What was YOUR first digital camera?

Carrie Sylvester
Jul 18, 2014

Being a photo enthusiast as well as an industry analyst gives me an interesting perspective of photography and photo habits. InfoTrends has been running a survey of digital camera users for more than a decade and through those surveys new trends have emerged and old habits have been shown to slowly go away. Before fielding the 2013 Digital Photography Survey, we thought it would be interesting to ask respondents about the first digital camera they ever owned. I thought that the younger respondents would say a “toy camera” like the Fisher Price camera I got for my kids back in the day and the older respondents would say some sort of lower-end point & shoot camera (for the record my first digital camera was an HP Photosmart R707 — YES HP was making cameras back then!). However, much to my surprise, although a point & shoot did top the list, camera phone and smartphone rounded out the top three cameras.

Which type of camera was the first digital camera that you ever owned?

Why does it matter?

This trend matters because it doesn’t paint a rosy picture for digital cameras. If a consumer starts out on a mobile phone and they are happy with the overall experience, they may just stay with their smartphone or camera phone and not step up to a traditional digital camera. There were some interesting differences seen when looking at age demographics. 54% of respondents 13-17 say that their first digital camera was either a camera phone or smartphone, while only 29% aged 45-54 (or just 28% of those aged 55+) said the same. This means that younger photographers are getting their first camera experience on a mobile phone instead of a digital camera.

InfoTrends’ Opinion

InfoTrends’ research shows that consumers under the age of 35 tend to be more photo-active and are inclined to upgrade their cameras more frequently. That said, they are also the group that is most likely to use their mobile phone camera most often. Although this is pleasant news for mobile phone vendors, it doesn’t bode well for traditional camera vendors. Camera vendors MUST keep these younger consumers in mind with their marketing messages. Younger consumers like cool gadgets and cutting-edge capabilities, like being able to use Instagram and being able to share those photos immediately as they do from their mobile phones. Younger consumers also need to be reminded of the benefits of using a digital camera, like better overall quality and more advanced photo taking capabilities, otherwise there is a risk that this demographic will stop buying and/or using digital cameras all together.

To learn more about the latest InfoTrends Digital Camera End User report or other InfoTrends research please contact Matt O’Keefe.

Receive a weekly summary of recent blogs and other exclusive content.

InfoTrends Resources

New InfoTrends Studies

More blogs from

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux