A look back at the last quarter century of creative technology

A look back at the last quarter century of creative technology

We’re celebrating our 25th year providing products that help everyone from studio managers to graphic designers to video producers stay productive and creative. As part of the festivities, we’re going retro and taking the plunge into a nostalgia pool filled with Zip drives, beige Power Macs, primitive social networks, old school design apps and more! 

Creation and innovation can be a tough business, but it’s worth it. A quarter century of hard work has led to countless milestone moments and tech developments. See for yourself how far we’ve come…

1992

– Roger Whittle founds Jigsaw24. The colour orange is never the same again.

– Animation gains a new dimension as classic horror game Alone in the Dark introduces us all to the joys of 3D polygon character animation, traumatising at least one member of the team so badly that they give up gaming forever.

Alone_in_the_dark_435_wide

– Neil Papworth wishes Richard Jarvis “Merry Christmas” in the first ever SMS message.

1993

– The PDF is born (this may well be the least cool entry on the list, but the ‘compare document’ feature in the latest version of Acrobat DC is a lifesaver, and the new editing toolkit is properly brilliant).

– The internet is born. Cats everywhere shudder but don’t know why…

– NVIDIA is founded; gamers swear by their high-powered GPUs to this day.

1994

– American telecoms company AT&T run the first ever internet ad banner campaign. A single bead of sweat trickles down the forehead of every person working in the print business.

– Photoshop 3.0 is released and introduces the world to layers.

– Iomega’s Zip drive is released.

ZIP_Drive_100_

– Apple launch their ‘Serious Business Computer’ ad, which we strongly urge you to watch:

1995

– JavaScript is released. Jamie, our Web Designer, says “JavaScript is crucial to web and non-web projects and it’s hard to imagine working without it. But the range of libraries can be baffling, so I prefer React and Angular.”

– Sony releases the first PlayStation, beginning an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in children.

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– Coca-Cola’s iconic Christmas truck advert airs for the first time. All together now: “Holidays are coming, holidays are coming…”

1996

– The first CSS specification is published.

1997

– Apple encourage us to Think Different for the first time; science responds by cloning Dolly the sheep.

– IBM’s Deep Blue defeats chess champ Garry Kasparov. We know we’re not an IBM outfit, but credit where it’s due.

– Google domain name is registered. We could not have compiled this list without it, so feel compelled to include it.

original_google_homepage

1998

– Wacom release the first Intuos tablet. There is much rejoicing. Graphic Designer Liana says “I remember getting my first job and being amazed by Wacom. I’d spent all of my time at uni huddled over an 11” MacBook, trying to do everything on the Touchpad, which obviously has nothing on a nice big Wacom.”

– First ever Google Doodle. Bit rubbish, to be honest.

– HDTV is introduced. Everyone becomes picture quality snobs.

1999

– The mighty Nikon D1 becomes the first DSLR to challenge the market supremacy of film cameras.

– Budweiser asks “Wassup?”

2000

– Post-apocalyptic horrors promised during the Y2K Panic fail to materialise.

– Everyone buys a Nokia 3310.

– Sony launches PlayStation 2, the best-selling video game console ever.

2001

– Apple launch iTunes and OS X, ushering us into the modern era of Mac.

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– Microsoft remove that Paperclip thing from Office. It is not missed.

– Wikipedia is launched. Students everywhere are elated, and nobody wins an internet debate ever again.

2002

– InDesign becomes the first ever Mac-native desktop publishing tool.

– Gartner calculate that one billion personal computers have been sold since their arrival in the 70s.

2003

– The first ever Creative Suite is released, including the all-new Premiere Pro.

– The Dalsa Origin becomes the first commercially available 4K camera.

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– Skype is launched, making video conferencing several thousand times easier.

2004

– Facebook beings its journey to world domination. People Poke each other.

– MySpace arrives, and manages to trick a generation of teenagers into learning HTML by letting you customise your profile.

myspace_home_2004

– Motorola release the Razr V3 flip phone. It’s really thin.

2005

– Adobe launch Creative Suite 2, featuring Smart Objects.

– The first YouTube video is released. Elephants’ trunks are really cool.

– Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle becomes the first film released on Blu-ray.

