This, essentially was the question that was asked by 9to5Mac who posted the piece titled
First of all, let’s not muddy this with narrowing it down to just the iPhone as they did, let’s keep it open to all the smartphones makers and OS’s out there since it’s really the same issue for all of them.
For the majority of people out there the smartphone camera has replaced their everyday camera. This can be seen by the market collapse of the point and shoot camera. Now the only real market out there if you want a camera is for the DSLR and similar digital cameras that have swappable lenses and manual focusing, the cheaper camera market is dead.
I’ve used many cameras over the years and a few years ago I realized that the quality of photograph for what I needed is as good as it gets with a smartphone.
I used to use a Blackberry Storm for the occasional photograph and email them to a family member that was housebound so that she could critique the arrangement of store shelving layouts for the business they ran and I assisted them with after she became too ill to travel to the various locations and the photographs were pretty good, sure there was occasion when it was too dark for the camera and the photo’s didn’t have a good focus. I also took photographs of locations for the likes of facebook etc and it worked great for that but was not great for close up photography and there wasn’t really a zoom.
When I switched to the iPhone with the iPhone 4 on Verizon I still felt the quality was okay for occasional use but not great. The iPhone 5 worked great for personal photographs though and the Nexus 5 I switched to a few months later when I changed carrier and started just buying my own phone was great for most photography and since then every phone I have purchased has been a great camera. They are great for macro photography too, something that was always a pain in the backside to do with a larger dedicated camera because I needed to hole the camera and a smaller tripod just didn’t work, the iPhone 6S plus I currently use is perfect, it is light enough for the tripod at its shortest leg lengths facing the phone camera down and getting the perfectly lit macro shot of a maker mark.
I sold and gave away my dedicated cameras, lenses and everything else. I don’t need them and this is the same situation that many others feel too.
There probably hasn’t been so many photograph’s taken since smartphones made it easy to take the photograph and upload it to the internet. I wonder how many people have SD Cards with photographs on that they took and never got round to putting them on computer and dealing with them, just like many people would take film photographs when they went on a vacation and then never developed the film.
Sure there will always be those that do photography as a hobby and professional photographers that will drive the luxury photograph market and maintain the market but we will see more and more manufacturers of Cameras focus on better high end cameras and the market, so there will always be the market for cameras and lenses but will be a smaller more refined marketplace.
People enjoy the instant gratification of taking the photograph, quickly editing it and then sharing it with friends, family and the world and smartphones make this possible and the low end of the camera market’s demise shows this.