Digital Imaging Reporter’s Readers Pick the Best Imaging Products for 2018
We are pleased to announce the results of DIR’s 5th Retailers’ Choice Awards. The awards highlight the imaging products favored in our online survey of nationwide photo specialty retailers.
We asked 85 dealers to indicate their favorite products in 12 different categories based on product quality, support and ease of selling. We also added a new category this year: Best Tripod.
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 during the weeks of April 9 and April 16, 2018. The survey reflected products in the marketplace or announced previous to those dates. All responses were confidential, and we received a 34% response rate from our survey. We appreciate those dealers who took the time to participate.
Following are the winners and honorable mention products in each category.
5th Retailers’ Choice Awards
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 84% of the votes, which clearly reflected the market’s enthusiasm for this DSLR.
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR was a distant second.
Best Entry-Level DSLR
Winner: Nikon D3400
Honorable Mention: Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Nikon and Canon were in a horse race for this category, with the Nikon D3400 crossing the finish line first as a write-in candidate.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6i solidly earned honorable mention as the best entry-level DSLR. In addition, the Nikon D7100 received votes.
Best Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera
Winner: Sony Alpha a7R III
Honorable Mention: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
This result was a tremendous mandate for the Sony Alpha a7R III. The mirrorless ILC garnered 85% of the votes. It was followed by the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark II camera, which took honorable mention.
Moreover, the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 received a number of write-in votes.
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 I S
Voters went to great lengths to award the Tamron SP 150–600mm the top prize in the long-zoom lens category, giving it 78% of the votes. Following it was Sigma’s robust 150–600mm Sports lens.
In addition, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200–500mm lens had a number of mentions as a write-in candidate.
Best Premium Point & Shoot
Winner: Fujifilm X100F
Honorable Mention: Canon PowerShot G9 X
In this hotly contested category, there was a virtual tie. The Fujifilm X100F received just one more vote than the Canon G9 X to edge out a victory.
Moreover, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II came in just one vote shy of the Canon PowerShot.
Best Long-Zoom Point & Shoot
Winner: Nikon Coolpix P900
Honorable Mention: Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80
With a respectable 63% of the votes, the Nikon Coolpix P900 once again went a long way in solidifying its position in this category.
This year, the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 followed it to earn honorable mention for a second time.
Best Adventure Point & Shoot
Winner: Olympus Stylus Tough TG-5
Honorable Mention: Nikon Coolpix W300; Fujifilm FinePix XP120
Olympus clearly dominated the action in this category once again, with an impressive 48% of the votes.
Nikon’s popular Coolpix W300 and Fujifilm’s FinePix XP120 outdoor adventure cameras followed it in a tie for second place.
Best Camera Bag Line
Winner: Think Tank Photo StreetWalker
Honorable Mention: Manfrotto Pro Light
For the third year in a row, Think Tank Photo carried the day, winning the bag category with 48% of the votes going to its StreetWalker series.
Following Think Tank to take honorable mention was Manfrotto’s Pro Light bag line. In addition, ProMaster Cityscape bags received a number of write-in votes.
Best Action Cam
Winner: GoPro Hero6 Black
Honorable Mention: Olympus TG-Tracker; Sony FDR-X1000V
All of the action was with GoPro in this category, as their Hero6 Black edition dominated with 73% of the votes.
Both the Olympus TG-Tracker and Sony X1000V received the balance of the nods in this category.
Best Prime Lens
Winner: Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM I A
Honorable Mention Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.2 Pro; Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
In another hotly contested category, Sigma ruled as their 14mm f/1.4 prime and a number of other Sigma Art lenses combined for a victory.
The Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm came in second, followed extremely closely by Tamron’s SP 85mm f/1/8.
Best 360º Video Camera
Winner: Ricoh Theta V
Honorable Mention: Nikon KeyMission 360
In this category, dealers registered their excitement around 360º spherical cameras. The Ricoh Theta V showed all-around dominance, followed by the Nikon KeyMission 360.
In addition, both the Humaneyes Vuze+ and Kodak PixPro Orbit360 4K rounded out the votes in the 360º category.
Winner: Gitzo Traveler Series 2
Honorable Mention: Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber; ProMaster Specialist
We added this category this year to see where it stands. The Gitzo Traveler Series 2 rose above the rest.
The Gitzo line was followed by both the ProMaster Specialist and Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber tripods, which balanced out the rest of the entries.