JVC GY-LS300: perfect for corporate videography

JVC GY-LS300: perfect for corporate videography

JVC have announced three new cameras will be with us in March 2015. And while we love DSLRs as much as the next person, we think the GY-LS300 is probably the ultimate late Christmas present for your company videographer. Why? Well…

It’s fantastic value for money

First off, this is a Super 35mm 4K camera for under £3K ex VAT, which is extremely good value. And the fact that it supports a wide range of interchangeable lenses means that you can probably save again by reusing your existing still camera lenses to shoot video. Then of course there’s the fact that it shoots 4K Ultra HD, full HD with 4:2:2 sampling, SD and web-friendly proxy files, so you’re not going to need to replace or add to it for some time, meaning you’ll get great ROI.

You’ll use 4K more than you think

If a 4K-capable camera sounds a bit much for your business at the moment, bear in mind that if you use digital signage around your premises, ever want to take over a video wall at an event or have a large format display in your boardroom, shooting in 4K will give you the crispest possible images – far cleaner and more professional than scaling up a smaller image.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the GY-LS300 supports dual format recording, so you can record a 4K or HD version of your footage on one memory card, and a low-res web-optimised version on another. That way, a single shoot covers you for all eventualities, and however customers are receiving your content (in an email or on that video wall), they’ll see the best quality image they can.

It supports live streaming

One of the GY-LS300’s neatest tricks is that it allows you to stream a live HD feed to a site like USTREAM while simultaneously recording it to an SDHC card, so you can broadcast and record events in one fell swoop. It can do this because it has WiFi built in – which means you can also control the camera remotely from an iPad or similar, remotely view what the camera is shooting if you can’t stand behind it, add metadata to clips as you shoot, and even use the GY-LS300’s FTP capabilities to send clips back to head office (great if you’ve got a team on the ground at an expo and your marketing bods need their footage asap).

It supports professional audio

One area where we feel a lot of cameras aimed at the corporate market fall down is onboard audio. JVC have gone some way towards restoring our faith in affordable camera manufacture by furnishing the GY-LS300 with professional quality audio in the shape of two-channel XLR audio inputs, and they’ve thrown in a free phantom power shotgun mic (ie one that’s powered by your camera’s battery, so you don’t need a second set of cables and chargers and batteries and general on-location stress). We approve of this policy wholeheartedly.

If you’re a hardcore specs sort of person, you can find out more about the GY-LS300 and JVC’s other new releases here. If you’re more easily swayed, you can find the LS300 here in our webstore.

Want to know more about your options for shooting in-house video? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

JVC welcome three new cameras into the world

JVC welcome three new cameras into the world

Is it too early to start making product of the year lists? Granted, JVC announced their new trio of camcorders in December and plan to ship them in March, but to our list-obsessed eye there are a couple of contenders in their new lineup of the GY-HM170, GY-HM200 and LS-300.

GY-HM170 & GY-HM200

The GY-HM170 and GY-HM200 are due to replace the much-beloved GY-HM150. As a sop to those of us who will be saying goodbye to a camera that has served us well, JVC have made the very reasonably priced GY-HM200 4k-capable and given it built-in FTP functionality, so you can stream 4K files (or at least their proxies) back to base while shooting in the field.

Of course, not everyone needs to shoot 4K at the moment – and even those of you who are asked to probably don’t need to all the time – but an affordable camera that’s capable of handling both your current workflow and a 4K one when you need it will give you added flexibility without you having to fork over too much of your hard-earned cash (we’re all broke in January, after all).

The GY-HM200 gives the option of shooting 4K Ultra HD, 4:2:2 full HD or streaming to the web – you just have to plug for the optional WiFi or 3G/4G modem, and you can connect directly to USTREAM or any number of other services. This on-board WiFi will also allow you to remotely control or view content from the camera, edit clip metadata and if FTP clips as long as you have the appropriate adaptor.

