“More Americans Becoming Serious Photographers”

An interesting headline spotted over at Yahoo News: “More Americans Becoming Serious Photographers“. In the article, analyst Chris Chute of research firm IDC says that more people in the US are identifying themselves as “enthusiasts”:

Chute said that about half of SLR owners consider themselves to be enthusiasts “who really enjoy photography and know how to use manual settings on a camera.” According to his research, only about a fifth of SLR owners consider themselves to be novices, “who just want to take pictures,” as he described it. Chute finds that surprising, since typically about half the owners of a technology would be in the novice group.

“There is a shift overall in the industry from casual to enthusiast,” said Hilton. She also found a big jump in people going from enthusiasts to semi-professionals who earn money as part-time photographers.

Chute also finds that more and more people are starting to buy a “once-obscure” type of lens: the “prime”.

More Americans Becoming Serious Photographers [Yahoo News]

Image credit: DSLR-Boy by code_martial

  • Knur

    It’s the end of the world.

  • steve-o

    more people are starting to notice that basicly all compact camera’s make crappy pictures.. specialy now when the high end cell phones are getting increasingly better camera’s in them.

    big deal?

  • Dazam

    Alternate Headline: More Americans using Instagram

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    I’d love to know when the prime lens was considered “obscure”

  • wickerprints

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. This phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that most “novice”/”casual” photographers are content with the ubiquitous and simple cameras on mobile phones, or if they want something with slightly more features, a compact point-and-shoot. By the time many consumers want *any* system camera, they have already understood that interchangeable lenses offer additional creative possibilities.

    Therefore, this segmentation and self-classification effect in the DSLR market is actually a consequence of the popularity of low-end cameras and cameraphones. In a sense, it’s not so much the “enthusiast” selecting themselves into the DSLR segment as it is the “novice” choosing the low-end camera, which provide the advantages of ease of use, small form factor, convenience, and reasonable image quality for their purposes.

  • mcmiller

    Sorry, but that’s just not true. Some of the finest images I’ve seen have been the work of a crappy camera in the hands of someone who knew what they were doing. # Holga

  • wickerprints

    I think we also need to be careful about what we infer from such data. Yes, more people are engaging in photography. And yes, DSLR consumption has been increasing. And yes, a higher proportion of DSLR owners are identifying themselves as “enthusiasts” as opposed to casual photographers. So it would seem reasonable to conclude that, as the title says, “more Americans [are] becoming serious photographers.”

    However, this could be a misleading claim, because more people are taking photos in general. So we need to consider whether more people are becoming “serious” simply because there is increased interest in photography in general, and not because there is a shift in enthusiasm/awareness among photographers. To this end, I’d want to look at the proportion of people who label themselves “serious” compared to those who label themselves as “casual” among all camera users (for the reasons mentioned in my previous post), not just those who own DSLRs.

  • Steve-o

    if you use a holga then you are just a hipster… atleast go for something like a hasselblad 500c/m or something like a Leica.. but hipsters cant afford those

  • David Kozlowski

    and I sell thousands of dollars worth of Instagram images each year…my clients love this stuff!

  • David Kozlowski

    If people truly believe that it is the CAMERA rather than the PHOTOGRAPHER that takes the great shot, they wouldn’t know a good shot from a bad shot anyway! ;)

  • rtfe

    and everyone will take a lot of snappy pictures of it

  • rtfe

    true, 20% car, 80% driver

  • Andy

    Alternate Headline: More NORTHAmericans becoming serious photographers. America is a Continent, not a country.

  • Ben There

    And I sell thousands of dollars worth of toilet paper each year…my clients love this stuff! There’s not much difference between the two.

  • Checkmate

    North America is not a country either…what the hell is your point?

  • Paul Van

    The issue is that it is the photographer describing themselves as ‘serious’ photographers. I imagine the majority of them inflate their description the same way that the majority of drivers describe themselves as ‘above average’ drivers.

  • Coyote Red

    30 years ago the same could be said of the difference between SLR users and instamatic users. When I wanted to step up from taking snapshots to having more control over capturing an image I had to go SLR. Therefore, among SLR users a larger portion would identify themselves as “enthusiasts” versus the entire group that uses any camera to capture an image.

  • Tim

    I don’t think it’s about how many people use mobiles and point and shoot cameras, i think it’s more about the price of DSLRs coming down. When the first DSLRs came out they were waaaaaay too expensive for the average comsumer to be able to afford, but now you can get one for a few hundred quid. The fact that you can explore different lenses and settings with them and get instant feedback makes them very addictive, and when you get bitten by the bug it IS serious! You spend hours reading around the subject, pouring over images and spend hundreds (maybe thousands) of pounds on equipment. But i wonder how many people actually described themselves as serious photographers, or whether these people have been encouraged by being asked. Because in my mind there are lots of different types of photographers – enthusiasts, amateurs, professionals,.. To describe yourself as a “serious photographer” is a bit weird, even if i was making loads of money out of it i wouldn’t want to call myself that. I’d prefer to be called “fun” or “revolutionary”.

  • Spider- Man

    awwww someone that doesn’t know how to use one shutter speed an aperture how cute…

  • Librera

    Just because u can buy a DSLR or own one does not make u a photographer!