Jigsaw24 recommends: iPad kiosks

Jigsaw24 recommends: iPad kiosks

If you want to set up iPad kiosks in-store there are a number of factors to consider, including physical security, how you’ll charge them and whether you’ll need to sync them remotely. Here are some ideas… 

So you know you want a snazzy interactive kiosk where your customers can find out more about products, staff can present rich content and – gasp – contactless payments may even take place. What you don’t know is how to stop customers running off with your devices and how to make sure they’re always fully charged. Never fear – our retail team have found three ace kiosk-makers with solutions that will sort all of this for you. Here’s the rundown…

Maclocks

There are two solutions we really like from Maclocks – the Space Desk Enclosure and the BrandMe Floorstand (both compatible with iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad Air).

The Space Desk Enclosure is a padded aluminium enclosure that stops anyone tampering with your iPad’s home, volume and lock buttons, but still allows data, radio and WiFi signals to filter through, so you can enjoy full access to whichever app you lock the iPad into. (If you don’t know how to lock an iPad with Guided Access, read this.)

If you fancy keeping your iPad on a tabletop, the Space Desk Enclosure can accommodate a cable lock to hold it down, or you can mount the whole thing flush against your showroom wall (you won’t be able to rotate iPad once it’s mounted, though, so pay careful attention to whether your app works best in portrait or landscape mode).

If you want a freestanding kiosk, the BrandMe Floorstand is, as its name suggests, brandable, with dedicated space on the column for your logo. As well as being able to show iPad in portrait and landscape mode, it allows you to hide the charging cable in the base of the stand, so you can charge your iPad discreetly and securely at any time.

Your iPad can attach to the BrandMe stand using a Space enclosure or an ‘Executive Enclosure’ made of tamperproof aluminium screws, which has the advantage of being chic and incredibly thief-resistant.

Bouncepad

If Maclocks’ offering isn’t doing it for you, try Bouncepad. They have a slightly swooshier design (that’s a technical term) and their tabletop option, Bouncepad Desk, has a short ‘stalk’, so that you can display your iPad devices at a conveniently tiled viewing angle without taking up too much space or giving customers the chance to yank the screen around too much.

Bouncepad Desk is available in black or white as standard, though you can add a custom finish if you want a more branded feel, and can be mounted from above or below a surface depend on said surface’s depth. You can also choose from a variety of faceplates that cover different combinations of buttons, depending on how much you want customers to be able to do.

There are a range of extras available that allow you to rotate, tilt and even add headphones to the stand, so that you can customise each Bouncepad Desk to the activity you want it locked to.

In terms of uprights, we like the Bouncepad Floorstanding. Nice and simple and the perfect height at 114cm, its weighted base and lack of complicated setup mean that it’s an ideal solution for exhibitions, event spaces and other temporary displays. (Don’t worry, you can secure it to the floor so that no-one runs off with it.)

A charger cable can be concealed in the base, so you’re able to enjoy continuous power, and the stand will work with the same tilt and rotate add-ons that you can get for the Desk, if you still want that functionality.

Griffin

Look, we’re just really big fans of Griffin gear, OK? And their Kiosk Desktop range is as sturdy as their mobile one, offering you a sleek, stable enclosure that you can mount on any flat surface without having to look at any unsightly mounting screws.

The Kiosk Desktop gives you a shock resistant iPad enclosure and high-strength steel arm, which can also house the cabling and power supply for your iPad. The Kiosk Desktop comes with three faceplates, so you can choose whether to allow customers access to the iPad home button, camera or neither. And as all the faceplates are part of your initial purchase rather than extras, you can swap out plates if you want to repurpose the iPad in a location where users are given more freedom.

There’s also a 119cm Kiosk Floor available, for anyone who wants a freestanding iPad solution. Both can run the Kiosk App (£2.99 from the App Store) that you can use to manage and sync multiple devices, set home pages and iPad behaviour while idle, and even make sure staff are alerted if a device is damaged, unplugged or otherwise brought low by a heavy-handed customer. So useful!

The only downside is that the Kiosk range currently only supports iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3, but hopefully and iPad Air-friendly version is in the offing.

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

NewTek NDI: What’s on the way?

