We were proud sponsors at the Production & Post Forum

We were proud sponsors at the Production & Post Forum

If you were at BAFTA on Wednesday night, you might have spotted our Soho team cheering along – and you’ll have almost certainly seen our extremely subtle and not at all aggressive promotion of our new Soho office… 

Powered by Broadcast magazine, the Production & Post Forum brought together some of the industry’s leading lights to talk workflow, delivery standards, funding, career progression and how to make your footage look as cool as Peaky Blinders, among other things.

As well as plastering the place with our logo, bags, and drinks tickets (we like attention) we also sent along our M&E team to see what they made of things. Here’s what they had to report…

Kim Beard, Post-production Product Specialist

“Hugo Blick was worth getting into central London by 9am for, which is the best review you can give anyone. A lot of his talk focused on The Honourable Woman as it was his latest, and it was interesting to see the UK and US trailers side by side – they looked like they were for completely different genres. It was interesting to hear how he balanced having many masters – most of his productions run at a deficit and rely on international sales to make money, so he ends up answering to a lot of people – but still manages to have his own vision of each project.”

Lauren Irwin, M&E Marketing Manager

“Stephen Lambert spilling Gogglebox’s secrets was probably my favourite bit. I’ve never actually seen Gogglebox before the clips they showed us in the forum (which were hilarious – everyone was laughing). I guess I was quite pretentious about it and thought, “why would I watch someone watching television?” but it was really interesting to see the relationships and the fact that they hadn’t auditioned people, they’d found them by hanging around places and looking for the sort of people they wanted on the show. This seemed to be a running theme, too – Dan Adamson from Firecracker Films had gone with the same angle for their new show Quiz Night,  which films pub quizzes around the UK. It was just really great to hear that they’re creating more compelling television that their audiences can relate to.

“Seeing Richard Merrik set up a radio mic in three seconds was good too – a fast way to point out that it pays to get the professionals in because it is actually really hard to do (I know, I’ve had to muck around doing it at Uni and it is a nightmare with different clothing material).

“Gabriel Tate was a really compelling chair on the conversation with Hugo Blick and asked really engaging questions.”

What was your Forum highlight? Let us know @WeAreJigsaw24 or on our Facebook page. For more information about any of the tech you saw, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com 

 

Wacom, Adobe and Autodesk team up to offer brilliant freebies with Intuos tablets

Wacom, Adobe and Autodesk team up to offer brilliant freebies with Intuos tablets

Not content with offering us brilliant bonuses when we buy Cintiqs, Wacom have launched a new ‘Boost Your Ideas’ promo that gives anyone buying an Intuos, Intuos Pro, Intuos Creative Stylus 2 or Bamboo Stylus Fineline the chance to bag some amazing extras.

Pick up an Intuos tablet, Creative Stylus 2 or Bamboo Stylus Fineline between 1st November 2014 and 28th February 2015, and Wacom will give you until the 31st August 2015 to claim the following freebies:

Intuos Pro customers can get a three month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud, a 90 day Autodesk SketchBook Pro subscription and a £40 Whitewall gift voucher.

Standard Intuos tablet customers can enjoy a 90 day Autodesk SketchBook Pro subscription or a £20 Whitewall voucher.

Intuos Creative Stylus 2 customers can get a 90 day Autodesk SketchBook Pro subscription and a Bamboo Paper software bonus pack for their stylus. (This will require your credit card details and will be extended by 12 months unless you cancel at the end of the three month trial.)

Bamboo Stylus Fineline buyers can get the Bamboo Paper software bonus pack for free.

Couple of warnings: your Autodesk subscription will require your credit card details and will be renewed for a year if you don’t cancel at the end of the 90 day trial, and the Whitewall vouchers require a minimum spend, so maybe don’t opt for them if you’re not a regular user of the service.

How do I claim?

1. First, buy one of the above before 28th February 2015.

2. Go to www.wacom.eu/register and register your new device before 31st March 2015. You’ll then get a registration email from Wacom that contains details of the offers you’re eligible for.

3. You’ll have until 31st August 2015 to click the links and reclaim your free gifts (nope, you don;t have to choose between them – you can have as many as you’re eligible for). You can see the full instructions here.

