EISA Awards 2019-2020 – the Best Cameras and Lenses
August 14, 2019
The Expert Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) is a group of 55 special interest magazines and websites from 29 countries around the world, covering six subject areas: Hi-Fi, TV, photography, mobile, in-car and home theatre. Each member is renowned for its expertise and authority within its particular subject area, and for the rigour and integrity of its testing.
As one of the organisation’s founding members, AP is an integral part of EISA’s Photo Panel. We work closely alongside 16 other magazines from Europe, India and the USA, all of which are among the most respected in their home countries. Each June we meet to discuss, debate and vote for the best products of the previous year across a range of categories. An absolute prerequisite is that all of the winners must have been tested in depth by multiple panel members. Each country has its own tastes and preferences, but there is usually a strong consensus as to who the winners should be. In September, the winners are presented with their awards at a gala ceremony in Berlin.
One thing you’ll notice this year is that there are no longer any separate awards for DSLR and mirrorless systems. This simply reflects the current state of the market, and in particular the paucity of new DSLRs as mirrorless becomes increasingly dominant. Here we reveal the very best new cameras, lenses and accessories you can buy, as we name the EISA Awards winners of 2019-2020.
Best product awards 2019 – 2020
EISA CAMERA OF THE YEAR 2019-2020
Nikon Z 6
With the Z 6, Nikon has made a superb camera with sensational handling and robust build quality that delivers excellent images in almost any shooting situation. Its autofocus system includes Eye-Detection AF, allowing accurate focus wherever the subject is placed in the frame. The large and sharp electronic viewfinder provides a truly accurate preview of how your images will turn out, while in-body image stabilisation helps keep your pictures sharp with every lens you can use, including F-mount DSLR optics. Quite simply, this is the best all-round camera that serious photographers can buy right now.
EISA ADVANCED CAMERA 2019-2020
With the X-T3, Fujifilm takes its popular X system to a higher level. The new 26-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor does not require a low-pass filter and therefore delivers unusually detailed images. The camera features extremely fast autofocus and continuous shooting at up to 30fps, making it well suited for action photography. The video mode is equally impressive, offering 4K recording at 60fps along with professional features such as F-Log and Hybrid Log Gamma. Photographers who don’t need all of the X-T3’s advanced features should also consider its less-expensive sister model, the X-T30.
EISA BEST BUY FULL-FRAME CAMERA 2019-2020
Canon EOS RP
With the EOS RP, Canon has delivered an impressively affordable entry into the full-frame mirrorless market. Based around a 26.2-megapixel sensor and the powerful DIGIC 8 processor, it’s capable of delivering excellent image quality. Another strong point is the very sensitive 4779-point hybrid autofocus system, which enables reliable focusing in extremely low light. The compact and lightweight body can be used with both the outstanding new RF lenses and with all existing EOS EF and EF-S lenses using Canon’s EF-EOS R mount adapter. The streamlined control layout and fully articulated LCD touchscreen also make the camera very easy to use.
EISA ADVANCED FULL-FRAME CAMERA 2019-2020
Panasonic LUMIX DC-S1R
The Panasonic LUMIX DC-S1R is an extremely well built professional camera with significant protection against the elements. It combines speedy performance with very high 47.3-megapixel resolution, providing exceptional image quality that stands out from even the best of its competitors. In addition, the High Resolution multi-shot feature provides huge 187-megapixel images with incredible levels of detail. Furthermore, the camera’s ergonomics are first-rate, with a large electronic viewfinder that sets new standards for detail and a three-way tilting touchscreen. Add in comprehensive video features, and you have a complete camera for professionals.
EISA PHOTO/VIDEO CAMERA 2019-2020
For content creators who shoot as much video as stills photography, the α6400 packs an impressive array of tools into its compact, portable body. The highlight is undoubtedly Sony’s innovative Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF, that keeps your subject sharp and in-focus no matter how it moves around the scene. Other advanced video options include 4K high dynamic range recording, S-Log profiles for pro-level colour grading, a flip-up screen that can face forwards for vlogging and a microphone socket for high-quality sound recording. Meanwhile photographers will appreciate the excellent quality of its 24-megapixel image files.
EISA COMPACT CAMERA 2019-2020
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI packs state-of-the-art photo technology into a very compact body that houses a retractable electronic viewfinder and an integrated flash. With a 24-200mm equivalent zoom lens it offers all the flexibility you need, especially when travelling. The 20.1-megapixel sensor delivers plenty of detail, while for action the camera offers a burst mode of 24fps. With a very fast and reliable eye autofocus, portraits are pin-sharp. The camera also offers impressive video features, including 4K recording and super-slow motion. With wireless technology like Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi it partners seamlessly with your smartphone or tablet.
