The photographic industry's version of The Academy wards are the European photo and imaging awards of The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA). Every year, TIPA editors vote for the best of photo and imaging products introduced in Europe during the previous 12 months, taking into account innovation, the use of leading-edge technolog, design and economics of the product and naturally, the ease-of-use and price/performance ratio.

Superior Nikon design and engineering secured highly coveted TIPA awards in 2006 in the following three categories:

Best Expert DSLR... Nikon D200

Accompanying its award for Best Expert DSLR, TIPA cited; D200 photographers can shoot at up to ISO 400 and even 800 withouth meaningful concern about noise or color shifts, while the camera's 3D Color Matrix Metering II measures exposure superbly without blowing highlight details.  However, it's the D200 handling speed which really impresses.  It's up and running in just 0.15 seconds, and has a shutter lag of a mere 50ms.  It offers a framing rate of up to 5 frames per second for at least 37 consecutive shots in Fine JPEG, and the stunning performance is supported by a new 11-area AF system that the photographer can select at will.

Best Entry-Level DSLR... Nikon D50

Of the Nikon D50, TIPS wrote; Little sister of the popular Nikon D70s, the 6.1 megapixel D50 gives amateurs the chance to shoot high-resolution images at a very low cost.  The ergonomics are well thought out and no major function is missing.  In the field, the Nikon D50 gives performance beyond what's expected at this price point.  The automatic exposure system compensates for hightlights and shadows, all difficult lighting conditions, the five-point autofocus system locks on quickly to the subject, and continuous shooting is possible and up to 2.5 frames per second.  When necessary, the 7 Digital Vari Program Modes help optimize the settings for the best results.  The D50 is compatible with all the AF Nikkor Lenses and accessories, which make this model a serious starting point for digital SLR photography.

Best Professional Lens... 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR ED-IF Micro-Nikkor

TIPA accolades for the superb Nikkor lens included; This lens is the first-ever Nikkor Micro model with an integrated optical stabilizer.  This 105mm f/2.8 reaches a life-size reproduction ratio of 1:1 with an ambitious optical construction featuring 14 elements in 12 groups.  It sports an ED lens and features new Nano Crystal Coating technology, which is designed to further minimize flare.  With internal focusing and a gyroscope for the optical stabilization, thie Micro Nikkor lens shows nearly a 4-stop gain in speed if compared to the same lens without the Nikon Vibration Reduction feature.  With an attractive price, it comes complete with a soft case and lens hood, and will be the lens of choice for discerning macro photographers.

May 2006