Best products of 2021

Throughout 2021, Videomaker has hunted down the best video production gear on the market. The best products stand out in delivering immense quality and innovation in their corners of the industry. We were amazed by the dependability and performance of these products. Since 2021 is coming to a close, we’ve compiled this list with this year’s best products to empower your video creation leading into 2022.

Best Products Award criterion

To qualify for our Best Products of the Year award, Videomaker’s editorial staff examines each product closely. While reviewing each product, we consider the following questions:

  • Empowerment: does the product help videographers become more effective storytellers?
  • Ease of operation: is it user-friendly?
  • Affordability: does the product must provide good value for the price?
  • Quality: is it well put together, durable and does it display excellence?
  • Innovation: is it inventive and original?
  • Dependability: can it endure the rigors of active video production?
  • Performance: does it work consistently and effectively?

Without further ado, here are Videomaker’s Best Products of 2021.

Best camcorder

Canon XF605

The Canon XF605 features a 1.0-inch CMOS sensor and a DIGIC DV7 image processor. For recording, the camcorder can shoot video up to 4K resolution in 60p 4:2:2/10-bit with support for HDR. There are also dual onboard SD card slots, so you can swap out memory cards as they fill up. This is a helpful feature if you’re recording live events. You potentially have unlimited storage as long as you have an empty SD card to swap in. You can also record in Canon Log 3, giving you access to more color latitude.

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Best DSLR/mirrorless camera

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II

Panasonic’s GH5 II offers unlimited video recording. Equipped with a 20.3MP Live MOS Sensor with AR Coating, the camera records DCI and UHD 4K using the full sensor area. Additionally, it can output 10-bit 4:2:0 internally up to 60p or 4:2:2 at 30p. Plus, it has excellent anamorphic sensor stabilization. The camera captures All-Intra 10-bit DCI 4K internally and features a V-Log L for dynamic range shooting.

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Best cinema camera

Sony FX3

The Sony FX3 full-frame cinema camera sports a 12.1MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor. Although its sensor only captures up to UHD 4K, it offers up to 10-bit 4:2:2 internal capture or up to 16-bit RAW externally. When shooting in S&Q mode, it has a top bit rate of up to 600 Mbps in All-I XAVC S-I in 4K or 1200 Mbps in S&Q mode. With a maximum frame rate of 240 frames per second (fps) in HD, the Sony FX3 offers a fantastic 120fps in 4K. Along with the XLR inputs, the camera has four audio tracks and can either capture the stereo audio from its built-in mic or via its 35 mm jack.

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Best specialty camera

Sony ZV-E10

Sony’s ZV-E10 camera is an intriguing new option for vlogging professionals and content creators. It houses a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, enabling UHD 4K video recording up to 30p and Full HD recording at 120p. Plus, the camera can shoot stills up to 11 fps. It also has a vari-angle LCD screen, allowing you to see the camera’s framing while being in front of the camera. You can turn the ZV-E10 camera into a webcam through USB and send image and audio outputs to PCs or smartphones.

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Best lens

Sigma Art 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN

The Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art lens is the lightest and smallest lens in its class. It’s ideal for everyday use and travel. It is a versatile wide-angle to portrait-length zoom — characterized by its f/2.8 constant maximum aperture. It’s the true workhorse in the Sony E-mount lens line.

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Best stabilizer

DJI OM 5

The DJI OM 5 is a smartphone gimbal stabilizer with an extension rod that provides an additional 8.5-inches in length. The additional length goes a long way and helps you get quite a few creative angles. It features Bluetooth 5 control and syncs up with the DJI Mimo app, providing multiple shooting modes and functions. You can also mount any smartphone up to 3.3″ wide in its phone cradle. Additionally, its built-in battery runtime is approximately 6.4 hours.

Best laptop

Apple MacBook Pro

With the new Apple M1 Max 10 core chip, the new Apple MacBook Pro provides the power and performance needed to handle demanding, professional workflows. Its 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display features a 3456 x 2234 resolution, 1,000 nits of sustained brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, P3 color gamut support and more. With up to 1TB of SSD storage, you can load massive files and launch apps quickly, enabling you to work with video and photo libraries from almost anywhere.

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Best desktop workstation

HP Z2 Tower G8

The HP Z2 comes powered by an 11th Gen 3.6 GHz Intel Core i7-11700K Eight-Core processor. This processor delivers extra performance by increasing its clock speed — up to 4.7 GHz — utilizing Intel’s Turbo Boost technology. Plus, the HP Z2’s 16GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM comes in a 1 x 16GB configuration and is upgradable to 128GB. It’s a desktop workstation for creative professionals looking to cut through rendering, visualization and BIM projects.

Best storage

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2 is a fast NVMe solid-state drive with 1050MB/s read and 1000MB/s write speeds. It’s a portable, high-capacity drive that’s perfect for capturing incredible, high-res footage. Also, this drive can withstand a two-meter drop and comes with dust resistance and an IP55 waterproof rating.

