IBC 2013: All the news from Avid, Blackmagic Design and more…

IBC 2013: All the news from Avid, Blackmagic Design and more…

And they’re off! The IBC 2013 conference is underway, the show isn’t far behind, and we’re waiting with bated breath for our first glimpse of this year’s game-changers. As news stories break we’ll be adding them to our blog, and uploading them here to create one IBC masterpost, with all the news, reviews and previews you could want.

If you have a question or think we’ve missed something, just let us know in the comments. To get your pre-orders in on this year’s releases, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. To keep up with news from the show, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


IBC 2013: Adobe add a ton of new video and Photoshop tools to Creative Cloud

Adobe’s latest round of updates to their Creative Cloud applications will delight video and web design professionals alike. As well as improving Premiere Pro/SpeedGrade integration, there’s the addition of Adobe Anywhere, Generator for Photoshop CC and Edge Reflow, plus a list of… Read more


IBC 2013: Aja announce new Mini-Converters, IO4K Thunderbolt box and TruZoom

AJA are the first company to promise big things at this year’s IBC, with new 4K devices and converters promised, plus an all-round firmware change… Read more 


IBC 2013: ARRI unveil AMIRA and 9.5-18mm ultra wide zoom lens

This year’s offerings from ARRI include the new AMIRA camera and an ultra wide zoom lens that’ll take you from 9.5-18mm. The AMIRA is being pitched as “a versatile documentary-style camera that combines exceptional image quality and affordable CFast 2.0 workflows with an ergonomic design optimized for single-operator use and extended shoulder-mounted operation.” Who’s going to argue with that? Read more 


IBC 2013: Expansion pack brings new features to Autodesk 2014

It’s a good day to be an Autodesk user. Not only have the 3D giants revealed new features for their M&E range, they’ve also dropped the price of Entertainment Creation Suites and announced that you can upgrade to the Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate for 20% less… Read more

IBC 2013: Get 20% off new seats of Autodesk Smoke 2013!

Ah, IBC offers, how we’ve missed you. Just in time for the start of the conference, Autodesk have announced that they’re knocking 20% off the cost of new seats of Smoke 2013 for anyone who buys between 12th September 2013 and 20th October 2013… Read more


IBC 2013: Avid introduce modular new S6 interface, update ISIS and Interplay

In a welcome break from their usual routine, Avid are leading with an audio interface at this year’s IBC (they’ve also updated ISIS and Interplay, and are showcasing the still-new Media Composer 7, too, so video types should still swing by their stand). Read more

IBC 2013: Avid release Everywhere whitepaper

In case you were distracted by their modular control surface, the S6, while you were actually at their stand, Avid have done us all the courtesy of sending out a whitepaper about their most difficult to pin down IBC offering, Avid Everywhere. Read more

Blackmagic Design

Dan Moran gets hands-on with the DaVinci Resolve 10 beta

Dan Moran of Smoke & Mirrors and mixing light.com has been kind enough to let us share his review of the Resolve 10 beta, which he’s been working with for a few weeks prior to IBC… Read more

IBC 2013: Blackmagic Design update ATEM, HyperDeck, and Mini Converter ranges, and Resolve 10 goes public

Grant Petty is kicking off IBC in his inimitable style, revealing Blackmagic Design’s new releases in a truly epic pre-show email. While Blackmagic are being fairly restrained this year – we count a mere nine new releases, as opposed to their usual hundred and twelve – the annual Blackmagic email is still present and correct… Read more

GB Labs

IBC 2013: GB Labs introduce new releases ahead of the show

So excited they couldn’t even wait for the expo proper to kick off, GB Labs have announced new 4K storage solutions. They’ll be on stand J15B showing off their Space 4K duo and a new Space-based storage cluster workflow and, we assume, chatting away about their new partnerships with Cantemo, Marquis and Sohonet… Read more


IBC 2013: Matrox 4K video monitoring card for Adobe Creative Cloud to be featured at show

At IBC2013 (Amsterdam, Sept. 13-17, stand 7.B29), Matrox Video will feature the new Matrox Mojito 4K quad 3G-SDI, 4K video monitoring card for use with Adobe Creative Cloud professional video editing tools on Windows platforms. Matrox Mojito 4K enables realtime monitoring and output of video footage at resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 and at frame rates up to 60 fps (4Kp60). It is a single ¾-length PCIe card with five full-size BNC connectors directly on the card bracket… Read more 


