We've spent the past couple of days trawling the stands at The Photography Show high and low, seeking out the biggest, best, newest and most exciting products.
As there is every year, there is an astonishing array of kit from cameras and lenses to filters and film to printers and pop-up darkrooms. Choosing the Best in Show winners has never been harder!
However, our expert team of reporters and reviewers from Digital Camera World and our print publications Digital Camera magazine, Digital Photographer, PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine have all deliberated and decided – these are the Best in Show award winners for The Photography Show 2021…
Canon EOS R3
Canon showcased a superb selection of brilliant and brand-new products at The Photography Show – so the manufacturer picked up the award for an all-round stellar showing.
Leading the way, of course, is the Canon EOS R3, which sets some new standards for pro bodies and is destined to go down as one of the best professional cameras ever, thanks to its 30fps burst shooting, 6K 60p raw video, autofocus that you control by moving your eyes, and much more.
Visit Canon at stand N500,N400
Intrepid 4x5 Camera Black Edition
The Intrepid Camera Company is all about democratizing the world of large format photography, and since its inception seven years ago has become the largest manufacturer of modern large-format cameras.
We've fallen in love with a number of its 8x10 and 4x5 cameras, but it's the Black Edition Intrepid 4x5 Camera that stole our heart this year. While everyone gets hung up on "full frame" image sensor, they're all wrong – this is real full frame!
The all-black body features a base and front stand supports made of anodized aluminum, with water-resistant Nylon bellows. The Graflok back enables you to mount film adapters ranging from 6x6 to 6x17, as well as Polaroid backs and the Intrepid Enlarger. If you want to get into large format, this is a great place to start!
Visit The Intrepid Camera Company at stand G600
FujiFilm GFX 50S II
The Fujifilm GFX 50S II takes the chassis and in-body image stabilization of the Fujifilm GFX 100S and the sensor of the Fujifilm GFX 50S (and the now sadly discontinued Fujifilm GFX 50R) to deliver the best bang-for-buck mirrorless medium format camera on the market.
While it has the same sensor as the GFX 50S and R, Fujifilm has seriously suped up the contrast-detect autofocus system on the 50S II, making it much better able to handle anything you throw at it.
Alongside it, Fujifilm has also released the Fujinon GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR – an affordable 28-55mm equivalent "kit lens" that you can get with the GFX 50S II for just $4,499 / £3,899 / AU$7,299 – a revolutionary price for a revolutionary medium format setup!
Visit Fujifilm at stand J500
It boasts the same core specs as the A7S III: a 10.2MP (video) / 12MP (stills) sensor, full frame QFHD (4K UHD) up to 120fps and Super35 FHD up to 240fps, S-Log 3/2 and HLG profiles, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization.
However, the FX3 adds an internal fan, the S-Cinetone profile and a chassis with accessory mounting points and a carry handle with XLR mic input that's far better suited to serious video shooting. It's Sony's smallest, cheapest cinema camera and it's ideal for content creators and single-person shooters.
Visit Sony at stand E600
aTLi Eon timelapse camera
Many cameras and smartphones can capture timelapse sequences, but the process is usually very limited in scope and scale. This is where a dedicated timelapse camera comes into play – and the aTLi Eon presents a cheap, compact, convenient and content creator-friendly solution.
It measures a mere 72 x 91 x 44mm and weighs in at just 140g, so it's truly palm-sized. And it offers the welcome convenience of being powered by four standard AA batteries, rather than a built-in cell, so you can easily replace them when the juice runs dry. Although with four batteries giving it enough power for 60 days shooting (with a single frame every ten minutes) you won't need to do it often!
Power is saved by omitting a rear screen, instead using integrated WiFi to view footage via a smartphone app, and footage is captured locally on a supplied micro SD card.
Visit The Timelapse Store at stand D803
Canon RF 16mm F2.8
Also from Canon we have two brilliant and affordable new optics. The Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM is a truly pocket-sized prime with a pocket-friendly price, that's aimed at vloggers but is also ideal for everything from architecture to astrophotography.
