EISA Announces 2011-2012 Photography Awards

EISA Announces 2011-2012 Photography Awards


Woodbury, NY—EISA, an association of 50 special interest magazines from 19 European countries, internationally known for the European EISA awards, announced the winners for 2011-2012.

In June of each year, the editors in chief from all of the European Imaging and Sound Association member magazines meet to decide which of the products analyzed in their publications during the past year deserve the EISA Award. The awards applaud new products that combine the “most advanced technology, the most desirable features, the ultimate expression of design, the most satisfying ergonomics and, of course, the greatest value for money.” The awards are announced in August and presentations made in October at IFA in Berlin. The six award categories are: Audio, Video, Home Theater, Photography, In-Car Electronics and Mobile Devices.

Below are this year’s winners in the Photography category, in alphabetical order, and what the EISA panel had to say about them.

European Professional Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
This amazing telephoto zoom lens combines high image quality with an extremely durable construction and a surprisingly compact design. It sets a new standard for this popular zoom range with its professional autofocus performance and the latest generation of image stabilization but is still affordable for the enthusiast. Throughout the zoom range the lens shows optical qualities that are in line with fixed focal length lenses; it performs very well even at its widest aperture, and the environmental shield protects it from moisture and dust. usa.canon.com

European Camera: Canon EOS 600D
This is a good-value camera that has a very strong set of features and customizable functions. The excellent resolution and its low-noise characteristics even at high ISO settings make it an extremely desirable model to amateur photographers. This new EOS generation offers Full HD video, a larger, more comfortable grip, an external microphone socket, wireless flash control, good dynamic range, an articulated LCD screen and a host of beginner-friendly features that make advanced picture quality easier to achieve. usa.canon.com

European Travel Compact Camera: Casio Exilim EX-ZR100
Casio’s small superzoom camera, with its stabilized 12.5x zoom and 24mm wide-angle lens, fits easily into most pockets making it the ideal travel companion. The camera has a very strong set of core features, including a high-sensitivity, 12.1-million-pixel, back-illuminated CMOS sensor, a high-resolution 3-inch display, Full HD movie modes with stereo-sound, an HDR mode and the easy-to-use sweep panorama mode. The outstanding feature of this Exilim is its high-speed-mode: it can shoot up to 40 pictures in a second with a resolution of 10 million pixels and record movies at up to 1,000 frames per second that can be replayed in slow motion. casio.com

European Printer: Epson Stylus Photo R3000
A well-designed A3+ printer that produces extremely high-quality and detailed pictures with the help of its 2pl ink droplets and the inclusion of a vivid magenta in the UltraChrome K3 pigment ink set. A new color LCD control panel makes the printer easy to operate, while a high-speed USB port, built-in Wi-Fi, net connection and PictBridge give the user a wide range of ways to send files for printing. Thanks to the nine high-capacity (25.9ml) ink tanks, the cost of printing has been reduced. This is an ideal printer for both professional photographers and advanced amateurs. epson.com

European Advanced Compact Camera: Fujifilm FinePix X100
This advanced compact camera introduces an innovative new hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder, and is a very high-quality camera designed to be portable and always ready. The camera is ruggedly built, has a very sharp 23mm f/2.0 moderate wide-angle lens that offers selective focus, and its APS-C CMOS sensor offers high image quality even under low-light conditions. As a near-silent camera with excellent manual and automatic shooting modes, the FinePix X100 stands out as a serious alternative to a compact system camera or a travel camera for the enthusiast and professional photographer. fujifilmusa.com

European Photo Software: Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2
Silver Efex Pro 2 software brings together the worlds of film and digital photography by providing the processing techniques of the darkroom in a much more convenient form. As well as features such as adding the grain and contrast of a fast film, this software package has an excellent set of image-editing controls, especially the U-Point technology that will reduce reliance on other mainstream packages. The software is able to divide its operations between the computer’s CPU and the graphics card so that even complicated actions can be processed very quickly. niksoftware.com

European Advanced SLR: Nikon D7000

At the head of Nikon’s semiprofessional line of cameras, the D7000 is packed with the high-end features it inherited from the company’s D300 and D300S models. The solid body offers high-speed autofocus, a bright 3-inch LCD, dust control, dual SDXC card slots and Full HD video. An exceptionally good noise-control system means the 16.2MP sensor can be used at ISO 3200 and still produce high-quality clean images; even at ISO 12,800 noise is not much of an issue. This is a camera that can give amateur photographers professional-looking images. nikonusa.com

European All-Weather Camera: Olympus Tough TG-810

The stainless steel Olympus TG-810 is a water-, crush- and shockproof camera that is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts as well as for families. Although its rugged build is the principal feature of the camera, it also delivers good picture quality. With a 14MP sensor and a 5x zoom lens (28-140mm), it is suitable for almost every situation. The camera is easy to operate in both very bright and dark conditions thanks to the clarity of the 3-inch LCD screen, and the super macro mode allows users to take pictures 3cm from the subject—above and under water! A dual-mode digital image stabilization system makes sure that pictures appear sharp even in low light and when shooting a moving subject. olympusamerica.com

