Expert Imaging and Sound Association
2020 – 2021
EISA is the unique association of 55 special interest magazines from 29 countries. Internationally known for the European EISA Awards, EISA started in 1982 when the editors-in-chief from five European photo magazines came together to select “The Camera of the Year” for the first time. They had no idea that out of this meeting EISA – the European Imaging and Sound Association – would emerge some years later. This historic moment took place in 1989 after another 10 photo magazines had joined the group in the meanwhile.
In 2013 EISA did make some changes on its internal organization so that our structure could reflect better the changes that have happened in the market along the last years and we have decided to replace the previous arrangement of members distributed by several panels to members belonging to Expert Groups. The new Expert Groups define better the expertise of the EISA members and make it more flexible for members to participate in discussions having to do directly with the field of expertise they represent. The result will be stronger, better and more relevant EISA Awards, and easier to implement combined awards that join together opinions from different Expert Groups. We have now a stronger and more modern EISA, fit for the challenges of the years to come!
Photography section comprises 17 international Photographic print magazines.
Fujifilm’s X-T4 is an outstanding mirrorless camera with a 26-million-pixel X-Trans CMOS sensor. It combines a compact size with very high image quality, impressive speed (up to 20fps at full resolution) and professional video capabilities such as 4K 60fps recording. One of its most important new features is its 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, which compensates for between 5 and 6.5 stops depending on the lens, ensuring pin-sharp shots even with long exposure times. The monitor can now be swung out to the side, allowing easy self-recording. Fujifilm has surely created the best APS-C mirrorless camera yet.
With its competitive price and excellent quality, the Nikon Z 50 is the EISA Best Buy Camera 2020-2021. This compact mirrorless camera with APS-C (DX) sensor is easy to use and perfect for travel, with a well-built and weatherproof body. It delivers fine image quality with good dynamic range that allows detail recovery both in the highlights and the deep shadows. The Z 50 employs the same EXPEED 6 processor as Nikon’s full-frame models, which allows for 4K video recording at 30fps, or up to 120fps in Full HD. The autofocus is quick and accurate, with a very useful Eye-Detection AF function and (thanks to a firmware update) animal detection as well.
With the EOS 90D, Canon has shown that the DSLR is not finished yet. Its 32.5-million-pixel sensor sets a new resolution record for APS-C, while the Dual Pixel CMOS AF ensures fast and precise focusing in live view and video. Other advanced features include the silent electronic shutter, which allows extremely short exposure times of up to 1/16,000sec. The EOS 90D records 4K video without a crop, and in Full HD it allows slow motion at up to 120fps. The touchscreen monitor, which can be swivelled and folded out to the side, rounds off this outstanding DSLR camera
Canon has made a big effort to renew its top-of-the-line professional DSLR, which is designed for news agencies, sports photographers and capturing wildlife. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III offers cutting-edge technology, including a newly developed 191-point autofocus system that meets professional sports photographers’ demand for razor-sharp action images. The video functions are also very advanced, with 5.5K capture stored internally in 12-bit Raw format. With advanced connectivity options built in, the EOS-1D X Mark III is also tailor-made for instant delivery of images to media through news agencies.
As the first mirrorless camera to be capable of recording 8K video, Canon’s EOS R5 was the outstanding candidate for our Camera Innovation award this year. This extraordinary stills/video hybrid is capable of recording 4K footage at a remarkable 120fps, and shooting 45-million-pixel still images at up to 20fps. It also claims the world’s most effective image stabilisation. With a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, articulated rear screen and professional-level controls, along with an optional grip that incorporates professional Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, it promises to be the complete all-round package for demanding photographers and videographers
The Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM sets a new standard for professional telezoom lenses, and is Canon’s best to date. Its all-new construction is tailored to Canon’s RF mirrorless system, and together with a new optical design, delivers impressive image quality in a very compact lens. It’s also well sealed against dust and splashes, and can therefore be used in challenging situations. In addition, the lens offers very effective 5-stop image stabilisation. It is without doubt the best lens the EISA jury has tested in the past year.
