Iddo Genuth writes: A DIY enthusiast Matthew Perks recently published an interesting video on an ambitious self build project to create an ultra low noise microphone for recording different ambient sounds — the result is quiet astonishing creation — a self contained portable studio microphone/recorder that can record a beating heart from a few inches away in a quiet room.
This is not a DIY build for the faint of heart (literally) and it does require quiet a bit of knowledge in electronics and some spare time on your hands but the result — at least from the video seems extremely impressive (at least if you disregard the dead cat look of the whole contraption. Just do yourself a favour and listen to this one with some good earphones in HD quality.
Iddo Genuth writes: Linus Sebastian (from LinusTechTips) decided to see how much of a real world difference is there between shooting 1080p and shooting 4K if your end goal is uploading your content to Youtube as well as watching video in 4K that was upscaled to 4K from 1080p.
More and more content is being shot in 4K these days, especially when there are so many inexpensive cameras with 4K capabilities on the market — but can you really tell the difference between native 4K and upscaled 1080p? the answer seems to be pretty surprising (and a bit complicated and maybe even controversial).
Even if you are not a content creator and just watch stuff on youtube — Linus' video has some interesting bottom line for you in terms of setting your Youtube quality level to the max (if your bandwidth can handle that).
What is your experience — and do you see the differences that Linus was talking about (we couldn't — but we didn't use a 4K screen...).
Iddo Genuth writes: 4K videos and movies are still far from common and now 8K seems to start making its appearance online. A few days ago, what might be the first 8K video entitled "Ghost Towns" was published on Youtube and you can now watch it for yourself in its full 7680 × 4320 pixel glory — that is if you happen to have access to a 8K display (or projector).
The video was created by cinematographer Luke Neumann who used a 6K EPIC DRAGON camera using some advanced and complex techniques such as shooting in portrait orientation and then stitched the video together in Adobe After Effects. Some shots simply scaled up by 125% from 6.1K to meet the 7.6K standard and handheld stuff was 6K scaled up by 125% and sharpened up.
Youtube is now offering an 8K option and according to Google: "8K video has been supported since 2010, but that labeling for 8K video (the 4320p/8K quality setting like pictured above) was added “earlier this year — but presumably there was noting to view — until now...
Iddo Genuth writes: In order to create the largest panoramic picture ever taken (using commercially available gear), a team of international photographers led by Italian photographer Filippo Blengini had to climb to an altitude of 3500 metres wait for two weeks in a temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius and look for a sunny bright day and than spend 35 hours shooting. During this time they shot over 70,000 images which were combined in to the giant 365 Gigapxiel panorama using a special robotic head with a long 400mm telephoto lens (and a 2x Extender).
But the work didn't end up in the snowy Alps — when the team got back they had with them no less than 46TB of images which they needed to process in order to create one giant interactive image 365 Gigapixels in size (1 Gigapixel is equal to 1000 MegaPixels). This processing required some very powerful hardware and took over two months to complete, but the result is a look at the Mont Blanc (the tallest mountain in the Alps and the highest peak in Europe outside of the Caucasus range raising 4,810 meters or 15,781 feet above sea level) — like it has never been seen before.
Iddo Genuth writes: Microsoft wants us all to say goodbye to long boring videos that no one watches, and hello to super smooth Hyperlapse.videos with the help of a new (free) software called Hyperlapse Pro.
Microsoft Hyperlapse is a new technology that creates smooth and stabilized time lapses from first-person videos. The technology has its roots almost 20 years ago and last year MS demonstrated it during SIGGRAPH. However now the company is ready with a version that everybody can use on both a PC and a mobile platform (there is currently a windows phone version and a Beta for Android).
Is it worth a download? well if you are shooting lots of action videos the answer is probably yes, however judging by some of the first attempts to use the software which were published on YouTube recently its clear that having a cool software doesn't mean your videos will look cool if you are shooting boring stuff...
Iddo Genuth writes: In celebration of Photoshop’s 25 anniversary Adobe decided to publish an interesting an a bit nostalgic video which looks at the original Photoshop — version 1.0 announced back in 1990.
There are very few working computers these days that can run Photoshop 1.0 directly, however using an emulator you can more or less reproduce the software as it was a quarter of a century ago. There are many things that we take for granted in Photoshop that you could not do in the original version including using layers (these came only in version 3.0), use live preview or even something as basic as saving your image as JPEG (which was introduced around 1992), not to speak of Camera RAW which was introduced quite a few years later (as there were no commercial digital cameras anywhere). Of course there was also no real internet so the only way to get digital images was by scanning prints...
Iddo Genuth writes: Japanese researchers from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. developed a a unique lighting technology that adds motion to still images and 3D objects.
Nippon's technology adds a layer of gray-scale motion pattern to a static color picture using a projector. Since the color pattern of the picture does not move, the resulting pattern is an incorrect pattern containing many inconsistencies. However, it appears to be a correct colorful movie to human observers creating a visual illusion which you can watch in a video released by Nippon.