European Compact System Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
The DMC-G3 is a very small interchangeable-lens camera, which, as it is fitted with a built-in flash and an electronic viewfinder, is as easy to use indoors as it is outside on a sunny day. The camera offers excellent image quality and is capable of resolving very fine details and working in low light without producing excessive image noise. A new contrast-detection autofocus system finds and tracks the subject very quickly, and the responsive touch-screen allows not only focus pinpointing, but also touching the subject can trigger the camera’s shutter to take the picture. panasonic.com

European Professional Camera: Pentax 645D
With the introduction of the Pentax 645D, the medium-format market has gained a much anticipated and highly competitive member that offers exceptional image-quality and handling. The 645D is a joy to use in the field, and although it is big and somewhat heavy, its ergonomic grip, large viewfinder, fast and accurate autofocus, and well-made controls make it perfectly usable without a tripod. With its 33x44mm, 40MP Kodak CCD sensor it is a landscape photographer’s dream, creating absolutely stunningly sharp and detailed pictures with very attractive colors and a huge dynamic range. As a serious photographer’s tool, the Pentax 645D is second to none. pentaximaging.com

European Compact System Lens: Samsung NX 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ED i-Function
When you have chosen a camera because it is small, it is important that the lenses you use are also small. In this new category it is not true that all optics are as compact as the bodies on which they fit, but here Samsung has produced a very useful set of standard focal lengths in a form that is actually pocketable. It is not enough just to be small, of course, and this lens produces exceptional image quality throughout its aperture and zoom ranges. Samsung’s i-Function is an important feature of this lens and allows the user to access the main mode settings of the camera just by pressing the button on the lens barrel. The lens collapses when not in use to make itself really compact, but expands to become a highly efficient optic capable of very high resolution. samsung.com

European Social Media Camera: Samsung SH100
This is a very small 14.2MP compact camera that makes it really easy to share pictures and videos. Thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, as soon as a picture is taken, shooters can use the 3-inch touch screen to get connected to a public or private hotspot. They can e-mail the masterpiece to friends or upload it to social networking websites such as Facebook or Picasa, and videos can be sent directly to YouTube. DLNA technology allows the camera to be wirelessly linked to a TV, smartphone or tablet, and the camera can automatically back up images to a computer when users come within range. Samsung has created apps for iPhone and Android mobile phones, which let users connect the camera and the phone so the camera can be controlled remotely from the screen of the phone. samsung.com

European Lens: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
In the 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM, Sigma produced a telephoto zoom lens that offers professional features and exceptionally good image quality at a very reasonable price. Even at the maximum aperture of f/2.8 the lens delivers excellent sharpness and, combined with an effective image stabilizer (OS) and fast, silent autofocus (HSM), it is well suited to demanding photographic subjects such as nature, sports and documentary. Available with fittings for most camera brands, and covering APS-C and full-frame sensors, this lens is a perfect choice for both demanding amateurs and professional photographers. sigmaphoto.com

European Compact Camera: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V
The Sony DSC–HX9V is a powerful 16.2MP compact camera with a 16x (24-384mm) zoom lens. It records 1080/60p Full HD video and has built-in GPS and compass functions. This is a really feature-rich camera with a 10-fps burst rate, a wide range of manual controls, 3D sweep panorama mode and an effective optical stabilization system. This new generation Cyber-shot camera brings high-quality photography to users at every level of experience. sony.com

European Zoom Lens: Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD
This compact zoom lens is an excellent tool for travel photographers, who can now carry a single all-in-one zoom lens instead of the multiple lenses that would normally be needed to cover this range of focal lengths. Designed for the popular APS-C sensor format, it delivers a focal range that is suitable for anything from landscapes to wildlife photography. The lens is small and light, and the main zoom ring is comfortable and easy to operate. The maximum aperture at the wide-angle end is well suited for working in low-light conditions or when a shallow depth of field is required, and Tamron’s new piezoelectric motor achieves near-silent autofocus. tamron.com

European Photo Accessory: Vanguard GH-100 Pistol Grip Ball Head
This ball-and-socket tripod head has a pistol-grip-style handle that enables users to quickly put the camera into almost any position, and it locks firmly once the trigger is released. The pistol grip itself can be fixed in eight different positions to suit shooting styles. It is easy to adjust the level of friction on the ball head to accommodate heavier camera and lens combinations. Photographers who enjoy shooting panoramas will appreciate the 72-click head rotation, designed to space pictures 5 degrees apart, that makes the process of creating a joiner easier and more accurate. This is a versatile accessory that is very well made and extremely useful. vanguardworld.com