Upload & Sell: On
| p.67 #17 · Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it? |
This might be heresy... but life is short. I own the DP2M and the X-E1 and 35/1.4 lens.
I have shot the same images from the same vantage points over the last two weeks, with a pano. setup I described elsewhere (light portable rig). Three-stitch panos, portrait orientation, indexing head on tripod. Grad filter to bring the sky down (though with C1Pro's new gradient tool, that might become a thing of the past, too). Both camera were set to MF, ƒ8, focus at about the 200m distance, manual exposure. Same scene, but different days (and light), but all I was looking for was the detail at infinity (mountains, houses, a lake, etc.).
Now, for the first time today, I compared the Sigma and the Fuji files, both Raw > SPP > TIFF > PTGui > TIFF output for the Sigma, and two paths for the Fuji: Raws developed via either C1Pro 7 or AccuRaw > TIFF > PTGui > TIFF panorama.
Then, just for fun, a final Fuji workflow: using only the Normal jpegs SOOC > PTGui > high quality jpeg output panorama. Smaller files all the way through, but same final pixel count, 10,000-11,000px on the long edge from memory. I did no sharpening on the Fuji files, but the jpeg versions are sharpened lightly in camera as part of the cooking process.
Here's the heresy: I was hard pressed to see any significant difference at the pixel level on a calibrated screen between the Sigma and Fuji images via the Raw workflows. That was a surprise—but when I compared the panorama made with the SOOC jpegs with the Raw workflow TIFFS (massive files) I was amazed to see how good the jpeg-only versions were. At the pixel level, all versions looked excellent (but different, as we have been discussing here) but for me, anyway, I am now wondering if the Foveon advantage is really an advantage. The X-E1 does not have an AA filter, as we all know, so its unsharpened files look very good, too. And the Fuji JPEGs do allow quite a bit of tweaking in Aperture via the Enhancement tools, if you need it.
All around, the Fuji is the easier camera to use, and as I have presbyopia, looking at the LCDs on the backs is my least preferred viewing option (have to put glasses on; etc.). The EVF on the Fuji is excellent (for me) with its adjustable diopter (the reason I did not get the X-Pro 1 when they were released).
Finally, even if the Foveon produces slightly sharper pixel-level detail, there is no more information to be seen there. Roof tiles are clearly seen in all images; objects five miles in the distance can be seen clearly on zooming in—I feel now that I just do not need more resolution. At 50% viewing, which most these days seem to regard as a reasonable proxy for what a print will look like, both cameras produce excellent, but different renditions of the same scene.
Well, that's what I've found, anyway. I decided not to post images because they are different, but my key point is that both cameras produce images that are truly excellent—but the colour rendering is very different. And I would say that a good PP person could take either file and make an excellent print from it.
One final point: after a certain frequency, surely the characteristics of the printer, and how it interacts with the pixel detail, must become significant too, in the final part of the workflow. By this, I mean past a certain resolution, the printer's qualities may make a bigger contribution to how the final image looks, and more resolution may not improve that aspect.