The best video production products of 2011, selected by the editors of Videomaker.
Excerpt from an article orginally posted at www.videomaker.com. Videomaker is the premiere magazine and online community for professional and hobbyist video producers, helping people make better video by providing the latest video training and product reviews.
2011 was a great year for video products. The increasing convergence of traditional camcorders with DSLRs, the emergence of consumer 3D, the widening availability of cameras with interchangeable lenses and other innovations have made this an exciting time to be passionate about video. After duking it out once again, defending our favorites, we’re ready to reveal our picks for the best of the best from 2011. And the winners are…
Most Groundbreaking Camcorder
That the NEX-FS100 by Sony should receive Best Product honors was a given as it excels on so many levels. It sports a Super 35mm sensor, uses interchangeable lenses and records in a variety of sizes from 480 to 1080p, to you-name-it in the AVCHD codec at 9, 17, 24 or even at Sony’s new 28 Mb/s mode. Add dual medium recording, a viewfinder that rotates more than 90 degrees to either side and the ability to under or over-crank from 1 to 60fps and you’ll see why the Sony FS100 is our pick for Videomaker’s Most Groundbreaking Camcorder of the Year.
Read about the Sony NEX-FS100.
BEST Professional Camcorder
More than just a pro look and feel, the XF300 proved itself most worthy of Best Product honors with intuitive, easy-to-use controls; focus, exposure and saturation assist features. Add to that 4:2:2 color sampling, dual CompactFlash card slots and the ability to switch frame rates, resolutions and bit rates on the same card – without rebooting. Throw in a killer 18x HD lens, with independent rings for focus, zoom and iris and the Canon XF300 is a shoo-in for Videomaker’s Best Professional Camcorder of the Year.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Canon XF300.
BEST 3D Camcorder
The fledgling consumer 3D market has seen some interesting developments in the past year. One that stands out from the crowd is the Sony HDR-TD10. It uses not one but two full HD 1920×1080 sensors – one for each lens. This provides for higher resolution 3D video whereas other approaches split the resolution of a single sensor. With a crisp 3D glasses-free display, 3D Depth Adjustment and many other fine features, Videomaker’s Best 3D Camcorder honors easily go to the Sony HDR-TD10.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Sony HDR-TD10.
BEST Introductory Editing Software
With its unlimited timeline, Avid Studio allows you to manage volumes of assets in the library and prepare clips in the various media editors with enhancements such as trimming, stabilizing, panning and zooming. Expand your creativity using montages, the Scorefitter music generator, keyframe effects, animation and audio mixing. Its ease of use and wealth of options make Avid Studio an easy choice for Videomaker’s Best Introductory Editing Software.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Avid Studio.
BEST Intermediate Editing Software
Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus
Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus is an affordable, powerful editing tool packed with impressive features. MultiCam editing, Dolby Digital 5.1 mixing, effects masks, extensive transitions, and numerous import/export options are just a portion of what you’ll find tucked away here. With 3D editing, 3D transitions and titles, proDAD Heroglyph Rapid 3D title editor and Reallusion iClone 4 SE for 3D character animation included, Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus wins Videomaker’s Best Intermediate Editing Software hands down.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus.
BEST Advanced Editing Software
Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11
Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 provides full 3D support from importing, editing and previewing to exporting to YouTube or Blu-ray disc. Included in the suite are DVD Architect Studio 5.0 for DVD and Blu-ray authoring, Sound Forge Audio Studio for audio editing and ACID Music Studio for music creation. With professional features such as image stabilization, primary and secondary color correction and enhanced camera support, Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 is our pick for Videomaker’s Best Advanced Editing Software.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11.
BEST Production Suite
Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium
CS5.5 Production Premium adds Adobe Audition to its suite of video editing tools. A killer audio editor, Audition provides heavy-duty support for multi-track recording, nondestructive editing, mixing, audio restoration and effects. Stabilization functions have evolved in this version to include corrections to camera rotation and rolling shutter artifacts. The Mercury Playback Engine adds more GPU-accelerated effects and support for NVIDIA graphics cards has broadened to include mobile video cards. With that and more, Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium secures the top spot for Videomaker’s Best Production Suite.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium.
BEST Editing Workstation
DVGear DV Apprentice
With a quad core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, NVIDIA Quadro 2000 graphics card and a multi-format memory card reader the DV Apprentice editing computer is a force to be reckoned with. Loads of storage is provided with 300GB for the OS and two 1TB drives for everything else. With very favorable benchmarks and all the features of a top-of-the-line computer, the DV-Gear DV Apprentice wins Videomaker’s Best Editing Workstation for 2011.
Read Videomaker’s review of the DVGear DV Apprentice.
Primera Bravo 4102 Disc Publisher
The Primera Bravo 4102 Disc Publisher features easy set up of the unit and projects, fast and accurate burning, fast printing, a user replaceable print head and individual ink cartridges for greater economy. The included PTPublisher software gives you a variety of project options including data, audio, copy, video and disc image projects. You can also print-only, rip audio discs to iTunes or Windows Media Player as well as back up files and folders. A fantastic performer, the Primera Bravo 4102 Disc Publisher takes Videomaker’s Best Duplicator honors for 2011.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Primera Bravo 4102 Disc Publisher.
Buy online at Disc Makers shop.
BEST Lavalier Microphone
The Countryman B6 is a well-balanced, concealable mic that competes favorably with larger lavalier mics. It’s equally at home on an amateur documentary as on a professional commercial. So, when it’s important that mic placement remain discreet, this is the one you want. It’s easy to conceal size (1/10-inch), rugged design and variable sensitivities make the Countryman B6 Videomaker’s Best Lavalier Microphone.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Countryman B6.
BEST On-Camera Light
Litepanels Sola ENG LED Fresnel Light
The Litepanels Sola ENG LED Fresnel light brings greater versatility and control to portable lighting while delivering serious performance in a lightweight package. It delivers high output with low power consumption and low heat, is dimmable, focusable and is equally at home outdoors as it is inside. Suitable for any number of shooting situations, the Litepanels Sola ENG LED Fresnel Light wins Videomaker’s Best On-Camera Light honors for 2011.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Litepanels Sola ENG LED Fresnel Light.
BEST Audio Recorder
Samson Zoom H2n Handy Recorder
The H2n has a bright, easy to read screen, good design and quality build, five microphone capsules providing multiple recording configurations, built-in Lo-cut, Compressor/Limiter functions, a data recovery feature – and it produces excellent quality results. All together this makes the Zoom H2n Handy Recorder an easy choice for Videomaker’s Best Audio Recorder.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Samson Zoom H2n Handy Recorder.
Videomaker’s Innovative Product Award
Kata ABS-HD Air Bag System
Something new for the traveling videographer, the Kata ABS-HD Air Bag System provides added protection for your precious camera while stowed away in the overhead bin during those long flights. Blowing into the bag’s fill tube inflates it to provide a soft cushion of air all around your camera, protecting it from other passengers and their luggage. Providing video professionals peace of mind garners Videomaker’s Innovative Product Award for the Kata ABS-HD Air Bag System.
Read Videomaker’s review of the Kata ABS-HD Air Bag System.
Read the rest of the article and see all of Videomakers’ 2011 winners at www.videomaker.com.