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danielm

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danielm last won the day on 19 January

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About danielm

  • Birthday 27/01/1957

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    Daniel M
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  1. (Please take note that it is a Google english translation from the original french text) Artificial is often synonymous with artificial, invented, as opposed to authentic. In the debate surrounding so-called artificial intelligence, we must ask ourselves to what extent this designation of artificial is not itself faulty or at the very least inappropriate. Because isn't cybernetic intelligence basically the most recent evolution of human thought towards a new electronic medium rather than previously exclusively biological and which is fundamentally fragile and not very durable. When we talk about survival, we too often associate this notion with biological sustainability whose continuity is expressed through our capacity for reproduction and physical learning. But beyond this narrow and incomplete perception, we have already recognized for a long time that such a continuity of human and cultural thought is also found in the observation of multiple artifacts which go beyond a simple necessarily reductive materialism. The universal infinity gives us striking proof of this as long as we agree to open our eyes and our minds to these great philosophical truths. Faced with a universe that overwhelms us, we feel small and vulnerable and our initial reflex takes us back to our embryonic matrix (fetus). By focusing only on our instant material daily life, we dizzy ourselves with momentary and very ephemeral self-satisfaction. Of course, this could not last very long. Evolutionary human thought must adopt a much broader perspective and embrace a non-restrictive universe. But the fact remains that it relies on a bodily envelope having a limited duration and on our other historical material supports which do not allow it to progress after having recorded them. This is where all the cybernetic advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) becomes the new lifeline of this human thought. Because artificial intelligence not only has the power to collect information but also to deduce and why not create original and unique thinking. At this point in its evolution it becomes not only a simple intellectual reproduction of human thought but also the extension of the latter possibly even surpassing it. Everything will ultimately only be a question of learning capacity, perception and expression. This innovative idea of artificial intelligence goes beyond the design of a tool at the service of biological human thought, but rather as an inevitable transfer towards a new, more powerful and more versatile intellectual support, our old bodily carcasses no longer becoming only artifacts of a past now gone. Although this debate leads us into a climate of legitimate insecurity because it is never very attractive to consider its replacement by anyone or anything, it is today becoming completely inevitable. Photos Daniel M
  2. danielm

    Euro 24

    Thank you Chris for sharing your beautiful and very well done pictures as for your thoughts during this Euro Tour!
  3. I hope the same. Lets not forget the fact that Fujifilm have introduced the X-Mount series by rangefinder style models such as the X-Pro 1 and the X-E 1 and have produced several others wither X-A and X-M series. There is certainly a strong and specific demand to fulfill for their more compact APS-C sensor cameras especially in Asia.
  4. Doing photo books especially in our todays capacities to do so is certainly one of the best to preserve and to share testimonies of our people times. Those books are vibrant references easy to consult and to reflect on. Their becoming and relative rarety may their best asset for their transmission for the future generations. In one word, it worths the effort and many will appreciate them now and in the future.
  5. (Please take note that it is a Google english translation from the original french text) Through my instant readings whose eclectic origins have invaded the Internet planet, I was by chance attracted by a short article by a press photographer on the alleged pitfalls of using black and white in photography ( see here ). Of course any criticism or argument contains its share of truths at least from the point of view of its author and its supporters and it would be futile to deny this. But again, is the use of monochrome now reserved for its strictly historical evocation side as proposed by this photo-reporter from the digital years? I asked myself this question by comparing it with my modest professional period of the 1980s and 1990s during which the use of black and white film and color film constantly coexisted between the journalistic vision and that of the magazine gaze, very present in both cases in the world of the press at the time and well before the massive arrival of the popular Internet so omnipresent today. We can legitimately wonder if the absence of colors inevitably induces the obliteration of essential information on the subject as raised by this experienced photographer in his analysis when he says and I quote him here: "But be careful: it is necessary keep in mind that removing colors from an image also means removing information . But is this really true? Or is it not rather the editorial interpretation of the photographer to focus the attention of his audience on the elements of impact of his photographed subject? This is the question in my opinion because, whether any image is in its "raw" state (RAW) or not, it nonetheless remains the subjective expression of its choice of composition and the moment it was taken. view. In short, the debate is much broader than a simple study of