Want to know more about Wacom? Here’s our helpful webpage. For more information, contact the team on 03332 409 306 or at sales@Jigsaw24.com. For more news and deals, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

 

Adobe Creative Cloud users given the all clear to move to OS X Yosemite

Adobe Creative Cloud users given the all clear to move to OS X Yosemite

Our reaction to a new version of OS X is always excitement – Dark Mode! Look at Spotlight! – mixed with the nagging worry that our software might not support it. Do we dare download yet? How long should we wait?  Thankfully, Adobe have given Creative Cloud users the all clear to move to the newly released OS X 10.10 Yosemite. 

In their official statement, Adobe say: “Adobe and Apple have worked closely together to test Adobe Creative Cloud applications for reliability, performance and user experience when installed on Intel based systems running OS X Yosemite (v10.10). The latest versions of all Adobe CC products are compatible. In addition to the current Photoshop CC release (2014.2), the Photoshop team has also tested Photoshop CC (14.2.1) and CS6 (13.0.6; 13.1.2) for compatibility.”

This means you can be confident that moving to Yosemite won’t affect the performance of your Creative Cloud apps, or stop you being able to access any of your files or tools. However, if you do encounter a bug the testers didn’t spot, you can report it to Adobe here.

Frequently asked questions

Do any of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications require updates to be compatible with OS X Yosemite?

No.

Are Adobe aware of any issues, bugs, or odd user experiences when using CC or Adobe Acrobat products with OS X Yosemite?

Apple has improved security by introducing their new ‘V2 code signing’ (this is a way to guarantee that the application came from the developer and has not been altered, infected with a virus or damaged in any way). While Adobe is signing future updates with V2, some applications that are signed with the older V1 code signing may issue a warning: “<Adobe Application> can’t be opened because the identity of the developer cannot be confirmed.”

When using OS X 10.10 with Safari 8, PDFs do not open using the Adobe Acrobat or Reader PDF browser plug-in. When opening a PDF in a browser, Safari’s Preview is the default PDF viewer. You must explicitly set the Adobe plug-in as the default PDF viewer.

In our testing we have found no other significant issues with running Creative Cloud products with OS X Yosemite.

How do I install any future updates for compatibility?

If updates for OS X Yosemite compatibility with Creative Cloud products are required in the future, you will be notified of any updates with the Creative Cloud Desktop App or through the desktop application itself.

I use a number of plug-ins with my current version of Creative Cloud applications. Are these plug-ins compatible with running OS X Yosemite?

Customers are encouraged to check plug-in compatibility by contacting the plug-in vendor before upgrading to OS X Yosemite. For third-party products, contact the manufacturer for guidance.

Do Adobe offer technical support for their products running on OS X Yosemite?

Adobe offer support to customers running OS X Yosemite in accordance with our standard customer support policies.

I am a volume licensing customer. How do I get updates for my Creative Cloud products?

Adobe recommends following your company’s internal guidelines to manage updates. You may want to contact the IT person who manages your Adobe licences for information about your corporate policies on updating software. For volume licensing customers, IT admins should visit Creative Cloud Packager to learn how to package updates for silent deployment of CC and CS6.

Are the trial versions of individual products compatible with OS X Yosemite?

Yes. If a full version of a product is compatible with OS X Yosemite, then the trial version of that product is compatible as well.  Any known issues described in this document also apply to the trial versions.

You can read these FAQs in full over at Adobe’s website.

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

Ladies and gentlemen, the Canon C100 MkII

Ladies and gentlemen, the Canon C100 MkII

Regular readers will have noticed that we like to be attached to a Canon C100 for about 30% of each working day (ideally one that is, in turn, connected to an Atomos Ninja), so you won’t be surprised that we’re ridiculously excited about the new Canon C100 MkII. 

First things first: this is a camera that wants to get the best possible image, not the biggest possible image. While Canon have 4K offerings, the C100 is designed for people who don’t – or at least don’t yet – want to shoot and deliver 4K. And for them, it’s probably the best option at its price point.

