12 Days of Belvedere: A look back at puppyhood through sample photos

15 Dec

12 days of Belvedere

ISO 1400 | 1/250 sec | F1.8 | Nikon Z6 + Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 S

Belvedere officially joined the DPReview team last fall as a fourth-month-old pup and quickly became one of our favorite subjects to photograph. By the turn of 2019, he was a common sight in many-a sample gallery. Twelve months later and we have a complete and glorious timeline of his transformation from tiny puppy, to slightly larger puppy!

As Belvedere’s human and Photo Editor at DPReview, I tasked myself with going back through each month of 2019 to select the top pup photo to share with you, my dear reader, along with the gallery it’s from. We feel this is a nice way to not only look back at all the lovely gear we’ve tested, but also to fill the Internet with additional dog photos, because dogs are good and we love dogs.

We intend this slideshow to be enjoyed Advent calendar-style, meaning after today you are allowed to view one additional photo up until the 25th, when all can be enjoyed in consecutive order. Think of it as our holiday gift to you. We’re counting on you to not peek ahead!

And for those curious, Belvedere, a rescue pup, is a mix of Chihuahua, Miniature Pinscher and Miniature Short-haired Dachshund. He likes dehydrated squirrel carcasses, licking bald heads, sitting in laps for hours, turning squeaky toys inside-out and whenever anyone puts on a pair of socks. He weighs 18.4lbs and is a very good boy.

*All images by Dan Bracaglia except where noted

January 2019 – Belvedere at 7 months

ISO 2800 | 1/125 sec | F2.8 | Nikon Z6 + Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 S

We started off the year busy, publishing 11 sets of sample images in January 2019, including galleries for heavy hitting products like the Sony a6400, Sigma 28mm F1.4 Art and the Olympus E-M1X. But our top Belvedere pick in January comes from our Nikon Z 50mm F.8 S gallery. This one was a tough choice between two tempting pup picks, both from the same gallery. We opted for Belvedere enjoying a cheese stick, but Belvedere on the couch was a close second (we used it as the lead for the story).

January was also the month we tested the versatile, yet chunky Canon RF 28-70mm F2L as well as the beastly Nikon 500mm F5.6. We also got our hands on a Canon APS-C mirrorless favorite in the Canon EF-M 32mm F1.4 STM.

See our Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 S gallery

February 2019 – Belvedere at 8 months

ISO 12800 | 1/125 sec | F5.6 | Fujifilm GFX 50R + GF 45mm F2.8
Photo: Carey Rose

February was a busy months for new gear. We got our hands on pre-production models of the Panasonic S1R and Panasonic S1 (in Barcelona). We also took a pre-production Fujifilm X-T30 for a spin (in Seattle), and freelance contributor Damien Demolder put together a pre-production gallery with the Ricoh GR III (from London).

Additionally we published final production galleries from the Canon EOS RP, the Fujifilm XF 16mm F2.8 and the oh-so-sharp Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM. And yet somehow with all the launches and all the galleries shot, we didn’t publish a single Belvedere photo in February. Shame on us. Fortunately DPR’s Carey Rose captured the above image of our dear pup from a, well, not-terribly flattering angle for a Fujifilm GFX 50R gallery published March 1st. It was technically taken in February so we’ll count it.

See our GFX 50R sample gallery

March 2019 – Belvedere at 9 months

ISO 100 | 1/200 sec | F2.8 | Leica Q2

Things quieted down a little in March. We got our hands on final production versions of both the Panasonic S1 and Panasonic S1R and filled out those galleries with plenty of samples. We also got our hands on Sigma’s outstanding bang-for-the-buck 70-200mm F2.8 Sport as well as their latest long zoom in the 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 Sport.

Belvedere popped up in several of those galleries, but our favorite photos of him came from the Leica Q2, shot during a sunny afternoon walk. The weather was just starting to warm up in March and Belvedere’s fur was just beginning to go through a rapid and often comical shed and regrowth phase.

