I personally have never carried a camera around with me on a regular basis. I bought a used 35mm point-and-shoot for a backpacking trip around Europe 8 years ago, but I don't think I've ever even owned my own digital camera, come to think of it. But once I picked up my first cameraphone I got hooked on snapping loads and loads of (mostly awful) pictures with my cell phone.
So cellular retailer Wirefly's findings on young cameraphone users aren't really surprising to me: Kids love cellies that can take photos. Twice has details on the survey results, but the just of it is that just under half of all recent cameraphone buyers in the US use the camera function at least once a week, but the percentage jumps up to near two-thirds for users between 18 and 30 years of age:
"Young adults use their cameraphones more often than older people,
the survey found. A total of 63.8 percent of 18- to 30-year-old adults
use their cellphone's camera at least once a week, and 26.3 percent use
the camera feature daily. For consumers who are older than 30, usage
falls to 40.7 percent use the camera feature weekly, and 13.2 percent
use it daily, the survey found.
One in five cellphone buyers said they use their cell phone as their primary camera, the company added."
With megapixel count, optical quality, and additional features (Flash, software settings) in today's cameraphones getting better and better on a daily basis, it's hard to imagine today's youth wanting to carry around two separate devices for phone calls and picture taking by the time they reach adulthood. Of course the professional photographer or serious hobbyist will want the advanced functionailty that only a stand-alone camera can offer. But if we've got 5MP, autofocus cameraphones today with VGA video capture and Xenon flashes, it only stands to reason that after three to five more years of technological advances we should see cell phones that offer imaging features and quality truly on par with consumer-grade digital cameras ... and without sacrificing other functionality, battery life, or size, to boot.
In the meantime, if you're in the market for a top-notch cameraphone right now, be sure to check out my forthcoming list of the Top 5 cameraphones currently available for use in the U.S.