Flickr's 'Top Camera' shocker! (No, it's not what you think)

Over on TechCrunch there's a piece about how the iPhone 4 is set to become the most popular camera on Flickr. MG Siegler calls the rise in popularity of the Apple's latest smartphone 'spectacular' and 'remarkable.' Oh, something is 'spectacular' and 'remarkable' alright, but it's not the increase in popularity of the iPhone 4.

Over on TechCrunch there's a piece about how the iPhone 4 is set to become the most popular camera on Flickr. MG Siegler calls the rise in popularity of the Apple's latest smartphone 'spectacular' and 'remarkable.' Oh, something is 'spectacular' and 'remarkable' alright, but it's not the increase in popularity of the iPhone 4.

First of all, a correction. Siegler says that Flickr data represents 'the most popular camera used in terms of pictures taken that are uploaded to Flickr' but Flickr is clear that is represents 'the number of Flickr members who have uploaded at least one photo or video with a particular camera on a given day over the last year.' So we need to be clear that this data represents the popularity of the camera amongst Flickr members, not volume of photos uploaded. Flickr also adds even more caveats to the data:

The graphs are "normalized", which is a fancy way of saying that they automatically correct for the fact that more people join Flickr each day: the graph moving up or down indicates a change in the camera's popularity relative to all other cameras used by Flickr members.

The graphs are only accurate to the extent that we can automatically detect the camera used to take the photo or shoot the video (about 2/3rds of the time). That is not usually possible with cameraphones, therefore they are under-represented.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at the data:

Now, it's clear that the iPhone 4 is well on the way to being the most popular camera amongst Flickr members, but what I find 'spectacular' and 'remarkable' is the dominance that the Nikon 90 has over other cameras. Think about it. How many iPhone 4s do you see compared to Nikon D90s out there? How much more portable is the iPhone 4 compared to the D90? How much easier it is to upload photos from the iPhone 4 to Flickr compared to using a D90 (clue: there's an an app for that!)?

No, I'm not surprised that the iPhone 4 is set to dominate Flickr. What surprises me is that a DSLR where the body alone costs $900 is currently the dominant camera on Flickr.

From the same data, it seems that Canon should be worried about the rapid decline in the popularity of its 'point and shoot' cameras:

There's also massive room for marketshare growth by other cameraphone vendors.

Any Flickr users out there? Thoughts?

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