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While I haven't tried a dp2m, I have been (very recently only) very interested by it and browsed through a lot of threads in forums etc. and downloaded lots of samples, including a lot of full rez plus a few RAW files.
After my first enthousiasm and when I looked at the files on my calibrated and sharp monitor, I finally was not too impressed by what I saw. Not the camera side, that is clear, but the photographic results.
What I don't like in what I see:
1. General image impression is kind of like disturbed by overly enhanced tiny "detail specks" that give the files a rough, rippled look where my eyes are somehow lost in myriads of dots instead of what the photo actually shows.
2. When viewing in large view or even 100% view, lots of false detail and grid- like artefacts become visible. For larger objects (like any digital camera) things can look amazingly good, for smaller frequency detail the rendition gets different but not better than Bayer pattern files.
3. Colour is "different"; often I find the dp2m colour to have low saturation which is basically ok, but what really disturbs me is a certain kind of tone mapping/ HDR look of the files.
In the end the idea of getting LF resolution in a compact camera format is too sweet, but my impression is that the Merrill is only apparently close to the large format.
I also must say that the better 20+ MP cameras with traditional bayer matrix, like my Canon 5dII or the Nex-7 generally don't make me want more sharpness or detail.
In respect to the limits of sensor resolution I might like the blurring approach of the classic digital cameras better than the rough filterless approach. But that may be personal preference. I used to shoot with the Kodak SLR/n and also with a Mamiya ZD (SLR version), and I liked the Mamiya files quite a bit (much better quality than the Kodak), but the lack of Bayer mask + no AA filter in the dp2m seems a bit over the top to me.
Maybe some of those issues (like the fake HDR look) can and will be adressed by new RAW converters like Lightroom or others, until then I don't feel to much attracted to the merrill.
And it is true: I only looked to files on the monitor, no printing done.
So sorry for being the devil's advocate here, I had high hopes after the first look at the Merrill, but in the end I don't think I would like the results this camera gives. (I don't care high ISO or all the bells and whistles Sigma does NOT give).
Edited on Dec 30, 2012 at 10:44 PM · View previous versions