Continuing our two-part series, it’s time to present some awards! Here are some of the most significant events, releases, trends, and photographers of 2011…
The Rise of Mirrorless Cameras
As a sign of where photography is heading, we saw mirrorless cameras multiply like mad. Bringing higher image quality to compact cameras with the ability to swap lenses, they appeal to a broad spectrum of photographers. Showing up fashionably late, Fujifilm and Canon have just announced new models for 2012.
Photo-sharing Site of the Year: Google+
Soon after the launch of Google+, it was baffling how quickly the community became a social media force – particularly with photographers. After having failed with Wave, Buzz, etc, Google apparently did something right this time. Flickr beware, lest they continue to lose ground to your favorite search engine.
Photographers of the Year: Tim Hetherington & Oscar Hondros
While most of us enjoy our photography while capturing sunsets, flowers, kids, and other such pretty things, others risk their safety to document events in dangerous places. These two award winning photographers lost their lives while covering the conflict in Libya this year. Just a reminder that our knowledge of world events sometimes comes at a high cost.
Blogger of the Year: Trey Ratcliff
Whether he’s leading photo-walks with Google or Amish kids, shooting space shuttles, meeting Mark Zuckerberg, or trekking around China, you can be sure Trey Ratcliff over at Stuck in Customs will have something interesting to say on his blog (and incredibly, one new photo each and every day!) HDR has taken the photographic world by storm, thanks in large part to Trey.
Compact of the Year: Canon Powershot S100
Canon had a hit with the S90 and S95. Then came the S100, adding a wider and longer lens, better noise performance, closer macro focusing, 1080p HD video, geo-tagging, and a more comfortable body. Canon took good thing and made it even better. The Olympus SZ-1 and Fuji X10 came close, but nothing is as well rounded as the S100.
DSLR of the Year: Sony Alpha A-65
Why not the A77? Because the Sony A65 packs most of the same punch in a much cheaper body. Sony’s 2nd generation hybrid SLT system has matured impressively. Giving instant autofocus in live-view, a blazing fast 10fps, class leading 1080/60fps video & 24mp still resolution, what’s not to marvel at? We expect more great things to come from Sony in 2012.
Overall Camera of the Year: Fujifilm X100
There were many good cameras released this year, but we think the Fuji X100 stands out above the rest. Why? Excellent image quality and fast lens in a compact body with old school manual controls and little fuss. Sure there are some operational quirks, but overall its hard not to love the X100 – a camera lover’s camera.