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CaptainSi

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  1. It's cool man, I have plenty of spare screws and quickly found a replacement. Besides I'm sure you wouldn't be thoroughly impressed with me if I was the dude that made you ship a 3mm long screw internationally (though it would make for a great story). As for the power supplies, keep in mind that transformers are bulky, run hot and usually whine (obviously not what people want on their desk), and the assumption of ownership of their own power supply should never be made. Perhaps it's a matter of shooting off a quick email to international orders (I don't know what volume you ship internationally, but it could certainly be automated through the website) to ask if they want the correct power supply, or to completely remove the power supply from the purchase if they do indeed already have their own. I can't imagine theres a huge cost difference between the American and Australian power supplies, so really they should be optional, therefore not additional costs for customers.
  2. Oh of course not, I'm very aware of the NwAvGuy narrative, but it doesn't stop Mayflower from making up something. "Objective2 + ODAC combo unit" is a clunky name. Imagine trying to work it into a conversation. If they, for example, adopted a nautical naming theme for all of their products (that's just based on their logo, but whatever's clever) and called it the Mayflower "Mainsail", with their stock unit being called the "Spinnaker" it would be way better. That's what I was trying to get at.
  3. While Mayflower Electronics' naming scheme is precisely as graceful as a flying brick, their Objective2 + ODAC combo unit is certainly more useful than said adage - unless your motive is in fact to kill someone and/or be disqualified from a paper aeroplane contest with the social label “monumentally stupid”. Certainly, my unit spent the first month of its life as a flying brick on it's trepidatious journey from Murica to Straya, however, and thankfully, far from the optimal dimensions and strength characteristics of a common house brick, it arrived in good condition, as packaging was excellent. As fascinating as the science of house bricks is, I'm not silly enough to spent about $330 on a brick, especially seeing as I wanted to spend the $330 on a box that makes sounds, and, spoiler: it does, and much more effectively than a brick. In tandem with my Objective2 + ODAC combo unit I also stole one of Mayflower's Fostex T50RP headsets, with the “Version 1” modification configuration, and that was about $150. Included in the box with the O2 combo unit is a gold plated USB to Mini USB cable from Monoprice, and an American power supply by Triad. Alternative power supplies are available directly from Mayflower, however it isn't an option on the purchase page, and being used to proper power supplies being included with my purchases, I was caught out. This is one area in which Mayflower Electronics must look into including the right power supply in the box before sending it off, especially for obvious international orders, or at least add the option on the purchase page on their website, rather than an obscure accessory page buried behind menus. If you are from Australia/ New Zealand (or in another country that uses the AS/NZS 3112 socket) this power supply will work with your combo unit: http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MP3059 The Fostex headphones ship with their stock 3.5mm to 6.5mm cable (with lock in connector design), and Mayflower again offer a replacement 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable, however alike the power supply it isn't an option on the purchase page, and for a 3.5 male to male cable it's bloody expensive. It's a strange thing that these cables are included at all, seeing as Mayflower knows that these stock cables aren't compatible with their own amplifier products, and indeed the O2 combo unit, and in the end it just makes the whole experience jarring and not user centric at all. I opted for cable from Voso instead, and used a sharp blade to carefully strip away the housing on the right angle end until it fit into the headphones. Interestingly the straight connector end is already fine enough to fit straight into the headset, so you'll have this option with this cable as well. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VOSO-3-5mm-Male-to-Male-90-Deg-Right-Angle-Audio-Jack-AUX-Connect-Cable-2M-AU-/200852989734?pt=AU_Electronics_Portable_Audio_Accessories&hash=item2ec3c56726&_uhb=1 HARDWARE Starting with the combo unit, it's precisely 1 Australian house brick's width across, about half a Swedish house brick high (or half a Germanic house brick with the rubber feet included), and a little longer than two average Danish house bricks are tall. A brushed aluminium enclosure wraps around the two circuit boards inside, with essential connectors jutting out somewhat evenly through the front panel. Three of the four screws holding the front panel on were silver, with one being black, which is either the worst aesthetic design choice in the universe or a sign that my unit met the bottom of the screw draw in the Mayflower workshop. Either way, I knew going in to this that it wasn't going to be the best looking thing in the world – if I wanted that I would have purchased a 12th Century Iranian glazed mud brick to admire – Besides, it compliments my mirror. Centre of the front panel is a red LED which is awesomely uninstrusive, and doesn't distract you from the screen when the unit is in front of you, unlike some peripheral electronics in my vicinity (it starts with A and ends with udio Technica and is a microphone, grrrr). The Fostex headphones looks roguishly nice, sort of noughties television with a splash of copper hot water plumbing. I'll make the point of not rambling on too much about the headphone's aesthetics as they spend most of their life out of sight. Also there's a big picture of them at the top. In terms of the modification, it mainly involves clay being packed into the T50's baffles (baffles are components used to prevent interference between sound waves generated internally from waves outside of the earpads) and a bit of foam/cotton thrown about inside to dampen the relatively open design of vanilla T50 headphones. The modification essentially (and I should mention effectively) snuffs out corrupting external noises and adds a bit of punch to the bass and treble ends of the spectrum, at the expense of clarity in the mid ranges (because the driver simply has less space to wobble about in). Keep in mind these headphones have an RRP of $110, so you need to decide if this modification alone is justification enough for the $70 price hike. SOUND REPRODUCTION and INTEGRATION In terms of how these products sound, their whole purpose for existing, well, the answer is quite simple. Bloody awesome. When used in tandem, details and clarity through the breadth of the sound scape is very good, and very impressive in the bass end. The O2 amplifier has an inaudible noise floor, and no noise or corruption occurs throughout the amplification range. The ODAC component spits out noticeably clearer sound than my on-board audio, however more modern motherboards may not leave as much of an impressive improvement. It is undoubtedly a massive improvement for me, however. The unit only ever reaches a slight warmth, and as it is a completely solid state design, it can be left turned on 24/7, so it really is a hassle free addition to any audio setup. As for the headphones they work exceptionally well for their price. They sound amazing, even when powered through my phone (albeit nearly on max volume due to the impedance) and are definitely worth the purchase price. I've found they really come into their own when crunching through complex music, especially the heavier lumbers of metal and core music, and work well at ironing out the individual notes due to the supreme clarity of the headphones. The headphones are quite comfortable also, surprising given the rather daunting looking headband. The pleather earcups induce a bit of sweating which I wasn't used to, coming from cloth pads, however it isn't severe at all. As the size adjustment on the headphones isn't staggered, they do move about and change size throughout a few hours of use, tending to rest only when the top of the earcup makes contact with the top of your ear, and this is probably due to the weight of the headphones, however again it is only a marginal issue, and certainly not a reason to deter purchase. FINAL WORDS Wrapping up, these are two truly excellent products, let down only by boring, utilitarian names and an insensitive purchase page on the Mayflower website. Mayflower Electronics, luckily has an incredibly helpful and personal public relation attitude, and it's for this reason that I think these issues will be handled appropriately, and hopefully wholly resolved in the future, preferably without the need for flying house bricks to be involved. Keep in mind that these are hand made products, and will appeal more to tinkerers and modifiers more than your mainstream Beats commuter who is solely concerned about the consistency of the finish on their aluminium headband. If you are a DIYer and music/audio enthusiast and appreciate unique punctures to the severely disillusioned audio marketplace then this product is for you. I am very happy with my purchase and each of these have well and truly earned a space on my desk. Right beside my 12th Century Iranian mud brick, of course. p.s. Some brief ideas which I'd like to see from Mayflower - 3.5" and 5.25" faceplates/ internal bay versions for the ODAC+O2 combo as well as tripod screw threads being drilled into the bottom of the chassis.
