NAB 2015: Avid launch, ISIS 1000, Media Composer First and Interplay updates

NAB 2015: Avid launch, ISIS 1000, Media Composer First and Interplay updates

Two years on from the first Everywhere whitepaper and almost a year to the day after they launched Connect at NAB 2014, Avid are back with MediaPlatform updates, workflow innovations and new software and hardware releases. 

First, a moment of silence for Mojo DX, which has officially been discontinued (although the Sonnet DX adaptor will still be available, should you want to add Thunderbolt capabilities to a Mojo or Nitris. Now, on to the new stuff…

ISIS 1000

We’re big fans of Avid’s ISIS shared storage, but for those of you who need something slightly smaller than an ISIS 5000, Avid are introducing the ISIS 1000, a slimline ISIS model aimed at smaller workgroups. From the official statement:

“Avid introduces ISIS | 1000 shared storage, bringing small production teams the same collaborative power proven on blockbuster films and prime-time television—customised for their needs, at a price they can afford (under $18K). For over 25 years, Avid has pioneered real-time collaborative storage with our Unity and ISIS lines, and now we’re excited to introduce a low-cost yet high-performance solution designed for collaborative workflows, whether using Media Composer, Pro Tools, Adobe Premiere, and/or Apple Final Cut Pro X.”

The ISIS 1000 will act as open workgroup storage for any users on the MediaCentral platform, and is capable of holding up to three million files. Each 20TB storage engine can support frame accurate playback for up to 24 realtime clients, and will support 4K and UHD workflows. Each engine has a bandwidth of 300MBps, but you can tie up to four engines together to give you a maximum total bandwidth of 1200MBps.

The ISIS 1000 will use SSDs for system configuration and metadata management, and will be able to run even if two of these drives fail. The storage controller, power supply and fans are all field replaceable too, so your IT team can leap into action should anything go wrong.

Pre-orders are being taken at NAB, and you’ll be able to pre-order on our site as soon as we find out what the UK price is.

Media Composer

Two big pieces of news around Media Composer. First is Media Composer| First – a new free version of Media composer coming later the year. Designed to help beginners use the same sound and picture tools and the pros, First gives you a slightly slimmed down feature set, but much of the power of the full version of Media Composer.

It will feature fewer settings, menus timetables, bin settings, features and effects and can’t support Interplay or shared ISIS projects (though you can use it to work on projects which include media stored on an ISIS). It also forces you to save your projects in the cloud rather than locally, and the amount of space you get is limited, so we reckon most of our non-education readers will want to fall back on the full version eventually.

Which brings us neatly to Media Composer 8.4, which was announced at Avid Connect and will be available in May. Feature improvements include:

– Custom raster support lets you work with any raster up to 8K, including defining special rasters.

– Pro-res and XAVC-I native high-res playback.

– AAX factory presets from ProTools.

– The ability to view closed captions on an external monitor as well as your interface.

– Alpha channel with Quicktime wrapped DHxHR.

– GPU accelerated effects on Windows (as long as you’re using AMD and NVIDIA cards).

Avid Interplay

Not to be left out, Interplay also got a raft of updates, the most exciting being Interplay | MAM 5, an update aimed at “enabling organisations both large and small to manage the entire content lifecycle and reduce media operation costs. With this latest release, Interplay | MAM is fully integrated on the Avid MediaCentral Platform, focusing on journalist workflows and others who need easy access to archived media.”

Avid are also releasing Interplay | Production 3.3, which introduces a software-only option for Interplay | Production (hooray for falling hardware costs!). As Avid explain, “Customers supply their own server hardware, all required Interplay Production components are supported in a virtualised environment using VMware. In addition, Interplay | Production will support Integrated Caption Workflows with MediaCentral | UX and will also provide first phase integration of Avid DNxHR workflows.”

All of these solutions can be seen on Avid’s stand, SU902.

Want to know more? Call us on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, head to our NAB roundup post, follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

NAB 2015: Canon reveal C300 Mk II ahead of show

NAB 2015: Canon reveal C300 Mk II ahead of show

Canon today unveils the EOS C300 Mark II, a new 4K video camera allowing filmmakers and broadcast producers to realise their creative vision in stunning cinematic detail. Building on the unprecedented success of the acclaimed EOS C300, the more rugged EOS C300 Mark II features an advanced imaging engine with dual DIGIC DV5 processors, new professional codecs and outstanding dynamic range, making it the most capable, flexible and accessible Cinema EOS video camera to date.

