2021 Photography Predictions

In Master Photography Roundtable by Jeff Harmon4 Comments

2020 Photography Predictions

  • Nick Sony releases the A7iv – I think this camera will be a minor update from the riii, mostly ergonomic, with some minor tweaks in the internals.  Same sensor, better view finder, bigger grip, better eye and animal AF.  After the massive success of the a7iii.. The A7iv will be a little lackluster, but a decent camera.
    • No A7IV released in 2020.
  • Nick – Canon releases EOS Rii – I think this camera will be a big update from the original.. But still lacking in a few areas.  Two card slots… stilllllll the same sensor, but stabilized.  Better autofocus, but crippled video specs.
    • Wrong name, but two massive upgrades to the EOS R in the R5 and the R6.  They both had dual card slots.  The sensor is stabilized.  The autofocus is much better.  Video was crippeld, but not by Canon.  Heat issues made it mostly unusable at the higher resolutions, but firmware updates got it working pretty well by the end of 2020.
  • Connor – Canon’s mirrorless systems will become appealing enough for many users to consider them as the new predominant canon camera. I’m still going to be shooting on my 6D’s this next year, however, if they completely fail on me I may go mirrorless (either Sony or canon) 
    • The R5 and R6 cameras were really well received.  Sales were really solid and it looks pretty clear that mirrorless is where Canon is spending all of their time and money.  Connor did upgrade to the R6 a few months before the end of the year.
  • Jeff – Canon releases a mirrorless crop body that Jeff wants to buy but doesn’t.  2020 is the year I think I finally need to upgrade my camera body.  I think Canon is going to release a few mirrorless bodies in 2020 and one will be their first crop sensor mirrorless body.  I think it will have great dynamic range, plenty of megapixels, and mostly be exactly what he wants in an upgrade but will lack in something critical like frame rate that prevents him from going there.  Honestly, I have my eye on the 5DM4 right now because the price difference between it and the 90D isn’t very much and I have about half the Amazon points to get there right now.
    • Sadly, no 7D update in 2020.  I made the big jump to the R6.
  • Nick – 2020 is the year we see movement away from Lightroom – I think all those that are unhappy with the adobe subscription model will finally embrace another editing and cataloging sweet.  Capture one pro 20.  I personally don’t care for the program when compared to photoshop and lightroom combined, but lightroom only users, especially sony and fuji shooters, will be enticed into the embrace of Capture one for its raw conversion science, and full licensing model (Connor agrees with this)
    • I don’t think this happened in 2020.  I wish there were free market share numbers, but I couldn’t find any.  Maybe I have Adobe colored glasses on, but I didn’t see a big movement away from Lightroom to Capture One in any of the media, forums, or groups I am in.
  • Jeff – The media will continue to talk about how much they hate Lightroom but Adobe as a company will have their best year yet.  Lightroom seems to be the favorite punching bag of most mainstream photography media, yet 2019 Adobe made more money than they ever have.  Adobe has released its Q4 financial results for the 2019 fiscal year, revealing that it has surpassed $11 billion in annual revenue for the first time in the company’s history, and posting an incredible 24% growth year-over-year.
    • Adobe achieved record annual revenue of $12.87 billion in fiscal year 2020, representing 15 percent year-over-year growth.
  • Jeff – Adobe adds a feature in Lightroom in 2020 that everyone agrees they didn’t see coming and was compelling.  I racked my brain trying to think what the feature might be and can’t really think of something specific.  Maybe far better spot removal, vastly improved noise reduction, or maybe much better auto selection kinds of tools.  There will be something that is big in Lightroom in 2020 and it is going to be fun to talk about it in the predictions show in December 2020.
    • v9.2 in Feb 2020 – Custom default import settings
    • v9.3 in Jun 2020 – ISO adaptive presets and multi-batch exports
    • v10.0 in Oct 2020 – Color grading, scrubby zoom (shift key), tons and tons of bugs!
  • Connor – THIS year will be the year I switch to godox systems myself. 
    • He didn’t switch.  Said if it would have been a normal year he would have.

