The Cameras of the World Press Photo Winners for 2022

The 2022 World Press Photo Winners have been announced, and the images presented here reflect a whole lot of what happens in the world. As an American, the images are fascinating to stare at. It’s impossible for us to see all these stories from the various media agencies. But it’s also often not fed to us. The images are incredible, and cement the fact that photography isn’t going to be replaced by video. Instead, photographers just need to strive to be that much better. As these photos display, it means we need to really get out there and document the world as it happens.

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This year’s 2022 World Press Photo Winners have images that hit me in many different ways. Often I think back to college, and how I literally wanted to be one of these folks. But after doing it for a little while and careful deliberation, I didn’t want to anymore. What these photographers do is dangerous, difficult, physically taxing, and potentially mentally scarring. Having to separate your emotions while documenting what’s happening in front of you is a tough thing to do. But there are also fascinating projects, such as the one you’ll see that was partially computer-generated to prove a point. 

We, as passionate photographers, should keep all this in mind as we look through these photos. What’s more, we should celebrate the work these photographers do. Please take a look at the images below. You’ll get one of the best mobile and tablet experiences if you download our app. Otherwise, check this out on a desktop.

Table of Contents

The Cameras Used

The following contains data that we’ve mined using Capture One 22 to figure out the cameras used. We’re focusing on those more than the lenses. But of course, we know that lenses are important. And ultimately, it’s the photographer who fires the shutter.

An Analysis of Trends

  • Nikon and Canon DSLRs are still popular for working photojournalists who’ve used the same gear that’s consistently worked for them for years.
  • If we don’t mention a camera associated with a photographer, it’s because we couldn’t find it in the EXIF data.
  • Film continues to create great photos.
  • Drones and phones remain to be a useful tool for photographers.
  • The Nikon z6 and z6 II were designed with photojournalists in mind, yet photojournalists defer to the higher megapixel bodies it seems from Nikon. The exception is their higher-end DSLRs.
  • Don’t discredit older cameras! The Leica M8, Canon 5D Mk II, and the original Sony a7 made it on this list!
  • This list has three APS-C cameras.
  • One medium format digital camera was used.
  • The majority of cameras here are full-frame DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
  • We’re a bit stunned to not see the Sony a1 anywhere on this list.
  • The winning image was shot with the Canon 5D Mk IV, which has the same sensor as the Canon EOS R. 
  • Previous awards have had a lot more Fujifilm cameras present. 
  • A mix of prime lenses and zooms were used.

WORLD PRESS PHOTO OF THE YEAR (Amber Bracken Using a Canon 5D Mk IV)

Kamloops Residential School by Amber Bracken, Canada, for The New York Times

Red dresses hung on crosses along a roadside commemorate children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, an institution created to assimilate Indigenous children, following the detection of as many as 215 unmarked graves, Kamloops, British Columbia, 19 June 2021.

Global jury chair Rena Effendi about this image: “It is a kind of image that sears itself into your memory, it inspires a kind of sensory reaction. I could almost hear the quietness in this photograph, a quiet moment of global reckoning for the history of colonization, not only in Canada but around the world.”

WORLD PRESS PHOTO STORY OF THE YEAR (Matthew Abbott using a Nikon D6)

Fire fighting on country with Warddeken. Third Trip for Nat Geo.
“This is my country.
This is where I recognise myself.
I have a responsibility to manage
it now and into the future”
Andrew Marangurra – Traditional Owner
For thousands of generations, Nawarddeken clan groups lived on their customary estates in the stone country. They were part of a living landscape, integral to the health of the stone country, Nawarddeken walked, camped throughout their lands, each dry season undertaking landscape-scale traditional burning.
With the arrival of Balanda (white people), Nawarddeken began to leave the stone country attracted by Christian missions and government trading posts, opportunities to work in the mining and buffalo industries, and the appeal of larger settlements.
A Nawarddeken diaspora resulted and, by the late 1960s, the Stone Country was largely
depopulated. Nawarddeken elders considered the country orphaned.
During this time, our elders saw and felt the devastation of large wildfires and an increasing number of feral animals impacting biodiversity and cultural sites. Their concern was matched only by their desire and motivation to return to country, to once again look after the Stone country, and maintain and pass on their knowledge to future generations.
In the 1970s a return to country movement began in Australia, which resulted in Nawarddeken moving back to outstation communities, the traditional homes in the stone country.
In 2002 after decades spent bringing other Nawarddeken back to country, traditional owner Bardayal Lofty Nadjamerrek returned to his childhood home at Kabulwarnamyo to establish the first of three Warddeken ranger bases, providing employment in the region and allowing landowners to make a living on country. Establishing their own schools, housing and infrastructure.
Warddeken Rangers were the first in the world to earn carbon credits from the traditional burning of country.

