The Soundimageplus camera and lens of the year 2012 awards.

Well here it is, that special day that everybody waits for and the tension has been building inexorably towards the final decision. And yes, Bradley Wiggins has won BBC Sports Personality of the year. Go Wiggo!

I'm afraid I can't offer you that level of excitement, nor is it a reward for that kind of achievement, and yes I voted for him, but here is the announcement of my own meagre awards.

So before the end of the year and everybody gets in on the act here are my biased, subjective decisions as to what I regard as the camera and lens of the year 2012. Unfortunately the systems don't match, so if I fulfill my criteria of the decision being based on if I could have only one lens or one camera, which would it be? unfortunately I couldn't take any pictures with this combination.

SOUNDIMAGEPLUS LENS OF THE YEAR 2012.

This was a no-brainer for me. For incredible quality at an almost ridiculous price, the winner this year (and it is a new award) is the SIGMA 30mm f/2.8 lens for SONY NEX. 

Now I don't know what the current price is, but a short while ago you could buy this for £99. That is just outrageous, because its a superb lens. I've described it as the best lens I've used on my NEX cameras, and I stick by that. If only the Sony NEX range had something this good.

The other two lenses on the shortlist were the 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom from Panasonic and the 75mm f/1.8 prime from Olympus. Both excellent top class optics, but ultimately the Sigma's price meant it got the nod. And I might say by quite some distance. It is mostly responsible for keeping me in the NEX system when lenses like the 16-50mm are telling me to get out ASAP. I've said this before and I'll say it again, if you have a NEX camera and you don't have one of these. WHY NOT!

And now for one of the most prestigious (NOT!) awards in Photography. The one all the camera manufacturers are praying I give to somebody else!

SOUNDIMAGEPLUS CAMERA OF THE YEAR 2012.

There was a clue in a post a few days ago

"I've written before that, in my opinion, the D800E is the best digital camera ever made. In fact I would go further than that. When you take into account the image size and quality, the versatility and options the camera provides to handle pretty much everything and its current price, I believe that this is nothing short of the best two dimensional image creating device yet invented by man, that we can buy."

How could it be anything else?



Sure there are cameras with more MP's, better resolution, there are cameras that are faster and better at high ISO's, but put the D800E package in context and look at what it sells for and this is not only my camera of the year, this is currently my camera of all time.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is great, a beautifully built and designed camera that has taken m4/3 to a new level of maturity. The NEX-7 is my longest serving camera and it is truly a "Pocket Rocket". But for all round excellence the D800E just had to win.

Even if I do eventually sell the D800E, it would still have been a privilege to own it. And despite my rush of blood the other day, which had more to do with the lens I had on it rather than the camera itself, I'm not planning on it leaving yet.

It is of course, a DSLR, and a pretty chunky one at that, but its difficult to argue with the 36MP 103MB files that it produces. In the context of the photographic marketplace I operate in, total overkill, but looking at the files at 100% on my screen and seeing all the things I was unable to with my eyes when I took the picture is a pleasure I probably won't ever tire of. The D800 is pretty nifty and the AA filter compensation filter is a bit of a fudge, but that extra bit of resolution it produces just gives the D800E the edge. If it was half the weight, I'd have two and never use anything else again, but its not, nor was ever likely to be, so I have to live with it. The DSLR is in no danger of dying while this is around. It is a wonderful camera and I'm just glad I had the means to buy it. Knowing it was out there was a temptation I couldn't resist, but being a Nikon, it will probably serve me well for the next 5 years.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.

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