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We are opti­mistic about the future of our beloved indus­try! Pho­to: www.pxhere.com

Have you been wait­ing for a year when a real­ly cheap full-frame mir­ror­less cam­era will final­ly appear along with a set of afford­able glass­es? Or maybe you are a fan of the “megapix­el war” who mon­i­tors the news every day in antic­i­pa­tion of a new 100-megapix­el mon­ster? Well, 2022 could be the per­fect year for these and many more very excit­ing events in the pho­tog­ra­phy world.

There are a lot of rumors on the net about new cam­eras that should be released in 2022, and some of them have already been offi­cial­ly con­firmed. These include, for exam­ple, Pana­son­ic GH6 and Canon EOS R5C. And we will talk about a lit­tle less obvi­ous things that do not lie on the sur­face itself, and also take a look at gen­er­al trends — where the indus­try is head­ing and what sur­pris­es can be expect­ed in the new year.

100MP full frame camera

Oh yes, the pur­suit of megapix­els is far from over, and the cher­ished 100 megapix­els is the new fron­tier that we can over­come in 2022. Ten years ago, we already saw an announce­ment from Canon, which talked about the devel­op­ment of a 120-megapix­el sen­sor of the same size as used in the com­pa­ny’s full-frame pro­fes­sion­al DSLRs.

It’s time to see the fin­ished cam­era — from the same Canon or, say, from Sony (which likes to sur­prise with unex­pect­ed cam­era announce­ments ahead of its time). 100MP seems like a log­i­cal step after the announce­ment a cou­ple of weeks ago of the 45MP Canon EOS R5 C and the upgrade of the 61MP Sony a7R IVA, as well as the hype around 100MP smart­phones (of course, we under­stand that these are not the same thing, but mar­ket­ing is mar­ket­ing.

If you think it’s too ear­ly to talk about a fin­ished 100-megapix­el cam­era, then we can def­i­nite­ly count on a ready-made 100-megapix­el matrix. Most like­ly, it will not be mul­ti-lay­ered (such matri­ces pro­vide a high­er read­out speed, and this, in turn, allows high-speed burst shoot­ing and video record­ing with a high frame rate), but the num­ber of megapix­els alone will be enough to explode the media space.

New cameras without a mechanical shutter

Since we are talk­ing about mul­ti­lay­er matri­ces, it is worth remem­ber­ing one more of their advan­tages, which claims to change the rules of the game in the mar­ket. Mul­ti-lay­er sen­sors with their high-speed read­out allow the use of an elec­tron­ic shut­ter with min­i­mal rolling shut­ter effect, which almost does not dis­tort the pic­ture. And this, in turn, allows you to aban­don the use of a mechan­i­cal shut­ter, which can­not com­pete with an elec­tron­ic shut­ter in speed (to obtain ultra-short shut­ter speeds). Cam­eras with­out a mechan­i­cal shut­ter are the future of pho­tog­ra­phy and videog­ra­phy.

In 2021, we have already seen such a cam­era: Nikon Z9. The release of Z9 was a big event — the cam­era has col­lect­ed a lot of flat­ter­ing crit­i­cism. You can read about how it com­petes with the flag­ships of oth­er brands here.

The hype around the mod­el was large­ly due to the lack of a mechan­i­cal shut­ter. So it’s like­ly that oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers will fol­low Nikon’s lead.

Nikon took the bold step of ditch­ing the mechan­i­cal shut­ter on the Z9, but it appears to have paid off. Pho­to: worldgames.gr

Now the mul­ti-lay­er sen­sors need­ed to aban­don the tra­di­tion­al shut­ter are reserved for flag­ship mod­els — a lot of resources are spent on the devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of such sen­sors. The tran­si­tion to mod­els with only an elec­tron­ic shut­ter will occur grad­u­al­ly. So we will def­i­nite­ly not see any rad­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion in the mar­ket in this respect in the new year.

Full frame for vloggers

There are a lot of rumors on the net that Sony is going to make a new afford­able full-frame mir­ror­less cam­era like the Nikon Z5. The appear­ance of such a mod­el looks very log­i­cal. But how do you like this turn: it will be a cam­era aimed pri­mar­i­ly at vlog­gers. It will have handy stream­ing tools, a tilt­ing screen, and oth­er good­ies of blog­ging cam­eras. In addi­tion, you will get depth of field (which allows you to blur the back­ground to high­light the sub­ject) and image qual­i­ty of a full-frame cam­era.