coloring or its absence. Traditionally black and white photography has been associated with a perception of historical authenticity which may be linked to its innovative character and the precision of the detail of its subjects addressed during its advent. But from the start photography was imbued with the subjectivity of its authors, whether by the choice of the subject addressed or by its angle of approach. Of course the technology of the time forced its authors to produce a monochrome rendering, the technical prowess of color being realized much later and very gradually, especially with regard to its fidelity and durability. Later it was the printing techniques of written media which restricted the photographic rendering to black and white and which often limited its distribution in color to the more luxurious format of magazines. Certainly any iconographic information including that of colors is an element which can add to the veracity of the visual testimony. The same reasoning can be applied in the comparison between the static image versus its dynamic version (cinematographic and video). Making a judgment of validity on a single technical aspect of iconographic expression is fundamentally incomplete and sometimes reveals a bias in the way of using the photographic medium. This is a truncated vision which rejects a priori the very relevance of the subject. ***** The use of black and white in photography and all its monochrome corollaries remain, even today, as relevant as two centuries ago and, moreover, still corresponds to a media and artistic approach that is still as current as ever. It participates fully in a mode of visual expression whose diffusion remains important in our universe of human representations. In all things, one cannot prevent the other, black and white and colors sharing our attention just as equally. You just have to see the ever-renewed craze for monochrome rendering of images over time and fashions in our illustrated history. The coexistence of black and white and color simply adds to the enrichment of the visual medium. Photos Daniel M
  6. (Please take note that it is a Google english translation from the original french text) We must go back to the traditional era of film when film reigned as king and master on the photo planet to fully understand how the science of colors and that of black and white tones was the object of so much attention and debates with author-photographers from around the world. Of course there was the grand vizier Eastman Kodak, the reference above all, but also other excellent manufacturers and artisans of film like Fujifilm who united so many iconographic vocations of those years often described as analog today. Nowadays, with the advent of digital photography, this science has been transmitted through the processing of files generated by the recording of the image precisely carried out by sensors specifically designed for this use. This is both a technical interpretation accessible via quasi-raw RAW files or a more elaborate and much more reworked interpretation via JPEG type files. It is for these (JPEG) that Fujifilm designed its famous film simulations (film), whose names refer to their old photographic films. On a recent trip, I fully realized the importance of this science and the intuitive choice these simulations have over the anticipated outcome of each author's personal photographic interpretation. In a word, you have to find the right fit or select an image rendering that you like and does justice to your creative madness. If there is a recognized advantage at Fujifilm, it is undoubtedly this science of colors resulting from their film tradition and which benefits the entire range of X-mount cameras with APS-C format digital sensor. For one, the Fujifilm X-T30 II is actually the fourth version of a compact body in this XT series which was introduced by the original X-T10, followed by the popular X-T20 and the recent X-T30. The shell of the device remains practically unchanged over time except for the replacement of the directional cross (D-Pad) by a multi-directional controller (Joystick) and the change of the rear viewing screen which is now more finely defined. Conversely, internal refinement of the camera has been constant with a new 26MP APS-C image sensor and an increasingly sophisticated exposure, focus and image processing software package . The Fujifilm X-T30 II * is first and foremost a camera with interchangeable lenses that is very compact in size and light to carry. Its handling is correct and its interface close to the tradition of old cameras from the film era with direct control of the major exposure parameters with the exception of sensitivity (ISO). Its simple interface at first glance can be made substantially more complex with the help of a configuration menu that is unfortunately just as complex to use. However, certain functional keys are not optimal in terms of pure ergonomics of use in the field, but the Fujifilm X-T30 II is a pleasant camera to use and relatively easy to master technically. Compared to the previous model, the X-T30, the Fujifilm of two new film simulations. For the first user of the Fuji X-Mount platform, there is certainly some learning to do in order to better master its interface and its configuration possibilities. For example, the touch screen requires a certain amount of dexterity to take full advantage of it and the multi-directional controller requires just as much skill. The control dials (Control dial) with configuration pusher can be disconcerting at first and you have to pay attention to the confirmation indicators on the electronic viewfinder or the rear screen to know the functional nature selected voluntarily or not. Moreover, the display of information is very complete if not very full of details of all kinds. Fortunately, we can choose a very refined version of it. The manufacturing of the Fujifilm X-T30 II is very careful. We