The Biggest Innovations in Photography in 2016

Photography is evolving: it seems like everyone is really into 360 video, VR, etc as it continues to evolve. But traditional camera companies are continuing to innovate and other companies have been becoming better and better at what they do. We’ve seen a large number of changes in the community this year that is pushing the boundaries and how the industry is going to continue to progress.

Take a look as we round up some of the best innovations of the year.

Nikon 105mm f1.4 E


Nikon surprised everyone this year not with their cameras, but more so with their new 105mm f1.4 Lens. It’s the longest focal length with an f1.4 aperture for digital cameras and is absolutely incredible according to our review. We choose this lens because it’s quite literally a world’s first. Lenses with f1.4 apertures have only been available up to 85mm in the past. But this year, Nikon decided to go even longer. Yes, this lens is pretty big overall. But it’s sure worth it.

Does it have a high price tag? Yes. But if you’re a professional headshot photographer you’ll be able to produce a unique look that can’t be delivered from any other lens on the market with the exception of going longer at 135mm.

Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3


There are a few options on the market that give users the 150-600mm focal lengths in a single lens. But none of them have what Tamron has. Not only does Tamron have great image quality, weather sealing, and image stabilization, but it also has a special feature that loads of photographers want.

At each focal length, photographers can lock the zoom ring. That means that it won’t move back and forth at all. Only want to shoot at 200mm? You can have it!

Impossible Project i1

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impossible Project I-1 review product images (3 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

The Impossible Project created something very cool this year. The I1 doesn’t have the greatest image quality, but it allows the user to have a whole load of freedom when it comes to the actual picture taking process. For starters, the I1 connects to your phone via bluetooth which then lets you manually change the exposure setting. It’s the only camera on the market to do this and Impossible should be given recognition for trying.

Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II


The Olympus OMD EM1 MK II is a camera that has a whole bunch of innovation packed into it. While Four Thirds sensors don’t have the best high ISO output, there’s a heck of a lot of other cool features built in. For example, you can handhold the camera for up to 15 seconds and run it under a faucet for maybe like 10 minutes. It works well, plus it still has the world’s fastest autofocus.

Sony a99 II


The Sony a99 II is quite a big innovation step for cameras. It has a lot of megapixels, tracking autofocus that’s accurate and fast, and good image quality overall. For years, it’s always just been one or the other. But this time around, Sony is really doing a fantastic job with an autofocus system that rivals that of Canon and Nikon’s when it comes to sports.

Fujifilm Monochrome Instax


Fujifilm finally delivered on something that lots of photographers have been asking for for years. There’s finally a black and white Instax film and it’s beautiful! The film is being billed as Monochrome and according to our review works with a medium level of contrast. It’s fairly simple to use and fun overall.



A tripod? Yes. Seriously no one ever thought that they’d want a tripod if they needed need one, but Cokin’s latest release is changing the minds of photographers everywhere. This is a special novelty tripod design to look and function like vintage tripods made years ago. With that said, it incorporates wood, aluminum, and leather into the design.

Mint TL70 2.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Mint Camera InstantFlex TL70 product images (5 of 16)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 4.5

The Mint TL70 original was quite the camera when it first hit the scene. It’s the first camera to allow full aperture priority exposure, manual focusing, etc with Fujifilm Instax film. It works pretty well even though the metering can be a tad wonky at times. But with the 2.0 version, they made the viewfinder brighter. With that said, focusing is much easier.

Wandrd PRVKE 21 pack


A lot of camera bag backpacks bill themselves as being day bags, travel bags and camera bags. But none do it anywhere as well as the PRVKE pack. After winning awards with the original bag, this smaller version was designed to do almost the same things. It’s great for city slickers or those needing to stay someplace overnight while packing everything into a single bag.

Hasselblad X1D

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Hasselblad X1D product images (1 of 13)ISO 8001-125 sec at f - 4.0

Perhaps one of the most exciting things to be announced this year has to be the Hasselblad X1D. Why? It’s medium format in a mirrorless camera body. That means that it’s smaller than so many others out there. It’s the first camera to do it digitally; and Fujifilm followed suit a bit later.

Apple iPhone 7+


Yes, a phone is making this list. Why? Because the Apple iPhone 7+ has the guts to try to challenge the DSLR and mirrorless camera world by delivering out of focus areas of images that are good enough for most consumers.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.