XXI TIPA Awards Winners Announced for 2011

XXI TIPA Awards Winners Announced for 2011


Madrid, Spain—The annual meeting of the Technical Image Press Association to vote for the best photographic and imaging products of 2011 was held on April 9, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.

This year at the TIPA general assembly, 29 member magazines voted for the best product in each category as well as discussed and approved certain internal rules and the board proposal of partnership with the Camera Journal Press Club (CJPC) of Japan, which associates 11 photography magazines in Japan.

In a span of 21 years, the association has granted more than 430 awards for photo-imaging products from over 70 companies from 15 countries. 

This year, the general assembly selected the best photo-imaging products of 2011 in 40 categories.

TIPA has member magazines from nine European countries plus Australia, Canada, China, the USA and South Africa. Today, with the affiliation of the CJPC of Japan, it is able to reach more than 10 million enthusiastic photography amateurs and professionals in the world.

Here, by category, are the winners of the XXI TIPA Awards and what the TIPA judges had to say about them.

Best Innovative Design: Casio Tryx. The TIPA Design Award goes to innovative products that combine form and function in new and unique ways. Offering freestyle shooting, the Tryx can be used equally well by right- and left-handed photographers and can be oriented anyway. The 21mm wide-angle lens encourages new ways of seeing, while the touch-screen controls offer simplified operation. The Tryx can capture video at Full HD 1080p or stills with a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor. casio.com

Best Imaging Innovation: Sony SLT, Translucent Mirror Technology. The advantages of a translucent, fixed mirror technology are evident in the form of real-time phase-detect autofocus (also available in movie mode) and much increased burst mode speed. By means of SLT design bodies can also be made smaller. sony.com

Best DSLR Professional: Pentax 645D. TIPA members appreciated the design, build and feature specs of this 40 megapixel (MP) medium-format digital camera. The magnesium alloy body is fully weather-sealed, plus the all-glass trapezoid pentaprism finder makes for a “dazzling capture experience.” They also found its lens compatibility impressive, which encompasses both the new D FA autofocus lenses as well as older 645 lenses. pentaximaging.com

Best Digital Camera Back: Phase One IQ Series. The IQ180, IQ160 and IQ140 digital camera backs feature max resolutions of 80, 60.5 and 40 megapixels, respectively; the IQ180 and IQ160 capture in full-frame 645 format, and the IQ system has a 3.2-inch, high-res display with touch-screen operation to zoom, pan and browse images and an extreme viewing angle of 170 degrees. IQ series backs are the first digital backs to feature a USB 3.0 and a FireWire 800 connection. phaseone.com

Best DSLR Expert: Olympus E-5. TIPA found that for a reasonable price, the Olympus E-5 provides benefits that rival those in some pro SLRs: weather sealing, comprehensive functions, excellent responsiveness, 100 percent viewfinder, good noise control, dual CF/SD slots, built-in image stabilization—all in a rugged magnesium alloy body. Its 12.3MP Live MOS sensor, “combined with the TruePic V+ image engine produces images that rival competitors with substantially higher pixel counts.” olympusimaging.com

Best DSLR Advanced: Nikon D7000. The D7000 impressed TIPA “as the definition of a state-of-the-art DX-format DSLR (APS-C size) with a 16.2MP CMOS sensor, six frames-per-second framing rate for up to 100 shots and Full HD 1080p movies with full-time AF.” Add to that twin SD card slots, a 100 percent viewfinder, a 3.0-inch LCD for live-view operation, magnesium alloy top and rear covers, weather and dust seals plus a 150,000 cycle-rated shutter that give it a pro feel. nikonusa.com

Best DSLR Entry Level: Canon EOS Digital Rebel T3i. TIPA members were impressed with its 18.0MP CMOS sensor, Full HD video recording, live-view shooting, wireless flash photography and vari-angle 3.0-inch LCD monitor, as well as its 3.7-fps shooting rate, a top 1/4000-sec shutter speed and up to 6400 ISO sensitivity (plus 12,800 H). “The camera allows for the full DSLR experience with ease of operation that makes for a great first camera for those seeking to ‘step up’ from compact cameras.” usa.canon.com