  4. http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/62147-pentax-q-best-camera-for-240/
  5. I never really had issues with AOPK but I'll check out Carbon. I'm always down for trying new stuff
  6. Awesome man! I'm still holding out the hope that AOKP will release a Z1 Rom, but I'll check this out.
  7. Sony's Xperia Z1 is by far Sony's best handset to date, combining excellent ID, build quality and dat battery life. Also it's waterproof and a host of other fun stuff. Many reviews say it's similar to it's parent, the Xperia Z, and this is certainly true... if you're basing this statement on box art and are the type of person who buys Beats By Dre headphones. I hated the Xperia Z. It looked like an iPhone 5 that was further attacked by the transform tool, dressed in armour designed by Tonka, accidentally irradiated, and by chance mutated the ability for mild telephony. I think that Sony well and truly attempted to consume chicken through a straw on the Z. For those not experienced in such activities, it's both a laborious and stupid exercise, and thankfully alongside the “1” suffix, through the Z1, Sony also brought to the table a handset that doesn't suck or attempt to suck cock in any way. Z1 ditches the gimpy, baby boomer lumberings of it's parents, along with the mildly questionable communist antics, coin collection and love for David Attenborough. Before I continue with this review I think it's imperative to mention precisely how I use my phones. I use them for messaging, phone calls, email, reading articles, video and social media. I do not use them for gaming at all, and like wise do not use them to pixel-peep photos on Flickr. I have proper cameras, and thus mostly exercise the camera feature to draw penises on passer byers and snap chat them to anyone stupid enough to add me. Hardware Chasis Z1 is a big boy at 144mm x 74mm. This isn't as horrific as it immediately sounds, as a host of design choices mean that at no time does the phone become a problem for use in one hand. An aluminium bezel wraps around the phone, and marginally buffets prone of the glass panels front and back, meaning on a flat surface these panels technically shouldn't touch, which can help prevent scratches and abrasions on the glass panels – in theory. I think it works to a certain extent, however the bezel really isn't proud enough to properly achieve this in a way that will stop damage absolutely. Thankfully Sony has dressed the Z1 with usefully chosen Aluminosilicate glass panels. Corning's scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 3 guards the display, with a shatter proof Dragontail panel by Asahi Glass on the rear. At 8.5mm thick the Z1 is slim, and these premium materials and weight make the phone feel impressively built. It is as good as anything Apple or anyone else makes. In regard to the weight, the phone is heavier on it's right and lower edge, which is probably where the incredibly effective cooling solution, radio antennae or speaker drivers exist, and would explain the weight. This isn't a complaint, as the phone overall feels very balanced, it's just something I noticed. As I touched on, the cooling solution is incredible. No particular section of the phone seems to get noticeably hot, or even warm. This is quite refreshing if you're coming from the HTC or Samsung camp, both companies of which seem partial to lighting small bonfires just south of the camera sensor in an otherwise Antarctic chasis. This probably speaks more to how efficient modern mobile processors are, but is the first time I've ever noticed a lack of temperature where the NIC is concerned. My only criticisms of the materials used is their amazing ability to collect finger prints. While my inner tin foil hat doesn't think Sony is harvesting genetic information from the oceanic amounts of collected epidermal oils for modern marketing activities, they certainly could, so if you're a clean freak and/or wanted criminal I would look elsewhere. If you are a serial killer or are otherwise particularly worried about fingerprints then you can rejoice in the fact that the phone is completely washable under a tap. Sony builds the phone to the IP 58 standard, citing waterproof functioning to depths of 1.5 metres in fresh water for as long as 30 minutes. As well as this it is dust proof, which I never imagined being a problem for smart phones, though having said that there is probably a cattle farmer from the Northern Territory who is feeling particularly discriminated against right about now. Display A 5” display is presented, at 441ppi, Full HD. It is one of Sony's Triluminos displays. Brightness is very good, especially in Tandem with Sony's class leading auto-brightness levelling, which actually features the ability to reduce the brightness below that of an intense sun in dark locations (I'm looking disappointedly at you, HTC) and can likewise ignite the display to that of Vince Offer's teeth at 495 nits in bright sunlight (which is nearly double that of Samsung's Galaxy S4, and significantly brighter than HTC's One). This is where the good comments about the screen end, as this really isn't a colour accurate or well balanced display, which is probably a result of the neglectful use of a TFT panel