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The Vision Wrangler 2011 Top 10 Cine Gear Hits and Misses Announced:

Two Thousand and Eleven has been a sweet year indeed for some awesome cine goodies, but first a minute silence out of respect for the passing of film cameras as 2011 will forever be remembered as the year camera manufactures stopped making them. Fade to Black, FIN but not forgotten.
Now please buckle up tight on the VW bus tour as gear, threats, tears, tantrums, tiaras, scrag fights, and Silver Back chest beating are all part of The Vision Wrangler 2011 Top 10 Cine Gear Hits and Misses.

The year started with a bang and a snigger with a funny egg on the face prank that started on the 30th of December 2010 and was pulled off with nothing more than smoke and mirrors. GASP a 4k DSLR on an entry level snapper could it be true, quick Blerg that it is so, and ride the gullible imbecile express all the way to the end. But wait there’s more. Someone at Canon PR liked that prank so much they are running with it this year with a reveal perhaps in 2012. Oh now if only an SEO stuffing Blerger or two would just run with that.

April rolled around and what a candy store NAB turned out to be for the kids. However because there were so many April Fools rolling on the National Association of Broadcasters for the first time, finding information was difficult at times. Why did so many hot dog Tweeters and blogdogs fail to realize NAB is for those that work in Radio and Television Broadcasting. Next time kiddies go to the Cine Gear Expo instead, and whinge about DSLR’s not being there.
Speaking of DSLR’s and NAB did you see that much hyped film they made when it was on? Me neither, but I hear it was quite good in the mind of one. We also hear it was a bootleg copy anyway.

We learned that apparently anyone that earns a crust from filming on anything above a GH2 was labeled “Mad” and the “I’m a Pro and your’e an Amateur” tiff escalated out of control with menacing midnight phone calls, nasty DM Tweets and emails that would make a Wharfie cry and a Twitter resignation that lasted all of 6 hours. Death threats were made and then everyone got on with life. If only we all had have read his Legal Disclaimer, and he the Mike Jones article that was written for him.

We saw a few Sly Profile wannabes fly high and almost touch the sun only to crash and burn while rotating label to camera on re-entry. If you are going to have a trademark legal stouch with a brand name company best you don’t have said companies name in yours. Due Diligence is wonderful in hindsight.

Gear knock offs became almost accepted as mainstream with overseas companies not even trying to hide that they are working with stolen designs. From audio to rigs to lighting, other than price it is getting hard to tell the difference between some gear.

Gear Blogdogs for hire upped the anti in 2011 with some scratch and sniff it’s my Blerg and I will write what I want statements. If you say you are not paid by companies to spruik their gear, then you are paid to make an appearance. If you say you paid for the gear out of your own money then it is a contra deal. If you say a company sponsored you then your travel expenses & accommodation + substantial per diems was taken care of. If you say your opinions are your own then you are saying you are happy with the arrangements and hope no one finds out how much money you made on the deal. When you say affiliate you mean an odd arrangement where you and the vendor are happy to blow smoke up each others arse as long as you make them money. When you say you are happy to share your experiences you really mean holy cow these guys are easy to fleece. When a Gear Blerger says it is hard work and takes up too much of their time then they are telling you they have not worked out how to get paid. Didn’t we see some wannabe Blergers drop off this year….

2011 saw Social Media networks grow and grow for shooters with sites like Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and Reduser etc helping foster a great learning environment but we also saw the ugly side of social networking services too with Fanboys and Stalkers. Google+ reared it’s head and while not bad it has some good features that if fleshed out and added upon could make it The Hub that could nurture a growing filmmakers community.

As always The Vision Wrangler Top 10 Awards highlight the very best and worst in more or less Indie Cine Gear for the year. We look forward like you to 2012 and the cine gear it promises to deliver.

VW_Flare

So here are the Vision Wrangler 2011 Top 10 Cine Gear Hits and Misses in no particular order.

HITS:

RED Scarlet X Camera:- Duke Nukem Forever finally dropped and so too did the Scarlet X the cheapest 4K camera out there. It upset but it also was loved.

Sound Devices PIX240 Field Recorder:- With Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD codec at multiple data rates this recorder with free firmware upgrades is a stand out.

DaVinci Resolve Lite:- Announced at NAB as Free for the powerful basic setup and just $995 for the extras if you need them.

Letus Shane Hurlbut Master Cinema Series:- Tired of trying to grab a slice of the pie, the Letus crew and Shane Hurlbut went all out and baked their own sweet tasting gear pie.

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Shuttle:- With that one single finger in the air BMD said a SDI / HDMI field recorder war is on to its former naughty employee.

