2019 camera and lens manufacturers’ New Year’s resolutions

31 Dec

New Year’s resolutions

There’s plenty in this world that we’re not sure about (Peas in guacamole? The resurgence of 90’s fashion trends? Pineapple on pizza??) but one thing we’re certain of: a few companies, many of which are headquartered in Japan, will produce new cameras, lenses and photographic accessories in 2019. And just like every year, some will be great, some will be OK, and one or two will be crushingly dull.

Thanks to some early product development announcements we already know a little of what the next year holds in store, but much remains a mystery. We can only guess what the next 12 months will bring – guess, hope, and play backseat camera engineer.

In the spirit of New Years’ resolutions, we got together as a team and talked about what we’d like the major manufacturers to do next year. Things we want to see fixed, directions we’d like to see taken (plus some we’d like to see reversed…) and products we’d like to be released. So without further ado, here are our collected New Years’ resolutions, on behalf of the manufacturers, courtesy of DPReview. Call it wishful thinking.

Feel free to play along at home via the comments.


Oh, Canon – where should we start? You’re one of the biggest camera manufacturers in the industry, but you’re still among the most conservative. This year you’ve teased us with a range of superb new RF lenses, but we’re really hoping that 2019 brings a slightly higher-end camera to shoot them with. But even as you build out the RF lineup, we hope you don’t neglect EF-M. An M50 successor with un-cropped 4K would be lovely – pretty please?

Canon – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Add IBIS to the RF lineup and update your sensors (or buy Sony’s).
  • Make the RF mount an open standard.
  • Reclaim your ILC video crown – no more cropped 4K!
  • Dump the MFn bar…
  • Make the 5D Mark V a true digital EOS 3.
  • Think different – embrace computational photography.


Fujifilm, you’re the darling of camera reviewers everywhere. You’re one of the few brands that, from time to time, still makes products which are better than they need to be in order to be competitive. The X-T2 was a great camera, and you didn’t need to replace it, but you went and did it anyway! The X-T3 was one of our favorite cameras of 2018. It almost made up for the ‘4K capable’ X-A5… But we’re still hoping for more in 2019.

Fujifilm – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Make a full-frame X100 / monochrome X100 / 28mm-equiv X100. (We really like the X100).
  • Continue improving your face and eye-detection autofocus. The X-T3 was a great start.
  • Make a proper X70 successor. The XF10 doesn’t count.
  • Refresh your F1.4 primes.
  • Don’t try to palm us off with 15fps ‘4K video’ ever again. For shame.


Let’s be honest, Leica – this is pointless. It doesn’t matter what we want, or what we say, or what anyone wants or says, you’re Leica! You’ll just continue to do whatever you want, and there’s every chance that in a few weeks’ time we’ll find ourselves reviewing a limited edition ping-pong-bat-rubber-clad Melania Trump signature-edition M10. And that’s why we love you.

Leica – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Stop with the special editions already – this isn’t the 90s.
  • Make a Q2 – maybe even with a 35mm lens…
  • Say goodbye to 1950s technology and make an M-mount camera with an EVF.
  • Give your customers their moneys’ worth and turn camera repairs around in days, not months. It’s not impossible – everyone else can do it.


Nikon, you’re getting there. You launched the Z-mount with a bang in 2018, but despite its high-end pricing you must have known that the flagship Z7 wouldn’t be quite enough to tempt professionals and enthusiasts away from their D850 and D5 bodies. Don’t let the haters get you down, though. Keep up the pace and turn the Z mount into the professional system that we know it can be. We’re rooting for you.

Nikon – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Keep developing that Z-series lens roadmap.
  • Bring 3D AF Tracking to the Z-series – in fact, bring all of your industry-leading AF area modes to the Z-series.
  • Make an FTZ adapter with a built-in AF motor. Carey’s got a 105mm F2 DC he really wants to shoot with.
  • Make the Z mount an open standard.


