Cameras - statistics & facts

Cameras are optical devices used for recording images, either as individual still photographs or as part of a series of images such as in a video. Cameras operate using electronic sensors or photographic film to capture visible light or other electromagnetic spectrum segments. The first lasting photograph was made in 1826, captured on pewter covered with bitumen. Today, most consumers own a camera in some form, although the increasing popularity of smartphone cameras has meant less demand for stand-alone camera products. Since reaching a peak of over 121 million in 2010,  shipments of digital still cameras have decreased to around eight million units.

Smartphone camera over a digital camera

Widespread consumer photography was made possible by the invention of photographic film in 1888 by Kodak. In 1975, Kodak would also go on to develop the first camera that used digital electronics to capture and store images. Despite consumer digital cameras becoming mainstream in the 1990s, the year 2000 saw the world's first digital camera phone, introduced by Sharp, and, by the early 2010s, almost all smartphones had an integrated digital camera. With image sensors getting smaller and more advanced with a smartphone’s combined computational power, people no longer see the need for a digital camera. This has driven traditional camera manufacturers to shift their focus from  DSLR and mirrorless cameras to more profitable imaging solutions in medical and scientific applications.

New technology and new applications

Technological advancement, especially in the past decade, has led to smaller, more durable cameras that can be used for purposes never thought possible in the past. Compact, easy-to-use cameras such as action cameras and wearable cameras made popular by  GoPro  have quickly become some of the most sought-after stand-alone cameras on the market. Home security cameras used to protect property from theft and vandalism have also experienced growth, supported by the increased number of connected devices and IoT at home. Even the relatively niche market for thermal imaging cameras has been growing in annual revenue, particularly as governmental agencies and large companies adopted this camera technology for screening people during the  COVID-19 pandemic.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 32 most important statistics relating to "Cameras".


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