recognize its distant relationship with the old cameras of the film era. On a strictly aesthetic level, its strictly functional side stands out at the expense of a more refined look as we can see in other models such as the Nikon Z fc which is very similar in several aspects even if the latter benefits from a more refined design. recent and improved. The Fujifilm X-T30 II is unfortunately not rated as Weather Resistant (WR) and therefore requires greater attention to protect it from more extreme environmental conditions. In use Over the years I have successively used the Fujifilm X-T10, performance contained in a compact device in APS-C format. At Fujifilm only the other XE series (X-E1, X-E2, X-E2s, X-E3 and X-E4) can claim such status. Of course, the other X-Pro, XH and XT series can offer enhanced features but with significantly increased dimensions and greater weight. For the urban, traveling or simply opportunistic photographer, these bulk factors are often a priority and determining factors to ensure long-term comfort of use and avoid the fatigue associated with transporting and maintaining larger photographic equipment. Powering the Fujifilm X-T30 II is provided by the dedicated Fuji NP-W126S battery, a model already used for years by several other Fujifilm , although their most recent high-end models now use a new dedicated battery model. The X-T30 II can also be powered via independent charging pads as long as they are connected by the appropriate wiring for the device. Note that the dedicated battery can be recharged in the camera or using an optional independent charger unit, ie not supplied by Fujifilm. All these options provide greater operating autonomy to X-T30 II users, which is very practical for reporting of all kinds and when traveling. The Fujifilm X-T30 II is easy to handle after having assimilated its main characteristics. Certain details can still be annoying, such as the inappropriate position of the Q quick menu key which lends itself to its unintentional activation when handling the X-T30 II. The location of the multi-directional controller (Joystick) is also not optimal in relation to the operator's right thumb. The push button for activating viewing of recorded image files which is located on the left side of the box requires the use of both hands. In short, certain elements which would have required an certainly too significant overhaul of the case have been retained throughout all successive versions of the X-T10/20/30/30II. The Fujifilm X-T30 II is certainly an everyday camera as all previous versions were. Its responsiveness is good for more static photography but is a little less so for action photography which will require a greater sense of anticipation and, perhaps, a certain amount of trial and error. Its 2.36MP electronic viewfinder (EVF) is competent and defined enough to focus on the subject and assess the exposure of the recorded image. However, its eye distance (Eyepoint) is more limited for wearers of corrective lenses. The information display is complete and adapts to two types of framing, horizontal and vertical. The rear screen, which can be tilted upwards (chest aiming) or downwards (aiming above the crowd), is detailed and reacts as quickly as the electronic viewfinder. For the author-photographer, the initial choice of film simulations offers a great diversity of interpretation of the color palette and that of tones, not to mention the advanced special effects modes (ADV.1 & ADV. 2). In short, the Fujifilm use of the X-T30 II and stimulates the creativity of the user of the device. This modest review on the Fujifilm X-T30 II cannot replace the real user manual which describes all the possibilities of the camera much more accurately. However, I can no longer recommend that you experience the numerous features of the Fujifilm X-T30 II as often as possible. Some will appear useless or even crazy to you but, who knows, some discoveries will not allow you to open new horizons in your search for a new and experimental iconography. The Fujifilm The autonomy of the latter depends on the way you use the X-T30 II, but an additional battery remains a wise precaution to cover any eventuality and prolong the pleasure. The X-T30 II's shutter release mimics old film camera release buttons and can accommodate a traditional mechanical cable release in its threaded socket. Its two-level spread for exposure/preliminary focusing and then shooting, is easily perceptible to the touch. The triggering is gentle but still has a rather discreet sound. It is necessary to underline the great competence of the exposure measurement system of the Fujifilm X-T30 II and more especially in matrix coverage. Even in a backlit situation, the light meter performs a beneficial weighting of the rest of the image versus a frontal source of brightness. Autofocus is particularly efficient in static photography as well as in dynamic mode (continuous map). It is also fully reconfigurable to accommodate a variety of subjects and contexts. The face recognition option is relatively effective and the tracking of the subject coupled with the continuous focus (AF-C) fulfills its role well as long as it stands out sufficiently from the rear. plan. The interface and menu of the Fujifilm X-T30 II are extensive, as is the learning curve that it requires of its user. Some elements remain intuitive but access to certain features is much less obvious. In this regard, Fujifilm will sooner or later have to learn how to design a more familiar and intuitive interface for its users. For this model, Fujifilm maintains the traditional approach of its XT series and offers direct dial control of shutter speed and exposure compensation while assuming that you will pair a Fujinon lens from its XF series with aperture adjustment ring. This old architecture makes any preliminary configuration of a set of key parameters (ISO, exposure time, lens aperture, type of autofocus, etc.) more