2022 by the numbers, and what they tell us to expect in 2023

Looking back to learn what might be ahead A new year brings with it hope, promise and excitement for new changes, but also brings us a moment to reflect and look back to measure how far we've come. The digital camera industry may not be evolving as fast and furiously as it once did, but 2022 was still a year of noteworthy change with some exciting new cameras, advancements and experiments in gear. We saw stacked sensors appear in more enthusiast-oriented cameras and increasingly powerful AF systems spreading downrange and across brands. Drones made it easier than ever to capture high-quality aerial photos. And smartphones – the cameras we have with us all the time – continued to improve, bringing us closer to a day when we may not need to carry a 'real camera' with us all the time. Let's take a moment to take stock, with the year in numbers. 18 The major manufacturers released 18 new cameras in 2022. There was a little bit of everything: from the first RF mount APS-C cameras in the Canon R7 and R10, to the latest heavyweight from Sony in the a7R V, to the re-launch of a film camera in Leica's M6, 2022 welcomed some exceptional additions to a family of some already exceptional cameras. 42 The major manufacturers released 42 lens in 2022, including both primes and zooms and featuring some clever designs. There seemed to be something for everyone this year (except Canon RF users). Now, if you're reading this and thinking, 'only 42, there must have been more,' then you'd be technically correct. Beyond the major manufacturers, we did also see a slew of smaller and more obscure manual-focus lenses from niche enthusiast and up-and-coming brands, but to keep things manageable we've limited ourselves to the established brands with a longer pedigree. That said, take a look at our lens timeline and let us know if you'd like to see a brand that is emerging as 'major' to be added and tracked on our official timeline. 16.7% After years of declining sales in the digital camera industry as a whole, 2022 showed signs of new life with revenue growing 16.7% over the previous year for major camera manufactures. New cameras shipped also rebounded, reaching their highest point since March 2020. With demand driven by pent-up pandemic spending, a continuing shift toward hybrid cameras and emerging markets such as China, manufacturers are sounding more optimistic about the future of cameras. For instance, in their Q2 2022 report Canon said, 'Going forward, we expect the professional and advanced amateur segment to expand further and that products will become more highly developed. In other words, entry-level cameras will be taking a back seat to higher-end models, which also have the added benefit of typically providing higher profit margins.' Looking ahead, global digital camera sales are expected to grow at a slower annual pace of 3.43%, with consumers in China leading the charge. 2.19:1 In 2022 the gap between DSLR and mirrorless cameras shipped continued to widen, with mirrorless cameras shipping 3.33 million units to DSLR's 1.52 million units worldwide. In other words, mirrorless cameras are being produced at over twice the rate of DSLRs (2.19:1 to be exact). It's a symbolic threshold and another sign that the DSLR days may be numbered. While neither Canon nor Nikon, historically the biggest players in DSLR cameras, have explicitly said they're going to stop developing new DSLR models and still have current DSLRs in production, it feels like the writing is on the wall. Aside from Pentax, every major manufacturer has introduced a new mirrorless camera lineup with lenses to support it and seems to be moving on. For a long time, Americans were the last consumer group that still bought DSLRs in substantial numbers, importing 716,000 DSLR to 802,000 mirrorless in 2021. In 2022, from January to October (the latest reliable reported numbers), DSLR imports in the US dropped to 518,000 and mirrorless dropped to 766,000, but notice that these number don't include the holiday buying season. To get a better sense of how the US is joining the rest of the world, take a look at the ratio: US shipments went from an almost negligible ratio of 1.1:1 in favor of mirrorless cameras in 2021, to a 1.5:1 margin in 2022. Again, that's from before the holiday season when camera sales see a spike, so when the final tally is in, the US market may be even closer to the global 2.19:1 ratio. Mirrorless isn't just here to stay, we've entered the end of the DSLR era. 24/7 In October 2022, Eastman Kodak announced they were now producing film 24/7 and had hired over 300 people since mid-2021, with at least 75 positions still open. Today's Eastman Kodak only sells cine film directly to customers. In 2013 Eastman Kodak's consumer film division was sold off to a new company called Kodak Alaris held by the UK pension scheme, to which it owed many millions of dollars. After several years it became apparent that the new Kod

2022 by the numbers, and what they tell us to expect in 2023

Looking back to learn what might be ahead

A new year brings with it hope, promise and excitement for new changes, but also brings us a moment to reflect and look back to measure how far we've come. The digital camera industry may not be evolving as fast and furiously as it once did, but 2022 was still a year of noteworthy change with some exciting new cameras, advancements and experiments in gear.

