The 40th Amateur Photographer Awards took place on 16th February in the spectacular Gladstone Library at One Whitehall Place, London, just a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament.
Every year this prestigious event recognises and celebrates the very best photographic equipment of the past year. In 2016 alone, AP’s testing team reviewed 187 products – more than any other photography magazine in the UK.
This year there were 27 awards handed out for products and achievements. Products were split over a range of categories, which also included the all-important Amateur Photographer Reader Nominated Product of the Year, plus the Good Service Awards for retailers. Two personal awards were presented to those who have produced exceptional photography and contributed greatly to photography with a Power of Photography award and an Exceptional Achievement in Photography award.
At this year’s event the AP family also introduced a new award to pay tribute to friend and colleague Chris Cheesman, who sadly passed away in October. AP’s Group Editor, Nigel Atherton made the following announcement: “This year we have a brand new award that we’ll be presenting here for the first time, and every year from now on. And it is dedicated to the memory of Chris Cheesman. When Chris passed away we wanted to find a fitting way to remember him, and so we decided to create a new annual award, the Chris Cheesman Memorial Award, which will be given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the UK Photographic industry. The award itself is in the form of a crystal decanter, so that the winner can have a drink to Chris every time they use it.”
This was shortly followed by a video tribute, which received a standing ovation from the whole room. Chris’s partner, Grazia, his sister Louise and his brother Nick came to the stage to present the award. The winner of the inaugural Chris Cheesman Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Photographic Industry was the founder and MD of Sigma Imaging, Graham Armitage.
Group Editor, Nigel Atherton, had this to say; “There are a number of people in this room who have dedicated the best part of their lives to the trade, any one of whom deserves to win, but when I started canvassing for suggestions one name came cropping up. The winner of this award began his career in the photo trade in 1976, the year before these awards began, at Tudor Photographic. In 1978 he joined CZ Scientific, helping with promotions and exhibitions, liaising with retailers, and handling the PR. As well as being the UK distributor for Praktica cameras and Carl Zeiss Jena lenses, CZ Scientific, which later became Jenoptic, also managed a Japanese brand that he is still associated with, indeed is synonymous with, 39 years later. That brand is Sigma.”
The winners of the other 26 awards are as follows:
Power of Photography – Nick Brandt
Exceptional Achievement Award – Stuart Franklin
Accessory of the Year – Westcott Ice Light 2
Software of the Year – Google Snapseed 2
Compact Camera of the Year – Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100
Bridge Camera of the Year – Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
Enthusiast Compact System Camera of the Year – Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80
Premium Compact System Camera of the Year – Olympus Pen F
Professional Compact System Camera of the Year – Fujifilm X-T2
Enthusiast DSLR Camera of the Year – Pentax K-70
Premium DSLR Camera of the Year – Nikon D500
Professional DSLR Camera of the Year – Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
Fixed Focal Length Lens of the Year – Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
Zoom Lens of the Year – Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM A
Innovation of the Year – DJI Mavic Pro
AP Reader Product of the Year – Nikon D500
Product of the Year – Fujifilm X-T2
The Good Service Award
This was established to recognise and reward outstanding retailers, voted for by AP readers. This year there were seven Gold Awards and one Platinum Award.
Gold – Calumet, Camera World, Clifton Cameras, Jessops, London Camera Exchange, Mr Cad, Park Cameras
Platinum – Grays of Westminster