One of my reference sites, the blog of Valentín Sama, posted recently an entry about the TIPA awards, with a reference about another article posted in another blog, hastalosmegapixeles.com. Both are in Spanish and I thought it would be interesting to make a short comment on both articles.
Basically they discuss something that might not be obvious to the general, amateur photographer: the TIPA awards, which supposedly are given to the best cameras of every category, are in fact little more than payed advertising. Companies pay in order to show the logo of this award with their products, in a way that is hard to differentiate from paying TO get the award for their products. Furthermore, according to reports, no awards are given if no payment is made, and if payments are made, the required categories are created in order to give an award to a specific camera model which is being targeted for its maker company as a strong item for promotion. I shall not give any specific examples, but if you look at the list of "camera categories", it is pretty obvious that there is no logic in there (other than "you pay, we make the category to give the award to the camera you want").
In short: these are rather ads than awards.
And this reminds me of another world that interests me, music, where the main awards, the Grammy, suffer of exactly the same problems: companies pushing their agendas by putting loads of Grammys on top of their favourite albums, invented categories to suit pretty much any possible album requiring promotion, a huge lot of media noise around them, and eventually increased sales in the awarded albums. But meaning? None at all, no serious music lover believes today that Grammys are actually awarded to albums which are outstanding on music merits alone.
Business is business, I know, but people should wake up and realize what are ads and what are quality labels. Furthermore, in an ideal world (not this, that's for sure), somebody should enforce rules that would enable the general public to make the difference between honest awards and paid advertisements.
(Now, don't ask me whether honest awards exist, as I truly don't know).