NewTek NDI: What’s on the way?

NewTek’s NDI standard for video over IP was one of the big talking points at this year’s NAB Show, with NewTek releasing their own apps and tools alongside some corkers from third party vendors. In case you missed the kerfuffle (we can’t all get to Vegas on expenses, after all) here’s what we know about the key releases.

NewTek’s own apps

NewTek have obviously been hard at work on making their hardware range IP-compatible, and models running the latest firmware should cheerfully support the NDI protocol (give us a call if you’re not sure whether yours qualifies). They’ve also put together an SDK so that third parties can start producing plug-ins and apps. But they’ve also chosen to lead by example and put out a couple of apps of their own.

NewTek Telestrator is NewTek’s own moving image annotation app (and not, as the marketing team thought for one beautiful moment, anything to do with Fender guitars), allowing you to annotate stills and video to your heart’s content. Perfect for post-match analysis, training, and that bit of Strictly that they currently make Zoë Ball do on an interactive whiteboard.

NewTek Transit is an app that allows you to replace the customer-grade pictures you get from the likes of Skype, Google Hangout and various video conferencing apps with a crisp, professional quality NDI signal. If you have a compatible streaming encoder (or other third party production software with a webcam option), Transit will make any NDI video connection on your network appear as a ready-to-use webcam input, regardless of whether it actually is a webcam.

Third party apps

The first big third party announcement to roll out was that Sienna, whose production software pedigree is as long as it is impressive, had used NewTek’s SDK to produce NDI Source and a series of related apps for Mac users. This cunning suite of applications allows you to use NDI, which is a PC-based standard, on Apple computers and devices, and also brings key hardware from Blackmagic Design and AJA into the NDI fold. Once your device is running the correct version of NDI Source, you can connect SDI and HDMI sources to your AJA or BMD video interface and convert them to an NDI IP feed.

Adobe have also been quick to get in on the act, releasing their NDI for Adobe Creative Cloud app (or NDIFACC, as we choose to call it) over the course of NAB. This plug-in is available on a subscription basis from the NewTek store, and will allow you to display full res Premiere Pro and After Effects files on any screen connected to your video IP network.

“NDI for Adobe Creative Cloud transforms the workflows for Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC users by making creative elements visible on virtually any screen or any output on their local area network in full resolution,” said Michael Kornet, Executive Vice President of Business Development for NewTek, when the app was first announced. “The creative efficiencies plus time and cost savings to be gained is tremendous and represents a breakthrough across the board in all traditional pre-, live-, and post-production workflows. We are so excited to see how Adobe Creative Cloud customers will utilise the NDI integration to achieve things in ways that until now were unimaginable.”

Storage

GB Labs became the first company to announce NDI-friendly hardware (although a slew of IP-enabled hardware is in the pipeline, ranging from cameras to convertors). Their Space storage range integrates seamlessly with NewTek NDI solutions, and just so happens to be the world’s fastest NAS, capable of pulling data from multiple sources at 9000MBps. So really well worth a look even if you couldn’t give two hoots about NDI (our professional opinion is that you should give several hoots about NDI, for the record).

Want to try these out?

We’ve got a full TriCaster 8000 IP demo system, complete with NewTek’s core apps, ready and raring to go. We even have our very own NewTek Certified Trainer to talk you through it. If you’d like to book a demo or take the unit for a test drive, just get in touch on the details below.

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.

Jigsaw24 ask the experts: Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch

Jigsaw24 ask the experts: Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch

In this edition of our not-at-all-regular feature, we ask award-winning boudoir and burlesque photographer (and proud Wacom user) Tigz Rice nine niggling questions about the Wacom Cintiq 27QHD, and finally learn why this model comes with a remote. 

Over the course of six highly educational minutes, Tigz gets down to the brass tacks of Wacom Cintiq 27QHD ownership, explaining why she’s pro new features like the edge to edge display, ExpressKeys being on a remote (one of our lot was baffled by this, but it does actually make sense), and the motivational benefits of opting for the touch-enabled version.

Want to know more about the Wacom range? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email wacom@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 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.

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.

