Technical Image Press Association Unveils TIPA Awards 2013 Winners

Technical Image Press Association Unveils TIPA Awards 2013 Winners


Madrid, Spain—The annual meeting of the Technical Image Press Association to vote for the best photographic and imaging products in 2013 was held on April 20, 2013 in Hong Kong. This year at the TIPA general assembly, 27 member magazines and the Camera Journal Press Club (CJPC) of Japan voted for the best photo-imaging product introduced during the previous 12 months in each of 40 categories.

Editors of TIPA member magazines—which come from nine European countries plus Australia, Canada, China, South Africa and the U.S.—take into account innovation, the use of leading-edge technology, design and ergonomics, ease-of-use  and the price/performance ratio.

The list of the TIPA Awards categories is regularly updated according to the market’s technological trends. Therefore, the categories continually change and some categories awarded in past editions may not be taken into consideration for the next TIPA Awards.

The TIPA association also revealed a new logo that draws on the legacy of the old logo but accentuates TIPA’s globalization strategy. “The new TIPA logo and visual identity marks a significant milestone for TIPA, and celebrate the launch of a new era for the organization,” said Thomas Gerwers, chairman of TIPA.

Following are the winners of the TIPA Award 2013 and why the association said they voted for them.

Best Imaging Innovation: Samsung 45mm f/1.8 (2D/3D) Lens

The first 3D one-lens system for a consumer camera, the Samsung 45mm f/1.8 3D lens (70mm equivalent) also captures 2D images. To capture 3D images users activate the 3D switch and a secondary lens group comes into play, which sends two separate images to the sensor, akin to stereo adapters for film cameras. The dual-shutter mechanism in the barrel switches back and forth during exposure to create the left/right parallax effect in still and video recording. The lens projects the entire image onto the full sensor, and the image processor in the camera handles the rest, creating stereo images for photos and video that can be viewed on a 3D TV.

Best Digital SLR Expert: Canon EOS 6D

Melding consumer-oriented features with a very advanced set of photo options, it has a 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor and records Full HD 1080p video. The full-frame advantage here is excellent quality at its highest “native” ISO of 25,600 and beyond. The bright 104k 3.0-inch monitor offers high-res viewing for video and live view still shooting, as well as access to creative controls. A “Q” button evokes a screen menu with the most used controls that, with other dedicated buttons and an eight-way toggle control, makes for a very pleasing and fast shooting experience.

Best Digital SLR Advanced: Nikon D7100

The DX-format Nikon D7100 has a new 24.1MP CMOS sensor and 51-point AF system, including 15 cross-type sensors. It records at 6 frames per second at full resolution, with an additional frame in the rate (at slightly lower resolution) when using the new 1.3x crop mode. The impressive 3.2-inch LCD has an equally impressive 1,229k-dot resolution, excellent for still and HD video recording. Along with numerous picture controls and effects (available for still and video shooters) as well as advanced photo features, the durable magnesium alloy cover construction and a 150k-cycle shutter elevate this camera to the advanced class.

Best Digital SLR Entry Level: Canon EOS Rebel SL1
This camera challenges the assumption that DSLRs need to be bulky and creates an attractive alternative to smaller CSCs for those seeking DSLR handling, viewing and access to the entire range of Canon EF and EF-S lenses in a very portable and lightweight body. Its 18MP CMOS APS-C sensor has an ISO range of 100–12,800 for stills and 100–6400 for video. Hybrid CMOS AF II offers accurate focus tracking during live view shooting, and video quality is enhanced with Full HD and movie servo AF capability. A 3.0-inch touch-screen LCD provides access to controls and functions, including numerous scene and creative modes.

Best Video DSLR: Canon EOS-1D C

As the first Canon “hybrid” DSLR, the EOS-1D C has an 18MP full-frame CMOS sensor that captures 4K (4,096×2,160) or HD video as well as 18MP photos in JPEG and/or RAW format. Geared toward film and TV production, as well as specialty work, onboard 4K recording can be done at 24p or 25p, and HD recording at frames rates up to 60p. Recordings are saved to CF cards, and all Canon EF-mount lenses can be utilized. The EOS-1D C also has all the features of a pro DSLR for still recording.