IBC 2013: Panasonic unveils the AG-AC8, their new shouldermount AVCCAM

Panasonic Professional Camera Solutions announces a new shoulder mounted Full-HD 1080P AVCCAM camera recorder, the AG-AC8. It features exceptional ergonomics and functionality, simultaneous recording to dual SD Cards, 21x optical zoom and intelligent auto mode (iA) with up to 50x zoom. Read more

IBC 2013: Panasonic announces prioritised development of a 4K VariCam

In response to the growing worldwide demand for 4K production, Panasonic Professional Camera Solutions is prioritizing the development of the 4K VariCam camera recorder. The VariCam will be a highly practical camera, boasting features and performance suitable not only for 4K cinema, but also HDTV content production. The camera is set for launch in 2014. Read more


IBC 2013: SanDisk launch world’s first CFast 2.0 memory card

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced the SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 memory card, designed for professional broadcast, cinematography and next-generation professional photography. Read more


IBC 2013: Sony launches its first professional SSD and HDD portable storage range

Sony today announced at IBC2013 its first SSD and HDD portable storage range. The PSZ-SA25 SSD drive, PSZ-HA50 and PSZ-HA1T HDD drives will be available from September 2013. Read more 

The Foundry

IBC 2013: The Foundry preview Nuke 8.0

The Foundry have released this great promo video running down all the features that are coming your way in Nuke 8.0. The gist? Bigger, faster, stronger, simpler. As well as new features, there’s an improved UI and improved colour grading toolset with additional waveforms and colour analysis tools. Brew yourself a cuppa and have a watch. Read more

Think we’ve missed something? Let us know in the comments! To get your pre-orders in on this year’s releases, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. To keep up with news from the show, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook



Featured app: Parallels Access

Featured app: Parallels Access

Parallels Desktop has been one of the leading desktop virtualisation tools out there for longer than we care to remember, giving Mac users everywhere seamless access to Windows applications and desktops. With Access, they’re revamping their iOS offering in order to give you access to your PC’s resources from your iPad…

What is Parallels Access and what can it do?

Access is the latest version of Parallels’ iOS app, a free six month subscription to access comes with every purchase of Parallels 9 Desktop for Mac. It allows you to log in to your PC environment remotely using your iPad, and access all the apps and files on there remotely. And because it’s harnessing the power of your PC, you can work in far more intensive applications than you’d expect a tablet to handle. Take a look at Parallels’ tutorials for a more in-depth overview:

How does Parallels Access work?

As long as your office (or home) computer has Parallels 9 Desktop for Mac on and is connected to the internet, you can log into it straight from the app and access all the applications on it remotely, essentially turning your iPad into a long distance remote control for your PC.

What’s the most useful feature?

Parallels Access ‘appifies’ the controls of your PC apps, allowing you to launch them as if they were apps, then zoom, swipe, pinch and drag content, and move between files the same way you’d move through open apps. All of this means you get a far more native, intuitive iPad experience, and can accomplish things far more quickly than you’d be able to if you were trying to impose traditional PC controls on a touchscreen. And Parallels are so committed to getting you the full range of Windows functions that Access even adds a Windows key to your iPad onscreen keyboard.

How much is Parallels Access and how do I get it?

If you already have Parallels 9 Desktop for Mac, you’ll have been given six months free access to the app; after that it’ll cost you £34.99 for a year’s licence. You can download it now from iTunes or purchase through the App Store on your iPad.

Want to know more about the best business apps? Give the team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Helping students with complex learning difficulties communicate at Great Oaks School

Helping students with complex learning difficulties communicate at Great Oaks School

After working with Creative Partnerships and the Department of Electronic Computer Science at Southampton University on a range of new technology trials, Great Oaks School joined Jigsaw24’s e7 Project to see if iPad mini would be able to help students with a range of learning and communication difficulties access the curriculum. The results? Increased engagement and communication, plus one or two surprises…

Download this case study as a PDF

Great Oaks School initially started using iPad as a communication device for SLD (Severe Learning Difficulties) students. Working with Erica Smith from Creative Partnerships and E.A Draffan from the University of Southampton, they attempted to find a digital alternative to their existing PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and to set up their own social networking system, which eventually became the Go!Platform.

