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iPhone Tops Flickr’s Most Popular Camera List

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Nearly 45 million photos uploaded to Flickr have been taken with an iPhone. (Photo: Apple.com)
Nearly 45 million photos uploaded to Flickr have been taken with an iPhone. (Photo: Apple.com)


  • iPhone 4 most-used camera for photos uploaded to Flickr
  • Studies show smartphones overtaking cameras as preferred device to document events
  • iPhone 4 likely most popular camera because of Flickr’s unreliable device detection service

The iPhone 4 has emerged as the most-popular camera on Flickr, according to statistics released by the photo sharing website.

Released under a year ago, the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel camera tops popular digital SLR and point-and-shoot models, pushing Nikon’s “prosumer” D90 into second spot and dropping three of Canon’s top performers - the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS Digital Rebel XSi and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i - further down the list.

Apple devices also took three of the top four spots in the list of most popular camera phones, with the iPhone 4 leading ahead of its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS, followed by the HTC Evo 4G and the Apple iPod touch, Flickr reported.

The announcement from the Yahoo-owned photo sharing site supports suggestions that smartphones are overtaking cameras as the preferred device for documenting the events of people’s day to day lives.

Reasonable Photo Quality

Simply put, a camera is not a smartphone. Armed only with a point-and-shoot or a bulky DSLR, users cannot make calls or update their Facebook or Twitter accounts. But with their smartphone, which they carry all day, everyday, they are able to do all this, while also taking photos of generally high standard.

The quality of smartphone optics and the features on offer are not far off the standard in consumer digital photography. While not able to challenge the top range of compact digital cameras, iPhone 4 photos are widely considered to be of comparatively high quality. Smartphones also offer countless options for instantly updating social networking and photo websites sites with pictures right after they are taken.

For most people, the combination of good quality pictures and access one’s online life all in one device makes it a no-brainer.

Something to take into consideration about these figures is that Flickr says their device identification service only works about 75% of the time. For images uploaded with apps like Instagram, Hipstamatic, Camera+, Timelapse Pro and Color Splash, Flickr’s software cannot identify which device the photos came from.

This could mean that the number of photos uploaded to Flickr via smartphone is actually even higher than estimated. MG Siegler from TechCrunch news website is one of many experts who believe that the iPhone 4 has probably been the most popular Flickr camera for quite some time already.

Key Facts – Apple’s iPhone Camera (source: GeekaPhone Blog)

  • Apple’s 16GB iPhone models hold over 15,000 photos.
  • Around 6000 photo apps exist for the iPhone.
  • An estimated 45 million photos uploaded to Flickr were taken with an iPhone.
  • Worldwide, around 100 million people own an iPhone.

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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