We're not sure even Canon knows what it's got here. This is a super-compact, super-affordable lens that's WAY cheaper than its nearest rival in the Canon range, the brilliant but pricey RF 15-35mm F2.8.
Visit Canon at stand N500,N400
Canon RF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6
And the Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8.0 IS USM is a budget telephoto that gives you serious range without straining your bank balance.
This is a great addition to the range for Canon EOS RP and EOS R owners who aren't yet ready to spend big bucks on Canon's high-end RF mount glassware, but its high-quality finish and feel might tempt more advanced users too.
Visit Canon at stand N500,N400
Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD
The Tamron 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD may have a ridiculously convoluted name, but what it does is simple: it gives you a 16.6x superzoom that covers an effective focal range of 27-450mm, for a wallet-friendly price.
Designed for APS-C Sony and Fujifilm cameras (with the former shipping from 24 September and the latter hitting shelves later this year), it boasts a minimum object distance of just 0.15m and an impressive 1:2 maximum magnification at the wide-angle end of the zoom range.
It also features Tamron's proprietary Vibration Compensation (image stabilization) technology as well as weather-sealing, giving this a guaranteed place in the bags of everyone from sports and wildlife shooters to everyday and travel photographers.
Visit Tamron at stand L400
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN | C
Most portrait primes are big, fast and expensive. However, the new Sigma 90mm f/2.8 DG DN | Contemporary bucks the trend by dropping the maximum aperture to f/2.8 – which can still give a shallow depth of field effect for portraits – in exchange for much lighter weight and lower cost. For a 90mm full frame lens, this Sigma is TINY.
This full-frame lens for L-mount and Sony E shooters offers a welcome change of pace for owners of Sony and Panasonic cameras, where there’s been a general trend toward ever larger, ever more expensive optics. These new lenses should balance much more nicely on bodies like the Sony A7C and Panasonic S5, not to mention the Sigma fp and Sigma fp L.
It features quiet, high-speed stepping motor autofocus that's equally suitable for stills and video, and also boasts a manual aperture ring. A pocketable portrait prime that's affordable, too? Count us in!
Visit Sigma at stand H301
Kase Wolverine 100 X 150mm Double Grad filter
Neutral density graduated filters are a must-have for landscapes, but you invariably need more than one to cover all the scenes you'll be shooting in. So Kase Filters has come up with an ingenious two-in-one solution to minimize the number of filters you need to carry with you.
The Kase Wolverine Double Graduated filters essentially give you two grads in one; insert the filter one way and it does one job, turn it the other way up and it does another! There are currently two double grads available, and the 0.9 GND Soft & Hard may be the most useful.
Both ends deliver a three-stop light reduction in the upper area of the image, but one gives you a hard edge (best suited to flat horizons) and the other a soft edge (for a horizon broken by buildings or mountains). Ideal when you don't know what the terrain will bring on a given photo expedition.
Visit Kase Filters at stand J303
H&Y Revoring filter
Sick of needing a dozen different filters to fit each of your dozen different lenses? So is H&Y, which is why it produced the Revoring – a one-size-fits-all filter solution employing a spring-loaded system.
The original system offers a variable neutral density and circular polarizer in three size configurations (37-49mm, 46-62mm and 67-82mm), while the Revoring Black Mist filter offers an adaptable diffusion filter solution in two size ranges (46-62mm and 67-82mm).
Obviously the original Revoring is invaluable for landscape and outdoor shooters, but both it and the Black Mist version are perhaps most useful to videographers shooting in changeable conditions and creating consistent cinematic effects across varying focal lengths.
Visit H&Y Filters on stand K202
If you're a videographer, you'll know the pain of having a scene that would be perfect for a spot of drone footage – but it's not possible to fly one, either due to a lack of permits, you're at a quiet event, you don't have a license… or you've just forgotten your drone!
