* Posts by PCH

4 posts • joined 13 Dec 2010

Sony Alpha SLT-A35 translucent mirror camera

PCH

re: Viewfinder

The viewfinder is 1.4 MP - higher res than the rear screen (920K).

The EVF on these cameras are for most practical purposes better than the optical viewfinders on most non "full frame" digital cameras. Of the APS-C cameras, only the viewfidners on the top end models are better. For critical adjustment, you have the ability to zoom in, particularly useful for macro work or other critical focus tasks.

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Australia cuts solar subsidies, and not before time

PCH

Heat pumps and stuff

"If you've not got the space, or the geology for ground source heat pumps, then air-source heat pumps are probably a good solution. I'm told you can achieve about 3 watts of heat, for every watt you put in. I think kit isn't too expensive. Though quite large."

Air source heat pumps are very popular now in New Zealand - the climate is just right for them (since few places drop substantially below 0 celsius). They are efficient (~300%), and do make a huge difference. I know people that have decommissioned gas fired central heating systems and retro fitted heat pump systems and seen winter energy bills halve whilst maintaining a warmer house. They are substantially cheaper than ground source heat pumps (around NZ$3500-4500 for a single unit for a typical house, or $8-12K for a fully ducted system).

Reverse cycle hot water heaters are also dropping in price (working on the same principle as the heat pump), and I believe at the moment these work out at a similar cost to a solar hot water heater over the typical life of the unit.

Widespread local energy generation where sensible (like solar hot water), coupled with efficient heating (like heat pumps and wood pellet burners) along with clever design (like Passiv Haus designs) could make a substantial difference to grid energy draw by households.

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Leica S2 professional medium format DSLR

PCH

Re: 1/500?

The table shown would be for the lens with the leaf shutter. Leaf shutters max out at around 1/500th of a second, many actually struggle to reach this. Focal plane shutters on the other hand do much high speeds, like this S2 - 1/4000th.

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Grey marketing is great - if you're the importer...

PCH

Explicitly Allowed in NZ

Grey / Parallel importing is expressly permitted in NZ, and certainly helps keep prices competitive. The biggest segment is electronics, with big savings in certain areas like mobile phones (often close to half price compared to the telco's off-plan price) and certain camera brands.

Importers have to provide warranty and meet all the other requirements of the sale of goods act.

Parallel imported Apple products however, don't seem to enjoy any significant savings.

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