2006

– The .gif standard becomes freely available, making written language obsolete and neatly dividing the world into gifsayers and jifsayers.

– Jack Dorsey sends the first ever tweet (and is too edgy for vowels):

2007

– iPhone arrives, and promptly shifts 1.4 million units in its first year.

Apple_iPhone_1st_Gen

– CS3 arrives, meaning you can finally use Photoshop on a modern Mac without having to go through Rosetta.

– Cadbury rehabilitate Phil Collins’ image with their classic drumming gorilla ad, which none of us can believe is really ten years old.

2008

– Nikon’s D90 is the first DSLR to introduce video recording.

nikon_d90_1

– Artist Shepard Fairey creates the iconic Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster.

2009

– James Cameron’s Avatar becomes the highest-grossing film of all time.

– Microsoft launches Windows 7, sealing the fate of Vista.

2010

– iPad is released.

– The first commercially available jet pack is launched.

2011

– Adobe introduce Content-Aware tools.

– Wacom introduce the Cintiq 24HD. It weighs as much as a not-so-small child, but we all want one anyway.

– The number of Apple devices sold in this one year is larger than the total number of Macs sold ever. We imagine a lot of people spent this year frantically working out how to make their website responsive.

– Steve Jobs passes away aged 56.

steve_jobs_ipad

2012

– The final boxed version of Creative Suite, CS6, is released, which we mention only because our marketing team won a prize for their campaign and have been insufferable ever since.

– Jony Ive gets a knighthood; rumour has it he commented witheringly on the maximalist design of the medal.

– The Hobbit is the first movie filmed at 48 fps. Viewers suffer eyestrain.

– The world doesn’t end. In your face, Mayans.

2013

– Kenneth Grange scores a knighthood, joining Ive as Britain’s most decorated designer.

– Adobe launch Creative Cloud.

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– Film Gravity uses the most complex lighting setup in film history, using a custom-built light box with 1.8 million high-powered LEDs to film zero-gravity footage.

2014

– YouTube announce that they receive 100 hours of new video content per minute.

2015

– Windows 10 is launched, if you’re into that sort of thing.

2016

– Mobile browsing overtakes desktop for the first time.

– Harambe the gorilla dies and is memorialised forever in meme form.

2017

– Carter Wilkinson makes a plea to Wendy’s for a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets. It becomes the most retweeted tweet of all time, currently standing at over 3.5 million.

– Twitter shut down online video service Vine. At least it lasted longer than its videos.

– Jigsaw24 turn 25; immediately has crisis about logo.

If you’d like to find out more about about contemporary creative kit, give us a call on 03332 400 888, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

NAB 2017: Canon launch new upgrade service for EOS 5D Mk IV

NAB 2017: Canon launch new upgrade service for EOS 5D Mk IV

Canon have announced a new paid upgrade for EOS 5D Mk IV users, available exclusively from Canon-authorised service centres. 

The upgrade brings Canon Log (C-Log) capability to the EOS 5D. A staple feature in Canon’s Cinema EOS range, C-Log will provide EOS 5D users with enhanced dynamic range and easier colour grading.
 
The key things to remember when debating whether this upgrade is for you include: 

– This chargeable service and must be performed by Elstree.

– The charge will be “approx £85″ (this is the most exact figure we have, sorry) as Canon have to pay a licence fee in order to furnish you with the upgrade.

– The fees do not include postage for your camera.

– After the upgrade, the normal firmware upgrades can be applied without needing to return to the RCC (as was required for the 1D C).

The C-Log upgrade for EOS 5D Mk IV will be available in June.

If you want to know more on the biggest and best NAB Show releases, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Using the Canon XC10 in Biological Photography MSc

Using the Canon XC10 in Biological Photography MSc

As Canon’s latest wonder, the compact, 4K XC10 video camera is in high demand among image specialists. The Biological Photography team over at the University of Nottingham got their hands on the XC10, so our very own Anthony Corcoran and Liz Sunter sat down with David McMahon (Director of Photography & Imaging) and Steve Galloway (Taught Course Specialist) for a chat to find out their thoughts on the camera, and how they’ve been using it on the Biological Photography and Imaging MSc course.

AC:  Do you find it’s students who already have a degree in science that want to do more media type stuff coming to the course?