We’ve already seen the evo­lu­tion of Sony’s blog­ging cam­eras from the 1‑inch sen­sor in the ZV‑1 to the APS‑C in the ZV-E10, so the final step towards full frame looks quite log­i­cal. In addi­tion, in our rat­ing of cam­eras for blog­gers, there is clear­ly not enough of a tru­ly blog­ging full frame! And it also seems that Sony is slow­ly but sure­ly going to wind down, or at least seri­ous­ly reduce its APS‑C line: last year it already announced the with­draw­al of the a6100 from pro­duc­tion, sus­pend­ed orders for the ZV-E10 and a6600, and it seems that this is just the begin­ning of the tran­si­tion to a full-frame exclu­sive.

Panasonic S2H

Con­tin­u­ing the videog­ra­phy con­ver­sa­tion (but now in a slight­ly more “pro” vein), it would be a crime not to say that an update to the flag­ship Pana­son­ic DC-S1H full-frame hybrid cam­era is over­due, and 2022 is almost the per­fect time to update. In light of the fact that the flag­ship Micro 4:3 cam­era, the GH6, is like­ly to be released in the near future, the release of the updat­ed S1H at the end of the year would be very log­i­cal.

The Pana­son­ic S1H is a real best­seller among all full-frame L‑mount cam­eras (com­bin­ing Leica, Pana­son­ic and Sig­ma). And you know what this best­seller is miss­ing today? That’s right, a mul­ti­lay­er matrix. After all, all the sig­nif­i­cant short­com­ings of the mod­el (not count­ing, of course, weak aut­o­fo­cus, but if you are a hard­core video­g­ra­ph­er, this does not real­ly con­cern you): restric­tions on shoot­ing at high frame rates, pro­nounced rolling shut­ter, 4K / 60p with crop — all these things could be would fix the matrix with fast read­ing.

Available Lenses

And now a very pleas­ant fore­cast! Canon and Nikon sim­ply have to release a whole line of afford­able full-frame lens­es (RF and Z mounts, respec­tive­ly).

Both man­u­fac­tur­ers already have a whole ecosys­tem of pro lens­es that pair per­fect­ly with the new Z9 and R3 flag­ship cam­eras — so here it is. Now com­pa­nies need some­thing to lure not only pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers, but also ordi­nary ama­teurs. Fran­tic infla­tion is also push­ing for this, which makes most high-end tech­nol­o­gy inac­ces­si­ble to enthu­si­asts / advanced ama­teurs.

More­over, in 2021, com­pa­nies have already launched a cou­ple of “touch­stones” — Canon RF 16mm f / 2.8 and Nikon Z 40mm f / 2 at very inter­est­ing price tags ($ 299 for each lens). Small­er aper­ture, lighter body, low­er price tag — an excel­lent com­pro­mise for­mu­la for many of us.

The bud­get width for Canon full-frame mir­ror­less cam­eras came out very com­pact. Pho­to: canon.ru

More­over, in light of the pos­si­ble reduc­tion in the APS‑C lines of both Canon itself (crop mir­ror­less cam­eras with an M mount) and Sony (as we talked about above), inex­pen­sive full-frame mir­ror­less cam­eras with a good selec­tion of inex­pen­sive lens­es will be need­ed by every­one.

What new items is Fujifilm preparing

Yes, the mastodons will like­ly cut their line of APS‑C mir­ror­less cam­eras, but there’s always Fuji­film! The X‑H2 is said to be on the way and should arrive in May this year. Accord­ing to Fujiru­mors, the nov­el­ty will have a mul­ti­lay­er matrix.

If the rumors are true, it will cer­tain­ly be a bomb: Fuji­film X‑H2 is expect­ed to cost in the region of $2,500 — half the price of all cur­rent “mul­ti-lay­ered” offer­ings from com­peti­tors.

On the oth­er hand, there is a real pos­si­bil­i­ty of a Micro 4:3 cam­era with a mul­ti-lay­ered matrix (more on that below), so the X‑H2 could have an inter­est­ing rival. In any case, Fuji should sup­port crop cam­eras in a world that full-frame mon­sters enslave.

Drones

2021 has been a great year for drones aimed at video­g­ra­phers of all lev­els, from the pro Mav­ic 3 to the bud­get DJI Mini SE. In the new year, we are sure to expect a full-fledged 8K drone from DJI (the third Mav­ic was lim­it­ed to 5.1K) and an autonomous bud­get AI drone (like Sky­dio), sharp­ened for sim­ple video blog­ging.