See our Leica Q2 sample gallery

April 2019 – Belvedere at 10 months

ISO 64 | 1/320 sec | F2.8 | Nikon Z7 + Z 24-70mm F2.8 @ 70mm

April was also a somewhat quiet month. We got a final production version of the Fujifilm X-T30 in for testing as well as a final version of the Ricoh GR III. We also shot with Pentax’s new 11-18mm F2.8 ultra-wide zoom and the slightly-less wide Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 S. But it was a different Nikon Z lens behind our favorite April Belvedere shot: the outstandingly sharp Z 24-70mm F2.8. Belvedere’s not even the only handsome pup in said gallery!

Also important: At 10 months Belvedere wasn’t quite fully grown. He no longer fits under the tight space he’s peeking out from in the image above, though he does try from time to time.

See our Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 S sample gallery

May 2019 – Belvedere at 11 months

ISO 125 | 1/200 sec | F4.4 | Ricoh WG-60

We shot with a wide array of products in May ranging from the image quality king, Fujifilm GFX 100 (pre-production), to the beginner-friendly Canon SL3, to the Panasonic FZ1000 II premium compact. We also called in and tested a number of rugged cameras for our Best Waterproof Camera Guide, including the Olympus TG-6.

But our favorite Belvedere photo comes from the comparably underpowered Ricoh WG-60, a rugged compact. Which just goes to show, it’s not the quality of the camera that makes the photo, it’s the cuteness of the dog. Here he is soaking up the sunlight from Seattle’s oh-so-long May days.

See our waterproof camera buying guide

June 2019 – Belvedere on his birthday

ISO 200 | 1/40 sec | F2.4 | Samsung Galaxy S10+
Photo: Jeff Keller

Belvedere officially turned one year old in June (June 10th if you want to send a gift, he likes bones) and we had ample opportunity to photograph the birthday boy. June was a month in which we shot with a ton of high-end full-frame lenses including the Panasonic S 24-105mm F4, the Panasonic S Pro 50mm F1.4, the Sony FE 600mm F4 GM and the Rokinon SP 35mm F1.2. We also added a nice selection of images to our Fujifilm GFX 100 gallery (still not final firmware, womp).

But it was the Samsung Galaxy S10+ in the hands of DPR’s Jeff Keller that captured our favorite shot of the young man. A shot that shows him starting to come of age: He’s still got the doofy ‘I’m a puppy’ face, but his coat and body are filling out like a real dog. Nice work, Belvedere.

See our Samsung Galaxy S10+ sample gallery

July 2019 – Belvedere at 13 months

ISO 100 | 1/500 sec | F1.2 | Canon EOS R + RF 85mm F1.2L

July was a busy month for sample gallery shooting. With the Seattle rain finally dissipating for the season, we took full advantage of the long sunny days. The Sony a7R IV launched and we got ample shooting time with it in New York City. DPR’s Carey Rose also got his hands on several freshly-launched Sigma lenses in Japan, including the Sigma 45mm F2.8 Contemporary, the Sigma 14-24 F2.8 Art and Sigma 35mm F1.2 Art. We also spent time with Tamron’s wide, sharp 17-28mm F2.8 and took Sony’s excellent do-everything pocket camera, the RX100 VII for a spin.

Other notable galleries include the Canon EOS M100 (in Mexico), the Panasonic Leica 10-25mm F1.7, the Sony 35mm F1.8, the Fujfilm GF 50mm F3.5 and the Rokinon AF 85mm F1.4. Gosh that’s a lot of galleries. But our hands-down favorite Belvedere photo was shot with one of our favorite portrait lenses of the year, the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L. Just look at that happy boy! He knows the bokeh is creamy.

See our Canon RF 85mm F1.2L
sample gallery

August 2019 – Belvedere at 14 months

ISO 125 | 1/30 sec | F2.8 | Canon G5 X mark II

August saw major launches from two brands, Canon with its enthusiast APS-C siblings in the Canon EOS 90D and Canon EOS M6 Mark II and Sony with its APS-C siblings in the Sony a6100 and the Sony a6600. We also finally got our hands on a final production Fujifilm GFX 100 as well as a final production Panasonic G95.

