Happy holidays from DPReview!
2021, eh? What a year. All of the horror and inconvenience of 2020, without the novelty factor. There was good news out there though, hidden in the cracks between the headlines. This was the year for many of us that we got to see distant friends and family again, and despite all the disruption it’s been a busy 12 months for the camera market, with some big announcements, and some major technological developments taking place across the industry.
The past year seems to have flown by (even if parts of it felt like an endless slog) but when I look back over 2021, I almost can’t believe how much happened. We’ll be posting a digest of the year in photo news next week, but for now, I want to share with you a small selection of some of my personal favorite articles and videos of the past 12 months on DPReview.
Why have cameras and lenses become so expensive? (May)
In which Richard loses patience with one of the most common forum complaints, and lays down some common sense via the medium of maths. Spoiler alert: It’s not quite as simple as you might think…
DPReview TV: Nikon Z9 first impressions review (Oct)
When I asked Jordan which DPRTV video he’s most proud of this year he shot back immediately “Nikon Z9 first impressions”. After 18 months of enforced separation, it was great to see Chris and Jordan in September in Seattle, in-person. We had a lot of fun shooting with the Z9 as a team, and I think that comes out in this video.
Ode to the ‘happy accident’ or why film photographers have more fun (July)
Dan enjoyed writing this one – a celebration of the ‘truly unintended joyous mishap’. One of the most addictive characteristics of analog imaging is that mistakes can sometimes result in our favorite images. Film isn’t dead, sometimes it just looks funny.
We applied Adobe’s ‘Super Resolution’ to our favorite old photos, and the results are impressive (Sept)
Adobe’s ‘Super Resolution’ tool might have seemed like a gimmick when it first appeared, but the more we used it, the more we realized how truly useful it can be – and not for the reasons we first expected. While it’s a great way of upsizing Raw files for more (simulated) detail, it’s perhaps more valuable as a means of extracting the maximum amount of detail from a shot without any upscaling at all. Rishi did a great job with this article, offering unique big-picture (see what I did there?) insight into a deceptively simple feature.
Family reunions (Sep – Nov)
Two articles from autumn, in which Richard and I reflected on the experience of seeing our families in the UK for the first time since before the pandemic. And of course, this being DPReview, we did that through the (literal) lens of two cameras. For me, the Ricoh GR IIIx. For Richard, the Fujifilm GFX 50S II.
Photography history: Lens Wars, Episode V – Petzval Strikes Back (Dec)
All of Roger Cicala’s series of photography history articles this year have been great, but this final installment is a real treat. If only the world of today was still so colorful, full of angry old men trying to lie and cheat their way to the top…. oh, wait.
Smartphone review: vivo X60 Pro+ (July)
We rely on our Michigan-based news editor, Gannon Burgett, for a lot of things, from a steady flow of daily news articles to early morning comment moderation when we’re still waking up on the west coast. This year, Gannon has been contributing an increasing amount of smartphone and mobile imaging content, and I loved his review of the vivo X60 Pro+ for its thoroughness, its focus on the photographer, and for Gannon’s rich video and stills samples. Thanks for all your hard work this year, Gannon!
Why 8K video might be worth the hassle (but perhaps not for the reasons you might think…) (May)
In this article, our video editor Dale gets to the bottom of what 8K video is, and why it matters. Even if you think you have no interest in shooting or viewing 8K video, there are good reasons why you should pay attention to the technology, and why you might, actually, find it useful. I learned a thing or two from this article and you might, too.
What Nikon means by ‘a D3 moment’ (and why it needs one) (Oct)
The D3 was a groundbreaking camera when it was released, way back in 2007. The launch of the Z9 this autumn inspired me to cast my mind back fourteen years, to a time before smartphones and twitter hashtags, to a sweltering August in Tokyo when Nikon shook up the high-end photo market. This one was fun to write.
Sony just packed a 1” stacked CMOS sensor into the Xperia Pro-I, but there’s a catch (Oct)
When the Sony Xperia Pro-I was launched, the tech blogs were buzzing about its headline feature – a (comparatively) massive 1-inch sensor. But what most of the bloggers missed was the fact that only ~60% of that sensor is used for capturing images. Not long after we published this article, other sites started linking to Rishi’s piece, which takes a more balanced view of the photo features of what is still a very nice smartphone.
Zeiss ZX1 review (July)
Every now and then a camera comes along that’s just weird and wonderful enough to be fun. Even if it’s not always fun to shoot with, you can guarantee it’ll be enjoyable to write about. The Zeiss ZX1 is one of those cameras, and Carey’s in-depth review is a great example of what I think DPReview does best – a lively and engaging read, containing all the information that photographers actually need to know, albeit about a camera that most of us will never buy.
Happy Holidays from DPReview!
We’ve published so much in 2021, it was hard to keep this article to just a few top picks. Our freelance writers are as much a part of the DPReview team as our Seattle-based Editors, and I’d like to end this holiday message with a selection of some of the best (in my opinion) pieces from our contributors, all of the world. Thanks to all of our staff, all of our writers, and all of you for joining us this year.
Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in the new year!
On behalf of the entire staff, I’d like to wish all of you a safe and peaceful holiday. We couldn’t do any of this without you.
Barnaby Britton – Senior Editor