The specs

The big news here is that the MkII adds 1080p at up to 60fps, has 12 stops of dynamic range and uses a DIGIC 4 processor, so you’ll get the same signal processing as you do in the C500. DAF is also being included as standard, and the C100 MkII doubles down on this by adding face recognition autofocus, so shots will always have the subject in focus even if you’re handing the camera off to, say, a group of students who haven’t used a pro camera before. There’s even a fancy OLED monitor onboard now, so you can see your perfectly focused shots in all their glory.

It has GPS built in, though we’re unlikely to use that, and can be controlled remotely over WiFi (more useful), which we think it might not even need a dongle for (most useful).

Ergonomics

There have been a series of small but noticeable ergonomic improvements from the original C100. The viewfinder can now be moved through 270 degrees (it’s also had some kind of technical upgrade that is still shrouded in mystery). The eye cup is far more ergonomic now, and it and the viewfinder can actually be moved independently so that you don’t have to strain anything in order to shoot unusual angles.

Availability

We’re expecting stock of the C100 MkII around the first week of January 2015. There’ll be three versions available: a body only option, one with a 18 – 55mm EFS lens and another with a 24 – 105 L-series lens.

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.

 

 

Introducing Mackie’s new iPad controlled mixer, the DL32R

Introducing Mackie’s new iPad controlled mixer, the DL32R

We’ve been fans of mixing on iPad ever since we realised it let us tech gigs from the pie van outside, so it’s no surprise we’re excited about Mackie’s new DL32R, which is controlled through their Master Fader iOS app. 

 

Mackie DL32R hardware

First let’s talk about the unit itself. It takes up a respectably compact 3U of rack space, and Mackie claim that you can take it anywhere because it’s “built like a tank.” It features 32 recallable mic pres – actually, Mackie tell us that all settings are totally recallable – 14 fully-assignable XLR outputs and stereo AES digital output.

You get 36 input channels with four band PEQ + HPF, gate and compression, 32 stereo-linkable input channels and four stereo-linkable return channels. The DL32R has 28 output busses with four band PEQ + HPF/LPF, 31 band GEQ, comp/limiter and alignment delay, 14 stereo-linkable aux sends, 6 stereo-linkable matrix buses, 6 stereo-linkable subgroups and main L?R buses. You’ll also get 6 VCAs and 6 mute groups, 3 stereo VX processors with dedicated sends and returns, full I/O routing with A/B sources per channel and modern and vintage options per processor.

A Dante expansion card is due to be released soon and will be sold separately.

Multi-channel recording and playback

More than just a live sound mixer, the Mackie DL32R canb pull in extra recording duties. You can do 24×24 recording/playback to a USB 2 hard drive, so you can record the show for later mix down, perform a virtual soundcheck, cue intermission music and backing tracks and even use your Mac or PC plug-ins in live shows.

Master Fader app control

The DL32R is controlled using Mackie’s Master Fader iPad app, and can support up to ten devices at once, so you can have up to ten people controlling various aspects of the DL32R at once, or using their iPad or iPhone as a personal monitor. Thankfully, you can limit the access rights of new users so that they can’t make adjustments you don’t want.

Get yourself a Mackie DL32R here.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Audio on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Tascam release DR-70D four channel professional audio recorder

Tascam release DR-70D four channel professional audio recorder

Shooting on a DSLR or Blackmagic Cinema Camera? You’re in for a treat. Tascam have announced a new four channel audio mixer, the DR-70D, and it’s just for you. 

The DR-70D is Tascam’s new flagship model, sitting above the much-loved DR-60D. It offers full four track audio recording with four discrete mic preamps (each with phantom power), onboard mix down facilities and pass-through to camera, headphone monitoring, slate recording and dual level recording to ensure you always have a ‘safe’ version.

The DR-70D’s 4 track recording means that you can shoot on DSLR and record boom mics, lavaliers and other sources simultaneously, all in perfect sync with the picture and at a professional quality. As well as a recorder, the Tascam DR-70D can also function as a mixer, with a dedicated output back to the audio inputs of the camera. The recorder utilises high-grade HDDA preamps and converters, and a durable but lightweight structure and shape. This device will fit snuggly under any camera or into any rig, and record up to 96kHz/24-bit high quality audio straight to SD/SDHC media.

