Smartphones & Tablets Complement, Not Replace, Cameras for Taking and Sharing Photos:...

Smartphones & Tablets Complement, Not Replace, Cameras for Taking and Sharing Photos: 6Sight


Jackson, MI—Today’s “connected generation of photo takers” shoot, enhance and share more photos than six months ago, according to the 6Sight Social Imaging Survey Report. In addition, the report notes that while today’s photographers are open for using newer photographic alternatives such as smartphones, apps or social network sites, they don’t rule out more traditional devices, software or sharing methods if these better suit their needs.

The 6Sight survey was conducted among 1,065 North American photo-taking consumers, 76% of whom own smartphones and 90% own digital cameras. For comparison, an additional analysis was conducted among 440 Europeans.

“With the proliferation of camera-equipped and Internet-enabled devices, as well as the fast-growing array of often free photo sites, apps and software, people have more choices than ever before for taking, enhancing or sharing photos,” said Joe Byrd, president and cofounder of 6Sight. “We wanted to learn how this connected generation of photo takers makes these choices, what drives their decisions, and in what direction their choices are trending.”

The survey and report will be featured at the 2012 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference, to be held on June 25-26 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, where report author Hans Hartman will provide an overview. This year, the 6Sight conference is colocating with CE Week to bring together all of the top mobile imaging executives, technologists, media, analysts and investors focused on advancing the mobile imaging ecosystem through sharing technological breakthroughs, and networking with potential partners and clients. CE Week is a weeklong, citywide event in New York City that includes the CEA Line Shows, the Digital Downtown Conference, and the CEA Demo Suites and Conference; it is organized in association with CEA, along with Martin Porter Associates and Consumer Technology Publishing Group/NAPCO and Photo Industry Reporter.

The 6Sight survey found “most people use several devices for taking photos. Nearly 60% of the survey’s digital camera owners who take at least one photo a month with that device also own a smartphone with which they take at least one photo a month. The respondents use smartphones most frequently to take photos: 91% of smartphone owners take at least one photo a month with their smartphones, compared to 80% of the digital camera owners who do so with their cameras.” And the findings also show that digital cameras are used more for taking a larger number of photos—more than two times as many photos than those taken with smartphones (see Figure 1).

Survey respondents edit or alter about 25% of their photos prior to saving or sharing them, and 6Sight states, “No matter the popularity of photo enhancement smartphone apps like Instagram or Path, there is no support for the notion people are shifting photo enhancement from the computer to smartphones or tablets.” In fact, the survey found that more than 80% of the respondents use a computer most to alter or enhance photos—and computers have seen the fastest growth among devices for photo enhancement (see Figure 2).

Sharing photos, however, is a different story, with a majority of respondents stating they share more photos than six months ago from their smartphones or tablets, whether through texting/e-mailing or through uploading to photo-sharing or social network sites, with the later function trending upward (see Figure 3).

When sharing photos in-person, the respondents said they most often share photos via their device screens (computer screens, followed by smartphone and camera LCD screens), using analog methods such as photo prints, photo albums and a television less often.

Sponsors of the 6Sight Social Imaging survey include Ecce Terram. For more information, contact