2018 was a busy year (like every year) for gear releases. Here at Newsshooter, we saw and reviewed a lot of products. Technology continues to evolve and transform and we saw a lot of very innovative products being released in 2018. While a lot of the products were simply improving on current technology, there was a definite trend in making things smaller and more compact.
Both Matt and Erik have discussed (or was it a heated debate) what products they thought were the best of 2018. Both Erik and Matt will each choose a winner and a runner-up in each category. The criteria are pretty simple, the product had to be released and available to purchase in 2018. If it was announced but has not shipped it doesn’t qualify.
Today’s category is Best Camera Support Product of 2018. This category refers to any camera support platform, be it a tripod, gimbal, slider, or dolly etc.
Sachtler Flowtech 100
In 2017, Sachtler unveiled the Flowtech 75 and this year they followed it up with the Flowtech 100. The Flowtech 100 keeps all of the same functionality of the Flowtech 75 but under the surface, Sachtler has strengthened the internals so the tripod can support far heavier payloads.
With the ability to use 100mm ball heads and go from low to high mode very quickly, the Flowtech 100 is an ideal tripod for news, documentary, and EFP shooters who are looking for a multi-versatile solution. Once you have used a Flowtech tripod, it’s very hard to go back to something else.
Zhiyun WEEBELL LAB
The WEEBILL LAB is a new take on the one-handed gimbal with a payload capacity of up to 3kg (6.61lb). With an interesting design for a one-handed gimbal, it incorporates a lot of technology we haven’t seen before. The ability to use the WEEBILL LAB with your smartphone as a monitor is a big deal. The gimbals performance is pretty good and it’s easy to use, easy to balance, and packs down into a very small footprint for storage or transportation.
For me, the WEEBILL LAB just takes the runner-up spot ahead of the DJI Ronin-S.
Manfrotto Nitrotech N12 Video Head
While this choice may be a little unsexy, it’s the practical side of support that makes it a winner. The Manfrotto Nitrotech N12 Video Head is the big brother to the Nitrotech N6 that can handle bigger payloads up to 24.6 lbs. Tripods and video heads are pieces of kit that just doesn’t get much love. It’s like a utility you just hate spending a lot of money on yet it can be the most important piece of gear in your arsenal. The beauty of both Nitrotech video heads as the half ball base can be swapped out to either 75mm or 100mm or none at all for mounting on a flat base or slider cart. Very versatile and the best bang for your buck too.
Syrp Magic Carpet Pro
This is one beefy slider! I was impressed with how rigid it is and its ability to handle a heavy load. The rails can get longer easily due to the design. With an interlocking system, a simple pull of a lever is all it takes to add more rails. The ends pop on easily as well and make for a very solid system. Syrp Magic Carpet Pro is also compatible with Syrp’s full line of motion control units.
Feel free to tell us what camera support product you thought was the best of 2018 in the comments section below. We would love to hear what our readers think.