Number of DSLR Captured Images Increases on Flickr Though Smartphone Photos Still Reign Supreme


With a user base of 75 million people, Flickr is one of the largest photography communities on the Internet and its trends often point to larger movements within the field and optical industry at large.

It should come as no surprise that smartphones comprise the majority of submissions to the website, but the rise in DSLR camera photos has some analysts seeing further verification of the positive numbers companies have reported with regards to their sales of high-end DSLR gear.

The dominance of smartphones in terms of sheer volume of user submissions is really no surprise given the current market dynamics.

According to Flickr's post, Smartphones continue to increase their share of Flickr’s submissions database of photos with those taken by Apple’s iPhone particularly dominant among Flickr user submissions.

Yet, in an interesting concurrent trend, DSLR submissions are on the rise according to Flickr’s end-of-the-year analysis of company trends. The Apple iPhone regularly tops the site’s “top devices” list with 2017 being no exception, but the increase in DSLR submissions mirrors the positive trends high-end models by DSLR manufacturers have exhibited in year-end financials.

Image via Pixabay from

Apple’s iPhone dominates the top devices on Flickr, with gear from Canon then Nikon coming in second and third respectively. Apple devices represent 54% of the top while Canon has 23% and Nikon comes in third at 18%.

Smartphone photo submissions increased from 48% of all Flickr user photos to 50% in 2017 and DSLR camera photo submissions went from 25% of user image submissions to 33% in 2017, a quite large increase given the relative ubiquity of smartphones on the market.

DSLR camera submissions seem to have taken some share away from photos from point- and-shoot cameras. Point-and-shoot cameras saw a user submissions number decline from 21% to 12%, to the surprise of few, while mirrorless cameras held steady between 2016 and 2017 at 4%.

While the future may seem increasingly smartphone, Flickr’s trends would seem to indicate that more traditional gear will maintain a solid presence for years to come.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

“Interesting” – but of course these statistics relate solely to postings on Flickr. They give no indication of the number or percentage of photos in total, taken each year – nor of the devices they were taken on – nor of the number of people taking photos.
A simple analogy is food. Heaps of people eat at fast food outlets on a regular basis. It doesn’t mean restaurants are out of business, or that nobody prepares meals at home.

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