Gear


Here are the Best Photo Products of the Year

May 3, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

Every year, the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) selects the best imaging products across a range of categories. In 2016, the Photo+ Group, which includes both PDN and Rangefinder, became a member of TIPA and is proud to present this year’s winners. (We also want to congratulate Rangefinder reader Dana Fernandez of Texas, who is one of three winners in the prize draw of the TIPA Reader Survey for 2017. Dana will soon be the proud owner of a Pentax K-1!)

Drum roll, please...

Best DSLR Entry Level: Nikon D5600 

The 24.2MP Nikon DX format D5600 features Nikon’s SnapBridge, which can be used for remote shooting and to automatically transfer images from the camera to a compatible smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth. The camera offers a 5fps continuous mode and a 39-point AF system, as well as an ISO range of 100-25,600.

Best APS-C DSLR Expert: Pentax KP 

The Pentax KP is a weather resistant and dustproof camera with a 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor with no low pass filter. The camera offers an unheard of ISO (819,200), a Pixel Shift Resolution System, and AA filter moiré reduction technology.

Best Full-Frame DSLR Expert: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The EOS 5D Mark IV features a full-frame 30.4MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6+ processor that can capture 7 frames per second stills and 4K 30p video. Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology delivers highly responsive and smooth focusing with subject tracking during video and live view shooting.

Best DSLR Professional Sony α99 II

The α99 Mark II has a 42.4MP Exmor R CMOS sensor inside its magnesium alloy body and an enhanced buffer that can handle up to 12 frames per second shooting with AF/AE tracking

Best DSLR Wide Angle Zoom Lens SIGMA 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art

Constructed with 16 elements in 11 groups, with FLD glass elements, an updated Hyper Sonic Motor with 1.3X torque for fast AF, and use of “the largest aspherical element in the industry”, this constant aperture wide angle zoom is designed for full-frame DSLRs but can also be used with APS-C sensor cameras to deliver a still impressive 18-36mm field of view 

Best DSLR Standard Zoom Lens Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM

This updated version of a versatile, constant aperture zoom has a new optical composition that includes 17 elements in 12 groups, including 4 glass-moulded (GMo) aspherical lenses that yield excellent resolving power as well as increase peripheral brightness for enhanced edge-to-edge performance.

Best DSLR Telephoto Zoom Lens Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2

This long-range zoom is built for full-frame DSLRs but can also be used on APS-C DSLRs to deliver an incredible 225-900mm focal length range (approximate, depending on camera). Tamron’s improved VC (vibration compensation) offers a 4.5 stop advantage with three modes for a variety of shooting scenarios.

Best DSLR Prime Lens: SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art

Aimed at portrait photographers and those who want to create dramatic shallow depth of field effects, this full-frame 85mm lens in Sigma’s Art series employs two FLD (fluorite equivalent) elements and one anomalous-dispersion (AD) high-refractive index element to achieve extremely low levels of chromatic aberration.

Best Professional Lens: Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED

Pros shooting architecture and tight indoor spaces will appreciate the quality and features of this tilt-shift, full-frame perspective control lens. It incorporates 3 ED elements and two aspheric elements and has Nano Crystal and Super Integrated coatings.

Best Medium Format Camera: FUJIFILM GFX 50S

Containing a 51.4MP CMOS sensor (43.8 x 32.9mm) and X-Processor Pro engine, the GFX-50S is a compact and lightweight camera with a 2.36M dot touchscreen LCD as well as a detachable 3.69M dot EVF.

Best Mirrorless CSC Entry Level: FUJIFILM X-T20

Housing an APS-C 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor, the X-T20 records both JPEG and 14-bit RAW stills and 4K, Full HD, and HD video.

Best: Mirrorless CSC Expert: FUJIFILM X-T2

The X-T2 contains an APS-C sized 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor that can deliver up to ISO 51,200 sensitivity. The highly responsive EVF offers 100 fps live view, plus there is a 3-inch, three-direction tilting LCD. The X-T2 has extremely impressive AF performance in low light and for low-contrast subjects as well as an AF-C custom setting that allows user to match subject movement.

Best Mirrorless CSC Professional: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

The lightweight and weatherproof E-M1 Mark II has a 20MP Live MOS sensor and TruePic VIII Dual Quad Core Processor. It offers two very high speed shooting sequences, 15fps (mechanical) and 60 fps (electronic), as well as 4K Ultra HD video recording (30/25/24 fps) with a built-in stereo mic.

Best CSC Standard Zoom Lens: Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 II ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.

Among Panasonic’s updated LUMIX G lenses, this fast 12-35mm offers silent operation via its inner focus drive system plus smooth brightness changes when zooming or panning due to a micro-step drive system in the aperture control. Another advantage is excellent AF tracking performance when zooming.

Best CSC Telephoto Zoom Lens: Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-100mm 1:4.0 IS PRO

Providing a 24-200mm effective focal length range for MFT cameras, the Olympus 12-100mm lens has splashproof, dustproof and freeze-proof construction plus an on-lens function button.

Best CSC Prime Lens: Fujinon XF 23mm F2 WR

This fast, wide-angle lens is constructed with 10 elements in 6 groups and incorporates a pair of aspheric elements that aid in creating crisp images throughout the frame. 

Best Expert Compact Camera: Sony DSC-RX100 V

The RX100 V has a 20MP 1-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor and a high resolution OLED EVF as well as a 3.0 inch TFT LCD, all within a camera that fits easily in the pocket. 