Best CSC Professional: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
The 16MP Live MOS sensor in the DMC-GH3 boasts sensitivity up to ISO 12,800 with +1EV push capability. Sophisticated noise filtration and suppression and a newly designed low-pass filter provides further enhancement of low-light shooting. Utilizing contrast AF, the camera boasts improved AF performance along with faster start-up and shorter shutter time lag. The 100%, 3.0-inch 16:9 Live viewfinder has a brilliant 1,744k dot; there is also an articulated OLED rear view monitor (180º to the side, 270º up and down). A magnesium alloy, full die-cast frame and splashproof/dustproof seals are among the other impressive specs.

Best CSC Expert: Fujifilm X-E1

With a 16MP APS-C-size CMOS sensor, Fujifilm’s XE-1 harkens back to an analog design and handling with actual engraved number dials for shutter speed and exposure compensation control. Exposure modes are photographically oriented with a few rendition presets. Inside the magnesium die-cast top and front cover body sits a sophisticated X-Trans CMOS sensor that records to ISO 6400 with +2 push, capturing stills in RAW format and H.264 (MOV) video with stereo sound. One of the most impressive features is the brilliant 2.36-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder.

Best CSC Advanced: Samsung Smart NX300
With a brand-new 20.3MP CMOS sensor boasting an ISO range of 100–25,600 and a hybrid AF system, the NX300 supports Full HD 1080p video (and stills) in 2D and 3D, the latter requiring the Samsung 45mm f/1.8 (2D/3D) lens. Wi-Fi connectivity is available using the downloadable Samsung Smart Camera app, which also allows for remote viewfinder capability. There are 14 smart mode settings plus user-controlled exposure and focusing modes, many of which can be set up using the NX-series i-Function control located on the lens barrel. A 3.3-inch AMOLED tilt touch screen adds to ease of use with a five-way manual key interface.

Best CSC Entry Level: Olympus PEN E-PL5
The 16MP Micro Four Thirds E-PL5 has built-in image stabilization, a 3.0-inch articulating touch-screen monitor (170º) and features for low-light shooting, including ISO 25,600. Able to deliver up to 8 frames per sec, the E-PL5 offers a full range of user controls as well as 12 art filters and seven art effects, plus it records in RAW format as well as Full HD 1080i video. Its speedy AF system has 35 focus points spread over nearly the entire sensor, with selectable 3×3 focusing groups. A Toshiba FlashAir memory card and the Olympus Image Share app enable easy sharing and smartphone export.

Best Professional Camera: Leica M (240)
A 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor allows for live view shooting, Full HD video recording and ISOs to 6400. It features the same image processor found in the company’s larger format S camera, a 3.0-inch, 920k-dot monitor with live view focusing, and an optional EVF. Top and base plates are machined from solid brass blanks with a magnesium alloy body, with special dust and splash seals and a protective monitor glass covering.

Best Expert Compact Camera: Fujifilm X20
Featuring a 12MP, 2/3-inch CMOS sensor with ISOs to 12,800, the camera employs a Fujinon 4x zoom (28–112mm equivalent) that starts at a fast f/2 and only loses one stop to f/2.8 at the maximum focal length. Plus it allows for focus as close as 1.4 inch, manual zooming and manual focusing during video recording. There are numerous user controls, eight filters, a motion panorama 360 function, a hybrid AF system, a focus peak highlight function on the 2.8-inch LCD, built-in lens shift image stabilization and a pop-up flash.

