4K, UHD and 3D, Camera and Accessories, Production Hardware, Software, Storage Solutions, Streaming, Videoguys Top 10

Videoguys Top 10 Products of 2018

I look forward to having the opportunity to sit down each year and reflect on the changes and trends in the industry. Writing, and rating, the top products introduced in 2018 creates a nice snapshot of where our industry is today and where it is heading.

So where are we now? We’re LIVE! That’s right, once again a big portion of this list includes products that make it easier to create a live streaming production. You might notice though that a lot of the popular streaming solutions like the NewTek TriCaster and the Wirecast Gear are not on this year’s list. Trust me, that’s not because they aren’t the top products in our industry! They are, and we recommend them to customers every day. They aren’t on the list because they aren’t new in 2018. Yes, there have been a lot of improvements and upgrades throughout the year and they will continue into 2019 as well but the products that were introduced in this space make these systems even better. We know because 2018 was the first full year of us broadcasting live every Tuesday at 2pm ET on YouTube and Facebook Live with simulcasts also broadcasted to Twitter’s Periscope and the to Twitch! We’ll admit that every show wasn’t a gem but there were definitely some diamonds thanks to special guests like Dr. Andrew Cross from NewTek, Dave Cuolantoni from Avid and Jon Landman from Teradek. We are looking forward to bringing you more great shows every Tuesday at 2pm ET and already have a full schedule on deck.

In addition to the Live Streaming there are also some great production tools, video storage and post production products rounding out the list this year. In fact, OUR PRODUCT OF THE YEAR award clearly belongs to the new Atomos Ninja V!!! Yes… that’s right… the Ninja V is awesome, and we have just officially started the Videoguys’ Top 10 Products of 2018.

1. Atomos Ninja V – Clearly the TOP PRODUCT OF 2018

I look forward to having the opportunity to sit down each year and reflect on the changes and trends in the industry. Writing, and rating, the top products introduced in 2018 creates a nice snapshot of where our industry is today and where it is heading. There’s a lot of power packed into this compact 5” unit. In fact, it’s so compact that even though all of the Atomos drives still fit onto the Ninja V they actually hang over the unit itself. Since Atomos has always been well-respected for their design (and vanity) they also introduced a new storage platform that fits nicer called the Atom X SSDmini. Which brings us to the next product on the list…

2. SONY Atom X SSDmini Media

The SONY Atom X SSDmini storage drives were built for the new Atomos Ninja V and are one of just two solutions available today that have been given Atomos’ blessing with the Atom X certification. Theses drives are available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions are achieve the blazing speeds needed for 4K workflows – more than 500MB/s! While these drives were created in the small, self-contained form factor specifically for the Atomos Ninja V they will work in all Atomos monitors including the Shogun and Ninja Infernos and Flames. These drives will also work in the Atomos SUMO 19 and 19m with an optional adapter plate from Atomos that is really just a screw on handle that prevents the SSDmini drive from being sucked up by the 19” monitors.

3. G-Technology SSD Solutions including the G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD, G-DRIVE Pro SSD and the G-SPEED SHUTTLE SSD

If you’re a video production professional or content producer then it’s safe to say that 2018 was the year we have been waiting for where we could all benefit from SSD storage solutions that would give us the performance, speed and reliability we need at prices that were closer to expectations.

G-Technology released a full line of SSD solutions that allow you to transfer footage fast, edit 8K footage at full frame rate, and quickly render VR projects. With a rugged portable SSD, high endurance desktop SSD, and a transportable RAID SSD solution, this family works together to improve your workflow.

The G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD is a small, portable SSD solution available in up to 1TB in a durable, shock-resistant design. This drive was made to be thrown into your travel bag and taken everywhere you need the performance. With Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and transfer rates up to 2800MB/s this is a tiny beast. I especially like the cool aluminum core technology for sustained performance and cool runnings.

The G-DRIVE Pro SSD is the larger, desktop form factor that allows for much larger capacities up to 7.68TB of enterprise class SSD storage.

And the G-SPEED Shuttle SSD is a scorching fast SSD RAID solution with 8 SSD drives packed into its 4 bays to deliver blistering fast throughput that will flood the thunderbolt 3 connection. This model is optimized for multi-stream 4K, 8K and VR workflows. This built-in hardware RAID solution is available up to 16TB and is the ultimate solution for high end video content creators.

4. LaCie DJI Copilot

LaCie and DJI joined forces this year to release a BOSS drive – Backup On Set Solution. The new LaCie DJI Copilot is a 2TB hard drive with an integrated SD card reader and a USB port to copy files directly from your DJI drone, smartphone or other devices – no laptop needed! Plus, you can sort and manage files on the go with the Copilot app installed on your phone. Do more on the road and get things ready for when you’re back at your desk! The DJI Copilot is a time saving solution for all photo and video producers even if you’re not using a drone.

