We are pleased to announce the results of DIR’s 6th Retailers’ Choice Awards. The annual awards highlight the imaging products favored in our online survey of nationwide photo specialty retailers. We asked 79 dealers to indicate their favorite products in 13 different categories. The criteria were product quality, support and ease of selling.
Each survey question included at least four specific choices, as well as an area where dealers could write in their favorite products if they were not listed.
The online survey took place from April 1 to April 15, 2019. In addition, the survey reflected products in the marketplace or announced previous to those dates. All responses were confidential. Moreover, we received a 37% response rate from our survey. We appreciate those dealers who took the time to participate.
6th Retailers’ Choice Awards Winners
Here are the 2019 Retailers’ Choice Awards winners and honorable mention products in each category.
Best Enthusiast DSLR
Winner: Nikon D850
Honorable Mention: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
The Nikon D850 was the runaway winner in this preeminent category. It earned an impressive 72% of the votes, which clearly reflected the market’s enthusiasm for this DSLR. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II was a distant second.
Best Entry-Level DSLR
Winner: Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Honorable Mention: Nikon D3500
Nikon and Canon were in a horse race for this category. The Canon Rebel T7i crossed the finish line first. The Nikon D3500 actually came in second as a write-in candidate, surpassing the Nikon D750 in the category.
Best Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera
Winner: Sony Alpha a7R III
Honorable Mentions: Nikon Z 7/Z 6
In a hotly contested category, the Sony Alpha a7R III eked out a win with 29% of the vote. The new full-frame Nikon Z series garnered only one less vote, setting up an exciting race in dealer stores this year. In addition, the Fujifilm X-T3 finished a distant but respectable third with 17% of the vote.
Best Long-Zoom Lens
Winner: Tamron SP 150–600mm f/5–6.3 Di VC USD G2
Honorable Mention: Sigma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 DG OS HSM S
Voters went to great lengths to award the Tamron SP 150–600mm the top prize in the long-zoom lens category, giving it 62% of the votes. Following it was Sigma’s robust 150–600mm f/5–6.3 lens. Sigma also had a number of write-in votes for their 60–600mm Sport lens.
Best Premium Point & Shoot
Winner: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Honorable Mention: Fujifilm X100F
In this very competitive class, there was a virtual tie. The Canon G7 X Mark II received just one more vote than the Fujifilm X100F to edge out a victory. Moreover, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI received 20% of the vote as a write-in selection.
Best Long-Zoom Point & Shoot
Winners: Nikon Coolpix P900/P1000
Honorable Mention: Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80
With a respectable 62% of the votes, Nikon’s ultrazoom Coolpix cameras once again went a long way in solidifying Nikon’s position in this category. Both the Coolpix P900 and P1000 proved the favorites. In addition, the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 followed to earn honorable mention for a third time.
Best Adventure Point & Shoot
Winner: Olympus Stylus Tough TG-5
Honorable Mention: Fujifilm FinePix XP130
Olympus once again dominated the action in this category, with an impressive 57% of the votes. It was followed by Fujifilm’s XP130 with 24%. Moreover, Nikon’s popular Coolpix W300 was the third choice for dealers in this category.
Best Camera Bag Line
Winner: ProMaster Cityscape
Honorable Mention: Think Tank Photo Signature
The ProMaster Cityscape bag line carried the day. It toppled Think Thank Photo from their three-year winning streak by earning half of the votes in this category and winning for the first time. Think Tank held on in second place, followed by the Lowepro ProTactic II.
Best Action Cam
Winner: GoPro Hero7 Black
Honorable Mention: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 II
All of the action was once again with GoPro in this category. Their flagship Hero7 Black edition dominated with 52% of the votes. GoPro was followed by the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 II. In addition, the Olympus TG-Tracker and DJI Osmo Pocket received the balance of the nods in this category.
Best Prime Lens
Winner: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM A
Honorable Mention: Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
In another closely contested category, Sigma ruled as their 85mm f/1.4 prime notched an impressive victory. Tamron’s SP 85mm followed with a solid second-place showing. Moreover, they were followed by the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro lens. Sony’s FE 24mm f/1.4 GM also saw a number of write-in votes.
Best 360º Video Camera
Winner: Ricoh Theta V
Honorable Mention: Insta360 One X
The Ricoh Theta V once again showed all-around dominance with 43% of the vote. It was followed by the hot Insta360 One X. In addition, both the Humaneyes Vuze XR and Kodak PixPro Orbit360 4K rounded out the votes in the 360º category.
Winner: ProMaster Specialist SP528CK
Honorable Mention: Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber
ProMaster clearly stood up to the competition with an impressive 63% of the vote in the best tripod category. The Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber also showed it had a leg to stand on. They were followed by write-in votes for the standout Sirui ET-1004.
Winner: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Honorable Mention: Yuneec Typhoon H Plus Pro
We added drones to our awards again this year. The results showed DJI still flying high above their competitors with 69% of the vote in the best drone category. The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus Pro also had an impressive showing, with 23% of the dealer votes.