EOS C300 Mark II

Supreme 4K image quality and versatility
With the ability to record 10-bit 4:2:2 files internally at up to 410Mbps in 4K, or 10/12-bit 4:4:4 files in 2K/Full HD, with up to 15 stops of dynamic range, the EOS C300 Mark II provides footage suitable for extensive post-production work, producing crisper images across the full colour spectrum with reduced “colour bleed”. The camera offers professional filmmakers and broadcasters alike the very best image quality, recording 4K in both broadcast (3840 x 2160) and DCI cinematic (4096 x 2160) resolutions.

The EOS C300 Mark II can record high bitrate 4K files internally to dual CFast 2.0™¹ media, while simultaneously recording 4K RAW files to an external recorder, offering the flexibility and universal appeal for production at the highest quality available today. Additionally, the ability to record 2K/Full HD Proxy files to an internal SD card, at the same time, further streamlines the production workflow process.

The new Canon-designed Super 35mm CMOS sensor and an increased ISO range up to ISO 102,400 deliver exceptional low light performance, allowing operators to capture low-noise footage across a variety of challenging environments without compromising on image quality.

To meet the requirements of a diverse range of shooting applications, the EOS C300 Mark II offers both full manual control, ideal for cinematic environments, as well as automatic modes. These include, enhanced Dual Pixel CMOS AF (now covering approx. 80% of the frame vertically and 80% horizontally), auto white balance and Face Detection AF, all making it easier for independent news gatherers and documentary filmmakers to shoot on the go.

Instant integration into professional workflows
Canon’s new range of XF-AVC H.264 codecs, designed to be compatible with industry standard Non-Linear Edit systems, makes integrating both 4K and 2K/Full HD footage into workflows effortless, while maintaining the highest image quality. The range features XF-AVC intra for 4K, and XF-AVC Long GOP and Proxy options for 2K/Full HD recording, both of which utilise H.264 codec, offering post production flexibility and ease of use. Filmmakers can select the resolution and codec type that best suits their production, with the EOS C300 Mark II capable of shooting at up to 30P in 4K or up to 120P in 2K/Full HD.

The EOS C300 Mark II offers support for a wide range of colour space options, including BT.2020, the Canon Cinema Gamut and DCI-P3. The camera is also the first Cinema EOS model to feature brand new Canon Log2 technology, which enables the 15-stops of dynamic range, significantly wider than previous Cinema EOS cameras. The camera offers new versatility for sound recording too, supporting 4-channel audio recording in 16 or 24 bit and 48 kHz.

Designed for versatility
The EOS C300 Mark II boasts the iconic Cinema EOS design DNA – a modular body that can be adapted to suit the needs of each shooter and filming situation, through the extensive range of compatible accessories. Internally, the EOS C300 Mark II also includes built-in electronically controlled glass ND (neutral density) filters, which reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor by up to 10 stops in expansion mode. Compatibility with the RC-V100 remote control and optional Wi-Fi control also enables ease of use in a wider range of locations.

The camera’s sensor read-out speed is now twice as fast as the original EOS C300, and further reduces rolling shutter distortion, allowing for crisp image capture in a moving environment, making it perfectly suited for capturing action sequences.

Leveraging Canon’s rich heritage in lens design, the EOS C300 Mark II is compatible with more than 90 current EF and EF Cinema lenses allowing operators to use their existing EF mount lenses. In addition, the EOS C300 Mark II comes equipped with Canon Cine servo zoom lens support, delivering one of the most comprehensive selections of lens possibilities for movie and broadcast production available in the market today. For further flexibility, shooters can opt to change the lens mount from the default EF Mount, to EF Mount with Cinema Lock, or to the industry standard PL mount, as a service option².

