Individuals who use ink cartridges to print out their favourite photos may be interested to hear the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards contest has been launched, which will include several new categories for the first time.

The 2012 competition will offer prizes for the best 3D snaps in two categories – still images and panoramic shots – and it is hoped the awards will encourage people to embrace the new technology.

Managing director of the World Photography Organisation Scott Gray said: "The Sony World Photography Awards are all about being at the forefront of photography, embracing new trends and exploring the possibilities of advancing technology."

Individuals that capture 3D images may find the added depth offered by the innovation can provide additional clarity and realism to a snap.

The contest is free to enter and participants have until January 4th 2012 to submit their entries, which must have been captured during 2011.

Other categories in which prizes will be awarded include travel, architecture and nature images.