Best microphone

Samson Q9U

The Samson Q9U is an impressive USB microphone that every professional podcaster should consider trying out. It has XLR and USB-C outputs to connect the mic with any computer, audio interface, mixer or preamp. The Samson Q90’s low-cut and mid-presence controls also help give your voice a midrange bump while filtering out rumble. Additionally, Samson includes a handy mute button that silences both the USB and the XLR outputs.

Best field monitor

Atomos Shinobi 7

Shinobi’s Shinobi 7 is a 7-inch monitor that expands on the original 5.2-inch model. It’s suitable for both exterior and interior environments thanks to its 1920 x 1080 10-bit FRC IPS display — with a peak brightness of 2200 cd/m². The monitor adds 3G-SDI input and loop output up to 2K 60p, HDMI 2.0 input and loop output up to 4K 60p. Additionally, it features signal cross conversion, a camera control port and dual L-series battery slots. There are even future possibilities with its built-in USB and RJ45 ports.

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Best desktop monitor

Dell UltraSharp UP3221Q

Designed primarily for professionals and content creators, the Dell UltraSharp UP3221Q is a VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certified 3840 x 2160 UHD resolution monitor. It comes factory calibrated to deliver true-to-life visuals with consistent brightness and color. With the monitor’s built-in Calman Powered colorimeter, you can calibrate your monitor with or without a computer. Also, the Dell UltraSharp UP3221Q comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port — enabling you to daisy chain multiple times monitors and transfer data from compatible devices at up to 40 Gb/s. Additionally, you can customize your color preferences using 3D Look Up Table (LUT) or configure customized settings with the writeable 1D and 3D LUT.

Best beginner editing software

Apple iMovie

While Apple iMovie only works on macOS, iOS or iPadOS devices, the upside is that it’s free. Simple with an easy-to-use interface, Apple iMovie allows you to edit footage with resolutions up to 4K. Its standout features include tools for audio and chroma-key and great templates for making trailers and movies. This consists of a small selection of sound effects and music.

You can learn more about Apple iMovie here.

Best enthusiast editing software

LumaFusion

LumaFusion, a popular iOS mobile editing platform with support for video stabilization, employs the new USB4 port in the new iPad Pro, enabling external drive editing. Additionally, there is a new graphic EQ for audio and brings back support for third-party AUv3 audio effect plugins.

You can learn more about LumaFusion here. You can also read our review.

Best professional editing software

Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 17

In the newest iteration of Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 17, Blackmagic Design has made significant improvements. First, it’s improved DaVinci Resolve 17’s HDR grading tools and has introduced a new mesh as well as grid-based color warpers. The color warpers allow you to adjust two colors at once. Next, DaVinci Resolve 17 now supports proxies — improving its performance when working on high-resolution videos. Blackmagic also added a new audio trim mode. This mode displays lagers waveforms for more precise trimming. Additionally, the Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 17’s smart reframing tool can automatically reframe images. Lastly, you can now import and edit projects from ATEM Mini Pro ISO.

You can learn more about Davinci Resolve 17 here or read our review.

Best livestreaming switcher

Roland V-02HD MKII

The Roland V-02HD MK II multi-format video mixer makes it easy to switch between two HDMI sources — using either pushbuttons, a T-bar or an optional foot-pedal switch. This mixer makes it easy to stream from your Windows or Mac computer with output via HDMI or USB Type-C support. The Roland V-02HD MK II is small enough to fit into your gear bag and mount onto a standard tripod. With such a compact size and lightweight design, it’s suitable for mobile video productions.

The Roland V-02HD MK II includes individual scalers on the input and both the program and preview output. It also features a T-bar for smooth transitions, a graphics select knob, effects select, effects control and a menu button.

Best drone

DJI Air 2S

The DJI Air 2S features a one-inch sensor camera — capable of shooting up to 30 fps in 5.4K, 60 fps in 4K and 120 in HD. Its maximum video bitrate is 150 Mbps in H.264 and H.265 codecs. Additionally, it can record in 10-bit D-Log for HDR video with a higher dynamic range. Its battery life promises a half an hour flight time. The DJI Air S2 also offers impressive obstacle detection and avoidance systems. Its camera has a field of view of 88-degrees — equating to a full-frame equivalent focal length of 22mm — and a fixed aperture at f/2.8.

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Best audio editing software

Accusonus ERA Bundle

ERA Bundle 5.2 is the latest update to Accusonus’ audio repair software. The update improves existing editing, cleaning and polishing audio tools. Plus, the new version adds a few new features. ERA Bundle 5.2’s Mout De-Clicker is a major highlight. This tool seamlessly removes mouth noises from audio clips. So, noises like lip-smacking, saliva crackle and mouth clicks are quickly removable. Additionally, the new version adds presets to the Audio Clean-Up Assistant.

You can learn more about Accusonus’ ERA Bundle here.

That’s a wrap!

This concludes our round-up for the Best of 2021. The products listed here are the best we tested this year. They all passed Videomaker’s examinations with the highest marks.

We are looking forward to next year’s innovative products. Send an email to editor@videomaker.com and let us know your favorite products from 2021