Additionally we shot with the very sharp Nikon Z 35mm F1.8 S, the Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 and the Tamron 35-150mm F2.8-4. Finally Canon’s two latest compacts, the Canon G7 X III and the Canon G5 X II also showed up at our office for sample shooting and testing. Our favorite Belvedere photo from the month was taken on the latter. Note: If Belvedere looks extra fluffy in this image it’s because he had just received a bath after his very first puppy swim.

See our Canon PowerShot G5 X II gallery

September 2019 – Belvedere at 15 months

ISO 64 | 1/2500 sec | F1.8 | Nikon Z7 + Z 85mm F1.8

September was a somewhat quiet month for sample galleries, yet Belvedere managed to sneak his charming face into two of them. These included the all around-excellent Tamron 35mm F1.4 gallery and the also-impressive Nikon 85mm F1.8 S gallery. We also shot with the iPhone 11, Sony 16-55mm F2.8 and Phase One IQ4.

Now I’ll be honest, my dear humble readers, I truly struggled with which Belvedere photos to pick as the winner for this month (OK, I shot them all). My decision ultimately came down to which image had the most likes in our gallery (10). Either way, September was a very good-looking month for our dear staff pup.

See our Nikon Z 85mm F1.8 S
sample gallery

October 2019 – Belvedere at 16 months

ISO 1000 | 1/100 sec | F2.8 | Canon M200 + EF-M 32mm F1.4
Photo: Carey Rose

October saw the launch of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III, the Fujifilm X-Pro3 and the Nikon Z50 – cameras we were able to shoot galleries for, prior to announcement. We also got our hands on Canon’s impressive RF 24-70mm F2.8L lens and shot our very first test samples on the Nikon Z 58mm S Noct (under very controlled settings). Additionally, we were thoroughly impressed with the real world output of the Google Pixel 4.

But our favorite Belvedere sample of the month came from Carey Rose with the Canon EOS M200. I’m not sure if Carey set out to capture Belvedere working hard on the job, but he sure did. Warming laps takes a lot of practice and dedication!

See our Canon EOS M200 sample gallery

November 2019 – Belvedere at 17 months

ISO 100 | 1/800 sec | F2.8 | Leica SL2 + Sigma 45mm F2.8

We had the chance to shoot with some really nice telephoto glass in November, including with the Fujifilm XF 200mm F2 as well as the jaw-dropping Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L. We also took Sony’s 70-350 F4.5-6.3 for a spin and explored around the city with the super-compact Sigma fp full-framer.

But it was the beastly Leica SL2 behind November’s top Belvedere pic. And if you zoom into 100% you can even seem some dreamy bokeh from the Sigma 45mm F2.8 on my dear dog’s nose.

See our Leica SL2 sample gallery

December 2019 – Belvedere at 18… no wait, 6 months

ISO 1000 | 1/200 sec | F1.4 | Sony a6500 + Sigma 56mm F1.4
Photo: Carey Rose

December has been a busy (and dark month) and it’s not over yet! As such, we’ve only published a handful of galleries so far. These include our Panasonic S Pro 24-70 F2.8 gallery, our Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L gallery and our full-production Nikon Z50 gallery. But sadly, none of those galleries contain images of our fuzzy pal (what fools we are!).

But not to worry! DPR’s Richard Butler reminded me of a classic Belvedere photo shot by our very own Carey Rose with the delightful Sigma 56mm F1.4, this time last December (no, Belvedere isn’t Benjamin Button).

See our Sigma 56mm F1.4 sample gallery

12 days of Belvedere – The wrap

ISO 64 | 1/320 sec | F1.4 | Nikon Z7 + Tamron 35mm F1.4

And that’s a wrap on the year. There you have it, 12 months of Belvedere in 12 days. Thank you kind reader, for following along on this fun and important journey through puppyhood and gear reminiscing. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed each slide, one at a time and didn’t jump ahead. But even if you did, Belvedere forgives you. He’s just that kind of dog.

Until next year. Woof!

See our Tamron 35mm F1.4 sample gallery

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