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Thread: London calling

  1. #1
    Z8Mania
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    London calling

    Took the family on a vacation to London. We had a blast. Here are some snap shots I took with both the Panasonic GX1 using the 14-140 lens and the Sony RX100. Because I shoot the GX1 RAW, all the shots here are processed so they have my biases, whatever those might be, in them.

  2. #2
    Z8Mania
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    Trafalgar-
    Panasonic GX1. ISO 160; f 7.1; 1/800; 35mm focal length: 280mm (140mm on the lens)
     

  3. #3
    Z8Mania
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    Tower of London-
    Panasonic GX1. ISO 160; f 8.0; 1/500; 35mm focal length: 134mm (67mm on the lens)
     

  4. #4
    Z8Mania
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    Heres one where I shot a similar shot with both cameras

    Tower Bridge-
    Panasonic GX1. ISO 160; f 10.0; 1/400; 35mm focal length: 64mm (32mm on the lens)


    Tower Bridge
    Sony RX100. ISO 125; f 6.3; 1/800; 35mm focal length: 68mm (25.3mm on the lens)
       

  5. #5
    Z8Mania
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    We had amazing weather the whole time. Another opportunity to compare the cameras. The Sony was in its intelligent auto + mode. And the GX1 was in its similar mode though it being RAW leaves a lot to me later on. Both cameras really impress me. I tend to skew shots to imparting the sense of how it felt to be there more than being just photo accurate. So if it was a bright day with a lot of vibrance, I might nudge that a bit. Thats just me.

    London Eye
    GX1. ISO 160; f 9.0; 1/500; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)

    London Eye
    Sony RX100. ISO 125; f 5.6; 1/800; 35mm focal length: 28mm (10.4mm on the lens)
       

  6. #6
    Z8Mania
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    Shooting into the sunlight is always a challenge. Here I brought a lot of detail out from some big adjustments in RAW but the Sony has a HDR mode that it will automatically do and after some work in PS I was able to get a great looking shot.

    St. Stephens (Big Ben)
    GX1. ISO 160; f 13; 1/640; 35mm focal length: 64mm (32mm on the lens)

    St. Stephens (Big Ben)
    Sony RX100. ISO 125; f 9.0; 1/1600; 35mm focal length: 70mm (25.9mm on the lens)
       

  7. #7
    Z8Mania
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    Again the Sony HDR pays dividends.

    Houses of Parliament St. Stephens (Big Ben)
    Sony RX100. ISO 125; f 5.6; 1/800; 35mm focal length: 82mm (30.5mm on the lens)
     

  8. #8
    Z8Mania
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    Buckingham Palace
    GX1. ISO 160; f 8.0; 1/250; 35mm focal length: 64mm (32mm on the lens)
     

  9. #9
    Z8Mania
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    Buckingham Palace
    GX1. ISO 160; f 8.0; 1/800; 35mm focal length: 280mm (140mm on the lens)
     

  10. #10
    Z8Mania
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    Buckingham Palace
    GX1. ISO 160; f 5.6; 1/250; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)
     

  11. #11
    Z8Mania
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    Buckingham Palace
    GX1. ISO 160; f 6.3; 1/250; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)
     

  12. #12
    Z8Mania
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    Another thing I should note about all these shots- there was very little to no setup time. It was literally find a spot and shoot- and that was the whole trip because it was with the family. I'm really happy with the shots especially when I consider I simply just started taking pictures.

    Buckingham Palace
    GX1. ISO 160; f 6.3; 1/250; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)
     

  13. #13
    Z8Mania
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    Buckingham Palace
    GX1. ISO 200; f 5.8; 1/320; 35mm focal length: 280mm (140mm on the lens)

    I love the flexibility the 14-140 lens gives. It is a terrific walk around lens.
     

  14. #14
    Z8Mania
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    Windsor Castle
    GX1. ISO 200; f 9.0; 1/320; 35mm focal length: 82mm (41mm on the lens)

    Windsor Castle - slightly different vantage point and later in the day when the sky cleared more but its a good comparison just the same.
    Sony RX100. ISO 125; f 5.6; 1/400; 35mm focal length: 40mm (14.8mm on the lens)
       

  15. #15
    Z8Mania
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    Windsor Castle
    Sony RX100 Panorama mode. ISO 125; f 8.0; 1/500; 35mm focal length: 28mm (10.4mm on the lens)

    I couldn't manage to get a happy result fixing the distortion in PS so I just left it alone.
     

