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Worldwide Photographer Population to Exceed 4 Billion in 2015, Fuelled by Smartphone Adoption and Usage

Photographer Market Analysis and Commentary

17 Dec 2015 - According to the latest report issued by Futuresource, the worldwide population of photographers has grown by a factor of 8 over the last 10 years, to more than 4 billion, while the number of photos captured annually has increased 6-fold to 1.2 trillion. Smartphones have been instrumental in growing the volume of people who take photographs on a regular basis, as well as the volume of images captured.

Meanwhile, photography behaviour is changing beyond recognition – wireless transfer, selfies, software-filters, snapchat, geo-tagging, on-board editing with 4-5" touchscreens and live facial recognition are all becoming important characteristics of photography in 2015, which did not exist less than 5 years ago. 

79% of smartphone users told Futuresource they regularly take photos with their smartphone, making it the most popular activity on smartphones, aside from making and receiving calls and messages. Incidence is skewed towards younger users (88% of 18-24 year olds regularly take photos with their smartphone) meaning it is already more than likely that a smartphone will be the first camera any person will use and experience.

While smartphones represent the primary camera device for a growing share of consumers, the opportunity for users to 'step up' to digital cameras grows with every new photographer.

"It is clear that digital cameras maintain key technical advantages over multifunctional camera-devices, in terms of bigger and superior sensors and optics, and manual control, commented Arun Gill, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. However, smartphones are setting the bar in terms of smart UI's, connectivity and mobile apps, which represents a growing usability delta between smartphones and digital cameras."

The detail in the above press release is taken from the latest image capture devices report which shines a spotlight on how consumer photography is evolving and the impact it's having on the digital camera markets, to date and looking forward.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

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