HP's Z840 desktop workstation, Adobe Creative Cloud, and the Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM camera system won top honors in the fourth annual StudioDaily Prime Awards, announced during a special presentation on the show floor at NAB. Those three were named the most outstanding products, or "Best in Show," by a panel of judges convened by StudioDaily to evaluate the best of production and post-production technology introduced during 2014.
Best in Show
"If you work in digital media and need a high-performance workstation, the HP Z840 is the current top choice," said Prime Awards judge David English of the Z840, lauding its use of new Intel Xeon processors, the latest graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, and fast DDR4 RAM. "It's highly expandable, which could be a good plus if you work in areas where the formats are constantly shifting."
Prime Awards judge Nathan Adams called Adobe Creative Cloud "hands down the most powerful and most necessary creative toolset available to filmmakers and artists." He said Adobe has a proven ability to effectively connect the development of its business to the needs of artists. "As Adobe's suite of applications evolves, the feature set expands in a way that makes me realize that Adobe truly understands their customer." And judge Melodie Smith lauded Adobe's transition to cloud-based delivery and subscription licensing. "The cloud-based payment-and-license system is a huge innovation that allows companies to manage their software licenses and updates easily and intuitively," she said.
And judge Barry Braverman calls the Sony FS7 "a clear breakthrough product in every sense … rugged as hell, streamlined, and extremely well balanced," saying the "remarkable" 28–135mm F4.0 kit lens deserved special plaudits. Judge David Leitner agreed: "Finally, an under-$10,000 large-sensor camera with true handheld shoulder-mount ergonomics!" He said the FS7's design and features add up to "one of the most impressive camera debuts in years."
The Rest of the Winners
Other winning products this year include, in post-production hardware, the AJA Io 4K, the Avid Pro Tools | S6 console, the Dalet Brio broadcast video server, Macom's 12G-SDI chipset, the ProMAX Platform Portable workflow server, and Quantum's StorNext Pro solutions. Winners in post-production software were DaVinci Resolve 11, DFTi Critique cloud-based review and approval, Imagine Products PreRoll Post LTFS Archive System, Imagineer Systems Mocha Pro 4, and Red Giant Universe.
Winners in the category of production tools were the ARRI Amira camera system, the ARRI SMB-1 studio matte box, the ARRI UWZ 9.1–18/T2.9 ultra-wide zoom lens, the Lowel Prime Location LED light, Tiffen's XLE filter series, and the VariCam 35 4K camera and recorder.
In addition, DI colorist Michal Herman of Poland's DI Factory received a Prime Award honoring his work in 2014, which included color-grading the monochrome film Ida, a Polish-language feature that earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography and won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The judging panel was drawn from the ranks of StudioDaily contributors as well as from the industry at large. This year's group included Nathan Adams of Cinematomic, cinematographer Barry Braverman, cinematographer Randall Dark, Studio contributor David English, cinematographer Marc Franklin, Chris Jacobson of SIM Digital, cinematographer David Leitner, and Melodie Smith of The M Factor. And, in a first, a previous recipient of a Studio Prime Award, cinematographer Andrew Shulkind, became a judge this year.
"The judging this time around was made more difficult by the uniformly high quality of the finalists under consideration," said StudioDaily Editorial Director and Associate Publisher Bryant Frazer. "I like to say the judges' job isn't to sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly, but rather to select the best of the best. Congratulations are due to all of the finalists for pushing the technology envelope, expanding creative potential, and helping hard-working artists and technicians sleep a little better at night and spend a little more time with their families."
A full list of winners follows, with supporting quotes from Prime Awards judges, along with the original slate of finalists in each category.
|Best in Show|
STUDIODAILY PRIME AWARDS — ALL FINALISTS
AJA Io 4K capture and output hardware
Avid Pro Tools | S6
Dalet Brio broadcast video server
HP DreamColor Z27x Professional Display
HP Z840 Desktop Workstation
HP ZBook 17 G2 mobile workstation
LaCie 8big Rack Thunderbolt 2
MACOM 12G-SDI Chipset
Motion FX Systems Thunderpack DIT workstation
NetApp EF550 Flash Array enterprise-class storage
ProMAX Platform Portable workflow server
Quantum’s StorNext Pro solutions
Sony PVM A series picture monitors
Post-Production Software and Services
Adobe Creative Cloud
Aspera FASPStream API
Avid Media Composer | Software
Boris Continuum Complete 9
DaVinci Resolve 11
DFTi Critique cloud-based review and approval
Fusion 7 Studio
Imagine Products PreRoll Post LTFS archive system
Imagineer Systems Mocha Pro 4
NewBlue Titler Pro 3 titling software
NewBlue Titler Pro Live for Wirecast
Red Giant PluralEyes 3.5
Red Giant Universe
Tiffen Dfx 4 Digital Filter Suite
Vicon Pegasus Powered by IKinema
Flashpoint ZeroGrav Gyro Camera Stabilizer
AJA CION camera system
ARRI AMIRA camera system
ARRI Studio Matte Box SMB-1
ARRI Ultra Wide Zoom UWZ 9.5–18/T2.9
DeSisti Lighting LED Fresnel and LED Softlight
K-Tek ProShot Multifunctional Camera Rig
Lowel Prime Location LED light
Lowel PRO Power LED light
Sony PXW-FS7 Super 35mm 4K Camcorder
Tiffen XLE Filter Series
VariCam 35 4K camera/recorder
People and Companies
For Excellence in Color Grading — Michal Herman, Senior Colorist, DI FACTORY, Poland
For Advocacy and Outreach — Alpha Dogs Editors’ Lounge Channel: “Why Do We Need Color Correction?”