Its integrated 12x optical zoom lens and 4K CMOS sensor deliver stunning 4K Ultra HD recordings directly to SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and the camera comes complete with dual XLR audio inputs, HD-SDI (3G) and HDMI outputs, and JVC’s dual codec Advanced Streaming Technology to boot.

The single 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor has 12.4 million pixels (9.03 active) and is paired with a high quality integrated 12x F1.2-3.5 zoom lens (35mm equivalent: 29.5-354mm). Dynamic zoom in HD mode combines optical zoom and pixel mapping to create seamless and lossless 24x zoom when recording in 4K Ultra HD (150 Mbps, 24/30p) to SDXC card or 4:2:2 full HD (24-60p) recording at 50Mbps.

The lower-end GY-HM170 comes has 12x zoom rather than 24, doesn’t include the same streaming functionality (though you can still record 4K footage out over HDMI) and, crucially, doesn’t have any audio capabilities beyond a mini jack, so if you have the money to hand, we’d recommend future-proofing yourself and opting for the GY-HM200.


This is a Super 35mm 4K camera for under £3K ex VAT. It supports a wide range of interchangeable lenses and uses them to shoot 4K Ultra HD, full HD with 4:2:2 sampling, SD and web-friendly proxy files to SDHC media cards – you can even use dual codec recording to shoot two copies of your content simultaneously, or stream an HD feed to a site like USTREAM while simultaneously recording it to an SDHC card.

The GY-LS300 features a JVC/KENWOOD AltaSens 4K CMOS Super 35mm image sensor combined with an industry standard Micro 4/3″ lens mount, so any Super 35mm Cinema lenses you use will retain their native angle of view (as long as you’re using an appropriate adaptor). When the camera is used with Micro 4/3″, Super 16 and other size lenses, JVC’s proprietary Variable Scan Mapping feature will maintain the lens’s native angle of view. This gives you the flexibility to use widely available MFT lenses as well as high-end cinema lenses.

In terms of what it can record, you’re looking at 4K Ultra HD recording (150 Mbps, 24p/30p) to SDXC cards, or 4:2:2 Full HD recording at 50Mbps (24p-60p). HD-SDI (3G) and HDMI outputs are available, though you can only get 4K output via HDMI, and there are professional two channel XLR audio inputs and a phantom power shotgun mic included.

Dual SDHC/SDXC slots enable dual, backup and continuous recording, while the advanced JVC streaming engine is compatible with USTREAM, Zixi and Wowza Streaming Engine, and enables remote control of your camera, remote viewing, metadata editing and FTR of clips (you’ll need an apator, as with the HM-200).

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 move toward resolution independence with latest Media Composer

Avid move toward resolution independence with latest Media Composer

Avid are pleased to announce the release of the latest version of Media Composer. This latest update – available from 22nd December – is their first step towards resolution independence. Media Composer now supports hi-res media like 2K, 4K, and UHD natively, and introduces powerful new tools to help save you time and resources, while creating the best content possible.

Highlights of the new release include:

– Native 2K, 4K and UHD project types: create and work with 2K DCI, 4K DCI and UHD media.
– Support for any resolution: link to, import and maintain any media, even assets with custom or non-standard raster sizes.
– DNxHR: a new low complexity codec based on SMPTE standards that provides even more beauty without the bandwidth when working with >HD material
– Enhanced colour management: support for hi-res colour gamuts (BT.2020 for UHD, DCI-P3 for 2K/4K) with clip-based LUTs and LUTs for viewers and external monitors
– High frame rates (HFR): native support for 47.952, 48, 50, 59.94 and 60fps with hi-res media. New support for HD media (1080 and 720) at 50p and 59.94p
– DPX Export: export DPX files for delivery and conform.
– New proxy workflow: work with >HD material at 1/4 or 1/16 resolution to save space and performance resources. Automatically relink between proxy and hi-res render files at any time.
– Playback frame rate setting: set the intended playback rate of clips for ‘frame for frame’ playback of material shot at high frame rates.
– Two frame safety: edit in high frame rates (50 and 60p) while preserving standard time base for transmission and delivery.
– New List tool: List tool integrates EDL Manager and Filmscribe right into Media Composer. No need for separate applications!
– Bin Quick Filter: find what you need fast by searching for text in your bin and filtering the results.
– New software licence entitlements: licences now reflect active support contracts, so customers always have access to the software updates they’re entitled to.