We saw stacked sensors appear in more enthusiast-oriented cameras and increasingly powerful AF systems spreading downrange and across brands. Drones made it easier than ever to capture high-quality aerial photos. And smartphones – the cameras we have with us all the time – continued to improve, bringing us closer to a day when we may not need to carry a 'real camera' with us all the time.

Let's take a moment to take stock, with the year in numbers.

18

The major manufacturers released 18 new cameras in 2022. There was a little bit of everything: from the first RF mount APS-C cameras in the Canon R7 and R10, to the latest heavyweight from Sony in the a7R V, to the re-launch of a film camera in Leica's M6, 2022 welcomed some exceptional additions to a family of some already exceptional cameras.

42

The major manufacturers released 42 lens in 2022, including both primes and zooms and featuring some clever designs. There seemed to be something for everyone this year (except Canon RF users).

Now, if you're reading this and thinking, 'only 42, there must have been more,' then you'd be technically correct. Beyond the major manufacturers, we did also see a slew of smaller and more obscure manual-focus lenses from niche enthusiast and up-and-coming brands, but to keep things manageable we've limited ourselves to the established brands with a longer pedigree. That said, take a look at our lens timeline and let us know if you'd like to see a brand that is emerging as 'major' to be added and tracked on our official timeline.

16.7%

After years of declining sales in the digital camera industry as a whole, 2022 showed signs of new life with revenue growing 16.7% over the previous year for major camera manufactures. New cameras shipped also rebounded, reaching their highest point since March 2020. With demand driven by pent-up pandemic spending, a continuing shift toward hybrid cameras and emerging markets such as China, manufacturers are sounding more optimistic about the future of cameras.

For instance, in their Q2 2022 report Canon said, 'Going forward, we expect the professional and advanced amateur segment to expand further and that products will become more highly developed. In other words, entry-level cameras will be taking a back seat to higher-end models, which also have the added benefit of typically providing higher profit margins.'

Looking ahead, global digital camera sales are expected to grow at a slower annual pace of 3.43%, with consumers in China leading the charge.

2.19:1

In 2022 the gap between DSLR and mirrorless cameras shipped continued to widen, with mirrorless cameras shipping 3.33 million units to DSLR's 1.52 million units worldwide.

In other words, mirrorless cameras are being produced at over twice the rate of DSLRs (2.19:1 to be exact). It's a symbolic threshold and another sign that the DSLR days may be numbered. While neither Canon nor Nikon, historically the biggest players in DSLR cameras, have explicitly said they're going to stop developing new DSLR models and still have current DSLRs in production, it feels like the writing is on the wall. Aside from Pentax, every major manufacturer has introduced a new mirrorless camera lineup with lenses to support it and seems to be moving on.

For a long time, Americans were the last consumer group that still bought DSLRs in substantial numbers, importing 716,000 DSLR to 802,000 mirrorless in 2021. In 2022, from January to October (the latest reliable reported numbers), DSLR imports in the US dropped to 518,000 and mirrorless dropped to 766,000, but notice that these number don't include the holiday buying season.

To get a better sense of how the US is joining the rest of the world, take a look at the ratio: US shipments went from an almost negligible ratio of 1.1:1 in favor of mirrorless cameras in 2021, to a 1.5:1 margin in 2022. Again, that's from before the holiday season when camera sales see a spike, so when the final tally is in, the US market may be even closer to the global 2.19:1 ratio.

Mirrorless isn't just here to stay, we've entered the end of the DSLR era.

24/7

In October 2022, Eastman Kodak announced they were now producing film 24/7 and had hired over 300 people since mid-2021, with at least 75 positions still open.