EOS C300 Mark II key benefits:

– High bitrate internal 4K recording with external RAW
– High dynamic range files, ideal for post production
– Seamlessly integrate with professional workflows
– Automatic features make independent shooting easy
– Shoot with confidence in low light with low noise

Pricing and availability
The EOS C300 MKII will be available from September 2015 with an RSP of £11,299 excluding VAT.

Want to know more? Call us on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, head to our NAB roundup postfollow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

How to calculate the real cost of Creative Cloud

How to calculate the real cost of Creative Cloud

Cnet did the maths when Creative Cloud was first released, and two years down the line we think this still holds true – the extra services, the increasingly short lifespan of devices and software versions and the massive amount of time you’ll save all make Creative Cloud a winner for bean counters and creatives alike. 

Free storage

If you (or any members of your team) move between sites a lot, Adobe Creative Cloud‘s 100GB of free, online storage per user is a bit of a godsend, allowing you to store ongoing work in the cloud rather than on physical drives that you have to lug around when you’re on the road/make sure you don’t leave on the train (we’ve all been there). It also allows you to share work automatically with other members of the team, so they can pick up new jobs or amends as soon as you request them, rather than having to wait for you to get back on site.

It includes the cost of font management software

A lot has been said about Adobe Creative Cloud giving you access to more apps (and therefore the chance to bring more work in house), but we’ve not seen much written about TypeKit. This font management solution used to set us back about £100 a year, but is now included free with Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can deduct the cost of a font management solution from your existing software spend.

The beauty of TypeKit – aside from the fact that it gives you access to a library of easily searchable, web-friendly fonts – is that it will sync fonts between your home and work machines (or multiple business machines) for more seamless multi-site working, and there are no plug-ins or servers to manage, so it’s not going to take up your IT team’s time, either.

Increased out of hours work…

We’re not saying that all companies are sinister and determined to trick their employees into doing oodles of unpaid overtime in order to hit unrealistic deadlines, but, well, most design agencies we know do have insane deadlines, and the only way to meet them is for a few brave souls to go above and beyond the call of duty.

The fact that users are able to access Creative Cloud apps, services and shared storage from multiple devices not only makes it more likely that they’ll be able to pick up jobs or approvals after hours, it actually makes that fact far less invasive – rather than being trapped in the office till sun up, you’re now able to review and edit projects on the go, or upload new versions to the team’s shared storage from wherever you happen to be.

…and the end of endless file transfers

Because Creative Cloud apps are designed to work seamlessly together, different departments in your agency can now share files more quickly and easily, without spending hours transferring, transcoding and worrying about version control, meaning less time watching the loading bar and more time doing billable work.

Oh, and if you ever take on 3D work, or would like to start doing so, there’s now a free copy of CINEMA 4D Lite included in After Effects, which has a two way dynamic link with Maxon’s leading 3D software, so changes made to a model in one programme show up instantly when you open it in the other.

You can bring more jobs in-house

Whether you want to take on new types of project, use new tools to refine pitches and win more business (just like our customer Pearlfisher did recently), or simply bring your freelancers in house so you can keep an eye on them, Creative Cloud allows you to bring cross-disciplinary work in-house and develop new skills without a risky upfront investment in new software (you’re getting the entire Adobe range for slightly more than the cost of Creative Suite Design Standard), so you can try new things without putting your cash at risk.

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud? Get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and articles, follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

G-Technology ship new drives ahead of NAB

G-Technology ship new drives ahead of NAB

G-Technology have started shipping their new, rugged, drop-proof, dust-proof, water-resitant and, we assume, flame retardant drives ahead of NAB, plas unpopulated G-DOCK units. 

We’ve already seen the G-DRIVE ev ATC units at BVE and IBC (they were accompanied by a tooth-crunching mix of delicious chocolate rocks and painfully real ones, which has really made them stick in our – and our dentist’s – minds). The new G-DRIVE ev Thunderbolt drives are something of a feat of engineering, being as they are shock, drop, pressure, dust and water resistant. Nothing in the official paperwork suggests you could throw them down a volcano and they’d live to tell the tale, but we reckon they stand a far better chance than most other drives on the market.

Pick up a 1TB G_Technology G-DRIVE ev ATC unit.

