Top Camera Announcement Fall of 2022

This Fall I was impressed with both Sony and Fujifilm’s announcements of the A7R-V and Fujifilm’s announcement of the X-H2 as well as the new X-T5. The Sony A7R-V could be considered on the cutting edge of all the new high-resolution 35mm cameras. The X-T5 and the X-H2 have now broken the 26megapixel ceiling for APSC mirrorless cameras, by developing compact cameras capable of 40 megapixels. This will likely mean there is a new sensor technology that will be introduced into the 35mm, and medium format cameras.

If you are not a Sony or Fujifilm fan keep in mind that almost all cameras that came out in 2022 from other manufacturers are excellent cameras, these are just my thoughts on cameras that seem to be inching ahead of the others technically, at least for the moment. So if you are more comfortable with the features or performance of a Panasonic, Nikon or Canon, there may be an upgrade coming soon.

This shows the cameras with the more expensive 50mm lenses or equivalent
This shows the camera with the more compact versions of the lens

The APSC versus Full Frame

There are many good reasons to own either an APSC or Full Frame camera the biggest difference of course is the size of the sensor as you can see from the diagram below. The salmon colour box represents the size of the Full Frame sensor in relation to the smaller yellow box representing the APSC sensor. The APSC sensor is a little less than half the size of a full-frame sensor.

People often jump to the conclusion that if Full Frame is bigger it must be better, and in some ways this is true. You do get higher resolution, often less noise and sometimes better dynamic range, but these factors vary depending on megapixels and the age of the camera. The key differences in my mind are as follows. First, you get a shallower depth of field with Full Frame cameras, something a lot of photographers favour. However, APSC’s broader depth of field can be an asset as well, and there are a number of photographers who prefer this to a more shallow depth of field. The Fujifilm X series is unique as it is designed only for an APSC sensor unlike Canon, Nikon and Sony APSC cameras so this makes their lenses more compact. This means you carry a much smaller and lighter kit. Smaller lenses also mean it is cheaper to create better lenses. Finally, when you compare the cost of a standard Fujifilm kit against a full frame kit with the same quality of camera and lenses, it is half the cost.

So when considering either sensor size you need to think about, your budget, how you want to capture images and ergonomics.

Review of the X-T5 from Camera Labs

Review of the X-H2 from DPReview

Kai W’s review of the A7RV

A Practical Hands-on Overview

It is my option that these three cameras represent the top high-resolution APSC and Full Frame cameras on the market this fall.

Specifications of the Three Cameras

Buying a Camera When to Buy and How to Research

Buying new equipment is always something that goes through your mind when new equipment comes out. It can be an important purchase to move your photography practice forward or something we call GAS (gear acquisition syndrome). So how do you know whether or not your urge is GAS or not? If it is not GAS how do you go about making the right choices?

In a previous post on this blog, I covered this topic; just click this sentence.

Every Camera May be Good Enough

With all these yearly announcements of new upgrades to your cameras, computers and smartphones it is easy to get caught up in frenzy and lose track of the primary goal, which is to create great images and then share them on social, media or through other public venues. What often gets in the way is how cut off the camera is from the rest of the electronic world. You have to download everything to a computer and then mediate it through your processing software before it can be shared. I think Hugh Brownstone said it very well when after talking about the advances both Sony and Fujifilm have made technically, he points out where they should be really concentrating.

“While all the camera companies have dithered over investing and developing user interface software competencies, Apple continues to wipe the floor with them. That whole ecosystem does and has set the agenda for the young generation. I just do not see this working out for traditional companies very much longer.”

I know Zeiss a few years developed a camera with an internal camera and Lightroom built in, with an instant connection to the internet, but it never really got off the ground until the camera had aged so much that it was left technically in the dust by other companies. Hugh does go on to say that perhaps stripping down the camera to its basics might also be a way to go, he goes as far as to say get rid of the video component as this will allow the camera to shrink to a much smaller size. A size with just the basics things you need to make nice images. In that regard, it was interesting to hear the musings of my friend, Rob Will, who has been riding the best camera technology for years and has been upgrading, as a result, every second iteration. Here is what he is thinking.

While going through the flurry of new camera announcements this week, it occurred to me how very few of the new features and improvements are of any real interest to me.  Video seems to be where the big uptick is and I shoot maybe 5 minutes of video per year (almost always on my iPhone), so little appeal there. I see features that I feel would be “nice to have”, but nothing really compelling. All of the cameras that we shoot today are 100 times more capable than cameras of 10 years ago, and we all were doing good work then.” 

So what’s the point? More resolution? 36 MPx is probably enough for almost anything we do, and many would say that even 24 MPx is enough. Articulating screens? Very nice but not really limiting anything. Better autofocus? I love the AF on my camera, but a little care and attention would work equally well as I don’t shoot a lot of sports or wildlife. Better battery life? Sure, but how often do we really shoot more than a few hundred shots with no opportunity to charge? IBIS? This is a good feature, but somehow I took good photos in low light for years without it. So…assuming your current camera is 24-36 MPx, has autofocus of some kind, and IBIS as a stretch goal, what is the compulsion to ever upgrade? 

In the old days, we would keep a camera for 10 years or more. My own cameras typically were stolen or broken before I replaced them. Now we feel compelled to upgrade every two years or so chasing unnecessary features. I also see a trend towards buying expensive “must have” lenses that sit on the shelf.  Feels to me that we are pawns in this upgrade game rather than knights. Maybe we should stop upgrading and just take more photos.” 

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