TIPA 2017: Best Imaging Products

TIPA 2017: Best Imaging Products

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2017-TIPA-Assemby-Havana
The TIPA General Assembly in Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba—The general assembly of the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) gathered in Havana, Cuba, from March 30 to April 2, 2017. The assembly voted on the annual TIPA Awards for the Best Photo and Video Products of 2017.

2017-TIPA-LogoRepresentatives from 27 professional, amateur and business magazines from Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America, along with a delegate from the Camera Journal Press Club of Japan, discussed the winners in 40 product categories. An awards ceremony and presentation will take place in Tokyo, Japan, on June 16, 2017.

Here are the 2017 TIPA Award winners in each category and what the judges had to say about them.

Best Design: Hasselblad X1D-50C

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Hasselblad X1D

At less than half the weight of previous medium-format digital cameras, the mirrorless X1D-50c is ergonomic and compact with a stylish, classic design. Smaller than most full-frame DSLRs, it offers impressive user controls and functionality along with a 50 megapixel sensor. Atop the camera is a simplified control dial that includes three user-defined setups for customized control setups. Users can opt to view through the 2.4MP electronic viewfinder (EVF) when lighting is challenging or the large, bright and high-res, 3-inch rear LCD that offers live view and touch control for accessing most of the camera’s functions, as well as playback functions like swipe and pinch zoom. hasselbladusa.com

Best Medium-Format Camera: Fujifilm GFX 50S

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Fujifilm GFX 50S

Containing a 51.4MP CMOS sensor (43.8×32.9mm) and X-Processor Pro engine, the GFX-50S is a compact, lightweight camera with a 2.36M-dot, touch-screen LCD as well as a detachable 3.69M dot EVF. This mirrorless camera has a newly developed focal-plane shutter with a maximum speed of 1/4,000 second plus is capable of 1/16,000 exposure when using the electronic shutter. Stills can be captured in a variety of aspect ratios in numerous JPEG levels and 14-bit RAW. Videos can be made in Full HD with four framing rates ranging with stereo sound. Numerous system accessories include setups for tethered shooting via USB. fujifilmusa.com

Best DSLR, Professional: Sony Alpha α99 II

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Sony α99 II

The α99 Mark II has a 42.4MP Exmor R CMOS sensor inside its magnesium alloy body and an enhanced buffer that handles up to 12-frames-per-sec shooting with AF/AE tracking. Its ISO range is 100–25,600 expandable to 102,400. A hybrid phase-detection AF system combines a 79-point dedicated sensor with 399-point focal plane sensor, resulting in a hybrid 79-cross-AF-point array that delivers very impressive high-speed and high-accuracy tracking focus. The α99 II records 4K video with full pixel readout (with no pixel binning) in the XAVC S format at 100 Mbps. It also incorporates 5-axis image stabilization for a 4.5-stop advantage. sony.com

Best Full-Frame DSLR, Expert: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with grip

The EOS 5D Mark IV features a full-frame, 30.4MP CMOS sensor and Digic 6+ processor that can capture 7-fps stills and 4K 30p video. Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology delivers highly responsive and smooth focusing with subject tracking during video and live view shooting. The camera offers an extensive ISO range (50–102,400); 61 AF points with expanded vertical coverage with 41 cross points; and a 150,000-pixel RGB-IR metering sensor. Video capabilities include 4K Motion JPEG video at 30p/24p; Full HD recording at up to 60p; HD recording at up to 120p; and still frames grabs of 4K, 8.8MP images. There is built-in WiFi/NFC and GPS functionality. usa.canon.com

Best APS-C DSLR, Expert: Pentax KP

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Pentax KP

The Pentax KP is a weather-resistant and dustproof camera with a 24.3MP, APS-C CMOS sensor with no low pass filter. The camera offers an unheard of ISO (819,200), a Pixel Shift Resolution system and AA filter moiré reduction technology. There is a built in five-axis shake reduction system and a tiltable LCD monitor. The KP has two high-speed shutter options: 1/6,000 second (mechanical) and 1/24,000 second using the electronic shutter. It offers Full HD video recording and built-in Wi-Fi for use with Ricoh’s Image Sync app. The pentaprism finder offers 100% field of view, and the camera can record in both JPEG and 14-bit RAW files. ricohimaging.com

