Here's a sign of the times: The iPhone 4 is about to surpass the Nikon D90 as the most popular "camera" on the photo-sharing website Flickr.
Time's Techland reports:
Two years ago, the iPhone overtook Canon's EOS Digital Rebel XTi. What's the difference here? Flickr counted all versions of the iPhone for that tally, but now it's just the iPhone 4 riding its way all to the top in just under a year.
The iPhone 4 camera only can boast a 5-megapixel sensor and a digital zoom in comparison to all of the heavyweight DSLRs on the list. The other top cameras include the Nikon D90, the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i. Its photography power doesn't even come close — but in portability, it triumphs.
Last year Flickr reported that its users uploaded 130 million photos a month to the site. The New York Times Bits blog reports that the iPhone is mostly giving point-and-shoot cameras a run for their money:
The graphs show that digital S.L.R. cameras are still used regularly by the Flickr community. But in terms of overall share, the iPhone 4 is only slightly behind the current most popular camera, the Nikon D90, a $900 digital S.L.R.
There have been reports that the next iPhone will include a Sony 8-megapixel camera, which could signal trouble for the digital S.L.R.'s too. For now, it's the point-and-shoot cameras that are being battered by the smartphone.
One of the graphs the Bits mentions is the one below, which shows the meteoric rise of the iPhone over three Canon cameras:
In a year, the iPhone 4 is giving the Nikon D90 a run for its money.
This sort of thing has worried me to no avail, because it seems inevitable that all the photographic memories of my 22-month-old kid will be grainy, blurry iPhone shots.
Techcrunch makes the interesting observation that if Flickr bunched together all of the versions of the iPhone, it would likely come out on top of any single camera.
"This is the state of photography right now," MC Siegler writes at Techcrunch. "And it's going to continue in this direction."