Canon unveil 5 new cameras, including 760D and 750D

Canon unveil 5 new cameras, including 760D and 750D

Canon are clearly in a generous mood today, choosing to reveal not one, not six, but five new cameras to the giddy public. The EOS 760D, 750D, 5DS, 5DS R and M3 will be available in the spring, but you can get all the key specs here, now…

EOS 5DS and 5DS R

The leading lights here are this pair of ultra high resolution full frame DSLRs with dual DIGIC 6 processors, due to grace our warehouse in June 2015. Offering you a frankly ridiculous 50.6MP to play with, these are going to be released alongside the new EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens, “the world’s widest angle rectilinear zoom lens” and “the perfect companion for landscape and architecture photographers”, so I guess we know who these are aimed at.

Anyway, the 5DS and 5DS R combine that 50.6MP CMOS sensor with ISO 100-6400 sensitivity, expandable to 50-12,800. That massive resolution also allows three new in-camera cropping modes: 1.3x, 1.6x and 1:1. These are visible through the viewfinder and promise fairly spectacular results – an image you crop at 1:6x is still going to be over 19MP.

Those dual DIGIC 6 processors are designed to handle the huge amount of information coming from the sensor, reducing image noise and allowing you to shoot at up to five frames per second. The cameras also boast a 61-point autofocus system with 41 cross-type points, EOS Intelligent Tracking for tackling moving subjects and iTR facial recognition autofocus. Canon have also included their Mirror Vibration Control System, which uses cams to drive the cameras’ mirrors up and down in a more controlled fashion, avoiding sudden stops and gently softening your shutter sound. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, they also have flicker detection to ensure continuous exposure under artificial lights.

Further innovations prompted by that truly massive sensor include a new Fine Detail Picture style, which maximises the level of detail you can achieve and enables sharpness adjustments without any need for editing software.

The EOS 5DS body only camera will set you back £2999.99 come June, while an EOS 5DS R will be £3199.99 ex VAT and an EF 12-44mm f/4L USM will cost you a neat 2799.99 ex VAT and will be available from March.

Canon 760D and 750D

These beauties come with a 24.2 megapixel sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 6 image processor. If you’re the sort who’s often shooting in less than ideal conditions, you’ll be pleased to hear that they have an ISO range of 100-12,800 and the same flicker detection technology as the EOS 7D MkII, so your images will have consistent exposure, even under artificial light. You’re also supported by a 19-point autofocus system. Once you’ve taken your perfectly exposed, expertly focused photo, you can share it via WiFi or NFC directly from the camera.

Video-wise, the 750D and 760D are both compatible with STM lenses, can both shoot Full HD in mp4 format, and support Hybrid CMOS AF III autofocus so that you can track and swap focus while shooting video. However, the 760D has additional ‘creative movie modes’ which make it easier to achieve tilt-shift and HDR looks, among others.

The new EOS models are designed to be more ergonomic and easy to control (you have full manual control of the camera), with a rear control dial, top LCD panel and an intelligent viewfinder where you can review your settings and images.

The 760D will be with us in April, and will be available as a body-only camera costing £649.99 ex VAT. The 750D should appear at the same time, in both a £599.99 ex VAT body-only form and as a £689.99 bundle with a EF-S 18-55mm IS STM lens. Some other lenses will be eligible for cashback deals when purchased with either camera, but we’re yet to hear exactly which ones.

EOS M3

If you feel like the 5DS and 760D are slightly out of your league, there’s always the EOS M3, which Canon say offers “the power of EOS, only smaller.” Aimed mainly at consumers but potentially just sneaking into usefulness for some of you, it offers you the chance to get to grips with Canon’s first 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, combined with a DIGIC 6 processor.

It has ISO 100-12800 sensitivity and a 49-point autofocus system based on the same Hybrid CMOS technology as the 760D’s, so you’ll be able to focus up to 6.1 times faster than some poor schmoe using an original EOS M. It comes with a 7.5cm/3″ viewfinder than can be tilted to anywhere between 45 and 180 degrees, a hot shoe for camera-mounted lights or tilt-type viewfinders.

