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 use electronic sensors or photographic film to capture visible light or other segments of the electromagnetic spectrum. The first lasting photograph was made in 1826, captured on pewter covered with bitumen. Today most consumers own a camera of some type or another, and digital camcorder shipments alone are expected to reach around 27.6 million units in 2019.

Widespread consumer photography was made possible by the invention of photographic film in 1888 by the company Kodak. In 1975 Kodak would also go on to develop the first camera that used digital electronics to capture and store images. In 1986, Japanese company Nikon introduced the first digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. In 2000, the world's first digital camera phone, was introduced by Sharp and, by the early 2010s, almost all smartphones had an integrated digital camera. Camera phones sales now account for around 30 percent of total camera system sales worldwide surpassing that of stand-alone cameras.

Easy-to-use compact cameras designed for simple operation are the most well-known stand-alone cameras. The unit shipments of compact cameras worldwide have been on a steady decline since 2010. Other kinds of stand-alone cameras include: action cameras, automotive cameras, cameras for medical and scientific purposes, as well as cameras for security and surveillance. Global unit sales for action cameras have been on the rise and were projected to reach over 10 billion units sold in 2016. Sixteen million units of wearable cameras was recorded as shipped in 2015 and revenue from the action-camera company GoPro alone stood at around 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.

Shipments of body-worn cameras, worn mostly by law enforcements, went from just a little over a hundred thousand units shipped in 2016 to a forecast of 1.05 million units in 2017. Closed-circuit security cameras (CCTV) remain the most popular video cameras in use for surveillance with the market size for CCTV cameras estimated at over 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.

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Cameras - Important statistics

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Cameras
  • Edited and prepared
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  • From $365

Recommended statistics

Infographics on the topic

Cameras Infographic - Have Digital Camera Sales Bottomed Out?
Most popular camera brands on FlickrNumber of photos taken worldwide

Infographics on the topic

Cameras Infographic - Have Digital Camera Sales Bottomed Out?
Most popular camera brands on FlickrNumber of photos taken worldwide

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