European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) winners: Europe’s best products
August 14, 2016
Every year, the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) meets to assess the very best photographic, video, audio, home theatre, in-car electronic and mobile electronic products on the market. The editors of 48 special-interest magazines from across 23 European countries, all highly respected experts in their fields, choose which of the products released in the previous 12 months are the very best in their class. With the inexorable advances in technology year-on-year, this can be a difficult task.
AP is a member of EISA’s Photo Panel, alongside 14 more of the best photographic magazines across Europe. Like us, all these publications employ thorough testing and evaluation processes and are well known and respected for the quality of their reviews. So when a camera or lens is considered good enough to receive an EISA award, it’s because the majority of these experts consider it the best available, based on both rigorous lab testing and real-world experience.
Below, we present the 19 products that the Photo Panel has selected this year as being the finest in their class. Some of the decisions were quite straightforward, but others were only reached after long discussion. In all cases you can be confident all these products are worthy winners of a prestigious EISA award.
Nigel Atherton Editor
What is EISA?
The European 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. Only one magazine from each country may belong to any panel. Amateur Photographer, a founding member of the association, represents the UK for the photographic section of the awards.
Learn more about EISA at www.eisa-awards.eu.
European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) winners: Photo Panel
EUROPEAN DSLR CAMERA 2016-2017
Canon EOS 80D
The Canon EOS 80D is more than just another SLR. Canon has brought a camera to the market that incorporates many innovative functions for photo and video. The key feature is Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which enables fast focussing during live view and video, and which is also supported by the new Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1 which works together with the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM kit lens. The AF is also greatly improved and now sports 45 cross-type sensors, while the high-resolution vari-angle LCD allows touchscreen operation. Last but not least the EOS 80D has a class-leading image quality.
EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL DSLR CAMERA 2016-2017
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is the fastest DSLR ever, making it the best tool for the professional sports photographer. It can take 14 images per second of moving subjects, an impressive achievement that’s particularly useful for action photography. Compared to the previous model Canon has increased the still image quality significantly, and improved the autofocus particularly when using lenses with extenders. The video function is also much more advanced with high-quality 4K recording and fast autofocus in live view mode. All the improvements together with the rugged body make the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II an even better all-round camera than its predecessor.
EUROPEAN PROSUMER DSLR CAMERA 2016-2017
The D500 is Nikon’s fastest and best DX-format DSLR to date. Capable of shooting at 10 frames per second, it’s perfect for action photography. Nikon’s latest 153-point AF system provides very fast and precise focus, particularly with moving subjects. A newly developed 20.9-million-pixel DX sensor gives superb image quality, and with a maximum standard sensitivity of ISO 51,200 the D500 is especially good for shooting in low light. Build quality and handling are superb with a large, bright viewfinder and tilting rear touchscreen display. The ability to record 4K video and Nikon’s new SnapBridge connectivity rounds off a hugely impressive DSLR.
EUROPEAN CONSUMER COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA 2016-2017
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a compact and lightweight camera with excellent ergonomics. With a 16.1-million-pixel Four Thirds Sensor, a high-end electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dots and fast autofocus it is technologically state-of-the-art and delivers pictures of high quality. Thanks to the 5-axis image stabilisation the camera is well suited for low light situations. This feature is also very useful when making videos. Built-in WiFi lets you control the camera via smartphone or upload pictures to the internet. Overall the OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a very convincing package that has a lot to offer at a very affordable price.
EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA 2016-2017
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a professional documentary and street photographer’s dream. With the new 24.3-million-pixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor the X-Pro2 delivers incredibly detailed pictures that can be further enhanced with Fujifilm’s realistic film simulations. The unique hybrid multi viewfinder combines an electronic viewfinder with an optical viewfinder that includes an electronic rangefinder, while the well-built weather sealed body promises reliable shooting under all conditions. Last, but not least, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a speed demon with up to 8fps continuous shooting and electronic shutter speeds up to 1/32,000 of a second.
