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Photo-Imaging Awards and Honors : Technical Image Press Association Announces Winners of XXII TIPA Awards

April 16, 2012
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Best Digital SLR Advanced: Sony Alpha SLT-A65. Combining innovation with a class-high 24.3MP sensor, the SLT-65’s Translucent Mirror technology enables 10-fps shooting at full resolution with live view and continuous phase-detection focusing, which is available in all modes, including HD movie. Especially impressive is its OLED (and world’s first) electronic viewfinder’s quality with real-time camera adjustment previews. The viewing experience (2359k dots) represents a breakthrough in ultra-high-resolution clarity. The camera also offers three HD movie modes, including rich 24p and smooth 60p capability, in Full HD. For web videographers, the SLT-65 allows users to shoot MP4 videos. sony.com

Best Digital SLR Entry Level: Nikon D5100. With its 16.2MP sensor, image quality at high ISO sensitivity and excellent definition of its rear screen, the D5100 enables beginners to learn about the quality of a true reflex and more experienced users to have a complete camera at an attractive price. Shooting ease is aided by the convenient access to photographer-controlled settings and its impressive vari-angle LCD monitor. Add to that in-camera special effects, including HDR, and Full HD 1080p movie capability. nikonusa.com

Best CSC (Compact System Camera) Professional: Fujifilm X-Pro1. Fujifilm entered the pro interchangeable-lens compact field with the X-Pro1, boasting a highly functional hybrid multi viewfinder that allows a choice between an electronic or optical view. The X-Pro1 features a revolutionary new sensor pattern, dubbed X-Trans CMOS sensor, which is based on the irregular matrix of silver film. The 16.3 megapixels on a 23.6x15.6mm sensor means images of very high quality can be achieved, reinforced by an engineering design that pays special attention to the compatibility between the sensor and accompanying lenses. fujifilmusa.com

Best CSC Expert: Sony Alpha NEX-7. This compact interchangeable-lens camera aims to provide the same quality as an expert SLR, using the same 24MP sensor as the Alpha SLT-A77 while featuring a compact size and a convenient OLED-type EVF articulating monitor. Its elegant design, complemented by metal construction, sets it apart from other models. Offering numerous special effects, such as sweep panorama and auto HDR, it captures 10-fps bursts and HD movies. sony.com

Best CSC Advanced: Panasonic Lumix GX1. This Micro Four Thirds camera accepts both Lumix G and Leica DG lenses. Its 16MP Live MOS sensor incorporates an advanced noise-reduction system for exposures up to ISO 12,800 with a 144-zone multipattern meter. It features an impressive build as well as “light-speed” and precise contrast AF systems. Other features include 4.2-fps shooting (including a 20-fps rate at lower MP output), Full HD video, touch AF, creative controls and a brilliant 1,444,000-dot (optional) live view finder. panasonic.com

Best CSC Entry Level: Olympus Pen E-PL3. With a 12.3MP Live MOS sensor optimized for M.Zuiko lenses, in-body image stabilization, extremely fast autofocus with 35 focus points and 5-fps shooting, the Pen Lite sets a high standard for the CSC category. It also provides Full HD 1080 60i video, built-in art filters, a universal-standard 3D shooting mode, a 3.0-inch tilting widescreen LCD, plus an upload function via the optional PenPal PP-1 or an Eye-Fi card. olympusamerica.com

Best Premium Camera: Leica M9-P. Offering the same technical specifications as the original M9, the new Leica M9-P combines compact size, a full-frame 18MP sensor, sophisticated image processing and the robust construction of the M9 with new features designed for pro photographers. It includes a scratch-resistant, sapphire crystal covering on the LCD screen, and an external covering of the body features a new finish that ensures a steady grip. leica.com

Best Expert Compact Camera: Canon PowerShot G1 X.
Realizing that many photographers want DSLR-like image quality in a compact camera body with an excellent fixed zoom lens, Canon offers the PowerShot G1 X. It has a large 4:3 aspect ratio, a 14.3MP CMOS sensor measuring 18.7mm x 14mm (similar in size to the APS-C sensors used in EOS DSLR models) and superior image quality even when working in low light. usa.canon.com

