Imaging Resource Camera of the Year 2022: Reader’s Choice Award

by IR Staff

posted Friday, January 6, 2023 at 12:00 PM EDT


Here we are! The final day of our annual Camera of the Year Awards, and we're wrapping things up with one last award: the Reader's Choice Award. For the past couple of years, we've included a Reader's Choice Award in our series of awards, as we wanted to include your voice for what you all thought were the best cameras of the year. We here at IR test all sorts of cameras and lenses over the course of the year, but you all do as well, in a way, with what you buy, rent, or try out over the year.

This past year, we saw lots of exciting and impressive cameras, several of which are pricey, high-end professional cameras -- which we understand might put them out of reach for the average consumer, enthusiast photographer, or humble camera reviewer... Nonetheless, they represent amazing technological achievements, that are surely exciting to all of us photographers. Overall, we had a nice variety of cameras across several manufacturers in our poll. A few brands had more than one product on the ballot, too, as we felt these products all deserved a shot at the top spot.

Over the past few weeks, we've been running our Reader's Choice poll, and as we watched the votes come in, we could see some clear favorites rising up and standing out among the crowd! But now the poll is closed, the votes are in, and the result are tallied!


So without further ado, let's look at the top three most popular cameras, chosen by you, our readers:

Reader's Choice, Third Place: Sony A7R V

Sony's much-anticipated A7R Mark V full-frame camera takes third place by a wide margin over the fourth-place camera. The A7R Mark IV was a wildly-popular camera (still is by all counts), but folks were clearly excited and looking forward to a successor model, especially once the Sony A7 IV hit the scenes in 2021. Combining high resolution with high performance, the Sony A7R V continues the Mark IV's legacy as an incredibly versatile and capable camera. The A7R V keeps the same impressive 61MP full-frame sensor as its predecessor yet pairs it with an all-new image processor and a dedicated AI Processing Unit. Suffice it to say, the image quality of this camera is incredible, as is the upgraded autofocusing system.


Named as a Runner-up as our Best Professional Full-frame Camera of the Year, the Sony A7R V takes what we loved with the A7R IV and pumps it up a notch. It has versatility written all over it. It's not a speed demon, but the Sony A7R V is incredibly capable for all sorts of subjects, especially when high-resolution image quality is demanded. 

More info: Hands-on Review / Gallery / Lab images

Buy now: Adorama, Amazon and B&H

Try before you buy: Lensrentals


Reader's Choice, Second Place: OM System OM-1

Squeezing in just below the top pick is the compact and rugged, and oh-so-capable OM System OM-1 Micro Four Thirds camera! Named as our top pick for Best Professional Crop-sensor Camera of the Year, the flagship OM-1 camera takes the Olympus OM-D legacy to new heights with improved image quality, upgraded autofocusing performance, faster speed and even better durability. The first camera model bearing the "OM System" branding from the newly-formed OM Digital Solutions Corporation, this new Micro Four Thirds camera, as we put it, is "more impressive than any previous Olympus camera in just about every way." And it seems that you all think so too!


The OM-1 is all about speed, performance and autofocusing sophistication. If you're a wildlife or nature photographer, the OM-1 is certainly a camera to keep your eye on, if you haven't already snagged one yourself. Sporting a 20MP stacked Four Thirds CMOS sensor (a first for a Micro Four Thirds camera) and a new processor, the OM-1 can shoot at up to 50fps with C-AF at full resolution. The image quality is also better at higher ISOs, and the AF speed and subject-detection are also improved. The OM-1 includes even more AI-based intelligent subject-detection modes than we saw in the E-M1X. The OM-1 checks off so many boxes on what makes a fantastic enthusiast- and professional-class camera that it's no surprise it's proved popular amongst our readers.

More info: Hands-on Review / Gallery / Lab images

Buy now: Adorama, Amazon and B&H

Try before you buy: Lensrentals


Reader's Choice, First Place: Nikon Z9

Taking the crown in our Reader's Choice Awards is the incredibly powerful Nikon Z9 full-frame mirrorless camera. As our readership tends to be more enthusiast-oriented, a nearly $6,000 pro-tier camera isn't one we'd necessarily expect to draw this much interest and votes. However, it's clear that the groundbreaking technology and impressive capabilities of Nikon's flagship Z camera struck a chord, both with us here at IR and with you all out there. You'd expect a professional camera to be good, of course, but the Nikon Z9 is much more than merely "good," it's among the best full-frame mirrorless cameras available -- and undoubtedly Nikon's best mirrorless camera. 


With a 45MP full-frame stacked sensor and a new image processor, the Z9 is a revolutionary camera for Nikon's Z series. It offers outstanding image quality as well as incredible speed and performance. Plus, it has Nikon's most user-friendly design and the best EVF we've used. The stacked sensor allows for amazing burst shooting speeds and helps the Z9 achieve incredibly fast autofocus. The Z9 is a camera that proves Nikon is not only serious about its mirrorless Z platform, but committed to delivering professional photographers a mirrorless camera that honors Nikon's rich heritage of enabling some of the world's best sports, wildlife, nature and documentary photographers.  

Named our Best Professional Full-frame Camera of the Year and chosen as our overall top pick as the Best Camera of the Year, the Nikon Z9 clearly impressed us. Turns out, it clearly impressed you all, as well, leading the polls nearly the entire run of the voting period!

More info: Hands-on Review / Gallery 

Buy now: Adorama, Amazon and B&H

Try before you buy: Lensrentals 


Thanks very much for your votes, photo world!

-The IR Editorial Team


Imaging Resource Camera of the Year 2022:

Best Cameras for Beginners & Enthusiasts

Best Ultra-Wide & Wide-Angle Lenses

Best Pro Cameras & Best Medium-Format Camera

Best Telephoto & Super-Telephoto Lenses

Best Overall Camera of the Year 2022

Best Standard Lens & Lens of the Year