What New Camera Equipment Can We Expect to See in 2021?

2020 has been a tumultuous year for the industry with some manufacturers struggling while others seem to have all but shrugged off the pandemic and released incredible new cameras and lenses. What does 2021 have in store?

Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake of DPReview sit down to offer their annual predictions for what the industry has coming up in the new year. Some of these are all but certain; for example, we can be fairly sure that Sony will release the a7 IV in 2021 (currently slated for some time between July and September) and fans will be keen to speculate on just how far Sony is going to push the technology inside the update to one of its most successful cameras.

What Niccolls and Drake don’t mention is the flurry of rumors surrounding the mooted Sony a9 II successor with chatter about 8K video features that might challenge the impact that Canon made a handful of months ago with the announcement of the EOS R5. Given that the a9 line has so far been geared towards stills and speed, creating a successor with such major video capabilities seems unlikely. However, as explored in this article that digs into the details, it doesn’t seem completely impossible that Sony is planning to split its a9 line and release two new cameras: an a9S and an a9 III. Click here to learn more.

What do you want to see in 2021? Let us know in the comments below.

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Tom Reichner's picture

I'm glad that you mention Sony in this article. A good friend of mine switched from Canon to Sony in 2020. While he is glad that he switched, he is a bit frustrated with the flagship Sony offerings.

He shoots a lot of wild ducks in flight, and finds that the A7R4 autofocus system doesn't keep up with the demands of tracking subjects that are moving erratically and at high speed. But he loves the super high megapixel count of the A7R4 and the great amount of feather detail that it resolves.

He also bought the A92. He said that the A92 autofocus system is excellent at tracking fast flying waterfowl. He gets almost all keepers from every burst he shoots! But he is frustrated at the low megapixel count, because it doesn't resolve as much of the very find feather detail and texture as the A7R4.

Because of each of his Sony camera's shrotcomings, he is constantly switching from one camera to the other when he is out shooting. If ducks come in close and offer opportunities for portraits and courtship behavior, then he uses the A7R4. As soon as they take flight and offer on-the-wing opportunities, he has to pick up the A92, switch lenses, and shoot with the other body. What a freaking hassle to have to continually switch back and forth between two different bodies, because neither camera is great at everything (insert sad/frustrated face emoticon here).

He wants, and needs, a camera with a very high megapixel count that also has world-class autofocus tracking abilities and world-class frame rates ...... IN THE SAME BODY.

Hopefully, in 2021 Sony will finally pair their best sensor with their best autofocus system and fastest frame rate, so that photographers who want extremely detailed images of rapidly moving subjects will be able to capture the images they want to capture, without any compromises. It is 2021 - for Pete's sake, we should all be able to have everything we want, if we are able to pay for it.

Tammie Lam's picture

I'm wondering how wild life photographers could take award-winning pictures of flying falcons with their "crappy" 5Dmk3s and do not whine about their equipment "shortcomings"? Maybe it has something to do with their skills? ;)

Tom Reichner's picture

It's not that one can't take great photos with the current gear. It is that some of us cannot take great photos every single time we want to, in every situation.

The goal is not to get some excellent images of a duck ..... rather, the goal is to get dozens of excellent photos of every duck that flies by. Our demands and expectations have risen exponentially over the past few years. We want it all, all of the time. Well, at least some of us do.

Skill is only part of the equation. Skill cannot make a superbly detailed 50 megapixel image that will look spectacular printed at 60 inches by 40 inches, if we are shooting with a 20 megapixel sensor.

Bjarne Solvik's picture

Sounds frustrating. I actually downgraded from A7rm3 to plain m3 due to autofocus. Some even say autofocus is better on rm3 then rm4. I am ok with my camera but even it’s advanced I still get more soft images then I like. So I think now it’s no longer about what autofocus can do, but how well. Why I tend to think the new Canon could be more precise I don’t know, I wish someone wold really test it. But I maybe should get the A9.

Actually I am stilling thinking lower resolution cameras have better autofocus, but that’s just a idea.