The technology is said to be aimed at advertisement, art, entertainment and potentially other uses as well.
Iddo Genuth writes: 2013 was the worst year for the photography industry in decades — but what happened in 2014 and will the upcoming blitz of cameras (including the super resolution Canon 5D S with 50MP sensor to be announced tomorrow) change everything in 2015?
The official numbers published by CIPA (the Camera & Imaging Products Association) are out and they tell a story of a struggling photography industry trying to stay afloat in a sea of smartphones. Will it survive? This is the big question all of the photography manufacturers are facing over the past two years, and eventually what does it all mean for us as consumers?
Iddo Genuth writes: Until 20 years ago even the best telescopes in the world could not detect a planet outside our solar system. Now, with the aid of a basic DSLR, low cost lens and some DIY magic, you just might be able to "see" ET's home planet for yourself.
Your DSLR can do much more than just take a few nice portraits or the occasional vacation photos – if you have some DIY experience (O.K. a bit more than just "some"), you might be able to repeat what David Schneider was recently been able to do — that is, building his own planet finder using only inexpensive photo gear, low cost electronics, the right kind of software and a lot of patience.
Although Schneider was "only" able to rediscover an already known exsoplanet (some 63 light-years away from us), what he did — and more importantly how he did it — might allow planet hunting to become closer to SETI@home than NASA's 550,000 million dollar Kepler space telescope project.
Iddo Genuth writes: Have Just 5 min to charge your iPhone or camera battery? a new kickstarter sponsored battery pack is promising to help you get the juice you need for your favorite device (smartphone, tablet, camera or even a laptop) in just a few minutes with an external battery pack that can charge quickly and holds lots of power.
If you only have half an hour between connection flights and you hate the frustrating feeling of watching the power bar staying in the same place — Pronto might be the solution you have been waiting for. This battery which comes in 2 sizes can store enough power for 3-9 iPhone 5 charges and only needs 5 min (or 15 with the smaller version) for a full iPhone charge.
The pronto Kickstarter project raised close to $300,000 and will be ending in 10 days — the developers are looking to surpass their previous success with the powerpot — another kickstarter project which help campers charge devices with a pot and boiling water.
Iddo Genuth writes: 4K displays are so last year – get ready for the next big thing – the new Dell UP2715K which boost an unbelievable 5120×2880 pixel resolution – or 14.7 Megapixels. What can you actually run on this bad boy is a different matter — finding 4K content seems hard enough these days (although 4K BDs should start appearing in the near future), however gamers, video editors and image editors might find the extra 70% more resolution useful.
The monitor will reach the market later this year according to Dell at a pretty reasonable price of about $2.5K and from the quick video demo it seems that Dell was able to counter glare on this screen in quite a decent way.
Iddo Genuth writes: Earlier this weekend Intel announced 3 new “Extreme” processors based on the Haswell-E i7 architecture including a new 8-core i7-5960X CPU. But how does this new processing king preform as part of super high end video editing machine alongside the new X99 chipset and DDR4 memory and do more cores more important than a higher clock rate?
Photographer Dave Dugdale and JJ Guerrero from ASUS decided to check these questions out and recorded and extensive video looking at some of the interesting questions that has to do with building a very high end system for editing 4K videos with the latest hardware around (as long as you have deep pockets...).
Iddo Genuth writes: A group of students from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, Berkeley developed a free software which uses regular 2D images and combines them with free 3D models of objects to create unbelievable video results.
The group of 4 students created a free downloadable software (currently for mac OS-X only) that allows users to perform 3D manipulations, such as rotations, translations, scaling, deformation, and 3D copy-paste, to objects in photographs. However unlike many 3D object manipulation software, the team’s approach seamlessly reveals hidden parts of objects in photographs, and produces plausible shadows and shading. This is done by using 3D models (which can be obtained freely online from many repositories).
Iddo Genuth writes: A British inventor created a system which allows you to connect one or more external monitors to your laptop to create a portable, high resolution multi monitor setup for the road warrior who can’t live without the extra screen real estate — the only drawback — you will need a Mini DisplayPort or a DisplayPort on your laptop.
If you are used to working with a multi monitor setup on your desktop but you find it hard to leave it behind when you are on the road – you are not alone.A new kickstarter project called Packed Pixels brings an interesting way to connect one or two extra high res displays to your laptop for a relatively low price.
Iddo Genuth writes: There are an estimated 7,000 deaths in the United States due to preventable medication errors each year. A new company called MedAware is looking to use artificial intelligence and smart learning algorithms to counter this growing problem.
MedAware developed smart software that analyzes large databases of medical records and created specific profiles for each drug based on the type of patients to which it was given (including things such as age, sex, medical history and condition). Whenever a patient who does not fit the profile of a specific drug receives a prescription for it — a message pops up on the physician's computer signaling a problem.