EUROPEAN PROSUMER COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA 2016-2017
With the new α6300 Sony has made the immensely popular α6000 even better. While retaining the compact lightweight design of its predecessor, the α6300 adds lightning fast (0.05 seconds) hybrid autofocus with 425 AF points and subject tracking 4D focus, professional-class 4K video shooting and a weather-sealed body. The new 24.2-million-pixel Exmor CMOS sensor provides excellent image quality even in poorly lit situations, along with superb video quality, while the tilting 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD screen and the bright 2.36-million-dot OLED viewfinder are able to keep track of fast moving subjects at up to 11 frames per second.
EUROPEAN PREMIUM COMPACT CAMERA 2016-2017
Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II
Sony’s Cyber-shot RX1R II packs a 42.4 megapixel 35mm full-frame sensor with a high-quality fixed design ZEISS lens and world’s first variable optical low-pass filter providing stunning image quality with a wide dynamic range and very low noise. The Fast Hybrid AF system with advanced phase-detection and contrast-detection guarantees razor-sharp images and with the powerful BIONZ X processor you will never miss a precious moment. The retractable XGA OLED Tru-Finder and a tiltable LCD screen offer great freedom to capture creative compositions. This premium compact camera is a true winner in every aspect.
EUROPEAN TRAVEL COMPACT CAMERA 2016-2017
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 is a solidly made, compact travel camera that gives class-leading image quality thanks to its 20.1-million-pixel 1-inch sensor and 25-250mm equivalent f/2.8-5.9 Leica zoom lens. Enthusiast photographers will appreciate its 3-inch touchscreen LCD and 1.166-mlllion-dot electronic viewfinder, Raw recording, 10fps continuous shooting, built-in Wi-Fi and 1/16,000s electronic shutter. The camera also features 4K video recording along with Panasonic’s unique 4K photo mode, which helps capture the most important moments in high-quality 8-million-pixel pictures. The icing on the cake is the Post Focus function that allows the photographer to choose the focus point in-camera after shooting.
EUROPEAN DSLR LENS 2016-2017
Tamron SP 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD
The Tamron SP 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD sets new standards of performance for a short telephoto portrait lens. It’s the first of its type equipped with optical image stabilisation, allowing the photographer to use shutter speeds up to 3.5 stops slower than usual. Optical performance is enhanced by the use of Low Dispersion and Extra Low Dispersion glass elements to minimise chromatic aberrations, and the barrel is also sealed against dust and moisture. The optical design strikes a perfect balance between sharpness at the point of focusing and producing a soft natural effect at the background, making it a perfect lens for portrait artists.
EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL DSLR LENS 2016-2017
Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM
The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM gives exciting performance: it is the best 35mm lens on the market. Image sharpness is unbelievably high, both at the centre and at the edges, even at f/1.4. Canon uses key technologies as SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) to increase light transmission, reducing both flare and ghost images. In addition a Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR) lens, made of organic material, enables very efficient correction of axial chromatic aberration that’s impossible to correct by software. The 9-bladed aperture diaphragm creates very attractive bokeh and a seal on the mount protects the camera from dust and moisture.
EUROPEAN DSLR ZOOM LENS 2016-2017
Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art
Sigma’s 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art is a fast telephoto zoom optimised for DSLRs with APS-C image sensors. This latest addition to Sigma’s acclaimed Art series covers three popular focal lengths in one (85mm, 105mm and 135mm equivalent), which makes it a very useful addition to any photographer’s arsenal. The optical design delivers excellent image quality, and the ultrasonic HSM motor provides silent and accurate autofocus. Thanks to the maximum aperture of F1.8, the lens allows creative use of shallow depth of field. Its high build quality and excellent handling are what we have come to expect from Sigma’s Art series.
EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL COMPACT SYSTEM LENS 2016-2017
Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM
The Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM telephoto prime lens is destined to become very popular with ambitious portrait photographers. The optical design and the use of special lens elements ensure that the lens delivers the extremely high resolution demanded by modern cameras. The circular aperture with 11 blades provides a smooth and appealing background blur, while Sony’s original Nano AR Coating reduces flare and ghosting with backlit subjects. The ring drive SSM motor system with two position sensors supports fast and accurate autofocus. As is to be expected from a professional lens, the Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM is dust and moisture resistant.