Best Compact System Camera Expert: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2. This is a true hybrid photo and video camera, where video is no longer just an additional function, TIPA commented. The DMC-GH2 features Full HD 1920×1080, 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) smooth video recording with 60p (NTSC) / 50p (PAL) output in addition to the high quality photo, “a world’s first for cameras in this category.” The GH2 can be operated through an intuitive touch control screen; for example, tapping a subject on the screen will make the camera focus with a speed that rivals the best DSLRs. panasonic.com

Best Compact System Camera Entry Level: Samsung NX100. Its new body design drastically revises the ‘DSLR look-alike’ concept found in other compact interchangeable-lens cameras and is a bold step from the company’s previous NX10/11 designs. Features include a vivid 3.0-inch AMOLED screen, an APS-C size sensor and a line of high-tech iFunction lenses. “This promising new series of optics blazes new viewing and camera control paths by allowing the user to program numerous functions right from the lens.” samsung.com

Best Premium Camera: Fujifilm FinePix X100.Fujifilm’s FinePix X100 offers unrivalled image quality for a compact camera, thanks to its APS-C format CMOS sensor and Fujinon 23mm f/2.0 lens. The Hybrid Viewfinder uniquely combines the ‘bright frame’ window-type optical viewfinder found in high-end film cameras, and the electronic viewfinder system of fixed single lens or digital compact system cameras, offering the user ‘the best of both worlds.’” fujifilmsusa.com

Best Expert Compact Camera: Olympus XZ-1. It boasts one of the fastest zoom lenses in its class, the iZuiko f/1.8-2.5 6.0-24mm (28-112mm equivalent). “Rather than succumb to the continuing megapixel race, the light-reception area of each pixel of the 1/1.63-inch, 10 megapixel CCD has been doubled. The XZ-1’s AF illuminator, dual image stabilization, low-light mode that automatically adjusts the ISO sensitivity up to ISO 3200 and the compact size all add up to an exciting ‘candid’ camera that also offers advanced manual controls.” olympusimaging.com

Best General Compact Camera: Nikon Coolpix P300. The “Coolpix P300 is a stylish compact camera with a remarkably powerful f/1.8 lens, starting at 24mm (35mm equivalent) with 4.2x optical zoom. High Refraction Index glass further ensures sharp images with high contrast. Combined with its powerful 12.2 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, this camera gives excellent image quality even in dim lighting conditions.” The P300 captures Full HD (1080p) video and also in slow motion with a recording speed of up to 120 fps. nikonusa.com

Best Superzoom Camera: Canon PowerShot SX230 HS. It features a 12.1MP HS system, a 14x optical zoom (28-392mm equivalent) with optical image stabilization and a 3.0-inch LCD, with 100 percent frame coverage. TIPA members were impressed with its Full HD 1080p video with dynamic image stabilizer, a new GPS function (including supplied Map Utility software) and a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor coupled with Canon’s Digic 4 processor that reduces noise levels even at the higher ranges. usa.canon.com

Best Rugged Compact Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3. Waterproof to 12m and dust-proof to the IPX8 and IP6X standard, it has an integrated GPS function, a built-in compass, altimeter and barometer to show and record altitude, barometric pressure and orientation data, and an internal clock that automatically adjusts to local time. panasonic.com

Best Expert Camcorder: Sony Handycam NEX-VG10.This camcorder could be considered the perfect ‘convergence’ imaging system, equally serving the still photo and video worlds,” said TIPA. The NEX-VG10 uses most of the electronics of Sony NEX-5 CSC, the same Exmor HD CMOS APS-C size sensor and the same E-mount for interchangeable lenses, but its form factor favors video. sony.com

Best Entry Level Camcorder: Samsung HMX-Q10. With its unique switch grip (either-handed grip), now, left-handed filmmakers can enjoy the same ease-of-use as right-handed people! Responding to the grip position, the magnetic sensor inside the HMX-Q10 recognizes the angle and turns the LCD display for easy viewing. The HMX-Q10 captures video in 1920×1080/60i Full HD and includes advanced optical image stabilization. samsung.com

