According to Flickr the most popular camera in the world isn't even a camera!

most popular camera in the world
Infographic showing the most popular camera devices in different countries, as used by Flickr contributors (Image credit: Simple Ghar)

A new study by Flickr has revealed the most popular cameras used by photographers on the site and you'll probably be shocked by the top result. The once very popular photo-sharing platform has now been a little overshadowed by Instagram but there is still a community of photographers who regularly use it. More than 470 million images were analyzed to access which camera is the most popular and it turns out… it's not even a camera.

Taking the number one spot with over 13 million tags on Flickr is actually a camera phone and it’s not even one of the latest models. Not only is Apple the most popular brand showing how people’s approach to photography has changed but the iPhone 11 which is now four years old has been tagged over 13 million times. In the US, the most popular camera is another Apple product, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, so it’s no wonder we’ve been seeing a drop in actual camera sales. 

• These are the best mirrorless cameras and DSLRs from the world's most popular brands

In the last few years, the big names have made some pretty incredible camera released such as the Sony A7 IV, the Nikon Z9 and the Canon EOS R5, but sadly, the price point of these cameras make them out of reach for a lot of people. According to Simple Ghar who led the survey, the Canon 5D Mark IV released in 2016 is still the world’s most popular camera with over 11.7 million tags.

Infographic showing the most popular camera brands, as used by Flickr contributors (Image credit: Simple Ghar)

The results were broken day on a country-by-country basis showing an extremely varied preference when it comes to favorite cameras but Canon is still the overall reigning champion. For Japan, Sweden and Ireland, the Canon EOS R3 came out on top, although it costs close to $6K and is entirely aimed at professionals (but perhaps that says more about the type of people who use Flickr). Canon mirrorless systems were also the first choice system for Brazil and Turkey who preferred the Eos R while Ghana is still working with the original, Canon EOS R.

Unfortunately for Nikon, its flagship Z9 wasn’t the camera of choice in any country however, Nikon does still have a loyal fan club with cameras now over a decade old making an appearance. My first ever camera (and still one of the best cameras for beginners if you can get hold of one), the D3200 was the popular camera in Russia, the discontinued D5 was the winner for Nigeria while the king of low light, the Nikon D750 is still the most loved camera in Algeria. 

Despite being in the mirrorless market for the longest, very few countries' top choice was Sony system. That being said, the US is one of the largest countries in the world, and its most popular camera is the Sony A9 Mark II which means there are likely to be thousands of photographers using it. Even Olympus however, beat Sony when it comes down to country wins with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II coming out on top in Bolivia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Belarus and South Korea. 

There doesn't seem to be any correlation between geographical location, economy and cost of the camera. If that were true you'd expect some of the world's largest economies (US, China, Japan etc) to be using the latest and most expensive cameras but it's just not the case. The most popular camera in the UK is the Canon EOS 5D III which is now over a decade old and can be picked up secondhand for less than $500.

Of courts, this survey doesn’t necessarily mean that these cameras are the most popular, there’ll be a lot of photographers using different systems who don’t post to Flickr.  What was an oasis for photographers, died a bit of a low and painful death a few years ago. It might be on its way to being resurrected but Instagram has stolen its thunder and attracts a different demographic of photographers who probably are using more up-to-date, advanced systems. 

If you enjoyed this why not also check out RIP, cameras – 92.5% of photos are now taken with smartphones

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.