Thelatest iPhonesare all about the cameras. Apple took plenty of time at its most recent product showcase to trump up its new shooters, particularly with regard to the dual cameras it’s put in theiPhone 7 Plus. We can’t say exactly how effective its changes will be, but Apple has a stellar record when it comes to mobile camera quality, and some aspects of that dual-lens systemhave already excitedhardcore photographers.
And that’s more bad news for digital cameras. As this chart fromStatistashows, sales from the world’s largest camera brands have fallen off a cliff over the past half-decade, from a high of 121.5 million in 2010 to an estimated 13 million in the first half of 2016. Compact cameras have been hit particularly hard.
This isn’t a coincidence. While sales were fine right after the iPhone and other smartphones first launched, the fast rate of camera improvements in said devices, combined with the rise of integrated apps like Instagram and Snapchat, have helped turn the digital camera market increasingly niche. A high-end camera is still the way to go for the many people that are serious about photography, but as devices like the iPhone 7 Plus advance, even that gap may close.