“To make a new symbol for the PECS really is an onerous task,” explained Creative co-ordinator Roger Hardy, “because you have to go to the internet, you need to purchase a license to be able to use the symbols, get the symbol up, print it out, chop that out and velcro it both sides to create a set of new resources. That’s a lot of work for our support staff, so we were originally looking to see if there were ready-made apps on iPad that we could use to replace that.”

Despite some initial frustrations with the apps on offer – many used a different PECS symbol set to Great Oaks’, were “too American”, “gimmicky” or “made the massive assumption that SLD students would be able to navigate away from a page and come back” – Great Oaks’ team were impressed with the potential of iPad, and the volume of resources available through the App Store. They began looking into other potential uses for the device.

Joining the e7 Project

“I was looking on the Internet for organisations that were doing development work with schools and iPad, and Jigsaw24 came up,” said Roger. “Originally, we were told that because of the size of the school we didn’t really qualify. Then I got a call back saying that they were thinking about working with special schools and schools of different sizes and they were happy with what I’d put in writing already and thought it might be worth developing.”

After consulting with their e7 representative, Andy Cain, the Great Oaks team decided to opt for iPad mini during their trial, as these devices were not only easier for children to hold, but included a built-in camera that could be used as part of the school’s many cross-curricular creative projects, and would allow staff to take pictures of real items around school to use as PECS symbols.

Getting staff trained on iPad (and winning over parents)

A few of the teachers at Great Oaks already used iPad as their main device, so were receptive to twilight training sessions run by Erica Smith and creative trainer Ricky Tart. Other staff members were then encouraged to pass on what they’d learned to other users. But “the best way that we’ve found to get people’s skills up is to do projects,” Roger explained. “Working with creative people like Ricky Tart on film-making, animation and poetry projects has really helped to cement the learning that has taken place.

“A lot of our training has happened by one of us seeing what everyone else is doing and saying, ‘ooh, I’d like to do that,’ so we’ve trained each other up. It’s becoming more integrated in the school that we just use iPad. We’re making short films as part of our Arts Week, and we’re going to do that almost completely on the iPad. These films will be entered into several national competitions and really develop the skills of both pupils and staff. We might even use the minute-long preview template in iMovie for making the films. But obviously that is a great way to do training, and it lends itself not only to all the technical elements of making a documentary, but also uploading and editing it.”

Using iPad for project work has also helped the school win over parents who were unsure about the scheme. Using a combination of their e7 iPad mini deployment and the school’s social media site, Go!Platform, students were able to create and upload content for their parents to view before the day was over, so they could catch up with what their children were doing during the day.

“When we had the e7 iPad deployment we were encouraging the kids to film all the time,” said Roger. “I’ve got a three part film of a boy in my class making a clay rhino, and he’s not got great speech and language but you could see him developing as he went along, because he’d seen YouTube videos and he understood the format. It’s the unexpected stuff that’s been really amazing.”

Introducing students to iPad and launching the e7 Project

“When we did the first pilot project, using iPad as a communication tool, I was terrified,” admitted Roger. “One of the very first students looked at it – she’s not a verbal communicator and we thought she’d really like it, but she picked it up and just flung it across the room. But it survived and it’s fine. We’re still using that iPad!”

With the iPad crash-tested, Roger and the rest of the staff set about using sensory apps to acclimatise students with very high support needs to the new devices, and “by time we started the e7 Project with the iPad mini it was completely different. The kids could literally not wait because they’ve already seen iPad devices around the school. Andy from Jigsaw24 came down and we had all the tablets stacked up in a pile with a spotlight on them in the hall, and all the parents came in and [the pupils] couldn’t believe that they were actually taking these things away with them.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing, but Roger and the team found that the sense of ownership generated by a 1:1 scheme like the e7 Project meant that pupils took far better care of their devices than expected. “Of the 40 we had, none were broken. An iPad trolley that moves around and you log in and log out, that’s not really anything to do with you [as a pupil]. But having an iPad that’s yours and that you take home and do all your work on, compose your own music on, that was a huge development. We had one case where [one of our pupils with behavioural difficulties] was losing her temper, she knew she was about to trash the room and she asked someone to hold her iPad mini for her.

