2022 Year in Review: Camera Usage

2022 Year in Review: Camera Usage

Modern cameras have evolved towards a uniform set of ergonomics. If you are looking for a new, high-end, mass-market camera, there’s a good chance the one you get will be covered in black plastic, have a hand grip on the right side, and place the majority of controls within the reach of your right thumb and forefinger. And there is nothing wrong with this uniformity, these cameras are like this because the layout works. Vintage film cameras, on the other hand, are what evolved into this form, so they come in a larger variety of shapes, sizes, and layouts. The layout of film cameras is also influenced by the type of film and the functionality that was available when the camera was produced. Film cameras simply have more diversity with regards to form and function.

Since I dropped back into the world of film photography and my eyes were opened to the number of choices available, I have been searching for the kit that works for me. I tried a lot of cameras. After an obligatory TLR phase, I briefly thought that mid-century rangefinders would be the camera for me. I eventually realized that I was looking for two different cameras. When I go out with the intention to take photos, I like a medium format camera with a large aperture manual focus lens. When I just go out, I like a small, capable point-and-shoot; I’m looking for an alternative to the fine-in-their-own-right iPhone cameras.

As time moves forward preferences change and get refined. This is how my camera choices have evolved over the past year.

Camera and film [ISO] usage
Camera and film [ISO] usage – PhotoStatistica

This chart only shows frames which were scanned in, so the numbers are not correct in absolute terms. For example, I shot more than 4 shots on my view camera, I just didn’t scan them in. Regardless, the ratios are for the most part close to actual usage. The only exception is that the Polaroid SX-70 is underrepresented. I frequently skip scanning Polaroids, and when I do the exif data normally doesn’t get added properly.

Farm building at ‎⁨Gettysburg National Military Park
Farm building at ‎⁨Gettysburg National Military Park – Nikkon 35Ti, Kodak Ektachrome 100, Cs6

This is the first year in recent history that the camera in the top spot is a film camera; the Canon Rebel T3i and iPhone cameras have previously jockeyed for most used. Part of the reason for that is because I was trying so many different film cameras that no single model rose to the top. In 2021 the Zenza Bronica EC-II was in the third place, just 27 frames behind the iPhone. The Bronica died on January 9, 2022 and the Hasselblad 503cx eventually became my go-to medium format camera, taking the number two spot for 2022.

In 2022 the Minolta CLE and the Olympus XA dropped off the list, making room for this years top model, the wonderful Nikon 35Ti. As the data shows, the Nikon 35Ti and the Hasselblad 503cx have become my preferred two-camera system.

The Canon ELAN 7e also made a strong showing. I paired the ELAN 7e with a 200m f/2.8 for soccer photography. The Rebel T3i, with the same lens, took the third spot, nudging the ELAN to fourth. The iPhones combined came in fifth. Filling out the list are a smattering of other models that I like to use on particular occasions.

Heather at the Green Diamond
Heather at the Green Diamond – Nikkon 35Ti, Kodak Ektar 100, FPP C-41
Published: 2023-01-01
Year in ReviewCameras