Camera Usage on Flickr

For this post I thought I’d show some geeky stats about the cameras that are currently being used to take photos that are posted on Flickr.  Flickr is a photo sharing site that used be to be haven for fine images but over time has become swamped with pictures of clouds, feet and kittens.  Thankfully it’s not as bad as instagram or iPhone photo apps for these sorts of pictures, but there is a growing trend.

For this test I selected cameras and camera phones from each of the major manufacturers choosing their most active models based on the highest rank on Flickr.  Flickr bases rank on the amount of activity that is generated by each camera over a given period (in this case 24 hours).  If a second model had a much stronger presence, i.e. more images, then it has also been included.

The columns in the table are:

Camera Name and Release date – the given name is the European market name and the date is the official UK release date.

Mega pixels – the quality of a camera cannot be judged by megapixels alone and yet continues to be a selling point for any new camera.  I’ve included the information here as it will be interesting to see how much change there will be when I repeat this experiment in a few months.

The next two columns give the total number of images taken by that camera that are currently stored on Flickr.  This does not include images marked as ‘private’.  The next number is the ‘daily users’ and this is the number of individuals who uploaded images in the past 24 hours.  This is the most important figure for me as this will allow me to track trends.

The final column is a graph showing the trend of uploads over the past 12 months.  This is also a great bit of info as it shows which cameras are dwindling out and which are the rising stars.

All stats figures given were taken from Flickr’s pages just before midnight on 16 August 2012.

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So it can be seen the Nikon D90, Olympus E-PL1 and Sony NEX-5 are really on the decline.  These are still great cameras and can easily be picked up for a good price on eBay.  The graphs are not to scale and the D90 has almost as much activity as the 5D Mk2.  The Canon 5D Mk2 continues to grow in strength and this may be due to more second-hand models becoming available as pros upgrade to the Mk3.  The newly launched Olympus E-M5 is growing in strength but it will be interesting to see if there is a peak once the novelty of the launch wears off.  I wasn’t even aware of the Pentax K-5 but it has consistently grown in usage over the last year.

Cameras only make up half the story on Flickr and the growth of camera phones and so I checked out the stats for the most popular models.  It should be noted that Flickr isn’t the most popular dumping ground for phone pictures – facebook and instagram seem to be leading the way in this field.  The stats are not a true reflection of the flow of traffic from phones but, again, it will be interesting to see if there is a shift by this time next year.

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All hail the iPhone 4 and 4S phones!  Apple’s top four phones are responsible for almost 108 million images on Flickr.  That’s a lot of angst ridden teenagers taking pictures of themselves in the mirror.  The camera on the 4S is really good and with the addition of a few choice apps can easily take pro level images.  Hopefully this is the reason why the phone has gone from strength to strength on Flickr.  There are rumours that the iPhone 5 will be launched later this year and I predict that the 4 series will dwindle in the same way the 3 series has done.

I have no idea why the LG VX 9700 and Sony K800i have spiked so much, perhaps there was a series of special deals form mobile phone retailers?  More realistically the graphs show such low usage that one busy week can cause a spike that looks out of proportion to the other tables.

Ok, so a graph heavy post that probably looks terrible for anyone looking at it on a tiny phone screen.  I created this post so I would have a snapshot I could look back on over the coming months and years.  Hopefully next year there will be marked differences and we can all look back with rose-tinted glasses at cameras that have fallen by the wayside.  That is assuming that Flickr will be still around then.  Whilst I was gathering the data for the post I came across a Flickr group that charts the number of images uploaded each month, it seems that it may have peaked!  Check out the image HERE and read the updates in the discussion below the image.



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