Just as tablets are potentially bringing an end to PC devices, so too could smartphones contribute to the eventual demise of compact and DSLR cameras. According to a recent analytical report released by the market research firm, IDC, the 2013 shipments of high-end camera devices do not look optimistic, and are likely to shrink from a total of 19 million units in 2012 down to approximately 17.4 million units. High-end camera brands such as Cannon and Nikon –along with traditional lens manufacturers like Tamron– are all expected to experience lower sales as more and more consumers turn to smartphones as their main picture-taking device.
As of this moment, the branded smartphones that are known primarily for their impressive camera features include Nokia’s Lumia 1020, Sony’s Xperia Z, Apple’s iPhone 5s, and HTC’s new One. The National Geographics photographer, Jim Richardson, recently made a number of headlines when he praised the iPhone 5s for being able to capture photos that are as breathtaking as the ones taken from his traditional hand held camera.
As described by Richardson in his own words: “With intense use (I’ve made about 4,000 pictures in the last four days) I’ve discovered that the iPhone 5S is a very capable camera. The color and exposures are amazingly good, the HDR exposure feature does a stunningly good job in touch situations, the panorama feature is nothing short of amazing—seeing a panorama sweeping across the screen in real time is just intoxicating. Best of all it shoots square pictures natively, a real plus for me since I wanted to shoot for Instagram posting.”
Richardson’s touching on Instagram brings out another important point about what smartphones offers that SDLR cameras don’t: instant connectivity.