Digital Imaging Reporter’s 10th Rudy Awards

Digital Imaging Reporter’s 10th Rudy Awards


Each spring the editors at Digital Imaging Reporter get together to discuss innovative, out-of-the-box imaging products that have caught our attention. These conversations form our selections for the Rudy Awards. Now in its tenth year, the awards were inspired by the late, unforgettable Rudolf Maschke, who cofounded Photo Industry Reporter (now Digital Imaging Reporter) with his lifelong friend and business partner, Ed Wagner. Rudy was a pioneer publisher in the photo-imaging industry who always seemed to have his finger on the pulse of the industry. It is in his honor that we present the 2016 Rudy Awards.

        10th Rudy Awards

Nikon KeyMission 360 Action Camera

Nikon entered the action camera market with the development of a product line that builds on its optical as well as imaging technologies. The first in the line is the KeyMission 360, a rugged camera capable of recording 360º spherical video in 4K UHD. The

Nikon KeyMission 360

cam features an image sensor and lens on opposite sides of its body. Images from each side combine to create a single, immersive, ultra-high-definition 360º video and still image. In addition, the cam is waterproof to 100 feet, dust- and shockproof, and can handle low temperatures. It also utilizes electronic vibration reduction (VR), enabled through applications during playback, to reduce the effects of camera shake and help produce sharp, crisp video. Along with dedicated accessories, the KeyMission 360 will be released in spring 2016.

Sigma WR Ceramic Protector Lens Filter

Sigma’s Water Repellent (WR) Ceramic Protector lens filter features Clear Glass Ceramic material developed in partnership with a glass manufacturer. The shock- and scratch-resistant Clear Glass Ceramic offers very high transmittance, making it ideal for use as optical glass. A special heat treatment evenly precipitates microcrystalline spinel throughout the materials, and the filter is said to be 10 times stronger than conventional protective filters and three times the strength of chemically strengthened filters.

Sigma Water Repellent Ceramic Protector

Its WR coating repels water, dust and oil and allows fingerprints to be easily removed. The coating reflects only 0.24% of visible light, minimizing flare and ghosting. The filter is also up to 50% thinner and 30% lighter than previous Sigma filters. It comes in popular thread sizes from 67–105mm. Prices range from $130 to $441.

Sinfonia CS2 Dye-Sub Photo Printer

This compact, high-speed, dye-sub printer is engineered to deliver quality output for end users ranging from photo retailers, event photographers, professional studios, ID systems and entertainment centers. The 6-inch photo printer turns out 4×6- to 6×8-inch prints. Aside from its portable size and high quality, its notable success is due to its adoption by photo ID systems, kiosks and photo booths, as it also produces two 2×6-inch photo strips

Sinfonia CS2

with three to four images per strip. It outputs 300 4×6 prints per roll of ribbon/paper, and prints are produced in less than 11 seconds each. The printer measures 11x13x7 inches and weighs in at 22 pounds. Moderately priced, the Sinfonia CS2 sells in the $600–$700 range.

Boud PIC Flex Cam

PIC is a lifestyle camera with a unique design that permits users to transform its shape. Its flexible body can be twisted around just about anything. It can be fixed without a cradle or mount, making it possible to record from nearly anywhere. A one-touch button allows users to select main functions, and audio notifications let them know what function is being used. It can also be operated via Bluetooth. PIC records Full HD 1080p video

Boud PIC

and 8MP stills with a 124º wide angle. Weatherproof, the cam works underwater (3 feet) without a case for 30 minutes. It has 16GB of memory and USB direct OTG output. The company plans to license characters from leading animation/culture content companies. PIC will launch in various colors and characters.


Delivering the full resolving power of its 50.6MP, full-frame sensor by canceling the negative effects of the low-pass filter, the 5DS R delivers medium-format-level images. It records Full HD 1080p video, plus a time-lapse movie function combines images shot at set intervals into a Full HD movie. High-end features include: dual Digic 6 processors; a 3.2-inch, 1.04M-dot LCD; a 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor; a 61-point, high-density reticular AF sensor; and Canon’s Intelligent Tracking and Resolution system

Canon EOS 5DS R

to enhance AF performance using information from the metering sensor. Also featured are 5-fps, full-res bursts; dual card slots; and a 100% coverage viewfinder with a transparent LCD that displays setting info, a customizable view of AF points and grid lines. Additionally, a new mirror vibration control system and a time-release lag setting suppress shake. The 5DS R has a weather-sealed, magnesium alloy body. $3,899.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Drone