Best DSLR, Entry Level: Nikon D5600

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Nikon D5600

The 24.2MP, DX-format D5600 features Nikon’s SnapBridge, which can be used for remote shooting and to automatically transfer images to a compatible smartphone/tablet via Bluetooth. Video can also be transferred via the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. The camera offers a 5-fps continuous mode and a 39-point AF system, as well as an ISO range of 100–25,600. A vari-angle, 3.2-inch, 1.04M-dot, touch-screen LCD allows for point-of-view creativity while using the camera’s numerous special effects modes, as well as standard exposure modes and patterns. The camera also offers Full HD video at 60p as well as Nikon’s NEF (RAW) format for still image capture. nikonusa.com

Best Professional Photo/Video Camera: Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

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Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

The lightweight, durable Panasonic GH5 is a weather-resistant Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera with a 20.3MP Live MOS sensor. The sensor utilizes advanced digital signal processing and heat dissipation to allow recording and internal processing of 4:2:2 10-bit 4K video. Numerous recording formats include AVCHD, MP4 and MOV. The GH5 also offers a 6K photo function, which can extract 18MP stills from the 30-fps, 6K burst file (in 4:3 or 3:2 aspect). 6K photo mode also takes advantage of the camera’s high-speed burst shooting to allow spontaneous capture of high-resolution still images: 8MP, 4K photos can be captured at 60 frames per second. panasonic.com

Best Mirrorless CSC, Professional: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

The lightweight and weatherproof E-M1 Mark II has a 20MP Live MOS sensor and TruePic VIII dual quad core processor. It offers two very high-speed shooting sequences, 15 fps (mechanical) and 60 fps (electronic), as well as 4K UltraHD video recording (30/25/24 fps) with a built-in stereo mic. A 121-point Dual FAST AF system ensures fast and sharp image capture, plus there is focus bracketing and focus stacking when desired. Other exciting features include a 1/8,000-second shutter speed; a fully articulating, 3-inch, touch screen monitor; and built-in 5-axis image stabilization. The camera also delivers 50MP-equivalent images with its high-res shot mode. olympusamerica.com

Best Mirrorless CSC, Expert: Fujifilm X-T2

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Fujifilm X-T2 Graphite

The X-T2 contains Fujifilm’s APS-C-size, 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor that deliver up to ISO 51,200 sensitivity. A highly responsive EVF offers 100-fps live view, plus there is a 3-inch, three-direction tilting LCD. The X-T2 has extremely impressive AF performance in low light and for low-contrast subjects, as well as an AF-C custom setting that allows user to match subject movement. Premium video recording results from the capture of 1.8x the amount of information to produce 4K video and 2.4x for Full HD. Professional-quality controls include an optional power grip that boosts burst modes and can extend the duration of 4K video recording to nearly 30 minutes. fujifilmusa.com

Best Mirrorless CSC, Entry Level: Fujifilm X-T20

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Fujifilm X-T20

Housing an APS-C, 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor, the X-T20 records JPEG and 14-bit RAW stills as well as 4K, Full HD and HD video. Capable of recording 14 fps with electronic shutter and 8 fps with mechanical shutter, the camera offers a wide range of burst options. These include bursts up to 81 frames in JPEG and 29 in RAW, depending on framing rate and format. The high-resolution OLED EVF has 2.36 million dots while the 3-inch, touch and tiltable TFT LCD offers an impressive 1.04M-dot view. Users can take full control of exposure functions with the body’s control mode dials or use SR auto mode to access many scene modes and creative presets. fujifilmusa.com

Best Compact, Professional: Fujifilm X100F

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Fujifilm X100F

The X100F has a new 24.3MP, APS-C-format CMOS sensor and an updated X-Processor Pro engine to deliver an ISO range of 200–12,800 and a “push” sensitivity to 51,200. The camera can capture JPEG/RAW stills at up to 8 fps and video up to 1080/60p with a built-in stereo mic. The integral 35mm-equivalent f/2 lens has a close-focusing capability of 3.9 inches. Viewing is with the same rangefinder-type design of previous models with a fixed, 3-inch LCD and a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. There is both a built-in flash and hot shoe for auxiliary units. Wi-Fi functionality allows for smartphone remote connectivity. fujifilmusa.com

