At the heart of the receiver is the surround-sound processor. The most basic surround processors use a Dolby Pro Logic II decoder. Pro Logic II is a "matrix" system that takes an encoded two-channel stereo signal and converts it to a five-channel full bandwidth (range) playback (Left/Center/Right/Left Surround/Right Surround),resulting in a surround experience. Most TV shows are encoded in Dolby Pro Logic II, as are the majority of VHS videos. You can also play DVDs through a Pro Logic II only-receiver because DVD players can synthesize a Pro Logic II signal that mimics a surround soundtrack. The newer Dolby Pro Logic IIx adds the ability of converting stereo or 5.1-channel surround sound for seamless 6.1 or 7.1 playback.
Having squeezed more pixels than most of us actually need into DSLRs in every price range, manufacturers are focusing on incorporating cutting-edge features normally reserved for mid and upper-level DSLRs into their less-pricy consumer DSLRs. Nowhere is this clearer than Canon's 6th generation digital Rebel, the EOS Rebel T1i, which is available as body-only or with a Canon 18-55 IS kit lens.
The Used Department at B&H Photo's NYC Superstore is larger than most camera stores, and much of the used gear we have in stock isn't even on display. We have what must be the most eclectic assortment of used classics, limited edition, and special purpose cameras you're likely to find in one location. But since many of our best, long-time customers live too far to ever stop by and say 'Hi', we thought we'd write about some of the more interesting items we had on hand at the time of this writing.
Back in the mid-70s Nikon made a 6/2.8 fisheye lens that captured a 220° circular image, which is 40° wider than the standard-issue 180° fisheyes manufactured today. Weighing in at 11 lbs, it had a front element the shape and size of a small goldfish bowl (9.3") and all-but-dwarfed the Nikon F hanging off the back of it. You could actually see behind the camera. And it could be had for about $13,500 in 1975 Yankee dollars.
Fast forward 35 years and I find myself palming a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1, a sub-compact bridge camera with a 9.1Mp Super Exmor CMOS sensor (1/2.4"), full-res burst-rates of up to 10 fps, a 20x Sony G-series optically-stabilized zoom lens, and a long list of features you'd expect to find nowadays on bridge-style digicams.
As I prepare for another dive off the Island of Roca Partida, everything is perfect, as it has been the past five days. It is a beautiful day, sea conditions are ideal, and I am thinking about the wonders I will photograph as this amazing trip is coming to an end. I check all my life support equipment and camera gear before boarding the Zodiac (rubber raft type boat).
The days of schlepping a hefty notebook and so-called "portable" projector are dwindling. Presentation equipment is becoming so miniaturized that you can now slide the computer into an inside jacket pocket and the projector into a shirt pocket. Such hands-free carriage is predicated on connecting two types of emerging devices: mini-notebook PCs (or "netbooks") and palm-size projectors. But do featherweight presentation devices perform well enough for you to consider leaving their larger siblings behind?
Until recently, options for multi-monitor support were limited. You could accept the fact that your computer didn't support it – or replace the computer entirely. Or, assuming your machine had an open expansion slot, you could take on a DIY video-card upgrade, a project fraught with the joys of research, installation, troubleshooting, and without any guarantee of success.
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