Best Pocket Camcorder: JVC Picsio GC-WP10.The increased popularity of this new category of imaging devices made choosing among the list of candidates difficult, but the Picsio emerged as our choice because of its efficient combination of waterproof, rugged body and Full HD 1080p video, supporting both MPEG-4 and H.264 formats,” said TIPA. It doubles as a 5MP still camera, and its touch control 3.0-inch display also impressed TIPA members. jvc.com

Best Professional Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. This lens improves the autofocus speed, the optical image stabilization and the optical quality of its legendary predecessor, and features reduced chromatic aberration thanks to one fluorite and five UD lens elements. The newly developed optical image stabilization now provides up to 4 stops of correction at all focal lengths. What remains is its dustproof and moisture-resistant design. usa.canon.com

Best Expert Lens: Sigma APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM. Containing 22 elements (including three SLD and two FLD glass elements) in 17 groups, this lens covers 24x36mm “full-frame” sensors and has an optical image stabilization system that compensates approximately four stops. Its HSM function assures smooth and silent auto focusing, and chromatic aberration is reduced to a minimum. sigmaphoto.com

Best Entry Level Lens: Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD. This telephoto zoom lens provides users of full-frame and APS-C format DSLRs with “ features that make it stand out in the telephoto zoom class.” It features the first-ever Tamron USD (ultrasonic silent drive) for enhanced autofocusing speed and responsiveness. To assist in handheld, low-light shooting it incorporates VC (vibration compensation), Tamron’s tri-axial image stabilization system. tamron.com

Best Professional Flash System: Broncolor Senso Series. The Broncolor Senso series combines controllable flash power and compact size. The Senso power pack is available in two power versions, offering 13-1,200 or 26-2,400 Ws flash energy for up to three lamps in two channels. Appealing and practical features include constant color temperature over three f-stops and a built-in radio receiver. broncolor.com

Best Expert Photo Printer (A3/A2): Epson Stylus Photo R3000. This 13-inch wide printer features high-capacity cartridges, networking and wireless connectivity, plus what Epson dubs “advanced media handling,” which in practice means ease and convenience for the printmaker. “We were very impressed by the black-and-white output of this unit as well,” said TIPA members. epson.com

Best Multifunction Photo Printer: Canon Pixma MG8150. It “offers advanced printing technology in a beautiful black box design.” With the new intelligent touch system and direct Flickr access from Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint EX software, making photo prints from a variety of sources has been made easier for all levels of photographers. Its HD movie print Function allows users to print their favorite moments from Full HD movies. usa.canon.com

Best Large-Format Printer: Epson Stylus Pro 4900.The 4900 impressed us as a unit that has wide appeal to serious fine art, studio and commercial photographers with controls that allow even those without print shop experience to get the most from it.” The wide-format 17-inch sheet and roll printer features an external rotary cutter and an LCD for ink, paper and printer maintenance and test controls. Prints, under proper storage conditions and on the proper substrate, are claimed to last 200 years. epson.com

Best Photo Scanner: Epson Perfection V330 Photo. With 4,800×9,600-dpi optical resolution, four customizable buttons for one-touch operation, a built-in transparency unit for scanning film, and a 180 degree lid for scanning oversized objects, the scanner uses ReadyScan LED technology for faster scan speeds, no warm-up time and lower power consumption. Epson’s Easy Photo Fix technology allows users to restore faded photographs and remove the effects of dust on scanned film. epson.com

Best Photo Service: Fujifilm 3D Print Service.With the introduction of the 3D print system, Fujifilm revives a process and blazes new ground as it brings 3D printing into the digital age. TIPA members salute the engineering and end result of Fujifilm’s thermal sublimation printing system that transfers images directly onto lenticular sheets to create a 3D effect.” fujifilmusa.com

Best Retail Finishing System: Fujifilm Frontier DL600. Developed in response to the demand from small and medium-size photo shops for a versatile, inkjet printing production unit, the DL600 prints on paper sizes up to 12 inches and features a 720-dpi mode for regular printing and a 1,440-dpi high-quality mode. Its ink head handles five colored inks. fujifilmusa.com

Best Photo Kiosk: Mitsubishi Gift Kiosk.Packaging a kiosk as a gifting idea center both makes use of the versatility of digital images and aids consumers in creating unique items from those images.” This self-service kiosk offers popular print sizes, index prints, calendars, greeting cards, CD/DVD burning, albums and photo boxes. mitsubishi-imaging.com