EUROPEAN COMPACT SYSTEM ZOOM LENS 2016-2017
Fujinon XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
The Fujinon XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a super telephoto zoom that gives a 150-600mm equivalent range when used on Fujifilm APS-C sensor cameras. It’s a very good complement to the new X-T2 camera, giving X-system users access to sport and wildlife photography. High-end technologies including ED glass deliver excellent image quality, even when the lens is used wide open, and autofocus is silent and very fast. The lens is very light for its range, yet the quality of construction is very high and the lens is weather sealed. With effective optical stabilisation, it’s easy to use without a tripod.
EUROPEAN PHOTO INNOVATION 2016-2017
Panasonic DUAL I.S. System
Panasonic’s Dual Image Stabilisation system is the most advanced technology yet to help photographers get sharp pictures when shooting hand-held across a wide range of situations. Previous image stabilisation systems have relied either on in-lens optical technology, or moving the sensor within the camera, to combat image blurring from camera shake. In contrast Panasonic’s Dual I.S. found in the Lumix GX8 and GX80 cameras uses both together simultaneously to give the best possible effect, for both stills photography and video shooting. The system works with a wide range of optically stabilised lenses, from wideangle to telephoto, giving particular benefits for hand-held photography in low-light conditions.
EUROPEAN PHOTO SOFTWARE 2016-2017
DxO OpticsPro 11
Among quality image processing software packages, DxO OpticsPro 11 stands out for its speed and several unique features. Based on actual performance measurements, the OpticsPro 11 is able to improve sharpness and correct lens flaws while delivering automatic image processing to very high standards. This new version further enhances the software’s capabilities with the improved DxO PRIME denoising that differentiates between noise and fine details, intelligent tone mapping based on face detection, plus automatic micro contrast and red eye corrections. DxO OpticsPro 11 supports more than 30,000 camera/lens combinations and is continuously updated with new modules.
EUROPEAN PHOTO PRINTER 2016-2017
Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000
Canon’s imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is a dedicated A2 photo printer that uses pigment inks for the best possible print quality, including great light fastness (the resistance to colours fading) and print longevity. With a maximum print resolution of 2400x1200dpi, it uses 12 ink cartridges including separate matte black and photo black to prevent wastage of ink, money and time. It supports printing from a wide range of devices, with connection options including Hi Speed USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Pictbridge and Ethernet. The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000’s external design is reminiscent of Canon L lenses.
EUROPEAN PHOTO & VIDEO CAMERA 2016-2017
Sony α7S II
With the α7S II Sony provides professionals with the right tool to create top quality video and excellent still images in every shooting situation. Its 12.2-million-pixel full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor masters high sensitivity shooting, with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 409,600. In addition its high dynamic range, 5-axis image stabilisation, and internal recording of 4K movies in full-frame format with full pixel readout ensure that the professional videographer won’t have make any compromise regarding image quality. The camera’s Fast Intelligent AF excels in speed and accuracy and guarantees stunning images with excellent sharpness even in the dark.
EUROPEAN ACTION CAMCORDER 2016-2017
The TG-Tracker combines the legacy of Olympus’ popular Tough series compact cameras with the versatility of action cameras to give a new kind of tool for the adventurous photographer. Offering 4K video recording with a 204-degree angle of view, as well as 8-million-pixel still photos, the TG-Tracker specialises in tracking direction, position, air pressure, temperature and acceleration through the roughest trips. The TG-Tracker is shock proof, dust proof, waterproof, freeze proof and crushproof, records quality stereo sound, and can communicate via Wi-Fi or HDMI. Retaining Olympus’ acclaimed imaging technology, the
TG-Tracker weighs only 180g.
EUROPEAN SMARTPHONE CAMERA 2016-2017
Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge
The camera featured on Samsung’s flagship duo is capable of an amazing performance in practically every shooting environment. The Dual Pixel Sensor boasts 12 megapixels with extended size that speed up the process of autofocusing using phase detection. The brighter f/1.7 lens captures more light and makes the camera capable of highly detailed and beautiful pictures even in the dark. You can save photos in RAW format and shoot videos in 4K resolution. The camera software of the Galaxy S7/S7 edge is smart and easy to use and provides a Pro mode for those occasions when manual settings are required for highly creative and professional-looking photographs.
