Small World in Motion Digital Competition by Nikon

Deadline: 30 April 2016
Open to: people over 18 years of age from all over the world
Prize: first place USD 3,000, second place USD 2,000, third place USD 1,000 toward the purchase of Nikon equipment


The Nikon International Small World Competition first began in 1975 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Since then, Small World has become a leading showcase for photomicrographers from the widest array of scientific disciplines.

In 2011, Nikon announced that it would begin accepting movies taken through the microscope as a new category in the 37th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. The introduction of this new category, titled Small World in Motion, encompasses any movie or digital time-lapse photography taken through the microscope and adds a new, distinct discipline to the competition. The movies are judged and honored as a separate category in the competition, complete with prizes for first, second and third places.


  1. Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible, with the exception of employees of Nikon, their families, the contest judges, and individuals engaged in the manufacture or sale of microscopes or photographic equipment. Former first prizewinners are ineligible to win first prize in the three contests immediately following the contest they won, but can win other prizes. A movie that has won any other competition is not eligible to win this contest;
  2. Movies must be captured using a light microscope, such as one of the Nikon series of compound or stereoscopic microscopes. The use of Nikon equipment is not required. No purchase is necessary;
  3. Any type of specimen is acceptable. All techniques of light microscopy are acceptable. Electron microscopy is not acceptable. Animated movies are not acceptable;
  4. Movies must be submitted digitally by uploading to the Small World Competition entry area on the Web site. Maximum file size is 100MB, and it is recommended the file size be no smaller than 3MB although smaller file sizes will not be disqualified. Movies should be no longer than 2 minutes in length. Files must be in .avi, .wmv, .mov, mp4, mpeg4 or .flv format. Nikon reserves the right to edit movies for length. Although sound is permitted, the use of copyrighted material is not, unless express written consent of the copyright owner is provided. Permission will be subject to the same conditions as the movie;
  5. Each entrant may submit up to three movies for judging. A completed and signed official entry form, facsimile, or complete Internet entry form must be used;
  6. Entries will be judged on:
    1. Originality;
    2. Informational Content;
    3. Technical Proficiency;
    4. Visual Impact.


All dollar amounts listed below will be redeemed for Nikon photographic, scientific or industrial equipment and accessories at their suggested retail selling prices in the U.S.A.

  • First Prize USD 3,000—toward the purchase of Nikon equipment;
  • Second Prize USD 2,000—toward the purchase of Nikon equipment;
  • Third Prize USD 1,000—toward the purchase of Nikon equipment;

Prize money must be redeemed for Nikon products only, directly from Nikon USA, and cannot be redeemed for cash.

How to apply?

Contestants may enter the Competition by uploading video files directly to the Small World servers at Before you begin, read the Contest Rules and prepare your movies for uploading according to the instructions. Deadline for applying is 30 April 2015.

For more information please visit the official website.

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