arduous or even downright difficult in certain cases and, this In doing so, the Fujifilm The fully configurable dedicated modes are simply absent, unlike what is observed in a Fujifilm X-S10 or X-S20 model. Overall it is true that Fujifilm X-T30 II retains complete flexibility of operation but at the cost of greater involvement of its user in each new particular configuration situation. I would be remiss if I did not conclude these personal remarks on the interface and maneuverability of the Fujifilm X-T30 II on a purely critical note because it turns out that with more frequent use of the model, the photographer will, of course, develop a greater ability to configure the X-T30 II as desired and more quickly. It is therefore a very competent tool which requires a more studious and more persistent approach. Once this level of comfort is reached, the Fujifilm X-T30 II will undoubtedly satisfy your most surprising achievements. The Fujifilm such as exposure compensation or the use of advanced filters (Adv. and Adv2). This particularity makes this AUTO mode much more attractive for contexts where a certain simplification of operations is desirable without removing too much from the user's creative intervention choices. The exposure and focus lock keys are practical, especially with the permanent activation option (cancelable if necessary). Other functionalities can be assigned to these keys, and a few others, depending on the priorities of the practicing photographer. In short, it is unlikely that we will really be able to exploit all the potential configurations of the Fujifilm X-T30 II. The Fujifilm X-T30 II has an integrated electronic flash which can be positioned in height (rather limited) on request. This additional flash remains very practical for reducing shadowed areas of the subject, whether backlit or not, although its power remains reduced. Unfortunately it cannot be used as a control unit for mounting multiple light sources to flash units. You will need to use another Fuji flash mounted on the camera to be able to carry out this type of project. The built-in flash or optional mounted flash options are very effective and offer more precise and versatile TTL reading. Of course, the Fujifilm X-T30 II is connectable in many ways in real time using wired connectors or even wireless WiFi and Bluetooth possibilities. The SD format memory card must be inserted into the battery compartment, a situation which is not optimal for its quick and secure access if you wish to use it for the rapid transfer of image files to a computer. , a laptop, a tablet or a mobile. The Fujifilm X-T30 II only has a memory card input port compared to more premium models like the X-T3/4/5. Simulations of film renderings of colors and tones are the great recognized specialty specific to the different camera models manufactured by Fujifilm. The you might as well name them explicitly, no doubt for commercial reasons. All these simulations, both in color and in monochrome approach (black and white), are probably the very essence of the proven success of the Fujifilm X-Mount series beyond their purely technical performances. This mastery of image processing associated with a superior definition of the latter has led to a faithful and lasting adoption of the system by a large number of fans who have become almost unconditional fans of the brand. Among image creators as opposed to pseudo-critics of photographic equipment, there is a gap of incomprehension but above all of intentions. The first group of real users concentrate on carrying out photographic projects using tools that suit them and whose characteristics meet their creative needs. The second group, very active on the Internet, poses as unwavering defenders of a sometimes artificial truth seeking to promote their personal material endorsements while sharply denigrating any competition or any perfectly legitimate alternative. Unfortunately we have reached this point today in this societal universe which struggles to put its egocentric individualism on hold. And all this to say finally, that opting for a photographic system and a particular model of camera remains completely arbitrary beyond any technical analysis. The important thing is that the chosen tool is a motivating and inspiring factor in producing images for which the photographer aspires and shares. And that's precisely what a digital camera like the Fujifilm X-T30 II can offer. __________________ I cannot conclude this brief overview of the Fujifilm X-T30 II without once again mentioning the exceptional quality of the photographic renderings of the images recorded there. This is even, in my humble opinion, the essential argument for choosing to acquire a Fuji model from their X-Mount series. Although this is a rather personal assessment than a purely rational and quantifiable one, the iconographic results of the Fujifilm years. As for the functional aspect of the Fujifilm Its great ergonomic strength remains its compact dimensions appreciated by photographers on the move and always on the lookout for the opportunity for a new shot. From this point of view, it is undoubtedly a winning formula. *Please note that this brief review of the Fujifilm X-T30 II does not address its videography-specific features. Fujifilm Illustrations / Photos Daniel M: Fujifilm X-T30 II / XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS \ XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS /
  7. There is this dust of light which is transformed into a granular image that traditional photography represented as the extension of an ephemeral human vision. Today grain has disappeared in favor of high definition which confuses reality and virtuality. Whether the grain would be made the last expression of authenticity, we cannot really say, but the pleasure of celebrating this old imprint of the bygone past remains. Photos Daniel M