Best Superzoom Camera: Fujifilm X-S1. Fujifilm has been a pioneer in superzoom (bridge) cameras and their experience paid off with the X-S1. It has the ergonomics and features of a full-featured DSLR with the convenience of an integral lens. A myriad of features and controls will appeal to a broad range of photographers, including an excellent Fujinon Super EBC 26x, 24-624mm zoom lens (with intelligent digital zoom capability to extend its length) and top performance from its EXR CMOS 2/3-inch sensor, especially under high ISO and in low light. There are also full manual controls and RAW format support, as well as top-notch 1080p video with stereo sound. fujifilmusa.com

Best Rugged Compact Camera: Pentax Optio WG-2. The newest of the proven WG series is available with or without GPS. Made for rugged use, it is protected against drop damage of 5 feet, withstands weights of 220 LBF, is waterproof to depths of 40 feet, and is operable in dusty climates as well as cold conditions down to 14° F. Other features include a 5x, 28-140mm (equivalent) optical zoom lens, a back-illuminated 16MP CMOS sensor for high-resolution photography, Full HD movie recording (1,920x1,080 pixels) at 30 fps with H.264 compression, and LED lights that support its digital microscope function for subjects as close as 1cm. pentaximaging.com

Best General Compact Camera: Samsung MV800.
The trendsetting MultiView MV800 anticipates the future of “smart” compact cameras with its Smartouch 3.0 interface, special effects filters, smart albuming and smart movie recording. It also features a versatile, responsive 3.0-inch flip-out display with touch-screen control, a Schneider Kreuznach 26-130mm, 5x zoom lens and fast electronics. samsung.com

Best Professional DSLR Lens: Canon EF 8–15mm f/4L USM Fisheye Lens. In combination with a 24x36mm full-frame sensor DSLR, the Canon EF 8-15mm allows for either full-frame or circular fisheye images; with smaller sensors it covers the full frame. Its 180º field of view offers exceptional creative capture capabilities. This premium L-series lens has an exceptional optical design, quality and durability, and its patented Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating reduces ghosting and flare, while fluorine coating aids in easy cleaning of the large front element. usa.canon.com

Best Expert DSLR Lens: Sigma APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM.
This is the first 180mm image-stabilized macro in the world with a reproduction ratio of 1:1 and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. It benefits from Sigma’s optical stabilizer function that allows a gain of about 4 stops. Three special FLD (F low dispersion) glass lenses ensure correction of chromatic aberrations while super multilayer coatings reduce flare and ghosting. sigmaphoto.com

Best Entry-Level DSLR Lens: Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM. Offering users of a DSLR with an APS-C-size sensor one lens that will likely cover all their needs, this lens provides the equivalent coverage of 27-300mm, making it a highly versatile lens that’s enhanced by Sigma’s optical stabilizer function and HSM movement. This is a compact and highly competent optical tool for landscape, portrait and even wildlife photography. sigmaphoto.com

Best CSC Expert Lens: Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm.
Constructed with 9 elements in 8 groups, with 4 aspherical and 2 ED lenses, the Micro Four Thirds-mount 28-84mm equivalent power zoom is ideal for still and especially video recording. An onboard electric zoom lever is complemented by a manual focusing lever. An enhanced built-in Power OIS optical image stabilization feature aids in quality recording, and Nano Surface Coating technology results in a dramatic reduction of ghosting and flare. Close focusing capabilities are a mere 0.66 foot at the wider settings and slightly more at the telephoto. panasonic.com

Best CSC Fixed-Focus Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2.0. This metal-finished lens offers an angle of view equivalent to 24mm, and its wide f/2 aperture is perfect for shooting in low light where flash is prohibited, to attain a shallow depth of field for portraits and creative nature photography and to help attain high shutter speeds when action is paramount. Beautifully built, it offers top-of-the-range image quality and fast autofocus thanks to Olympus’s MSC technology. Lightweight, unobtrusive and allowing close-up photos, it’s a lens for a wide range of creative photography. olympusamerica.com

Best CSC Entry-Level Lens: Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC. Designed for the E-mount Sony CSC line (it can also be used on the Sony NEX-VG10 HD camcorder), this light, compact lens delivers the equivalent of 27-300mm yet weighs 16.2 ounces. At the telephoto end, it focuses as close as 19.6 inches; to aid in close-up and long-range telephoto shooting, it has a specifically designed moving coil Vibration Compensation feature. The AF drive has a stepping motor that’s optimized for Sony’s contrast-detection AF system. tamron.com

