Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?
/forum/topic/1150855/46

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Yakim Peled
Registered: Nov 18, 2004
Total Posts: 16903
Country: Israel

Luis Cunha wrote:
Is there such thing as "right color"?


This is not an easy question to answer as colour does not exist in nature as a physical entity. It only appears in our brain as perception. Now, if you were talking to a printer or screen manufacture the answer would be "Absolutely" but if you talk to people then the answer will be more heterogeneous as we interpret THIS particular colour in a slightly different way.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



Luis Cunha
Registered: Dec 26, 2012
Total Posts: 113
Country: Portugal

Yes & Yes ,-)
So, maybe:
Sigma=better image quality; simple object and one lens. Low investment.
Fuji=better camera features and more flexible with lens; gorgeous object. Higher investment.

Colour with cameras=always a translation.

I only shoot RAW; I work with images, so the RAW workflow is fundamental for me. Both brands are with problems... .-(
Also (just to remind my own case) this must work as my outdoors system for street/travel work.
The investment must be as low as possible.
I canīt gave up on my FFrame DSLR because I do macro indoors and I canīt either support (afford) the Leica M FF alternative as a second system neither as the only system for portability and studio macro simply because rangefinders arenīt ok for macro. And I canīt carry for hours anymore a DSLR. Too heavy.

And I go back to black and white. How good the Merrill can be in B&W vs others, especially non-AA filter cameras, even Leica?
When I think about a camera I think about sensor(of film) and lens. The rest are conveniences and most of the times I donīt need or use them. The best sensor and the best lens I can afford. My present system is a body and three lenses (one just and only for macro) and I worked two years just with one 50mm lens. I tend to be minimal.

I will always need two bodies or I will not be able to do part of my work.

P.s. anyone subscribing the Reid Reviews? Iīm not but very curious. Worth the money?



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 12903
Country: United States

Luis Cunha wrote:

P.s. anyone subscribing the Reid Reviews? Iīm not but very curious. Worth the money?


I'm currently a subscriber to Reid Reviews. Sean really likes the DP2 Merrill's image quality at low ISO. Nothing else about the camera's usability or ergonomics really stand's out for him but he considers the foveon sensor, and it's ability to utilize every pixel location to record color, as a stand out capability which sets the camera apart from anything else (he considers the color detail and subtlety achievable at low ISO to be equivalent to 46MP's).

Well worth a read if you are not able to use/ try the camera before purchase, though Sean's followup comparison with other bayer based cameras has not been posted yet.



Luis Cunha
Registered: Dec 26, 2012
Total Posts: 113
Country: Portugal

Tariq Gibran wrote:
Luis Cunha wrote:

P.s. anyone subscribing the Reid Reviews? Iīm not but very curious. Worth the money?


I'm currently a subscriber to Reid Reviews. Sean really likes the DP2 Merrill's image quality at low ISO. Nothing else about the camera's usability or ergonomics really stand's out for him but he considers the foveon sensor, and it's ability to utilize every pixel location to record color, as a stand out capability which sets the camera apart from anything else (he considers the color detail and subtlety achievable at low ISO to be equivalent to 46MP's).

Well worth a read if you are not able to use/ try the camera before purchase, though Sean's followup comparison with other bayer based cameras has not been posted yet.


Thanks Tariq.
So, for Mr. Reid, DP2M is a good/distinct sensor with a good lens matched together .-)
Iīm really considering the subscription, Saw the index content and there are more than just gear reviews I think...
Is there any info about which bayer cameras for future comparison?

A bit off the topic; I must search for info about Foveon JUST for B&W capture. If itīs possible in theory (or just a stupid idea of mine).
The Monochrome case is the use of an existing bayer sensor without the color transition/translation/transformation(?). A back to basis without further more work to make "color appear".
What would be needed for a Foveon sensor to behave the same way?



kosmoskatten
Registered: Oct 11, 2005
Total Posts: 3059
Country: Sweden

Yakim Peled wrote:
Luis Cunha wrote:
Is there such thing as "right color"?


This is not an easy question to answer as colour does not exist in nature as a physical entity. It only appears in our brain as perception. Now, if you were talking to a printer or screen manufacture the answer would be "Absolutely" but if you talk to people then the answer will be more heterogeneous as we interpret THIS particular colour in a slightly different way.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



Yes Yakim, but still you have to have some sort of way of reproducing color as true to the original as possible, regardless of using perceptual, relative or absolute colorimetrics. If you do not agree with how your camera sensor interprets colors as you see them you need to adjust either your own preference or tweak the results.