Saving Forests with Fire by Matthew Abbott, Australia, for National Geographic/Panos Pictures

Indigenous Australians strategically burn land in a practice known as cool burning, in which fires move slowly, burn only the undergrowth, and remove the build-up of fuel that feeds bigger blazes. The Nawarddeken people of West Arnhem Land, Australia, have been practicing controlled cool burns for tens of thousands of years and see fire as a tool to manage their 1.39 million hectare homeland. Warddeken rangers combine traditional knowledge with contemporary technologies to prevent wildfires, thereby decreasing climate-heating CO2.

Global jury chair Rena Effendi about this story: “It was so well put together that you cannot even think of the images in disparate ways. You look at it as a whole, and it was a seamless narrative.”

WORLD PRESS PHOTO LONG-TERM PROJECT AWARD (Lalo de Almeida Using the Canon 5D Mk III and a DJI Drone)

Amazonian Dystopia by Lalo de Almeida, Brazil, for Folha de São Paulo/Panos Pictures

The Amazon rainforest is under great threat, as deforestation, mining, infrastructural development and exploitation of other natural resources gain momentum under President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmentally regressive policies. Since 2019, devastation of the Brazilian Amazon has been running at its fastest pace in a decade. An area of extraordinary biodiversity, the Amazon is also home to more than 350 different Indigenous groups. The exploitation of the Amazon has a number of social impacts, particularly on Indigenous communities who are forced to deal with significant degradation of their environment, as well as their way of life

Global jury chair Rena Effendi about this story: “This project portrays something that does not just have negative effects on the local community but also globally, as it triggers a chain of reactions on a global level.”

The Winners

Here’s a list of the winners

Open World Format: Isadora Romero Using a Sony a7 and Sony a7r III

Africa Singles: Faiz Abubakr Mohamad Using a Nikon D750

Africa Stories: Kola Sulaimon (Sodiq Adelakun Adekola)

African Long Term Projects: Rijasolo Riva Using a Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 5D Mk III, and Leica M8

Africa Open Format: Rehab Eldalil Using the Nikon Z7, Nikon D810, and Huawei LX1A

Africa Honorable Mention: Amanuel Sileshi Using Sony a7 II and Sony a7 III

Asia Singles: Fatima Shbair using the Fujifilm XT2

Asia Stories: Bram Janssen Using the Sony a7 III

Asia Open Format: Kosuke Okahara

Asia Honorable Mention: Dar Yasin Using the Canon 1D X and Canon 1D X Mk II

Europe Singles: Konstantinos Tsakalidis Using Canon 5D Mk IV

Europe Stories: Nanna Heitmann Using Leica M10, Film, and the Canon EOS R5

Europe Long Term Projects: Guillaume Herbaut Using the Nikon D3, Nikon D800, and the Nikon z7 II

Europe Open Format: Jonas Bendiksen Using Sony a7r III

Europe Honorable Mention: Mary Gelman using the Canon 6D Mk II and scans

North and Central America Stories: Ismail Ferdous using the Fujifilm GFX 50s and Film

North and Central America Long Term Project: Louie Palu using an Unknown Camera

North and Central America Open Format: Yael Martinez the Canon EOS R5

North and Central America Honorable Mention: Sarah Reingewirtz Using the Nikon D4 and Nikon D5

South America Single: Vladimir Encina Using the Nikon D3200

South America Stories: Irina Werning using the Canon 5D Mk IV

South America Honorable Mention: Viviana Peretti using a Rolleiflex

Southeast Asia and Oceania: Anonymous for the NY Times Using the Canon 6D (No, Seriously)

Southeast Asia and Oceania: Abriansyah Liberto using the Canon 7D and Canon 5D Mk II

Southeast Asia and Oceania Open Format: Charinthorn Rachurutchata 

Southeast Asia and Oceania Honorable Mention: Ta Mwe Sacca

You can see more over at the World Press Photos official website.

Chris Gampat

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