The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Fujifilm’s X-Pro digital camera, a compact 16-megapixel camera with removable lenses and a viewfinder that switches from optical to electronic, revisits the company’s film photography roots in a novel way.

Digital photography has a challenge not faced by film photography—dealing with aliasing, that is, when photographing a repetitive pattern, the pixels can create odd and distracting patterns, called moire patterns. To prevent these patterns from forming, digital cameras use a low-pass filter to resample the image, reducing the resolution.

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Fujifilm took a different approach, announced today at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Film doesn’t suffer from moire patterns because the “pixels”, that is, the particles of silver halide, vary randomly in size. Taking a lesson from film’s makeup, Fujifilm designed a CMOS sensor with color pixels arrayed irregularly in six-by-six squares, compared with the conventional two-by-two arrays. The X-Trans CMOS sensor is essentially the same size as other sensors used in Advanced Photo System cameras (a smaller format than full-frame digital SLRs). But, Fujifilm says, produces higher resolution pictures because the camera does not include that low-pass filter; it doesn’t need it.

The X-Pro body will cost around $1700, lenses about $600 each, available in February.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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