Improving speech and communication with iPad and game-based learning

While Great Oaks are still searching for their ideal PECS app (current favourite Widgit Go is still being developed for iOS) they’ve had some major success with MLD students, which Roger puts down to the more interactive, role-based nature of learning through apps and games. “There’s one particular child in my class who’s really weak on speech and language, ” he explained. “He loved [playing Minecraft on the iPad], joined in with everyone else, and as a matter of course if you see a group of children playing Minecraft together, they don’t stop talking and listening. Our speech therapist could not believe how much his speech and language had improved over that one term. And I had to say, to be honest this is solely down to Minecraft, because he wants to be a peer. We are developing a Minecraft after school club in the autumn of 2013.

“If you have a lot of learning difficulties and you’re used to not being able to keep up with everyone, and then suddenly when you immerse yourself in a game, you can become somebody who looks like everybody else, behaves like everybody else in the game. That alter ego is a brand new person. And I think that enabled him or encouraged him to work in that role, because there he was on an equal footing with the others and he had the cognitive capacity to do all the tasks in the game, so the only thing that was holding him back was his own lack of confidence. And now he doesn’t stop talking – he’s alive with it! He talks all the time about getting the iPad mini back.”

The future of Great Oaks’ iPad deployment

After three years of testing out various devices, Great Oaks have now purchased enough iPad devices for all Key Stage 4 pupils. All teaching staff have now been issued with an iPad mini as well. They’re also looking to revamp their Wi-Fi network in order to better support the 70 devices they do have, and are hoping that they’ll be able to access a broader range of apps and features when they leave their local authority and take control of their own IT setup later in the year. And would they recommend the e7 scheme? “I have! I’ve been recommending it to people I know at other schools and have been saying please get in touch with Jigsaw24, because I think maybe they might not be aware the e7 Project exists or think that they won’t qualify, but everyone should ask!”

Download this case study as a PDF

If you want to know more about the e7 Project or iPad in SEN, give the team a call on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter.

Get £500 cash back on Canon’s C500 (and the Ki Pro Quad!)

Get £500 cash back on Canon’s C500 (and the Ki Pro Quad!)

You can’t move for killer Canon deals at the moment. Not only are they giving everyone the chance to win an amazing racing day at Brands Hatch and now you can get £500 cash back when you buy one of our limited stock of exclusively-priced Canon C500 video cameras.  

We’ve got EF mount Canon C500s in stock for just £13,699 ex VAT – probably the best price you’ll find on the web – but you’ll need to act fast to get your hands on one, as we have very limited stock, and after that they go back up to a (still not unreasonable) £16,399 ex VAT. For a limited time, we’re also offering £500 cash back with this model. Who says no to £500 of free money?

Why choose the Canon C500?

The Canon C500 caught our eye because its four 1080p outputs can be combined to create a single 12-bit 4:4:4 or 10-bit 4:2:2 4K image, meaning that if you pair it with a 4K-capable 4K recorder it becomes a relatively affordable way to kick off your 4K workflow. But even if you’re not looking to do 4K work, it still stands up as a great camera for its price – for a start, you’re getting 12-bit 4:4:4:4 1080p, which is never to be sniffed at, especially if you do a lot of chroma keying or other detail-dependant image processes.

Another favourite feature of ours is the support for frame rates of up to 120p, even at higher resolutions, so we can continue to make the extremely dramatic slow motion videos you occasionally see scattered around the blog.

The combination of EF Cinema Lenses and Canon’s Log Gamma feature delivers the high quality video and wide exposure latitude required by digital cinematographers, while the range of source image formats supported means the C500 is equally at home shooting for cinema (using the DCI/SMPTE 2048-1:2011 standard) or television (using the Quad-HD/SMPTE 2036-1:2009 and ITU-R BT.1769 standards).

And what do you do with your £500? Well, there’s always the Ki Pro Quad…

As you can see from AJA’s demo clip and our previous over-enthusiastic posts, these two are perfect shooting partners, combining to give you the crisp 4K you want from a camera (and a recorder) you can afford. You can buy them as a pair at our website, and we’ll give you the £500 cash back on that bundle, too. Don’t say we never do anything nice.

Want to know more about the Canon range? 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.

Motivating students and liberating staff at Hertfordshire & Essex High School

Motivating students and liberating staff at Hertfordshire & Essex High School

In 2012, The Hertfordshire & Essex High School decided to roll out a 1:1 iPad scheme, starting with their 200 sixth form students. However, they were unsure whether to also offer the devices to staff, as teachers were already provided with a school-managed laptop. They worked with our e7 team to set up a term-long trial in which 40 key staff members were given an iPad.