Best Premium Camera: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1
The impressive 24.3MP Sony RX1 uses a full-frame CMOS sensor and fixed Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 lens in a compact, well-constructed body. With full manual controls and ISO 50–25,600 (expandable to 102,400 with a special multi-frame noise-reduction feature), the camera records Full HD movies, offers numerous shooting modes, including auto HDR, and has a bright, 1.22-million-dot LCD. Its “smart teleconverter” functions offers a 1.4x or 2x crop, which, with the full-frame sensor, means little loss in image quality.

Best Easy Compact Camera: Nikon Coolpix S01
The diminutive 10.1MP S01 has a 1/2.9-inch CCD sensor and incorporates a 3x Nikkor glass zoom lens (29–87mm equivalent). Weighing in at a 3.4 ounces and measuring 2.1×3.1×0.7 inches, it delivers a shutter speed range of 1–1/2,000 sec, ISO 80–1600, HD video recording in MOV mode (MPEG-4 and AVC/H.264), numerous scene modes and in-camera special effects plus exposure compensation in +/-2EV. Exposure is programmed auto, as befits an “easy” P&S that is eminently portable.

Best Superzoom Camera: Nikon Coolpix P520

The 42x integral Nikkor glass lens in the P520 delivers a 1000mm coverage with built-in VR (vibration reduction). An 18.1MP sensor provides ISO 80–3200 with push sensitivities available. Other features include scene and creative modes, video recording with resolution options, including Full HD, close focusing at 1.8 inch at the wide end and 5 inch at the tele end, a 0.4-inch macro setting and a 3.2-inch, vari-angle 920k-dot monitor with 100% coverage.

Best Rugged Compact Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
Waterproof to a depth of 43 feet, shockproof from a height of 6.6 feet, able to resist 220 lbs. of pressure and freezeproof to 14ºF, the 16.1MP Lumix TS5 is an excellent example of today’s breed of outdoor and rugged compacts. Video can be recorded in Full HD with audio capture utilizing Dolby Digital. Its Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens (28–128mm equivalent) delivers high quality previews to the 3.0-inch LCD. It also has “one-touch easy” connectivity with Wi-Fi that allows for geotagging and remote capture using the Panasonic Image app.

Best Pro Camcorder: Sony NEX-VG900
Utilizing a full-frame, 24.3MP Exmor HD CMOS sensor, the NEX-VG900 records Full HD with 24p, 60p and 60i frame rates (NTSC) or 50p, 50i, 25p and 24p (PAL), plus it offers uncompressed video via HDMI out. Accepting both Sony E-mount and A-mount lenses (the latter via an adapter) the VG900 has an impressive XGA OLED electronic viewfinder (2,359k dots) that displays camera adjustments in real time. An integrated Quad Capsule Spatial Array 5.1 channel surround microphone captures brilliant sound via a 3.5mm microphone jack, and the optional XLR adapter facilitates the use of professional microphones. The design also includes dials and buttons for full manual control of iris, gain and shutter.

Best ActionCam: GoPro Hero3
The Wi-Fi enabled GoPro Hero3 is wearable and gear-mountable, waterproof to 197 feet with its supplied housing, and provides a wide range of video frame rates plus 12MP photo capture at up to 30 fps. The video options let users record in slow motion or in higher resolution. Its lens contains six aspherical elements and can be set at ultrawide, medium and narrow fields of view. The free GoPro app enables remote capture via a smartphone or tablet, and a full line of mounting accessories (from helmet and headband to bicycle handlebars) makes for an exciting imaging experience.

Best Mobile Imaging Device: Samsung Galaxy Camera
The 16MP Samsung Galaxy redefines the connected camera genre, being a hybrid camera/tablet that allows for simple access to sharing sites, social media and web connection. An impressive 4.8-inch HD LCD dominates the back of the camera and allows for easy viewing of all the apps a user might want, including those preinstalled and those available from the Google and Samsung app stores. The camera also features built-in auto cloud backup, which sends photos as they are taken to the Samsung cloud service.