If your line of work is slightly less perilous but you’re still a bit of a dropper, you might be interested in their shock and drop proof G-DRIVE ev RaW, a USB 3.0 drive that comes in 1TB or 500GB sizes and can safely be dropped from a height of 1.5 metres. It comes with its own USB cable and three year warranty, so you can start falling over as soon as it arrives. And if you’re too impatient to wait, you can even order it now and collect from our Soho digs the same day.

All these products house the G-DRIVE ev RaW hard drives, which can be removed from their protective cases and docked in the G-DOCK. The G-DOCK is now shipping unpopulated too, so you can choose exactly the number and type of drives you’d like. And the new ev RaW and ATC cases mean you only have to purchase the cases once and then use them on whatever drive you have in the field, rather than paying extra for a rugged case every time.

If you need a bit of shared storage, there’s also a new addition to the G-RAID Removable range, which will give you USB 3.0 connectivity, plus legacy eSATA and FireWire800 connections. Or you can pre-order a G-RAID Removable with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, if that’s more your speed.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Sony release new FS7 firmware, announce new NAB plans and more

Sony release new FS7 firmware, announce new NAB plans and more

It’s been a busy few weeks for Sony, as they’ve been promoting the latest updates to XAVC, firmed up their NAB 2015 plans and released version 2.0 firmware for the FS7 and the XDCA-FS7. 

FS7 v2.0 firmware

Let’s start with the firmware. It’s pretty much as was promised at BVE, giving the PXW-FS7 support for 4K (4096×2160) XAVC Intra recording, Apple ProRes recording in combination with the XDCA-FS7 extension box, four channel audio input and recording, increased responsiveness and stability, and a new method for setting the white balance.

FS7 firmware v2.0 is available to download here

XDCA-FS7 firmware v2.0 is available to download here

4K and IP and NAB 2015

We’ve also had official confirmation of what Sony will be up to from 13th to 16th April in Las Vegas. Visitors to their stand (C11001 in the Main Hall) “will witness the stunning immersive quality of 4K and explore Sony’s ambitious plans across a range of applications, systems and services for 4K and beyond”, according to Sony’s official press release. They tell us:

“With 4K, enhanced visual experiences are available to a wider audience than ever before. Sony has already demonstrated its commitment to the standard through a number of broadcast landmarks, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, which was also streamed live to digital cinema screens for the first time ever in Ultra High Definition. The appetite for 4K among content creators and consumers is growing rapidly, and at NAB Sony will showcase how it will not only satisfy but also inspire this increasing global demand in 2015 and beyond.

“From lens to living room, Sony provides a full AV ecosystem. This journey will be illustrated at NAB to show how Sony’s dedication to broadcast and production goes beyond picture quality to provide fully integrated end-to-end workflow solutions, including cloud services (Ci), sports production services (HawkEye), IP solutions and Optical Disc Archive systems […] Sony is also set to show how 2015 will be a landmark year for Sony and IP. IP enables multiple video, audio, reference signals and control data to be transmitted between devices using a single network cable. This simplifies live production systems, reducing installation costs and dramatically improves in the efficiency of video transmission. Sony has made significant advances in IP over the last year, including the first 4K over IP broadcast in Europe from IBC as well as spearheading the growing IP Live Alliance.”

Olivier Bovis, Head of AV Media, Sony Europe, said, “NAB is always an important event for us, and this year we have some amazing things to share. Momentum is building around 4K and IP, and Sony is leading to get the most out of these ground-breaking technologies, as visitors will see for themselves. We’re really looking forward to meeting our customers, showing them what we are preparing and have to offer, and hearing their feedback. With the help of our partners, we’re determined to expand and deliver solutions that open up new and exciting opportunities across the media landscape in 2015.”

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

The basics of Jigsaw24 for audio

The basics of Jigsaw24 for audio
If you’ve been buying your Macs from us or picked up a drive or two, it may have escaped your notice that we have one of the most comprehensive professional audio offerings in the industry. Here’s our top audio specialist Rob Holsman with a quick rundown of what we can do…

“Whether you’re putting together a project recording studio, voiceover facility, classroom composition suite or a full-featured surround-sound Pro Tools mixing studio for film post-production, we have the products and technical expertise to get the job done. And if you’re a videographer, we can supply all the location recording kit you could need, including wireless systems, shotgun mics, portable recorders and booms.

