Best Camera: Panasonic GH5

This year, we ran from booth to booth tracking down the most exciting gear and innovations at the convention and came back with these ten favorites. Out of all the new tech we encountered, these are the products we recognize as the Best of CES 2017.

Best Camera: Panasonic GH5

Congrats to Panasonic and the GH5 — Videomaker's Best Camera of CES 2017!

At CES, Panasonic officially announced the LUMIX GH5, the much-anticipated follow up to the popular GH4 and the new flagship for Panasonic’s LUMIX G DSLM line of cameras. The new Micro Four Thirds camera caters to both photographers and professional videographers.

Building on the legacy of the GH4, the GH5 promises the best image quality in the history of the LUMIX line. A new Digital LIVE MOS sensor increases pixel count by 25 percent to 20.3 megapixels over the GH4’s 16.05 and removes the low-pass filter. The Venus Engine image processor also promises additional improvements to image quality. The power of the new sensor and processor combine to allow for 4K video recording at up to 60p, and the GH5 can record 4:2:2/10-bit video internally in MOV, MP4 and AVCHD formats. There is no record limit in either 4K or 1080p and no cropping when shooting video versus photos.

To improve the reproduction of detail, the GH5 adds Multi-pixel Luminance Generation, which references a larger area of pixel information during the de-mosaic process. Intelligent Detail Processing analyzes the characteristic of each pixel and applies optimum processing to provide even more detail while also suppressing false colors.

Complementing the camera’s enhanced ability to capture precise yet natural detail, Three Dimensional Color Control can detect brightness as well as hue and saturation to optimize color control and provide rich color reproduction within a greater dynamic range. High Precision Multi Process Noise Reduction adds more accurate noise identification for clearer images at higher ISOs.

Along with Cinelike D and Cinelike V picture styles, the GH5 adds the Like 709, and for cinema shooters, V-LogL is also available as a paid software upgrade. The GH5 also provides a built-in Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope for more precise monitoring.

The Panasonic GH5 features faster autofocus using improved Depth from Defocus and Contrast AF technology, achieving focus in around 0.05 seconds and allowing for up to 12 fps burst shooting. Further improving AF capabilities, the GH5 increases the number of focus areas from 49 to 225. The new Post Focus Function and Focus Stacking allow for even more focus control and manipulation in post.

Along with an upgraded 4K PHOTO function, the GH5 also features the new 6K PHOTO function capable of extracting a 18-megapixel frame from a 6K burst file captured at up to 30 fps.

Built for the field, the GH5 features a die-cast magnesium alloy frame with extensive sealing to make the camera splash-proof, dust-proof and freeze-proof down to -10 degrees Celsius or 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The camera supports recording to two SD cards and features a 3.2-inch free-angle rear touch screen. The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 is priced at $2,000.

Best Spherical Video Camera: Humaneyes Vuze Camera

Congratulations to the Humaneyes with their Vuze 3D 360 Camera, winner of our Best Spherical Video Camera of CES 2017 award!

The Vuze Camera uses eight full HD lenses, each with a 180×120-degree field of view, to capture 4K, 360-degree video at up to 30 frames per second at bitrates up to 120Mbps. The Vuze Camera can capture both 2D and 3D spherical stills and videos. Four MEMS 48Hz microphones producing 16bit PCM audio make 3D spatial audio recording possible with the camera, further immersing viewers into the spherical experience.

The camera records to a removable microSD card and is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing for remote control via the Vuze Camera app for Android or iOS. To stitch the images, Humaneyes VR Studio software uses a proprietary stitching technique to automatically generate your video, which you can then edit or enhance with effects.

The camera is compact and light enough to carry with you and the simple, one-button interface means straightforward operation. It also comes in a variety of colors. The Vuze Camera by Humaneyes sells for $800. For more information visit vuze.camera.

Best Spherical Video Camera: Humaneyes Vuze Camera
Best Spherical Video Camera: Humaneyes Vuze Camera

Best All-in-One Workstation: HP Envy Curved All-in-One 34

Congrats to the HP Envy Curved All-in-One 34, which earned our Best All-in-One Workstation of CES 2017 award.

This HP Envy is billed as the world’s widest all-in-one computer and features a curved 34-inch diagonal Technicolor Color Certified Ultra WQHD micro-edge display on a sculpted aluminum stand. The curved design is meant to provide a more immersive viewing experience for the user.

Under the display is a stylish, integrated sound bar with four speakers tuned by Danish audio company Bang & Olufsen. Touch controls allow for easy volume adjustment.

Inside, the Envy Curved AIO 34 can be equipped with Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with up to 16GB DDR4 SDRAM along with an AMD Radeon RX 460 GPU with 4GB DDR5 VRAM or an optional NVIDIA GFX GPU. Storage options include SSDs up to 256GB in capacity or HDDs up to 2TB. Windows 10 Home is included, as well.