Pupils in Hertfordshire & Essex High School now have their own iPad to use in lessons and at home

Pupils in Hertfordshire & Essex High School now have their own iPad to use in lessons and at home

“There’s obviously been a huge shift in focus away from desktop PCs towards mobile devices,” explained the school’s Strategic Leader of ICT, Ross Woodall, when asked about the decision to roll out iPad. “We wanted to have a device that was friendly and intuitive for the students to use, and we didn’t want to deploy a Windows-based device and make it part of our domain, because a lot of our services are delivered via web interfaces. We thought that iPad was well made and well supported, and it really engaged and enthused the students. We trialled it with a few students and they were particularly keen on iPad over any other device.”

Trialling iPad with staff

The school rolled out iPad to their sixth form first, partly due to the increasing popularity of the sixth form but also because “we really wanted to provide a device that they could embed in their lessons [from the start of the academic year].” However, after the initial rollout, it was clear that a few of the staff were a bit uncomfortable because some of them were less familiar with Apple products. “We decided to do the e7 trial so that the staff could get some hands-on experience with the iPad and see if it was beneficial as a teaching resource.”

Although our e7 deployments are usually split between staff and students, we were impressed by what the school had planned, and worked with them to identify 40 key staff members who would receive an iPad for a term. The school already provided staff with laptop computers, and one of the main aims of the trial was to assess whether providing an iPad as well would be an effective use of the school’s ICT budget.

“I think the e7 Project was very helpful in reassuring us that iPad for staff was a worthwhile expenditure,” Ross said. “Trialling the device enabled us to see the benefit it brought, while actually supporting the staff. This meant that they could make better use of the hardware with the students, as well as using it themselves. It meant that their teaching became much more mobile. They were able to teach out in the field or the playground if they needed to, and could do audio and video recordings in lessons with no planning needed in advance. Things like that were much, much less viable with a traditional laptop.”

Assessing Mobile Device Management (MDM) options

When the school joined the e7 Project, our team met with them to discuss how they planned to manage their iPad deployment. While many schools are locking down their ICT equipment and filtering the type of apps that their students can download, the Hertfordshire & Essex team decided that when it came to getting older students to buy into the scheme and use their devices as much as possible, freedom was key.

“We felt that in order for the students to really embrace the iPad and make sure it was something that they used constructively, it was more helpful to have the students register them to their own iTunes accounts as opposed to a centralised one that was managed by the school,” explained Ross. “We already have a system where students can borrow laptops, and we found that this was underused because there wasn’t the flexibility [to allow students to put] their software on the laptop they were using, whereas with the iPad, freedom has allowed them to become a much more valuable resource rather than just being another item to carry round. We have very responsible students, so I’m sure we have the odd game installed on the devices, but we see them being used a lot for taking notes and recording lessons (to video or audio). I think that’s really valuable for them, the ability to access the teaching outside of the lesson.”

“We felt that in order for the students to really embrace the iPad and make sure it was something that they used constructively, it was more helpful to have the students register them to their own iTunes accounts as opposed to a centralised one that was managed by the school,”

“We felt that in order for the students to really embrace the iPad and make sure it was something that they used constructively, it was more helpful to have the students register them to their own iTunes accounts as opposed to a centralised one that was managed by the school,”

Increasing usage while maintaining network security

The school’s tactic of keeping the iPad deployment relatively open seems to be paying off: they rolled out a new WiFi network to support the deployment, and of the 170 devices they handed out, Ross has seen “a hundred and twenty Apple devices connected all day, every day. We’ll have between 170 and 180 devices on the wireless network daily and seventy five per cent of them will be Apple devices.”

And how does the school cope with having so many unmanaged devices on their network? “We deliver a lot of our services through web interfaces: our VLE, our email and remote desktop access – all of that is accesible through a web browser. All devices on the wireless network authenticate against our Windows domain and all traffic is transmitted securely.”

Encouraging more mobile teaching and learning

When it comes to working with the iPad, the school is happy for students to take the lead, encouraging them to use the devices for general note-taking, research and organisation rather than structuring lessons round specific apps. “We have many teachers who have really embraced the iPad in their teaching,” Ross noted, “particularly the arts and the technology faculties. PE and music are using them a tremendous amount and designing lessons around them – I think a lot of that is to do with the touch interface and the flexibility and portability that you get with the device, which really feeds into those faculties.