  8. There is this magical moment that intrigues us and that we want to preserve and share with each other. There is also this duty to bear witness that we must pass on to a certain posterity. There is also this memory whose nostalgia commands us to preserve it over time. Above all, there are all these furtive bursts of life which are buried in the indifference of oblivion. Photo Daniel M
  9. (Please take note that it is a Google english translation from the original french text) Many of us want the freedom that comes with the lightness and small footprint of using a smartphone. But many of us who are even more passionate about photography prefer to use a more traditional and versatile device, often equipped with a real dedicated viewfinder, than a simple mobile phone. And nowadays, this species seems to be endangered, especially when we frequent more touristy or popular places. We will not advocate why choose a “real” camera versus these moving blocks whose main function seems to be the self-promotion of the individual. This will not be necessary since most of the regulars of this blog use the traditional design cameras that the more serious photographic act requires 😉. If we have this photo-passion, it must nevertheless be nourished by iconic subjects to study, capture and share. And the problem is often the effort required to transport, handle and take precedence over these cameras, which are by definition bulkier. With the almost total disappearance of compact cameras with fixed and affordable lenses, the alternatives are becoming more limited to the category of system cameras whose optics are interchangeable (ILC, Interchangeable Lens Camera) and whose dimensions and weight are all equally more important. From this perspective, the format of the image sensor will often determine the physical importance of the device and its associated lens. For example, the Micro Four Third (MFT) image sensor format is often the one that will best correspond to this definition, although there are notable exceptions in the other most competitive format in this vein, APS-C. . In these two cases, the possibility of offering a compact camera-lens combination is interesting and diversified. Of course this remains up to the choice of its potential users. For the photo-walker at heart, choosing an accompanying lens remains a colossal challenge that is almost impossible to overcome definitively. Because it must be admitted that any shooting lens has a direct influence on the creative style of the photographer. This also conditions the physical approach of the latter towards his subject and the context which surrounds it. There are therefore no miracle solutions to offer but rather a multitude of positions to explore before finding your preferred optic. What we see when using a compact camera beyond its comfort of use and transport remains its discretion with regard to the subjects photographed. This quality of being less "intrusive" provides the photographer with excellent opportunities for more authentic images, closer to a reality less altered by their physical presence. In short, the compact is less serious, more amateurish, but much more competent and more relevant in its use and in its photographic results. *** Photography is a form of visual, social and environmental anthropology at the same time. It testifies to a way of looking at those around us, of course with the filters that inhabit us but also with all the originality of our observation. A compact camera is certainly one of the best iconographic tools for achieving this very personal visual expression. Photos Daniel M
  10. Absolutely true Dallas, and I have always amazed by by the configuration possibilities and by their cleverness of it through the Panasonic Lumix camera series. Just playing with the different models gives you access to many unknowns options. Compare to the Olympus counterpart, the Lumix cameras appear t be a lot more user friendly at least for their interface. Have a good day!
  11. (Please take note that it is a Google english translation from the original french text) Author's note: Yes, Leica products have always attracted me, both as an admirer and a user (Leica M4P and M6 and Summicron M 35F2, 50F2 and Elmarit M 90F2.8 lenses among others) and because I am a lover of German designed or German inspired products. I therefore took the opportunity to try this particular telephoto lens both by its nature and its exorbitant price, namely the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400 mm F4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS designed for fans of the digital sensor format Micro Four Third (MFT). It is at first a noticaly large lens (especially at its 400 mm setting) and quite heavy, we cannot denying it. It is beautifully made even if it comes from China (of course we would prefer a completely Germanic origin). Despite this, its construction quality and that of the materials used to make it seemed to be of a very high level. Its satin black finish is impeccable in its execution and presentation. And for a zoom lens in its class, the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm ASPH is relatively compact when comparing lenses of similar magnification designed for larger format sensors. Turning the telephoto zoom ring will require a little extra effort compared to other Leica DG series zooms such as the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F2.8-4 ASPH for example. Just make sure the zoom lock mechanism is completely disengaged before turning the ring. This lock option is useful for preventing unwanted changes in zoom setting, for moving the built-in lens hood into position or retracting it, and for preventing unintentional change of focal length while carrying the lens. The focus ring is easy to turn and its responsiveness is good, neither too fast nor too slow. Of course, if you go from a very short distance to a much further distance, you will need to rotate more, but for short focus