  16. #16
    Z8Mania
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    Windsor Castle
    GX1. ISO 160; f 5.8; 1/400; 35mm focal length: 280mm (140mm on the lens)
     

  17. #17
    Z8Mania
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    Windsor Castle
    GX1. ISO 160; f 7.1; 1/250; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)
     

  18. #18
    Z8Mania
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    Windsor Castle
    GX1. ISO 160; f 9.0; 1/320; 35mm focal length: 50mm (25mm on the lens)
     

  19. #19
    Z8Mania
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    Windsor Castle
    GX1. ISO 160; f 7.1; 1/250; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)

    I think this is my favorite of the whole group.
     

  20. #20
    Z8Mania
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    Though this one is good too.

    Windsor Castle
    GX1. ISO 160; f 6.3; 1/320; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)
     

  21. #21
    Z8Mania
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    Windsor Castle
    GX1. ISO 160; f 8.0; 1/400; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)
     

  22. #22
    Z8Mania
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    Didnt see any Z8s but I did come across this...

    Ferrari 599 GTO on the streets of London
    Sony RX100. ISO 125; f 3.5; 1/100; 35mm focal length: 28mm (10.4mm on the lens)
       

  23. #23
    Z8Mania
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    Tower of London
    GX1. ISO 160; f 6.3; 1/250; 35mm focal length: 28mm (14mm on the lens)

    Tower of London
    Sony RX100. ISO 125; f 5.6; 1/800; 35mm focal length: 28mm (10.4mm on the lens)
       

  24. #24
    Z8Mania
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    The End.
    Abbey Road Studios
    GX1. ISO 160; f 5.8; 1/320; 35mm focal length: 156mm (78mm on the lens)
     

  25. #25
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    These are great, Jerry. The samples seem true to my assumptions on each camera. The Sony is handsdown the best pocketable camera right now - really stunning stuff.

    The GX1 very much reminds me of my GF1 with more detail. I like your processing - great colors. The GX1 does seem to have the same slight focus issues as the GF1. I always had to really work to get tack sharp focus - it was always "close". It's flaw in the contrast focus system, which is what makes Sony's next generation of sensors so interesting for autofocus (contrast + phase with no mirror - alien science). Regardless...lovely shots!

    Glad you like the 14-140. It was on my list, but I never got one. It's a great travel setup.

    These make me miss London. I worked there in 2000 and 2001. It's a great city.
    thegunguy

  26. #26
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Jerry, the shot from the Eye across the Thames to the HoP is a stunner. I love the range. I'm glad you're having fun with the Sony HDR. It's very tasteful...and tasty.

    Aren't all of the lowlight, HDR, etc. modes just stupidly good?
    thegunguy

  27. #27
    Both cameras really look great, just casually enjoying your shots I couldn't see anything to really split them, except of course the knowledge that the Sony is a true pocket cam.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  28. #28
    Z8Mania
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    Thanks guys. It seems to me the Panny or I (?) give the clouds an ever so slight magenta cast whereas the Sony is more neutral/ very very slight yellow. And the Sony has a slightly more muted sky. But we're nit picking here. These cameras put a ton of power in your hands. In a way the Sony is really the shocker because you can just let it do its business and you know you'll get a pretty good shot every time. The Sony's HDR is terrific. It really makes you have to reconsider when you want to use a flash. What I like to do is shoot two pics- one with fill flash- one without- the results can be surprising.

    Rifle how can you tell if the focus is off just a tad- these look pretty good to me. One of the things that photography makes me appreciate is how amazing our eyes are.

    I took a small camera bag with me where I had the RX100, GX1, a 150-300 lens for the GX1 (thats the 35mm equivalent of 300-600 for crazy zoom- it was never needed) and my video camera. Most of the time I stuck the Sony in my pocket so it would be ready to go at a moments notice.

  29. #29
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    It's not that the focus is off. I'm likely reading my memories of the GF1 into your shots since it uses the same system, and it always frustrated me. The contrast focus system is fast, but I find that it's not consistent from shot to shot, especially where you're trying to focus on close tones (low contrast). Obviously there are many things that impact sharpness on screen...DOF, optics, output sharpening, browser compression, etc. Again, I think this is just me looking at your shots with a GF1 filter...they look very similar, including the magenta shift. So, I'm likely interpreting the focus variation.

    Anyway, the new phase/contrast focus systems from Sony should help get focus much more consistent in these mirrorless systems.
    thegunguy

  30. #30
    Z8 Madness
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    Very nice, thanks for sharing.
    62050 - Z8

  31. #31
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    beautiful pictures! Looks like you had great weather too.

    As the others have mentioned, Thank you for posting.
    .
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  32. #32
    Z8Mania
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    Thanks for the kind words fellas. It was an amazing trip and we got some really lucky weather!