And just a subtle reminder that you need to get all your Media Composer licences on Avid Support before the new year in order to keep getting upgrades like this – miss the deadline, and you’ll have to fork out for an entire new licence next time you want to get up to date.

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.

Want your video workflow to be more professional? Here’s how Sony can help…

There’s a tendency to assume one camera fits all, especially in schools, colleges and universities with tight budgets. But if you’re looking to update your cameras – or have finally freed up some budget for extras – it’s worth bearing in mind that film, media and journalism courses require you to produce wildly different content and need to learn equally different workflows in order to address the concerns and techniques they’ll encounter in the industry.

As Sony are one of the industry leaders across all these sectors, getting to grips with their cameras and workflow can be a real boost to students’ eventual employability, but the sheer number of cameras and peripherals to choose from can definitely seem a bit daunting. Here are a few things we recommend you bear in mind so that your students get as close to a professional experience as possible…

What kind of projects are students creating?

If you’re preparing students for work in the creative industries, it’s obviously important to get as close to real-world workflows as possible, and to create practical projects that use the techniques that are common to each industry.

Film students, for example, will want a large sensor camera so that they’re able to master shooting with a ‘filmic’ shallow depth of field, whereas if your course is geared more towards broadcast journalism or general media production, you’ll want a smaller sensor camera that allows for longer focus, so that students can practise reactive shooting as events unfold.

Distinctions like this will also impact your choice of lens – variable if your students’ goal is to create something attractive, fixed if you’re trying to shoot a news segment – and the kind of rigs, tripods and lights you need.

Studio v location shooting

If you’re teaching a film studies or production course, you’ll want students to be able to get out on location and take their kit with them. You’ll also need more cameras, as students are far more likely to be working in small groups or individually to complete projects. If you’re focusing on media and television production, on the other hand, you’re far more likely to need a dedicated room or studio where a large group of students can record, carry out chromakeying and man the gallery for a single group production.

In that case, you’ll need cameras that can be linked together in a traditional studio setup. And if you’re using something like NewTek TriCaster to mix or stream footage, that will in turn affect the kinds of inputs and outputs you need on your cameras.

The good news is that most cameras can be modified to fit into a setup like this, but it’s important to make sure you have compatible cameras so that there’s not a noticeable difference between footage from A and B cameras, and that you don’t have to waste valuable time juggling file types and media formats.

Are you keeping your kit to yourself?

The opportunities that media production creates for collaborative learning can be particularly useful for establishments who want to reach out to new communities, partner schools or feeder schools.

Examples we’ve seen work in the past include colleges and secondary schools using their studio spaces to live stream lessons to feeder schools; packing a compact streaming solution like NewTek TriCaster into a flight case and sending identical setups to partner schools, so they can set up a two-way live stream and carry out lessons simultaneously, and even schools with better broadcasting resources loaning space to those with less in order to make sure the kit is always in use.

In all of these situations, having a dedicated space for media work and basing your choice of camera around your streaming setup and infrastructure is a far better move than getting yourself cameras that look great but are difficult to network and integrate with the rest of your infrastructure. And of course if you’re going to be shuttling everything back and forth, you’ll want to go for as sturdy a camera as possible – no-one likes an unexpected repair bill.

What will you be doing with the footage after it’s shot (and how much storage do you have)?

