IDC Survey Finds Satisfaction, Lack of Knowledge Among Digital Camera Users

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., January 31, 2000 — Although digital cameras are becoming more prevalent among U.S. consumers, many don't understand just what they're buying. According to IDC's 1999 Consumer Digital Camera User Survey, 47% of respondents (all digital camera owners) didn't know the maximum resolution of their digital camera. Despite vendors' continued marketing push touting increased resolutions, this message is being lost on consumers.

"While consumers may lack knowledge of the resolution of their cameras, they are clear about the importance of certain digital camera features," said Kevin Kane, an analyst with IDC's Digital Cameras and Scanners research program. Rechargeable batteries topped consumers' list of desired features, as 81% of respondents said they were important or very important. Optical zoom and LCD display proved equally important among respondents, with 79% choosing each as important features.

Not surprisingly, over 93% of respondents also own a film camera. However, 53% of those who owned both actually used the digital camera more often. Additionally, of those who paid $500 or more for their digital camera, 61% used it more often than the film camera.

Key findings:

— Retail stores were the preferred means of purchase among 36% of respondents.

— Over 75% of the respondents said they would likely buy another digital camera.

— Almost 94% of the respondents who print images from their digital camera said they used a personal printer.

— The median number of images deleted per image taken by the respondents was two (they delete 50% of the images taken).

— Almost 63% of the respondents said they were satisfied with the imaging application that came with their camera.

— Upgradable firmware was rated the most important functionality of a digital camera by the respondents.

To order IDC's 1999 Digital Camera User Survey: U.S. Consumer Digital Camera Owners (IDC #21197), please contact Patrick Steeves at 508-988-6787 or

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 42 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

# # #

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.