5. NewTek Connect Spark Pro

I promised you it would be long before NewTek’s NDI technology cracked our Top 10 list! Last year the NewTek connect spark converters made our list for their incredible ability to expand your NDI production workflow to include any HDMI or SDI camera. This year, that’s gotten even better with the Connect Spark Pro. The new Pro model allows you to transmit full-resolution 4K footage over your network and unleashes the true power of NDI. Dr. Andrew Cross explained in our webinar with him this year that NDI was created for 4K workflows because otherwise it would have gotten far too costly to keep adding more and more SDI connections to their TriCaster systems. That plan has become a reality with the Connect Spark Pro and we are seeing the use cases grow every day. Video footage transmitted across a football field over a simple network with this converter that rings in for less than $1,000 makes the possibilities endless.

6. BirdDog Mini and new Firmware update with NDI Decoder

While NewTek raised their NDI converter line with the Spark Pro BirdDog went the other direction and complemented their Studio NDI encoder with the new BirdDog Mini. At just $695 the BirdDog Mini is most affordable NDI encoder available but what might be even more exciting is the latest firmware that turns all BirdDog devices into NDI decoders as well as encoders. Now you can really get the most flexibility from your NDI workflow by sending and receiving the video wherever you need it.

7. PTZOptics 30x Lenses available on SDI and NDI cameras

We are big fans of the PTZOptics PTZ cameras and use them in the production of our own weekly webinars. They have great optics, at an affordable price, and are the easiest way to add camera angles to your production without the need for expensive and experienced camera operators. This year PTZOptics expanded their product line by adding a 30x lens option to their 12x and 20x models. While 20x really seems to be the sweet spot for most people the 30x option allows this camera to work in more applications than ever. What I really like about the PTZ Optics 30x is that it still gives a pretty nice wide field of view when not zoomed, with no distortion. For big churches, or athletic events the 30x zoom is definitely the way to go!

8. Epiphan Pearl Mini

A nice segue to the Pearl Mini from the PTZOptics camera would be the ease of use that I was just talking about. If you need a complete live video production system for your house of worship than you might have to rely heavily on inexperienced volunteer help. The Epiphan Pearl Mini is the perfect solution to give these users the ability to switch, stream and record your production all from a simple touch screen interface built onto the device itself. It’s also great for use in your school or university as a lecture capture appliance and for countless other situations where you just need to be able to produce a simple yet professional show.

9. Roland V-02HD PAC2 Bundle

Like the Epiphan Pearl Mini, the selling point of this newest Roland mixer is the ease of use. The Roland V-02HD is not a live streaming production unit and has no built-in capability for live streaming or production. You can of course take the output feed into a product like the Epiphan Webcaster X2 to add that capability, but this is really for something else. The Roland V-02HD is a video podcast solution in a box. Are you trying creating a podcast or a video where you are the writer, producer, director and the talent? If so, then you know you run out of hands quickly. The V-02HD allows you to remain on screen as the talent and produce a simple, multi-camera show by using a foot pedal to switch from HDMI camera 1 to HDMI camera 2. The freedom is truly liberating and the focus you can give your message will be clear to your audience.

10. Avid Artist | DNxID Hardware I/O

The Avid Artist | DNxID is the newest addition to the Avid hardware I/O devices made for Avid Media Composer. At under $1,000, this is a super-affordable and ultra-portable I/O that gives you the ability to capture, monitor and output HD content anywhere your laptop can go – in the field, in the studio or in the hotel room!

Avid Artist | DNxID offers hardware baseband encoding to Avid DNxHR, making it easy to work with large 4K files without slowing down your workflow. Bundle the interface with Media Composer to maximize your editorial efficiency. You can also record voiceovers and live audio with easy punch-in recording to Media Composer, and monitor HDR content in all of its stunning glory.

That concludes out Top 10 new products, but I wanted to add one more thing. As you know Videoguys is famous for creating and marketing unique bundle solutions. This year we are going to begin a new tradition, by adding our bundle of the year category.

… and here it is… OUR TOP BUNDLE OF 2018...

11. SlingStudio Bunde with LiveU Solo HDMI

We love attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas every April. It’s a great opportunity to see some new products and technology but, even better, it’s a great chance to get some of the smartest people together in a room to discuss some creative new ideas and opportunities. Two of our Top Products from 2017, the SlingStudio Hub and the LiveU Solo HDMI, were chosen by how well they allowed a video content producer to leave the confines of the studio and the lifeline tether of a production trick to capture and stream video anywhere and everywhere at a price that was affordable enough to make it accessible to the masses. We knew it was only a matter of time until we would be offering these solutions together and were proud to be part of this bundle creation. The SlingStudio Bundle with LiveU Solo HDMI allows everyone to set-up a complete, multi-camera live production anywhere they want for less than $2,500! WOW!!!


That concludes this year's Videoguys Top 10 Products of 2018 list. I hope you like the list and have found something here that will make your workflow faster and easier.  If you have any questions about them or the workflows that utilize them please give us a call at 800-323-2325 and speak to one of our live sales people. We know this equipment because we use it to produce our weekly video programs, product spotlight videos, and more.  Don't forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter and subscribe to the Videoguys YouTube channel to make sure you are getting the very latest product information, news and promotions from Videoguys.com.

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By Jeanice Cabale, January 11, 2019