CAMERA GRAND PRIX2008/Japan

JAPANESE
Camera Grand Prix - outline -
The Camera Grand Prix is the most prestigious award in Japan's photo industry. It was founded in 1984 by the Camera Journal Press Club Japan (C.J.P.C established in 1963, formed by twelve publications as of May 2008), a group of technical editors from photography and camera publications. Under the operation of C.J.P.C, a deciding committee is organized to select the best still camera released within the past year in Japanese market, awarded as the Camera Grand Prix 2008 "Camera of The Year".

This year the deciding committee was formed by 55 individuals, from C.J.P.C. members, chief editors of related publications, executive members including industrial and academic experts, technical writers, professional photographers, and also representatives of various photo related organizations. The cameras released during the Grand Prix period (from April 1st, 2007 to March 31st, 2008) were all under nomination, this time a sum of 170 models.



The Camera Grand Prix marks its 25th anniversary in this year. C.J.P.C. created a commemorative logo.

The details of awards are as follows:


"Camera of The Year"
Formerly known as "Camera Grand Prix", the award stands for the most impressive camera in terms of all aspects - function, technical achievement, user interface, quality of build, and overall level of product design.


"Editors Award"
Formerly known as "Camera Journal Press Club Special Prize", the award is selected from all entries except the "Camera of The Year" winning camera. This is given to the product which excellence is widely recognized by photo enthusiasts in terms of popularity, newsworthiness and innovativeness.

"Readers Award"
Newly established in this year, the award is selected by general readers' votes. The poll was taken by e-mails during the Photo Imaging Expo (March 19th - 22nd), and considered that it directly reflects the market response and interest.


"Camera of The Year"
Nikon D3iCompany:Nikon Corporationj
http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/digitalcamera/slr/d3/


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"Editors Award"
Sigma DP1(Company: SIGMA CORPORATION)
http://www.sigma-dp1.com/
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"Editors Award"
EIZO ColorEdge Graphics Monitors(Company: EIZO NANAO CORPORATION)
http://www.eizo.com/index.asp
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"Editors Award"
Fujichrome Velvia 50(Company: FUJIFILM Imaging Co., Ltd)
http://www.fujifilm.com/products/professional_films/
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"Readers Award"
Nikon D3iCompany:Nikon Corporationj
http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/digitalcamera/slr/d3/
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- terms & conditions of use -
No alterations allowed regarding the logo design. Each logo must be accompanied by the publications' names of C.J.P.C. The member publication names must be printed in size so that can be clearly read and identified. If impossible to put publication names under the logo in means of space limitation, the "Camera Journal Press Club" title can be used with the Camera Grand Prix 2008 logo. However, it is necessary to mention all member publication names and Camera Grand Prix Deciding Committee within the article.
English logos are available for news purposes outside of Japan. For the articles and news released for the Japanese market, please use Japanese logos only.
On color printing pages, please use the following designated colors: Y100 & M100 for red / C100 for light blue / C90 & Y100 for green On monochrome printing pages, please print 100% in black and 50% black for colored areas.

All inquiries
Camera Journal Press Club /JAPAN
Website http://www.cjpc.jp/
Email: press08@cjpc.jp


"Camera of The Year"
Nikon D3 DSLR camera

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Remarks upon selection
The Nikon D3, Nikon's first FX-format DSLR, has innovatively advanced performance and functions including; a new 12.1 mega pixel CMOS sensor, a standard sensitivity range up to ISO6400, and impressive 51 AF points. The camera is equipped with the unbeatable performance and usability, appropriate as a flagship of the entire Nikon product lineup.

The D3's major features:
* New 12.1 mega pixel FX-format CMOS sensor (36.0 x 23.9 mm).
* High signal-to-noise ratio and improved gradation and tonality by the wide dynamic range.
* Very low noise throughout the standard sensitivity range from ISO 200 to 6400 that contributes to its outstanding image quality.
* EXPEED image engine for improved picture quality & faster processing speed.
* High speed continuous shooting capability at approx. 9 fps in FX-format, and approx. 11 fps in DX-format.
* Broad coverage of 51-point AF system, by the new Multi-CAM 3500 FX AF sensor module.
* New Picture Control and Active D-Lighting functions that helps expanding the range of photographic expressions.
* Improved scene recognition system by the 1,005 segments RGB 3D sensor, with new diffraction grating optics.
* Automatically reduces lateral chromatic aberration of conventional lenses including older generation Non-CPU lenses.
* Pro grade built quality - covers, chassis and mirror box made out of robust magnesium alloy, and enhanced dust and moisture protection by tightly sealed O-rings. The reliability even under the harshest shooting circumstances, earned a higher level of confidence as photographic equipment.
* Advanced flash system, which enables accurate, creative and hassle free lighting.

This flagship model is equipped with a lot more new and outstanding functions than the market expected.