Best Compact, Expert: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V

The RX100 V has a 20MP, 1-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor and a high-resolution OLED EVF, as well as a 3-inch TFT LCD—all within a camera that fits easily in a pocket. ISO sensitivity ranges from 125 to 12,800 and to 25,600 with overlay burst shooting. Fast Hybrid AF combines 315 focal plane, phase-detection points with contrast-detection AF to yield a very fast AF acquisition speed of 0.05 second. Continuous 24-fps shooting, with AF/AE tracking, is made possible with the new front-end LSI. The (equivalent) 24–70mm f/1.8–2.8 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens can focus as close as 0.17 feet at the wide focal length setting. The camera offers numerous video modes and frame rates, including 4K, as well as built-in SteadyShot image stabilization. sony.com

Best Superzoom Camera: Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80

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Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80

The FZ80/FZ82 offers an incredible 60x, 20–1,200mm integral optical zoom lens. It delivers 4K and HD video, with output and framing rates that will meet every creative need, as well as JPEG and RAW still capture. It uses an 18.1MP High Sensitivity CMOS sensor, Wi-Fi capability and built-in POWER OIS image stabilization. Its Lumix DC Vario lens is constructed with six aspherical lenses, nine aspherical surfaces and three ED (extra-low dispersion) lenses with a close-up capability of 1cm at the wide setting. There are many AF (including continuous, tracking and touch) as well as exposure mode options. In addition, there is a wide variety of creative controls (22 in all) for exciting special effects. panasonic.com

Best Rugged Camera: Nikon Coolpix W100

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Nikon Coolpix W100

Waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 5.9 feet, freezeproof to 14Fº and dustproof, the affordable W100 contains a 13.2MP CMOS sensor that can deliver stills at 11 fps and Full HD video at 30p. Its 3x optical Zoom Nikkor lens delivers a 30–90mm-equivalent focal length range with electronic VR. A 2.7-inch, 230K-dot TFT LCD is enhanced via a five-level brightness adjustment control. There are numerous creative scene modes, as well as +/-2 EV exposure compensation. Dedicated one-touch button controls make shooting easy in both challenging weather and underwater environments, and Nikon’s SnapBridge allows for easy sharing and storage with smartphone devices. nikonusa.com

Best Camcorder: Canon XC15

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Canon XC15

With its compact, portable body, the XC15 is designed for professional videographers and journalists who want a discreet but professional 4K/UHD handheld camera with XLR audio inputs that is ideal for news and film shoots in the field. As a “B” or “C” camera, it offers different “look settings” to ensure footage can be easily cut with both Canon Cinema EOS and XF and XA Canon camcorders. It employs an advanced 1.0-Type, 12MP CMOS image sensor; touch-panel controls; a wide-angle, 10x zoom (27.3–273mm-equivalent for video) lens with an optical image stabilizer with three IS modes plus separate rings for manual focus and zoom control; and advanced AF features with face-detection technology. usa.canon.com

Best 360º Camera: Nikon KeyMission 360

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Nikon KeyMission 360

The KeyMission 360 allows users to capture and share fully immersive, 360º videos and photos. It offers waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof operation with no additional housing required. The unit can record 4K UHD videos, 23.9MP photos and time-lapse sequences. It also features Nikon SnapBridge integration for real-time wireless sharing. Its close-focusing distance is approximately one foot with an angle of view of 8.2mm (35mm equivalent). Its compact at 2.6×2.5×2.4 inches and lightweight, coming in at just seven ounces. User flexibility for making images in a wide range of situations is enhanced by the availability of dedicated mounting accessories. nikonusa.com

Best Action Cam: Sony FDR-X3000R

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Sony FDR-X3000R

The 4K-capable FDR-X3000R is built around an 8.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor and features a wide-angle Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 lens. The compact unit has a unique Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system that works even in 4K and high-speed recording modes. The FDR-X3000R offers built-in Wi-Fi, with a new version of Sony’s live-view remote control, GPS and a stereo microphone, plus a stereo mini jack. Numerous shooting effects include time-lapse capture, high-speed motion and a 120-fps shooting rate. As is, the camera is splashproof, but a housing is available to shoot at depths of up to 197 feet. sony.com