Filmmakers have at their disposal four 1/4″-XLR Locking Combo MIC/LINE inputs, 3.5mm stereo MIC input, camera in, camera out, line out and headphone out. All 4 1/4″-XLR combo inputs supply +48V phantom power and the 3.5mm input supplies plug-in power for microphones requiring a bias voltage. Most importantly, DSLR film-makers can now accurately monitor their audio levels via the headphone connector to make sure no clipping has occurred, a common problem for those using XLR converters but recording directly to the camera. There are also two built-in electret condenser mics on the rear of the unit.

The DR-70D incredibly easy to use, employing Tascam’s very popular user interface and external controls for every major operation. The body structure, soft-touch keys and dials are designed specifically to help eliminate handling noise. The multiple record modes include four channel record, auto record and Tascam’s dual record “Safety Track” mode, making the DR-70D one of the most versatile recorders on the market.

The DR-60D features a tripod screw fixings at the base and on the top, allowing it to be placed between a camera and the tripod.

Other key features of the DR-70D include independent level adjustment for all mic inputs, a dual recording function which allows two files to be recorded simultaneously at different levels, a two second pre-record buffer and connections for optional remote control. It operates on 4x AA batteries and has a micro USB socket for quick file transfer.

Need a DR-70D now? You can buy one at Jigsaw24.com. Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Audio on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Test drive the latest Canon kit in your classroom

Test drive the latest Canon kit in your classroom

Canon’s test drive initiative is back, back, back, giving you another chance to try out the latest cameras, lenses and projectors in your classroom.

Canon C100 on Jigsaw24

Originally launched in 2012, the test drive scheme is a semi-regular Canon offer that lets the heads of media, video and photography departments sign up for a free trial of their latest kit. You can select the cameras, lenses and projector you’d like to try (or any combination thereof) and then Canon will hand it over to you for a week, so you can see how it survives lessons and fits in with your existing system.

If you’re trying to convince purchasing to let you invest in new kit, this is a great opportunity to prove it’ll add real value to students, and if you’re struggling to decide between cameras it’s an equally useful chance to see how they fare in real life classroom situations, so we’re encouraging everyone to get on board!

Register for a Canon test drive here.

Frequently asked questions

Who’s eligible?

The test drive applicant needs to be the head of your media, video or photography course or department, but how the technology is used in your school is completely up to you.

When’s the deadline?

You have to get your name on the list by 31st January 2015.

How is kit assigned?

Kit is assigned on a first come, first served basis, so we’d recommend signing up sharpish!

Which Canon products can I trial? 

Loads of ’em. You can view the full list by clicking ‘register now’ on Canon’s registration page, but highlights include DSLRs like the 5D Mk III and 70D, a selection of pro camcorders including the C100 and C300, EF and Cinema Prime lenses (in the name of all that’s holy, don’t get our media team started on these unless you have at least three hours spare. They’re great people, but they do go on). You can also trial projectors from the WUX and SX lineups.

Watch Staffordshire University’s glowing review of their Canon kit here.

Where do I sign up again? 

Here.

For more information, call 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Say hello to NewTek’s TriCaster mini

Say hello to NewTek’s TriCaster mini

Not content with stealing headlines at IBC with TalkShow, NewTek have announced a new addition to their industry leading TriCaster range: the TriCaster Mini. 

The TriCaster Mini is designed to bridge the gap between online presentation services like Adobe Connect and the existing TriCaster range by allowing you to stream multimedia presentations. It’s portable and will work with pretty standard-issue AV equipment (including consumer camcorders), so you can get started using kit you’ve already got. The best bit? You can set it up and start recording in five minutes flat.

The all-in-one approach

TriCaster Mini gives you everything you need to start streaming multimedia presentations in one box. Not got Photoshop? Not a problem, there are plenty of title templates. Don’t know how to edit clips? Just cut between channels with TriCaster’s built-in switcher.

The Mini even includes NewTek’s TransWarp effects engine, so you can add full colour, animated transitions, and supports their Virtual Set Editor, so you can drop your presenter into a virtual new room. You can even take a picture with your camera or smartphone and convert it into a holographic virtual set, so it looks like you’re presenting from a real location.

