Gear of the Year 2011: Best Accessory & Innovation

Gear of the Year 2011

Best Accessory

WINNER:  Epson R3000 printer

Price: £565

Website: www.epson.co.uk

Picking an accessory from such a wide assortment of products is no easy task. In order to win, a product needs to stand out, and that's an apt description of Epson's R3000 A3+ printer.
For genuine high-quality printing in the home at sizes right up to A3+ there's little 
else that can compare. Perfect for the serious photographer looking for full control of the print process, this nine-cartridge model produces superb black & white or colour prints and can handle fine art papers up to 1.3mm thick. It's not cheap to buy or to run, but you're paying for quality. And it's that professional standard that gives it our seal of approval.  

RUNNERS-UP 


Apple iPad 2
Apple Final Cut Pro X
adobe photoshop Elements 10
3 Legged Thing ‘Eddie' tripod

Innovation of the Year

WINNER:  Fujifilm's ‘Hybrid Viewfinder'

Website: www.fujifilm.co.uk

Those lucky enough to have used an X100 will know exactly what we're talking about here. The boffins at Fuji have, in essence, combined the best bits of an optical viewfinder with the benefits of an electronic one. This ‘hybrid' viewfinder offers a wider-than-100% field of view that's great for anticipating subjects walking into frame, yet it's possible to switch on an electronic overlay that will show you the exact frame edge, focusing and shooting information. Or, when the optical viewfinder is closed off via its shutter, it's possible to use the 0.47in, 1.44m-dot electronic viewfinder on its own. In partnership with the X100's 35mm equivalent lens, the 0.5x magnification also makes for an ideal viewing size. Fuji certainly has every base covered here and the X100's resulting viewfinder is a mini engineering marvel. What's not to love?

RUNNERS-UP 


Sony's OLED viewfinder (as per A77)
Fujifilm's ‘Hybrid Viewfinder' (as per X100)
Samsung's i-Fn lenses
Super-fast contrast detection autofocus
(as per Lumix G- and Olympus PEN)