Best Professional Lens: Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED

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Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED

Pros shooting architecture and tight indoor spaces will appreciate the quality and features of this tilt-shift, full-frame perspective control lens. It incorporates three ED elements as well as two aspheric elements and has Nano Crystal and Super Integrated coatings. It tilts +/- 7.5º and shifts +/-12mm with rotation up to 90º. The lens offers maximum perspective control: tilt and shift movements can be set independently and without locking, while tilt can be applied parallel or perpendicular to the shift. The lens has a water-, dust-, dirt- and grease-repellent fluorine coating on the front and rear elements; an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism; and a minimum aperture of f/32. nikonusa.com

Best DSLR Telephoto Zoom Lens: Tamron SP 150–600mm f/5–6.3 Di VC USD G2

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Tamron SP 150–600mm f/5–6.3 Di VC USD G2

This long-range zoom is built for full-frame DSLRs but can also be used on APS-C DSLRs to deliver an incredible 225–900mm focal length range (approximate, depending on camera). Tamron’s improved VC (vibration compensation) offers a 4.5-stop advantage with three modes for a variety of shooting scenarios. The lens incorporates three low dispersion elements to aid in the elimination of chromatic aberrations and is constructed with 21 elements in 13 groups. It has a minimum focusing distance of 86.6 inches. Other features include eBAND and BBAR coatings to help reduce ghosting and flare; a fast, ultrasonic, silent-drive ring-type motor; and seals on the metal barrel. tamron-usa.com

Best DSLR Wide-Angle Zoom Lens: Sigma 12–24mm f/4 DG HSM Art

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Sigma 12–24mm f/4 DG HSM Art

This Art lens is constructed with 16 elements in 11 groups, with FLD glass elements (equivalent to fluorite). Its updated hypersonic motor (HSM) offers 1.3x the torque of the previous model for fast AF. Using “the largest aspherical element in the industry,” the constant-aperture wide-angle zoom is designed for full-frame DSLRs. But it can also be used with APS-C sensor cameras to deliver a still impressive 18–36mm field of view (approximate, depending on camera model). With a minimum aperture of f/22 and a close-focusing capability of 9.4 inches at the 24mm focal length range, photographers can create unique images with startling depth of field. The constant f/4 aperture and 9-bladed, rounded diaphragm also allow for outstanding bokeh effects. sigmaphoto.com

Best DSLR Standard Zoom Lens: Canon EF 24–105mm f/4L IS II USM

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Canon EF 24–105mm f/4L IS II USM

This updated version of a versatile, constant-aperture zoom has a new optical composition that includes 17 elements in 12 groups. This includes four glass-molded (GMo) aspherical lenses that yield excellent resolving power as well as increase peripheral brightness, for enhanced edge-to-edge performance. Highly resistant to dust and water, the lens incorporates an image stabilizer with up to a 4-stop advantage and a 10-bladed, circular diaphragm for outstanding bokeh effects. Autofocus is extremely responsive due to inner focusing, a ring USM (ultrasonic motor), a high-speed CPU and optimized AF algorithms. Air Sphere Coating aids in the significant reduction of ghosting and flare. usa.canon.com

Best DSLR Prime Lens: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

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Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Aimed at portrait photographers and those who want to create dramatic shallow depth-of-field effects, this full-frame 85mm lens in Sigma’s Art series employs two FLD elements and one anomalous-dispersion (AD) high-refractive index element. They work to achieve extremely low levels of chromatic aberration. The lens contains a 9-bladed electronically controlled diaphragm, a hypersonic (HSM) motor for rapid and silent AF, and an AF system with a 1.3x-torque boost. Quality build features include a durable brass mount and a composite TSC barrel. This material is known to provide consistent performance at extreme temperatures and is considerable lighter than other materials that would yield similar benefits. sigmaphoto.com

Best CSC Telephoto Zoom Lens:

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12–100mm f/4.0 IS Pro

Providing a 24–200mm effective focal length range for MFT cameras, the Olympus 12–100mm lens has splashproof, dustproof and freezeproof construction—plus an on-lens function button. Its optical design includes one double-sided aspheric and three aspheric elements, plus five ED, two super HR (high-refractive) lenses and one HR lens. The lens has a circular, 7-bladed diaphragm and a fast MSC (movie & still) AF system with manual override. It has 0.6-inch close-focus distance. Its in-lens image stabilization alone provides up to five shutter speed steps of compensation performance. When mounted on a compatible Olympus OM-D or PEN camera, the lens stabilization works in sync with the camera’s in-body stabilization to create 5-axis sync IS. When paired with the E-M1 Mark II body, it is said to deliver an astounding 6.5-stop advantage. olympusamerica.com

Best CSC Standard Zoom Lens: Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12–35mm f/2.8 II Asph/Power OIS

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Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12–35mm f/2.8 II Asph/Power OIS

Among Panasonic’s updated Lumix G lenses, this fast 12–35mm offers silent operation via its inner-focus drive system plus smooth brightness changes when zooming or panning. This is due to a micro-step drive system in the aperture control. Another advantage is excellent AF-tracking performance when zooming. The lens has Dual IS and 5-axis Dual IS 2 technology, which is optimized for use with Panasonic’s latest cameras. These include the DC-GH5 and DC-G85. It’s constructed with 14 elements in 9 groups. The optical design includes four aspherical lenses with five aspherical surfaces, as well as one lens with UHR (ultra-high-refractive index) and another with UED (ultra-extra-low dispersion). panasonic.com

Best CSC Prime Lens: Fujifilm Fujinon XF23mm f/2 WR

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Fujifilm Fujinon XF23mm f/2 WR

This fast, wide-angle lens is constructed with 10 elements in 6 groups. It incorporates a pair of aspheric elements that aid in creating crisp images throughout the frame. An internal stepping motor provides fast, smooth and quiet AF operation. When combined with phase-detection AF, it is said to achieve focus in 0.05 second. Other features include Super EBC (electron-beam coating), weather resistance and a tolerance for low temperature use. When shallow depth-of-field effects are desired, its 9-inch close-focusing capability combines with a rounded 9-blade diaphragm and f/2 maximum aperture to create beautiful bokeh images. fujifilmusa.com

Best Photo Smartphone: Huawei P10/P10 Plus

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Huawei 10 Plus

Huawei’s new flagship, the P10—and the twin P10 Plus—comes with either a 5.10- (1,920×1,080) or a 5.50-inch (2,560×1,440) high-res display. This superfast smartphone is powered by an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 32/64GB of internal storage. The P10 Plus version is coupled with 4/6GB RAM and 64/128GB of internal storage. The P10 builds on the commercial success of the P9, which established Huawei as a high-end smartphone maker. An important part of this success is attributed to the prestigious Leica optics collaboration. The Huawei P10 Plus Leica Dual Camera 2.0 Pro edition carries two Summilux-H lenses with superfast f/1.8 aperture. The “basic” P10 is equipped with Summarit f/2.2 lenses. Both phones have two sensors, a 12MP one and a 20MP monochrome sensor. By combining sensor data, they deliver crisp, sharp images and improved quality in available-light photography. huawei.com

Best Camera Drone: DJI Phantom 4 Pro

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro

The Phantom 4 Pro uses titanium alloy and magnesium alloy construction to increase the rigidity of the airframe while reducing weight. It employs a FlightAutonomy system with dual rear sensors and infrared sensing systems for five-direction obstacle sensing and four-direction obstacle avoidance. The drone is fitted with a 1-inch, 20MP sensor camera that can deliver 4K, 60-fps video and 14-fps bursts. Users have long-range control of 4.3 miles and can take advantage of its 30-minute flight time to make truly impressive imagery. Its mechanical shutter eliminates “rolling shutter distortion” that might otherwise mar images of fast-moving subjects or when shooting at high flight speeds. dji.com

Best Camera Accessory: Manfrotto Lens Filter Suite

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Manfrotto Filter Holder Kit

Combining Manfrotto lens filters and XUME magnetic adapters, the Manfrotto Lens Filter Suite allows photographers to instantly and easily connect filters to their lens. The filters are multicoated to provide maximum protection and minimal light reflection and come with a storage case. The low-profile magnetic rings lock the filters securely in place and are safe for the lens’s focus drive and other electronics, as well as memory cards. Filters include UV, a circular polarizer, an ND8, ND64 and an ND500 for nine stops, the latter being available in 52mm and 58mm diameters. All other filters and adapters are available in eight diameters ranging from 49mm to 82mm. manfrotto.us