instead of an IPS panel. Colour temperature leans towards the aqua hues, at 7000K (neutrality is considered 6500K). The use of a TFT panel also means viewing angles aren't spectacular, however the argument could be made that if you're looking at your Z1 78 degrees away from centre then you're doing it wrong. SRGB coverage is pretty dismal, missing much of the cyan spectrum. This is probably a result of Sony tuning the display towards reds to counter the respectively cold colour temperature I mentioned earlier. Still, by no means is the display unacceptable, as it crushes Samsung's AMOLED implementations on their Note handsets, however it really can't hold a match to something from HTC or Apple. Sony also includes their X-Reality image processor. It's garbage, turn it off. It rams up sharpness but doesn't address colour balance, which is really stupid, seeing as the last issue high PPI displays have is image sharpness. It makes media content look ridiculous, and I don't need or appreciate Sony filtering my content more uselessly than an Instagram hipster. Power storage and delivery This phone's battery is a beast. 3000MAh, which is just shy of Samsung's Galaxy Note 3's 3200mAh battery. I happily get two days use out of the phone, and this is without Sony's excellent power saving STAMINA mode enabled. The Android OS significantly underestimates the remaining battery life in my experience, which is probably a sign that it can't handle the sheer awesomeness of the Z1 battery. When enabling STAMINA mode you're looking at as much as 3 days usage. As I mentioned before I don't crush or cut candy or ropes respectively with my phone, so your mileage may vary, however there's no denying that this is a bloody awesome battery. But it doesn't end here folks, as it seems literally every aspect of the Z1's power storage and delivery is carefully and masterfully executed. The phone charges incredibly quickly. This may impact on the longevity of the battery life as tests have shown that suffocating L-Ion cells with power can reduce their fidelity later in their life time, however data for this phone doesn't exist yet as it's quite new. With this being said, to put it mildly, Sony has an impressive portfolio with portable electronics power designs, and I can't imagine they'd implement anything but a well considered solution. While charging (or indeed, discharging), no part of the phone warms up significantly, which speaks to how well designed the Z1's power phases are. I briefly mentioned the waterproof dealio with this phone earlier in the review, and part of this design means all digital ports need to be sealed. Sony has gone down the same route as with their cameras, using rubber gasket seals. These are effective, however it means the micro USB port is covered by a plate that is the bane of victims of fingernail theft and cannibals alike. Stress not, Sony has thought of this, with an unsealed, wireless charging connector located on the left bezel of the phone, and kindly includes the charger in the box. The phone snaps in magnetically, meaning charging the phone is literally a matter of sliding it into it's dock. Speaking of the dock, the charging head never heats up or whines which charging is completed, meaning the internal circuitry is considerably better executed than the shitty plastic chassis of the charger itself. On a side note, I blu-tacked the charging dock to my desk so it doesn't move when the phone is inserted, and I highly advise you do the same. It makes the whole experience so much better. Camera The camera included is very good. It is an equivalent 27mm lens at F2.0, and a two phase switch lives under an included camera button, which is a nice touch. ISO will go as high as 800, and noise is fairly well controlled, however colour corruption is horrific at low light. Many reviewers point out this as poor low light performance however it is quite the opposite. The fact that the Z1 can resolve images at such low light at all shows that it is one of the best low light performing phone cameras. Many phone cameras simply would spit out a black image instead. The on board flash is about GN 4 in my estimation, which isn't better or worse than other phone flashes. The camera lens is flush with the rear panel, meaning lens flaring is quite severe. Compared with the built in lens hood of HTC's One X, it is very harsh, however modern design aesthetics wouldn't allow for such inclusions to be made in the design. Chromatic and optical aberrations are well controlled throughout the image, with, and colour fringing isn't noticeable until the outer edges of frame. Barrel distortion and softness fall off quite dramatically towards the edge of frame, however if you're pixel peeping images from a mobile phone then you're missing the point. This is a fully capable selfie cannon. Stress not, little one. The camera can be shunt into manual mode, and the act of doing so will unlock the full 20.7 MP resolution, however manual mode cannot be set as default, and honestly it isn't practical for the use that a phone camera is generally used for (which is to quickly capture an observation), so for all intents and purposes it is an 8MP camera, which is still very excellent. Video is Full HD at 30p, and