The "right" color for me is the one that is as close to my recollection of the actual color as I saw it. Some sensors do it better than others but I am not sure of any single sensor does it perfectly as I can't judge all colors and claim that I know which ones are right or not unless I could compare the scene and output instantly and in fixed/invariable light during the process.



Luis Cunha
Registered: Dec 26, 2012
Total Posts: 113
Country: Portugal

Iīm even more concern with sharpness than color accuracy (also due the nature of color). Also because I tend to alter/edit the color as I like to achieve the "image" I like or need. And because I work a lot with B&W or monochrome images.
The usual bayer lack of sharpness is another theme. That I donīt like. Unless I search for blur which I do sometimes.



sculptormic
Registered: Feb 05, 2012
Total Posts: 2588
Country: Netherlands

Dutch cliché.







alba63
Registered: Dec 21, 2003
Total Posts: 734
Country: Germany

The questions of what the Merrill sensor can deliver touches some more fundamental questions I keep asking myself since a while. I am also attracted by the Sigma cameras, but so far I am not fully convinced.

Luis Cunha wrote:
The usual bayer lack of sharpness is another theme. That I donīt like.


This is - in my opinion - exagerated. I have looked at the question of detail and sharpness through many samples, dp2 merrill and the cameras I have been using during the last years, amongst which the 5d II and the Nex-7. Used with good lenses (in my case a few Zeiss ZF) and good technique all of those can deliver very good detail resolution and sharpness except where the size of the smallest details comes close to pixel size.

In larger objects both techniques (Bayer and Foveon) deliver easily a good image which displays detail far beyond the reach of the human sight. For example in distant trees one can identify single leafs or structures in the bark of trees, or letters on distant traffic signs, billboards etc.

What both technologies have in common is that from a certain point and smaller, a sensor cannot render an object in a way that shows it's real exact shape anymore. A face rendered by let's say 30 or 40 pixels (just a random number) is no longer realistic. Foliage at a certain distance becomes too small to show each single leaf. Through a Bayer sensor with AA filter, this smallest detail tends to get slightly blurred into a veil of undefined texture (one could say "like for the human eye").
With the Sigma/ Foveon sensor, it is not blurred, but remains sharp. Nevertheless it does not show the real shape of the objects because they are too small. Mini details show up as blocks and structures, which seem sharp but nevertheless they suggest a precision that is not there. This sometimes leads to a hyperdetailed look of photos that - in my impression - distracts from the photo as a whole.

The way a photo displays a scene is after all different from looking at the scene in reality. Lets stay with the nature + trees example: When you look at a number of trees in a landscape, noone can simultaniously identify single leafs or even branches, brain would be flooded with information and would be left in total visual confusion, whereas a normal sized print shall display all of them, according to a popular ideal of digital photographers.

I don't pretend to have definitive answers to those questons, but right now it seems to me that further improvement of the Bayer tech which means more pixels with good or even better DR is probably a good direction for further evolution. A regular grid of pixels will never be totally natural, the ideal thing would probably be a random order of very small photo sites, not a regular grid, something like molecules of a film emulsion, but I suppose this is technically not possible in a forseeable future. The best sensor might very well be fine grained large format... eh - film.

:-)

Cheers and happy new year to everyone.

Bernie



Luis Cunha
Registered: Dec 26, 2012
Total Posts: 113
Country: Portugal

alba63 wrote:
A regular grid of pixels will never be totally natural, the ideal thing would probably be a random order of very small photo sites, not a regular grid, something like molecules of a film emulsion, but I suppose this is technically not possible in a forseeable future. The best sensor might very well be fine grained large format... eh - film.
Bernie


Nice reply Bernie ,-)
I think Fuji is doing exactly that with the X-trans sensor (X-E1 and X-pro1). Only we cannot extract the full potential from the RAW files of those cameras. A bit like the Merrills cripple workflow ,-(



mordicai
Registered: Oct 11, 2007
Total Posts: 131
Country: United States

sculptormic wrote:
Dutch cliché.






Is it the camera or the or the talent of the processor? Very nice. Two more days and I'll be able to see the RAW files for myself. Even bought it a new ball head.


Luis Cunha
Registered: Dec 26, 2012
Total Posts: 113
Country: Portugal

By the way, Iīm only recently on the market for my compact, high quality image, light and affordable camera and only now noticed these Sigma Foveon and Fuji X-trans models (the most interesting sensors). I donīt understand why after so many months there are still Raw workflow problems.

Are these models for Pro and serious amateurs or for "tourists"?