For many professional photographers, a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is the workhorse they cannot live without. The RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM combines a fast aperture with a built-in 5-stop image stabiliser and provides excellent image quality across the zoom range, with exceptionally low levels of distortion. The smooth and silent Nano USM motor ensures rapid and accurate autofocus, and is perfect for video as well as stills. The RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM offers robust, weather-sealed build quality along with fluorine coating on the front and rear elements to protect them against water and grease.
These two innovative ultra-telephoto lenses owe their unparalleled low weight to a novel design that combines diffractive optics with a small, fixed aperture. They also employ a retractable sliding barrel that enables a remarkably short packed length. What’s more, the inclusion of optical stabilisation means they can readily be used handheld, without needing a monopod or tripod. Together this provides a combination of portability, affordability and telephoto reach for Canon full-frame mirrorless users that was previously only available with cropped-sensor cameras. As a result, they look sure to become popular for subjects such as wildlife, sport and aviation.
Issei Morimoto, Senior Vice President for Canon Europe commented: “These prestigious awards clearly demonstrate that our products performance, build, innovation and technical capability have been given the stamp of excellence by EISA’s esteemed judges. Despite this year’s unprecedented global challenges, Canon launched a line-up of industry leading products with its own cutting-edge technology that delighted and exceeded our customer’s expectations around the world. With award-winning products, Canon has something for every photography professional, filmmaker and enthusiast to get excited by”.
Last month, Canon announced its biggest launch yet – revealing two new mirrorless cameras the EOS R5 and EOS R6, four new RF lenses and two new RF extenders – expanding its RF range to telephoto capabilities, and a professional printer, the imagePROGRAF PRO-300. These announcements follow another significant launch in January – the EOS-1D X Mark III which is a much-anticipated camera for professional sports and wildlife photographers.
Nikon’s D780 is a full frame DSLR with a 24-million-pixel CMOS sensor. Combined with the fast EXPEED 6 image processor, this delivers native sensitivities up to ISO 51,200, opening up more possibilities for creative photography. Its tilting LCD touchscreen helps photographers and video operators get the shot they want, even from high or low angles. This successor to the Nikon D750 brings a slew of upgrades such as superior image processing, better video capabilities (up to 4K UHD 30fps with N-Log), slow motion and time-lapse. Furthermore, the vastly improved hybrid AF system ensures fast autofocus when shooting and filming using the LCD screen.
The Sony Alpha 7R IV is the first full-frame mirrorless camera to boast an incredible resolution of 61 million pixels. It’s also equipped with one of the industry’s best autofocus systems, including AI-driven Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF. Up to 10fps burst shooting with AF and AE is possible. Furthermore, with its 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, blurred pictures due to camera shake are reduced to a minimum. With its sharp electronic viewfinder and extremely fast BIONZ X processor, this camera is a highly reliable and capable tool that provides the versatility to handle virtually any photographic situation to the highest standard.
Developed with the same technical architecture as the Lumix S1 full-frame format, the Lumix DC-S1H hybrid is strongly video-orientated with 6K recording at 24fps, along with 4K capture at 60fps. It offers excellent image quality, especially in low light, and you can record in Log mode for easy colour correction and extended dynamic range. The camera also offers an attractive 4K anamorphic mode, a great feature for shooting big-screen style movies. In addition, it features an excellent electronic viewfinder, in-body image stabilisation, and a beautiful touchscreen in a robust and versatile body.
The Fujifilm X100V looks similar to its predecessors in the X100 series, but is in fact an all-new design that quite simply represents the state-of-the-art for compact cameras today. It sports the same sensor and brilliant hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder as the sophisticated Fujifilm X-Pro3 mirrorless camera, and its performance is in the same league too. It boasts a new and improved 23mm f/2 lens, along with a tilting screen that doesn’t add to its size, while allowing full weather sealing. All this in a tiny camera that fits into a jacket pocket, making it ideal for travel and street photography.
This innovative compact camera is aimed at content creators and vloggers, offering great video capabilities such as 4K recording and S-Log gamma. Its high-quality built-in microphone comes with a windshield for outdoor shooting; alternatively an external microphone can be used via the audio input or the multi-interface shoe. The ZV-1 is also a very good photo camera with a fast AF system and versatile vari-angle screen. Together with the optional grip that features a built-in wireless remote control and doubles as a tripod, the ZV-1 is an excellent production tool which lets vloggers easily create and share content.