EISA BEST SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
Huawei P30 Pro
With its quad-camera setup Huawei has made yet another impressive advance in mobile photography. Low-light photos are by far the best you can currently get from a smartphone, while the ultra-wide lens, the portrait mode and the periscopic 5x telephoto lens surpass any of its competitors. The P30 Pro also impresses with its stunning water-resistant construction, excellent screen, fast under-display fingerprint reader and great battery life that’s supported by both wired and wireless charging. With raw format recording and up to 512GB storage, the Huawei P30 Pro is the perfect companion for dedicated photographers.
EISA PHOTO SOFTWARE 2019-2020
Skylum’s Luminar 3, soon to witness an update to v4, is an image-editing program for Mac OS and Windows that allows photographers of all skill levels to optimise their pictures with just a few mouse clicks – and with stunning results. This is made possible thanks to artificial intelligence technology. Editing, selecting and masking are all automated, and suddenly these tedious tasks that previously could only be done manually are now achieved within a second. Experienced photographers can still make adjustments manually to get the most out of the software. It is available both as a standalone program and as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
EISA CAMERA INNOVATION 2019-2020
With the GFX100, Fujifilm has made a 100-megapixel medium format camera that does not suffer from the restraints usually associated with large-sensor, high-resolution systems. As the first camera of this type with in-body image stabilization, it can be used for handheld shooting under a much wider range of conditions. The spring-mounted shutter mechanism is isolated from the sensor, minimising the risk of shutter vibration affecting the sharpness. The GFX100 is also the first medium format camera to offer on-sensor phase detection, which results in much faster autofocus. What’s more, it’s the first medium format camera to shoot 4K video with no field-of-view crop.
EISA LENS INNOVATION 2019-2020
Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM
The Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM is the first standard zoom lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras to maintain a constant aperture of f/2 throughout its entire focal length range. This allows photographers to limit depth of field to a degree previously only possible with prime lenses, and allows faster shutter speeds in low-light conditions. The image quality and sharpness are excellent throughout the zoom range, while the USM motor provides fast and reliable autofocus. The lens is a spectacular demonstration of what can be achieved with the EOS R mount.
EISA PHOTO INNOVATION 2019-2020
Sony Real-time Eye AF
Sony’s latest real-time autofocus algorithms are a game-changer. The enhanced Real-time Eye AF focuses precisely on a person’s eyes – or even on a pet’s with the Real-time Animal Eye AF function. In continuous autofocus mode, Real-time Eye AF maintains focus on a moving subject even when part of their face is temporarily obscured or turned away from the camera. The AI-driven improvements also provide accurate and reliable tracking for moving subjects. The Real-time Tracking system recognises the whole body, and the focus area will seamlessly change between the face and the eyes. This means sports photographers can reliably track unpredictable movements, trusting the AF system to get every shot in focus.
EISA BEST BUY ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
Tamron 35-150mm F2.8-4 Di VC OSD
The Tamron 35-150mm F2.8-4 Di VC OSD is a standard zoom lens for Canon and Nikon full-frame DSLRs. Its somewhat unusual zoom range, combined with a minimum focus distance of 45cm, makes it particularly well suited for portraits, ranging from environmental studies to close-ups. Thanks to its compact size and light weight it is also a perfect travel companion. It offers an unusually fast aperture for such a range, from f/2.8 at wide-angle through to f/4 at the telephoto end. The lens incorporates Tamron’s Dual Micro-Processing Unit system, which assures optimal autofocus performance and effective vibration compensation, allowing for sharp handheld shots.
EISA WIDE-ANGLE ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD
The Tamron 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD is an affordable large-aperture wide-angle zoom for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. Designed to complement the firm’s 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD, it features a similarly compact, lightweight design and weather-resistant construction. It’s a really strong performer in terms of image quality: resolution and contrast are excellent for its class, while the optical system assures outstanding colour accuracy with minimal chromatic aberration. The lens employs a silent and fast stepping motor for autofocus, making it very suitable for both stills and video recording.
EISA STANDARD ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM
This high-quality all-round zoom lens is the perfect everyday companion for Canon’s new breed of EOS R full-frame mirrorless cameras. It offers an extremely versatile zoom range that covers everything from wide-angle landscapes to short-telephoto portraits, while providing consistently high image quality at all apertures and focus distances. Canon’s Nano USM focusing provides silent and accurate autofocus for both stills and video shooting, complemented by the highly effective optical image stabilisation that keeps images sharp when shooting with long shutter speeds. Robust weather-sealed construction rounds off an impressively versatile package.
