Although there have been lots of challenges during 2021, it’s turned out to be a very exciting year for the camera market as three top-flight mirrorless cameras were announced, consolidating the transition to mirrorless technology.
The Sony A1 was the first high-end mirrorless camera to break cover and it really impressed with its combination of a 50.1Mp full-frame stacked Exmor RS image sensor and dual Exmor XR processing engines delivering 30fps continuous shooting and 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 video.
Next, we saw the Canon EOS R3, which has a 24.1Mp full-frame sensor along with Canon’s Digic X processor bringing the ability to shoot stills at up to 30fps for 540 Jpegs or 150 raw images, or 6K raw video. What’s really intriguing though is that it has Eye Control AF that lets you select the focus point by looking at the subject in the viewfinder.
This was followed by the Nikon Z9, which has a new 45.7Mp stacked CMOS sensor and can shoot full-resolution raw files at up to 20fps or Jpegs at up to 30fps. Interestingly, Nikon opted to omit the usual mechanical shutter and rely solely on an electronic shutter for the Z9. According to Nikon, the Z9 has the fastest high-res sensor currently available and as a result, rolling shutter is kept under tight control.
While the prices of these cameras put them beyond the reach of most photographers, their technologies are exciting because we can expect them to trickle down through the ranges.
Autofocus systems have been a key area of development recently and we’re seeing greater use made of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning to help improve camera’s subject detection. Consequently, the range of detectable subjects is being extended beyond human faces and eyes to a greater range of animals and vehicles.
It’s an exciting time for photography, so let’s take a look at the new cameras that may be announced over the coming months. I’ll draw on our experience of camera development over the years to make a few predictions and examine some of the biggest camera rumors.
This post isn’t just a wishlist of features. I’ve taken camera trends, technological developments and big camera rumors into account to come up with my best guess of what we might see announced in 2022.
Camera Rumours Summary
I’ll look at the rumours surrounding all the camera manufacturers, but here’s a quick summary of the biggest camera rumors and what we’re expecting/hoping to see in the near future as well as the questions we want answered:
While Canon’s full-frame mirrorless camera range is now firmly established, the future of its APS-C format cameras is less certain. Canon’s representatives say the EOS M system will continue, but the only new model we saw in 2021 was the Canon EOS M50 II, which makes a very modest upgrade on the M50. And the EF-M lens line-up is still very limited, so Canon doesn’t seem especially committed to the system.
Also, having four lens mounts is confusing, so we expect to see an RF-mount APS-C format camera in 2022.
- Find the latest deals on Canon cameras at Amazon UK and Amazon US
- Find the latest deals on Canon lenses at Amazon UK and Amazon US
Right at the beginning of 2021, Fujifilm introduced the 100Mp Fujifilm GFX 100S, which is a superb medium format camera that left quite a few GFX 100 owners regretting their purchase at around twice the price.
More recently the 50Mp Fujifilm GFX 50S II was introduced, bringing medium format within closer reach of many photographers.
But what’s next for Fujifilm? When can we expect to see the X-T40? What does the company have in mind for its X100-series of APS-C format compact cameras? My guess is that it will be smaller than the X100V, but will it still have a hybrid viewfinder? And will there be a Fujifilm GFX 100R or a Fujifilm GFX 50R Mark II?
- Find the latest deals on Fujifilm cameras at Amazon UK and Amazon US
- Find the latest deals on Fujifilm lenses at Amazon UK and Amazon US
GoPro has been on good form recently and it still leads the way for action cams. As you can see in our GoPro Hero10 Black review, it’s an excellent camera for recording your adventures and its onboard stabilisation system is amazing. If the company follows its usual pattern we can expect to see a GoPro Hero11 Black in the autumn of 2022.
Nikon now has a range of mirrorless cameras including the full-frame Nikon Z6 II, Nikon Z7 II, Nikon Z5 and forthcoming Nikon Z9, as well as the APS-C format Nikon Z50 and Nikon Zfc. They’re all great cameras, but what’s next for the company? Will we see an entry-level APS-C format model that’s designed to replace the now discontinued Nikon D3500 to sit alongside the Z50 and the recently announced retro-styled Nikon Z fc?
