Flickr keeps track of which camera models are the most popular amongst its users, and for the first time a cellphone is set to take the top spot. If you count all of Apple’s iPhone models, they’ve been in the #1 spot since 2009, but this is the first time an individual handset has neared the top.
While Flickr’s graph doesn’t label its axes, a bit of digging tells us that there are 5,654 users who have uploaded shots from a Nikon D90 (the current top dog) in the last year, and 5,022 with the iPhone 4. That’s only a couple of hundred users difference.
So, why has the iPhone skyrocketed up the ranks in the less than a year it’s been in existence? You could argue for a number of different explanations. As Chase Jarvis famously put it: The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You, and constantly having an iPhone in your pocket makes it perfect for quick snaps. Combine this with its massive install base, the ubiquity of programs like Instamatic and Hipstamatic, and the relatively straightforward process of using Flickr’s app to upload images, and you have an incredibly easy way for large numbers of people to get their images up online. People who otherwise might not be interested in photography or photo sharing.
There is one other very interesting thing to note about this whole discussion: even though there are more shots from the iPhone 4 on Flickr, the D90 users are far more prolific. Yesterday saw 54,737 photos uploaded to Flickr from the iPhone 4, and 95,869 from the Nikon D90. Just because more people have them doesn’t mean that they’re using them well.
The change of guard also indicates that camera companies should probably be thinking hard about making their cameras connected if they aren’t already.