2021 Predictions

  • Aaron: Most US Photographers will visit at least TWO of their Bucket List Landscape locations. After a year of lockdown and many sharing my feelings of wishing I had gone out more, we will social distance and rediscover even more of our awesome landscapes here in the United States and so we will knock of at least TWO of our Bucket List locations no matter the length of drive or challenge getting there. MY TWO DEFINITES: Milky Way over White Pocket and Really Great Aurora in the Great Lakes Area.
  • Jeff: Adobe releases Lightroom Classic version 11 with few enough bugs I give my Photo Taco Seal of Approval before the end of the year.
  • Jeff: Canon releases R7 crop sensor mirrorless camera that I wish I had waited for.  R6 but with a crop sensor and higher megapixels.
  • Aaron: Wildlife Photography will have major growth: The hobbyists take a similar path: landscapes & family portraits, become obsessed with Milky Way photography, then Star Tracking then Deep Sky and after they have grown proficient in each, they will want to challenge themselves more in 2021 and thanks to more and more great inexpensive quality lenses coming from the likes of Tamron, people will finally invest in a set of wildlife lenses and spend more time in 2021 capturing wildlife.
  • Brent: With the Olympus imaging unit sale to JIP, I think we’ll have an announcement sometime in 2021 stating that they’ll join the L mount alliance with Leica, Panasonic and sigma. They will make their first full frame digital camera and release it sometime in late 2021 or early 2022
  • Aaron: AI WILL BECOME MORE POPULAR BUT THROUGH ADOBE: I know of hundreds of my own workshop clients that have retired to the good life and are playing catchup on their dreams of photographing like Ansel. They share one major common trait: Great eye and love of photography on location and a hatred or at least major difficulty mastering the part where we are at the computer post-processing technology. They will embrace an AI making their edits for them as Adobe embraces it more. Since it is in the tech that they already own.
  • Jeff: Topaz Sharpen AI and DeNoise AI get better and more involved in my workflow.

Nick Sony releases the A7iv – I think this camera will be a minor update from the riii, mostly ergonomic, with some minor tweaks in the internals.  Same sensor, better view finder, bigger grip, better eye and animal AF.  After the massive success of the a7iii.. The A7iv will be a little lackluster, but a decent camera.

  • No A7IV released in 2020.

Nick – Canon releases EOS Rii – I think this camera will be a big update from the original.. But still lacking in a few areas.  Two card slots… stilllllll the same sensor, but stabilized.  Better autofocus, but crippled video specs.

  • Wrong name, but two massive upgrades to the EOS R in the R5 and the R6.  They both had dual card slots.  The sensor is stabilized.  The autofocus is much better.  Video was crippeld, but not by Canon.  Heat issues made it mostly unusable at the higher resolutions, but firmware updates got it working pretty well by the end of 2020.

Connor – Canon’s mirrorless systems will become appealing enough for many users to consider them as the new predominant canon camera. I’m still going to be shooting on my 6D’s this next year, however, if they completely fail on me I may go mirrorless (either Sony or canon) 

  • The R5 and R6 cameras were really well received.  Sales were really solid and it looks pretty clear that mirrorless is where Canon is spending all of their time and money.  Connor did upgrade to the R6 a few months before the end of the year.

Jeff – Canon releases a mirrorless crop body that Jeff wants to buy but doesn’t.  2020 is the year I think I finally need to upgrade my camera body.  I think Canon is going to release a few mirrorless bodies in 2020 and one will be their first crop sensor mirrorless body.  I think it will have great dynamic range, plenty of megapixels, and mostly be exactly what he wants in an upgrade but will lack in something critical like frame rate that prevents him from going there.  Honestly, I have my eye on the 5DM4 right now because the price difference between it and the 90D isn’t very much and I have about half the Amazon points to get there right now.

