Best D-SLR Entry Level: Canon EOS 350D
With its CMOS 8.2MP sensor and Digic II image-processor, the Canon EOS 350D is the most compact and powerful digital SLR camera on the market, and comes with a very attractive price-tag. While being easy to use, it also incorporates the latest technology employed by high-end models in the Canon professional range. It can be used either on its fully automatic setting, or with complete manual control of shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings, thus allowing newcomers to develop their photographic skills. The EOS 350D is compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses, giving an unparalleled choice of optics for the discerning user.
Best D-SLR Midrange: Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro
This third entry from Fujifilm in the domain of the digital SLR is certainly the best yet. While retaining the Nikon F-mount and the handling of the Nikon F80 film SLR, the FinePix S3 Pro offers a new Super CCD SR II sensor, with a total of 12.34 million pixels. This is made up of 6.17 million ‘S’ pixels and 6.17 millio ’R’ pixels, which combine uniquely to produce images with an extended dynamic range offering outstanding highlight detail. Being half the weight of high-end professional digital SLRs, the FinePix S3 Pro is a very competitive option for studio, location or still-life shooting.
Best D-SLR Professional: Canon EOS-1 DS Mark II
The real sensation of the year, this EOS 1Ds Mark II has pushed digital photography to a new level, by creating image files up to 16.7 MP. This amazing output not only enables print-sizes up to 60x90cm, but also ensures that professionals can safely crop images without the fear of losing quality. In addition to the awesome file sizes, its 24x36mm CMOS sensor is a true full-frame, so keeps the focal lengths of lenses exactly equivalent to those of 35mm film SLRs. This is a huge advantage to users of wide-angle lenses, and the large viewfinder image that results gives professional photographers the clarity they need for critical composition and focusing. The image processing is also second-to-none, and offers excellent detail at high sensitivity, up to at least ISO 800.
Best D-Ultra Compact Camera: Sony Cyber-shot T7
Despite its small size, this ingenious camera boasts any distinctive features, such as the 3X optical ‘folding’ Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar zoom lens. Another important feature is the anti-reflection Clear Photo LCD, which enhances viewing quality by preventing reflected light from interfering with the displayed image. For this combination of innovative design and powerful features, the TIPA jury awarded Sony the ‘Best Digital Ultra Compact Camera 2005’ Award.
Best D-Compact Camera: Nikon Coolpix 7900
The Nikon Coolpix 7900 incorporates several new features which make it the ‘Best Digital Compact Camera 2005’. The DLighting function adds light and detail to dark areas of shots, while leaving brighter areas unaffected. The In-Camera Red-Eye Fix function automatically detects and corrects red-eye in flash photos. The most innovative new function is Face- priority AF, which can automatically sense the presence of a human face in the frame and sets accurate focus accord ingly.
Best D-Superzoom Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 incorporates an impressive 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 432mm on a 35mm film camera) with a fast, f/2.8 aperture right through the range. The combination of three aspherical lenses and one ED lens generates high optical performance while preserving the compact size. Thanks to the effective optical image stabilizer, the full zoom range can be used even for hand-held shots, making this camera a great photographic tool.
Best Consumer Lens: Tamron AF18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical
The Tamron AF18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro provides the photographer using an APS-sized sensor D-SLR camera with the versatility of a true wide to ultra-tele zoom in an amazingly compact design. The lens features an entirely new optical system using XR (Extra Refractive Index) glass to optimize the optical quality throughout the entire zoom range. This design reduces aberrations to a minimum and makes this lens the ‘Best Lens 2005’ winner.
Best Professional Lens: AF-S VR Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED
This new ultra-sensitive long-focal length lens represents the new standard of today’s optical technology. The 13 lens elements are stacked in 9 groups and produce a remarkable sharpness at the widest aperture of f/2, while at f/5.6 the results are exceptional. The AF-S system’s internal motor provides fast, accurate and silent focusing, and the Vibration Reduction (VR) technology offers an optical stabilizer which allows slower shutter speeds when hand-holding. With a Nikon digital SLR, the lens gives the equivalent of a 300mm f/2, which is perfect for sport and wildlife shooting in low-light conditions.
Best Prestige Camera: Epson R-D1
The Epson R-D1 is the world’s first digital rangefinder camera. It is a state-of-the-art digital camera that offers outstanding performance and image quality, yet comes in a guise that offers the traditionalist the look, feel and handling of a classic film camera. With a superb blend of classic analogue features and modern digital technology, the R-D1 is a Prestige Camera that gives twenty-first century photographers a way to use the famous Leica lenses from our photographic heritage.
