Photography? Yeah, there is an app for that. Actually, there are scores of photography apps for the iPhone alone and probably that number again available for Android. The iPhone is killing cameras, both still and video.

Increasingly, your smartphone is your camera, GPS, pager, MP3 player, email client, phone… computer. And, what can’t a computer do?

There were the ignominious lumps known as feature phones and then Apple’s iPhone made the phone smart. Android added competition and here we are.

Unfortunately, for digital compact camera makers, like bankrupt Kodak, here is the beginning or perhaps even the middle of the end. AFP (via Taipei Times) reports that digital camera shipments plummeted 42 percent in September versus the same month last year.

“We may be seeing the beginning of the collapse of the compact camera market,” said Nobuo Kurahashi, analyst, Mizuho Investors Securities.

Shipments of higher-end cameras with detachable lenses, like Canon’s EOS series, only declined 7.4 percent. However, the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III and other well equipped smartphones do everything a compact digital camera can do and much, much more. In fact, in many settings, the iPhone 5 and kindred devices rival DSLRs.

So, for some years to come, millions of compact and DSLR cameras continue to sell every month. Nevertheless, the end is nigh.

The iPhone is killing cameras…

What’s your take?

  1. Worse, iPhones are killing photography. Too easy to take a crappy self-portrait, out of focus, with no range of color, depth, etc. Lots of pictures, few photographs.

  2. From a pros perspective, the biggest advantage of the iPhone/smartphone over compact cameras is that you always have it with you and that cannot be overcome by p&s cameras regardless of the technology advances that they bring. Yes with the advances in phone cameras and the ever down creep in DSLRs the P&S will be relegated to parents with kids and vacation and holiday photographs…

  3. @ Alan Mills: I disagree. Yes, there are zillions of lousy photos out there, shot from the hip and worked over with hipster filter effects. But how is that killing photography? I bet our elders said the same thing when the Polaroid came out. Serious photographers or professionals use the iPhone (and other smartphone cameras) as a useful tool but won’t give up on their Leicas and Nikons any time soon. Only the casual amateur who wasn’t quite happy with a pocket camera and thus plunked down 400$ for a Canon Rebel will probably think twice before shlepping out, if he can more or less get the same results with his iPhone and a few apps. So I’d say it’s bye-bye for entry level DSLRs, and I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing.

  4. the thing is people are buying following what the big guys want us to do, and if the average person (I hope Pro will always stay away from cellphones) see’s many using only their iphone, they will do the same and feel even stupid buying a camera. I have to agree that even if the first take pic is not amazing, there are so many apps that can turn any pic into an orgasmic fusion of colors and lens effects. and if apple is selling a photo editor for $80!!! (see for yourself if you don’t believe it: then I believe anything can happen. bye bye camera

  5. doubt that

    had compact DSLR`s killed photography, when every average Joe had one? no
    we will just see more crappy photos, thats for sure

  6. IMHO phones will greatly increase the number of photos taken. It much easier to take a snap shot on impulse, then many of them will disappear into the mist. Almost all of those shots are terrible. Phones may slow the sale of compact cameras, but will not affect DSLR sales to any significant degree.

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