The M3 can record Full HD video to mp4 at 24p, 25p, and 30p frame rates, all with support for continuous autofocus. There’s even a Touch AF feature that allows you to tap focus points on the touchscreen LCD display and then use them to shoot focus pulls. Once you’ve mastered the fine art of the M3 focus pull, you can share the results using on-board WiFi and NFC to share images or back them up to Canon’s cloud storage service.

The M3 will be joining us in March and cost £599.99.

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.

AVID | ISIS qualified for NewTek TriCaster and 3Play

AVID | ISIS qualified for NewTek TriCaster and 3Play

Avid’s ISIS | 5500 is the leading collaborative storage for a wide range of post-production and broadcast workflows, and is now qualified for live production with TriCaster and 3Play 4800. Using ISIS | 5500 as the recording drive for live sessions enables media to be immediately available to a variety of devices simultaneously including editors, transcoders and playout.

TriCaster 8000

Now, as an Avid Elite Partner for storage and a NewTek partner with one of the UK’s few certified trainers on staff, we’re obligated to get incredibly excited by news from either of these two, but according to Avid’s official press statement (and the aforementioned TriCaster trainer), this is legitimately awesome for anyone looking to record large-scale live broadcasts. Here are the official details of the test:

Avid ISIS | 5500 was tested with single and mirrored TriCaster 8000s. The mirrored configuration opens up a number of new workflows providing higher scale and redundancy for multi-screen productions. ISIS | 5500 enables the mirrored TriCasters to playback the same streams simultaneously. 3Play 4800 is NewTek’s leading integrated sports production solution, adding ISIS collaborative storage enables more creative workflows to deliver a more compelling experience for broadcasters, pro leagues and venues.

The combination of ISIS | 5500 and the NewTek portfolio allows up to eight streams to be recorded and simultaneously, play two streams and receive two channels of graphics simultaneously, with the added benefit of being able to instantaneously share and monetise your content. Gigabit Ethernet provides high speed, reliable connectivity between NewTek and ISIS. Qualified products include ISIS | 5500 and ISIS | 7500 and the NewTek TriCaster 8000, 860, 460, 410. Simply install the ISIS client on NewTek TriCaster Pro or 3Play and configure it to login and mount the required ISIS workspaces.

ISIS | 5500 is the leading collaborative media storage choice for facilities and workgroups. ISIS | 5500 scales in increments of 16, 32 or 64TB of capacity and delivers multiple GBs per second of throughput. The ISIS File System includes a number of patented mechanisms to provide predictable, reliable performance to multiple simultaneous connections. Predictable multi-stream performance as delivered by ISIS | 5500 is especially important in these live-to-air and fast turnaround workflows.

Avid ISIS | 5500 is now qualified through the NewTek Developer Network. Avid ISIS | 5500 and NewTek TriCaster and 3Play are available now.

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.

Avid qualify new HP Z840 workstations

Avid qualify new HP Z840 workstations

We realise this blog can get a bit Mac-heavy, so here’s some good news for PC users: Avid have qualified (and released configuration guidelines for) HP’s latest generation of Dual 8, 10 and 12-Core Z840 workstations.  

“The new HP Z840s use the latest in component architecture, including the new Xeon v3 and DDR4 memory,” explained our specialist Joshua Mace when we asked why this was exciting.

“These upgraded parts allow users to take advantage of higher frequency memory – up to 2133 MHz at the moment – and can support up 512 GB of memory for the absolute ultimate workstation. The new Xeon v3 processors can go all the way up to 36 processing cores using two 18-Core processors. The Z840 is also available with up to 512GB storage if you use the HP Z Turbo Drive (an ultra fast PCIe SSD based on Samsung’s M.2 technology), leaving space for four 3.5 drives.”

“We’ve already had interest in the 840 systems from some of the major facilities in the UK, for both editing and VFX work. The upgrades from previous Z-Series systems are significant and are going to really boost your capabilities for high resolution work in both your edit and compositing pipelines,” said our Avid specialist Jamie Allan.

“It’s great that Avid have qualified the 840 so quickly after release. We’re certain the smaller 440 will be hot on its heals in the new year so we can look at having a fully upgraded range of PC editing systems. Of course if you want to have a look at the new systems before investing and see how it will affect your workflows, get in touch to book a demo in our Soho facility.’

