Part of the confusion there is that most of the contents of the Materials properties panel are global, but we don’t treat it that way.
When we switch between objects, the only part of the Materials panel that is unique to the selected object is the top Materials Slot list. The list of materials below it are global as are the per-material settings.
So it is a mistake that when you click on a camera that we can no longer see the Material tab. What we should get is everything but the top Material Slots list.
We could fix a lot of these issues if we made the materials list an actual list of the materials in the project, rather than a dropdown. I know we use that particular UI object because it makes it easy to rename materials, but “Name” could be a field below that we can edit.
Hard to explain this stuff in writing…