Every December, we dig into our weblogs and tally pageviews for stories published at StudioDaily in the last 12 months. The traffic stats reveal what we've been thinking about when it comes to product reviews, case studies, NAB news, and other business stories. And they often point toward what will be making news in the next year. We published links to five of our top 10 stories from the year yesterday, and here is where we finish up with the top five. Enjoy this look back at 2013!
Blogger Peter Plantec has more recently been looking at the controversy surrounding Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription platform, but in the first part of the year he was stirring it up by looking at the collapse of Rhythm & Hues — whose work on Life of Pi won it an essentially posthumous Oscar — and trying to formulate some recommendations for improving the health of the ailing VFX business. He struck a nerve and catalyzed a lot of discussion.
ARRI's better-than-2K flagship, the Alexa, is a big success, offering compelling picture quality and ergonomics while recording fewer pixels than some of its competitors. A 4K camera is in the cards, but the company is in no hurry. Instead, its big new camera announcement in 2013 was the Alexa Jr. — the documentary-style Amira, which has the same sensor and picture quality as the Alexa, though it lacks ARRIRAW recording capability. ARRI has yet to announce a price or ship date for the Amira, but it's a testimony to the company's position in the market that this camera turned so many heads.
Dexter's seventh season adopted the Nikon D800 DSLR as a C- and D-camera on the main unit, and as a primary camera for the second unit, putting it to work alongside the ARRI Alexa on a visually demanding show. Beth Marchant spoke with camera operator Eric Fletcher about how the D800 fit into the show's production workflow, and Studio readers responded en masse to the piece, which offered details on that unconventional choice for the hot Showtime property.
Sometimes, tech stories manage to reach outside of Studio's core readership, and that's certainly the case with this blog entry, which generated lots of traffic when it was shared on Reddit and in other social media. It's not exactly big news, but it is a great story about the origin of special lenses Stanley Kubrick used to shoot low-light scenes in Barry Lyndon — and how P+S Technik has managed to make those very lenses available as part of an HD camera rental package. The story attracted tech fetishists, Kubrick fans, and moon-landing conspiracy theorists.
The 4K Blackmagic camera didn't get into many users' hands in 2013, but this slender little brother to the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera made an impression by offering 12-bit log CinemaDNG raw recording for the ridiculous price of $995. It's obviously not for every project, or every user, but our readers took it as a remarkable achievement for the price point, and reviewer David English says it mostly delivers on its promise — although it's not a slam-dunk when you consider that the $2,000 BMCC has a higher resolution (2.5K) and includes the $995 DaVinci Resolve as part of the deal. Still, it's a groundbreaker that sets a new, high standard for affordable image-making.
That was the year that was, folks. See you in 2014!