Study Predicts “Imminent Death” of Film Cameras

October 6, 2009 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones, Film | 9 Comments |
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Ontela released survey results today that are said to indicate the “imminent death of the traditional film camera” amongst U.S. consumers. The last three years of data have shown a steady decline in people who report owning a traditional film camera, decreasing from 67% in 2007, to 61% in 2008, and dropping all the way to 48% in 2009. Conversely, camera phones continue to grow in ubiquity, going from just 70% reporting that they owned a phone with a camera in 2007, to 78% in 2008 and 87% in 2009. Despite respondents’ growing ownership of camera phones and usage of data, their ability to get the pictures off their phones to their PCs or the web has stayed consistently low. When asked to upload a picture to the web, 74% of respondents failed in 2007, compared to 81% in 2008 and 61% in 2009. Users were frustrated, however, since 90% expressed a desire to upload pictures. Some of the top desired destinations included the user’s own computer hard drive at 71%, Facebook at 54% and Photobucket at 25%.

Press Release

Camera Phone Officially Kills Film Camera

Cell Phone Data and Messaging Usage Continues to Grow and People Still Can’t Get Pictures Off Their Phones According to Results from Third Year of Ontela’s Mobile Technology Market Survey

SEATTLE—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Ontela, Inc. (http://www.ontela.com), provider of award-winning imaging services for wireless carriers, released survey results today that indicate the imminent death of the traditional film camera amongst U.S. consumers. The results further indicate that cell phone data and messaging plans are still on the rise, and that people are having more difficulty than ever getting pictures off their camera phones despite a strong desire to save their pictures to a wide variety of destinations. The survey data was restricted to U.S. residents only and had 414 respondents.

The last three years of data have shown a steady decline in people who report owning a traditional film camera, decreasing from 67% in 2007, to 61% in 2008, and dropping all the way to 48% in 2009. Conversely, camera phones continue to grow in ubiquity, going from just 70% reporting that they owned a phone with a camera in 2007, to 78% in 2008 and 87% in 2009.

Data and messaging plans showed strong year-over-year growth amongst respondents, with data penetration growing from 16% in 2008 to 27% in 2009. Messaging showed similar growth, rising from 28% penetration in 2008 to 52% in 2009.

Despite respondents growing ownership of camera phones and usage of data, their ability to get the pictures off their phones to the web has stayed consistently low. When asked to upload a picture to the web, 74% of respondents failed in 2007, compared to 81% in 2008 and 61% in 2009. Users were frustrated, however, since 90% expressed a desire to upload pictures. Some of the top desired destinations included the user’s own computer hard drive at 71%, Facebook at 54%, their e-mail at 53%, and Photobucket at 25%.

With such a large discrepancy between the percentage of respondents who wish to save their camera phone picture and the percentage of those who can actually do it, there is a strong need for services that simplify the process of getting pictures off camera phones.

“While the death of the film camera marks a sad day in photographic history, consumers can take solace in the fact that Ontela is working hard to preserve the memories they capture on their camera phones,” said Dan Shapiro, CEO of Ontela. “As camera phones are now recording five, eight, and even 12 megapixels, consumers need to know that they will be able to peruse their pictures on the computer the same way their parents looked back on the stack of photos in the shoebox stuffed in the closet.”

About Ontela
Ontela provides technology infrastructure to wireless carriers that allows consumers to unlock the photos in their camera phones. Ontela’s PicDeck technology has been certified by 30 operators including Verizon, T-Mobile, and Alltel on more than 100 handsets. It is also available preinstalled on devices from all five of the top global handset manufacturers. Ontela is headquartered in Seattle and is backed by Steamboat Ventures, Hunt Ventures, Voyager Capital, and Oak Investment Partners. For more information, visit http://www.ontela.com.



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#1 Laurent JOUVIN

I still own my Canon Rebel with traditional film. Since then, I've had the digital versions of the same camera and I love them!
Digital is not replacing regular film. I do believe that there's still room for regular film. They complement each other, and it would be a shame to see one become obsolete.
The key to good photography is the subject.

2:10 am - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#2 Alexander Bahturin

The Competitions between film photography and digital imaging are not exist. Hi-Fi and Hi-End - the analog recording/reproduction of a sound and the image will impress Mankind at all times. Digital imaging it is necessary for the undemanding amateur fun-photography or for the sports/news reporter only.

8:15 am - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#3 Gordon Moat

So a company that "provides technology infrastructure to wireless carriers that allows consumers to unlock the photos in their camera phones" does a study that makes them look more favorable. Yeah, there's no conflict of interest in that outcome.

There is an agency that does such studies, and it is PMAI. Outside of the industry, there is the Gartner Group. When either of them makes such a statement, then I would pay attention, but not when some company trying to sell there technology makes such a claim. Ridiculous!

9:44 am - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#4 Craig Clike

It's what you get when you run press releases as stories.

Very lazy.

2:05 pm - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#5 pc3200

On some of our other blogs: Omni GPS TrackerAre Film Cameras Doomed?Wallmart biggest Nintendo customer Related PostsTopLinksTopLinksTopLinks You can follow any of it...

10:10 am - Saturday, October 10, 2009

#6 Fred

Not a chance.
A large percentage of clients (particularly those 40 and over) are so technologically challeneged it would be easier to teach a chimp advanced calculus than get them to work a digital camera, image processing software and a computer.
Disposable film cameras and WalMart photo labs will be around for a while yet.

1:45 pm - Saturday, October 10, 2009

#7 dsi

hi Guy's,
as per my experience Hi-Fi and Hi-End - the analog recording /reproduction of a sound and the image will impress Mankind at all times. i like it very much....

6:26 am - Thursday, October 29, 2009

#8 Chaniya Cholis, Navratri Chaniya Choli

It's what you get when you run press releases as stories.it's nice camera for good photography..i like very much..

9:15 am - Saturday, September 24, 2011

#9 L.A. Daneman

I own some very expensive film cameras, from a Graflex Superwide 6x9 modified to take a modern 47mm f 5.6 Schneider, to a Silvestri H with a 6x12 film back.

I also have a large Graflex 6x9 film system with six lenses from 58mm to 180mm . . . and a 4x5.

Yes . . . I love digital and can make 20x30 inch portraits with an 8 megapixel camera, but other subjects require more than even a 20.3 megapixel camera can provide . . . or even a Hasselblad with HDR.

6:32 am - Wednesday, November 30, 2011