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Dining reviews: Europe 2017

Here’s a short summary of the eating experience from my trip. Some are Michelin rated, but all good!
St Moritz:

Modena:

Bologna:

Berlin:

  • Co Chu – Neighbourhood vietnamese. Very good. Worth a visit.
  • Horvath (2*) – Exceptional. Must visit. Photos.
  • Mutzenbacher – For schnitzel, it was OK. Photo.
  • Tim Raue (2*) – Polarising. Didn’t like it but on reflection maybe worth a second look. Photos.
  • Einsunternull. (1*) – Exceptional. Most creative food in entire trip. As creative as Massimo. Went twice in one day. Must visit. Photos.

Zurich:

  • Brasserie Lipp – Bustling French brasserie in Zurich centre. Worth a visit.

The Devil’s Place – Whisky Bar

The whisky bar at the Waldhaus hotel in St Moritz is the largest in the world according to the Guiness Book of Records. Called the Devil’s Place, it houses over 2,500 whiskeys.
When I visited there was a TV crew from Austrian doing a spot on the bar and I ended up in the segment.

Pappagallo Restaurant in Bologna

Every Italian food lover has had spaghetti Bolognese. But to see what the benchmark is, the sources said the Pappagallo Restaurant in Bologna is the one to go to. The restaurant has been around since 1919 and is considered one of the most important restaurant in Bologna. Our lunch certainly lived up to the benchmark, The pasta dishes were perfect. Everything was in balance, The pasta was light, the sauces did not overwhelm and the taste of the potatoes were still there in the gnocchi. More images here.

Franceschetta 58, Modena

Modena, 20 February 2017. A lunch at Franceschetta 58, the second restaurant of Massimo Bottura in Modena. The restaurant seats about 32 people. It’s pretty casual with staff in runners. There are two tasting menus. Four courses at 48€ and six courses at 65€. The restaurant is located about a 20 minute walk from the edge of the old city in a suburban area. There seems to be a second kitchen across the street. More images here.

Shooting the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships St Moritz

Apart from the Winter Olympics, the pinnacle of the skiing calendar is the biennial world ski championships. In 2017, St Moritz is the host city, having done it four times before. I’ve shot ski racing before and this was going to be a treat. After two weeks below is a sample. More here.

Eyefi Mobi Pro card doesn't work with Nikon D500

Don’t bother with using an @EyefiCard #eyefimobi #eyefi with the #nikon #d500 – it’s incompatible.
The card can’t send photos to your device and take pictures simultaneously. If you press the shutter during a transfer, the transfer will stop and you will need to power cycle the camera and restart the iOS App to resume the transfer.

The argument for a pro DX crop camera – Nikon D500

Almost 2 years to the day I used a Canon 7D Mk II at an A-League match and wrote a short blog about the image quality. While the 7D was good in the right conditions it really wasn’t good enough, even at ISO 250. Not long after this blog I sold the 7D.
I just finished using the Nikon D500, Nikon’s new entry in the DX/Crop sensor market. I used several lenses:

  • 400mm f2.8E
  • 300mm f4E
  • 70-200mm f2.8E
  • 80-400mm
  • 1.4TC III

So wouldn’t it be great if a crop-sensor body could replace pro-DSLR bodies like the Nikon D5 and Canon 1DX?
The picture shows by comparison the 300mm and the D500 on the left and on the right, my Canon 1DX2 and the Nikon 400mm. With the D500 and the 300mm, that’s equivalent to a 450mm f4 coming in at 1.5kg compared with the Nikon D5/Canon 1DX with the 400mm at 5.3kg. That’s almost four times heavier (if you put in the need for a monopod).  The obvious difference is the 1-stop advantage between f2.8 and f4 – but can that be discounted because the image quality is good enough and the weight and convenience savings are worth any IQ trade-off?
 
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Well, my current conclusion is that like the 7D v 1DX 2 years ago, the D500 is also great in good conditions but side-by-side against the D5 and 1DX class cameras, it’s not a replacement. All of this is only visible at 1:1 or 100%, but commercial and editorial images live and die at this live of inspection. So what are ideal conditions? Basically when you don’t have to crop the DX image at all and keep the ISO at or below 1600.
A quick comment about three new Nikon lenses. The 300, 400 and the 70-200 are simply gorgeous. The 70-200 is the best handling zoom lens I’ve ever used. The smooth and fast zoom ring and the balance of the lens is like driving a race car. Amazing. The Canon equivalent lens is like an old jalopy. Heavy, slow and bulky. The 300mm is a miracle in lens design. Add the 1.4TC converter and you’ve got a 400mm in the palm of your hand.
I need to test these lenses on a D5. More results to come.

The photographer's upgrade guide for the 2016 Macbook Pro

If you’re thinking about upgrading your Macbook Pro to the new ones that have the Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports, you’ll probably need these accessory cables to compensate for the deleted Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports. If Apple was a good corporate citizen and wanted to look after it’s loyal customers they should really have included at least 2 adapters: the USB-C to USB 3.0 Female, and the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2:

Apple has also released a guide here https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT204154 and also Belkin
Here are some announced USB-C accessories that may also be useful:

Fuji XT-2 as remote camera

Tested the Fuji XT-2 as a behind the goal remote camera. Triggered by a Yongnuo remote, it fires at 14 fps. Looks like it’s a pretty good solution. More testing to come. Here’s a sample animated set of images.
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And here’s the setup:
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Soccer: Australian Socceroos v Greece

Some highlights from a friendly between Australian Soccerroos and Greece. More here and apimages.com

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