Everything happens within the TriCaster Mini, so you can avoid splurging on expensive creative software or hardware that has functionality you’ll never need. Just stick to the TriCaster Mini interface, and you’ll be able to start out simple and build up your presentations as you get more confident. NewTek have even produced a control surface specifically for the TriCaster Mini, so you can have every function at your fingertips while you’re making your presentation. And if you decide to up your game and move to a TriCaster 410, the control surface will work with that, too.

Another accessory worth looking out for is NewTek’s set of qualified 100 foot HDMI cables. Typically HDMI cables max out at 10 or 15 metres, so you, your camera and your TriCaster would have to be in pretty close quarters to get anything done. These new cables don’t have that problem, meaning you can have your cameras far further away – great if you’re trying to cover a sports match or live event from multiple angles.

NewTek have also made the Mini live up to its name – the entire thing will fit in a backpack, so you can take it with you to events, move it between locations, and tuck it away unobtrusively when it’s not being used.

Connectivity

For the subset of our readers who are just here for the specs, the TriCaster Mini is the proud owner of:

– 4 HDMI camera inputs.

– 2 HDMI outputs.

– A 16 channel switcher.

– 4 M/Es.

– 15 still and title buffers.

– Built-in streaming capabilities.

– Social media publishing.

Pricing and availability

The TriCaster Mini will be shipping this month. We only have US pricing so far, but the unit will be coming in two versions: The TriCaster Mini HD-4i, a lush $7995 version with an integrated screen and enough storage space for 45 hours of HD video, and the Mini HD-4, a $5995 version with no screen and space for 15 hours of footage. (As a general rule, go for the 4i if you want to handle on-demand video, and the 4 if you’re just mixing live footage.)

The control surface will be $2495, while a set of four qualified 100ft HDMI cables will cost a very reasonable $495.

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.

 

NewTek news roundup: Say hello to TriCaster Mini and TalkShow

NewTek news roundup: Say hello to TriCaster Mini and TalkShow
Say hello to TriCaster Mini

Not content with stealing headlines at IBC with TalkShow, NewTek have announced a new addition to their industry leading TriCaster range: the TriCaster Mini. 

The TriCaster Mini is designed to bridge the gap between online presentation services like Adobe Connect and the existing TriCaster range by allowing you to stream multimedia presentations. It’s portable and will work with pretty standard-issue AV equipment (including consumer camcorders), so you can get started using kit you’ve already got. The best bit? You can set it up and start recording in five minutes flat.

The all-in-one approach

TriCaster Mini gives you everything you need to start streaming multimedia presentations in one box. Not got Photoshop? Not a problem, there are plenty of title templates. Don’t know how to edit clips? Just cut between channels with TriCaster’s built-in switcher.

The Mini even includes NewTek’s TransWarp effects engine, so you can add full colour, animated transitions, and supports their Virtual Set Editor, so you can drop your presenter into a virtual new room. You can even take a picture with your camera or smartphone and convert it into a holographic virtual set, so it looks like you’re presenting from a real location.

Everything happens within the TriCaster Mini, so you can avoid splurging on expensive creative software or hardware that has functionality you’ll never need. Just stick to the TriCaster Mini interface, and you’ll be able to start out simple and build up your presentations as you get more confident. NewTek have even produced a control surface specifically for the TriCaster Mini, so you can have every function at your fingertips while you’re making your presentation. And if you decide to up your game and move to a TriCaster 410, the control surface will work with that, too.

Another accessory worth looking out for is NewTek’s set of qualified 100 foot HDMI cables. Typically HDMI cables max out at 10 or 15 metres, so you, your camera and your TriCaster would have to be in pretty close quarters to get anything done. These new cables don’t have that problem, meaning you can have your cameras far further away – great if you’re trying to cover a sports match or live event from multiple angles.

NewTek have also made the Mini live up to its name – the entire thing will fit in a backpack, so you can take it with you to events, move it between locations, and tuck it away unobtrusively when it’s not being used.

Connectivity

For the subset of our readers who are just here for the specs, the TriCaster Mini is the proud owner of:

– 4 HDMI camera inputs.

– 2 HDMI outputs.

– A 16 channel switcher.