DJI upped the ante with its Phantom 3 Professional drone, which cruises up to 1,640 feet and spans a 3.1-mile radius. “Beginner” mode limits flight to 100 feet in altitude and radius to help pilots acclimate. In addition, better GPS (including GLONASS) and a sturdy frame lend greater stability, helping withstand higher wind gusts. The location data also alerts the drone when it exceeds its range, sending it back to the takeoff point. Its 12MP camera’s 3-axis gimbal system provides image stabilization, a 90º downward tilt

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

and a 94º lens that reduces fisheye effects. Via the DJI app or controller, it records 4K and Full HD 1080p video, and captures stills. The controller’s joysticks manage elevation and orientation, with a holder for a smartphone/tablet. It displays live footage from the camera, with options to control recording, shutter speed, ISO, white balance and tilt. Live streaming over 4G LTE/3G and Wi-Fi facilitate sharing. $999.

Eyefi Mobi Pro Wi-Fi SD Memory Card

Eyefi Mobi Pro

Eyefi’s Mobi Pro card provides photographers with instant access from any smartphone, tablet or PC to their digital camera images and video. It includes one year of Eyefi Cloud (a $49.99 value), providing unlimited storage and synchronization to the cloud. With Mobi Pro, photographers can send JPEGs to a mobile device for instant preview, quick editing and sharing, and send RAW files to a computer for postproduction. Images are securely transferred, whether shooting on location, at home or in studio. On location, Mobi Pro creates its own Wi-Fi hotspot; at home, it connects to a local network. It also leverages Eyefi Cloud for automatic transfer of new images captured using any device, unifying collections with original-resolution photos from any source and organizing them by date and time. 16GB, $69.99; 32GB, $99.99.

Plustek Technology ePhoto Z300 Photo Scanner

Plustek’s ePhoto Z300 is a single-sheet scanner designed to digitize photos without scratching them. It features a protected scanning path via elevated rollers that provide a soft touch. Additonally, with most flatbed photo scanners, users need four steps: lift the lid; lay the photos out one-by-one on the bed; close the lid; and scan. The ePhoto Z300 replaces these steps with a single insertion: once the photo is detected, the scanner grabs it and

Plustek ePhoto Z300

scans it. Other features include a CCD sensor developed to capture a high quality of colors and the capability to scan documents and photos up to 8.5 inches wide. The Z300 is bundled with software that includes photo enhancement tools and effects, as well as ABBYY FineReader 9.0 OCR software. $199.

Panasonic Lumix 100–400mm f/4–6.3 Leica DG Vario-Elmar Lens

Long telephoto lenses have generally been very large and heavy. Panasonic’s new lens changes that. It’s a very functional lens that can fit into about any camera case, without weighing down photographers. Furthermore, the compact Micro Four Thirds lens is two-thirds smaller and one-fifth the weight of comparable DSLR long zooms. It also provides a 200–800mm equivalent focal length and 0.5x magnification to capture detailed shots from a distance.

Panasonic LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH
Panasonic 100–400mm f/4–6.3 Leica DG Vario-Elmar Asph

It offers macro capability as well as a circular aperture to produce smooth bokeh. Furthermore, to capture vibration-free images, Power OIS helps keep unwanted shake under control. Aspherical and extra-low dispersion elements are used to avoid flaring, and Panasonic’s precise, 240-fps AF motor aids in near-quiet video filming. Gapless construction, weather sealing and a built-in sliding hood make it suitable for all environments. $1,799.99.

PicsArt Photo Studio App

PicsArt Photo Studio App

With more than 250 million downloads and 65+ million monthly active users, PicsArt is one of the most popular photo-editing apps in the world. PicsArt offers the user a slew of creative tools to take, enhance, combine as well as share their photos and video. These include tools to edit photos, create collages and add drawings, paintings or sketches to the photos. The free app (iOs/Android) also provides opportunities to learn from fellow PicsArt community members and to discover other creative visuals. PicsArt’s mission is to enable anyone with a smartphone to express themselves creatively as well as to connect with others through image sharing, art contests and collaborative editing features.

Pentax 645Z Medium-Format Camera

This brilliantly upgraded medium-format DSLR combines weatherproof build quality, impressive maneuverability and also ultrahigh resolution with a 43.8×32.8mm, 51.4MP CMOS sensor and an antialiasing filterless design. It delivers 3-fps continuous shooting, Full HD video and 4K interval shooting, as well as fast

Pentax 645Z

image review and transfer. The 645Z sports a tiltable, 3.2-inch, 1,037,000-dot LCD monitor. It also features HDMI output for images, video and sound; USB 3.0 connectivity; a customizable RAW/Fx button; HDR capture; ISO 100–204,800 settings; and dual SD card slots with wireless Flu card compatibility. $6,999.95.