- Find the latest deals on Nikon cameras at Amazon UK and Amazon US
- Find the latest deals on Nikon lenses at Amazon UK and Amazon US
Olympus/OM System rumors and OMD rumors
Olympus has had an eventful time recently with the camera business being sold to a new owner and rebranded as OM Digital Solutions. So far, the only camera we’ve seen come along since the new brand was revealed is the Olympus Pen E-P7, which would’ve been developed under the old regime. Word is, we can expect something high-end in the near future.
- Find the latest deals on Olympus/OM System cameras at Amazon UK and Amazon US
- Find the latest deals on Olympus/OM System lenses at Amazon UK and Amazon US
Panasonic has already said that the incredibly popular Panasonic GH5 will be replaced by two cameras, the Panasonic GH5 II and yet-to-be-revealed Panasonic GH6. It was expected that the GH6 would arrive in 2021 but the company has gone very quiet on the subject recently, so it looks like it will be 2022.
- Find the latest deals on Panasonic cameras at Amazon UK and Amazon US
- Find the latest deals on Panasonic lenses at Amazon UK and Amazon US
Ricoh Pentax rumors
Pentax announced a while ago that it will be focusing on producing DSLR cameras, which seems like a smart move. While DSLR sales are declining, Pentax would be too far behind in mirrorless camera development to compete in the current market, but it could be the industry’s DSLR specialist.
- Find the latest deals on Ricoh Pentax cameras at Amazon UK and Amazon US
- Find the latest deals on Ricoh Pentax lenses at Amazon UK and Amazon US
With the Sony A7S III, Sony A1 and Sony A7 IV, we’ve seen Sony finally listen to all the requests for more touch-control and a better menu system, hopefully, this will roll down the line and into the APS-C format range and perhaps to the Sony A7R V.
- Find the latest deals on Sony cameras at Amazon UK and Amazon US
- Find the latest deals on Sony lenses at Amazon UK and Amazon US
Despite the new drone regulations in the UK and Europe, we’re still waiting to see the first certified drone. Our money is on DJI winning that race, but with the potential for lots of early sales, the competition must be fierce.
Canon camera rumors in 2022
Canon is now serious about mirrorless cameras but what about APS-C format? We’d like to see a smaller camera with the RF mount
Canon APS-C format camera with EOS R Mount
Despite their high image quality, Canon’s EOS M mirrorless system cameras models haven’t really caught the imagination of enthusiast photographers. Sony, Fuji and Olympus fare better with that audience. However, the EOS M6 Mark II and EOS M50 Mark II show that the company’s engineers are on the right track. The EOS M6 Mark II’s autofocus system really impressed me during my testing for our review.
However, now that Canon has introduced its full-frame EOS R range, complete with the new RF lens mount, we’re wondering what will happen to the APS-C line. Will Canon continue with the EOS M series and its EF-M lens mount or will it switch to the EOS R mount?
Canon representatives say it will, but with EF, EF-S, EF-M and RF-mount lenses it’s all got a bit complicated for prospective Canon users. The muddy water needs to be cleared.
The sensor is a very expensive component in a digital camera, so one way to make them more affordable is to reduce the size of the sensor. Producing an EOS R camera with an APS-C sized sensor could help drive more sales. However, full-frame lenses produce a much bigger image circle than is needed by an APS-C sensor. So perhaps the mount will be the same but the lenses will be smaller with a smaller image circle? That would mean that APS-C format lenses could be mounted on the EOS R full-frame camera.
That’s a format that works for Nikon and Sony.
Canon EOS R7 or Canon EOS 7D Mark III
With smartphones decimating the bottom end of the camera market, high-end cameras have become increasingly important. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is an APS-C format camera that has found favour amongst enthusiast photographers, but it was launched in September 2014 and it’s ripe for a mirrorless replacement.
The most likely name for a mirrorless camera that replaces the Canon 7D II is the Canon EOS R7.