Luis Cunha
Registered: Dec 26, 2012
Total Posts: 113
Country: Portugal

http://www.flickriver.com/groups/969824@N20/pool/interesting/

A river of good examples; Foveon for monochrome work.
Sometimes the ISO 1600 and looks to me like film grain.
Nice ,-)



MorrieC
Registered: Oct 31, 2004
Total Posts: 288
Country: United States

Luis Cunha wrote:
http://www.flickriver.com/groups/969824@N20/pool/interesting/

A river of good examples; Foveon for monochrome work.
Sometimes the ISO 1600 and looks to me like film grain.
Nice ,-)



Just tried your link. No Photos showed for me.
Morrie



Luis Cunha
Registered: Dec 26, 2012
Total Posts: 113
Country: Portugal

Try copy and paste the whole link:
http://www.flickriver.com/groups/969824@N20/pool/interesting/



MorrieC
Registered: Oct 31, 2004
Total Posts: 288
Country: United States

I have not had the DP2M very long and am still learning how to use it. This is a shot from a few days ago.
Thanks for looking
Morrie



neilvan
Registered: Aug 30, 2004
Total Posts: 538
Country: Canada

Looks like the DP2M is in good hands with you Morrie, very nice scene, typical west coast.

Here are a few from today from Golden Ears Provincial Park in BC. All shot with my DP2M planted firmly on my tripod.

A mossy tree spotlighted by the sun...







A five-shot pano...






Some frosty stones next to the creek...






Chrissearle
Registered: May 22, 2012
Total Posts: 292
Country: France

It is photographs like these and not any amount of ( admittedly interesting) discussion, that have me about to press the 'place order' button. Many many of the examples that I see here and on other sites display an absolutely unique 'look' that may or may not be 'natural' but is ( I find,) extremely attractive.
On another note, the stochastic screening adopted by digital lithography these days is one possible answer to sensor arrays that preclude moire and give wide DR. However like the Fuji and Sigma approches it is the difficulty in interpretation of the RAW data produced that makes it currently very difficult to extract the maximum performance, this however will change as processing speeds increase and software improves, the future is indeed, very exiting!



sculptormic
Registered: Feb 05, 2012
Total Posts: 2588
Country: Netherlands

MorrieC wrote:
I have not had the DP2M very long and am still learning how to use it. This is a shot from a few days ago.
Thanks for looking
Morrie


Interesting scene, Morrie.

In PP there are two things you could change, I think. In SPP; Try to put the white balance spot in another direction out of the blue area towards green/yellow or even red. It is trial and error. And it is overexposed or more likely you used to much of the Fill light, which gives it the HDR look. Could also be partly due to a to high contrast. -1 or -2 is mostly appropiate.

These are the main things I do in SPP;
check contrast
White balance
Fill light, I actually don't touch so much. Once it is on the right spot means that it is usually good for most shots.
Then save TIFF and open in your Raw workflow where you can make a few more adjustments to your taste.

Michiel



Yakim Peled
Registered: Nov 18, 2004
Total Posts: 16903
Country: Israel

kosmoskatten wrote:
Yakim Peled wrote:
Luis Cunha wrote:
Is there such thing as "right color"?


This is not an easy question to answer as colour does not exist in nature as a physical entity. It only appears in our brain as perception. Now, if you were talking to a printer or screen manufacture the answer would be "Absolutely" but if you talk to people then the answer will be more heterogeneous as we interpret THIS particular colour in a slightly different way.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



Yes Yakim, but still you have to have some sort of way of reproducing color as true to the original as possible, regardless of using perceptual, relative or absolute colorimetrics. If you do not agree with how your camera sensor interprets colors as you see them you need to adjust either your own preference or tweak the results.

The "right" color for me is the one that is as close to my recollection of the actual color as I saw it. Some sensors do it better than others but I am not sure of any single sensor does it perfectly as I can't judge all colors and claim that I know which ones are right or not unless I could compare the scene and output instantly and in fixed/invariable light during the process.


Of course, but my point is that the way you see THAT particular shade of colour (i.e. wavelength frequency) and the way that you remember it is not exactly the same as mine. Therefore, the right colour for you will not necessarily be the right colour for me. There are conventions of course, but at least as humans are concerned, no absolute terms.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



cjrpostma
Registered: Sep 13, 2011
Total Posts: 91
Country: United States

I enjoy seeing your shots on the previous page, Michiel, Morrie, and Neil.

As there is some discussion of black and white Foveon images, I would like to post some examples later today from work. The look can change radically when adjusting in SPP the X3 Fill Light slider.

I find that turning exposure to -2.0 and fill light to +2.0 gives an instant HDR hyper sharpened look. That is not normally a look I go for however it is very interesting to see in this case. If using this look, a strange "shadow halo" as I will call it can form in certain areas. It is therefore best to do a dual raw conversion and selectively apply the effect. I'll make an effort to post two conversions of the same image later today.



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