Some would say, including me, that 2012 has been one of the most exciting years for the photography and digital camera industry, while the low-end compact camera market has been in decline due to the improvement and adoption of smartphones (such as the amazing Nokia PureView 808), there has been increasing improvements in pocket zoom cameras, ultra zoom bridge cameras, Digital SLRs and mirrorless cameras.
Bang for buck or value for money has been at it’s highest ever, with compact 10x optical zoom lens cameras available for £99 with optical image stabilisation, such as the Panasonic Lumix SZ1. Previous years you were unlikely to get such a high level of optical zoom from a branded camera for under £100.
Bridge cameras have reached the highest level of optical zoom ever – first with the 42x optical zoom lens Nikon Coolpix P510 (equivalent to 24 to 1000mm), then with the even more incredible 50x optical zoom lens Canon Powershot SX50 HS (equivalent to 24 to 1200mm!). WOW!
Digital SLRs have seen a big refresh from all of the major manufacturers, with full-frame Digital SLRs from Nikon (3), Canon (3), and Sony (1), with Nikon and Canon both offering professional high speed DSLRs the Nikon D4 and Canon EOS 1D X, mid-range professional DSLRs the 36.3 megapixel Nikon D800 (and D800E) and Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and new entry level full-frame Digital SLRs, the Nikon D600 and Canon EOS 6D. Sony recently introduced the full-frame Sony Alpha A99 with continuous AF during video.
More mirrorless cameras have been introduced this year than ever before, with models from all the major manufacturers, with very few left out, in fact with those that haven’t joined the market suffered, with Kodak leaving the digital camera market for example. New models have been introduced by Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Fujifilm, Sony, including new weather-sealed models from Olympus, with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Panasonic, with the Panasonic Lumix GH3.
Next year should be exciting, with CES 2013 kicking off the year, where it’s usual for a whole new camera range to be introduced, particularly in the consumer of point and shoot range.