“PE and sports sciences are now able to film people moving [using the iPad] and play that back so they can analyse it frame by frame. I think that sort of thing is much easier for the teacher compared with borrowing one of the school’s cameras and having to take it back to the classroom to analyse the video. [With iPad they are] able to record and play it back and have instant feedback. It’s also very nice that students can project via an Apple TV in the classroom to show what they’re working on at their desk. You get collaborative use of a projector, with everybody in a class connecting to show what they’re working on and share their ideas, and that’s really quite valuable.”

The school’s next initiative is to deploy Apple TVs throughout the school and use them to allow students to share their work with the rest of the class. “We held off on rolling them out originally because the firmware didn’t quite offer the level of security we wanted,” Ross explained. “We were worried that a student would be able to share content via an Apple TV from anywhere in the school unless there was some way of locking them down. But one of the updates has enabled us to have a PIN-based access to the Apple TVs [that prevents people without the right password from sharing content].”

Once there are Apple TVs throughout the school, Ross and his team plan to look at ways to allow multiple teachers to FaceTime with a class during lessons in order to explain key points. “For example, if we have a teacher who’s teaching some tiny aspect of computing in a design technology or graphics lesson, they’ll actually be able to FaceTime with one of the IT teachers over the projector to explain that specific point, so you can pull that expertise directly into the lesson.”

You can find out more about the e7 Project on Jigsaw24.com. Alternatively, get in touch on 03332 409 306 or at learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, reviews and app recommendations, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter

First impressions: Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera

First impressions: Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera

After the technical wasteland that was our unboxing video, our head of media and entertainment promptly took the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera off the marketing team and took it off to shoot some actual test footage. Along with his native and graded stills, here are a few of his field notes…

Blackmagic Design's Pocket Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera

The battery life

One of the most common complaints among our team and everyone else we’ve seen get their hands on a camera so far is that the battery life is incredibly short – you can burn through it in about 45 minutes, even if you’re not shooting continuously. Part of this is because the camera runs hot – it’s literally warm to the touch, and the supplied AC adaptor charges the battery on-camera, so it gets pretty hot when plugged in – and you’re definitely going to need two spare batteries and an external charger to get the most out of this camera. The supplied battery is 800Mah, so aim for one that’s 1200Mah to up your shooting time.

Another power-related quirk: there’s no charging light on the camera or the charger, so the only way to tell that you’re powering up is to turn the camera on and check there’s a charging message on the screen. Be aware that if you’re plugged in and the battery accidentally comes loose, it’ll display as being 100% charged, so do make sure you double check everything is secure.

Qualified cards

As Philip Bloom reported, the Pocket Cinema Camera doesn’t format your cards in-camera or delete any clips. However, we didn’t have any of the compatibility issues he mentioned, despite using PNY 90Mbps SDHC cards rather than the recommended SanDisk Extreme ones recommended in the manual. (Obviously we always recommend using the qualified cards where possible, though.) You’ll need to format your card as HFS+ or exFAT to use it with the camera, and you’ll want to keep a few on hand as the files are pretty big – the test footage was shot in ProRes 422 HQ and 1080p with two channels of audio, and that worked out at roughly 1.25GB per minute.

Supported formats and frame rates

The demo unit only ships with ProRes support – no DNxHD or RAW. The frame rates available are 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30fps, with timelapse supported in one to 50 second intervals, one to ten minutes or one to ten frames.

During the shoot

The test footage was shot outside on a very bright day, which meant that the screen was difficult to see (invest in a loupe or EVF while you’re waiting for your camera to ship) and the camera was incredibly sensitive, even when shooting with the lens closed right down and the shutter at 45 degrees (the auto iris is great, though). As with the original Cinema Camera, stabilisation is a must. The crop factor means that any movements you make are magnified 3 times, and unlike the original model, the Pocket doesn’t have a 2.5K frame that you can crop to HD to cut out some of that movement.