Media Composer 7, Media Composer 8 and NewsCutter 11 have all been qualified for machines running Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1, as are the Nitris DX, Mojo DX and ISIS storage units. You can see Avid’s full config guide here.

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

Jigsaw24 review: Canon C100 MkII

Jigsaw24 review: Canon C100 MkII

Canon were kind enough to bring a C100 MkII into our office last week, and as well as getting all the key specs, our camera specialist James Graham got to put his sticky fingerprints all over it. Here’s what he learned…

Is it a C100 disguised as a C300?

Kind of. The body is slightly larger now, giving the MkII a distinctly C300-ish silhouette, but the overall form factor, ergonomics and handling still feel very much like the C100 we all know and faun over.

And the reason behind that extra width? Canon have changed the MkI’s fixed rear display into a folding, rotating, side-mounted OLED screen, so you can see it far more easily when you’re shooting, and made the view finder far more mobile and comfortable. Essentially, your dominant eye gets to enjoy the luxurious comfort of a C300, while the rest of you operates a C100 in exactly the same way you would the C100 MkI.

It’s still not 4K

As we’ve said before, this is a camera that prioritises image quality over image size. While equipping yourself with a 4K-ready camera does help future-proof your workflow, at the C100’s price point that usually means compromising on image quality. If you’re not working with 4K regularly – and most of the people we talk to aren’t – then seriously consider whether you wouldn’t be better off going with the C100 MkII and getting the best possible image you can while you’re still working in lower resolutions.

And just to be clear – the C100 MkII is going to offer you a visibly better image than its predecessor. While Canon have kept the same sensor, they’ve kitted the C100 MkII out with a brand new DIGIC DV4 processor, which is much cleverer than the C100’s. Pluses we’ve been promised include reduced noise, reduced moire, improved low light performance (the MkII has a max ISO of 102400) and the same debater system as you get with the C500, all of which we are strongly in favour of.

What are the new features?

Dual pixel autofocus. A bit of a lifesaver in run and gun situations, DAF is included as standard on the C100 MkII. It’s faster than your normal focus as it’s not contrast based, but limited to targets within the central 25% of your frame.

Face detection autofocus (selected STM lenses only) Not quite as quick as DAF, but this will identify faces anywhere in your frame and make sure they’re in focus. You can even choose whether it tracks a given face to keep it in focus, or stays focused on a fixed point if the face you’re filming moves or leaves the frame.

AVCHD and MP4 simultaneous recording. Stick two memory cards into your C100 MkII and you can record 28Mbps AVCHD to one and 35Mbps MP4 to the other. Yes please.

Remote control via WiFi (and built-in FTP). Can’t loiter by your camera? You can now control it remotely from any device with a web browser, thanks to Canon’s new remote control interface (there’s also a physical remote, the RC-V100, that will do the same job). One neat feature here is that you can create different user profiles within the control interface, so one operator can have control over every aspect of the C100, while another can be limited to dealing with certain features. There is a slight lag, but it’s well under a second. And once you’ve remotely recorded everything, you can send it back to base using the built-in FTP support.

Clean HDMI out with support for Canon LUT. Whoop.

What comes in the box?

One of three things: a body-only C100 MkII, a C100 MkII with a 18-135mm lens kit that supports DAF and face recognition, or a C100 MkII with a 24 – 105mm lens that supports DAF but wouldn’t know a face if it was pointed right at one. If you want to choose your own glass, the MkII will happily work with EF, EF-S and Cine Prime lenses, but only STM ones can currently support its face recognition system.

What’s the verdict?

Hell yes. Says James, “If you didn’t like the C100, this won’t change your mind – the changes are mostly ergonomic and practical – for example the viewfinder is now something you’d actually want to use, you have more assignable keys and the controls on the side of the camera are raised so they’re easier to find when you’re using the viewfinder. However, if you are looking at buying or updating a C100, definitely choose this model and get that new processor and DAF.

“As well as the flashy stuff there have been some really thoughtful tweaks – I like that you can now change the display to black and white when adjusting focus magnification, so it’s both easier to focus and any idiot can tell you’re not shooting. Everything we loved about the C100 is still there, it’s just better now.”

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