[Techtaffy  Newsdesk]

Consumers are complementing their digital photography needs with multi-use devices, such as smartphones and tablets, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). 

While more than half (55 percent) of consumers still consider a point-and-shoot camera as their primary photography device, the number who consider their smartphone to be their primary device for their photography needs has tripled in two years to 18 percent.

The rise of multi-use devices expands photography options and creates new opportunities within the digital imaging industry. The image quality of digital SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras is still very important to consumers. In fact, 93 percent of consumers ranked digital point-and-shoots highest in image quality. However, 74 percent of consumers favor smartphones when it comes to portability. With 61 percent of photos taken at the spur of the moment, the convenience of smartphones allows the average consumers to take 35 photos per month on their phones, versus 32 photos per month on their point-and-shoot cameras.

“Consumers don’t want to miss out on that great moment. Although they value the quality of digital SLRs and point-and-shoots, smartphones and tablets are great for that quick, can’t-miss shot,” said Chris Ely, manager, industry relations, CEA.

According to the study conducted by CEA, consumers with smartphones and tablets were more likely to use sharing-related applications, such as sending images from one phone to another (38 percent), emailing photos (58 percent), posting photos to a social networking site (48 percent), and texting photos (45 percent). In fact, 74 percent of consumers ranked smartphones highest on ease of sharing.

“Smartphones and tablets will expand the scope of the digital imaging industry,” added Mr. Ely. “The rise of new digital imaging applications and features for these devices allows consumers to interact and use images in new ways, creating new opportunities for the industry.”