Will there be new DSLRs in 2022

And many say that 2022 will be the end of SLRs. In many ways, of course, such sen­ti­ments appeared after Canon’s announce­ment that the EOS-1D X Mark III was their last flag­ship pro DSLR. But let’s not breed myths — the Japan­ese say that this is the last mir­ror flag­ship, and not that they will stop mak­ing DSLRs alto­geth­er. And, yes, most like­ly we are still wait­ing for new SLR cam­eras.

Of course, these will not be fan­cy mod­els with all sorts of inno­va­tions, but some­thing sim­ple, basic and cheap, such as the updat­ed Canon EOS 850D and Nikon D3500. There are still a lot of old parts in ware­hous­es, such mod­els are easy to make, and the pro­duc­tion itself is well estab­lished. Throw in sup­ply chain issues and chip short­ages.

Inex­pen­sive DSLRs are still sell­ing well, despite the slow approach of the “smart­phone apoc­a­lypse”. So add a cou­ple of small updates, change the num­ber in the name (which, in fact, the main man­u­fac­tur­ers have been doing in the last few years), and the new bud­get DSLR is ready.

Balancing on the brink: who will leave the photo and video market, and who will remain

And now let’s see who is at risk of leav­ing us in the near future, and who, despite the dif­fi­cul­ties, will def­i­nite­ly stay on the mar­ket.

  • Full-frame Sig­ma (fp L, foveon) — frankly, Sig­ma cam­eras (both on their own matri­ces and on third-par­ty ones) have been in a state of stag­na­tion late­ly, and giv­en the grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion, we are unlike­ly to see new prod­ucts in 2022, and pos­si­bly and in gen­er­al.
  • Canon EOS M — we have already talked about this: most like­ly, Canon will con­cen­trate on devel­op­ing a real­ly cheap full-frame mod­el, while the crop sys­tem will go by the way­side, or even the third plan.
  • Nikon Z APS‑C — but these guys are like­ly to stay. There’s been talk of a new super­zoom, and the Nikon Z fc has been a pret­ty inter­est­ing entry into retro com­pact mir­ror­less ter­ri­to­ry, so we’re sure to see some­thing new.
  • Go Pro — the leg­endary “box­es” will def­i­nite­ly remain for a few more years, but the action cam­era mar­ket itself is grad­u­al­ly col­laps­ing — new cam­eras appear less and less, more and more man­u­fac­tur­ers cease to exist. So Go Pro as we know it is unlike­ly to be with us for long. The com­pa­ny needs rad­i­cal inno­va­tion and a rethink of the con­cept of an action cam­era.
  • Pen­tax are the only guys that are still try­ing to make cool inno­v­a­tive DSLRs, and even with a great fan base. We believe in them.
  • Leica is anoth­er com­pa­ny that has been able to cre­ate a cult fol­low­ing around itself. Well, with such a skill of sell­ing not the most inno­v­a­tive cam­eras for such mon­ey, it seems that Lei­ka is immor­tal.
  • Micro 4:3 — Giv­en the immi­nent emer­gence of the new Micro 4:3 mul­ti-lay­er sen­sor (devel­oped by Sony) and the pro­hib­i­tive cost of cur­rent mul­ti-lay­er sen­sors cam­eras and optics, the emer­gence of more afford­able Micro 4: 3 for­mat mod­els (for which there are a lot of qual­i­ty cheap lens­es) can breathe new life into the sys­tem. Plus, attempts to cross com­pu­ta­tion­al pho­tog­ra­phy tech­nolo­gies with this for­mat (Alice Cam­era, which is fund­ed through crowd­fund­ing) fur­ther fuel inter­est in Micro 4: 3.

Results

Or maybe in 2022 we will final­ly see a full-fledged cam­era from Has­sel­blad — why is DJI not jok­ing? Pho­to: ymcinema.com

2022 will def­i­nite­ly not be bor­ing. The arms race of the main man­u­fac­tur­ers does not even think of slow­ing down, smart­phones are pow­er­ful­ly crush­ing the mass mar­ket, and Pen­tax is prob­a­bly prepar­ing a sur­prise for us — we are wait­ing for unex­pect­ed but pleas­ant turns in the new year.

* when prepar­ing the arti­cle, mate­ri­als from the Youtube chan­nel DPRe­view TV were used.

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