2022 wish list: cameras & lenses the DCW team wants to see in the year ahead

DCW 2022 wish list
(Image credit: Digital Camera World/Leica)

Digital Camera World is run by a small but dedicated team of writers, photographers, testers and newshounds, but it’s part of a larger group of print and digital publications, including Digital Camera, PhotoPlus (Canon), N-Photo (Nikon), Digital Photographer and Photography Week.

So we went round all the teams to ask them what camera kit they expected to see in 2022… and what they most wanted!

More secure cameras and a new E-M1 IV?

What's in a name? Olympus is out, 'OM Digital Solutions' is in, and in 2022 James looks forward to a hinted-at 'wow' camera. (Image credit: OM Digital Solutions)

James Artaius, DCW Editor

Top of my wish list is cameras with more security features. My phone has numerous in-built security cameras. The fingerprint scanner / face recognition prevents anyone from opening or using my phone, while the Find My iPhone app enables me to track the device if it gets stolen. Why doesn’t my camera have the same features? 

If I’m investing thousands of pounds in a camera body, I want it to be as secure as possible. It’s bad enough just worrying about being seen carrying camera kit around, with a big bullseye on your back for potential thieves, but knowing that there’s no way to protect your gear if it does get stolen… it’s just something that needs to be remedied, and fast.

I’m also dreaming a new OM System E-M1 IV camera. While the Olympus PEN E-P7 was the first camera officially released under the OM Digital Solutions umbrella, it was a holdover from the Olympus era. What I’m most excited to see is what the first OM System camera – rumored to be a “wow camera” – will look and feel like.

It will certainly be jarring not seeing the iconic Olympus logo on the body, but I’m fascinated by what the new custodians will bring to the table. A new sensor would be a good starting point, as the now-standard 2016-issue 20MP sensor is very long in the tooth. The company has also been making a lot of noise about computational photography, though, so I’m excited to see more software-driven innovations such as Live ND filters and Live Composite that could very well be game changers.

People still want DSLRs, and bring on the super telephoto primes

It sounded like the stupidest idea ever, but Canon's affordable f/11 RF supertelephotos proved perfectly adapted to modern mirrorless camera tech – so now we need more! (Image credit: James Artaius)

Chris George, Content Director

Although the world creeps ever more towards mirrorless, it is interesting to note that two of the most popular cameras to purchase at Christmas by our readers are both DSLRs. It is easy to see why the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 and the Nikon D3500 remain ever popular. They are probably the two cameras I’ll still recommend when people ask me for recommendations of what camera to buy someone who is just about to start a course on photography, or wants a low-cost camera to get into the hobby. They are affordable, capable, and both great entries into a pre-existing ecosystem of lenses and other accessories. I’d love it to see Canon and Nikon introduce new models for the next wave of photography students.

Switching to lenses, Canon’s RF 800mm f/11 IS STM and RF 600mm f/11 IS STM have been two of the most innovative lens launches in the last year or so. They offer affordable autofocus supertelephoto options for the first time in a long way – and are great for bird watchers, safari travelers, or sports fans. I’d love more manufacturers to make these lenses – designed to take advantage of the electronic viewfinders of mirrorless cameras, and ever-improving high ISO performance. Nikon and Sony versions of these lenses would be great – and what about Canon making an even more affordable 400mm f/8?

Is this the end for beginner cameras? MFT deserves recognition

Rod Lawton, Group Reviews Editor

Will we get any new beginner cameras in 2022? I really hope so. Right now, there are some good, cheap choices out there on the market, but they are mostly cameras several years old that have only become cheap through heavy discounting. It’s true that the longer a camera remains on sale, the cheaper it becomes to make, but this can’t go on for ever and we’ve already seen some cameras drop off the perch, like the Sony A7 and now the A7 II.

Panasonic and Olympus MFT cameras don't get the respect they deserve, and soon may be the only thing keeping the beginner camera market going. (Image credit: Panasonic)

So my hope is that we will see at least a couple of useful, modern, low-cost beginner cameras – though my worry is that camera makers have set their sights on higher tier models with higher price points. 