Today, the 7D II’s 20.2Mp sensor seems a bit low-res for a high-end Canon camera (although that didn’t stop Canon from introducing the EOS R6). I think we can expect a jump to at least 24Mp but 32.5Mp might be on the cards to match the Canon EOS 90D and EOS M6 Mark II. We might also see its dual Digic 6 processors upgraded to Digic 8 or even a Digic X processor for even faster continuous shooting rates (the 7D Mark II hits 10fps) and maybe proper 4K video capability.
I’d also like to see a vari-angle touchscreen to make the R7 (or 7D Mark III) that little bit more versatile for stills and video.
Canon EOS 5D Mark V
The Canon 5D Mark IV is a great camera, but it’s getting on and we might reasonably expect a replacement to be in the offing. However, with Canon now offering the EOS R5, R6 and R3 is there really room in the marketplace or demand for a semi-professional level DSLR from Canon? I’m going to put my neck out and say that I think it’s unlikely that Canon will have been directing resources into making the 5D Mark V.
When you think about the potential upgrades that you might want, they are all addressed by the R5 and R3.
The 5D series has been great, and it started the trend for video shooting with smaller interchangeable lens cameras, but its time may be up.
Canon EOS R1
While the Canon EOS R3 is the company’s flagship mirrorless camera, Canon has been very clear that it sits below the EOS-1D X Mark III, not alongside or above it. So it seems there is room above the R3 for an even more advanced camera.
There have been rumors circulating that the Canon EOS R1 will feature mind-blowing specifications including a high-resolution full-frame sensor and global shutter. I’ve seen figures as high as 85Mp claimed for the R1’s sensor. That’s quite a leap, being almost twice the resolution of the R5.
If it turns out to be true, it will blow the Sony A1’s 50Mp resolution out of the water in one respect, but it also means that the R1 will have more of a challenge on its hands if noise is going to be kept under control at high ISO settings.
A global shutter would be fantastic. It means that rather than reading data from the sensor line-by-line, it’s all read simultaneously and there’s no rolling shutter effect with moving subjects. Obviously, having a global shutter with a high-resolution sensor is even more challenging than it is for a sensor with a more modest pixel count. All that data flying around also means that the issue of heat generation rears its head. Canon has been stung by this problem with the R5 and R6 and it will be very keen to avoid it with its top-flight camera.
It’s also thought that Canon will introduce a new autofocus system for the R1. Currently, its most advanced mirrorless cameras use Dual Pixel CMOS AF II phase detection focusing, and it works brilliantly, but there are reports of a Quad Pixel AF system for the R1. That should mean that the camera is better able to detect a subject and respond to changes in subject distance.
Naturally, everyone is expecting the Canon R1 to be able to shoot at very fast frame rates. The Canon R5 can shoot at up to 20fps with the electronic shutter, so it’s likely that the R1 will at least match that – but it will be hard to achieve it with a massively high resolution. The 50Mp Sony A1 can shoot at up to 30fps and Canon will have that in its sights.
Canon EOS R1 Price and Availability
A camera like the Canon EOS R1 takes a lot of planning and development. The EOS-1D X Mark III was timed to be available for the 2020 summer Olympic Games. Perhaps the R1 will be scheduled to coincide with the football World Cup in 2022?
As for the Canon EOS R1’s price? Well, the EOS-1D X Mark III retails for £6,499/$6,499 and the Canon R1 won’t be cheaper!
Fujifilm camera rumours in 2022
Fujifilm’s X-series has been very successful, and the GFX is a popular medium format introduction, what could 2022 hold for the company?
To be honest, I haven’t a clue what letter Fujifilm will use to denote the successor to its X100V, but maybe they will make it simple and go for X100VI?
I love the Fujifilm X100 line of APS-C series compact cameras, but I think the next camera may bring in a few changes. I expect the traditional exposure controls to stay and the APS-C format 26.1Mp X-Trans CMOS sensor and X Processor 4 are a safe bet, but I reckon the camera will be made smaller than previous incarnations. This may mean that the viewfinder, which until now has been a hybrid design that combines both an electronic and an optical finder, may just retain the electronic element. Maybe it will be the Fuji X-E4 but with a fixed lens?
