

The users’ continued preference for or (depending on now you see it), reluctance, to not let go of DSLRs yet is mirrored by what you’d observe in reality.

Japan shipped out approximately 1.5x the number of DSLRs in ’12 as it did the year before, thus shooting down the suspicions about iPhones taking over the DSLR turf.

What we may want to explore further is how does iPhonography affect the compact camera sales (Sales of compact cameras fell by 30% during 2011, according to research by GfK).

Regardless of how long point & shoot cameras can hold their own, its hard to deny iPhones offer users a experience reasonably close to that of point and shoots. And more importantly, they do so without making you break the bank for it.

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If the crossover isn’t a trend yet, with the serious physical devices to adopt external lens to an iPhone, it soon could be.

So it is fair to anticipate the potential trend skewing usage in favor of the iPhone? Probably.

Is it fair to say it’s already here? That might be a premature assertion on our parts.


Originally published at Chip-Monks.