THERE’S SO MUCH great gear out there that it can sometimes be a little bewildering working out what might be best to invest your hard-earned spend on. This is where something like the TIPA Awards comes in: every year since 1991, a panel made up of experts from a worldwide selection of prestigious photographic titles sits down to consider what the equipment highlights have been over the previous 12 months and, following an annual convention where voting takes place, awards are handed out across a variety of categories.

Canon has had a spectacular past year in terms of launches, and this was reflected in the fact that the company picked up no less than three awards, for Best Entry Level APS-C camera for the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, Best Prime Telephoto Lens for the RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and Best Photo Printer for its imagePROGRAF Pro 300.

Nikon was another of the big photographic names to come away with a string of awards, picking up Best Advanced Full-Frame Camera for the Z 6II, while the Z 7II was named Best Expert Full-Frame Camera. Making up a hattrick of awards, the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S was also named Best Wide-Angle Zoom Lens.

Getting the nod twice was Fujifilm, winning the Best APS-C Advanced Camera Award for its beautifully compact X-S10 camera while, at the other end of the spectrum, its much-lauded GFX100S came away with the Best Medium-Format

As a proud member of TIPA, Professional Photo was on the voting panel for the prestigious annual awards, so say hello to the gear considered to be the best of the best over the past year.

Camera Award. The Best APS-C Camera in the Expert Category, meanwhile, was Pentax, winning with its newly engineered and highly desirable K-3 Mark III.

Sigma really hit the jackpot with a remarkable haul of no less than four top prizes, its highly innovative fp L being named Best Adavanced Photo/Video camera, while its 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Contemporary Lens bagged the Best Ultra Telephoto Zoom Lens title. Meanwhile, the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro walked away with the Best Macro Lens Award, while its 85mm f/1.4 DG AN Art Series optic was named Best Portrait Lens.

Sony, meanwhile, was also highly decorated, picking up the Best Full-Frame Professional Camera prize for the Sony Alpha 1 and the Best Expert Photo/Video Camera for its Alpha 7S III, while the quirky Sony ZV-1 caught the eye of the judges, who named it Best Vlogger Camera. Another sign of the times was the Sony Xperia 1 III bagging the Best Photo Smartphone Award, while the company’s FE 50mm f/1.2 GM lens walked away with the title of Best Prime Standard Lens.

Panasonic was also among the prize-winners with its highly conceptual Lumix DC-BGH1 being voted Best Professional Video Camera, while Tamron picked up two top prizes, one for its 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD, which was named Best Standard Zoom Lens, while its 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD optic was voted the Best Telephoto Zoom Lens. Laowa took the Best Prime Wide-Angle Award for its classy 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift optic, praised for the huge 65mm image circle it offers, which makes the lens suitable for both full-frame and medium-format cameras.

Photo Accessories

Of course, photography is about far more than simply the high-profile cameras and lenses, and the TIPA Awards also highlights some of the other top-performing products that managed to catch the eye of the experts over the past year.

Picking up the prestigious Best Fine Art Printing Solution prize for its novel Authenticate Product Range was Hahnemühle, and the TIPA citation pretty much says it all: ‘Photographers who aspire to enter the fine art market understand that professional presentation and authentication play an important role in preparing their work for sale. Hahnemühle’s Authentication Product Range gives photo artists a complete package, including their world-renowned archival papers and portfolio boxes and special pre-printed Certificates of Authenticity. In addition, there’s now a free online print registry service for establishing provenance.’

Software specialist Zoner was another company picked out by the TIPA judges, with its Photo Studio Xpackage being named Best Expert Imaging Software. The citation noted it ‘offered a range of workflow, corrections, layer processing and effects in an affordable and easy-to-use format.’ The Best Professional Software Award went to DxO for its PhotoLab 4 advanced Raw editing software package.

On the lighting front, the Best Lighting Technology Award was given to Profoto for its AirX technology, which can synchronise all Bluetooth-equipped Profoto Xenon flashes with a smartphone, while Best Portable Flash went to Godox for its Pocket Flash AD100Pro portable strobe.

Best Tripod went to the Vanguard VEO 3GO series, Best Tripod Head to the Gitzo Ball Head Series 4 and Best Gimbal System to the Manfrotto Fast Gimboom and Gimbal series. On the monitor front, meanwhile, the ViewSonic VP2768a was named Best Enthusiast Photo Monitor, while LG scooped an impressive duo of awards, winning Best Professional Photo Monitor for their UltraWide Thunderbolt 4 and Best Professional Video monitor for the UltraFine OLED Pro.

The Best Power Accessory was won by the Nitecore SCL10 2-in-1 Smart Camera Light and Power Bank, while RØDE won Best Video Accessory for its highly innovative Wireless GO II system. Best Photo Accessory went to Hoya for its PROND GRAD Circular Graduated ND Filters, while CEWE won both the Best Retail Finishing System Award for its Photocenter initaitive and Best Photo Service for its Photo Calendar A2 Gold Edition. The Best Photo Lab Award went to Whitewall for its Room View visualisation system, which allows photographers to see how an image might look on a wall.

Last, but by no means least, the revolutionary Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15, reviewed in Professional Photo last month, won Best Imaging Computer.

For a full list of the TIPA World Award 2021 Winners and all the full citations, head to www.tipa.com

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