Best Professional DSLR Lens: Canon EF 24–70mm f/2.8L II USM

This constant-aperture zoom is constructed of 18 elements in 13 groups and uses one Super UD and two UD lens elements. Two types of aspherical lenses are combined to help reduce spherical aberration over the entire image area through the full zoom range, plus optimized lens coatings are used to minimize ghosting. The lens is equipped with a circular nine-blade diaphragm and a ring-type USM and high-speed CPU with optimized AF algorithms to enable silent and fast autofocusing. It is constructed with improved dust sealing and water resistance with fluorine coatings on the front and rear lens surfaces.

Best Expert DSLR Lens: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM
This fast lens covers full-frame sensors and includes a hyper sonic motor (HSM), a floating internal focusing system, and SLD and FLD glass elements, which help correct axial and chromatic aberration. The HSM delivers quiet, high-speed autofocusing while the floating focusing system allows for superior optical performance with subjects at a closer shooting distance (minimum focus: 11.8″). There’s also a nine-bladed diaphragm, and the large f/1.4 maximum aperture makes suitable for low light. The lens is compatible with the Sigma USB dock and Sigma Optimization Pro software to adjust and fine-tune focusing parameters and upgrade firmware.

Best Entry-Level DSLR Lens: Sigma 17–70mm f/2.8–4 DC Macro OS HSM
Available in various APS-C camera mounts, this lens delivers a useful equivalent zoom range of 25.5–105mm and 8.7-inch close focusing. The incorporation of a smaller OS unit (in lenses for cameras without built-in stabilization) makes for a more compact design at 3.1×3.2 inches. The lens is constructed with 16 elements in 14 groups and contains two FLD, one SLD and three aspherical glass elements for enhanced image quality. A seven-blade diaphragm, HSM, brass bayonet mount and support for the Sigma USB dock for firmware updates round out the impressive specifications.

Best CSC Expert Lens: Sony E-mount 10–18mm f/4 OSS
This lightweight lens offers a constant aperture of f/4 throughout its entire range and an equivalent focal length of 15–27mm. Its constructed of 10 elements in 8 groups and contains three aspherical elements and an optical system with Super Extra-low Dispersion glass for near elimination of chromatic aberrations. Optical Steady Shot image stabilization adds significant versatility to this lens and maximizes its impressive performance when shooting both stills and video, even in low light. An internal focusing system and circular shutter blades round out the impressive specifications.

Best CSC Prime Lens: Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R
With equivalent coverage of 21mm, the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R is built with 10 elements in 7 groups and includes two aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements, plus a seven-blade diaphragm. Designed for Fujifilm cameras, it has a short back focus distance that helps eliminate vignetting and delivers a bright, high-res image to the corners. The lens barrel features distance and depth-of-field scales to aid in prefocusing and hyperfocal distance techniques. Stops are in 1/3EV increments (19 in all) with a minimum aperture of f/22, and focus can be made as close as 0.6 ft.

Best CSC Entry-Level Lens: Nikon 1 Nikkor 11–27.5mm f/3.5–5.6

Made for all Nikon 1 compact system cameras, the compact 30–74mm equivalent Nikkor lens measures 2.26×1.22 inches and weighs only 2.8 oz. With 8 elements in 8 groups, a seven-blade diaphragm and one ED and one aspherical element, the lens offers focusing as close as one foot. Featuring internal focusing, which only shifts lens groups during focusing, this lens adds little to the camera weight or size.

Best Design: Giottos Silk Road YTL Series

Tripod portability is always an issue and an occasional hindrance to use, a situation that this series from Giotto addresses with a new Y-Tube center column that is designed to be 30% more compact when folded and lighter when compared to similar models. The main benefit of this new design is that legs can be folded in a more compact way than in traditional cylindrical columns designs. The new tripod line is available in aluminum or carbon fiber.