    Rifle, you know what- I noticed the camera some times has a hard time focusing in those circumstances. I didn't know what it was.

  33. #33
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Exactly, and even in good contrast it hunt a lot, giving you inconsistent focus points from shot to shot. It's annoying. My NEX 7 has the same issue, but the focus peaking (shades the edges of the item in focus with red highlights) helps you see what is in focus better.

    The new NEX 5R (just announced this morning) has Sony's new chip with phase detection points on the sensor (think SLR prism) that works in tandem with the contrast focus system. Sounds like a big leap in speed an accuracy.



    This is the next version of the 5N that I had and didn't like due to size (too small for my hands) and lack of controls. Looks like they added some nice new controls. Now I'm curious what they'll do with my 7.
    thegunguy

  34. #34
    Sony is on such a march right now, I'm really excited to see what the rumored full frame NEX will be like, seeing all the work these ones are producing that'll be on my wish list for next year for sure.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  35. #35
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Exactly.

    Seems like I read the FF NEX will use the existing E lenses...confused.
    thegunguy

  36. #36
    I guess that's possible if they were engineered to make a suitable 44mm image circle, but it seems unlikely, it would be more logical for them to use the bigger glass of their A series cameras.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  37. #37
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Rumor said they could use both. Maybe if you have an E mounted, it would use the APC sized pixels (kind of how Canon and Nikon use lower resolutions on the super fast burst setting). That would actually be kind of handy. Small lenses for travel, big lenses for maximum quality...all in one package.
    thegunguy

  38. #38
    Z8Mania
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    COOL STUFF! Thanks fellas.

  39. #39
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Odd, the site isn't parsing the YouTube link like usual.
    thegunguy

  40. #40
    It's a new section that we created, and the tech team doesn't want to do it because of security issues, so unless someone else knows how to do it I'm stuck with an intransigent tech team issue on this one!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  41. #41
    Z8Mania
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    Technology is your friend- until it isn't.

    The new Sony camera looks great. And did you notice they are introducing a 4k LCD display? It will be $20k so its absurd, but give it 5 years- and a 65" 4k display will be $5-6k. There are those who will say 1080P is more than enough- but I think they will be surprised that 4k's color rendition is actually better than what we have today, even with simply scaled from 1080 material.

  42. #42
    I heard so much said about 4k, but I have yet to see a side by side to really know the difference, I certainly look forward to seeing it.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  43. #43
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    No pics of Prince Harry? Seriously, Jerry, will you adopt me?
    Marty

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  44. #44
    Z8Mania
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    Marty, bring along a 300 SL roadster and youre in

    No no pics of Prince Harry. IMHO his behavior was not advisable but shame on the people who leaked the pics. Let the man enjoy himself. Who hasn't acted a bit silly/ stupidly in their lives?

    Andrew, I have been reading up on it and I have felt for a long time that the next big thing was not 3D but rather its pixel density. Then we get Apple's brand name for this "retina" and the retina iPhone and iPad really are sweet. I think they will eventually come out with retina displays. The research seems to be saying that its not just the resolution, which is nice but at some point our eyes can't discern the difference. It turns out the higher they go with the resolution, colors look more vibrant and life like. I think the people calling "BS" on this will be surprised how much of an improvement 4K will bring to the home environment. NHK is already at work on 8k.... and has been for a few years now.... IMHO, like displacement, there's no substitute for pixel density.

  45. #45
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Great pix! Thanks.

    Call me a geezer, but I miss film. Maybe denser pixels or blacker blacks will be the answer, but either I am imagining I see the lines around the dots, or someting not quite as focused, or images that are thinner, like a wall that needs an extra coat of paint to give it depth. Also, displays probably have a way to go. My guess is the pro's have better display units than 1080p monitors.

    However, I do appreciate that everything is more "sharable."
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  46. #46
    Z8Mania
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    I think its several things. I wouldn't call you any names though! First as you point out your monitor will be a critical element. But even more so, computer monitors are backlight. Photographs that you hold in your hand are "front light". That really has a big affect on how you see things.

    Are you using a 1080P monitor? Although that is pretty good resolution for TV it is not really sufficient for computer use. I am a big believer in pixel density and have been advocating the highest pixel density before I ever heard the word "retina" as used by Apple. Its a good idea for them to put a name to it as pixel density isnt very sexy sounding.

  47. #47
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    MacBook Pro 15 inch, circa Dec 2011. I hear the new ones have much better resolution. How much more than 1080p is available? Can you buy standalone monitors?

