More pictures are taken with phones than point and shoots, says CEA study

<a href="">Yuri Arcurs</a>/<a href="">Shutterstock</a>

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) on Thursday released a study about the consumer imaging market which shows yet again that smartphones are decimating the point and shoot camera market.

55 percent of users in the study said they considered a point and shoot camera to be their primary image capture device, and only 18 percent considered their smartphone to be their primary photographic device.

Mental primacy, in this case, is not much of a metric. Users don't consider their phone to be a camera, that's not really a difficult thing to imagine.

What's important to note is that 93 percent of consumers said they consider point and shoot imaginge to be better quality, but 74 percent of consumers said they prefer the convenience of a smartphone camera.

As the adage goes, the best camera is the one you have with you, and the CEA says 61 percent of all photos are taken on the spur of the moment. By virtue of that fact, the association found more photos are being taken by smartphones than point and shoots: 35 per month versus 32 per month.

The CEA's results sync with market data from NPD from two months ago, which said casual photo and video capture on smartphones is driving point-and-shoots out of the market. Photobucket released its figures for 2011 not long after the holiday season and found that 64 percent of its users were shooting with digital cameras, down from 82 percent the year before. Thirty-eight percent reported that they switched back to a digital camera for some holiday images however. In that respect, the point and shoot becomes the "step up" from the phone, sort of like how the DSLR used to be the step up from the point and shoot.

Indeed, these factors play heavily into the current turmoil in the industry. Polaroid is attempting to shift gears in its product lineup and offer a point and shoot camera that is effectively just an Android smartphone.

Bankrupt Kodak took a more desperate approach last week and axed its point-and-shoot camera division altogether.

Japanese companies, meanwhile, have faced even greater pressures due to last year's natural disasters which drew production to a standstill.

This pressure appears to be driving Olympus Corp. to the breaking point. Today, three former executives were arrested for suspected accounting fraud to negate the company's financial losses on paper. Olympus' inappropriate accounting practices were first revealed last October by erstwhile CEO Michael Woolford, who blew the whistle on Olympus after just two weeks in his position, and was summarily terminated.

Photo: Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock

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