Best Photo Accessory: Metabones Speed Booster

Jointly developed by Metabones and Caldwell Photographic, this innovation creates not only an adapter mount between an APS-C mirrorless camera and full-frame DSLR lens but increases the maximum aperture by a full stop and multiplies the focal length by 0.71x, plus increases MTF. For example, an 85mm f/1.2 lens becomes a 59mm f/0.9 lens on an APS-C mirrorless model; combining the two factors makes the focal length multiplier approximately 1.09x. The first model is for Canon EF lenses and Sony NEX bodies; other versions will follow.

Best Digital Accessory: CamRanger

A wireless tethering system compatible with numerous digital cameras, CamRanger lets users view and transfer images to an Apple iPad, iPhone or Mac/Windows computer plus allows for remote operation and camera adjustments from iOS devices. Features include a double-tap image zoom, full resolution viewing, tagging and rating, and the ability to control camera settings and shutter directly from iOS devices. Advanced features include the ability to work with compatible cameras to utilize time lapse, intervalometer and bulb exposures, movie focus and control, focus stacking and bracketing, and HDR shooting techniques.

Best Professional Lighting System: Profoto Pro-B4 1000 Air
The Profoto Pro-B4 1000 Air delivers groundbreaking features that include extremely short flash durations down to 1/25,000 second, full power recycling time of one sec, and delivery of 30 flashes per sec at lower power settings. Made for studio or on-location work, the Pro-B4 is constructed in solid-cast aluminum with a rubber frame, and all connections are covered with protective lids. Also featured are an 11-stop power range, a fast radio sync system and recharge in less than 45 minutes.

Best Portable Lighting System: Nissin MG8000 Extreme

The “extreme” in this portable flash’s name refers to the heat resistance of its construction and quartz flashtube in continuous flash shooting, thus virtually eliminating dropout shots for shooters who often need to work fast. Compatible with Canon E-TTL and E-TTL II, Nikon i-TTL and iTTL-BL, and wireless TTL with both systems, the flash can be adjusted manually to 22 levels of output, has a highly readable color and auto rotate display, incorporates a (GN 12) sub flash, and works with an optional Nissin power pack.

Best Photo Software: DxO Optics Pro 8
This powerful software provides tools for image enhancement in one workspace. Work modules include DxO smart lighting, which automatically lightens dark areas and retains details in highlights without increasing contrast; selective tone controls; an automatic tool for retaining texture in highly saturated color areas; RAW conversion that takes camera profiles into account; live preview in the image browser; and automatic optical corrections based on lens profiles, including a lens softness correction. Version 8 was updated to take advantage of Retina displays.

Best Mobile Photo App: Tiffen Photo fx Ultra
Offering a wide range of digital optical filters and effects for processing images on the iPad, this mobile processing app simulates many of the effects that can be achieved via Tiffen’s optical glass filters. Plus it adds those created by adding specialized lenses, made with special lab processes, and grain, light and color enhancements available in sophisticated post-processing programs. There are 77 filters with 934 presets organized into eight filter groups, including 65 filters for a variety of color and black-and-white looks. Masking techniques, zooming, selective painting and multiple filter capability add to the creative potential.

Best Tripod: Vanguard ABEO Pro Kit 283 CGH and GH300T

The carbon fiber Vanguard ABEO Pro kit, model 283CGH, includes the company’s GH-300T pistol-grip head with built-in remote shutter release control. The head features dual panning axes and a 72-click-point panning base. The tripod’s multi-angle center column allows users to move the column from 0º–180º vertically and horizontally, plus it has an easily set and released locking system. The legs have quick-flip locks and variable angle sets, from 25º–80º, and the 3-in-1 all-terrain feet allow for a firm stance with angled rubber, spike and sand/snow shoe options.

Best Imaging Storage Media: Panasonic SDHC Gold, Silver, Blue Cards
Panasonic’s Gold, Silver and Blue SDHC memory cards permit users to match their budgets and cameras with their card usage and needs. For example, the Gold SDHC series is available up to 32GB and are Speed Class 10 rated with 90MB/s read and 45MB/s write speeds, except the 8GB model. The Silver series SDHC cards, available to 32GB, are Speed Class 10 with 20MB/s capability. The Blue cards are Speed Class 4 rated with a 15MB/s read speed and are available to 16GB capacity.