When it comes to choosing a camera, it’s important to bear in mind that your choice can tie you into a specific workflow. Just because the camera you choose is budget conscious, doesn’t mean the files it records are. If you get a cheap camera that supports a very specific codec and workflow, you may well need to overhaul your storage and change key pieces of software, meaning the final cost will be greater than if you’d opted for a more expensive camera with a more flexible workflow and made use of your existing resources. It’s much better to find an affordable workflow that’s as close to industry standards as possible.

Another factor to consider is the sheer size of some files. If you want students to have the opportunity to shoot RAW footage, you need to be aware that they could be filling up a 64GB card every five minutes, so you’ll need a vast amount of (in some cases proprietary and expensive) media at your disposal. If post-production techniques like colour grading aren’t the focus of your teaching, it’s unlikely you really need to be working with such files at all, and we generally recommend sticking to something that’s kinder to your storage setup unless you’re looking to teach one specific hi-res workflow.

Our recommendations

With all that in mind, here are a few cameras we’d recommend for film, media and journalistic work – if you’d like to find out more about any of them, you can always get in touch with our team at broadcast@Jigsaw24.com.

For teaching film…

If you’re looking for a budget camera that still delivers on image quality (and can make itself useful in other areas of the curriculum, opt for a DSLR like Sony’s A7S. Affordable, equipped with a full frame sensor for shallow depth of field and able to record 4K to an external recorder if that’s what you really need, it’s a great option if you need to get students composing shots without extensive training, or if they’ll be shooting in less than ideal conditions.

The PXW-FS7 is another strong option. Rammed with pro features and designed to be Sony’s most ergonomic camera to date, it’s ideal for sending students out into the wild for more long form projects.

For media production…

As we said earlier, most cameras can be modified to fit into a studio setup, and with the latest additions to the TriCaster range you can stream from pretty much any camera with a pro SDI output, so do talk to us if you think you can’t afford studio cameras. That said, this is an area where your end goal can affect your camera choice and, by extension, the infrastructure you base your studio on – putting a low quality camera at the front of a high-end workflow will stop you getting the most out of your investment, and conversely buying expensive cameras without the backend to support them will stop you getting the best possible image quality.

The key thing here is to make sure you’re talking to your supplier about the workflow as a whole, so that you’re getting something that’s particular to the needs of your syllabus, and has all the features you need to give your students the level of professional knowledge required. If you’d like a couple of extreme examples to start you off, the PXW-X70 is increasingly popular with professionals and allows you to adopt a real broadcast-quality workflow on a manageable budget, while the HXC-D70 was designed specifically to bring high-end technology to smaller studio setups, making it the perfect lead-in for universities and colleges who want to prepare students for work in the real world – however, you’ll be able to find cameras at virtually every price and feature point between the two, so do ask us for options!

For electronic news gathering/broadcast journalism…

The PXW-X70 is also a safe bet for the kind of run-and-gun shooting needed for electronic news gathering, while the HXR-MC2500 is an updated version of the MC200o (most of our education customers seem to have at least one of these) that gives you a 14 hour recording time to inexpensive media. While the image quality isn’t at the same level as some of the other cameras here, we’ve found it works incredibly well in secondary schools, where the emphasis is more on getting students to understand the basics of camera operation and get used to handling larger cameras. (It also pars well with a TriCaster mini, if you have your eye on one of those.)

If you’re looking to mirror what’s going on in the industry, we’d recommend looking at the the EBU-approved PXW-X160 and PXW-X180. As well as letting you record broadcast quality footage, these cameras shoot XAVC, a Sony codec that’s widely used in professional circles, so any students using this would gain valuable practical experience before they started looking for work in the broadcast industry.

To frantically reiterate, we’ve just outlined a few options here, and many cameras can be adapted to the needs of individual courses, projects or institutions, including the state of your existing infrastructure. To find out more about your options, get in touch with the team on the details below.

Want some advice about updating your setup? Give our consultants a call on 03332 409 306 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu 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.”