Best Digital Camera Back: Sinarback eMotion22
The new Sinarback fulfills the wishes of many professional photographers who demand the finest quality in digital photography combined with mobility. The digital camera back for both medium format and field cameras features a 22-megapixel 48x36mm size CCD-sensor, 2.2-inch-OLED-Display, CF card based storage plus 3GB internal memory and a Li-Ion battery pack. Sinar´s wireless solution for location and studio photographers delivers shooting speeds up to 50 images per minute, and the supplied software allows efficient processing of RAW files. The new Sinarback eMotion22 offers a true alternative to high-end SLR camera systems for professionals who prefer to take advantage of larger formats.
Best Film Scanner: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 II
The new Konica Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite 5400 II combines the best of propriety technologies from both Konica and Minolta. It improves colour reproduction of negative film scans with a new Film Expert Algorithm developed with photofinishing technology. In addition, this scanner features 16-bit A/D conversion, Digital ICE4 and Pixel Polish for automatic, high quality image corrections. The result is a ‘Best Film Scanner 2005’ winner, that provides the image quality photo enthusiasts and professionals demand.
Best Flatbed Scanner: Epson Perfection 4990 Photo
The Epson Perfection 4990 Photo is the ideal scanner for the professional photographer and enthusiast. It handles all standard film and photo formats, restores torn or damaged originals and delivers stunning quality scans, thanks to its 4800x9600 ppi resolution and 4.0 DMax optical density. Digital ICE ensures fast scanning without the need of labour-intensive dust or scratches removal in software, making this scanner a powerful tool and a clear winner of the 2005 ‘Best Flatbed Scanner’ Award.
Best Small Format Printer: Hewlett Packard Photosmart 375
Small format printers are becoming increasingly popular for quick and easy prints from digital cameras. The Hewlett Packard Photosmart 375 is easy to use and delivers lab-quality, borderless 10x15cm prints in as little as 60 seconds. Photos can be previewed, selected and edited from the tilting 2.5-inch colour LCD, making a computer connection unnecessary. Built in memory card slots, PictBridge support and an optional Bluetooth Wireless adapter make this printer a ‘portable
Best A4 Photo Printer: Canon Pixma iP8500
The Canon Pixma iP8500 puts unprecedented image quality and speed in the hands of photographic professionals and enthusiasts. This printer makes a full A4 photo in just 35 seconds, while still delivering superb quality. Canon’s 8-ink ChromaPLUS photo system, which includes additional red and green ink, expands the printer’s colour gamut significantly, particularly in the yellow-to-red and green hues. The Pixma iP8500 supports PictBridge, direct CD/DVD printing and has a duplex unit for easy two-sided printing.
Best A3 Photo Printer: Epson Stylus Photo R1800
The Epson R1800 ink-jet printer is highly significant for photographers because it combines the long durability of pigment-based inks while offering the possibility of a true, glossy finish. This is achieved with an extra ‘ink’ that performs as a varnish and does away with the bronzing effect that is all too common in pigment-based glossy prints. With its fast printing times and Super A3 output, the Epson R1800 is a superb printing solution for photographers, and a worthy winner
of the ‘Best A3 Photo Printer’.
Best Fine Art Inkjet Paper: Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Collection
The Hahnemühle paper mill has been producing high-quality, mould made artists’ papers for hundreds of years, and all Hahnemühle papers are produced in accordance with DIN6738 and ISO9706 specifications for archive grade paper. The Hahnemühle top line of fine art papers is the Digital FineArt Collection, consisting of heavyweight papers with a coating suitable for both dye-based and pigment-based inkjet inks. This means that they are among the few that work well with pigment-based archival colour and quadtone ink sets.
Best Inkjet Photo Paper: Ferrania OptiJet Professional Plus
Glossy porous inkjet paper, while desirable for its instant drying and water-fastness, has a notorious stability problem. Its porous surface allows ozone to penetrate and react with dye-based inks. This phenomenon, known as gas fading, can cause inkjet prints to lose their colour density in as little as six months. The use of Ferrania PerDura technology prevents this problem by introducing a chemical protection. This enhances the permanence of the printed image on Ferrania OptiJet Professional Plus paper to an exceptional level.
Best Color Management System: GretagMacbeth Eye-One Photo Series
Color management is a major issue for digital photography, but in the past, the complexity and expense has prevented many professionals from developing a true understanding of the subject. With the modular Eye-One product line, Gretag-Macbeth has changed this problem. The Eye-One Display2 colorimeter offers an affordable, entry-level solution for calibrating both TFT and CRT monitors, and the advanced Eye-One Photo package comes with a spectrophotometer device for both emissive (monitors) and reflective (print) measuring. This allows photographers to use ICC-based profiling for monitors, scanners, printers and digital cameras. The Eye-One Match software for Mac and PC combines easy-of-use and sophisticated functionality.