This large aperture, wideangle zoom for full-frame mirrorless cameras provides excellent quality at a very competitive price. It’s available in both Sony E-mount, and L-mount for Leica, Panasonic and Sigma cameras. By optimising the design for mirrorless, Sigma has made a lens that’s considerably smaller and lighter than its DSLR counterpart, yet provides fantastic optical quality. It also boasts fast and silent autofocus, and is weather-sealed for outdoor shooting. The result is a superb lens that’s perfect for a wide range of subjects including architecture, landscapes and astrophotography.
This Tamron lens is a classic telephoto zoom for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, with a large aperture of f/2.8. It delivers excellent sharpness and contrast across the frame at all focal lengths, even wide open. It also boasts weather-resistant construction, using lightweight yet durable materials. The optical design exploits several special elements and coatings, while a floating focus system ensures crisp and sharp images, even at close subject distances. With a very quiet but responsive autofocus mechanism, this lens is a bargain in its class, both for photography and video.
This all-in-one zoom lens is the first in its class to offer a fast aperture of f/2.8 at the wideangle end, together with compact size and light weight. Thanks to a combination of special lens elements and intelligent software corrections, the Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD achieves an impressive optical performance, giving clean, sharp images. In combination with the fast aperture, a close focus distance of just 19cm allows users to shoot close-ups with nicely blurred backgrounds. The autofocus is fast, accurate and quiet, which is a boon for photographers and video makers alike.
This ultra-telephoto zoom will be appreciated by those who love nature and sports photography but don’t want a heavy lens. It is affordable and lightweight for its class, yet delivers great sharpness even at maximum aperture, which is very important for a lens that will often be used between 400mm and 600mm. Autofocus is very fast, and the large zoom ring moves smoothly from 200mm to 600mm without changing the length or balance of the lens, making it comfortable to use. The range can be extended even further with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters, maintaining full autofocus capability.
This powerful telephoto zoom is suitable for professional use in challenging conditions. Its constant fast maximum aperture across the full focal-length range offers advantages in many situations, including portraits, indoor and outdoor sports, and nature photography. Even at its maximum aperture of f/2.8, the NIKKOR delivers exceptional resolution on full-frame DSLR cameras with minimal chromatic aberration, thanks to the use of Nikon’s new Short Wavelength Spectrum (SR) glass. It handles brilliantly too, with effective image stabilisation and comprehensive weather protection. Compatibility with Nikon’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters brings additional flexibility.
The compact and lightweight Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G is an exceptional lens that provides really sharp images in all areas of the frame, even at f/1.8. Its optical design features advanced aspherical elements and extra-low dispersion glass to deliver high corner-to-corner image quality with minimal distortion, while suppressing chromatic aberration. The 9-bladed diaphragm allows the photographer to create beautifully blurred backgrounds. Two XD Linear Motors guarantee very fast, precise and silent focusing, while the 18cm minimum focus distance (in manual focus mode) can be used for striking close-ups.
A stunning addition to Nikon’s mirrorless Z system, this is a superb portrait lens with the classic 85mm focal length, where it stands out among some very tough competition. As Nikon’s best 85mm lens to date, it performs admirably at f/1.8, with just the right amount of edge softness and shading that demanding portrait photographers require, while the optical performance is technically perfect when the aperture is closed down a couple of stops. In addition, this lens has no distortion, provides fast autofocus speed, and is built to high standards, including weather-resistance for use under all conditions.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a compact drone that’s very easy to operate and can be folded conveniently for transport. With its 1/2in CMOS sensor, the camera lets you take photos with a resolution of 48 million pixels, and in video mode the drone supports 4K at 60fps. Both photographs and videos are stored on convenient microSD cards, and the amazing gimbal makes sure neither turns out blurred. The Mavic Air 2 has a lot to offer for creative filmmakers, including HDR panorama, 8K Hyperlapse mode, and SmartPhoto mode with scene recognition that optimises the picture depending on the situation.