is image stabilised. Overall image quality is excellent, and the camera is very well received. Audio Sony has a bit of experience behind them in regards to audio, obviously through their Walkman brand. Unfortunately some artefacts of this brand still exist in the phone, but I'll cover more of that in software. In regards to hardware, Sony's DAC and AMP solution is pretty ok. It still isn't in the same realm as Apple's audio reproduction, however it is much better than Samsung, LG and Motorola's implementations and indeed completely destroys HTC's still horrible phone DAC's. When powered, the DAC spits out a very subtle whisper of noise, however in it's favour it doesn't noticeably bias the audio towards bass or treble at all. The noise rolls in and out, rather than jaggedly starting and ceasing as in LG and HTC handsets, so this is the best of the worst. The loudspeaker is quite loud, and that's about it. It is tinny and cold sounding, which is probably a result of the insulation needed to achieve the IP 58 certification on the phone. Also, and strangely the volume leveling curve seems to fall off quite dramatically at about half way through it's slider. This can probably be mediated with a software patch, and doesn't effect the phone in terms of usability, it's merely a clerical observation. With these criticisms in mind, when you're in a vehicle/ public transport or walking around the streets the ambient noise well and truly hides any discrepancies with the audio, and honestly this is where most people will be listening to the phone, so from a functional perspective the audio solution for this phone is absolutely fine. One particular aspect to note is how brilliantly loud the earpiece speaker is. Software This is a generally negative part of the phone. Sony has implemented their own Android skin which isn't particularly nice looking, cuts back on many Android features and is generally a pain in the arse to navigate. I'm coming from HTC's Sense UI, which is actually really bloody good and looks awesome, so in comparison to that Sony's GUI is quite lacking. Two particular peeves are the inability to remove the lock screen and a lack of inclusion of a flash light app, though being Android at least the second can be remedied without rooting the phone. Also, Sony has packed the thing with bloatware. Some of it can be removed, however all of the Walkman crap, and the fact that two image and likewise video viewing galleries are included is fricken annoying. The same is true for the browser, however this is actually Google's fault for shoving Chrome down our un moistened throats – and it hurts. Otherwise, as you'd expect from a flagship device it's fast, snappy and does the job any other smart phone can do. TL;DR Wrapping up, this is one of, and in my personal opinion, the best smart phone currently available. Sony answered the cries of the undying masses for reasonable battery life, and made the thing look awesome at the same time. It's big and awesome in all of the important ways, and in that respect it obviously is the perfect phone for someone who is also big in the important ways, like myself.
  8. http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/62147-pentax-q-best-camera-for-240/#entry848306
  9. Yeah image stitching has been around on scanners for a while. It's a bit dodgy, but it does work. It's no substitute for a larger scan bed, however if you're convinced this is the best solution for you then it is the best solution for you. You know your situation better than anyone else after all! Hope it serves you well man!
  10. I think Epson are a very well regarded brand, especially in terms of consistency of unit function and driver function. Scanners are built of large sensor arrays, glass panels and all sorts of other fun stuff that can easily break in shipping, and have unusually high RMA rates compared with other tech, however brands like Epson, Canon and Brother seem to build their devices more robustly, and actually know how to package for shipping. The V370 however wont support large formats, so it hardly suits the needs you specified. If you can survive the drop in colour depth (which I can almost guarantee your monitor/graphics card doesn't support anyway), Epson's WF 7520 might be a better option, and looks like a more compelling value because of the support for large format papers, inclusion of a printer and fax, etc.
  11. Well 300dpi is a standard that is supported well within consumer level scanners, so really the only thing you'll need to go after is a flatbed scanner with a large enough scan bed, and grab the one with the best colour depth and densiometry at your price points. If you read into it enough you may come across the terms CIS and CCD, and basically this refers to the systems used to expose and capture the image. CIS use photodiode arrays whereas CCD use optics and sensors (much more like a camera). They're relatively similar in results, however CCD technology extends further into the professional range of scanners so it's probably better to aim for CCD. I'm not so knowledgeable on the actual models of scanners, but Brother scanners have always seemed good for the price. @Tomislav Matic is a huge print nerd, I bet he can tell you more.