DM: We get students who’ve come straight out of doing their degree, but we also get a large percentage of students who’ve been out in the working world as well who are coming back to do our course, so they might decide on a career change. So our youngest student would be 22 just coming out of their undergraduate programme, right up to… we had a student who was 65, was she?

SG: I think she was, yeah.

DM: Anyway, getting the budget to buy the kit and so on is a big problem. We ask them to bring along a basic kit, which is a DSLR with a basic lens, flash, some other bits and pieces, and then we supply them with extras to top that kit up, like a 70 – 300mm lens, macro lens and things like that.

AC: So traditionally you’re using basically photography based kit and these days you’re doing bits of video production on DSLRs?

DM: Yeah, we used to use the Sony 1000Es, which we got from Jigsaw24 years ago, but the problem was they were tape-based, so there was a lot of time spent importing the tape into the system and stuff like that. And then we went on to the Canon 7Ds, but then we saw the XC10s at the Rutland Bird Fair.

AC: Good to know Canon are nailing absolutely every possible market.

DM: Steve said “I want to show you this camera.” And as soon as I saw the camera – terrific.

AC: I thought the same, because of the small form factor and the little flip out screen. And in fact I quite like the fact that you can’t change the lens. Just having the large sensor and fixed lens means you can move quickly. And then also things like, the five axle stabilisation system’s pretty smart, and it can do 4K or HD, all at a 1200 quid price point.

DM: In terms of education kit, and the reason one of the bits is really good is the actual restrictions it puts on you as well. You can’t change the lenses, so the student is actually stuck with what you have to give them, and they have to learn to work with what they’ve got, [whereas] instead of being like, “Ooh, I need to get closer” they’ll put on a longer lens, and then vibration will start coming into it and they’ll go “Well why is it vibrating?” So give them a piece of kit that is very restrictive and first of all it does mess about with their heads, but secondly they start to learn how to get round these problems.

AC: So what was in the shooting kit?

SG: It was the camera and accessories, and then we gave them a tripod with a video fluid head, sound kit, so they had a field recorder, an on-camera microphone and a shotgun microphone in a blimp and a boom pole. They had some sliders, some tabletop dollies and some jibs. And they were all trained up on that, they did a practice exercise first. They have to learn the motions themselves.

DM: The first part is more about how you’re going to be working together as a team. They don’t know who’s going to be working with who, that’s put together at the last minute, so it’s getting them to work with someone that they haven’t necessarily worked with, bringing other people into it – they might have to find a voiceover artist – they need to then communicate with outside organisations to arrange filming and such. And it’s all done over a really short period of time, so it makes them really sit up and think about what they need to do. The video aspect is actually secondary to what we’re trying to teach them – to think on their feet and arrange things, working together, coping with the stress of editing and learning how to edit.

AC: There are so many factors. Traditionally editing was a craft done by only an editor, and I know it’s kind of more simple now doing it on a computer [but] at the same time you’ve got a million more different types of codecs, a million more different types of plug-ins, a million more different types of software, so you could argue it’s more complicated in some respects. A guy could have spent years at the BBC learning that craft and that camera inside out, but that’s not going to happen today. There’s all sorts of stuff, whether you’re doing After Effects or Photoshop, tweaking it, and also mixing media inside your films, using bits of stills or bits of photography –

DM: Again this is what they had to do, they had to bring in their own kind of animation into the film as well, so it’s not only about filming on the XC10s but also using other Adobe programmes like Photoshop and Illustrator to actually do animations and to use that within the films as well. So there’s a whole mixed bunch that we actually give them to do in a three week period. The photography side of their learning is quite laidback. The video side is quite an intense programme that we throw at them.

LS: And lastly, how was your experience working with Jigsaw24? 

DM: I think that Jigsaw24 is a fantastic company, I really wouldn’t shop anywhere else for computer equipment or things like that. We’ve had issues before with other companies, but with Jigsaw24 you know they’re going to deal with any problems properly.

Want to know more about the Canon XC10? Get in touch with the team on 03332 400 888 or email sales@jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘Like’ us on Facebook


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

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

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

EOS 5DS and 5DS R

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

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

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

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

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

Canon 760D and 750D

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

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

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

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

EOS M3

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

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

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

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

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