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

Throw out your audio cables with Sony’s new multi interface shoe

Throw out your audio cables with Sony’s new multi interface shoe

Using a Sony camera or thinking of replacing your current setup? Don’t forget you can use Sony’s new P3 multi interface shoe to replace your audio cables with crisp, wireless in-camera recording…

The succinctly-named SMAD-P3 multi interface shoe adaptor works with Sony’s UWP-D wireless microphone series, allow you to mount a receiver on-camera and record audio directly into the camera without the need for any cables whatsoever.

Why do we like this idea? Well for one, it means fewer points of interference, so there’s less chance of your audio signal degrading or downright failing to get where you need it – always a plus.

Secondly, it means you have fewer things to forget, and we’re all about not carrying an extra cable. And actually the whole thing is powered through the camera, so you can forget the cost (and weight) of extra batteries, too.

Thirdly, it’s an official Sony adaptor, meaning it’s been tested extensively with not only the UWP-D mics, but with Sony’s latest NX and PX cameras, plus the MC2500. Sony are saying that you should see no change in functionality or loss of quality between your current audio setup and the SMAD-P3/UPW-D combo using any of that kit, which makes it a smart buy if your workflow is Sony-centric.

And if you do need to use an external recorder, there’s an output for that on the UWP-D, so you can always be recording two copies if you need to.

How much does it cost? 

The P3 multi interface shoe adaptor will set you back a mere £28 ex VAT, while the UWP-D series of receivers starts from just £225 ex VAT, meaning it’s comparable to Sennheiser units with similar specs, but more qualified for working with Sony.

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

The Lytro Illum: not to be dramatic, but this changes everything

The Lytro Illum: not to be dramatic, but this changes everything

We’re automatically drawn to anything that features phrases like ’40 megaray’ in its basic description, but even moreso when, like the Illum, they a) promise to make us throw out everything we’ve ever known about photography and b) are more attractive than our last office party hookup.

What is the Lytro Illum?

A camera that thinks about light in a radically different way than your DSLR. Instead of a large sensor capturing a flat image much like your feeble human eyes see it, Lytro’s cameras use a cluster of hundreds of smaller sensors to track the direction, colour and brightness of light through a scene and create a 3D block of light information.

If you’re into insects, it works a bit like a bluebottle’s eye. If you’re not, Lytro images are cubes, compared to your pixel camera’s square images. They understand where objects in an image are in relation to each other, leading to its killer feature: the fact that you can adjust the focus in a Lytro image to any point at any time, including after it’s taken.

So it’s just for correcting the focus on your holiday snaps?

No. Hell no. Thrice times no. That is not what the Illum is about at all.

Let’s be clear: the Illum is a little bit incredible. The macro is zero, so you could literally focus on a speck of dust on the lens. It takes images that the viewer can refocus themselves, so they can choose what they want to see. It takes images that have parallax, so you can move them around to see behind things, and view them in stereo 3D if you have a compatible monitor. The Illum does not want to be your new DSLR, it wants to do all the things your DSLR can’t.

So it’s for…?

Well, anyone who wants to use focus creatively, or who wants their images to be more in-depth and interactive. One area where Lytro have seen an insane amount of success is with product imagery – in their trials, viewers who typically spent four seconds looking at a flat image on an eCommerce site spent 40 seconds with an interactive Lytro image, highlighting different elements and viewing it from different angles.

And if you’re selling something complex, like an intricate bit of kit in our case, or your house, this lets people see more of what they’re getting before they make contact, so you’ve got more chance of a positive outcome. You could, hypothetically, photograph something with four Illums, put the images together and print them as a 3D model, which is a cheap and easy way to reproduce things. And let’s face it, it’s just flipping cool.

What’s a ’40 megaray sensor’ in old money?

Right, in terms of eventual image quality, it’s about five megapixels. But because Lytro cameras don’t use pixel sensors, they’re measuring performance in rays, rather than pixels.