Shure UR5 Portable Diversity Receiver:- With 2400 selectable frequencies and scan & sync the audio Tx Rx MTx bar gone done bin raised.

RED EPIC:-Going from strength to strength on big budget movies the EPIC has planted its roots firmly in Hollywood, and despite some not understanding its workflow the frustrating wait and agonizing evolution of this camera was forgotten and wiped away by a single tear of happiness by those that have witnessed just one EPIC frame.

Canon C300:- Not the prettiest one in the litter and by no means the cheapest one. Only time will tell if Canon PR have a champion dog on their hands.

DSLR 4k Hoax:- With the genesis for this hoax kicking off late last year the reveal was firmly planted in January of this year. 6 whole seconds of recording time with 4:2:2 4K video up to 175 Mb per second on a 550D / T2i DSLR camera? Earz62801 had some of DSLR community big heads fooled. Only wish the gag went on for a little bit longer as it was a treat watching Guru’s fall for that Rope a Dope knock out blow.

Litepanels Sola 6:- The cool to touch LED lights draw only 75W with an output equivalent to a 650W Tungsten Fresnel. Oh Yeah!!

Honorary Mention:-
Litepanels 337 Complaint, ECC Tools The Binary Rig, P+S TECHNIK PS-Cam X35 camera, Sony F65 camera, OConnor Universal Baseplate, Fastec TS3Cine camera, WEISSCAM T-1 Prototype Camera, Twixtor.

MISSES:

Black Diamond Awards:- Handing out an award to a concept EVF the previous year then polishing up and re-gifting that same award this year when the small screen finally made it to the show room.

Apple FCPX:- Don’t even have to touch it.

Stalker Twitter Accounts:- The accounts were allegedly green lit by the then PR head of a gear vendor biggish in the US but not so well know outside of there and said to be run by schlemiel guys from Australia. Thanks to stupidity, laziness and or arrogance and the fact that they gave up their IP addresses the so called Sydney Moppet Stooges slipped non stop. So the fake attacking stalker accounts ended up achieving very little. Hot Tip: It was the Gear Vendor IT guy that gave it all away.

Zeiss babyPrimes:- A giant PR stuff up from the get go. It initially looked to be a promising rehoused glass ZF glass project from KelvinKamera+ but was soon shot down by much distancing from Zeiss.

RED Scarlet:- 3K for 3K was never going to happen, and the Soccer Mum’s did weep, so too did the little boys who thought they could play with mummy’s new toy.

Panasonic AF200 Hoax:- Did you see the new Panasonic AF200 camera at NAB 2011? CRICKETS… No you did not see it and no one other than donkey lamos fell for “Expect to see a Panasonic AF100 replacement at NAB called the AF200” All we have heard since NAB has been there is a new GH3 and the Canon EOS MKIII coming in 2011. Really!! Tick tick tick….. Blogger BS = get numbers by any means and that includes making it ALL up.

Reduser:- RECON is the only point of interest as it has to be the best mixed bag of lollies going around. The rest of the site struggles under the weight of Mickey Avalon like Stroke Me lyrics.

Sony FS100:- Know someone that has this camera? Why the hell can they not talk it up. On paper it rocks and no doubt will even more with the new firmware coming in 2012 making it a real glam cam with PAL and NTSC and more. But damn the FS100 shooter is a grizzly bugger.

3D:- Not such a bad thing but more a specialized tool which is finding its feet on selected movies now.

Knock Off Rigs:- Gear companies have learned the hard way that dealing with overseas companies can have its risks. Great for us and the odd bargain and not so great for us when you need to buy again due to faults and failures.

Honorary Mention:-
Turn your lens into 4k hoax, Mistaking NAB for some sort of DSLR Master Workshop and Tweeting to everyone your stupidity, Workshops in general, I am a Pro V’s you are an Indie fight.

PREDICTIONS:

Nikon will rub out a DSLR that shoots monster stills only and another higher end model that cranks out sweet we are back baby video and stills. Canon 5D MKIII will be a the darling of the I love it I hate it Vimeographers.
Sony will squeeze out that 4k affordable camera that is skilled and ready to RED EPIC and ARRI Alexa rumble. Again let us call that Sony 4k camera the Sony PMW-F5 and or even the Sony PMW-F7 or could there be 2 cameras coming in that killer range in 2012? The Chinese KineRAW S35 4k camera will have local success, but for some reason never ship OS.

Hope you enjoyed the read and remember no egos were harmed in the compiling of The Vision Wrangler 2011 Top 10 Cine Gear Hits and Misses Awards.

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