Olympus – we feel for you. You were among the first manufacturers to create a modern mirrorless camera, and now, a decade on, you’re the only brand that doesn’t (or isn’t preparing to) offer its customers a full-frame sensor. We know that it’s been a tough few years for you guys over in the camera division but we’ve got a few ideas for how you can disrupt things in 2019 and beyond.

Olympus – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Start making small cameras again. Maybe an updated PEN-F?
  • Update the OM-D E-M5 II.
  • Simplify your cameras’ menu systems, please!
  • Add PDAF to your lower-end PEN and OM-D cameras.
  • Add a large sensor to the TOUGH range. You already make the best rugged cameras, why not go one step further?


As you prepare to enter the full-frame market in a few months, we can only imagine that things are pretty hectic in your Osaka headquarters right now. Hopefully you’re not working the engineers too hard, and they get a little downtime to read DPReview, because we’ve got some suggestions that we think might really help Panasonic out in 2019.

Panasonic – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Ditch field-sequential EVFs, for good.
  • Either fix DFD for video, or use PDAF instead.
  • Now that you’re in the L mount alliance, how about making a full-frame 4K video camera?

Ricoh / Pentax

Pentax, we need to be careful what we say here…

We admire your loyal customer base, and we respect the way that many of them react to anything short of uncritically gushing praise for their favorite camera maker with… let’s say… passion. But we’re also terrified of them. For the record, we like a lot of your products! And we want you to succeed just as much as your customers do. Here are some suggestions.

Ricoh – in 2019 we wish you would

  • Make a true successor to the K-1.
  • Reissue the K-01 – just kidding! Give your fans a proper mirrorless camera – maybe the L-mount alliance has room for another member?
  • Make a full-frame GR to compete with the Leica Q and Sony RX1R II.


Sigma, we hardly recognize you. Over the past decade you’ve gone from being a respected but midrange third-party lens maker (and a quietly prolific OEM manufacturer) to becoming a force to be reckoned with in the high-end optics market. You’re making some of the finest lenses available, while still undercutting the ‘big’ brands, often by a considerable margin. How do you do that?

We love what you’ve become, but sometimes love is about being honest. Here are some ideas for 2019 and beyond.

Sigma – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Calm down a bit with the ‘biggest, heaviest and fastest’ primes thing and create a range of compact F2 lenses.
  • Try again with the 24-70mm F2.8 Art.
  • Follow Tamron’s example and develop some native Sony FE lenses.
  • Reverse-engineer the Canon RF and Nikon Z mounts and show them how it’s done.
  • Create a range of full-frame Merrill compacts.


Oh, Sony, we can’t keep up! At your current rate of product announcements, you’ll have released at least one new RX100-series compact, a GM lens or two and an a7 IV by the time we’ve finished writing this sentence. That’s fine, but in 2019 we’d like to see you taking a bit of a break, making some time to reflect, and maybe reprioritizing a little.

Sony – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Create a Cyber-shot RX1R III (with a real battery, not that joke-shop one from last time).
  • Throw your a6000-series customers a bone and make some new APS-C lenses.
  • Make your video and stills AF experience consistent.
  • Speaking of 35mm, make an FE 35mm F1.8. Your non-pro and pro customers will thank you.
  • Focus on user experience, as well as technology. We get it, you’re smart!


Tamron, you dark horse. You’ve been quietly adding some really impressive lenses to your lineup over the past year, including the first ever zoom lens designed natively for a full-frame mirrorless system. Not as prolific as Sigma, or as niche as the likes of Laowa or Zeiss, you’re a good, solid, photographer-friendly company that we think deserves to succeed in 2019. And here’s how we think you should do that.

Tamron – in 2019 we wish you would…

  • Continue developing full-frame E-mount lenses.
  • Reverse-engineer the Canon RF and Nikon Z mounts as soon as possible.
  • Resist the temptation to create large, heavy F1.4 glass – F1.8 is fine!

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