We can supply all the industry’s leading brands for audio software, audio interfaces, studio hardware, stereo and surround monitor speaker packages, headphones, microphones. and much much more. We are main dealers for Avid Pro Tools, Steinberg, RME, MOTU, Universal Audio, Genelec, Focal, Sennheiser, Sony Professional, PMC, Focusrite, Neumann, RODE, Tascam… the list goes on and on, but you get the picture! And with our industry leading IT, we have the knowhow to get it all working and keep it that way.”

Some top resources…

If you want to know a bit more about us, why not have a browse of our blog, where we keep the latest audio announcements? Here are a few perennial favourites to get you started…

If you want to find out more about our audio post-production services, take a look at our post brochure here.

Want to stay on top of NAMM news? Here’s our 2015 roundup.

Not sure what plug-ins you need? Here are six we can’t live without.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Adobe to revolutionise PDF workflows with Document Cloud

Adobe to revolutionise PDF workflows with Document Cloud

On 7th April Adobe will be releasing two exciting new updates: Acrobat DC and Document Cloud. While it’s difficult to convince people you’re being sincere when you describe a PDF workflow as ‘exciting’, trust us: the list of new features is pretty much everything you’ve ever wanted Acrobat to do.

What’s the difference between Acrobat DC and Document Cloud?

Acrobat DC is the application that you install on your devices and use to carry out PDF wizardry (more on that in a moment). Document Cloud is a collection of extra online services which help you carry out that wizardry on the go, by making sharing between devices and storage volumes easier.

Do they come as a pair?

You bet they do. Both subscription customers and those with perpetual licences will be given access to Acrobat DC and Document Cloud, though subscription users get a handful of bonus features thrown in, too. The price of subscription has also been lowered (well, in dollars, anyway. We’re still waiting on an accurate conversion).

Why would I want Acrobat to involve itself with the cloud?

Strap yourselves in. With Acrobat DC you can create, manage, transact and publish documents from any PC, OS X, iOS or Android device using a single app with a single, simple user interface. No fuss, no muss, just your files where you need them, with the tools you’d expect from a full desktop version of Acrobat now at your fingertips on your phone. And because the same ridiculously simple interface is used on every device, there’s virtually no learning curve for newbies.

Not only can you edit documents on any device, but you can use the Mobile Sync feature to link your devices and ensure that you can see and edit documents saved to your Mac on your iPad, even if they’re not saved to the device itself. You can also access your iCloud and Creative Cloud storage directly from Acrobat DC, and it’ll integrate with solutions like SharePoint and Office 365, so you could potentially see every file you have access to on literally any device you own (unless it’s a Windows phone).

I bet they had to really strip Acrobat down to do that.

Au contraire, my hypothetical friend. Acrobat DC is packed with new features designed to make you a better and more productive being. You can edit, annotate, reorganise and export PDFs from any device, and even use the Enhance Scan tool to clean up scanned documents and add editable, labelled form fields to them.

Acrobat DC is now far better at identifying text, and will let you edit whole sections of text in a single text box, rather than making you adjust each paragraph in a separate one. If you need to add an item to a bulleted or numbered list, Acrobat DC will let you do that in-app, and it’ll even recognise and apply indents without you ever opening the app the document was created in.

It generates bullet points automatically?

Yes. It literally feels like you’re in the app that the document was created in, except rather than cursing PowerPoint in the office, you’re on the train or in a waiting room or eating a croissant somewhere. (Like many creative apps, Acrobat DC is best enjoyed with a croissant.)

I’ve been waiting for this update my entire professional life.

We know, us too! So exciting. Also exciting: the new interface includes a customisable tool panel, so you can have all your frequently-used tools to hand. And if you can’t see a tool you need in Adobe’s master list, you can use the Create Custom Tool function to build one. And if you know the name of a process but not the tool that you need to do it, just search for the process name and Adobe will show you all the related tools.

Wait – if everyone has these tools, what’s to stop them editing documents I send them? 

There’s a Restrict Editing tick box at the bottom of the tool pane. Click it, and no one you send the doc to will have editing privileges. You can also do all the usual Acrobat tricks, like turning off the ability to copy and paste from files, auto-deleting sensitive information, pre-populating certain form fields and sanitising documents.