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"Editors Award"
Sigma DP1



Remarks upon selection
Sigma took 1 year and 6 months to actually release the camera after they announced the production, but when the camera came out, it was truly far beyond market expectations. The Sigma DP1 features a large high definition FOREON X3 sensor as used in the Sigma DP14 DSLR. Therefore this compact camera stands very close to a full spec DSLR, in means of resolution and function, with other attractive details including a built-in flash which can me manually fired, a hot shoe, and strap lugs to horizontally hang the camera, which considered as very unique for a compact camera of this size.

The DP1's major features:
* The companyfs first compact camera to feature a DSLR-equivalent, large 20.7mm x 13.8mm sensor.
* 14 mega pixel (2652 x 1768 x 3 layers) FOVEON direct image sensor reproduces natural three-dimensional images in very high resolution and rich gradation.
* TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) image processing engine suited for the three-layer image sensor. The engine features Sigmafs exclusive algorithm, which has been brushed up throughout the development of their DSLR cameras.
* Capable of manual focus and RAW format recording.
* A large SLR class, glass mold aspherical lens used in the wide angle 28mm-equivalent (16.6mm F4) lens elements, in conjunction with the Super Multi Layer coating technology which reduces flares and ghosts.

The editors awarded this compact camera in recognition of its unsurpassed image quality, DSLR-specific functions, although there are still some rooms to improve.

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"Editors Award"
EIZO ColorEdge Graphics Monitors



Remarks upon selection
Eizo Nanao Corporation's EIZO ColorEdge color calibration LCD monitors have been supporting all professionals in digital photo business include publishing, printing and design fields that require exact color reproduction. The series comes in variety of sizes and prices, however the manufacturer's attitude towards development and their efforts to pursue better quality doesn't change regardless of the products' price.

The EIZO ColorEdge Graphics Monitors' major features:
* Almost completely reproduces Adobe RGB color space.
* Bundled easy calibration software.
* Digital uniformity equalizer improves color uniformity.
* Each monitor's gradation characteristics are hand checked and aligned at the factory, and the manufacturer's exclusive design ASIC enables smooth gradation display.

The editors highly evaluated EIZO ColorEdge products, which significantly contributed to broaden and develop digital photo market. In addition, the ColorEdge series are covered by a long 5 years warranty, which is unique in today's digital product lifecycle.

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"Editors Award"
Fujichrome Velvia 50



Remarks upon selection
The Fujichrome Velvia, when first launched in 1990, brought an innovation in photography with its outstanding image reproduction quality and revolutionary high color saturation. It led the film heyday with overwhelming and broad support by professional photographers and photo enthusiasts. Later its production was discontinued for several reasons, including the unavailability of some raw materials.The manufacturer, however, newly developed and marketed the new Velvia 50, which virtually has the same performance & characteristics as old Velvia, in response to film fan's expectations.

The Fujichrome Velvia 50 major features:
* Vivid and deep color reproduction with high color saturation. Three dimensional and textured photographic expressions enabled by its dynamic gradation and tonality.
* Sharp and clear images, by RMS granularity rate 9 - ultra fine grains.
* Superb push-process performance allows up to +1 stop.
* Wide range of sizes from 35mm, medium format, to large format sheets.

Fujifilm, the leading company in imaging business, has officially announced that they will continue to deliver new and better products and services not only for digital, but also for film photography. The editors highly evaluated the company's brave attitude although digital photos are rapidly increasing.



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"Readers Award"
Nikon D3



Remarks upon selection
In commemoration of the Camera Grand Prix' 25th anniversary, the "Readers Award" was specially set this year.
Again the Nikon D3 was chosen, among general camera users and photo enthusiasts. C.J.P.C. received a number of comments from readers about the reason for their choice as follows;

* Nikon D3 is currently the best DSLR equipped with every dreamable feature as a photographic tool, including superb image quality. (Osaka, age 48)
* D3 is Nikonfs first 35mm full-frame DSLR which boasts highest ISO capability in the current market. I admire Nikonfs technical R&D possibility that enables to take pictures that have never been taken before. (Osaka, age 45)
* The camera has a large 35mm full-frame sensor which virtually all Nikkor lenses works without cropping. And other innovative features including high ISO 6400 and Active D-lighting are just breathtaking. (Tokyo, age 29)
* It is not just a 35mm full-frame camera, but allows us to capture high quality images even with conventional lenses. Also, the high ISOs have never been this usable before. This camera allows us to shoot high quality photos in various ways. (Saitama, age 35)
* Best viewfinder ever. For people who are used to APS format sensor cameras, this full size viewfinder is just amazing. (Tokyo, age 44)
* This camera unveils the fundamental possibility of Nikon. It is already a milestone and masterpiece in photographic history. (Nara, age 53)
* The DSLRs so far had been competing pixels and shooting speed. However, the Nikon D3 have reached to a new dimension of the digital photography with its high ISO capability, 3D AF Tracking, Active D-Lighting, and digital level indicator. (Wakayama, age 53)
* This camera delivers outstanding image quality even its resolution is not the highest in the market. It raised a question to the trend of meaningless pixel-counting competition in the camera industry. With this matter as a start, I sincerely hope each camera manufacturer will start re-thinking what an image quality is all about. (Tokyo, age 39)



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