Panasonic lenses are a good bet with the Pocket Cinema Camera, purely because they have stabilisation functionality built in while other prime lenses don’t. We’d recommend investing in a 14mm or 20mm pancake lens, as not only will they have less effect on the camera’s balance, they’ve got the perfect focal length for the crop size and help keep the camera pocket-sized. (As our incredibly non-technical unboxing shows, without lenses it lives up to its name.)

Having zebras on the viewfinder was great and made it easier to make adjustments to the aperture and shutter angle to compensate for conditions – even with a Voigtlander lens shut down to F16 and with the shutter at 45 degrees, it was sometimes difficult to get a decent image. Happily, it was easy to recover the footage without much loss of detail, even though it was ProRes, and we’re excited to see what’ll happen when we get models that can shoot RAW.

One major weakness was the autofocus, which is not smooth and clearly very immature – future software updates will hopefully help with this. When shooting with an Olympus lens it was jerky and tended to hyper-extend the lens, though Panasonic glass fared better, even if performance was slow. If you hold down the focus button a focus view box will appear in the centre of your camera’s screen, and if you hold this down forever it will eventually focus. Double tapping the button turns on focus peaking, which was useful for manual focusing, and took some of the load off the very slow autofocus. The infinity focus also needs work, as it’s currently very soft.

And that screen? Perhaps controversially, we’d actually prefer it to be a touchscreen. There are no manual buttons to assign, so you can spend a lot of time cycling through menus to changes things like shutter angle, ISO and colour temperature. For future models a DSLR- type dial for ISO and shutter angle adjustment would be a great addition.

The results

Shown below are stills from the original test shoot, and the same stills after a very quick primary grade. For such a small camera in such an improvised shoot, the level of detail is fantastic, and any problems were easily fixed in post.

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera with Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 shot at F2.8

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera with Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 shot at F2.8


Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera with Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 at F4

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera with Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 at F4


Flipflop, shot with Blackmagic Cinema Camera using Olympus Zuiko OM 50mm F1.8 on a OM to MFT adaptor

Flipflop, shot with Blackmagic Cinema Camera using Olympus Zuiko OM 50mm F1.8 on an OM to MFT adaptor


The obligatory cat shot, using Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera with Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm wide F2.8 on OM to MFT adaptor

The obligatory cat shot, using Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera with Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm wide F2.8 on OM to MFT adaptor


Want to know more about the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. Alternatively, take a look at our lovely new Blackmagic Design store. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Video: Unboxing Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera

Video: Unboxing Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera

When we received one of the first seven Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras to hit the UK’s shores, we did what any right-thinking technical company would do – handed it over to our marketing department and let them thoroughly embarrass themselves while unboxing it.

Does it tell you much about what the camera can do? No. Are there numerous helpful tips on getting optimal performance from your Pocket Cinema Camera? No. But you do get to find out what a new Pocket Cinema Camera smells like, and there’s a funny bit with an SD card (our head of media and entertainment promptly took the Pocket Cinema Camera away to shoot some actual test footage, which we’ll have up soon, along with his notes).

You can pre-order the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera from our site now – and we’ll even give you £100 off if you buy a 14-140mm Panasonic lens at the same time.

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

Tech we love: Sony’s FS700 with Metabones lens adaptor

Tech we love: Sony’s FS700 with Metabones lens adaptor

Sony’s 4K-ready FS700 is the first 4K-ready Super 35mm camera in its class, giving you the opportunity to get onto a 4K workflow at a relatively low price point (once the 4K HXR-IFR5 recorder ships, at any rate).  Recently, we’ve taken to pairing this camera with a Metabones lens adaptor, and we like the combination so much we’re now giving one away free when you buy the FS700.

Sony FS700 and free metabones lens adaptor available from Jigsaw24

Sony FS700 and free metabones lens adaptor available from Jigsaw24

Why get yourself a Metabones lens adaptor?

Well, it means that you can use your Canon EF lenses with your Sony FS700, but still retain all the automatic functions. Typically, if you’re using an electronic Canon lens on a camera like the FS700, differences between the two sets of firmware would mean you’d lose any automatic features. This is particularly annoying when you come to change the iris settings, as there are no manual controls for that on most electronic lenses, so you’d be stuck moving the lens back to a Canon camera, changing your settings, and then moving the lens back to your shooting camera – a workaround that wastes bags of time and generates more quiet rage than can possibly be healthy.