There are five total USB ports, including four UBS 3.0 ports and one USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt port capable of data transfer at up to 40Gbps. The Envy AIO also offers HDMI in and out as well as wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. Finally, the Envy is equipped with HP’s TrueVision HD IR web camera, which uses infrared for secure log-in with Windows Hello.

The HP Envy Curved AIO 34 starts at $1,730. For more information, visit hp.com.

Best Mobile Workstation: Lenovo LEGION Y720

Congratulations to Lenovo, earning our Best Mobile Workstation of CES 2017 award for the Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop. This mobile workstation is designed for gaming, but the power packed inside will surely help video editors, as well.

The Y720 uses 7th generation Intel Core processors along with NVIDIA Geforce GTX 10-series graphics cards powered by NVIDIA Pascal. It can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7 with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and up to an NVIDIA GTX-1060 GPU with 6GB VRAM. You can also choose up to 1TB of SSD storage or up to a 2TB HDD.

The Y720 is VR ready and features an anti-glare UHD 15.6-inch display along with JBL Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos and Thunderbolt connectivity for fast data transfer and connecting additional displays. An RGB Backlit Keyboard is optional, and Lenovo predicts up to 5 hours of battery life.

The Y720 is VR ready and features an anti-glare UHD 15.6-inch display along with JBL Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos and Thunderbolt connectivity for fast data transfer and connecting additional displays.

The Lenovo Legion Y720 starts at around $1,400. For more information, visit lenovo.com.

Best Monitor: ViewSonic VP3881

Congratulations to ViewSonic’s VP3881 Curved 38-inch professional monitor, winner of our Best Monitor of CES 2017 award.

At CES, ViewSonic introduced three new displays, including the VP3268-4K, a 31.5-inch, frameless display with a 3840×2160 4K UHD resolution, and the VX2781-UC, a 27-inch frameless multimedia and entertainment monitor with a 2560×1440 QHD resolution. The new monitor that caught our eye and garnered an award, however, is the ViewSonic VP3881.

A 37.5-inch curved display, the ViewSonic VP3881 features a 3840×1600 resolution and an aspect ratio of 24:10. This ultra-wide display is designed for immersive viewing that fills the user’s peripheral vision.

With a strong focus on color accuracy, the frameless SuperClear IPS panel is pre-calibrated to achieve Delta E<2, which gives video editors, colorists and designers professional color reproduction. The VP3881 also comes with hardware calibration compatible with the ViewSonic Color Calibration Kit to ensure color accuracy over the life of the monitor. The display connects via HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Type-C and a USB hub.

The ViewSonic VP3881 Curved 38-inch monitor has an estimated MSRP of $2,000. For more information, visit viewsonic.com.

Best Storage: QNAP TVS-882ST3 Thunderbolt 3 NAS

Congratulations QNAP for taking home Videomaker’s Best Storage of CES 2017 award for the QNAP TVS-882ST3 — now that’s a mouth-full.

This Thunderbolt 3 network-attached storage (NAS) solution keeps you connected and your data moving with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.1 ports, two gigabit Ethernet Ports and two 10GbE Ethernet ports. With its integrated Thunderbolt to Ethernet converter, the Thunderbolt 3 NAS also allows Apple computers to connect to a 10GbE network via Thunderbolt.

This NAS combines the power of Thunderbolt 3 and 10GbE with its dual-network mode, which allows for online editing of high resolution video and high-speed sharing.

Inside the TVS-882ST3, you’ll find eight 2.5-inch 6Gb/s SATA SSD/HDD bays, 8 or 16GB DDR4 RAM, upgradable to 32GB and either an Intel Core i7 2.6GHz processor or an Intel Core i5 1.9 GHz processor depending on your selected options.

The NAS can be configured at your choice of RAID level, including Single Disk, JBOD and RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 or 10.

The QNAP TVS-882ST3 Thunderbolt 3 NAS offers innovative solutions to common bottlenecks in the post-production workflow, helping editors work faster with higher quality videos. For more information, visit qnap.com.

Best CPU: AMD Ryzen

Congrats to the AMD Ryzen, taking home our Best CPU of CES award!

The new AMD Ryzen, announced in December of 2016, is a series of high performance desktop and notebook processors based on the Zen core architecture. Built into these processors is AMD’s SenseMI, which aims to meet the needs of demanding users through a set of sensing, adapting and learning technologies that work in conjunction with the processors advances in architectural, platform, efficiency and processing technologies.