Also, like James, I’m keen to see a new OM Systems ‘wow’ camera. The market has become so obsessed with full frame sensors and megapixels that the Micro Four Thirds format is not being taken seriously – but this is still the only format to offer genuinely compact and portable bodies AND lenses, and as our lab tests repeatedly show, these sensors give little away to APS-C in terms of performance. I also want to see what the delayed Panasonic Lumix GH6 can do!

An end to chip supply issues and better right to repair

We need an end to non-repairable, non-upgradable tech – and it's not just Apple. (Image credit: James Artaius)

Ben Andrews, Lab Manager

I want more chips – and not the sort you eat. Ramping up silicon chip production to pre-pandemic levels would allow camera manufacturers to stock more of existing models and enable greater freedom to produce new models at a faster rate, resulting in lower prices and greater innovation.

I also want to see better ‘right to repair’ legislation. Though there have been some legislative breakthroughs in the area of right to repair, phone and laptop manufacturers still have a long way to go before products are truly user-serviceable. Apple still serial-locks individual iPhone components to each phone, so even a genuine iPhone 12 or 13 camera module couldn’t be swapped between phones without issues arising. Laptops are increasingly using components that are soldered to the motherboard, preventing both repair and also any RAM/SSD upgrading.

Bring back 220 film, and please can I have a Leica M?

You can't look at a Leica M and not want one. Well, we can't. (Image credit: Leica)

Sebastian Oakley, DCW E-commerce Editor

Things that I would love to see in 2022 or get for Christmas would be the return of 220 film. As we know film photography is seeing a massive increase in popularity and I too enjoy shooting 35mm and medium format 120 film. However, I would love to see the return to 220 because those shooting a 6x9 medium format camera will only get 8 shots on a roll of 120 film, but with 220 that gets boosted up to 16, which would be very handy!

I also want a Leica, more specifically the M10-R (or will we see the rumored Leica M11 early in 2022?). I have been very fortunate to handle some amazing cameras over the years, but the M10-R really changed my mind on how I want to shoot going forward. It might not have happened on Christmas day, but I can see a Leica in my life in 2022.

A new Sony A7 V? It’s about time…

We reckon a new Sony A7R V must be about due by the middle of next year – but what could Sony possibly do that wouldn't upstage the mighty (expensive) A1? (Image credit: Sony)

Beth Nicholls, DCW Staff Writer

I’m expected a new Sony A7R V. By the middle of 2022, the Sony A7R IV will be four years old, and while that’s not a long time for a camera to stay on sale, it’s definitely nearing its update window. The significant thing is that the A7R IV replaced the A7R III after two years, so on that same logic, the summer of 2022 could bring a new model… maybe?

The issue for Sony is how it can improve on the towering specs of the A7R IV and, always assuming that’s possible, how it can do it without embarrassing the flagship Sony A1. The A7R IV already has it beaten for resolution (61MP vs 50MP). 

Make camera interfaces as simple as iOS!

(Image credit: Sony/Digital Camera World)

Niall Hampton, Editor Digital Camera Magazine

I know it has been said before, but camera menu interfaces that are as approachable and intuitive as iOS (note that I’m not mentioning Android by name) would be very welcome. People fortunate enough to be multi-brand camera users like us regularly rue the inconsistency between menu systems – chiefly the fact that manufacturer quirks lead to small but vital functions being buried deep in menus on some cameras – but not anywhere near a similar place on others. This wouldn’t be an issue if I had the memory of a much-younger person, but… 

Also, I would love it if you could disable menu items or other features that you never use in image editing software, having the ability to permanently grey them out so you don’t have to keep dragging through long menus. And being able to reduce the myriad drop-down options when exporting images – do you know anyone who has ever used more than five of the 22 options available in Photoshop? 

In terms of the industry, like everyone else I’m longing for the end of chip shortages and supply chain issues - aside from the exciting new cameras and lenses I’d love to see in the magazine, even many run-of-the-mill camera accessories I’ve been after in 2021 have been hard to find in stock anywhere. 

Keep video and stills settings separate and independent

Alistair Campbell, Technique Editor, Digital Camera Magazine

As someone who shoots mainly on cameras about 10 years old I don’t go overly crazy for tech. But I think cameras designed to easily switch from photo to video would be the biggest step forward. So often, every time I need to change from one to the other I have to re-do all the settings like shutter speed, ISO etc. Even now, there are only a few cameras that do this properly.