  • Sadly, no 7D update in 2020.  I made the big jump to the R6.

Nick – 2020 is the year we see movement away from Lightroom – I think all those that are unhappy with the adobe subscription model will finally embrace another editing and cataloging sweet.  Capture one pro 20.  I personally don’t care for the program when compared to photoshop and lightroom combined, but lightroom only users, especially sony and fuji shooters, will be enticed into the embrace of Capture one for its raw conversion science, and full licensing model (Connor agrees with this)

  • I don’t think this happened in 2020.  I wish there were free market share numbers, but I couldn’t find any.  Maybe I have Adobe colored glasses on, but I didn’t see a big movement away from Lightroom to Capture One in any of the media, forums, or groups I am in.

Jeff – The media will continue to talk about how much they hate Lightroom but Adobe as a company will have their best year yet.  Lightroom seems to be the favorite punching bag of most mainstream photography media, yet 2019 Adobe made more money than they ever have.  Adobe has released its Q4 financial results for the 2019 fiscal year, revealing that it has surpassed $11 billion in annual revenue for the first time in the company’s history, and posting an incredible 24% growth year-over-year.

  • Adobe achieved record annual revenue of $12.87 billion in fiscal year 2020, representing 15 percent year-over-year growth.

Jeff – Adobe adds a feature in Lightroom in 2020 that everyone agrees they didn’t see coming and was compelling.  I racked my brain trying to think what the feature might be and can’t really think of something specific.  Maybe far better spot removal, vastly improved noise reduction, or maybe much better auto selection kinds of tools.  There will be something that is big in Lightroom in 2020 and it is going to be fun to talk about it in the predictions show in December 2020.

  • v9.2 in Feb 2020 – Custom default import settings
  • v9.3 in Jun 2020 – ISO adaptive presets and multi-batch exports
  • v10.0 in Oct 2020 – Color grading, scrubby zoom (shift key), tons and tons of bugs!
  • Connor – THIS year will be the year I switch to godox systems myself. 
    • He didn’t switch.  Said if it would have been a normal year he would have.