Best Professional Video Camera: Canon EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera. To implement the revolutionary C300, Canon called upon expertise from diverse fields, including sensors, image processors and optics. The result is landmark video camera technology available in two versions: the EOS C300 with an EF interchangeable-lens mount and EOS C300 PL with a PL mount. An 8.3MP super 35mm-equivalent CMOS sensor was especially developed for the system. Both versions feature modular architecture and are accompanied by a range of video lenses. usa.canon.com

Best Professional Flash: Nikon SB-910. This flash unit incorporates an enhanced intuitive operating system and graphic user interface. The Speedlight covers the most popular focal lengths and has a built-in FX/DX-format identification that optimizes zoom settings based on the camera. It also provides more efficient battery usage and an enhanced thermal cut-out function that increase recycle times as the flash heats up, rather than shutting down completely until it’s cooled. The SB-910 features new hard-type color compensation filters for fluorescent and incandescent color temperature balancing, which can change the white balance setting of the camera automatically. nikonusa.com

Best Digital SLR Video Accessory: OConnor O-Focus Dual Mini.
This double-sided direct-drive follow-focus device from OConnor is optimized for both still and cine-style camera lenses. Each version of the 0-Focus Dual Mini units (i.e., the photo set and the cine set) has its own transmission ratio, and both have low profiles to allow for large diameter lenses. The device shares the design and build quality of many OConnor CFF-1 accessories, and it’s an invaluable aid for demanding professionals. ocon.com

Best Accessory: Vanguard BBH-200 Ball Head. Vanguard’s unique rapid-level system in their BBH-200 ball head makes life easier for photographers; by just pushing the orange slider on the front of the tripod head, they can quickly lock the camera in place to be perfectly leveled with the base. The BBH-200 is a lightweight yet sturdy ball head that can easily handle a professional DSLR with a long telephoto lens. vanguardworld.com

Best Tripod: Gitzo Systematic. Gitzo’s Systematic modular tripods offer improved robustness, security, speed and ease of setup. A modular upper platform permits the use of the tripods with a geared or sliding central column, a flat disk, a video half-ball adapter, a leveling device and other specialized central components. Its true triangular shape distributes the weight more effectively and uniformly on carbon fiber legs; for example, a Series 5 tripod safely supports up to 44 pounds of photographic equipment—double the previous version. gitzo.com

Best Photo Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. Photoshop Elements 10 offers three levels of user interface, from a super-simple quick edit for novice users and the guided edit for users who want to learn more, to a full edit for advanced users who want to take control and get the best results. It includes a powerful organizer with unique features such as object search, which automatically finds objects within photos. The organizer can even automatically detect duplicate or near-duplicate photos, so users can quickly group these or clean up their archives. adobe.com

Best Color Management System: X-Rite i1 Display Pro. Pros and serious enthusiasts know that a calibrated and profiled monitor is a critical element in the digital workflow. Nobody wants to spend lots of time at their computer perfecting their images, only to find that their monitor wasn’t accurately showing the colors of their photographs. The X-Rite i1Display Pro is the ultimate solution for creative professionals who demand a color management solution that’s easy to use and powerful enough to get the best color accuracy. xritephoto.com

Best Imaging Storage Media: Sony XQD Memory Cards. Currently available in 16 and 32GB capacities, Sony's XQD cards are made for the demanding needs of today’s pro still and DSLR videographers. With read/write speeds up to 125MB/sec, the card can record approximately 100 RAW images in continuous shooting mode. Also impressive is its rugged construction and inset pins as well as the PCIe interface and controller that outperforms any conventional CompactFlash card. sony.com

Best Photo Bag: Vanguard Heralder. This series combines quick, easy access to important gear with enough storage capability to include all the working pro needs. Available in three sizes, the Heralder has a “quick top access” feature that puts essential gear at hand as well as a handy built-in tripod sling. The bag was designed with a wide, padded antislip shoulder strap and a removable inner pouch, plus there’s a removable laptop/tablet compartment. vanguardworld.com

Best Expert Photo Printer: Epson Stylus Photo 1500W. A wireless A3+ photo printer using Epson’s Claria six-color dye-based ink set, it delivers 5,760x1,440-dpi resolution with a very small 1.5-picolitre droplet size to result in prints with extremely fine detail and smooth gradation. The convenience of its wireless connectivity is a feature not provided by competing A3+ photo printers; plus it supports printing from iOS and Android devices via the Epson iPrint app. epson.com