Oh, and there’s a Sent Items view that neatly sums up who you’ve sent each document to and what permissions they have, so you always know who’s got what.

And all this has resulted in a price drop?

Yes. $14.99 a month for a perpetual licence, $12.99 a month for a subscription one. More on the UK prices when we have them.

When will you have them?

Well it’s out on 7th April, so probably before then…

For more information, call 03332 409 306 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

Mac tip of the month: How to use Boot Camp

Mac tip of the month: How to use Boot Camp

Boot Camp is a feature built into Mac OS X that allows you to load Mac OS X and Windows onto your Mac, and choose which operating system you’d like to use at startup. If you choose OS X, you get your normal Mac desktop, but if you choose Windows you’ll get a Windows desktop, and the ability to run PC-only apps right on your Mac. 

While it’s not as efficient as third party desktop virtualisation solutions that’ll let you run both platforms at the same time, it is a cheap way to get access to both platforms, and is great if you need to run the occasional bit of PC-only software or have employee portals that will only work in Internet Explorer. In fact, according to Soluto, the best computer to run Windows is actually a MacBook Pro!

You will need…

– A Mac running OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or later.

– An administrator account in OS X to configure Boot Camp Assistant.

– Internet access.

– USB keyboard and mouse, or a built-in keyboard and trackpad.

– 8 GB USB storage device, or external drive formatted as MS-DOS (FAT) to install the downloaded drivers.

– Recommended minimum of 2 GB of RAM, 20 GB of free space on the disk that you are installing Windows on for the first time, or 40 GB if you are upgrading from a previous Windows version (you can check this by clicking on the Apple icon in the corner of your screen, clicking ‘About this Mac’, then ‘System Report’ and selecting ‘Storage’ in the left hand column).

– Authentic Microsoft Windows full install disk. Some Macs will also let you install Windows using an ISO file containing an image of Windows 7 or higher. To do this, you’ll need to download the ISO file from Microsoft support and save it to your MS-DOS formatted drive.

Before you begin…

BACK UP YOUR FILES. We cannot stress this enough. We’ve even explained how to use Time Machine here. Download any software updates your Mac needs (you can see these in the ‘Updates’ section of the App Store, or by going to the Apple menu and clicking on ‘Software Update’) and, if you’re using a laptop, make sure it’s plugged in and connected to your MS-DOS formatted storage.

Setting up Boot Camp

In the Finder window, click Utilities and select Boot Camp Assistant. Agree to install the latest Windows support from Apple, then select the option to install Windows (plus any other options you need) and click Continue.

At this point you’ll be given a list of options. If ‘Create a Windows 7 or later install disk’ is visible, then you can install Windows using an external hard drive with an ISO image on. If not, you will need a Windows install disk.

Follow the onscreen instructions for your option until you’re asked to create a Windows partition, at which point you have to specify the partition size. Microsoft suggest 40GB or more.

Insert your install disk if you are using one, or keep the drive with your ISO file on attached. Click install. Boot Camp Assistant will create the partition, restart your Mac and open the Windows installer.

When the installer appears, follow the onscreen instructions. If you’re installing Windows 7, you’ll be asked if this is a custom or upgrade installation. Choose custom.

When you’re asked where you’d like to install Windows, select the partition called BOOTCAMP. Selecting any other partition could delete the contents of your Mac. Click Format, then OK, then Next. The installer will then format the Windows partition for you, and you simply have to follow the onscreen instruction to finish your installation of Windows. Your Mac will then automatically restart using Windows, and prompt you to install any support software you need to make sure your Mac and Windows are as compatible as possible.

I just want to use Microsoft Office. Do I need Boot Camp?

A Mac-compatible version of Office, imaginatively titled Office for Mac, is available and includes all the apps you need to work along with PC-loving colleagues. Documents you create using Office for Mac are saved in the same format as the PC version, and will open on any PC or Mac with Office or Office for Mac installed.