- Read More: Fujifilm X100V Review
The Fuji X-H1 is a nice camera but it’s not nearly as popular as the X-T3 and X-T4, so I wonder if Fujifilm will continue with it, or perhaps wait a little longer to upgrade it with a brand-new 5th generation X-Trans CMOS sensor, upgraded-stabilisation and more processing power.
Naturally, we’d also expect it to feature the vari-angle screen that was introduced with the X-T4, rather than the 3-way tilting unit.
The Fujifilm X-T30 and Fujifilm X-T30 II are great little mirrorless cameras with the same 26.1Mp backside-illuminated (BSI) APS-C format 4th generation X-Trans CMOS sensor and 4th generation X-Processor as is in the X-T3 and X-T4. They’re capable of producing great stills and video, and I love their handling apart from one aspect, the Q button which accesses the Quick menu is in the wrong place. It’s too easy to press it accidentally.
As great as the X-T30/Z-T30 II are, it’s unlikely that Fujifilm will only change the position of the Q button for the X-T40. Perhaps it will also herald the 5th generation X-Trans CMOS sensor? It’s possible that Fujifilm will push up the pixel count for the new sensor, but 24-26Mp is something of a sweet spot. But perhaps instead Fuji will manage to squeeze in an image stabilisation unit and add an image-shifting high-resolution mode?
Fujifilm GFX 100R
We love the medium format Fujifilm GFX 50S and Fujifilm GFX 50S II, and the GFX 50R is an excellent alternative that is especially suited to use with the smaller prime lenses, but the introduction of the Fuji GFX 100S makes me wonder if we might see a 100Mp GFX R-series camera. My gut feeling is that we won’t because the GFX 50R was the smaller, more affordable alternative to the GFX 50S and Fujifilm pared back some features (for example, the viewfinder is fixed rather than removable) when it designed the GFX 100S.
Some of that feature-pruning has been done for the Fujifilm GFX 50S II, so perhaps Fuji will feel that there’s no longer a need for the GFX 50R line?
GoPro Rumors in 2022
Will GoPro continue to dominate in 2022 or will DJI steal its crown?
We’re GoPro fans here at Jabber HQ, but there are still things that we’d like to see improved for the next incarnation, which we’ve no doubt will be called the GoPro Hero11 Black. The GPS and motion sensors, voice control, full-colour touch screen and HyperSmooth image stabilisation, for example, are greater but we’d like to see some handling changes including the addition of a standard 1/4-inch tripod thread. Follow the link to read more about the GoPro Hero11 Black specs that we’d like to see.
Nikon camera rumors in 2022
Will we see an entry-level APS-C format Nikon Z camera in 2022?
Nikon Z500 or D5700
Nikon’s D5XXX line of DSLRs is a good ‘entry-level’ model with a few more niceties than the D3XXX series. The vari-angle touchscreen, for instance, helps with creative photography and videography. However, things have moved on a bit since the D5600 was announced in November 2016.
The D5600 relies on contrast-detection focusing in live view mode. We’d like to see that upgraded to a hybrid system. Including phase-detection focusing would boost its speed and reliability. And maybe the AF system that’s available when the viewfinder is in use could be upgraded to 51-points? That would be nice, giving greater coverage across the frame.
In addition, the video specification could do with boosting from Full HD to 4K.
Of course, there’s a strong possability that Nikon will opt for a mirrorless version of the D5700. That would be a smart move. Perhaps it will be the Z400 or Z500 while the most entry-level model is the Z4000 or Z5000?
Nikon Z30, Z3000 and Z4000
Nikon may have announced two APS-C format mirrorless cameras, but with body-only prices of £849/$857 and £899/$957, the Z50 and Nikon Z fc are beyond the budget of most novices and there’s room for something more affordable. Indeed the retro-tyled Nikon Z fc is really aimed at experienced photographers looking for something a little different.
I’m just guessing at the names, but Nikon Z30, Z40, Z3000 or Z4000 could be good names for more entry-level models. If the top-level model is the Z9, fitting above the Z6 II and Z7 II, which in turn sit above the Z50, the Z500, Z500 or Z400 could be good names for the next model down. The most entry-level model might be the Z3000 or Z4000. But there are also rumours of a Nikon Z30 circulating.