EISA TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports
The SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports is a unique 10x zoom lens with a super-telephoto reach of up to 600mm. Its optical design delivers sharp images across the zoom range while ensuring maximum correction of chromatic aberration. It features an Intelligent OS system that delivers a reliable image stabilisation effect of 4 stops, allowing sharp images to be obtained handheld. In addition, the Hyper Sonic Motor provides fast, accurate autofocus. The weather-resistant construction incorporates magnesium alloy, which ensures durability and enhances portability. Should you require even greater reach, the lens can be combined with one of SIGMA’s teleconverters.
EISA PROFESSIONAL STANDARD ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
The NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is a fast, professional standard zoom lens for the Nikon Z system. Solid and robust, it employs Nano Crystal coating and the new Arneo coating to reduce flare and ghosting, while the front and rear elements have a fluorine coating to repel dust, oil and moisture. Thanks to a customisable control ring the photographer can easily adjust the aperture or exposure compensation, while an OLED panel on the barrel displays aperture, depth of field, focus distance or focal length. With stunning optical performance that combines high resolution and attractive bokeh, this lens is the perfect partner for Nikon Z cameras.
EISA PROFESSIONAL TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports
Part of SIGMA’s Sports line of telephoto lenses, the 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports is the new flagship that meets the needs of professional photographers. The optical design provides excellent resolution from centre to corners, while eliminating chromatic aberration. The large aperture ensures smooth bokeh – ideal for portrait photography. Dust- and splash-proof construction means you can use the lens in challenging conditions. SIGMA’s Hyper Sonic Motor makes autofocus fast and quiet, while the Intelligent OS system provides sharp images when using longer shutter speeds. As with all recent SIGMA lenses, many settings can be customised via the SIGMA USB DOCK.
EISA WIDE-ANGLE PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM
The Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM is a top-quality prime lens that provides incredibly sharp images both in the centre and at the edges of the frame, even at the largest aperture of f/1.4. The optical design incorporates several special lens elements to ensure outstanding image quality, while the 11-bladed diaphragm produces a circular opening for beautifully blurred backgrounds. The high-power DD SSM motor ensures very fast, precise and silent focusing, while the 24cm minimum focus distance can be used for close-ups with spectacular perspectives. Impressively, it’s also the most compact and lightweight lens in its class and is extremely effective in suppressing sagittal flare when shooting starscapes.
EISA STANDARD PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
The Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM is a no-compromise, large-aperture standard lens that shows off the potential of the new EOS RF lens mount. Combining a very bright maximum aperture with impressive sharpness from f/1.2, the lens also renders attractive bokeh thanks to its 10-bladed aperture. The convenient lens control ring allows the photographer to adjust shooting parameters. The assembly of fine optics is built for heavy use and to withstand challenging shooting conditions, while delivering amazing results across a wide range of subjects including portraits and wedding photography.
EISA PORTRAIT PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM
The FE 135mm F1.8 GM is a truly remarkable lens. It’s extremely sharp from centre to corner, while at the same time its beautifully soft rendering of defocused backgrounds and bright highlights results in exceptional images. With dust-proof and splash-proof construction it’s built to perform under challenging weather conditions, while the traditional aperture ring provides easy and intuitive handling. It’s good for close-ups too, with a minimum focus distance of 70cm providing a 0.25x magnification ratio. Last but not least, the high-performance autofocus motors offer speedy, accurate and silent focusing on moving subjects.
EISA TELEPHOTO PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS
Sony’s first large-aperture E-mount telephoto prime is one of the lightest in its class, thanks to an innovative optical design with three fluorite elements and the use of magnesium alloy components. Thanks to the reduced number of elements at the front of the barrel, the lens is perfectly balanced. It combines outstanding image quality with extraordinary focusing speed and precision, thanks to two high-speed XD Linear Motors. The 11-blade circular aperture produces beautifully blurred backgrounds. The FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is also compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters for even longer reach.
EISA SUPER-TELEPHOTO PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM
Like its smaller sibling, the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM, this super-telephoto lens uses a completely new optical design to deliver outstanding image quality, along with magnesium alloy and titanium construction to reduce weight without compromising on strength or quality. The ultrasonic motor provides extremely fast autofocus, while the built-in image-stabilisation technology enables handheld shooting with shutter speeds up to four stops slower than normal. Thanks to the f/4 aperture, the lens can be combined with the Canon Extender EF 2.0x III to give a focal length of 1200mm while maintaining autofocus.