The innovations of the Ryzen processor, particularly SenseMI, produces an increase in speed of greater than 40 percent, promising strong performance in creative, VR and gaming applications. SenseMI consists of five technologies, including Pure Power for smarter energy usage, Precision Boost for fine tuning and on-the-fly clock adjustments, Extended Frequency Range extending beyond the Precision Boost limits, Neural Net Prediction — an artificial network inside the processor that anticipated future decisions and pre-loads instructions — and Smart Prefetch to speed up data access.

At CES, AMD showcased 16 new high-performance AM4 motherboards from partner manufacturers including ASRock, Biostar, Gigabyte and MSI. The new motherboards, as well as a collection of extreme performance PC designs, were intended to highlight the power of the new Ryzen processors.

For more information, visit amd.com.

Best Microphone: Samson Go Mic Mobile

Congrats to Samson and the Go Mic Mobile, winner of Videomaker’s Best Microphone of CES 2017 award!

The Samson Go Mic Mobile is a 2.4GHz digital wireless mic system touting low latency audio transmission that promises to eliminate video sync issues, making it a good choice for filmmaker and video producers. The dual channel receiver can mount either to a smartphone or to a camera via its cold shoe adapter.

The Go Mic Mobile has a 100-foot line-of-sight operating range and a frequency response of 10Hz to 22kHz. It’s available in three different wireless configurations: a handheld mic, a lavalier mic with beltpack or a shotgun mic. Flexible audio output options include switchable ?-inch headphone/line and USB audio outputs with volume control.

Samson promises the receiver will last up to six hours per battery charge. The Go Mic Mobile uses a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery as its power source.

The system is compatible with both iOS and Android devices and is able to connect directly to your device without an adapter. The Go Mic Mobile includes USB to Lightning, USB to mirco USB and micro USB to USB Type-C cables to connect to a range of devices. A USB charging cable, 3.5mm audio cable and power adapter are also included.

For more information about the Samson Go Mic Mobile, visit samsontech.com.

Best Microphone: Samson Go Mic Mobile

Best Mobile Peripheral: Roland GO:MIXER

Congratulations Roland, taking home our Best Mobile Peripheral of CES 2017 award.

The Roland GO:MIXER is a compact audio mixer designed specifically for smartphone video production. The GO:MIXER enables real-time audio recording directly to your smartphone as you are capturing video. This allows users to take advantage of the high resolution cameras in today’s devices without resorting to capturing audio with the built-in mic. The GO:MIXER aims to simplify the production process for those wishing to capture better audio through their smart device.

The GO:MIXER will accept up to five different audio sources. It includes inputs for vocal mic, guitar/bass, stereo keyboard and two stereo line-level devices — such as a drum machine. The GO:MIXER features front panel knobs for more tactile operation, and there is a stereo output so that you can monitor your audio with either headphones or a an external amplification system. The level of the monitor output can be adjusted with a dedicated panel knob.

The GO:MIXER connects to either iOS or Android devices using the included cable. This connection also powers the device, eliminating the need for batteries. The mixer measures 3.75 inches on each side and stands 1.1-inches tall, making it easy to take along with you.

The Roland GO:MIXER compact audio mixer sells for around $100. For more information, visit roland.com/us.

Best Mobile Peripheral: Roland GO:MIXER

Best Accessory: Omnicharge

Congratulations to Omnichage for earning our Best Accessory of CES 2017 award. In addition to the the typical USB charging ports found on most similar devices, this handy portable powerbank also features an AC/DC outlet, what they claim is the first in the industry.

The AC/DC outlet gives the device the flexibility to charge not only phones and other mobile device, but also laptops, cameras, small home appliances — pretty much anything you would normally need to plug into a wall outlet.

For even more flexibility, the Omnicharge can also be charged from any power source and offers flow-through charging, allowing you to charge the powerbank and use it to power your device simultaneously. An OLED screen helps you keep track of incoming and outgoing voltage as well as battery level and temperature.

It takes about two hours to charge the Omnicharge using the AC adapter, but it can extend the battery life of your Macbook Air by up to 13 hours or keep you Macbook Pro running an additional 5-7 hours. Omnicharge also promises 4-6 charges for your camera battery, making it a great companion for videographers spending lots of time in the field.

The Omnicharge comes in two sizes: the Omnicharge 13.600mAh 65W and the Omnicharge 20.400mAh 100W. Both are available in either black or white. You can pick one up for $199 for the Omni 13 or $299 for the Omni 20. Learn more at omnicharge.co.

Until Next Year

We saw many, many amazing innovations at CES this year; paring down our list of favorites to just ten was certainly a challenge. Congratulations again to all of this year's winners, and thanks to everyone who took the time to meet with us during the show!  We can't wait to see how these great products are used in the field. 

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Susan is the Art Director at Videomaker and YouTuber Magazines.

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