iPhone is the most popular camera on Flickr


The most popular camera on Flickr is the iPhone.

That’s the news from a just-published report from the photo sharing giant.

In its 2015 report, an analysis of EXIF data by Flickr says the iPhone is responsible for 42% of the photos that make it to the service. It’s followed (at a distance) by Canon EOS cameras, with 27% and Nikon with 16%.

iPhones have been the most popular cameras on Flickr for quite a few years. Of course cell phone cameras will always have an advantage, because they are small and most people have a camera with them as a result. That’s certainly not true of DSLRs. You can see that in the Flickr provided breakdown. 39% of all their photos come from camera phones, 31% from DSLRs, 25% for point and shoot cameras, and 3% from the new mirrorless cameras.

I think a lot of iPhone owners own higher-end cameras. I’m a photography buff, and certainly do, with a Canon 6D and even a Fuji 3D camera. Still, the majority of my images are generated by the iPhone. And even when I’m out of town on a landscape shoot, I’m always using my iPhone to send pictures back to family and friends so they can share in the experience.

I think that means the iPhone is ‘good enough’ for high-quality photography, because essentially Flickr is a photo art site, not a ‘let’s get a picture of the kids birthday’ site.

Of course, if you’re here reading this, you know the iPhone camera, especially in its later iterations, is certainly ‘good enough’ for some fine photography. They, of course, are not the best camera out there, but when inspiration strikes, it’s the camera that is with you. We see that not only reflected on Flickr, but we see it in news coverage where we often see some breaking news footage that as often as not, is generated from an iPhone.

So we’re seeing the iPhone’s popularity reflected in these numbers and the fact that you can get good results from a camera on a device that originally considered a camera a convenient afterthought.

Apple changed the way photography works with the iPhone. We are all benefiting.


About Mel Martin 122 Articles
Mel Martin is an experienced writer and photographer. He spent 6 years at TUAW writing about photography for the Mac and the increasing catalogue of iOS apps that have made the iPhone the preferred camera for so many. Mel hails from Missouri, attended college in Iowa, and spent most of his life in journalism. He now lives in Arizona, a great place for iPhone photography.
  • rjllane

    Thanks for the post, Mel.

    The big surprise for me in the statistics is just how few photos from mirrorless cameras are uploaded to Flickr. Just 3 %. Those 3% make themselves heard loud and clear, since I had the impression that sales in DSLR cameras were being impacted seriously by these capable, yet lighter and smaller cameras.

    Perhaps, DSLR sales trully are actually being impacted significantly, but there is a big legacy ownership of them that will only be slowly replaced over time by the growing sales of mirrorless cameras.

    🙂 … MomentsForZen (Richard)

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