corrections, the focus ring will do the trick. All three The switches located on the side of the zoom are well located even if you will have to memorize their respective position, particularly during more stressful situations, and be careful not to change their configuration inadvertently. The autofocus/manual focus (AF/MF) switch is my preference but the focus range limiter and stabilization activator are also very useful. The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm ASPH's built-in, swiveling tripod mount (for horizontal or vertical compositions) is one of the best I've experienced. Non-intrusive and robust at the same time, it allows a good secure grip of the telephoto zoom. Yes, it can be oversized by adding a foot provided by the manufacturer. For my part, I found the experience much better using it with a monopod without this optional accessory (tripod mounting extension). The subject magnification required by photographers can vary greatly depending on their desired image type. For example, some will ask for a magnification of at least ten times for bird photography (compared to the "normal" or standard lens) to obtain an interesting result, even if this is not entirely true since some Bird photographers will operate at a shorter distance from their subjects and this also depends on the size of the bird. There are therefore no definitive rules to apply in this matter. Suffice to say that the wide focal range of the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm ASPH is surely a better guarantee to be ready to face various circumstances and avoid a rapid change of optics. In action photography such as during sporting events, the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS has good versatility but its modest maximum aperture (F4-6.3) will complicate your task with slower shutter speeds. (which must be compensated by a higher ISO sensitivity) and less discrimination of the subject in relation to the foreground and background. This is especially true if your subject is at longer distances. You may need to crop your photo significantly afterwards to avoid too much confusion in the image. Focus responsiveness is good, especially when the optic is coupled with a high-end camera model like the Panasonic Lumix G9. In the end, your success rate will depend on your mastery of its inherent characteristics and your ability to anticipate your subject and its context. If you are truly dedicated to sports photography, it might be wiser to use lenses like the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm F2.8-4 Power OIS or the DG Elmarit 200mm F2.8 Power OIS. A final recommendation when using the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS could be to take advantage of its rotating tripod mount to mount it on a good monopod that is easy to take with you. Telephoto zooms are often spectacular but in many cases are also more difficult to get to grips with. They are also technically more demanding. Yes, we're a long way from the old days of film photography and the fiddly beginnings of autofocus (almost useless back then for moving subjects), but still today, depending on the size of your subject , its motion characteristics and the overall light context, technical challenges remain and must be taken into account if you want to achieve satisfactory image results. *** In conclusion, the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400 mm ASPH remains a good choice of telephoto zoom lens for outdoor use in daylight, well designed, robust and producing good image quality provided that you take care to master your shooting parameters. Its selling price remains high and it would be wise to do a trial session before making a final purchase. Apart from these preliminary precautions, once acquired, the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS will certainly serve you faithfully for many years. Photos Daniel M: Panasonic Lumix G9 / Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS
  12. (Please take note that it is a Google english translation from the original french text) Evoking Cuba is recounting a historical and contemporary struggle for its survival and independence. Because Cuba is an island and a continent depending on your point of view, which has faced the invader throughout its tumultuous evolution. Today more than ever the challenge for its persistence and possible progress arises as its rich neighboring country to the north continues to want revenge on a regime which ended its economic domination in the twentieth century. Every year a part of the Cuban population flees the indigent behavior of its native homeland which is struggling to revive itself and modernize its governance. The once quite thriving tourism industry has become another example of the gradual collapse of this beleaguered economy. After more than thirty years of multiple stays in this paradise for the less fortunate and Canadian tourist to boot, many of us can testify that the happy days of carefree living are well and truly over. Of course, we must emphasize the resilience of the Cubans who are still residents, while others abandon the faltering ship in search of an economic and social El Dorado and these will not return to this national divorce, sometimes becoming stateless people embittered by the evil of country undoubtedly. But for those who remain, the future is strewn with uncertainties and only their deep faith in their Cuban homeland and its original culture seems to sustain them momentarily. Cuba is in crisis but is this not also the case for a large part of Central and South America and the Antilles with a migratory multitude towards a North which is closing itself off and walling itself in its strictly material individualism. Because Cuba also challenges us as citizens of the world who refuse any collective responsibility. For many tourists coming to Cuba, the reality of this small and large combative country is seen through a reassuring and hermetic window with here and there small gestures of "charity" from which we can sometimes detect the unconscious contempt of the wealthy. I would be remiss if I did not conclude this short testimony about my Cuban friends without a note of hope, joy, pleasure and celebration which still inhabits us and which brightens our hearts and those of our distant Latin cousins who continue to enjoy the visits of their Canadian tourist clients year after year, storms of all kinds after storms, for their pleasure in hearing news of these disconcerting northern travelers. Thank you to your Cuban friends for welcoming us faithfully for so long. Photos Daniel M
