More Consumers Use Smartphones as Cameras
In terms of industry-wide sales, CEA finds half (54 percent) of digital photographers plan to buy a new device for taking photos in the next 12 months. If these plans are carried out, two in five (39 percent) plan to buy a point-and-shoot camera, but almost the same number (37 percent) plan to buy a smartphone or a digital SLR (34 percent) for taking pictures. The main reasons cited to buy a new device include the desire to upgrade to more features (41 percent), replace a device that no longer works (26 percent) or to obtain the latest technology (14 percent). Many digital photographers are looking for devices with advanced functionality, which bodes well for the dedicated camera market, with one-third of consumers planning to buy a DSLR.
Nine in ten owners are satisfied with their DSLRs (93 percent) and point-and-shoot (91 percent) cameras. Satisfaction with smartphones for digital imaging quality is lower, but still high at 79 percent. The study finds poor image quality as the major reason for dissatisfaction with smartphones. Retailers and manufacturers have an opportunity to capitalize on the high satisfaction for dedicated devices by promoting their advanced features.
CEA research finds there are many components to overall consumer satisfaction, including quality of photos, portability, ease of use, sharing, editing, uploading and printing. With the proliferation of devices capable of taking photographs, one might wonder which device is perceived as delivering superior results on key metrics. The study finds DSLRs rank highest in terms of quality of photos, with over half (55 percent) of photographers saying they provide the best quality over other devices. Digital point-and-shoot cameras, on the other hand, rate highly for their ease of use (62 percent) and ease of printing pictures (50 percent). In addition, point-and-shoot cameras rank higher than smartphones in terms of image quality, with almost two in five (37 percent) consumers ranking point-and-shoot cameras as No. 1 for quality after DSLRs. While smartphones are viewed as being the most portable of digital imaging devices (53 percent), they are also highly ranked for other features, including ease of sharing (56 percent) and uploading (38 percent). The popularity of social media explains consumer interest in sharing and uploading.