Since in-ear headphones sit in or near the ear canal, they don't interact with the pinna, the bends and curves of the outer ear that direct sound to the ear canal. The pinna also serves as an acoustic filter, enhancing the frequency range of human speech, and it also supplies directional cues, so we can localize where sound is coming from. That's how our ears and brains process sound in real life, but in-ear headphones don't interact with the pinna, so they can't sound as realistic as full-size headphones or speakers. In-ears can still sound great, … Read more
K-Lite Codec Pack is a free package of media player codecs that can improve both audio and video playback in Windows Media Player or the included free Media Player Classic. It includes many components but has a single installer and setup tool.
K-Lite Codec Pack's installer offers three options: Simple mode, which hides most options and uses recommended defaults; Advanced mode (the default setting), which shows almost all options; and Expert mode, which unlocks additional options. Well, we couldn't resist Expert mode, especially since our biggest concern was having existing codecs displaced or replaced by new but possibly … Read more
Where do you find inspiration for your work? Robert Full, a professor at University of California at Berkeley, and his team looked to lizards when it came to thinking of ways to better design robots for search and rescue missions.
Such robots have to be more agile. So Full's team studied the movements of a red-headed Agama lizard and discovered the importance of having a tail.
"I think what this shows is that even the strangest creature that we think has nothing to offer really holds fundamental secrets of how things work, and those can be translated to … Read more
Our chums over at CNET Australia have an early in-depth review of the $5,995 Nikon D4, a powerhouse full-frame dSLR with a 16.2-megapixel sensor and boisterous ISO speed of 204,800.
"The Nikon D4 offers many significant improvements from previous professional-grade SLRs, such as the D3S, as well as excellent shooting performance, autofocusing speed and video recording," writes CNET Australia reviewer Lexy Savvides. "This is a serious pro tool designed for the likes of sports and editorial photographers, and its many usability tweaks will ensure that every shooting situation is catered for."
The review goes into the important changes in the Nikon D4's design, connectivity, performance, image quality, and video implementation. Also, be sure to check out CNET Australia's Nikon D4 review video, unboxing, image samples, and video samples.
German camera manufacturer Leica today announced a limited-edition white M9-P digital camera -- quite limited, actually; only 50 will be available. The special release coincides with the recent launch of the Leica Daimaru camera store in Tokyo.
The 18.5-megapixel Leica M9-P full-frame digital camera features an astounding feature set that normally commands a retail price around $7,995. However, this limited-edition run carries a much heftier price of 2,620,000 Japanese yen, which translates to an astounding $31,792. … Read more
A notice from Nikon Japan today indicates troubling times for those aiming to purchase the upcoming D800 dSLR.
Due for release Thursday, the highly anticipated 36.3-megapixel full-frame D800 features a dizzying array of features, and up to 1080/30p video recording.
We have a love-hate relationship with desktop enhancements: when they work well, they can definitely change your computing experience for the better, but when they don't, they can be a tremendous pain in the rump. Unfortunately, Smart Desktop falls squarely in the "pain in the rump" camp, delivering potentially useful features in a totally unworkable package.
Smart Desktop is nothing if not ambitious, attempting to cram a tremendous number of tools onto the desktop, including the weather forecast, a slideshow of our images, three different search engines, a calendar, a notepad, information about system performance, and what … Read more
The bottom-right corner of your desktop display will forever be known to most people as the place you put your mouse cursor when watching a movie or video in full-screen mode. If you want to view your movie or game sans mouse, your only real option is to move the mouse to the edge of the screen. Hopefully, there's no hidden control bar there, because that would cause it to display instead.
The problem is, at least on newer versions of Windows, that the cursor isn't designed to disappear after a period of inactivity. To solve … Read more
Because of its lack of video capabilities and its relatively low resolution, the Nikon D700 never attained the level of buzz the Canon EOS 5D Mark II did, despite being an excellent camera. With the D800, Nikon looks poised to catch up to, if not overtake, Canon in the hearts and minds of full-frame devotees.
With all the information about the D800 having leaked in advance, it's easy to tell what's been most attention-grabbing: the high-resolution sensor and the D800E sibling model, which incorporates a modified low-pass filter system that results in little to no antialiasing. There's no doubt that the combination should appeal to professionals like studio and wedding photographers.
However it's notable that the sensor's pixel size is 4.88 x 4.88 microns (compared to 6.4 x 6.4 for the 5DM2) and hits a comparatively low maximum sensitivity of ISO 25,600. That said, cameras for this target market don't need the really high, gain-pushing ISO sensitivities of more action-oriented models; they need the highest clean setting. And Nikon has a history of clean high ISO images for its pro models. But even if the D800 manages impressive video, I suspect that the D800E will be less video friendly--aliasing can be a real problem in video and it's much harder to correct in post-production, so you need that low-pass filter. Medium-format cameras and AA-filter-free models like the Fujifilm X100 usually don't support video or don't produce professional-quality results.
Here's how the current full-frame landscape looks for Nikon's product line and the competitive Canon:… Read more
It looks like Nikon's highly anticipated D800, a large-sensor SLR that supplants the three-year-old D700, will cater to photographers who want to leave behind that mixed blessing of digital photography, the antialiasing filter.
The job of that filter is to remove moire artifacts--wavy lines and other visual distractions that can occur when an image sensor's grid of pixels captures an image with repeating elements such as fabric patterns. The antialiasing filter works by slightly blurring the image, which is convenient when moire is a problem but which degrades sharpness in the many situations where it's not. … Read more