Best Lighting Accessory: Nissin Air10s

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Nissin Air 10s

The Air10s is an advanced TTL strobe commander in the 2.4 Ghz Nissin Air System (NAS). The simple dial layout with a color LCD display allows users to seamlessly and quickly control a large group of NAS-ready strobes wirelessly with a maximum distance of 330 feet. It is compatible with Fujifilm, Sony, Nikon, Canon and Micro Four Thirds cameras. It is also capable of crossover controlling different versions of NAS-ready strobes. The unit is equipped with a microSD card slot that enables users to update the unit. Manual and TTL power output control are available at 1/3 +/- EV steps. The all-new TTL memory function transforms TTL exposure data instantly to manual output power. nissindigital.com

Best Professional Flash System: Profoto D2

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Profoto D2

The D2 monolight offers flash duration as rapid as 1/63,000 second across its entire 10-stop energy range. High-speed sync goes as high as 1/8,000 second, ideal for outdoor flash work. A superfast recycling time allows for up to 20 firings per second. Photographers can work in TTL or manual exposure mode with 1/10-stop increment output control. The D2 is available in 500Ws and 1,000Ws versions with both featuring full TTL control for Canon and Nikon users via Profoto’s AirTTL 2.4 GHz radio system. The unit fits in with Profoto’s light-shaping equipment and can make use of over 120 light-shaping and modifying accessories. profoto.com

Best Portable Flash: Metz Mecablitz M400

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Metz Mecablitz M400

The compact M400 has a guide number of 40 at ISO 100 (105mm: GN 131 in ft.). It is compatible with a range of DSLR, MFT as well as other mirrorless cameras. It features a zoom swivel head with a built-in motor zoom function (24–105mm), an integrated (12mm) wide-angle diffuser and an OLED display for easy user interface. The M400’s auto TTL mode enables full and automatic control of the flash from the camera. In addition, it can be synched with first or second shutter curtain firing. It supports HSS or FP high-speed synch modes as well as slaved wireless TTL functionality, depending on the camera in use. metz.de/en

Best Tripod: Vanguard Alta Pro 2/ 263AB100 Ball Head

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Vanguard Alta Pro 2 with 263AB100 Ball Head

The Alta Pro and 263AB100 ball head combination allows for easy setup and flexibility in shooting angles and heights. The tripod features three-section aluminum alloy legs that adjust to 25º, 50º and 80º angles, as well as a smooth fluid-like ball head that rotates 360º. It also has a quick-release plate and bubble level guide. In addition, the hexagon-shaped center column moves from 0º to 180º, with the company’s Swivel Stop-n-Lock system that securely repositions the column with one movement. Other features include a premium magnesium die-cast canopy and an anti-shock ring, as well as quick-flip leg locks and rubber feet with retractable spikes. vanguardworld.us

Best Photo Bag: Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36

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Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36

This versatile bag offers three carry options for different gear configurations. For still photographers, it can hold three camera bodies and five lenses. For videographers, it can fit a Canon C100 cinema camera with handles and lens attached plus a microphone, three additional lenses and a backup body. In addition, for drone users it can hold a DJI Phantom 4 with transmitter and a DSLR with three lenses. Carry options include backpack and sling modes. Furthermore, a “cross backpack” setup combines the advantages of the other two options for flexible use in the field. manfrotto.us

Best Imaging Storage Solution: SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD

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SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD

Promising up to nine times the speed of an external hard drive, the Extreme 900 SSD (solid state) can hold up to 1.92TB of data. It boasts read and write speeds up to 850 MB/s, ideal for transferring and accessing very large video and still files. Housed inside an aluminum enclosure, the drive is temperature as well as impact resistant. The Extreme 900 SSD also offers encryption to keep files secure so that only the owner and trusted associates have access. It is compatible with both PCs and Macs with no drivers required and works with Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 as well as Mac OS 10.6+. sandisk.com