    I guess the wat you change from backlit is to get a good picture printer or have it done by a camera store.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  48. #48
    Z8Mania
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    Charles, I think you have a very nice computer with a very nice display. 1080P is a HDTV format. its 1920x1080. Your screen I believe is 1440x900.

    One thing that comes to mind, though I think this is a low odds thing, check your display settings in System Preferences (apple menu-> system preferences-> displays). Check the resolution of your screen and then check that the color profile is the one specified for your screen, probably something like "color LCD". If any of these settings some how got altered you might not be enjoying all the screen can provide you.

    I've gotten so used to looking at pictures on screens and I don't have endless storage for actual printed pictures so I like the virtual way. But it is different from holding the print in your hands.

  49. #49
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    1680X1050. It's a great screen. It is the gloss, not the matte, which I like better. Just not rich like a true photo for all the reasons you listed. When I take off my glasses to look close the pixel "screen" is easily visible. Not like that with film. What can I say? I am myopic, corrected to 20-15 with contacts, but without correction I see a lot of detail close up.

    When I bought it I also bought the $99 One-To-One. Such a deal. I griped so much they assigned me to the head of the instructors and we became fast friends. We went through the custom calibration of the screen early on. He schedules me for a new "class" every week, but mostly he just helps me with anything I ask or forget and we just relax because we play things by ear and freely veer off topic. I found out I can renew for two more years. It's like having your private computer expert. Truly one of the best things Apple does, and has made me like a machine I originally loathed. I will remember to ask him for a demo on the new "retina" displays and see if they are much better.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  50. #50
    Like most imaging pros I loathe the gloss screens with a passion, and Apple's nightmare gloss only policy will drive many of us to Linux based alternatives as they define prosumer market and totally forsake us pros who were their lifeline during their lean years.

    If you really want to progress to the next level get a color calibrated Lacie or Barco set up, and you'll really start seeing into your images. I was a master printer before going digital in 93 when I had the first digital front cover of both Elle and Vogue in the UK. Film is steam traction, slow, hyper-polluting, environmentally disasterous and as limiting as a straight jacket, but hey, that's just my opinion, it's all about what makes you happy, and digital makes me very, very happy.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  51. #51
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    OMG, I have the Bose of the video world! The Lacie's seem to have 1920X1200, but the Barco's seem to be at a whole different level, and at about $15K remind me of prices of high end video projectors and big LCD TV screens 10 or so years ago. Heck, what do they think they are, audio amplifiers?

    I read enough to know that it is more than about pixels (just like it is more than about total harmonic distortion), but someday I would like to walk up to one of those fancy screens, take off my glasses, and not see the grid. Then I would know it is good enough. Maybe it is now, but I have to figure out where to see it and I would really have to want it, or change my profession to need it.

    I hear what you are saying about the waste of film. It's like all those guys with cars that only get 16 mpg when they could be driving a perfectly good Prius to get from point A to B, and.....hey, wait a minute!
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  52. #52
    Z8Mania
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    I wouldn't go that far and I would say that while I am also a bit of an audiophile, my Bose NC headphones are great travelmates. They are not perfect, but do a good job and I dont really have to worry about them. I really don't like the glossy screens either but I've simply succumbed to Apple's power on this one.

    Charles, can you really see the pixel grid that clearly? Or is it when you get up real close? Think of it like this- when you read the newspaper, do you hold it so close that you see the dots in the print? No you hold it a comfortable distance away. Do the same with your computer screen.

    Keep in mind because the LCD screen is light from behind, its very difficult for it to generate a true black- and because computer screens need to be bright, which is generally a good thing for most people, the brighter the back lighting, the harder it is to generate a true black. This is one reason why I much prefer plasma for my tv viewing. Though there is a new technology for LCD screens called local dimming- I wont get into it- in theory, one day, they could have 1 single LED for lighting per each LCD pixel- that would be wild- but its a while off and in general I prefer plasma.

    On the pixels- the funny thing is- at some point our ability to discern individual pixels disappears but it seems that the more tightly we can pack pixels does still affect our sense of color. So it still can matter.

    Im laughing pretty hard because Im about to go wash my car.

  53. #53
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    I have not heard the Bose headphones, but every portable set I have heard (including the B&W's) suffer from mid-bass hump, which is fatiguing to me. For portables I picked up a pair of Grado SR60's (I think they make an "i" version now for $79) that has been on the Stereophile Recommended Components list since the early 90's. Grado is a small NY company that makes multiple price point headphones, phono cartridges and the like. No NC, though, but if you get a chance you might like them. No mid-bass hump.

