By site editor Dan Chung:
Okay, NAB always has a lot to offer. But this really was an outstanding year for new equipment. The Newsshooter team members, drawn from across the worldwide broadcast industry, faced some tough choices as we cast our votes for what we considered the stand out products of the show. Democracy has spoken and these are the items that triumphed in the categories of best new camera, best pro video camera accessory, best DSLR camera accessory, best optical, best audio product, best lighting product and most innovative product.
The winners were:
Best New Camera – Canon C300 mkII
Despite stiff competition from new cameras from Blackmagic Design, RED and Panasonic the award in this category went to the mark II version of the C300.
Best Pro Video Camera Accessory – Letus Helix magnesium brushless gimbals
Brushless gimbals were the most wanted accessory of the Newsshooter crew this year and there were plenty on show at NAB. The new DJI Ronin M looked promising and the Freefly Mimic system was impressive – but it was the easy handling and lightweight construction of the newest versions of the Letus Helix that our team awarded. Indeed several of the team actually ordered them at the show.
Best New DSLR Camera Accessory – Blackmagic Video Assist
The compact Blackmagic Design Full HD monitor and recorder was the accessory the Newsshooter team thought would most interest the DSLR shooter on a budget. It has both HDMI and SDI inputs and can record HD Prores files to a SD card.
Best New Optical Product – The Veydra Mini Primes
Many real world shooters are now opting to go for Micro 4/3 sensor cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera. The Veydra lens lineup is now an almost complete lineup of beautifully constructed cinema lenses costing far less than something with a similar build for a larger sensor. Cine lenses are often out of the reach of most real world shooters; the reasonable price and excellent image of the Veydras clinched this award.
Best Audio Product – Lectrosonics SSM wireless transmitter
The wireless microphone is an essential part of any news shooter’s kit. Many use Lectrosonics daily. Concealing a transmitter on your subject can be tricky and there is nothing worse than an ill-placed radio mic to ruin your shot. Enter the new Lectrosonics SSM. It is so tiny you could hide it almost anywhere. To shrink it to this size, Lectrosonics has had to use a rechargeable lithium ion battery instead of the usual AAA batteries. It pairs with all the current Lectrosonics receivers and will be available as soon as it gets FCC certification.
Best Lighting Product – Wescott DP kit, c47 portable Scrim Jim Cine kit and Book Light kit
There were several contenders for this award: the Litepanels Calibre LED lighting kit, the Cineo Matchbox remote phosphor light and the new ARRI Skypanel were all considered. In the end, it wasn’t a light that won at all. Instead, the team voted for the new portable c47 scrim kits from Wescott. The neat part of these kits is the tubular construction that allows large frames to be broken down for travel – a great innovation for the working news shooter.
Most Innovative Product – The Redrockmicro Halo
The Teradek Live:Air Ipad based live switcher system and latest version of the Andra focus tracking system were both in contention, but in the end Redrockmicro won through with its Halo system. The innovative focus system can detect moving subjects and keep them in focus without you having to attach tags or markers onto the subject. An tablet based interface allows you to decide what should be in focus. Impressive stuff.