Best Imaging Storage media: SanDisk Extreme III
New camera generations raise the demand for new forms of storage media and the SanDisk Extreme III memory card range doubles the speed of the previous incarnation. It is powered by the ESP Technology (Enhanced Super Parallel Processing Technology) and enables transfer rates up to 20MB/s between camera and CF card, thus accelerating storage and viewing of digital photos with high-end, professional digital cameras. Their performance and rugged build make the San-Disk Extreme Level III memory cards - available with capacities up to 4 GB - a reliable choice for digital photo professionals. Extreme Level III technology is available for CompactFlash (CF), SD and Memory Stick PRO type memory cards.
Best Imaging Storage Back-up: Epson P-2000
The Epson P-2000 Multimedia Storage Viewer is a versatile device for backing up and viewing digital photos, as well as video and audio files. The internal 40GB hard drive offers plenty of space to back up files from CompactFlash and SD memory cards via the built-in slots, though there is also a USB 2.0 interface to enable the P-2000 to function as an external hard drive on PC and Mac platforms. The high resolution 3.8-inch Photo Fine display delivers crisp images, which can simply be magnified and navigated through to check detail and sharpness. In addition to JPEG images up to 17.8 Megapixel, the Epson P-2000 accepts RAW files from various digital cameras, and offers a compact design and intuitive user interface.
Best Photo Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2
Adobe Photoshop continues to lead as the uncontested image editing software of choice for professional photographers. Version CS2 adds many welcome additions, such as a much improved multi-image RAW converter, the amazing ‘Vanishing Point’ perspective cloning, image warp, colour fringing and lens aberration correction, and advanced noise reduction. HDR support makes it possible to combine multiple exposures into a single, 32-bit image with expanded range, preserving details from the deepest shadows to the brightest highlights.
Best Mobile Imaging Device: Sony Ericsson K750i
Cameraphones have the potential to become the entry-level digital cameras of the future, but so far their image quality has been disappointing at best. With the latest models introduced in Europe stepping into the 2MP class, this is changing rapidly. The Sony Ericsson K750i is a prime example of such a new generation. It combines an MP3-player with a 4.8mm f/2.8 autofocus 4X digital zoom lens, red-eye reduction function, image editing and a photo album. It delivers good minilab quality pictures up to 10x15cm print size. Using the optional Memory Stick Duo up to 2GB it can store approximately 6000 photos in its photo album. Pictures can be shared also by Bluetooth, infrared or USB.
Best Innovative Design: Olympus µ-mini Digital S
Underlying the µ-mini’s distinctive shape and form is a highly developed 5MP digital camera. Designed by Daisuke Tainake, its metal body is an ergonomic delight, and it comes in a choice of three striking colours – Lagoon blue, Enamel Black and Champagne. The large HyperCristal 1.8 inch LCD screen shows crisp images even from 160° viewing angles, and at just 115g, it is a sound choice for people who like to travel light. The Weatherproof case resists splashes and showers, and is a bonus for those who love the great outdoors. Editing features include fish-eye and soft-focus effects, and on top of 14 scene modes, the µ-mini Digital S offers movie recording with sound. Unsurprisingly, this feature set makes the µ-mini the Best Innovative Design award of 2005.
Best Technology: Picture Archiving and Sharing Standard (PASS)
The fast changing standards of digital photography are responsible for the rapid improvement of image quality, but at the same time have put digital pictures at risk. Future supports and platforms may not talk with current CD, DVDs and other media, as a result billions of images could be lost forever. Last year, three photo companies – Konica Minolta, Fuji Photo Film and Eastman Kodak – announced an agreement to jointly develop a set of open storage standards aimed at
the preservation of digital pictures and videos. The intention was to enable digital file compatibility with future playback devices. As pictures are so vitally important for historical, cultural and personal reasons, the TIPA jury considered that PASS deserved a special recognition.
Best Monitor: EIZO ColorEdge CG220
The new EIZO ColorEdge CG 220 is a high-end 22.2 inch TFT-display for professional users. Its comprehensive feature set includes 1920x1200 native resolution, 400:1 contrast and an internal 14-Bit colour rendering engine for smooth grayscale display. The EIZO ColorEdge CG220 is the first monitor to cover the Adobe RGB color space, preferred by many photo, design and publishing professionals for photography workflow. While other monitors cut off colours, particularly in the green and cyan areas of the colour space, the CG220 gives a true impression of what a digital image looks like, thus enabling reliable soft-proofing on screen, and the saving of time and cost in the process