It’s no surprise that smartphone cameras haven’t become the “DSLR killers” that some suggested they might. Instead, the opposite seems to have happened. Smartphones are fuelling the sales of DSLRs, at least according to the Hindustan Times.
There’s little doubt that smartphones have usurped compact cameras as the “gateway drug” to photography. Many people I know, photographers or not, have completely ditched their compacts in favour of the phone they always have with them. But, many feel themselves wanting more than their phones can deliver.
The Hindustan Times cites 27 year old Avishek Chakroborty, a business consultant in India. Starting with an iPhone, as many do these days, he just wanted something more. The article begins…
An Apple iPhone 6s made Avishek Chakroborty develop a passion for photography, which the 27-year old practices. But with more and better snaps, Chakroborty started feeling that the device’s camera — considered one of the best among smartphones — could not match his abilities.
For those of us that started with DSLRs or even film SLRs, this might seem obvious. If you don’t include disposables and my mother’s Instamatic, the first camera I owned or used regularly was a Nikon N90s. I jumped straight in with an SLR and didn’t bother with compacts.
There’s no doubt that smartphones have all but annihilated the compact camera market. Except for a few unique features, such as underwater shooting, superzooms, or flippy up LCDs for vloggers, compacts just aren’t really needed any more. Smartphones plug pretty much every hole that compacts once filled.
These days, I also shoot my iPhone a lot. Sometimes it’s to grab a quick behind the scenes shot. Other times it’s because I want to get a photo and it’s all I have with me. I also shoot my DSLRs a lot, too.
Whenever I do use my iPhone, the limitations of the hardware and software are kind of liberating, in a way. But, at the same time, they’re also restrictive. Those getting into photography now are also discovering how quickly you can grow past those limitations.
DSLR manufacturers have taken note. According to HT, more than 55% of the DSLR sales in India are coming from amateur photographers. And the major brands are jumping on the buzz that smartphone photography has created.
Nikon has been using the hype created by smartphone brands as an advantage to promote photography
– Kazuo Ninomya, Nikon India Managing Director
Nikon are not the only ones taking advantage of this, either. Canon reportedly saw a 26% spike in DSLR sales in the first half of 2016.
With the advent of smartphones, the number of clicks has increased considerably and the market for the imaging industry is set to expand. With so many images being uploaded every moment, the differentiator becomes the quality. And this is where a DSLR camera scores heavily
– Kazutada Kobayashi, Canon India President & CEO
As I said at the start, smartphones have become the “gateway drug” to photography. Phones like the Huawei P9 are taking things a little further, but they’ll still never offer the capabilities of a DSLR (or a mirrorless). I think if we looked at the numbers throughout the world, we’d observe similar patterns in other countries.
Whenever I see the Smartphone vs DSLR argument, people seem to forget that the two are not mutually exclusive. A smartphone might be enough for some people, those who might have stuck with a compact in the past. And that’s just fine. For those serious about photography, there’s no reason the two can’t live side by side.
A DSLR or mirrorless camera is certainly never going to replace a smartphone. Smartphones are so much more than “just a camera”. As long as larger cameras can offer something smartphones can’t, they’ll continue to be the tool of the serious photographer.
Which do you prefer shooting? Do you believe that smartphone cameras are simply a gimmick and cling to your DSLRs or mirrorless? Are you perfectly happy with your phone, and don’t feel the need to step up to something more advanced? Or do you just happily shoot away with both? Let us know in the comments.
[via Hindustan Times]