Best Photo Bag: Vanguard Quovio 41
Designed for pros and enthusiasts, the Quovio 41 is a well-padded shoulder bag that features a quick-access main opening. It can hold a semipro camcorder and a pro DSLR camera and kit, with configurable sections and a dual, built-in tripod holder. There are two mesh pouches for wires and accessories, plus a trolley attachment loop for moving through streets and airports. The bag has a water-resistant base with antishock feet, a rain cover and a compartment for a 14-inch laptop.

Best Expert Photo Printer: Canon Pixma Pro-10
A wireless and AirPrint-capable printer that utilizes Canon’s new 10-color Lucia pigment inks, plus incorporates a chroma optimizer cartridge that helps eliminate bronzing and metameric failure effects, this printer offers two paper feeds—a rear tray for a variety of papers and a manual slot feed for thicker, heavier weight inkjet substrates. With a 7,680 4-picoliter-size nozzles, it can deliver 4,800×2,400 dpi in color and monochrome images up to 13×19 inches.

Best Multifunction Photo Printer: Epson Expression Photo XP Series

The Epson Expression Photo XP-850 and XP-750 are ideal all-in-one printers for photo enthusiasts. The XP-850 is a 4-in-1 unit: print, scan, copy, fax. Both printers include the Epson Connect feature that allows users to print wirelessly from smartphones and tablets using Epson iPrint. By using Epson’s six-color Claria Photo HD ink, the printers produce a 4×6 photo in 10 seconds. Users can print on heavyweight photo paper and card stock using the printer’s rear specialty media feed. And the XP-850 and XP-750 print on CDs and DVDs.

Best Inkjet Photo Paper: Ilford Galerie Prestige Mono Silk

Designed for printing monochrome images (although capable of receiving color), this acid- and lignin-free fiber-based, 270gsm inkjet paper is available in sheet and roll stock and can be used with both pigment and dye-based inkjet printers. Mono Silk has a high Dmax value for reproducing rich blacks and low Dmin values, for exploiting the potential of high-key images and helping the user obtain rich, textured highlights. These characteristics have the potential to bring out a rich, vibrant tonal range in B/W prints.

Best Photo Service: WhiteWall
One of original online photo labs, WhiteWall offers finishing options that stress premium quality with numerous surfaces, framing and finishing options. Photographers can order prints in exact sizes on various substrates, including fine art papers, canvas, adhesive film latex, metallic and acrylic glass. Framing options include solid wood, shadow gap and aluminum or solid word Artbox. The finished product is gallery quality with ready-to-hang fixtures. The latest products are textile prints on stretcher frames, direct prints on brushed aluminum and LightJet prints on Ilford black-and-white paper.

Best Photo Monitor: LG IPS ColorPrime 27EA83
The LG ColorPrime EA83 delivers 99% coverage of Adobe RGB and 100% of sRGB color space in a 10-bit native color display. Hardware calibration is via LG’s TrueColor Pro with an optional external calibrator available. Viewing is enhanced with the company’s Wide Quad High-Definition technology that delivers high-res images, while workflow is improved with the ability to display four windows in eight screen ratios.

Best Photo TV: Samsung F8000 Smart LED 2D/3D TV

This TV gives users the ability to interact with images and share them on social networks, work with apps and use the TV as an image hub with numerous devices as inputs and controls. With models capable of 2D and 3D still/video display, Samsung approached this integration by ensuring that all their devices, including smartphones and tablets, can be part of the imaging infrastructure. Samsung’s Smart TVs also feature an Evolution kit for downloading firmware upgrades.

TIPA was established in 1991, and during the early years it was represented by editors from European photo magazines. In 2009 a decision was made to transform the organization into a global entity. Today, TIPA is represented by members from five continents.