Other 2019-2020 EISA awards
1) HI-FI EXPERT GROUP
EISA ACTIVE STEREO LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
ELAC Navis ARB-51
EISA ALL-IN-ONE SYSTEM 2019-2020
Naim Audio Mu-so 2nd Generation
EISA BEST BUY AMPLIFIER 2019-2020
EISA BEST BUY TURNTABLE 2019-2020
EISA BOOKSHELF LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
Monitor Audio Gold 100
EISA COMPACT STEREO SYSTEM 2019-2020
Marantz Melody X (M-CR612)
EISA DAC 2019-2020
Chord Electronics Qutest
EISA DIGITAL SOURCE 2019-2020
Pro-Ject CD Box RS2 T/Pre Box RS2 Digital
EISA HEADPHONE 2019-2020
EISA HI-FI UPGRADE 2019-2020
EISA HIGH-END AMPLIFIER 2019-2020
EISA HIGH-END LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
EISA LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
Bowers & Wilkins 603
EISA SMART AMPLIFIER 2019-2020
EISA STEREO SYSTEM 2019-2020
Primare CD35/I35 Prisma
EISA STREAMING DAC 2019-2020
Mytek Brooklyn Bridge
EISA TURNTABLE 2019-2020
EISA WIRELESS STEREO LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
2) Hi-Fi / HT AUDIO / HT VIDEO EXPERT GROUP
EISA AV ACCESSORY 2019-2020
IsoTek SMART Delta
3) HOME THEATRE AUDIO EXPERT GROUP
EISA AV Receiver 2019-2020
EISA BEST BUY HOME THEATRE SPEAKER SYSTEM 2019-2020
DALI OBERON Series
EISA HOME THEATRE HIGH-END 2019-2020
Focal Astral 16
EISA HOME THEATRE SPEAKER SYSTEM 2019-2020
Arendal Sound 1723 Monitor S THX 5.1
EISA HOME THEATRE SUBWOOFER 2019-2020
EISA PREMIUM HOME THEATRE RECEIVER 2019-2020
NAD T 758 V3
EISA PREMIUM SOUNDBAR 2019-2020
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
EISA SOUNDBAR 2019-2020
EISA TV SOUND SYSTEM 2019-2020
DALI KATCH ONE
4) HT AUDIO / HT VIDEO&DISPLAY EXPERT GROUP
EISA UNIVERSAL PLAYER 2019-2020
5) HOME THEATRE VIDEO&DISPLAY EXPERT GROUP
EISA 8K TV 2019-2020
EISA BEST BUY OLED TV 2019-2020
EISA BEST BUY PROJECTOR 2019-2020
BenQ CinePrime W2700
EISA HOME THEATRE PROJECTOR 2019-2020
BenQ CinePrime W5700
EISA HOME THEATRE TV 2019-2020
EISA BEST PREMIUM OLED TV 2019-2020
EISA SMART HOME TV 2019-2020
6) MOBILE DEVICES EXPERT GROUP
EISA ADVANCED SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
OnePlus 7 Pro
EISA BEST BUY SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
EISA BEST EARBUDS 2019-2020
JBL Reflect Flow
EISA BEST NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES 2019-2020
EISA CONSUMER NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES 2019-2020
JBL LIVE 650BTNC
EISA ELECTRIC VEHICLE 2019-2020
Xiaomi Mi Scooter Pro
EISA LIFESTYLE SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
Honor 20 Pro
EISA MOBILE SPEAKER 2019-2020
LG XBOOM Go PK7
EISA PARTY SPEAKER 2019-2020
JBL PartyBox 100
EISA WIRELESS IN-EAR HEADPHONES 2019-2020
OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2
7) IN-CAR ELECTRONICS EXPERT GROUP
EISA IN-CAR HEAD UNIT 2019-2020
EISA IN-CAR SOUND PROCESSOR 2019-2020
EISA IN-CAR AMPLIFIER 2019-2020
EISA IN-CAR SPEAKER SYSTEM 2019-2020
Morel Elate Carbon 603
EISA IN-CAR SUBWOOFER 2019-2020
Ground Zero GZPW 10SQ
EISA IN-CAR SMART UPGRADE 2019-2020
EISA IN-CAR DASHCAM 2019-2020
EISA IN-CAR HIGH-END COMPONENT 2019-2020
Eton Core S3
EISA IN-CAR INNOVATION 2019-2020
What is EISA?
The Expert Imaging and Sound Association is a collection of photographic, audio and video magazines in which members pool their skills and knowledge to award the best products in a wide range of categories each year. The awards are intended as a guide for specialist consumers. Amateur Photographer, a founding member of the association, represents the UK for the photographic section of the awards. Learn more about EISA here.