2022 in review: The 15 most important stories of the year
To wrap up the crazy year it’s been, we’ve gathered some of the most notable stories from the year, based on feedback from readers and our editors here at DPReview. Take a look to see some of the most important news stories of 2022.
Leica re-releases the Leica M6 film camera for $5,295 with updated viewfinder, ‘modern electronics’ and more
Film photography continues its revival, but for as many new film stocks and film photography accessories that were announce throughout the year, nothing gave credence to the film phtoography revival quite like Leica announcing it’s bringing back one of its most iconic film cameras, the Leica M6. And while Leica might get scoffed at for its limited-edition releases, there’s little doubt Leica knows its target market and what they’re willing to purchase. So if they’re putting out a new premium film camera, it’s all but clear they have little doubt the film photography revival is more than just a fad.
Further credence to it being more than a blip on the radar is the fact Ricoh has announced it’s launched an initiative to consider making a new Pentax 35mm film camera. At this time, the ‘Film Camera Project‘ is still in its early stages without any definitive answer as to whether or not a new Pentax film camera will come to fruition, but the fact Ricoh is dedicating resources to the project also speaks volume to the interest in film photography.
Three biggest camera launches of the year
After a year that saw the release of the high-end cameras such as the Canon R3, Nikon Z9 and Sony a1, 2022 proved to be the year for mid-market enthusiast cameras. Specifically, Canon’s EOS R7 showed us Canon’s first foray into making an APS-C RF-mount camera, while its well-rounded EOS R6 II refined a first-generation camera to the point of earning our 2022 award for ‘Best consumer camera,’ and the recommended position in some of our buying guides. Fujifilm also hit its stride with the X-T5, which eschews the more hybrid camera path it took with the X-T4, putting its new 40MP X-Trans BSI CMOS sensor inside a stills-oriented camera body.
Canon hasn’t come out and said it outright, but third-party lens manufacturer Viltrox this year all but confirmed what has been suspected since Canon launched the Canon EOS R four years ago: third-party lens manufacturers won’t be able to use Canon’s RF mount AF protocols unless they can reverse engineer them without using Canon’s intellectual property. This effectively turns the RF mount into a closed system if you want all the technological advantages it offers (aside from the larger mount and shorter flange distance) and is a stark comparison to Nikon, who appears to have some kind of partnership with Tamron, who it appears produces at least a few of Nikon’s more entry-level lens offerings, such as the Nikkor Z 28-75mm F2.8.
December 13, 2022 marked 50 years since humans walked on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 mission. While we’re years out from stepping foot on lunar soil once again, the Artemis-I mission was a preview of the manned missions to come. During its 2.2 million km (1.37 million mi) journey around the moon, the Orion spacecraft, launched aboard the Artemis-I rocket, captured incredible images of the moon as it used the longest engine burn of its mission to help slingshot itself around the Moon.
Video: Check out the 1969 Apollo 11 launch at a mesmerizing 500 frames per second, as captured on 16mm film
Speaking of the Apollo missions, this year also saw the release of incredible 16mm footage that shows the liftoff of the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket at a ridiculous 500 frames per second (fps). Each of the five Rocketdyne F-1 engines were capable of producing one million pounds of thrust by burning liquid oxygen and kerosene at the rate of 15 metric tons per second.
Apple’s M1 chipset had already been revealed in three different configurations (M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max), but Apple took its first-generation chipset to the next level with the release of the M1 Ultra inside the company’s pro-oriented Mac Studio desktop. As we stated in our review, the Mac Studio is the Apple desktop we’ve been waiting for and while the company’s Studio Display leaves some to be desired, it’s still an impressive pairing for creatives wanting serious power at a relatively reasonable price point.
This was one of the first AI stories we published in a year dominated by the public availability and mainstream adoption of various AI-powered image creation services, such as Midjourney, Dall-E, Stable Diffusion and others. With these new tools comes an array of questions surrounding copyrights, ethics and more, which should be extra interesting as the law surrounding these issues and tools could take some time to catch up. As it stands, 2023 is shaping up to be an interesting one for the world of photorealistic AI-generated art.
No matter your politics or if you’re even American, this situation was a notable departure from precedent and raised ethical questions about who can profit off public domain images. For those unfamiliar with the image rights surrounding images created by the White House staff photographers, these photos are immediately public domain as the photographer is paid with taxpayer money. Historically, White House photographers have put out books at the end of their tenure, with their reflections of the job and portfolio of images. Presidents in the past have written forewords to these books. President Trump, however, took a different approach by selling his own photography book instead.
Interview: Sports photographer Mark Pain on the new Nikon Z9
We here at DPReview know how to look at the technical specifications and features included in the latest cameras, but sometimes it helps to get the practical insight from professionals. Especially when it comes to testing one of the most advanced mirrorless cameras available. It’s for this reason that our interview with photojournalist Mark Pain stands out as a real-world look at Nikon’s high-end Z9 mirrorless camera to see how it performs for a professional who’s using it day-in, day-out to pay the bills and cover major sporting events around the globe.
Making sensor sizes less misleading
Did you know a ‘1-inch sensor’ isn’t actually one inch across diagonally? Despite what many marketing departments claim, compact sensor sizes almost never reflect the physical size of the sensor being used, due to the nomenclature being based on the diameter of the Vidicon Tube they could be substituted for. In an effort to make this distinction more clear, we held a public vote, then announced an initiative, alongside other leading publications, to change how we label compact sensor sizes going forward.
Of course Nikon is getting out of DSLRs, the only question is: how far behind is Canon?
While neither Canon nor Nikon have explicitly stated they’re no longer spending resources researching and developing new DSLR camera systems, the writing is on the wall…and has been for some time. Sure, current models will continue to be made, but it’s clear that for the major camera manufacturers (Pentax aside) that the days of DSLR are a thing of the past, as the latest mirrorless cameras offer performance well beyond what DSLRs could offer. This story from DPReview’s Richard Butler gets the the crux of it all.
A bit confused: what’s a HEIF and why do we need 10-bit stills and video?
This year saw a handful of mirrorless cameras either gain or launched with support for 10-bit capture for both stills and video. But what is 10-bit capture, what are the benefits and what file formats are being used to store that content? We broke it all down in an attempt to demystify the technology and better help you understand what benefits 10-bit capture does (and doesn’t) offer.
One thing: What is your digital shoebox? Do you have a legacy plan for your photos?
What happens to your photographs if something happens to you? Like life insurance and end-of-life planning, it isn’t necessarily a happy consideration to sort out, but being better prepared for the inevitable pays dividends not only for yourself, but also your friends and loved ones for generations to come. In this guide, Dale Baskin shares the steps he’s considered and taken to help archive both his and his ancestors’ work to ensure the photographs captured last for decades and generations to come.
Adobe demos true HDR support in Adobe Camera Raw, giving a glimpse of photography’s bright future
While the logistics of HDR delivery continue to be hamstrung due to hardware manufacturers and oftentimes confusing standards, it’s clear high dynamic range image editing and sharing are on the horizon. To wrap up the year, Adobe released an update to Adobe Camera Raw that shows off the potential of HDR image editing, revealing a whole new world of possibiltiies should the hardware and standards catch up in the year(s) to come.
Why I shoot video with mirrorless cameras (and not video cameras)
DPReview TV’s Jordan Drake has been producing video for two decades, using nearly any and every type of camera imagineable. So why then does he choose to use mirrorless cameras to shoot nearly all of his more recent work? In addition to the accompanying video explainer, Jordan also wrote an article detailing why he still reaches for his mirrorless camera for recording videos, despite their various shortcomings.