Today's Eastman Kodak only sells cine film directly to customers. In 2013 Eastman Kodak's consumer film division was sold off to a new company called Kodak Alaris held by the UK pension scheme, to which it owed many millions of dollars. After several years it became apparent that the new Kodak Alaris business wasn't likely to help close the gap on the millions owed and the company was absorbed into the UK government's pension protection scheme so that it at least provides a source of revenue to the fund.

The new company retained the name Kodak Alaris and still operates under it, but Eastman Kodak is the company that is producing the film stock.

If you're thoroughly confused, think of Kodak Alaris as the company that will sell you 35mm and 120 Gold and Portra at the corner shop; it's what most of us think of when we say Kodak in 2023.

No details of the relationship between Eastman Kodak and Kodak Alaris have been released publicly. It's unknown if both companies are benefiting from the resurgence of film photography and how much revenue Eastman Kodak earns on the film sold to Kodak Alaris.

On Amazon, a single roll of Kodak Gold 200 sells for $16.89, nearly five times what it sold for in 2010.

What we do know is that a roll of Kodak Gold 200 runs a lot steeper these days, suggesting that Kodak Alaris is singing a different tune for pensioners in the UK. On Amazon, a single roll of Kodak Gold 200 sells for $16.89, nearly five times what it sold for in 2010 and eight times higher than 2016, its lowest price point in the last decade. A 5-pack of 35mm film that cost $45 in 2019 is now selling at $80 or more – and even so it's hard to buy at all as it's often sold out.

Beyond online retailers, brick and mortar stores were also barely able to keep film on the shelves in 2022. When stores are sold out, prices on third-party markets soar. As of this writing Amazon is sold out of Kodak Gold 200, and a single roll on Amazon's third-party marketplace is going for $25.00, sitting just $0.04 shy of its all-time high last summer.

In this December 30, 2022 screenshot from CamelCamelCamel, a website which tracks historic prices across Amazon, a single roll of Kodak Gold 200 is at its highest price in over a decade.

And it looks like prices will remain high in 2023. Kodak Alaris reported a 38% increase in the value of film sales in 2022. The company did not share how many units they'd sold last year or an MSRP, but they did indicate that revenue was driven by price increases and rising demand. Further, in their 2022 annual report, they stated there is room to increase this bottom line, driven by 'the continued resurgence of interest in film photography in combination with selective price increases,' and they expect revenue growth to exceed that seen in 2022.

[Do you have a stat for the average selling price of any of these products? Might give this 38% some context - RB]

The film resurgence, then, doesn't show signs of slowing down. Driven in part by pandemic boredom, social media trends and a desire to grasp the tangible, 35mm film is expected to continue to face shortages in 2023. Film camera body prices are also expected to continue to rise, but perhaps not at the breakneck pace of 2022.

Camera manufactures have taken notice, and so far at least two have jumped into the fray. Leica re-released its iconic M6 with thoughtful updates and Pentax announced plans to release a new film camera model in the future.

Everything old is new again.

3G

In trend speak, 2022 was the year of 'retro tech' and TikTok. Older camera tech saw a resurgence with Gen Z for its ‘retro’ look and feel. Google searches for 'iPhone 3G' spiked in Feb 2022, and #retrotech trended throughout the year, with social media users creating thousands and thousands of videos of Gen Zs experimenting with older smartphones and digital point and shoots.

If it was old, it was gold on social media in 2022.

1,000,000,000

TikTok supplanted Instagram as the most used platform among teens in 2022, while also reaching 1 billion active users per month years earlier than Facebook and Instagram. The rapid growth has thrown untold hours of video into the world and shows no signs of slowing down. Camera manufactures have taken notice by marketing vlog-friendly features such as product AF tracking, built-in microphones and stabilization for handheld use.

Expect to see more use of the term 'vlogging' and more marketing of social media creator features in 2023.

25

It's our anniversary and everyone's invited! DPReview officially launched on December 25, 1998, which means that in 2023 we'll be celebrating our 25th anniversary. Since we launched, change has been a constant in our industry, from exciting new products that changed the industry to interesting stopgaps that didn't catch on. Whatever happened it was always interesting to discover, explore and share with our community. United by our love of photography and video, let's celebrate the last 25 years together in 2023 and look ahead to the next 25 years together. What new cameras and tech do you think we'll see by 2048?