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Smartphones Are Making Digital Cameras Obsolete

Brand Keys, the research company that specializes in
measuring consumer loyalty and engagement with brands, estimates that 55% of
photos and videos are now shot with smartphones, up 20% from last year,
according to company president Robert Passikoff.

And that does not bode well for the various brands of
digital SLR and digital point-and-shoot cameras.

"The quality of smartphone photos and videos [is] virtually
indistinguishable from dedicated digital imaging devices," Passikoff says. "If
you combine that with the smartphones' ability to review, edit and transmit
immediately, digital cameras are rapidly becoming obsolete."

And that sounds like an opportunity for smartphone makers to
begin targeting some of their marketing dollars on their products' ability to
replace traditional cameras. But Passikoff's data should also ring a bell in
the heads of the camera makers who need to protect their turf from further
erosion-if that's now possible.

Passikoff doesn't know if the camera makers can do it. "They
can look at the other side of the usage ratio and say that 45% of photos and
videos are still being shot with traditional cameras...but with newer smartphones
in sight and consumer expectations constantly on the rise, one cannot be
precisely sure how long the retail category will remain," he says.

"The photographer Ernst Haas once noted that ‘there is only
you and your camera,'" Passikoff adds. "But with the increase in picture
quality and the ubiquity of we-do-everything smartphones taking the place of
dedicated digital cameras, we may soon have to amend that to ‘there's only you
and your phone.'"

Based on Brand Keys' Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, here
is how the digital camera brands rank:

Digital SLR Cameras:

1. Canon

2. Nikon, Olympus, Leica

5. Sony
6. Pentax

7. Panasonic

8. Fuji

Digital Point-and-Shoot Cameras:

1. Canon
2. Nikon
3. Panasonic
4. Sony
5. Casio
6. Samsung
7. Fuji
8. Pentax

9. Olympus

10. Kodak