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Flickr photo uploads by camera model

Over the past several months, I’ve been sampling the EXIF data of Flickr photo uploads. The Flickr API provides access to the EXIF data of all public photos uploaded to Flickr. Throughout the day, the EXIF data of recent uploads was sampled at a rate of about 9,600 photos per day. That’s approximately 1-2% of Flickr’s total daily upload volume. (Continue reading to see the chart.)

The data is collected and compiled automatically by week and a ranking of the top camera makes and models is generated every Monday. You can view that listing over at flagrantdisregard.com.

The graph below represents the data for the top DSLRs from May 1 through August 14, 2006. The vertical axis is the number of photos found that were created by a particular camera. The horizontal axis is the week the data was sampled. By request, I also combined the Canon 350D and Rebel XT numbers. Canon records them as distinct cameras in their EXIF data and that is the way the weekly chart is generated.

I thought it was interesting that there were so many images being shot with the D50. I hadn’t thought it was that popular of a camera. I was also surprised to find that D70 usage is about double that of the D70s, the newer model. Conversely, on the Canon side, the XT+350D make a lot more photos than the original digital Rebel.

Flickr Photo Uploads by Camera Model
(Click to view)

John Watson

John is the original founder of Photodoto, but after running it for 4 years he had to focus on different things. If you're interested in what John has been up to recently, you can check is personal blog or browse his photo blog.

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  • Seriously cool!

  • Interesting stuff. Did you also combine the 350D Japanese name (kiss)?

  • I didn’t combine the Kiss N Digital. The numbers for that model are so low they wouldn’t have made any difference on the chart.

  • Bahi

    I’ve always been surprised to see little or nothing of Pentax DSLRs on your lists. Anything to do with differences in international branding or it a reflection of poor sales figures? (In referring to international branding, I’m thinking of the use of the Asahi brand and various permutations of the words Pentax, Asahi and optical that I’ve seen within EXIFs of various Pentax Optios.) The popularity of the Nikon D50, on the other, wasn’t such a surprise – over here in the UK, it’s hard to beat at its price, given the general opinion of reviewers.

  • On my lists, it’s only a reflection of low usage (although I suspect that usage follows sales pretty closely). There are (relatively) low numbers of photos being uploaded that were made by Pentax cameras. The *ist DS, for example, came in at position 921 on the list this week.

  • I suspect that I know the guy who’s more or less solely responsible for position the Nokia camera phone at #33: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland. 26,000 photos and counting.

  • If you combine the D70 and D70s, which are the same camera except for the LCD, it is the most popular by a large margin.

  • Andrew Grant

    Have you considered weighting the popularity of the camera with poularity of the photos taken? So that the cameras that take the most popular photos get the best ratings?

  • But cameras don’t make photos—photographers do. :-)

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  • What a great idea…kudos FD. Glad to see that the number one spot goes to the D50. I often think that people look down on it because it’s got a lower number than the D70s…but it’s almost a better camera!

    It’s cheaper, lighter, smaller and better looking. It has newer parts including a better motion tracking auto focus. However, it writes to SD card at roughly half the speed that the D70s does and lacks a few features and buttons…which can make it harder to change some options quickly without having to go into the menus.

    If you are thinking about getting one…i definately would. Either the D50 or the new D80.

  • Do these numbers reflect the popularity of the camera or how frequently owners of respective cameras upload to Flickr? Seem that if one person uploaded 2000 pics in a day and other (different) camera owners uploaded a handful then the numbers might be skewed. Not sure from the description of the methodology if this is accounted for…

  • The method used to gather the data is to sample the recent uploads stream of all users. Flickr gets between 500,000 and 1,000,000 photos uploaded every day. The weekly ranking is for an entire week’s worth of data. One person uploading 2,000 pictures in a day (or even every day for a week) would not affect the rankings at all.

  • Make no mistake this is an interesting number.

    My point was that without disclosing what your sampling methodology is, what your controls for randomness, etc it is difficult to understand whether your analysis supports your conclusion. Stating conclusively that something ‘would not affect rankings at all’ reveals a certain naivete about statistics and quantatative analysis.

    Probably not worth spliting hairs about. Thanks for the work to date.


  • Seconded on the request for weighting by popularity (presumably that would be by Flickr’s interestingness).

    While it is true that “cameras don’t make photos—photographers do”, this would give an indication of the cameras used by good photographers. That’s probably a better measure of a camera than the raw number of photos…

  • quadrapop

    the problem with interestingness is that you get lots of photos of cas and flowers;-) followed closely by landscapes, so you will get a skewing towards photographers who are good at cats, flowers and landscapes…

    great idea to sample the data this way, well done FD

  • It might be interesting to be able to see most popular cameras for specific tags, or even be able to search for a tag and see which cameras had posted the most images with that tag, and so on?

    Just a thought…

  • I disagree with your assertion that someone adding 2000 photos in a given day would not affect the rankings. Regardless, it would be interesting to sample a larger size and break down the results by distinct username and camera model. This would get to some of the earlier commenters questions about popularity of cameras (as in # of photographers) versus number of photos taken. Maybe D50 users just take (or upload) more photos per user.