PetaPixel

Thoughts on Tumblr’s Camera Statistics

tumblrlogoIn a post published on their blog yesterday, Tumblr revealed some interesting data on cameras and Canon lenses uploaded to the blogging service, presumably harvested from the EXIF data of each photo.

While much of the data reflects what we know about camera popularity through other means, like Flickr’s Camera Finder and Amazon’s bestselling list, there are certain bits and pieces that we found interesting and would like to highlight.

First, take a look at the chart of cameras sorted in descending order of popularity:

tumbler1

Aside from the fact that people seem to love posting Photo Booth images to their Tumblrs, what caught my eye was the fact that high-end Canon DSLRs (i.e. Canon 5D) seem to be dominating the prosumer lineup (i.e. Canon 40D). On Flickr, all the prosumer DSLRs except the 10D and 50D are represented more than the 5D. Not sure why Tumblr doesn’t reflect the same thing, since photographers more serious about photography seem to gravitate towards Flickr rather than Tumblr.

Like on Flickr, the 50D lags behind the 40D significantly, showing that photographers (myself included), really didn’t see much of a reason to upgrade, and that new purchasers might have opted for a new or used 5D instead.

I think the lens chart that was posted is a bit more interesting, especially since Flickr doesn’t have a corresponding “Lens Finder”:

tumbler2

Here’s my main question: Why on earth is the Canon 50mm 1.8 more represented on Tumblr than the Canon 50mm 1.8 Mk II? The original 50mm 1.8 was discontinued in 1990, and is rare enough nowadays to be selling on eBay for more than double the Mark II, which you can purchase cheaply left and right. Maybe they’re not as rare as we think, but are instead simply being hoarded by photographers who prefer it over the plastic Mark II?

If anyone has any theories or answers to these points that we’ve brought up, let’s discuss them in the comments!

Tumblr camera stats (via CrunchGear)


Image credit: Charts by Tumblr


 
  • http://twitter.com/eugenephotoblog Eugene

    This is definitely an interesting set of data. A few thoughts:

    1) You write that “photographers more serious about photography seem to gravitate towards Flickr rather than Tumblr.” What evidence do you have? Is it just anecdotal? I was thinking about this for a few minutes, but perhaps Flickr users are also the ones who would also be social-media savvy and use Tumblr as well? In that case, it would make sense for them to use their high-end cameras to post both to Flickr and Tumblr… Just a thought.

    2) The data for the lenses used is revealing. In particular, the top two lenses (EF-S 18-55mm) seem to dominate (something like 95% of all the lenses profiled). So what's that telling me is that these are still prosumers who are using entry-level dSLRs with the kit lens(es).

    3) I can't grasp how the Canon 5D is so high up there. I can't imagine people with the 5D using the 50mm lens on that body (well I can, I just wouldn't think that would be the primary lens)… So, I can't figure out why Canon 5D is so highly represented, but the EF lenses that most (I think?) photographers would couple with the 5D (17-40L, 24-105L, etc) are under-represented.

    4) With regard to the 50mm f/1.8 and its recent release 50mm f/1.8 II, I can't be certain, but perhaps it is the truncation of the “II” from the EXIF data? I highly doubt that more people actually use the 50mm f/1.8 than the 50mm f/1.8 II.

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    1. No evidence. Anecdotal. Interesting though.

    3. Actually I think the 50mm is very popular on full frame, since only on full frame is it a normal lens. It would be interesting to see data on camera-lens pairing popularity, though I don't think anyone would post something that specific.

    4. Not sure. The 50mm mark II appears just fine, but after the mark I.

  • http://twitter.com/eugenephotoblog Eugene

    Yep, I have the 50mm f/1.8 Mark II (I shoot with a Canon 5D) as well, but I want to say that those people using a Canon 5D would be more likely to couple it with the 50mm f/1.4 or even the 50mm f/1.2L (of course, that's just my opinion).

    With regard to representation of certain lenses, I think you're right: my initial analysis would need to be backed up with more clues (i.e., the camera-lens pairing that you mentioned).

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Ah, I see what you're saying. Right, I agree that they probably wouldn't couple the cheapest version of the 50mm with a 5D. =)

  • http://twitter.com/eugenephotoblog Eugene

    This is definitely an interesting set of data. A few thoughts:

    1) You write that “photographers more serious about photography seem to gravitate towards Flickr rather than Tumblr.” What evidence do you have? Is it just anecdotal? I was thinking about this for a few minutes, but perhaps Flickr users are also the ones who would also be social-media savvy and use Tumblr as well? In that case, it would make sense for them to use their high-end cameras to post both to Flickr and Tumblr… Just a thought.

    2) The data for the lenses used is revealing. In particular, the top two lenses (EF-S 18-55mm) seem to dominate (something like 95% of all the lenses profiled). So what's that telling me is that these are still prosumers who are using entry-level dSLRs with the kit lens(es).

    3) I can't grasp how the Canon 5D is so high up there. I can't imagine people with the 5D using the 50mm lens on that body (well I can, I just wouldn't think that would be the primary lens)… So, I can't figure out why Canon 5D is so highly represented, but the EF lenses that most (I think?) photographers would couple with the 5D (17-40L, 24-105L, etc) are under-represented.

    4) With regard to the 50mm f/1.8 and its recent release 50mm f/1.8 II, I can't be certain, but perhaps it is the truncation of the “II” from the EXIF data? I highly doubt that more people actually use the 50mm f/1.8 than the 50mm f/1.8 II.

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    1. No evidence. Anecdotal. Interesting though.

    3. Actually I think the 50mm is very popular on full frame, since only on full frame is it a normal lens. It would be interesting to see data on camera-lens pairing popularity, though I don't think anyone would post something that specific.

    4. Not sure. The 50mm mark II appears just fine, but after the mark I.

  • http://twitter.com/eugenephotoblog Eugene

    Yep, I have the 50mm f/1.8 Mark II (I shoot with a Canon 5D) as well, but I want to say that those people using a Canon 5D would be more likely to couple it with the 50mm f/1.4 or even the 50mm f/1.2L (of course, that's just my opinion).

    With regard to representation of certain lenses, I think you're right: my initial analysis would need to be backed up with more clues (i.e., the camera-lens pairing that you mentioned).

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Ah, I see what you're saying. Right, I agree that they probably wouldn't couple the cheapest version of the 50mm with a 5D. =)

  • http://www.thelightdynamic.com/ Bryan

    I am an editorial alternative sports photographer that shoots a 5D II and I often throw on my 50mm f/1.8 II. Most of my peers and colleagues shoot 5D Mk II, and most of them own the old 50mm 1.8 lenses. I am happy with the Mk II version of the lens, but my friends wont be swayed. I think that this is a very large group of people. It's a popular lens and a popular camera (5D too). Now im not going to touch classifying these guys (myself included). My two cents – Flickr is lame. When I think of flickr I think of all of the art school students here in NYC. Sure there is some talent on there, but the majority of the images are from failing art students and guys like my dad, posting ridiculous amounts of HDR images. Comparing tumblr to flickr as a tool for photographers is like comparing apples to oranges. I post my website up on tumblr every once in a while, but I do not use it like the tool that is Flickr. I imagine that professional and simi-pro photographers are drawn to tumblr as it is ultra easy to use, and the design elements of most of the themes are hot. Flickr looks like a bigcartel shopping cart. Blah. I simply imagine that there are more professionals on Tumblr.

    Bryan Close
    TheLightDynamic

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Interesting thoughts! Thanks for putting in your two cents!