    The audiophile press has panned Bose much like the Auto press panned the Pontiac Aztek, and I guess like professional photographers pan Apple. Right or wrong, a Bose analogy resonates with long time readers of Stereophile and Absolute Sound, and my audio-snob buddies. That said it is a very successful consumer product...in its way like Apple, I suppose.

    It is a bad habit, but while I read at a comfortable distance, the glasses come off when I want to see into a picture, one of the few benefits to serious myopia. Like when I looked at Z8 sale pix to see if the dashboard seam was straight. Yes I see the screen, and on newsprint glossy ads I see the dots. I took out some printed snapshots recently and voila, no dots or screen. I don't know whether these were taken with a digital or film camera, but perhaps when a digital picture is printed on good photo paper the pixels go away because the camera resolution is better than the computer screen. That may have been what Andrew was talking about with a better screen, not only for color, but also more pixels.

    Apple does offer an anti-glare screen, but it is likely not an improvement, or you would have mentioned it.

    I confess I have not looked at Plasma's much since the CES shows I attended in the late 90's/ early 00's, but thought they had a warmer tone compared to the LED's, and I always preferred Ektachrome over Kodachrome which seemed to have the same bias. Their ability to produce blacks has improved but I agree, not to plasma standards.

    You would really laugh at my most valued video device, a Replay 5000 digital recorder. No HD, but it finds all the Season Premieres and automatically skips commercials about 80% of the time. I have tried the new recorders and while the video quality is better, they seem to move like snails, don't skip anything, and what passes for 30 second forward/7 second back buttons are a joke compared to the Replay. I am sure they will fix most all of it, but there will never be a new product with automatic commercial skip. Replay's have been discontinued for almost a decade, and program guide updates have almost been killed a few times, but I believe they are taking the suicide threats of the faithful seriously....as they should. I got really depressed when my Replay was out of commission for a while.
    Charles Guerin
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  54. #54
    Z8Mania
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    I know Grado. Great stuff. The audiophile press is hung up on the wrong things- IMHO. The are looking for golden ear stuff but lose focus on what sounds pleasing. The same thing for the videophile press. Its great to get the numbers right, but you have to realize that sometimes something either looks or sounds good and while subjective, if it is a pleasing result- isn't that worthy of praise? Im not a huge Bose fan- I know the old addage: no highs, no lows, must be Bose. But- I listen to a lot of classic and prog rock and for this music, for watching movies, even for jazz, the Bose quiet comfort headhpones are great travelers. Are they the absolute best sound ever? No. But they aren't wildly expensive, they are reasonably durable, and they sound good.

    I could tell you were getting closer and closer in on pictures. With a computer see if you can get the highest resolution image and then use the software's ability to zoom in.

    I remember Replay. They were the competitor to TiVO. I used to have both. I dont laugh at all. If it works for you thats what's important. Now Im using whatever it is Direct TV gives us and frankly its OK. The image quality is pretty good, the responsiveness is OK, the ability to skip is manually controlled- I have the hang of it but theres no easy commercial skip.

    You're right about the LCDs. They are getting better but still not up to the warmth of the plasmas. If you want to go see some amazing displays, check out the Samsung 8000 series Plasmas. They are not crazy expensive and with a few menu adjustments produce a really terrific image.

  55. #55
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    I agree the audiophile press is not perfect (although they have come a long way since the days of Julian Hirsch and Stereo Review, which was wild about the Bose 901's, panned later by J. Gordon Holt in Stereophile in 1995), but I am after something more than just pleasing when it comes to sound. That to me is what defines an audiophile. Nothing wrong with pleasing sound, just like nothing wrong with a modest, pleasing bottle of wine. I can't appreciate the higher grade stuff the wine press and oenophiles crave, but then again while I enjoy wine, I am no oenophile. I don't think they are mistaken in that better wine is better. I just don't have the ability to appreciate it.

    I am not sure what you mean by the concentrating on the numbers rather than what is subjective. I have been reading the high end audio press for decades, and since Holt, Pearson and Atkinson, they have been accused of praising equipment despite bad measurements. Indeed it is mostly engineers who make fun of the "alchemy" of the modern audiophile, who may often scoff at something that measures perfectly in favor of something that does not. Do you remember the "bits are bits" controversy? Indeed the whole vinyl vs "perfect sound forever" CD consists of subjectivists arguing against the science of the measurements of the limits of human hearing.