2021 Predictions

  • Aaron: Most US Photographers will visit at least TWO of their Bucket List Landscape locations. After a year of lockdown and many sharing my feelings of wishing I had gone out more, we will social distance and rediscover even more of our awesome landscapes here in the United States and so we will knock of at least TWO of our Bucket List locations no matter the length of drive or challenge getting there. MY TWO DEFINITES: Milky Way over White Pocket and Really Great Aurora in the Great Lakes Area.
  • Jeff: Adobe releases Lightroom Classic version 11 with few enough bugs I give my Photo Taco Seal of Approval before the end of the year.
  • Jeff: Canon releases R7 crop sensor mirrorless camera that I wish I had waited for.  R6 but with a crop sensor and higher megapixels.
  • Aaron: Wildlife Photography will have major growth: The hobbyists take a similar path: landscapes & family portraits, become obsessed with Milky Way photography, then Star Tracking then Deep Sky and after they have grown proficient in each, they will want to challenge themselves more in 2021 and thanks to more and more great inexpensive quality lenses coming from the likes of Tamron, people will finally invest in a set of wildlife lenses and spend more time in 2021 capturing wildlife.
  • Brent: With the Olympus imaging unit sale to JIP, I think we’ll have an announcement sometime in 2021 stating that they’ll join the L mount alliance with Leica, Panasonic and sigma. They will make their first full frame digital camera and release it sometime in late 2021 or early 2022
  • Aaron: AI WILL BECOME MORE POPULAR BUT THROUGH ADOBE: I know of hundreds of my own workshop clients that have retired to the good life and are playing catchup on their dreams of photographing like Ansel. They share one major common trait: Great eye and love of photography on location and a hatred or at least major difficulty mastering the part where we are at the computer post-processing technology. They will embrace an AI making their edits for them as Adobe embraces it more. Since it is in the tech that they already own.
  • Jeff: Topaz Sharpen AI and DeNoise AI get better and more involved in my workflow.
  • Jeff: Luminar AI, the replacement product for Luminar 4 from Skylum, does NOT catch on.  Not because it isn’t good software, we will have to see on that, but because it isn’t so compelling people switch to it over what they have been using. 
  • Aaron: Due to major interest in Star Tracking Milky Way & Deep Sky Photography, more people will finally break out of their lightroom comfort zone and learn to edit with adjustment layers etc. in PhotoShop. Thanks to the amazing detail you can get, staying in Lightroom only will not bring out that detail so many of you listening right now will finally get some real PhotoShop skills.
  • Jeff: Tamron puts out RF lenses that I REALLY want to buy but don’t because the lenses I have are great, even though they are adapted to my R6.
  • Jeff: Apple releases M2 computers (MacBook Pro 16, iMac, iMac Pro) that are another leap forward like the M1 was from Intel.  M1 was the warm-up and M2 is similarly astounding.  So good, I am forced to go all Mac in 2021 when I finally replace my desktop PC I custom built back in 2014.  Probably an iMac.
  • Aaron: Someone will release a camera that knows how to focus on stars! This is a technology that makes very little sense to me as to why it can’t exist already. Someone will add it to their new Astro camera I just know it! Well I just HOPE it! 😀
  • Brent: My hope and desire is that by June we can travel per normal. But my prediction is that we won’t see regular international travel until 2022 which greatly saddens and frustrates me. Even then it’ll be changed for too long with extra hoops to jump through.
  • Aron: More of us will stop using Facebook and Instagram and will hypertarget the people and communities we WANT to follow: Yes, the ease of going to one place to catch up with old friends, family and post your pictures to ALL YOUR GROUPS with a few spammy clicks is nice – notice my bias there? – I think that more and more people will move away from Facebook and Instagram this year. After a heavily political 2020, between anti-mask rhetoric to public mask shamers, you couldn’t just go on Facebook and enjoy photography. You couldn’t eat your ice cream on facebook without someone putting the bitter kale of political preachiness all over it. I am trying with my own following to build a community with MilkyWayPhotographersGuild.com and it is very nice to have a place that is free of the spam, politics, distractions and all the tracking going on through facebook. But it is still too quiet to feel alive year round. It’s amazing how effortless it is to multitask while IN facebook but how painful it can be to click one more link and post there. In 2021 my efforts to help it be alive will make it better and I hope more of you will find your favorite photographers or photography groups in other places than facebook and return the fun to owning and controlling your own community.

What Are The Predictions From Listeners?

What do you think is going to happen in 2021?  What do you hope happens?

Doodads

Jeff: Movo WMX-20-DUO ($200).  Really good two lav microphone system that can also take line-in to the transmitter.

Aaron: Carson Lumiloupe ($7): I would be ashamed of myself for joining the Master Photography audience again and not sharing my absolute FAVORITE Milky Way Photography tool, the $5 10x Magnifying Loupe that helps me get perfect focus on the stars! 

Reminders:

Comments

  1. Why not Reddit? It can be toxic like everything, but it’s focused into subreddits. I follow r/photography and r/sonyalpha for insurance, among others. Within each subreddit, users can post things relevant to that subreddit, comment on them, etc. It could be something like r/masterphotography. Your feed is exactly what you make of it, so its customizable.

  2. Recent listener to your Podcast, and really enjoy it so far. Minor, *minor* suggestion for when replaying previous show segments; if you could tweak the audio somehow (more treble, idk) to differentiate it from the current episode, it would make the show much easier to follow. Like Aaron, I too was getting confused which audio was old and which was new.

  3. I just wanted to leave a comment after hearing the brief Facebook discussion. The moment one gets a serious following *boom* Facebook takes the following away. I wanted to use a medium other than Facebook

    I predict many historic photographs this year.

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