And the rest of the specs?

Pretty impressive. It comes with a 30-250mm lens with a constant f/2.0 aperture and 8x optical zoom. The more light information available, the richer your image will be, so there are limitations in less than ideal conditions, but a proprietary flash is on the way (you can pre-order it now). Its touchscreen interface is also a winner in terms of simplicity and ease, with our camera specialist James finding it about as easy to pick up as his iPhone. For the full list of hardware and software specs, head here on the Lytro site.

Can I edit these magical pictures in Photoshop?

Yes. Photoshop converts the Lytro images into a seven layered image, plus an eighth ‘map’ layer which essentially contains the instructions for how to put them all back together again. Plug-ins to support Lytro images in Aperture and Lightroom are being coded as we speak, so expect broad support soon.

How much does it cost?

It’ll set you back a none-too-shabby £1083 ex VAT or £1299 inc VAT. But given that a) it’s the future and b) it produces images so rich in information that NASA are using it to remap stars, we think that’s pretty good value.

Want to know more about the Lytro Illum? 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

Media Composer v8.2 is qualified for OS X Yosemite

Media Composer v8.2 is qualified for OS X Yosemite

Media Composers, rejoice: your NLE of choice is now compatible with OS X Yosemite, including the Symphony option. Now, before you run off and download Yosemite, for the love of God, back everything up twice…

Avid have officially confirmed that Media Composer and Media Composer | Symphony Option will both work with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. However, users who are running “dual 6 core Mac Pro towers (Westmere) and the 2013 Mac Pro with a single 12 core CPU may experience performance issues with transcode, render, and playback.  These degradations are typically seen with higher resolution material. The issue has been logged with Apple and [Avid] are awaiting an update.”

You’ll also need to make sure you’re running the latest builds of New Blue Titler Pro v1 and v2 in order to avoid installation errors.  These builds are available for download through Avid’s Application Manager, and details of how you’ll want things set up for a seamless installation can be found in the Media Composer | Software readme file.

You can find the readme and other key documentation over at the Avid Knowledge Base.

Want to know more about moving your workflow to Yosemite? Call us on 03332 409 306 or email avid@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Blackmagic Design reveal the first post-eyeon Fusion

Blackmagic Design reveal the first post-eyeon Fusion

Blackmagic Design have announced the launch of the new version of Fusion, the first since it bought the software from original makers eyeon. Here’s the lowdown…

There’ll be two versions – Fusion and Fusion Studio

Fusion is essentially a free ‘lite’ version of the program, with no plug-ins, 3D tools or network capabilities. But also no price tag, which means we’re sure it’ll find its market. Fusion Studio will be a larger, fully featured version that requires a dongle (separate to your Resolve one) for access and costs £635.

Fusion Studio includes Generation

eyeon’s workflow/asset management tool, Generation, will be included in the Studio version of Blackmagic’s Fusion, but is no longer available separately.

Existing dongles won’t work for the Blackmagic version of Fusion

That means most current users on 6.4 or 7 or network licences will need a new dongle. However, if you pick up a Windows dongle now, Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty promises it will work with Mac OS X once Fusion is released for Mac. He told the company’s official forum:

“One thing I can say though, is that our plan is to allow anyone who purchases the Windows version of Fusion 7 Studio to use their dongle on the Mac and to be able to download that Mac OS X version of Fusion free of charge. That’s what we do with DaVinci Resolve and it’s very flexible and I think helps people a lot. So we want to do that with Fusion also, even though they are very different types of software.”

No site licences or network licences (as per Resolve)

Before you panic, active subscription users will all get the upgrade and the new dongle – Blackmagic are currently collecting user info and will contact you directly to help you transition. After that, though, your subs are EOL.

Learn more about Fusion on Blackmagic’s shiny new web page or buy Fusion Studio 7 here.

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.