Best Multifunction Photo Printer: Canon Pixma MG8250. With a sleek design and enhanced connectivity, which includes access to the new Pixma Cloud Link and wireless printing from mobile devices, this printer offers photo lab quality printing at impressive speed. The printhead produces 1-picolitre droplets and delivers 9,600-dpi resolution. The six-ink system includes pigment black, dye black, magenta, cyan, yellow and gray ink, which produce a grain-free smooth color 4x6 photo in 20 seconds. Added to the package is a CCD scanner with 35mm film scanning at 4,800x9,600 dpi. usa.canon.com

Best Fine Art Inkjet Paper: Ilford Galerie Prestige 310gsm.
Galerie Prestige Smooth Gloss 310gsm and Smooth Pearl 310gsm papers offer a heavier weight and retain all the technical features that made them the papers of reference in the world of professional printing and among experienced amateurs. Compatible with all pro inkjet printers, they allow the creation of superior archival-quality prints with an excellent color gamut. The new 310gsm versions can improve the feel of the prints and give more weight to the printed images. ilford.com

Best Photo Service: Fujifilm Fotoservice Pro. As most online photo services assume sRGB for uploaded images, serious photographers who prefer to use a wider color space are left out in the cold. They have to convert to sRGB or their photos will look washed out. Fujifilm Fotoservice Pro offers full-color management for online prints, photo books and other photo products, making it possible for enthusiasts to use a fully color managed workflow when working with an online print service. While this service is only available in Germany, TIPA hopes this award will encourage Fujifilm to make it available worldwide. fujifilm-fotoservicepro.de

Best Photo Projector: Epson EH-TW9000W. This flagship Full HD 3D product from Epson features an impressive set of specifications. Its maximum brightness of 2,400 lumens along with 200,000:1 contrast ratio and 480HZ-frame refresh rate set it apart from competitive 3D projectors. The W version offers wireless HD transmission, and both the EH-TW9000 and EH-TW9000W come with two pairs of 3D active shutter glasses. epson.com

Best Digital Accessory: Wacom Intuos5 Tablet. With an ergonomic design for left- or right-handed users, the slim Wacom Intuos5 enables creative professionals to work in a comfortable and intuitive way. Features include multi-touch gesture support, wireless capabilities and the Express View display to help users remember their application-specific ExpressKey settings. Just briefly resting a finger on any key reveals the settings on-screen, a display that fades within seconds. The tablets can be converted to wireless tablets by installing the optional wireless accessory kit, thus eliminating the need to keep them physically connected to a computer. wacom.com

Best Mobile Imaging Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This smartphone features intelligent applications and high-end imaging features. Its HD super AMOLED display offers a resolution of 720p and enables users to view photos and videos with a wide angle of view. The built-in camera delivers decent photo quality for everyday use, capturing 5MP photos, including panoramas, and Full HD 1080p videos. The zero-shutter-lag helps capture snapshots spontaneously, and it comes with intelligent image-editing effects like silly faces and background replacement. Based on the Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system, it offers a modern OS environment for imaging related apps. samsung.com

Best Mobile Photo App: Nik Software Snapseed. Snapseed provides an original and comprehensive set of tools plus a rich package of everyday functionality and creative effects. Its unique interface allows the most intuitive handling of photos with touch-screen devices. It offers a true “photographic” choice of image effects for color, toning, framing and sharpness of images, and effects can be combined. Wiping in vertical and horizontal directions, users can interactively choose which parameter of the image will be influenced and how strongly the effect will be applied. Cropping and straighten tools complete its feature set. niksoftware.com

Best Photo Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster24/27A850 (PLS).
Samsung LED PLS (Plane to Line Switching) technology offers more accurate color and a wider viewing angle than competing monitors. The SyncMaster A850 series comes in two sizes, with 1,920x1,200 (24-inch model) and 2,560x1,440 (27-inch model) resolution and a fast 5ms GTG response time. The technology delivers 100% sRGB color for beautifully rendered images and accurate photo editing. Samsung included a three-port USB 3.0 hub, and there’s an ambient light sensor for automatic adjustment of the backlight. samsung.com

Best Photo TV Display: Samsung Smart OLED TV.
Featuring the very latest in picture quality, displaying vivid and true-to-life image quality in both 2D and 3D, this is the ideal TV for photo and video enthusiasts. In comparison to even the best LED TVs, it offers exceptionally high-contrast ratios and almost perfect color rendering. Because Super OLED technology uses self-emitting RGB sub-pixels, which don’t require a backlight, the TV weighs 30% less than a standard LED TV and is thinner than 0.3 inch. samsung.com
 

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