Other 2016-2017 EISA awards
EUROPEAN HT SPEAKER SYSTEM: DALI OPTICON 5.1
EUROPEAN HT RECEIVER: Denon AVR-X2300W
EUROPEAN SOUNDBASE: Canton DM 55
EUROPEAN SOUNDBAR: Yamaha YSP-5600
EUROPEAN HT HIGH END: Trinnov Audio Altitude32
EUROPEAN BEST VALUE HT SPEAKER SYSTEM: Monitor Audio Bronze 5.1
HT Audio/HT Video
EUROPEAN ULTRA HD PLAYER: Panasonic DMP-UB900
HT Audio/HT Video/HiFi
EUROPEAN AV ACCESSORY: SPIN remote
EUROPEAN HIGH-END LOUDSPEAKER: Bowers & Wilkins 802 D3
EUROPEAN LOUDSPEAKER: ELAC Debut F6
EUROPEAN COMPACT AUDIO SYSTEM: Naim Audio Mu-so Qb
EUROPEAN TURNTABLE: Pro-Ject The Classic
EUROPEAN STEREO SYSTEM: Marantz CD6006 & PM6006
EUROPEAN NETWORK MEDIA PLAYER: Bluesound NODE 2
EUROPEAN HIGH-END: DAC Hegel HD30
EUROPEAN HIGH-END HEADPHONES: AKG N90Q
EUROPEAN MULTIROOM SYSTEM: Sonos PLAY:5
EUROPEAN USB DAC/HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER: Chord Mojo
EUROPEAN ADVANCED SMARTPHONE: HTC 10
EUROPEAN CONSUMER SMARTPHONE: Huawei P9
EUROPEAN MOBILE HEADPHONES: JBL Reflect Mini BT
EUROPEAN MOBILE SPEAKER: JBL Charge 3
EUROPEAN WEARABLE DEVICE: Garmin fēnix 3 HR
EUROPEAN BUDGET SMARTPHONE: Coolpad Torino
EUROPEAN VR HEADSET: HTC Vive
EUROPEAN MOBILE INNOVATION: LG G5
EUROPEAN SMARTPHONE CAMERA: Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge
EUROPEAN TV: Samsung UE55KS9000
EUROPEAN HOME THEATRE TV: Panasonic TX-65DX902
EUROPEAN SMART TV: LG UH770V
EUROPEAN HIGH-END TV: LG Signature OLED65G6
EUROPEAN HOME THEATRE PROJECTOR: BenQ W2000
EUROPEAN BEST BUY LARGESCREEN TV: Philips 65PUS7601
EUROPEAN PHOTO & VIDEO CAMERA: Sony α7S II
EUROPEAN ACTION CAMCORDER: Olympus TG-Tracker
EUROPEAN IN-CAR HEAD UNIT: Kenwood DDX5016DAB
EUROPEAN IN-CAR HD PLAYE:R Sony RSX-GS9
EUROPEAN IN-CAR SMART UPGRADE: Match M 5DSP
EUROPEAN IN-CAR SUBWOOFER: Hertz Mille Legend ML 2500.3
EUROPEAN IN-CAR PROCESSOR: Audison bit One HD
EUROPEAN IN-CAR HIGH-END COMPONENT: Ground Zero GZPA Reference 4PURE
EUROPEAN IN-CAR INTEGRATION: Mosconi GLADEN DSP 8TO12 AEROSPACE
EUROPEAN IN-CAR INNOVATION: Clarion Full Digital Sound
EISA Photo Panel members
FOTOobjektiv – Editor: Klaus Lorbeer
Shoot – Editor: Erik Derycke
FotoVideo – Editor: Rudolf Stáhlich
Kamera-lehti – Editor: Asko Vivolin
Chasseur d’Images – Editor: Pascal Miele
FotoMagazin – Editor: Thorsten Höge
PhotoNet – Editor: Menelaos Meletzis/Konstantinos Floros
FotoVideo Magazin – Editor: Sándor Benkõ
Tutti Fotografi – Editor: Paolo Namias
Focus – Editor: Dirk van der Spek
Fotografi – Editor: Toralf Sandaker
Foto-Kurier – Editor: Krzysztof Patrycy
Super Foto Digital – Editor: Jorge Coma
Fotosidan Magasin – Editor: Magnus Fröderberg
Amateur Photographer – Editor: Nigel Atherton