There are eight times as many photographers worldwide than there were a decade ago following an explosion in smartphone usage, 'Amateur Photographer' (AP) can exclusively reveal.

There are now more than four billion people taking pictures, according to figures released to AP by market analysts Futuresource Consulting.

The number of images captured annually has jumped six-fold to 1.2 trillion, with smartphones playing an instrumental role, according to the poll of 4,251 people across the USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada and Australia.

Seventy-nine percent of smartphone users said they regularly take photos using their smartphone.

However, there may be good news for camera makers on the horizon despite the unrelenting demand for smartphones.

While smartphones represent the ‘primary capture device’ for many, users may be subsequently tempted to ‘step-up’ to a dedicated digital camera, asserts Futuresource.

Futuresource market analyst Arun Gill said: ‘It is clear that digital cameras maintain key technical advantages over multi-functional capture devices, in terms of bigger and superior sensors and optics.

‘However, smartphones are setting the bar in terms of smart UI [User Interface]’s, connectivity and mobile apps, which represents a growing usability delta between smartphones and digital cameras.’

The research also highlights how the adoption of technology such as wireless image transfer, software-based filters, face detection and large touchscreens have changed photography behaviour ‘beyond recognition’.

The data is contained in a Futuresource report entitled Living with Digital.

  • entoman

    I think you’re definitely in a very small minority there Ian, but I’m glad that you are one of the small number of smartphone users who take :real” photos!

  • Ian Vesey

    I dont think that the tweet novel comparison is a good one. I use a smart phone and take some excellent pictures, mainly because i was brought up with a camera. Apple have also shown (other smart phones are available) that great pictures can be taken with phone camera’s. The technology is there and it’s the person pressing the shutter that controls the artistic input.
    I have a CSC and an older DSLR & if i am going out to take pictures i will take one of them. But i always have the cam phone with me and so can do other stuff.

    As the son of a film photographer i was brought up to get 30 out of 36 shots that were usable. I put the same thought process into any shot i take now.

  • Keith Bray

    Selfie madness!

  • Visiones del Manzana

    and most of those photos taken off the reflection from a bathroom mirror ;^)

  • entoman

    “A camera phone uses a sensor just like a DSLR, so I really do not see the difference.”

    It’s nothing to do with technical quality of images, it’s to do with the amount of thought and artistic effort that goes into the process, and being able to tell the difference between a badly composed snap and a work of craftsmanship.

    Can you tell the difference between a tweet and a novel?

    The both use words….

  • Rick L Mower

    Why would they not be a photograph? A camera phone uses a sensor just like a DSLR, so I really do not see the difference. Sure the quality of the shots may not be that good (I.E. The user is not that good) but they are still photos.

  • entoman

    Who’s kidding who?

    Smartphone pics are fun but no one would seriously call them “photographs”.

    To say that 8 times as many people are taking photographs now, is as daft as pretending that inane facebook messages, “tweets” and text messages are novels!