  12. Do you need an included print setup? Is this for professional usage? What medium are you going to be scanning? Paint? Metals? Fabric? What dpi do you consider is acceptable quality?
  13. Yeah, something like a GH3 or 5D pushing to a field recorder might be an idea. I know Atomos' Ninja is a fairly well regarded bit of kit, and Blackmagic has their Hyperdeck Shuttle. Both solutions will spit footage onto 2.5" SSD/HDDs, and perhaps you could split the HDMI signal to a monitor or SU. If you're going down these larger form factor storage options perhaps you might want to take a look at PhotoFast's GMonster. It's basically four independent flash drives in a 2.5" formfactor, and can be configured into RAID 0, 1, 5 and I think 10 as well. Or you can switch to JBOD if it's a long shoot and you need the additional capacity. I've never used them personally so I can't speak to their reliability myself, however they're used in studio for television broadcast here in Aus, so I can't imagine they're anything but quality. Photofast also make an mSD to CF adapter which will let you cram 4 mSD cards into a CF card adapter and run them in RAID 0, which is another route you might wanna take. I want to reinforce what Puppet mentioned, especially in regard to audio. It's both cheaper and easier to run redundant channels for and vastly more important in a broadcast than the image. If the image drops from the broadcast the audio will at least allow information to continue to be conveyed. The same can not really be said in the event that audio is lost. Shotgun or cardinal mics running through separate DI boxes with redundant mixers preconfigured is the go here. Just touching up on cameras and lenses, old GH2's and GH3's can be found on ebay for like $500 (which is a bargain). Obviously the 5D is one of the most written about and documented cameras out there, so if you need multiple camera redundancy either of these options are probably best. I know Sony even make (or made) some handicams that have clean HDMI out (though I'd imagine it's compressed). No idea which models but it's only a google search away. As for the decision between primes and zooms, that really depends on lighting. If you're sticking with ambient then faster primes are the way to go so you can keep your ISO as low as possible. If you have designed lighting through soft boxes, lowel or dedo kits (I really recommend a dedo kit/s if you're going down that route) then you'll probably benefit from the convenience of a zoom. A lot of cinematographers disregard zooms because of the increase in aberrations and relative softness of the image due to the complexity of the optics, and these factors are certainly important, especially for green screen work or large format productions. However in broadcast you're only ever talking at most 1080p or 2 megapixel, and such factors become marginal at such sample sizes. Hell, most television is still received as SD (576/480, PAL/NTSC respectively). Hope this is helpful. I know @Puppet will be able to drown you with information about the 5D, so I'll pass the baton on to him.
  14. So you mean to say you're after a broadcast camera setup that can write to redundant storage? You said professional level so I assume your budget is fairly robust?
  15. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the SAl1680z. At e24-120mm f3.5-4.5, with optical quality and price on par with Sony's bloody excellent 16-50 f2.8, it offers a really good range and speed for most video needs. If you need lower light performance perhaps you might consider the 16-50 (e24-75) instead. http://www.sony.com.au/product/sal1680z http://www.sony.com.au/product/sal1650 Obviously if you don't need the extra range, the 16-50 is a much better choice for video for a number of reasons. Obviously constant aperture is a big one, as well as simply a wider aperture. The 16-50 uses a silent AF motor, which might be important if you're running about filming on AF. Also weather sealing (which isn't immediately helpful seeing as you're on an a65, however if you upgrade to an a77/99 or any new A mount bodies in the future it will come in handy). There's a lot of discussion about which of these lenses is sharper, and I think the general consensus is the Zeiss is marginally sharper, however you need to remember you're filming at 1080p which is just about 2 megapixels. Such a minor difference in sharpness really doesn't matter for content at that scale. One thing I should briefly mention is the filter di is 62mm on the Zeiss lens, and 72mm on the Sony, so if you're thinking of buying, for example, a vario ND filter for your videos then it might be an idea to think about that for costing, as the smaller diameter filters are significantly cheaper.
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