It's tough to make sense of the maelstrom of gear released at CES. So thick is the swarm of new HDTVs, PMPs and other acronym-bearing curios, that the handful of truly interesting things on display is, well, easy to miss.
Here, we've selected the gadgets that truly impressed us this year. And as is the PopSci way, our picks are not only impressive here in January 2010; they represent a glimpse at what we can expect from the future of consumer electronics.
For scientists studying the smallest components of life, microscopes have always had frustrating limitations. Electron scanning microscopes can see very small object, but not in real time through the dynamic movement of cells. Fluorescent dyes identify microscopic objects, but the brightness of the emitted light greatly reduces the resolution.
The Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscope (STORM) solves both those problems. 100 times more powerful than a regular optical microscope, the STORM filters and adjusts light emitted from fluorescent dyes to produce a clean image of individual molecules, and thus allowing researchers to watch the behavior of proteins in real time.
Now that even cellphones can take the kind of photos you want to save, we end up with images scattered all over. So electronics makers are coming up with easier ways to move your snaps. Sony’s new wireless solution, TransferJet, is built into this TX7 camera and Vaio F-Series laptop. Come home after a trip, put the camera down, and your photos hop over before you hang up your coat.
Save money—while still taking great pictures—by using a vintage lens with your digital camera
By Russ JuskalianPosted 12.21.2009 at 10:55 am 8 Comments
One of the key features of digital SLR cameras is the ability to change lenses to get a wide range of shots, from ultra-zooms to super-close-ups. And now DSLR owners no longer need to spend a bundle on high-end lenses to take advantage of their camera's functionality—there's a way to use older, far less expensive manual-focus lenses instead. All that's required is a twist-on adapter ring, which you can find online for between $5 and $50.
The use of drone aircraft for surveillance and bombing has transformed how the US wages war -- a fact not lost on our cunning adversaries. Rather than just sit around, waiting for the next Predator missile strike, insurgents in Iraq have devised a way to intercept the video feed from drone sensors, giving them the same view as the drone's operator. And they did it with a $26 piece of software.
This photo was taken by Nonja. She is an orangutan. Like many of us, she is interested in keeping her friends up to date on what she's up to in her pen at the Schönbrunn zoo in Austria. She takes and immediately uploads photos to Facebook with her specially modified Samsung ST-1000 point-and-shoot (it dispenses raisins!).
In an excerpt from our new Tech Buyer's Guide, learn everything you need to know to get the best point-and-shoot camera for the buck
By PopSci StaffPosted 11.26.2009 at 10:55 am 1 Comment
Popular Science Tech Buyer's Guide Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Each day this week leading up to Black Friday, we'll excerpt a chunk of our new Tech Buyer's Guide here on the site to arm you with the skills and the picks to get the most from your weekend shopping madness. Here are our picks for point-and-shoot cameras and our buying advice for digital cameras in general. Check out the guide for our picks in DSLR and Micro 4/3 cameras, as well as 15 other product categories.
Olympus today continued the game of cat-and-mouse that is the land of Micro Four Thirds cameras with their new PEN EP-2. The new shooter, which comes on the half-iversary of the EP-1, is chasing Panasonic's much-lauded GF1 but feels unlikely to overtake it.
By Eric AdamsPosted 11.02.2009 at 4:10 pm 8 Comments
My first attempt at Jupiter [left] demonstrates why it's a tricky first target--the brightness of the planet against the darkness of space casts a wide dynamic range for the novice to capture. But it's possible, as a photo taken with the same camera provided by the SBIG folks shows [right].
Astrophotography is hard. Astronomically hard. Everything has to be perfect. Your telescope, with camera attached, must track your target in precise synchronization with the rotation of the Earth. It can't shake. It can't even vibrate. You have to nail your camera's exposure settings or you'll be rewarded with an incoherent mess. Your targets are often so dim you can't even see them until after the image has been made, so focusing is a nightmare.
So why try? Because it makes the entities floating in the vastness of the universe much more real than any Hubble wallpaper on your computer desktop can.
Less than a week after Nikon wowed with its D3S, with previously unseen light sensitivity up to ISO 102,400, Canon has unveiled their own night-vision pro DSLR, the 1D Mark IV. But where the D3S falls short in the video department, the 1D Mark IV pushes things forward.