Now that Nikon Japan is listing the D3500 as discontinued it seems even more likely that we’ll see an entry-level Nikon Z-series camera. Nikon says it is still committed to DSLR cameras, but mirrorless cameras are gaining in popularity and we’ve yet to hear anything about a D3600 to replace the D3500.
The D3XXX line has always been very important to the company. It draws in new photographers to the Nikon system. The D3200, D3300, D3400 and D3500 have also been extremely popular. They’re great first ‘serious’ cameras. It’s natural that the manufacturer will want to have something similar in its mirrorless line.
It would be great to see a mirrorless version of the Nikon D3500, complete with Nikon’s Guide Mode to help novices learn about photography.
Olympus / OM System camera rumours in 2022
Its new owner is bound to make some big changes during 2022
Given the changes that have taken place at Olympus during 2020 and 2021, it’s hard to call what will happen in 2022. Judging by the recent firmware upgrade to the Olympus OM-D E-M1X, which introduces Bird detection AF, and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO, Olympus (or OM Digital Solutions as we should say now) is going after wildlife photographers who want to lighten their burden.
There’s also been talk of Olympus concentrating on high-end cameras from now on, which may make the arrival of Olympus Pen E-P7 suprising to some. However, it’s important to remember that this camera will have been in development for a couple of years, which means it’s a product of the old Olympus rather than the new company.
Panasonic camera rumours in 2022
Will Panasonic turn its attention to Micro Four Thirds in 2022 or will there be more full-frame cameras?
Panasonic G Series
The Panasonic Lumix G9 sits alongside the GH5 and GH5S as Panasonic’s flagship stills camera. It’s getting on a bit as it was announced in November 2017, while the GH5S was announced in January 2018 and the GH5 II was announced on 25th May 2021.
After all the recent attention that it has paid to its full-frame cameras, Micro Four Thirds fans will be looking to Panasonic to update some more of its older models to demonstrate its commitment to the format.
It’s worth noting that the L-mount is suitable for use on APS-C as well as full-frame cameras. Panasonic has stated that it is committed to Micro Four Thirds, but if it wanted to, it could introduce an APS-C format camera with the same mount as the S1 and S1R. Just saying.
Panasonic has put a lot of marketing into the L-mount cameras, it would be interesting to see some sales figures for them.
Panasonic Lumix GH6
On 25th May 2021, Panasonic finally gave an official development announcement about the Panasonic Lumix GH6 and although few specifications have been divulged, we’re told that it will go on sale in 2021. Well we’re getting close to the end of 2021 and there’s nothing yet, but perhaps Panasonic is looking to start 2022 with a bang? After all, it’s announced quite a few cameras in early January in previous years.
We also know that the Panasonic GH6 will have a new high-speed sensor along with a new Venus Engines processor. This combination is set to enable it to deliver C4K (4096×2160) 60p 4:2:2 10-bit with ‘truly unlimited’ recording time. It’s also said to be able to record 5.7K 60p video.
But what about the rest of the specification and the build of the camera?
Panasonic’s GH5 has been very popular amongst videographers, but it was launched in January 2017, and the marketplace has changed a lot since then. Sony has done particularly well and it is putting a lot of effort into meeting the needs of videographers.
In the early days of the Panasonic GH-series, Panasonic deliberately made the cameras bigger to make them more acceptable to DSLR users and to help them seem more serious. Today, however, things have changed and with the right interface, smaller, lighter cameras are generally preferred.
With the Lumix S5, Panasonic recognised that its S1-series of full-frame mirrorless cameras are seen as being quite big and cumbersome. The GH5 is also big for a Micro Four Thirds camera and it’s possible that the company will seek to change this with the Panasonic GH6, making it a more compact alternative to the Sony A7S III and other full-frame or APS-C format cameras.
The Panasonic GH6 also needs to distinguish itself clearly from cameras like the Panasonic S1H and the box-like GBH1. The GBH1 is really designed for use in a rig with a system built around it. In contrast, the GH6 needs to be a small and light fully-fledged camera that can be taken anywhere and set-up quickly to record great-quality video.
Raw video capability would also a popular upgrade for the GH6 – it seems a given these days. Of course, this usually means outputting to an external recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V, but not always, the Canon EOS R5, for example, can record 8K raw video internally to a CFexpress card.