– 4 M/Es.

– 15 still and title buffers.

– Built-in streaming capabilities.

– Social media publishing.

Pricing and availability

The TriCaster Mini will be shipping this month. We only have US pricing so far, but the unit will be coming in two versions: The TriCaster Mini HD-4i, a lush $7995 version with an integrated screen and enough storage space for 45 hours of HD video, and the Mini HD-4, a $5995 version with no screen and space for 15 hours of footage. (As a general rule, go for the 4i if you want to handle on-demand video, and the 4 if you’re just mixing live footage.)

The control surface will be $2495, while a set of four qualified 100ft HDMI cables will cost a very reasonable $495.

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.

IBC 2014: NewTek unveils TalkShow

NewTek today unveiled TalkShow VS-100, a video calling production system designed specifically for television studios and live video producers. With TalkShow, any television or live video producer can easily reach 300 million monthly connected Skype users and incorporate them as guest speakers into live programs with full-frame Skype video calls. Attendees at the 2014 IBC Convention in Amsterdam from September 12-16 can be the first to see the new TalkShow system at the NewTek stand 7.K11.

 

The turnkey TalkShow system builds upon Skype TX software from Microsoft for initiating, receiving, monitoring and managing video calls, with a unique set of live production tools not found in other video calling systems. With TalkShow, users have access to customizable settings for fully colour correcting live video calls (including features for automatic colour balancing) as well as SDI-embedded audio, and compressor/limiter, equalisation, and adjustable head-room controls for further improving audio quality. These tools allow producers to deliver enhanced video/audio experiences that are critical when producing credible, high-quality broadcast programming and are simply not possible with standard desktop video messaging products. Additionally, producers using TalkShow with TriCaster multi-camera video production systems will be able to route Skype video calls directly to and from a TriCaster over a network connection without tying up an additional HD-SDI input.

“Almost every live TV and video programme includes a conversation between people-whether it’s a news or entertainment show, a sporting event, or even a corporate meeting,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO of NewTek. “While there’s been a growing trend to incorporate social media – such as live Twitter feeds – directly into these programmes, integrating a two-way dialogue over Skype dramatically shifts the experience to a more engaging and participatory event. TalkShow truly breaks down the fourth-wall in traditional live television. It’s a fast, easy, low-cost way to reach anyone in any location with a simple Skype video call and to enrich program content with immediate access to the fresh perspective, analysis and opinions that only a guest speaker can deliver.”

Angie Hill, general manager for Audience Marketing from Skype added, “Skype TX is an important part of our offering to media, so we’re delighted to welcome NewTek to the Skype family. We’re now able to bring new dimensions to broadcasters’ productions and inspire a brand new generation of media moments.”

TalkShow: Make, Receive, Monitor and Adjust Skype Video Calls

TalkShow is the only production system for live video calls that enables broadcasters to manage all aspects of a live Skype video call in the control room like any other video source – and adjust the visual and audio quality of each call. The low cost, integrated hardware and software solution is broadcast ready, offering dual channel Ethernet connectivity, two channels (1 in, 1 out) of HD-SDI I/O that includes reference signal, professional XLR audio support, Tally support and more. The 1RU system allows producers to easily incorporate TalkShow into any live production or studio environment and:

– Access anyone they can reach online including the rapidly growing audience of 300 million monthly connected Skype users worldwide, to include more expert analysis and perspective in their shows, without specialized networking tools, ENG clients or proprietary software to call into a live broadcast or event.

– Transform any Skype video call initiated to or from a desktop, laptop, X-Box gaming system, Skype enabled TV, or mobile device into full-frame video, with automatic aspect ratio conversions and balanced audio. TalkShow operators can work free of audio/visual distractions such as secondary call notifications and advertisements.

– Colour balance video images with full proc-amp controls and automatic color correction to adjust image attributes for any lighting environment, enabling video calls with poor lighting and contrast to appear with far higher quality.

– Deliver reliable broadcast audio signal quality with SDI-embedded audio, and built-in compressor/limiter tools that keep call volumes at consistent levels and prevent audio clipping. Additionally, producers who often wrestle with scratchy audio and nasal-like midrange tone that results from small telephonic microphones can adjust overall tonality and background noise of any Skype call using the onboard graphic equaliser.

