The Changing Camera Market by Flickr

I just happened to take a quick peek at the camera stats at Flickr today. I had uploaded and explored this data on ManyEyes a years or so smallchart.gifago and perhaps not surprisingly noted that Canon dominated the point-and-shoot market and that Nikon and Canon were battling for dominance in the DSLR market…all according to Flickr postings which may create some skew. Intriguingly when I took a quick look at the posting numbers by camera today, there’s something else very interesting happening: fewer people seem to be using the most popular camera models. Is the market diversifying on a model or manufacturer basis? If I had tuned in 6 months ago I would have seen a relatively flat trend for the past six months.
The data that Flickr is sharing spans the last 12 months. Although you can get current monthly usage data from their stats site in a tabular form and with decent granularity, they only present the data in their chosen chart over time and for the top five or ten models.
The market itself looks like this:
The trend is rather obvious. A smaller percentage of the Flickr membership are using the more popular models.
This same trend seems to be echoed in the point and shoot market specifically. pscameras.gifThis charts shows a similar trend over the past year. Admittedly these are rather simple statistics and observations, but intriguing that armchair market analysts might be able to garner some quick market pictures from a social network like Flickr. If you take a gander at the number of photos posted over the past month for cameras by specific makers, the top cameras are rising substantially in the last part of the month suggesting a certain cyclical nature to photo posting – very calendarial.
Maybe I am trying to milk these numbers for more than they can tell us, but over a year’s span, there might be some significance in what we are looking at. I wonder what the average length of ownership is for a DSLT versus a P&S. Or what sort of statistics Flickr has about long term usage by its membership. Do the bulk of the users find a cool tool and use it for a while and then gradually decline in interest? Wat are the usage patterns for long-term users? A lot of this probably depends on how we measure Flickr’s ability to keep up with the competition. Nonetheless, even from these yearly stats, there’s an interesting trend to note.
Why did I even end up at Flickr today? Had to pop by to find my usernumber so I could try TiltViewer, the 3D photo browser and see how compelling it is. Its cool.

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