Sony’s innovation in the digital imaging industry has been recognized with the winning of three awards from the prestigious Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), an international, non-profit association advocating the interests of photography and imaging publishing industry.
The association represents 28 titles, published in nine European countries and six non-European countries. Every year, the editors vote for the best photo and imaging products introduced to the market during the previous 12 months, taking into account criteria such as innovation, use of leading-edge technology, design and ergonomics, as well as ease-of-use, and price/performance ratio.
Best Photo / Video Camera Professional: a7S
Sony’s strategy of using larger pixels on a full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor (12.2MP) pays dividends in a very high dynamic range (15.3 stops) offering excellent low-light capability (Fast Intelligent AF to -4EV and low noise) and extremely high sensitivity (extended ISO range 50-409,600). The ‘direct pixel readout’ utilizes the entire width of the sensor without line skipping or pixel binning, which means that both HD and 4K video data is processed from each and every one of the sensor’s pixels. The unit allows users to shoot with uncompressed 4:2:2 Full HD and uncompressed QFHD 4K video in 8-bit 4:2:2, with the latter put through to a third-party 4K recorder via HDMI. The product comes equipped with SLog2 gamma, found in Sony’s professional video cameras, which offers the ability to include a picture profile for gamma, black, level and colour adjustments that can be saved for use in a multi-camera shoot.
Best CSC Entry Level: a5100
Dubbed a ‘super compact’ CSC, the Sony α5100 is about half the size of a conventional DSLR. The camera holds a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor with the same gapless on-chip lens structure as the company’s α7R. The camera delivers a fast 0.07 second AF acquisition time, with up to 6 frames per second continuous shooting with AF tracking, aided greatly by the 179-pointphase detection AF sensor. The unit offers numerous video options: Full HD in cinematic 24p, 60p and 60i frame rates; selectable in-camera XAVC S with a 50Mb/second bit rate; Blu-Ray quality AVCHD; and MP4 codecs – all with HDMI connectivity. The camera also delivers an impressive ISO range of 100-25,600. a5100 is compatible with Sony α E-mount lenses, and α A-mount lens with an optional adapter.
Best Mobile Imaging Device: ILCE-QX1
Smartphone photographers often see little point in carrying both phone and camera for picture making, but more and more come away wanting better image quality and more shooting flexibility. The Sony QX1 offers true mirrorless camera capability in a compact, ‘bodyless’ solution. The unit attaches to a smartphone with an easy adapter or can also be used independently of the smartphone if desired – with the smartphone used as the viewfinder via an NFC/WiFi connection. The QX1 has a large APS-C 20.1MP image sensor, a built-in flash, and a mount to attach any Sony α E lens. Third party lenses can also be attached via the appropriate mount adaptor. Once a picture is made, the image can be stored on both camera and phone memory. The QX1’s low light performance is clearly superior to that delivered by smartphones, as are the resultant 30p HD videos.