Metabones’s adaptors sidestep all that by allowing the lens and camera to talk directly to one another, so you retain true electronic aperture control of your EF mount lenses, and are able to use auto aperture mode in run and gun situations. Autofocus will work with some lenses but alas not all, so you’ll want to check the list over at Metabones’s site to make sure yours are supported.

And why would you want a Sony FS700?

This 4K-ready camera comes with a Super 35mm CMOS sensor, super slow-motion capability and an interchangeable E-mount lens system, and the latest iteration comes loaded with features that Sony have added based on user feedback, so it should deliver exactly what your workflow needs. Features that have been added in include: 50/60Hz switchability, built in ND filters, a 3G-SDI interface and an enhanced exterior design.

If you’re shooting a lot of slow motion, we’ve tried this camera and heartily recommend it – take a look at our overly dramatic test footage.  You can get up to 10x slow motion at full HD resolution, or up to 40x slow motion at a reduced resolution, giving you creative options that were once only available with specialist high-end equipment.

Want to know more about our range of cameras? 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.

Make the most of After Effects and CINEMA 4D with Quadro cards and iOFX

Make the most of After Effects and CINEMA 4D with Quadro cards and iOFX

You’re probably aware of our over-enthusuastic feelings about the link between CINEMA 4D and Adobe After Effects CC, given that we outed it as one of our best reasons to move to Creative Cloud and blogged what was essentially a gleeful squeal when the upgrade deal from CINEMA 4D Lite to Broadcast was announced, but just in case you missed it: we’re huge fans. This time round, we’re getting slightly more practical, taking a look at how to speed up your After Effects – CINEMA 4D workflow with NVIDIA’s ultra buff Quadro cards and almighty not-quite-an-SSD iOFX from Fusion-iO.

We love After Effects but…

…let’s face it, it was never a full 3D solution. Adobe were always open about the fact that it was not designed to be a 3D modelling program, and only ever gave you access to 2.5D – essentially just positioning 2D objects in 3D space, without ever giving them any depth – or a string of uni-directional workflows to full modelling applications, all which had their fair share of glitches and caveats.

After Effects Creative Cloud's CINEWARE plug-in options

After Effects Creative Cloud’s CINEWARE plug-in options

With the arrival of After Effects Creative Cloud and its CINEWARE plug-in, you can now create CINEMA 4D scenes directly in After Effects. If you already have your own CINEMA 4D setup then great, After Effects will happily work with that; if not, it ships with the stripped down CINEMA 4D Lite, which means you can do basic modelling out of the box before deciding which of the full versions suits the projects you’re taking on.

You can compare the Lite and full versions of CINEMA 4D here.

While you’re working, you can view and render a CINEMA 4D scene directly inside After Effects,  then jump to CINEMA 4D if you need to make more complex edits – any changes you make there will be directly reflected in the After Effects environment, and you can access your CINEMA 4D render settings without leaving After Effects.

So what hardware do you need for this workflow?

If you’ve recently updated your After Effects or CINEMA 4D workstations, you’re probably still safe to carry on using them. However, we’ve designed this bundle of add-ons to give you optimal performance, delivering faster graphics performance, smoother playback and better render times.

There are two key things here: Fusion-iO’s iOFX and NVIDIA’s Quadro 4000. The iOFX is a much publicised, super-fast flash memory storage tier, which in this case acts as a cache to enable extremely fast, smooth playback within After Effects. The NVIDIA Quadro 4000 is the fastest CUDA-based card that you can put in a Mac Pro. This means it’s the best match for Adobe’s CUDA-enhanced rendering options, and will give you the best performance with the ray trace renderer. We’ve also included a copy of CINEMA 4D Broadcast, the CINEMA 4D configuration Maxon have built for anyone looking to create more complex 3D models and motion graphics for broadcast work.

See the bundle on Jigsaw24.com

Want to know more about your CINEMA 4D options? Read the roundup, or get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or at 3D@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page

Video: Discover the new Touch Type tool in Illustrator CC

Video: Discover the new Touch Type tool in Illustrator CC

We’ve finally learned why Touch Type is called Touch Type, thanks to this clip from Adobe TV. As well as running you through how to use the Touch Type feature to edit the font, colour and positioning of live text in Illustrator (and do so phenomenally quickly), Adobe’s Rufus Deuchler explains that it’s easy to use with touchscreens like the Wacom Cintiq range, where you can simply tap and drag elements of your text to reposition or edit them. So now you know. 

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook