Sony has announced the winners of the 2009 Sony World Photography Awards.

The 44 photographers, from 22 separate countries, beat off stiff competition from the 186 shortlisted photographers, which we told you about last month.

Each of the photographers on the list will be exhibited at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on 16 April.

Out of the 12 photographers chosen as professional category winners, one photographer will be chosen as the Sony Photographer of the Year. On the night they will be awarded $25,000 along with Sony camera equipment.

The winning amateur photographer, selected from the eight category finalists, will receive a $5000 cash prize and Sony camera equipment.

However all finalists will see their work exhibited around the world as part of the 2009/2010 global tour.

Yoshiyuki Nogami, vice president of Digital Imaging at Sony Europe, said: "We’ve been honoured to once again lend our full support to this unique global showcase for professional and amateur photography talent and have been impressed by the inspiring diversity and quality of this year’s entries".

For the full list of winners, finalists and their work, head over to the Sony World Photography Awards website.