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. If it was announced prior to 2018 but hadn’t been released yet it still qualifies.
Today’s category is Best Camera Accessory of 2018. This category refers to any accessory that can be used with a camera. This could include such items as monitors, external recorders, monitor arms, light stands, filters, matte boxes, batteries, or just about anything else you can think of.
If you are looking for an affordable wireless FIZ system but you don’t have a lot of money to spend, it’s very hard to overlook this product. For $1,199 USD the Nucleus-M kit comes with two motors, a wireless FIZ hand unit, two wireless hand controllers, a bunch of cables and a hard case.
The Tilta Nucleus-M certainly offers a ton of value for money and it can be used with both affordable and more expensive cameras and lenses. While it may not be perfect and won’t work as flawlessly as much more expensive offerings, it’s going to get the job done for a lot of owner/operators.
Atomos Ninja V
I’ve been pretty harsh on Atomos products in the past, but the Ninja V was a big step forward for the Australian company. With much-improved build quality, attention to detail, and a very nice screen, the Ninja V ticks a lot of boxes if you need a nice compact, HDMI on-camera monitor/recorder. With the release of so many mirrorless cameras this year that can benefit from the use of an external recorder and a better monitoring solution, the NINJA V is sure to be a popular product.
Atomos Ninja V
While Matt put the Ninja V as runner-up, I’m giving it my winner. The Atomos Ninja V ticks a lot of boxes with size and function plus the much-improved build quality it fits into pretty much any setup with ease. While cameras today are finally giving us 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording, the codecs are still very hard to edit with and you will end up transcoding or working with a proxy workflow. Stick a Ninja V on that camera and retain 10-bit but with a much better ProRes option. That reminds me. I need to get one! 🙂
XTENDER 210 Friction Mount
When it comes to mounting your support kit to your camera I like using the XTENDER 210 Friction Mount. It’s reliable and it just works. Xtender has updated the 210 Friction Mount recently as well and can handle more weight than previous models. With the slight turn of a knob, you have the ability to micro adjust both the pan and tilt friction. Works with a monitor, light, digital recorder, etc. The X-FM-210-10 and X-FM-210-20 kits come with the Offset Adapter X-FMOA-10 which is used for monitors which have the connecting ports directly underneath.
You can also choose multiple types of mounting methods like the X-HTSM-10-FM High Torque Shoe Mount for mounting to Hot Shoe or an X-LCSM-10-FM Locking Camera Screw Mount (Mounts to 1/4″-20 Threaded Hole on Camera or Rig) I use mine mounted directly to a light stand with the X-LPA-200 Universal Light Post Adapter a lot. There are also XTENDER Friction Mount speciality kits that fit popular monitor/recorders like SmallHD, Convergent-Design, and ATOMOS.
Xtender is having a Holiday Sale right now as well. Sve 20% with code Sale20. Good through December 31st.
I’m going to cheat little and give a 2nd runner-up as I think it’s worth it. Sorry, Matt!
I really liked the PDMovie Live wireless follow focus as well. Retails for $599.99. It’s so easy to use and yes it has a quirk or two but the fact you can add a wireless follow focus to a hybrid camera without any external power or extra kit is really great. While the new Tilta Nucleus-N is a real bargain with its retail price of $299, the motor needs to be powered and that adds another element to the setup.
Feel free to tell us what camera accessory you thought was the best of 2018 in the comments section below. We would love to hear what our readers think.