It would also be good to see an improvement to the GH5’s AF system for the GH6. Panasonic has stuck firmly with contrast detection while other manufacturers have opted for phase detection or hybrid systems. Despite the improvements made to Panasonic’s contrast-detection system over the years, its performance still doesn’t match that of a good hybrid or phase-detection AF system.
It would be great if Panasonic switched to a hybrid or phase-detection system.
Panasonic GH5 II vs GH6
In a surprise to many, Panasonic announced the Lumix GH5 Mark II at the same time as it confirmed that the GH6 is in development. The company’s represnetatives have been at pains to explain that the GH line is splitting in two with the GH6 being aimed at professional filmmakers while the GH5 Mark II is intended for serious vloggers and YouTubers. But of course, with little being known about the GH6 yet, most potential GH5 II purchasers are holding out for more information about he more advanced camera.
SEE MORE: Best cameras for vlogging
Ricoh Pentax rumours in 2022
Pentax hasn’t really been chasing for a while now, but it’s delivered a new camera in 2021
Pentax has been pretty quiet for the last few years but it did pop its head up briefly to let us know that the 25.7Mp APS-C format K-3 Mark III would be along in February 2021. Of course that didn’t happen but after a few months of delays, it is now on sale.
After reaching out to Pentax a few times for a review sample, we were sent one but after a day’s use, the shutter stuck and we had to send it back. It’s been very quiet since.
Pentax cameras have some novel technology and they produce great images, but they don’t major on things like autofocus speed or fast responses. The K-3 Mark III is the same.
Sigma rumours in 2022
Sigma is part of the L-Mount Alliance and has plans beyond making L-mount lenses
Sigma surprised some with the Sigma fp by managing to make the ‘world’s smallest and lightest’ full-frame mirrorless camera and ditching the Foveon sensor. It then followed up with the fp L, a full-frame camera that is just as small but that has an effective pixel count of 61-million.
Sigma’s lens line continues to grow and impress. However, it would be nice to see optics like its new 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary and 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro Art made available in a wider range of mirrorless camera mounts. Currently they are only available with Sony E-mount and the L-mount.
Sony camera rumours in 2022
Its full-frame mirrorless system cameras have caused a major shift in the camera market, but can Sony maintain the momentum?
Sony Alpha A5200 or A7000
Recently Sony has focused its efforts on high-end and enthusiast-level cameras, but I think (hope) a replacement for the Sony Alpha a5100 could be just around the corner. The a5000-line is now Sony’s entry-level series of mirrorless system cameras, so the company will aim to keep the price down for any new models.
This makes it likely to continue without a built-in viewfinder. The pixel count is also likely to stay at 24million. However, the sensitivity range could be pushed higher to match the Sony A6300, A6400 and A6500 (ISO 100-25,600 expandable to 51,200) and improve low-light capability.
Perhaps we will also see an improvement to the autofocus system, but with 204-points the A5100’s AF system isn’t exactly lacking in this area.
And, as suggested below, perhaps we’ll see a change in the camera’s name. Could it be the A7000?
The Sony A6600 is Sony’s flagship APS-C format mirrorless camera, but it’s getting on for 2 years old, which is pretty old in camera terms. It also has Sony’s old menu structure and limited touch-control. A change is due and in the process, we’d like to see Sony give the A6600’s replacement, we’re going to call it the Sony A6900, a variable screen for extra flexibility.
Sony introduced its new approach with the A7S III and A1, even added dual Function menus so you can have one perfectly suited to stills and the other for video-shooting. But straingely, despite giving the Sony A7C a vari-angle screen, it stuck with the limited touch-control. Hopefully, Sony will go the whole hog for the A6900 and create a flexible, easier to use APS-C format camera for enthusiast photographers.
Sony A7R V
The Sony AR7 IV is a great camera in many respects, but it came along before Sony introduced the revised menu structure and vari-angle screen on the Sony A7S III. More recent cameras like the Sony A7 IV and Sony A1 also make much more use of the touch-control of the screen. It would be good to see these changes made for the Sony A7R V.