However, Apple have their own equivalent apps: Pages (Word), Numbers (Excel) and Keynote (PowerPoint). These are available from the App Store for £14.99 each, and will open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files respectively. While you can’t open Pages, Numbers or Keynote documents in Office or Office for Mac, you can export these documents in Office-compatible formats using your Mac – Apple’s instructions are here.

 Need to know more about Mac? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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How to get the most from your Blackmagic Design URSA

How to get the most from your Blackmagic Design URSA

Blackmagic’s behemoth is a fantastic collaborative camera that gives the illusion that you’re working with £20,000 kit despite costing £3186 ex VAT. But if you really want to get the most out of it, there are a few things you need to know. Our camera specialist James Graham offers these top tips…

Know how you’re going to use it

“It’s not news that this is a pretty heavy camera, and it’s in no way a run and gun model – even if the test footage below shows that it’s a lot easier to manoeuvre than you might think, it’s still a big setup camera that suits itself to multiple operators, three of whom can even have their own high res LCD display.

The Bear in NZ Winter” – Beta URSA Footage from A Couple Of Night Owls on Vimeo.

As you can also see from the video, which was made using an unreleased beta version of the camera, the footage looks fantastic and has only improved in the final model. You are getting great image quality and a lot of flexibility for a pretty remarkable price, which actually makes the URSA a good shout for universities who want to get groups of students round a camera, shooting professional quality footage. It’s also a good reserve camera for anyone who frequently find themselves having to rent out high-end kit but wants to have something slightly more affordable to hand in case of emergency.”

Remember that an URSA is for life, not just for Christmas

As RedShark pointed out in their review, part of the reason that the URSA is built like a brick house it that it’s protecting a huge amount of “internal processing grunt” is that it arrives ready to accommodate a long future of upgrades and developments. If you’re not content with shooting ProRes and 4K RAW at 80fps, all you have to do is wait for a firmware upgrade – the camera will survive anything you can throw at it in the meantime. And the removable sensor block means that when better chip technology comes along, it’s literally a case of swapping out your existing chip and carrying on, because the rest of your camera will still be solid as a rock.”

Embrace the top audio quality

“The URSA comes with two XLR inputs with switchable phantom power and mic preamps. Really very good preamps. If you need convincing, listen to this hands-on review by the videographers at Faymus Media, which uses in-camera voice recording and somehow manages to capture audible dialogue in the middle of New York.”

Don’t lose the allen key

“Literally everything you want to add to or take off your URSA needs this key. Tape it to your body. Mould duplicates. Wear it on a chain. But do not – do not – put it down and then forget where you left it. Blackmagic won’t be happy with you.”

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

BVE 2015: G-Technology announce new G-RAID solutions

BVE 2015: G-Technology announce new G-RAID solutions

G-Technology, a leader in delivering premium storage solutions for the creative professional market, will display products from its new Rugged Series and Studio Line, at BVE, the UK’s essential broadcast and production technology event.

The new drives will be on show in hall N18, stand M12. As the press release explains, we’re getting a new G-RAID with Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 and New G-RAID with USB 3.0 only:

“The new G-RAID solutions are high-performance, RAID 0/1 storage solutions designed for the most demanding creative projects. Featuring an internal RAID controller, solid all-aluminum enclosure, and quiet cooling fan technology, both solutions come with two removable, 7,200RPM enterprise-class hard drives for improved reliability. With transfer rates up to 440MB/s, the G-RAID with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 easily supports multi-stream HD, 2K and compressed 4K video workflows.

“Manufacture suggested retail pricing (MSRP) is $1,299.95 for 16TB, $999.95 for 12TB and $799.95 for 8TB. Delivering up to 400MB/s, the G-RAID with USB 3.0 is $1,199.95 for 16TB, $799.95 for 12TB and $599.95 for 8TB. Both products will be available in March.

There’s also a new family of ruggedised drives (formally announced at CES 2015), which “includes the new G-DRIVE ev ATC with Thunderbolt, the G-DRIVE ev ATC with USB 3.0, and the G-DRIVE ev RaW. Designed to stand up to daily wear-and-tear as well as more serious conditions out in the field, with features like watertight drive compartments and drop-resistance, the new drives help keep content safe in virtually any environment.”

G-Technology are at BVE in hall M18, stand M12. Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest BVE news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook or keep an eye on our roundup post.