    The main criticisms in the Bose equipment I have either heard myself or from others is that they create a "rich, full" sound, but a vagueness as to where it is coming from, and without a lot of emotion. Not praiseworthy to me. Admittedly I am not sure about the earphones, but noise cancellation is not a priority for me. It may be for you. Other portable earphones I have heard emphasize some part of the music more than others (usually mid-bass) and are not nearly as involving as the Grado's. That is important to me, but may be part of that golden ear stuff you spoke of.

    I am admittedly a rocker at heart (with some classical and jazz) and no matter what I listen to, I want to hear a lot of different voices and instruments correctly reproduced and separated in sound. Moreover, and this is purely subjective, the better equipment communicates the inflections in what the artists were creating and performing. If it is home equipment, the players should be in front of me, i.e. soundstage and depth.

    I don't think you are quite as big a nut about this as I am, but maybe you can taste the hints of some taste or texture in a bottle of wine that eludes me. I can tell you that when I turn on my home system it is like magic to me, sometimes on the music of my youth, but often with music that was never part of my life. If that is more of the golden ear stuff, I am guilty.

    From your listening preferences, I would recommend you listen to a system with Levinson or perhaps Classe amplification. Maybe Revel, Wilson or Totem speakers. All pleasing and really good, if you and the equipment are positioned correctly. For Rush however, if your ears are as good as your ability to drive (and much better than my talent for golf or wine) you would be blown away by a good piece of vinyl played with an top MM cartridge and a Krell amp. Pleasing on steroids. Or maybe you will be like me when tasting some great bottle of wine....good but I don't get all the excitement.

    As far as home movies go, you and I are on the same page. I have a simple Arcam receiver (a smooth mid-priced British amplifier) and Gallo RoundSound speakers, that are regarded as so-so, but fine for the kinds of movies we watch. Now I do make sure they are all at ear level, which makes a lot of difference.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  56. #56
    Z8Mania
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    Admittedly we're getting a little far afield here but I dont think it is offending anyone, especially the original poster here

    Keep in mind I wrote that my Bose NC headphones are a great travel companion. They kill a lot of the noise you get on an airplane without having to resort to becoming such a block on external noises that you might miss an emergency announcement or one of your loved ones calling you; or without having to crank the volume. I love to hear music at a good volume but not so loud that I would lose my hearing. I enjoy my hearing in general and music specifically; so I don't want to lose that. But your criticisms are pretty much correct. However, those things don't really bother me. I accept them for what they are and I find enjoyment actually with the mid bass bump. The only place in sound that drives me crazy is the glassy sound you get in the treble when compression is to great- typical of satellite radio. Oh that is like fingernails on a blackboard to my ears.

    A long time ago I had some nice high end gear but I got tired of the endless "upgraditis" of the industry; and I became more and more interested in home theater. So I built a system that can perform well for both music and movies. I am not a subwoofer believer. Thats another personal annoyance for me. Even in the best systems I can usually locate a sub. I accept this in a car- but not at home. In general what I'm saying is for me, compromised places like a car, plane, gym, Im fine with my iPhone and my B&O A something (I think its A8) headphones- they are pretty neutral and they dont fall out of my ears which is my big issue for the gym, or on the plane the Bose NC headphones are fine. But at home I wanted something good. So I didn't actually start with the equipment. The key to good sound, as you know, is the room. So I worked with someone with a PhD in acoustics (from Harvard) to design a great room. And even then its not without its issues- its really difficult to get a perfect acoustic space especially in a home. For gear, I'm not really into vinyl. I know it supposedly has a warmer sound but I prefer the greater dynamics of CD. I have a Meridian setup where I have a music server that plays CDs bit accurate into a Meridian 861 processor which then goes into four 8000 speakers (in the corners) then I have 7000s as center and side speakers. I listen to music either in trifield or stereo depending on the recording. It works remarkably well. Its a very natural sound. I know this isn't the purist way but I like it. And the sound is clear, pretty uncolored, and the imaging is "insane". Of course its very difficult to recreate the sound as the artist imagined it when you're talking about studio sound- especially today when a lot of the recording is done just on a laptop. I think many of us are attempting to recreate a result that we are assuming/ imagining. So thats quite a conundrum for the gear makers. At the end of the day I like a neutral sound but I dont mind feeling the energy on music that is naturally bass heavy. Once in a while I put on some rap/top 40 music and its really something. Those 8000 speakers are full range and the bottom units are like subwoofers- so to have the bass coming at you from all directions is really something. The 7000s can even play down low and I have those set to full range also. Its a great result. I dont get to rock out in there too often... Busy life with family and kids- but sometimes on cold winters day when the wife takes the kids I will do it. ANd that is just on music. It is even better for movies. But getting back to music, this setup sounds amazing with Rush. Like you are there with them in the studio. Or for live music its like youre there. I have a few concerts of theirs- one or two on Blu Ray with uncompressed sound and my goodness.