Best Accessory: Kodak Pulse Digital Frame W1030S. The frame lets users receive photos wirelessly via e-mail through a Wi-Fi connection, even from mobile phones and Facebook. The quick-comment button makes it possible to communicate back to picture senders directly from the display. kodak.com

Best Film: Kodak Professional Portra 160.Kodak Portra 160 is evidence that the emulsion-builders’ art is not lost and indeed continues to be refined and perfected. The color negative film features a significantly finer grain structure for improved scanning and enlargement capability in today’s workflow.” kodak.com

Best Photo Software: Nik Software Complete Collection. Nik plug-ins provide a unique U-Point technology, allowing for customization of individual image parameters. And all presets can be customized to each photographer’s taste. “We especially note the company’s recent development of unique HDR and black-and-white conversion software packages.” niksoftware.com

Best D-SLR Video Accessory: Redrock Micro nano DSLR Rigs. With the heightened interest in video-capable DSLRs, TIPA members recognize “that the ‘cost of entry’ can be difficult for some photographers. This made the Redrock nano DSLR rigs and accessories particularly deserving of attention as the products are designed for low-cost, entry-level photojournalism/documentary and even casual family users.” redrockmicro.com

Best Photo Bag: Vanguard Skyborne Series. Vanguard Skyborne backpacks provide generous space for cameras and lenses and pockets for accessories. “Its cleverly designed bottom and top access points enable the user to go from traveling to shooting mode in just a few seconds, without having to remove the backpack from ones body. The shoulder straps are angled at the base to rest on the shoulders more comfortably.” vanguardworld.com

Best Tripod: Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT. TIPA members were struck by the versatility of the Vanguard Auctus Plus tripod, which makes it equally suitable for both studio and outdoor use. It incorporates a dual-function wheel gear that adjusts central column height while supporting heavy gear; solid, sealed leg locks; All-terrain feet that convert from anti-rust spikes to angled, textured rubber; and legs that adjust to 25, 50 and 80 degree angles. vanguardworld.com

Best Imaging Storage Media: Panasonic Gold Pro SDHC UHS-I. With read and write speeds of up to 95MB/s and 80MB/s, these cards are ideal for high-speed consecutive shooting in HD quality with DSLRs. A Super Intelligent Controller protects data from sudden power failure. They’ re also equipped with “Proof 5” protection (water-, shock-, magnet-, X-ray-, temperature-proof). panasonic.com

Best Fine Art Inkjet Paper: Harman by Hahnemühle Series. Offering a wide range of archival papers in baryta, cotton base and canvas finishes in both warm and cold tone varieties, TIPA members were impressed by the papers themselves, as well as their appeal to darkroom printmakers in that “they have the most laudable characteristics of the best silver papers of the past now available for inkjet printmakers.” hahnemühle.com

Best Photo Projector: Mitsubishi HC9000D. Mitsubishi brings the 3D experience to home theatres with its Diamond HC9000D 1080p HD home theatre projector. The projector has a 120Hz refresh rate for ultra-smooth transitions and natural images, while a management function allows individual adjustment of each color characteristic without affecting the other colors. mitsubishi-imaging.com

Best Expert Photo Monitor: NEC SpectraView Reference 271. TIPA members were impressed with this 27-inch wide-format LCD. Calibration functionality is enhanced by a state-of-the art P-IPS panel with 10-bit performance that can reproduce 1.07 billion colors and 97 percent usable Adobe RGB color space. It features 2,560×1,440 pixel resolution. spectraview.nec.com.au

Best Entry Level Photo Monitor: LG IPS236/IPS231.The 23-inch LG IPS monitor series offer excellent image quality at an affordable price point. Compared to conventional technology, IPS panels show a precise color rendering and allow a better color impression, independent from the viewing angle.” The aspect ratio of 16:9 and 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution match Full HD image specifications. lg.com

Best Photo TV Display: LG Infinia PZ950. The LG PZ950 uses improved plasma display technology, “achieving a remarkably high standard when displaying 2D and 3D movies and photos. Its picture enhancing technologies result in a very accurate color rendition.” lg.com