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Warmth of Winter | by Don Komarechka
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Warmth of Winter

In the freezing cold of winter, here’s some warmth! So glad to finally be able to share these images with you – taken on the just-announced Lumix S1!

 

I had an opportunity over the holidays and for part of January to be shooting with a pre-release Lumix S1, and wow did it perform well. I knew I’d get my hands on one eventually so I was already equipped with a Novoflex EF to L-mount adapter for shooting snowflakes and other macro subjects (so you know there’s more to come!), which allowed me to truly push the limits of this camera… so, how did it perform?

 

For years I shot with the Canon 1DX and 1DX mark II, so those are the full-frame cameras I’ll compare this experience to. For macro photography, it’s a step up from these flagships in what I have been able to test. Since there is no RAW support for it at the moment I’ve just been dealing with JPG files, but the detail is amazing, it behaved great with no slowdowns when shooting RAW or JPG for very long bursts, and it was intuitive to handle.

 

I’ve been a fan of optical viewfinders because the resolution of electronic viewfinders has been less than perfect, but this camera completely changes that game. 5.76M dot resolution, which is far more than I was expecting (the G9 has 3.68M dots, so it’s a significant increase). Handled well even in lower light, and the instant feedback of seeing the image without having to “chimp” on a camera of this size is something I have always been missing.

 

It’s hard to say what my favourite part of this camera is, it’s a well-rounded camera with a lot of customizable features to operate exactly as you’d want. I didn’t play much with autofocus since my macro lenses are all manual, but the camera did not let me down in any way… I’ll be owning one of these soon!

 

As for this image, it’s a freezing soap bubble on a piece of tall grass that had gone to seed in the fall, still standing in our backyard. Wanting to find a natural surface to rest a bubble on, I tried a few things in the yard: cedar branches, twigs, but this grass stood out as a real winner. In order to add depth to the image, there are three LED flashlights at play:

 

The main light is shining directly from behind with an orange filter. A second light from behind, equipped with a red filter, is adding some subtle hints of colour to the top of the bubble. A third light has no filter and is coming from the side, adding neutral colour to the grass to balance out the image – the reflections on the bubble from this light help add dimension too.

 

A very fun photo to shoot, and more to come! My time with the Lumix S1 was very productive. :)

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Taken on January 11, 2019