The Wiral camera rig is a perfect alternative. Originally funded on Kickstarter in 2017, it can be set up at two different points with a wire running in-between. Then you can mount your device – anything from a camera phone to a DSLR or mirrorless camera – on a motor to run along the wire, capturing super smooth point-to-point footage.
The rig can be controlled either with the bundled remote or the Wiral app, which enables you to set speed and movement for precision control of your camera moves down to fractions of a centimeter.
Visit Wiral Cam at stand J204
Hoodman Drone Landing Pad
So you've got one of the best camera drones on the market, you've just completed a successful flight, but now you've got to land your expensive aerial photography device – and all around you is either hard concrete or muddy marsh. Not ideal ground for a pleasant touchdown.
Enter Hoodman's brilliant Landing Pads – which can, of course, also be used for takeoff. These pop up like a reflector for easy deployment and packing down, and come in 2ft, 3ft, 5ft and 8ft sizes to accommodate drones of all configurations.
An 8lbs / 3.6kg zinc-coated perimeter cable weighs the pad down without needing stakes, so it won't be blow away either by the drone or the elements. It keeps the camera lens clean during takeoff and landing, protects rotor blades from grass and pebble strikes, prevents dirt being sucked through the motor bearings, and the carry bag can be set up to notify pedestrians of a drone flying in the area.
Visit Hoodman on stand D600
Deity V-Mic D4 Duo
Video mics usually only record audio coming from the front, but the Deity V-Mic D4 Duo is "the world's first dual direction video microphone" – enabling you to record audio from both sides of the camera.
The majority of even the best microphones for vlogging and filmmaking tend to be supercardioid or unidirectional. Which is great for hearing the subject being filmed, but not so great for hearing the interviewer's hard-hitting questions. The Deity V-Mic D4 Duo solves this with its unique dual-capsule design, giving you the ability to record the audio coming from behind the camera in full fidelity.
Its powered via plug-in of your camera’s microphone jack, which also passes through the 3.5mm jack on the D4 Duo to use passive TRS lavalier mics. The custom thermoplastic polyester shock mount is stiff enough to support the weight and keep the microphone balanced, but also prevents noise generated by camera handling. If you're a run-and-gun shooter, interviewer or documentarian, this is a must-have.
Visit Deity Microphones on stand E400
Atomos Ninja V+
This makes is a virtually essential purchase for owners of the Canon EOS R5 and Sony A1 – particularly the former, as it enables you to capture 8K 30p Raw (or 5K, in crop mode) over HDMI without the camera overheating, and it also circumvents the usual 29:59 recording limit.
Atomos has essentially future-proofed the Ninja V+ by adding support for 8K 30p and 4K 120p, meaning that powerhouse video devices (such as the Sony FX6 and Sony FX9) will have access to an on-camera monitor and recorder that can handle the new generation of ultra-fine footage.
Visit Atomos at stand H404
Canon imagePROGRAF GP-4000
Joining it is a fittingly professional-grade printer, the Canon imagePROGRAF GP-4000 – a monstrous 44-inch large-format printer, with outstanding 11-color gamut and the ability to print with fluorescent pink ink for a punch of luminosity.
Ilford Pop-Up Darkroom
Film photography is fantastic – unless you're developing your own prints, in which case you need to find room (or even build one!) in your house to act as a darkroom. However, Ilford has come to the rescue with this ingenious idea: the Ilford Pop-Up Darkroom!
A 2.2m tent gives you a blacked out 1.3 square-meter working space, which is tall enough for you to sit or stand in and accommodates a table for your enlarger and printing trays. It even has a built-in air vent at the base and a smaller vent towards the top for optional air extraction tubing.
It all packs down into a bag that's just 68 x 25 x 25cm weighs a scant 8kg / 17.5lbs. Which means that you can even pack up your darkroom and take it on location or vacation with you – it's absolutely inspired!
Visit Ilford Photo at stand F604