The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Never Miss Another Shot

A new chip set gives digital cameras the rapid-fire shooting ability of 35 mm cameras

3 min read

Ever try to take pictures one right after the other using a digital still camera? Even if the camera is powered up and ready to go, you miss shots during the noticeable delay while the camera takes its time to capture, process, and store each image on a memory card.

Some cameras allow you to take a series of 5, 7, or maybe 10 shots before the camera pauses. Of course, this just delays the inevitable, since there is an even longer wait as the camera processes and stores the whole series. But Tokyo-based Kyocera Corp. ( offers a feature in at least three of its cameras that lets you take those rapid-fire digital shots.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

From WinZips to Cat GIFs, Jacob Ziv’s Algorithms Have Powered Decades of Compression

The lossless-compression pioneer received the 2021 IEEE Medal of Honor

11 min read
Photo of Jacob Ziv
Photo: Rami Shlush

Lossless data compression seems a bit like a magic trick. Its cousin, lossy compression, is easier to comprehend. Lossy algorithms are used to get music into the popular MP3 format and turn a digital image into a standard JPEG file. They do this by selectively removing bits, taking what scientists know about the way we see and hear to determine which bits we'd least miss. But no one can make the case that the resulting file is a perfect replica of the original.

Not so with lossless data compression. Bits do disappear, making the data file dramatically smaller and thus easier to store and transmit. The important difference is that the bits reappear on command. It's as if the bits are rabbits in a magician's act, disappearing and then reappearing from inside a hat at the wave of a wand.

Keep Reading ↓Show less