Best Photo Printer: Epson SureColor SC-P5000

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Epson SureColor SC-P5000

The 17-inch SC-P5000 is a desktop proofing, photography and fine art printer with a 10-color ink set, a PrecisionCore TFP printhead and Epson Precision Dot technology. The printer exclusively uses 200ml UltraChrome HDX ink cartridges to deliver an enhanced color gamut and higher density blacks. It also offers improved print permanence compared to previous models. The printer provides improved dust and static control, which means reduced maintenance requirements and greater durability. The PrecisionCore printhead has 360 nozzles per color for faster printing speeds. In addition, it features variable size droplets as small as 3.5 picolitres. In addition, a 2.7-inch color LCD panel makes setup and operation straightforward. epson.com

Best Inkjet Photo Paper: Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige 340 gms

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Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige 340 gms

Canson’s Baryta Prestige is a 340-gsm inkjet paper. Its comprised of acid-free alpha-cellulose and cotton with a true barium sulphate (baryta) coating. The baryta nomenclature tags it as having the look as well as feel of silver halide prints. It is a durable paper that brings a feeling of richness and depth to tonal values and hues. Its smooth gloss surface has the sharpness of traditional glossy paper. Furthermore, it lacks the distracting sheen of a “hard” surface gloss. Its weight and durability defend the sheet from handling problems but do not prevent the user from using it in virtually every current advanced photo inkjet printer. canson-infinity.com

Best Photo Print Service: WhiteWall ultraHD Photo Print

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WhiteWall’s ultraHD Photo print (top) compared to a conventional print

WhiteWall’s ultraHD photo prints reveal all the crisp details of digital files delivered by today’s high-resolution cameras. They’re printed on high-end Fujifilm Crystal DP II paper utilizes a new process that keeps the paper perfectly flat during exposure. As a result, edge-to-edge sharpness and detail are ensured. Exposure, development and the drying processes have also been enhanced. WhiteWall uses image optimization software that coordinates and takes full advantage of every phase of print creation. Even at close viewing distance, ultraHD prints display increased dynamic range and maximum density. In addition they offer vivid color and clear tonal gradation. Due to the precise controls applied, photographers can count on matching prints on repeat orders. us.whitewall.com

Best Imaging Software: Macphun Luminar

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Macphun Luminar

This is an affordable alternative to subscription-based and also some stand-alone image editors. Luminar offers a host of tools and options that can handle just about any imaging task. Available for Mac only, users can choose between levels of image-processing experience and adapt the workspace to their skill set. They can also move up to more advanced modes as they learn. Luminar works in a nondestructive fashion and can handle RAW conversion from dozens of cameras. There are 300+ tools and features. They include layers as well as blending modes, photo filters, presets, masking, black-and-white processing, object removal and color toning. macphun.com

Best Image-Processing Equipment: Wacom Intuos Pro

Wacom-Intuos-Pro-tablets-andn-pens
Wacom Intuos Pro

Tools that aid in smooth workflow and also adapt to users’ creative instincts are important elements for the creation of exciting, expressive images. The Intuos Pro pen and touch tablets are highly portable. At less than half an inch thick, they have smaller desktop footprints than previous models. The Intuos Pro comes with anodized aluminum backing, a smaller pen stand with 10 nibs and a new pen case. Available in two sizes, it features a touch-ring, multi-touch and eight “ExpressKeys” for customized shortcuts. Included is a Pro Pen 2 with enhanced sensitivity that delivers 8,192 levels of sensitivity. wacom.com

Best Photo Monitor: LG 27MD5KA

LG-UltraFine-5K-27MD5KA
LG 27MD5KA

LG’s 27MD5KA (UltraFine 5K) monitor brings coveted extra-high resolution to photographers using MacBook Pro. With a stunning 5,120×2,880 resolution and DCI-P3 99% color gamut, the display brings professional photos and videos to life. A single Thunderbolt 3 cable provides up to 85W of charging power to a MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 ports. In addition, three downstream USB-C ports offer connectivity options as well as power to compatible devices and accessories. Built-in stereo speakers, a camera as well as a microphone deliver a rich media experience. This is a 27-inch monitor with an eye to the future that is a good demonstration of LG’s expertise. lg.com

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