Will the Smartphone Kill the Digital Camera?

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Today’s most popular digital camera may, in fact, be a smartphone, with the iPhone 4 quickly emerging as the fastest-growing resource for Flickr photo uploads.

Per the chart below, the three-year-old Nikon D90 is currently the online social picture sharing service’s top source of images. But, as TechCrunch notes, the iPhone 4, less than a year old, will quickly surpass it within the next month, making the mobile handset today’s most popular tool for uploading images to the Internet. Other well-liked models include the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi and Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Troublingly for digital photography fans, point-and-shoot camera units continue to decline in popularity on Flickr, as compared to more powerful and expensive digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) models. As the following graphic illustrates, the service’s leading choices, all Canon PowerShot devices, are free-falling in popularity.

Technology insiders speculate that smartphones’ always-on Internet connectivity and increasingly powerful cameras, zoom functions and lenses may be to blame. Average, everyday shutterbugs may also be loath to spend more on additional devices, when multifunction mobile gadgets already sitting in their pockets prove just as effective for impromptu photo shoots and uploads.

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