Best Super Zoom Camera: Panasonic LUMIX DC-FZ80/FZ82

The FZ80/FZ82 offers an incredible 60x 20-1200mm integral optical zoom lens. It delivers 4K and HD Video, with output and framing rates that will meet every creative need, and JPEG and Raw still recording.

Best Professional Compact Camera: FUJIFILM X100F

The X100F has a new 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor and an updated X-Processor Pro engine with an ISO range of 200-12,800 with a “push” sensitivity to 51,200. 

Best Rugged Camera: Nikon COOLPIX W100

Waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 5.9 feet, freeze proof to 14F and dustproof, the affordable W100 contains a 13.2MP CMOS sensor that can deliver stills at 11 fps and Full HD video at 30p.

Best Camcorder: Canon XC15

With its compact, portable body, the XC15 is designed for professional videographers and journalists who want a discrete but professional 4K/UHD handheld camera with XLR audio inputs that is ideal for news and film shoots in the field. 

Best Professional Photo/Video Camera: Panasonic LUMIX DC-GH5

The lightweight and durable Panasonic GH5 is a weather-resistant MFT camera with a 20.3MP Live MOS sensor that utilizes advanced digital signal processing and heat dissipation to allow recording and internal processing of 4:2:2 10-bit 4K video.

Best Photo Printer: Epson SureColor SC-P5000

The 17-inch SC-P5000 is a desktop proofing, photography and fine art printer that offers a 10-colour ink set, a PrecisionCore TFP printhead and Epson Precision Dot technology.

Best Inkjet Paper: Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige 340gsm

Canson’s Baryta Prestige is a 340 gsm inkjet paper comprised of acid-free alpha-cellulose and cotton with a true Barium sulphate (“baryta”) coating.  

Best Imaging Software: Macphun Luminar

As an affordable alternative to subscription-based and even some standalone image editors, Luminar offers a host of tools and options that can handle just about any imaging task.

Best Camera Accessory: Manfrotto Lens Filter Suite

Combining Manfrotto filters and XUME magnetic adapters, the Manfrotto Lens Filter Suite allows photographers to instantly and easily connect filters to their lens.

Best Lighting Accessory: Nissin Air10s

The Air10s is an advanced TTL strobe commander in the 2.4Ghz N.A.S., Nissin Air System. The simple dial layout with colour LCD display allows users to seamlessly and quickly control a large group of N.A.S.

Best Imaging Storage Solution: SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSD

Promising up to 9X the speed of an external hard drive, Extreme 900 SSD (solid state) can hold up to 1.92TB of data with read and write speeds up to 850 MB/s, ideal for transferring and accessing the very large video and still files.

 Best Imaging Processing Equipment: Wacom Intuos Pro

The Intuos Pro pen and touch tablets are highly portable at less than half an inch thick and have a smaller desktop footprint than previous models. 

Best Professional Flash System: Profoto D2

The D2 monolight offers flash duration as rapid as 1/63,000 second across the entire 10-stop energy range; high-speed sync goes as high as 1/8000 second, ideal for outdoor flash work. A super-fast recycling time allows for up to 20 firings per second. 

Best Portable Flash: Metz mecablitz M400

The compact M400 has a guide number of 40 at ISO 100 (105mm: GN 131 in ft) and is compatible with a wide range of DSLR, MFT and other mirrorless cameras. It features a zoom swivel head with a built in motor zoom function (24-105mm), an integrated (12mm) wide-angle diffuser, and an OLED display for easy user interface.

Best Tripod: Vanguard Alta Pro 2 tripod with 263AB 100 ballhead

The Alta Pro and AB100 ball head combination allows for ease of setup and flexibility in shooting angles and heights.

Best Photo Monitor: LG 27MD5KA (UltraFine 5K Display)

LG's 27MD5KA (UltraFine 5K) monitor brings the coveted extra high resolution to the photographers using MacBook Pro. 

Best Photo Smartphone: HUAWEI P10 / P10 Plus

Huawei's new flagship, P10 - and the twin P10 Plus - comes with either a 5.10 (1,920x1,080) or a 5.50 inch (2,560×1,440) high resolution display.  

Best Camera Drone: DJI Phantom 4 Pro

The drone is fitted with a 1-inch 20MP sensor camera that can deliver 4k/60 fps video and 14 fps bursts. Users have long-range control of 7km (4.3 miles) and can take advantage of its 30-minute flight time to make truly impressive imagery.

Best Action Camera: Sony FDR-X3000R

The compact unit has a unique Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system that works even in 4K and high speed recording modes.

Best 360° Camera: Nikon KeyMission 360

The Key Mission 360 allows users to capture and share fully immersive 360-degree videos and photos and offers waterproof, shockproof and freeze proof operation with no additional housing required.

Best Photo Print Service: WhiteWall ultraHD Photo Print

Printed on high-end Fuji Crystal DP II paper, the lab utilizes a new process that keeps the paper perfectly flat during exposure, thus ensures edge-to-edge sharpness and detail. 

Best Photo Bag: Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36

This versatile bag offers three carry options for three different gear configurations. 

Best Design: Hasselblad X1D-50c

At less than half the weight of previous medium format digital cameras, the mirrorless X1D-50c camera is ergonomic and compact with a stylish, classic design.