DSLRs aren’t done yet, and we need a new entry level R-series

Will Canon DSLRs get another upgrade cycle in 2022... please? (Image credit: Canon)

Peter Travers, Editor, PhotoPlus Magazine

Many photographers, pro and amateurs alike, are still using Canon EOS DSLRs, and many of them aren’t interested (just yet) in making the big and costly switch to the EOS R mirrorless. Knowing this, I predict Canon will release updates of all its main EOS DSLR lines, so maybe we’ll see a new EOS 90D (99D?), new EOS 7D Mark III, new EOS 5D Mark V etc!

My next prediction is that Canon will release much-improved entry-level EOS R System cameras to replace the now-old mirrorless tech in the EOS R and EOS RP, possibly named the EOS R100 and R1000. These will also be competitively priced.

Predictions aside, I hope Canon releases some new EF and EF-S lenses with the latest RF lens technology, and that Canon (and other brands suffering) are able to provide proper supplies of EOS cameras and RF lenses still not in stock in many places – e.g. the EOS R3 and RF 100-500mm lens.

4K 60p should be standard, and more RF lenses needed!

Dan Mold, Technique Editor, PhotoPlus Magazine

My prediction for camera technology going into 2022, apart from the industry’s clear and obvious shift towards mirrorless systems, is that we will see video capabilities continue to be pushed. My hope is that advancements in imaging chips and processors will make 4K at 60p become the standard, replacing 1080p Full HD, as many consumers now have a TV set capable of displaying 4K footage in all of its glory.

More Canon RF lenses, please, says Dan... though maybe more mainstream the freaky RF Dual Fisheye. (Image credit: Canon)

I think we’ll also start to see more of the high-end cameras include 6K and 8K video capabilities – being able to extract still images from videos at 19MP or 33MP would certainly be handy for many photographic situations. However, you’re going to need a super fast (and expensive) memory card to be able to make use of it and it’ll eat up memory like no tomorrow, not to mention you’re going to need a pretty decent computer to stand any chance of being able to edit the footage… so we’re still at an awkward junction where we’re waiting for the technology to catch up and I’m not sure that given the ongoing global shortage of computer chips that we’re going to see this happen in 2022, but here’s hoping!

As a Canon shooter and technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon magazine, my final prediction is that we’ll see Canon’s mirrorless full-frame RF lens mount continue to grow as the company catches up with their expansive EF range for DSLRs. I’m hoping we’ll see more optics from third-party manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron to help fill in the gaps remaining in the RF lens roadmap.

Nikon’s last DSLR in 2022, and a retro Nikon Z5 fc?

Dear Nikon, can we have just one more entry-level Nikon DSLR... please? (Image credit: Future)

Adam Waring, Editor, N-Photo Magazine

My prediction for 2022 is that Nikon will release its last ever DSLR. While most of its R&D energies are going into mirrorless, this is still expensive tech, and too costly at present for a true entry-level interchangeable lens camera. The current low-cost entry to the Nikon ecosystem, the D3500, is still a hugely popular DSLR but it’s three years old now, and so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a modest – but final – upgrade in 2022. 

My hope for 2022 is that we will get a retro-styled full-frame Nikon. The Nikon Z fc was an instant hit when it launched in 2021, with its retro FM2-inspired good looks and chunky manual controls. The only caveat is that it uses a crop sensor – and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we’d love to see a full-frame version to make the most of what all those gorgeous Z-mount optics can really deliver. Perhaps in the guise of a restyled Z5, in the same way that the Z fc is essentially a Z 50 shoehorned into a FM-like chassis… 

The end of the mechanical shutter and tilting screens

The Z9 won't be the last camera to ditch a mechanical shutter. (Image credit: Nikon)

Mike Harris, Technique Editor N-Photo Magazine

I don’t think the Nikon Z9 will be the only pro-grade camera without a mechanical shutter for very long. Whether we’ll see another big player announce a top-tier body without a mechanical shutter in 2022 remains to be seen, but it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.

Nikon’s Z fc received plaudits for being the first Z camera with a vari-angle screen. Add to that the Z9’s quirky four-axis tilting variant and it’s possible we’re about to experience a rear LCD renaissance. Has the humble tilting screen had its day? 

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com