What Did Thom Use in 2022?

Someone on dpreview posted their camera usage statistics for 2022. Given that I use a lot of cameras, I thought it would be an interesting idea to do a quick count of which Z cameras I’ve been using most. The results for 2022 may or may not surprise you:

  1. Z9 — By a large margin, the Z9 was my most-used Z camera in 2022. A lot of that has to do with what I photograph (sports and wildlife), and how often that triggers continuous bursts of images (though I rarely hit the buffer). 
  2. Z50 — Given that this is my usual walk-around camera due to its small size and weight with the kit lens—that fits in my vest or jacket pocket—I’m not surprised by this.
  3. Z6 II — Sort of middle ground for me: it’s smaller and lighter than the Z9, more competent than the Z50 at most everything, so the Z6 II often is my first choice for a second body with the Z9 or as a first body when the Z9 is overkill. 

Everything else was down in the statistical noise, where there’s no measurable significance. 

Lenses are a little harder to track (I normally don’t use Lightroom Classic). But looking at the major trips and events I photographed in 2022:

  1. 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S — A bit of a surprise to me, as I didn’t realize how often I was picking smaller and lighter.
  2. 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S — My preferred lens for sports and wildlife when appropriate. 
  3. 24-120mm f/4 VR S — A versatile lens that usually does what I need.
  4. 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S — Typically on my second body in sports and wildlife, which explains why it’s not higher on the list.
  5. 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR DX — Yep, the Z50 kit lens that’s typically on my DX camera, though the 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR DX is sneaking up. 

From there it gets harder to assess, as some lenses popped up for a short period while I was reviewing them, and thus it was “forced use” more than “selected use.” I believe the six I’ve identified above are the ones that I was selecting to use most often. 

A caveat: 2022 was an unusual year—as have been all the COVID years so far—in that I did few events, almost no landscape trips, and concentrated on wildlife far from the COVID crowds plus sporting events where I could distance myself. 2023 is likely to be far different as I plan to return to a more normal schedule and set of opportunities.

Update: Someone asked why the 400mm f/4.5 didn’t show up on my most used list. Well: (1) it wasn’t available the entire year; (2) the 100-400mm is more flexible and smaller to pack; and (3) I have the 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S when I really want just 400mm. Not every lens is for every person.

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