Smartphone and Tablet Shipments Turn Billions Into Amateur Photographers

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News Posted: Thu, Jan 3 2013 12:09 PM
One of the essential features of any smartphone is the built-in camera, and the quality of photos a device outputs plays a role in our evaluation of these devices. For many, a quality camera is no longer a luxury, but a necessity in an increasingly social landscape, so is it any surprise that smartphone and tablet shipments have turned us all into photographers?

According to ABI Research, over 1 billion cameras shipped in smartphones and tablets during 2012, and by 2018, that annual figure will jump to 2.7 billion, the research firm predicts. Mobile device makers are privy to the importance of a quality camera and continue to push the envelope with new features and higher quality optics.

LG Optimus G

"Advancements in imaging technology are opening new doors for smartphones and media tablets," says senior analyst Josh Flood. "Mobile device cameras are becoming more than just a digital camera for taking snapshots of your kids and pet. New services like augmented reality and gesture recognition are now easily conceivable in mobile devices."

Interestingly enough, the rear-facing cameras on most smartphones hover around 8 megapixels. Sprint's LG Optimus G (we reviewed the AT&T model) sports a 13MP camera, but that kind of resolution is still rare. ABI Research says that's because mobile OEMs are putting more focus into adding features, like autofocus, rapid capture mode, and so forth.

Do you find yourself using your smartphone and/or tablet camera more often than your dedicated point-and-shoot these days?
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Who wants to lug a camera around all day long? In fact, who but maybe people on vacation or at a special event or camera enthusiasts have a camera with them wherever they are. I love the fact that all the modern smart phones seem to have a decent camera built in them that is as good as a reasonably priced point and click. And it makes taking photos so convenient, as a lot of people have their smart phone on them at all times. I think its wonderful that the cameras on smart phones seem to be getting better in quality. However, because of this component on smartphones, I have read that company's who make point and click cameras are hurting in that department. Maybe it will motivate these company's to produce cheaper and higher quality phones in the near future?

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When I was in Iraq I bought my first DSLR.  Canon Rebel Xi... or something close to that.  Needless to say, I think I snapped about 200 photos, then packed it away until I had more opportunities to use it when I got back to the states.  Well right when I got back is when the Iphone came out, so I picked up one... and the DSLR never came out again.  Nowadays my wife uses it for family functions, and whenever someone wants a professional-ish photo of their kids.  Unless I plan on framing the pictures, I just stick with my phone.

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