– Actively monitor live Skype video calls with full Tally support that allows operators to see when TalkShow Skype feeds are currently live in a programme.

– Easily manage multiple, simultaneous Skype calls within a single, user-friendly interface that offers operator previews, continuous call quality monitoring, and automatic fallback to custom still images when unforeseen bandwidth constraints occur.

Pricing and Availability

The TalkShow VS-100 model is expected to ship in Q4 2014 and is available to order now at a special introductory price of $3,995 USMSRP, which will remain in effect through November 26, 2014. International pricing will vary.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest IBC news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook or keep an eye on our roundup post.

We’ve met the Sony PXW-FS7 and it’s awesome

We’ve met the Sony PXW-FS7 and it’s awesome

Sony threw a curveball at IBC by announcing the PXW-FS7 – a Super 35mm 4K handheld that took everything we liked about the FS700 and stepped it up a notch, challenging even AJA’s none-more-anticipated CION.  Obviously, the first thing we did once we were back in the UK was lure Sony to our office, pump them full of coffee and run off with their prototype. Here’s how it fared…

Ergonomics and build

Not to get everyone over-excited, but a straw poll of the M&E team saw the FS7 labelled as having “the best ergonomics of anything Sony have ever built.” The design is extremely well thought out: the viewfinder is easily repositioned and fits nicely against your eye; the I/O and XLR ports neatly hidden in the body; the whole thing is very modular – it feels very much like a traditional camera out of the box, but can be stripped back if you prefer the ‘boxy’ feel of something like the FS700.

But the real game changer is that hand grip, which we bloody love. It makes balancing the camera (and holding it through long shoots) much easier, allows you to maintain a more natural shooting position, and means you don’t have to rig the camera to the extent that you would expect in order to get the shots you want. And because it’s included with the camera, you can basically take the FS7 out of the box and start shooting.

It would be irresponsible of us to make sweeping statements like “this handgrip will change the world” out here on the internet, but who’s to say what we may have shouted in the privacy of our office kitchen? As our test shooter (and most hirsute consultant) Anthony Corcoran said: “The hand grip balances the whole camera so well, it feels almost weightless. And it puts all the important controls literally at you finger tips. I want one.” See below for an image of the FS7 and its grip reducing Anthony to a gleeful child.

That grip arm is easy to position and has a great range of movement, as demonstrated by this da Vinci-esque publicity shot:

Controls, codecs and cards

To call this camera a PXW version of the FS700 is perhaps oversimplifying, but in terms of use and workflow the two are very similar. The FS7 shoots continuous HD at up to 180fps, giving you super slow motion, and will also record 4K at up to 60fps internally. Its layout and controls are “very Sony”, and if you’ve used a FS700 (or really any Sony camera), you’ll be able to operate this right out of the gate.

Most importantly for anyone who has invested in the FS700 and all its attendant gubbins, the FS7 shoots 2K and 4K RAW in exactly the same way, so you can just whack your IFR5 or Odyssey on the back of this and use exactly the same workflow as you always have.

Anthony would also like to give a special mention to the FS7’s log gamma curves, which include support for S-Log3. This has 18% grey set at a bright level, and so delivers a wider dynamic range than the 1300% achieved by the FS700’s S-log2, effectively giving you 1.5 extra stops. And because the log gamma is close to Cineon log, it’s easier to grade and you’ve got more chance of achieving a classic ‘filmic’ look.

Shooting

While Sony were distracted by the espresso machine, we did manage to sneak off and shoot some test footage, but we’ve been asked not to share it as the footage from the final model is going to be up to five times the quality of the footage produced by the prototype. However, the actual shooting experience was fairly effortless, and having record and zoom controls on the handgrip is great.

Would we recommend it?

Yes. If you’re looking to step up from the FS700, this is the simplest way to do it, and if you’re after a B camera for more high end shoots, the FS7 will slot into your setup quite happily. If you weren’t a fan of the FS700, don’t be put off – the FS7 is seated firmly at the grown-ups table, using pro codecs and generally feeling far more like a traditional camera than its predecessor.

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