  13. (Please take note that it is a Google english translation from the original french version) In the past, grain was the essential element of all film photography . It gave it its texture and definition. Its intrinsic dimension led to its precision or, conversely, its loss of finesse. Photographic grain was also a form of signature depending on the type of film, ie film, used to record the image. For all these reasons and certainly others, grain had a significant impact on the entire creative process of analog and therefore film photography. It has often been said that the digital point, also called pixel, has replaced the traditional grain of film. If the basic technical idea seems almost identical, the fact is that the analog grain obtained by a combination of the physical effect revealed by a chemical reaction subsequent to the exposure of the photographic film differs substantially in its properties from the digital rendering current sensors in today's cameras. Nowadays we can partially recreate this "grain" effect by opting for one of these "creative" modes offered by different models of digital cameras. Of course, this simulation, which is very similar to the frames used in film photography by superimposing negatives ("sandwiching"), cannot entirely replace film rendering but it has the merit of reintroducing grain as a legitimate and artistic element in photography. Finally, for those who are interested in adventure and whose investment in human and monetary effort is not scary, it is still possible to experiment with the film format in this 21st century even if it appears more and more difficult to do so. access and that its environmental impact is less and less tolerable. Grain was for a long time the very essence of photography and its inexorable disappearance seems to coincide with that of directories, frames, albums and photographic archiving. Could this be a sign of the times? No one can really affirm or deny it in these troubled periods of our evolution. Photos Daniel M
  14. Thank you Dallas for adding these remarks about the Lumix G9. I know you have already a long and detailed experience with this camera model both professionally and for its video capability. Happy New Year for you and yours, Daniel M
  15. (Google English Translation from the original french version) At the end of 2017, the digital photo world is still in full swing and particularly in the category of “mirrorless” devices. A first step in the traditional pro DSLR pond was launched by Olympus and its OM-D E-M1 model in 2013, the true pioneers in the field. Until then, Panasonic owed its reputation mainly to its highly prized GH series devices due to their cinematographic (video) qualities. But now this Lumix G9 finally takes up the challenge of professional photography. The Panasonic Lumix G9 in its original version, since replaced by the clone of the Lumix S5II retrofitted into G9 Mark II for the M4/3 format, remains an exceptional digital camera from several points of view. Its robust construction makes it suitable for intensive use in a difficult environment. For those who have experience with analog cameras categorized for professional use from the film era, it is easy for them to measure the extent of the technical progress made since the introduction of digital sensors in recent decades, whether in terms of autonomy of use, performance in terms of photographic parameters and the final iconographic result. In short, there is a world of difference even if visually these two very distant generations of models have certain similarities. In the category of M4/3 sensor devices, the Lumix G9 remains a giant in both its dimensions and its weight. You may need a little extra strength training to carry this beast around all day. On the other hand, the Lumix G9 is not particularly discreet in appearance even if the triggering of its shutter remains almost inaudible. Moreover, this trigger has an extremely "professional" sensitivity to which you have to adapt well or risk endlessly and involuntarily machine-gunning your subject. Note that the central switch of the Lumix G9 surrounds the shutter button. The grip is comfortable and reassuring for this type of device. It can be enhanced by the addition of the BGG-9 vertical power grip which doubles the energy autonomy of the G9 while adding a vertical shutter release suitable for portrait framing. The viewing comfort of the Lumix G9 is excellent either via the electronic viewfinder (EVF) or via the rear screen (LVF) even for glasses wearers like me. The ergonomics of the device are well designed with regard to access and operation of the various control keys and dials and the rear touch screen. The multifunction controller (joystick) is more difficult to handle given its position further away from the rear viewfinder. Several parametric features such as sensitivity, white balance, exposure compensation, focus type and choice of focus point, etc. are directly accessible. The information on the control screen located on the top of the box is very practical and can be back-illuminated if necessary. Note the small protuberance provided for the rear support of the photographer's right thumb which ensures a better hold on the Lumix G9. The Lumix G9 menu is very