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honestly, i find the sigma distant landscapes to be pretty unrealistic looking even when all the sharpening that can be turned off is turned off. distant landscapes just aren't sharp in reality. atmospheric distortion, particulates, and haze insure that. shots of distant landscapes from the d800e and m9 look much better and more real to me than shots from the merrills.
p.s. regarding dpr, i'm always a little suspect of their technique, plus they shoot AF jpegs for their samples don't they? i stopped looking at their pictures a while ago, their reviews are helpful for learning a camera's menus without...Show more →
DPR can be a bit lacking in their technique, but then I can say the same for myself 95% of the time as well
Realistically the way I'm using a camera like the RX1 when out on a walk or a vacation etc is using AF and while I often will do jpeg/raw, I've increasingly been just using the JPEG's since on camera's like the RX1, RX100 and now XE-1, they are always pretty darn good. Sometimes I even just post SOOC shots to facebook or image threads (gasp! lol)
What we don't see with their samples though is a marked improvement over the RX1 files. Even if both are presented less than ideally, if there was a massive imrovement in resolution with the R, I think it would still be apparent, which I'm not seeing. Doesn't mean an extra few % can't be coaxed out, but its not a "wow" factor like magically taking a vasoline smeared filter off the camera.
As for distant landscapes not looking sharp.... well I agree and disagree. If you live in the typical city, then yes, to our eyes, the horizon usually isn't very sharp because we have so much heat distortion coming off the concrete jungle, particulates and haze. However, that doesn't mean those objects aren't in reality sharp.
Silly analogy but do stars look unrealistic from the Hubble space telescope because it doesn't have to have its images distorted by our atmosphere which is what we are used to seeing from a terrestrial telescope ? No
As I said, real world, no one is really going to care about counting leaves on a tree 3 blocks away. Unless your taking a close up a tree, I doubt the leaves really matter or get a second glance in any photo for that matter. But... I for one still do find it kind of fun viewing my Merrill files at 100% and seeing that fine resolution. Its really fun for things like cityscapes when you can pick out the silhouettes of construction workers onto of builders, window washers etc.
Doesn't really make a photo any better or affect the composition, lighting, etc, but just fun to see what isn't there with the naked eye so to speak. Kind of like macro shooting if you will.