  57. #57
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    So tired of logging in, typing a message, having to log in again when I try to submit, getting a message to back out because I am already logged in, doing so and the post disappears.


    From what you said and what you have, if spending as much on an audio sysyten as a Z8 and hiring an acoustician is not drinking the audio cool-aid, I dont know what is. I heard a Meridian system once in the worst of situations, but have heard from others that they produce piano very, very well. If you can do that then most other instruments follow easily. But with slots for future upgrades, Meridian is as guilty of upgraditus as the rest. Like me, I think you like what you found and are sticking with it.


    I do hope you take another look at vinyl one day. Contrary to what you say, most believe CD (save SACD) is less dynamic than vinyl, which my bretheren here have also found to be the case, even the one holdout, who changed when he discovered the better (but not more expensive) plinths.


    I have now heard the same equipment in and out of a dedicated room, and like you, found subwoofers are no longer needed. My acoustician was George Cardas, whose priinciples and dimensions were used for my room, and I spent a lot of effort getting it tight, then tuning it with a commercial treatment called whisperwall to tame early reflections and echo. On top of that I had the experiences of two friends who had built rooms, one with professional help and the other without. Not perfect, but I agree, none are.


    We both have great systems, and are obviously very passionate about what may soon die in this iTunes world of MP3 and portable everything. If you can, I encourage you to try nearfield listening at home (the Cardas website will tell you where to position your chair). Classical music played at very modest levels (like in real life) takes on particularly realistic tone and spatial characteristics when listening in the nearfield. Classical (Chesky CD's and Vinyl comes to mind) is often recorded very well.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  58. #58
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    It is even better for movies. But getting back to music, this setup sounds amazing with Rush. Like you are there with them in the studio. Or for live music its like youre there. I have a few concerts of theirs- one or two on Blu Ray with uncompressed sound and my goodness.

    Did you say you had a chance to watch/listen to Snakes and Arrows on BluRay? Holy cow, the picture and sound quality are unbelievable. Music...well, you know that goes unsaid.

    2000 Red over black
    heavily modified for performance. Although, not to the level of GM's car

  59. #59
    Z8Mania
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    Charles, I know of Mr. Cardas. Hes the real deal. No doubt there! You are right, I found what works for me, and am happy with it.

    I do not buy into putting pieces of felt on top of a CD player or buying special stands for speaker cables that cost as much as a new car. About 15 years ago I decided to swap out all the high end cables I had in my system for stuff I could buy at radio shack. maybe I don't have golden ears, but I couldn't tell a difference. More telling, friends familiar with my setup couldn't tell a difference either.

    I think its important to get the basics right- hence designing a good listening room. I don't think doing that is drinking the cool-aid. Thats just getting it right. I think to spend anything more than mid level dollars on gear in a room that isn't designed properly is just a waste of money. You could put the best gear in the world in a poor acoustic space and the results will be poor. To me the most important element in any audio system is the acoustic space.

    I bought most of my Meridian gear nearly 10 years ago. The only upgrades have been free software upgrades and then I upgraded to their new controller about two years ago. They made a good deal for legacy customers so I took it. Every company has to make money to stay in business of course. What drove my upgraditis in the past was always wanting to improve something. For about the past decade I really have not felt the urge. That says something.

    I did audition several setups and I tried listening to a vinyl setup. To my ears, it sounded a drop warmer, a little bit more like listening to a tube amp, but also a little vague, less dynamic and also less channel separation and less imaging. What more can I tell you, I prefer what can be done with CD in a good system.

    SACD is a tricky one unless you are running an analog system because at some point it has to be converted to PCM. Its really good but I never really felt like I had to upgrade to it, though I now have figured out how to get it into my setup all digital. Same for DVD-A. Both can sound real good but in the end its about having the content. Speaking of which the Meridian setup does do piano very well, same for the human voice. Both are important.

    I like near field listening but I wanted a system that could do both music and movies and thats a tricky thing to do. I've heard systems that are better for music but none that are better for movies and none that are better for both.

    2112, the Rush Snakes and Arrows Blu Ray is insane. It really is like you are there- including the sensation of the energy of live rock music which has its own distinctive feeling and sound.