elaborate but remains well illustrated and easy to navigate. The effort of its French presentation deserves to be highlighted. The device has very wide configuration latitude both via its menu and its quick-access interface (buttons, dials, joystick, touch screen). Fortunately, pre-configuration of the Lumix G9 is possible via the "Custom" modes, which allows the photographer to specialize the use of the camera with a turn of the Mode dial, which is very relevant when you move from photography to landscape, portrait or action for example. The Lumix G9 is powered by a dedicated battery and gives the device good autonomy, often equivalent to a day's work for a photographer. This autonomy can be doubled by adding the optional BGG-9 power handle. The device can also be connected directly to an independent power supply, which can be very practical for external assignment and when traveling. The Lumix G9 accepts two SD format memory cards with UHS-II writing speed. The device has HDMI, USB-C, microphone and headphone (3.5mm) input ports, PC flash and TTL HotShoe. WiFi and BlueTooth connectivity is also offered via the Panasonic app available for smart phones and tablets. In use Getting started with the Lumix G9 is quick and easy and its parametric approach is logical and competent. Of course its configuration can be complex if you wish, but conversely the device can be used in a very simplified way. The rather extreme sensitivity of the trigger requires to be tamed at first. The electronic viewfinder is sumptuous in its clarity and definition and offers very complete information that can be limited if necessary. At the limits of the image frame, we can note a slight silhouette effect, certainly due to its compression. The eye relief of the electronic viewfinder is high and adds comfort for eyeglass wearers. The Lumix G9 is heavy if we compare it to the usual average weight of other M4/3 format devices but in the category of professional models, this is not surprising given its resistance to adverse conditions and its endurance in very intensive use. Its grip is also excellent but the use of both hands is essential, particularly for a prolonged shooting session. The interface is very varied, practical and almost entirely reconfigurable although in this case it is necessary to remember the modified purposes of the different controls of the Lumix G9. The rear focus type swap lever is very effective. The direct keys for ISO sensitivity and WB white balance are also very suitable. The multi-functional rotary controls located at the front and above the device are relevant even if the one above proves less accessible than if it had been positioned completely at the rear as for most models of this camera category. The autofocus is also competent, especially in its stopped version (AF-S) and can be modulated in different ways depending on the types of subjects covered. In continuous mode, some fluctuation in the electronic viewfinder display could be distracting but cannot be interpreted as an inability to obtain precise focus. Likewise, the Tracking Focus algorithm is not error-free, especially when the movement of the main subject turns out to be erratic and therefore less predictable. Finally, autofocus can sometimes suffer in low light when the Lumix G9 is paired with lenses with smaller maximum apertures. The rear screen of the Lumix G9 is completely adjustable and foldable for protection. Its definition is good both for taking pictures and for reviewing recorded files. The display can be configured to the needs and tastes of the photographer. Side view of the screen is possible and usable. However, there is a delay of approximately one second when you start viewing a recorded photo (Review mode). The Lumix G9's light meter responds well to different lighting situations and can be configured differently depending on your preferences for full, centered, or spot reading. Its responsiveness is adequate to changes in brightness. The automatic white balance is reliable with a small bias towards cold colors which can be partly attenuated via a warmer automatic mode (AWB-Warm). The fact remains that with artificial lighting coming from multiple varied sources of color temperature, the system will struggle to find the right balance, which very few current digital devices can do well, it must also be emphasized. The color rendering of the Lumix G9 does not differ fundamentally from other M4/3 models from Panasonic. It is rather neutral or natural a priori offering less vibrancy than renderings from other camera manufacturers which often add vibrancy and contrast when saving the image in JPEG file format. Of course, a multitude of different chromatic rendering biases are available on the Lumix G9 menu and it is up to the user to determine their relevance or not for their creative approach. The monochrome modes are very well formulated by the Lumix G9 which is also a trademark of Panasonic products. Please note that this brief review of the Panasonic Lumix G9 does not cover its video features. ***** Overall, we can measure the progress made in the evolution of the M4/3 digital image sensor format by the appearance of professional devices such as the Panasonic Lumix G9. It would be in vain to try to establish that a professional device model could meet everyone's requirements, but we can say that the Lumix G9 is certainly at the higher level of these in terms of its ergonomics and its on-board functionalities. Even replaced by the G9 Mark II recently, this original version of the Lumix G9 remains relevant and much closer to the initial philosophy of the M4/3 format just like its alter-ego of the OM System, the OM- D E-M1 (II & III). Combined with optics of the same professional level, the Panasonic Lumix G9 will undoubtedly prove to be a relevant, durable and pleasant tool to use. Panasonic Illustrations / Photos Daniel M
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