If we were to ask you to guess what the most popular camera models were on Flickr, you’d probably mention an affordable D-SLR from the likes of Nikon or Canon along with a point and shoot model or two. But what you might not guess is that Apple’s iPhone now holds a top spot, rivaling SLRs for popularity.
Yahoo’s statistical counter of camera use among Flicker members, called the Flickr Camera Finder, shows that since the arrival of the iPhone 3G model earlier this year, the phone has surpassed all other camera phones, including the second place Nokia N95. It has also surpassed many traditional cameras.
Traditionally, the top cameras on Flickr seem to be D-SLRs, which makes this accomplishment even more impressive for the iPhone. Even though the iPhone’s image quality can’t compare to a D-SLR, the iPhone does offer two important features that D-SLRs lack: portability and availability; our phones are devices that we carry with us all the time, even when we leave our camera at home.
Currently, the iPhone ranks very close to the Canon Rebel XT and Nikon’s D80. Both of these D-SLRs are older models that are currently being replaced by newer models, such as the higher-ranking Canon Rebel XTi. Recent statistics showed 51 million photo uploads that were taken with the Canon Rebel XTi. By comparison, 5.8 million photos were taken and uploaded with the iPhone. However, there are nearly 3,000 people uploading photos from their iPhone daily, compared to about 6,500 users for the XTi.
The statistics from the Flickr Camera Finder are based on the number of users who have uploaded a photo on any given day. It’s also important to remember that many users don’t identify their camera models to Flickr, so there are a number of pictures/camera models that simply aren’t logged.
It’s likely that the iPhone’s connectivity and multimedia focus have something to do with its high score. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to see how camera phones are starting to compete with traditional cameras in terms of quantity of use, even if the quality of photos varies between the device types.