  60. #60
    So tired of logging in, typing a message, having to log in again when I try to submit, getting a message to back out because I am already logged in, doing so and the post disappears.
    This is the first I've heard of this, so I suspect it is a local issue with your system. What OS & browser are you using, and have you cleaned your cache, cookies and updated it recently?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  61. #61
    Z8Mania
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    Interesting, I have not had those problems with the website. That is really frustrating. Sorry Charles you had to go through that. I won't joke that maybe you should get an upgraded power cable for your computer, you know, one of those $2,000 per meter with all the atoms aligned by magic crystals deals

    Seriously, what a bummer. I wonder what's causing it.

  62. #62
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    This is the first I've heard of this, so I suspect it is a local issue with your system. What OS & browser are you using, and have you cleaned your cache, cookies and updated it recently?
    I am using the standard Apple operating system, but I had the same problem with my old sony and sometimes at work too. I have not tried the apple browser, but use Internet Explorer at Work and Firefox (I have AT&T Yahoo as my automatic link- just never wanted to change and all my mail addresses are already set up), but use Google occasionally to log-in.

    I learned long ago with Microsoft to set up all your cookies and history to erase when you log out so it is clean, otherwise the old early 21st century Sony would never work.

    Generally I hope the Apple will be a better machine, mainly because, so far, they don't need any security or spyware, or constant Microsoft updates that make your memory obsolete in just a few years. And even if it does, I can just pay some money and say "load up my old stuff."

    Generally I do not get the thrill of re-loading my computer or discovering a bunch of useless things that so often seem to be added to software.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  63. #63
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Interesting, I have not had those problems with the website. That is really frustrating. Sorry Charles you had to go through that. I won't joke that maybe you should get an upgraded power cable for your computer, you know, one of those $2,000 per meter with all the atoms aligned by magic crystals deals

    Seriously, what a bummer. I wonder what's causing it.
    I think it is becauise I type with one finger
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  64. #64
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    "[QUOTE=Z8Mania;35750]Charles, I know of Mr. Cardas. Hes the real deal. No doubt there! You are right, I found what works for me, and am happy with it.

    I do not buy into putting pieces of felt on top of a CD player or buying special stands for speaker cables that cost as much as a new car. About 15 years ago I decided to swap out all the high end cables I had in my system for stuff I could buy at radio shack. maybe I don't have golden ears, but I couldn't tell a difference. More telling, friends familiar with my setup couldn't tell a difference either."


    Jerry, no doubt there are a lot of dubious "tweaks" out there (remember putting CD's in the freezer?). And sometimes I say the best tweak is a glass or two of wine. I do believe a system settles in to its placement over a few weeks, and always sounds better after it has warmed up for at least 1/2 hour to an hour. And it always seems to sound better at night, perhaps because the power is cleaner or fewer electric motors are running. I don't know.

    I bought inexpensive cable risers, but can't really say the were a huge improvement. The Radioshack zip cord does fine in most systems. With wire, I noticed the biggest difference in speaker wire, which of course, you do not need. I used the Cable Company, which basically charges you a percentage loaner fee, and lets you apply that to a wire purchase. The first big difference was using Straightwire Maestro II with my old Thiels, which was recommended by them, as well as Stereophile for those speakers. It made a big difference over whatever I was using then. Over the years I have changed equipment, but kept the same wire, thinking it would not get any better.

    When I finished the room, the wire was too short for optimum speaker placement, so the Cable Co. sent me a loaner of a longer version of the Maestro II, another wire by the same designer (now at a different company) and a third, less expensive wire, that they recommended for my amp and speakers. Goodness they were so right. Unfortunately there was a more expensive used pair they had of a better grade of the manufacturer's cable, so I got a loan on that. It was even better yet (yes on blind tests and on letting them settle in) that I ended up with those. It is night and day difference with the other cables.

    Not sure you can get the same bang with interconnects, but it is a fairly inexpensive way to find out.
    Charles Guerin
    AH61406 - Titanium Silver/ /Black

  65. #65
    Z8Mania
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    Charles, I think you will appreciate the macintosh. Its not laden with all kinds of adware that many windows computers come with. I also think you should give the various web browsers a try. I have been very happy with Safari on the mac, though there are many people who swear by google's chrome. I keep firefox handy for the times safari isn't quite working on a website- this is just a few times but it does happen.

    I gave the system a good listen the other day- it sounded great. I haven't really given much thought to cables lately.

  66. #66
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Safari is not working good with Java and Flash so for website using these applications I use Chrome and Firefox.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  67. #67
    Z8Mania
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    Really? I have not had any issues but my web browsing might not be highlighting these shortcomings.

  68. #68
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Really? I have not had any issues but my web browsing might not be highlighting these shortcomings.
    Most of the time it happens with interactive sites
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  69. #69
    Z8Mania
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    Can you post one so I could test it out?

  70. #70