Sigma DP2 Merrill: Have any of you tried it?
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andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1283
Country: United States

The software works fine, it's just very slow in loading the full resolution file and applying edits to it. Other then that it works fine.



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4699
Country: N/A

I agree, the software really isn't too bad, and actually the monochrome mode works really well.

It is a bit slower than LR et al, and basically your not going to be able to fly through a ton of images and make lots of real time tweaks, but, the workflow matches the pace of shooting with the camera, which is also a bit slower.

You have a good amount of control, and the files are pretty pliable, you just have to go a bit slow and then wait 30 seconds or so to develop a shot.

Now if I was using it for a work assignment, I'd go crazy as I need to turn around images quickly but then again, using the camera for a work assignment would also drive me crazy with the long write times and such.

Basically if I've got the time to leisurely set up the tripod and take a composed shot with the DP2m, I also need to have to time to leisurely sit down at the computer and process the files.

I totally get where people are coming from with the complaints, but I also think that having to spend 1-2 minutes processing a file really isn't all that horrible.

Maybe for those who only knew digital, but I remember coming back from a shoot and processing my own 120 and 4x5 sheet film. Compared to that process anything feels quick.

The resulting files always turn out to be worth the effort though for that crystal clarity and per pixel sharpness even at 100%



FlyPenFly
Registered: Feb 14, 2011
Total Posts: 6393
Country: United States

I hate spending time developing a photo in software. I spend more than enough time in front of the computer for work. I guess this is not really the camera for me.



andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1283
Country: United States

If you are used to shooting hundreds of shots in a day or photo shoot, and blowing through processing them, not this really isn't the camera for you. It's not the camera for a lot of people honestly, but what it does it does ridiculously well.



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4699
Country: N/A

FlyPenFly wrote:
I hate spending time developing a photo in software. I spend more than enough time in front of the computer for work. I guess this is not really the camera for me.


Perhaps not, its not a camera you'd really want to use the jpegs out of, and honestly I don't even like shooting it handheld, plus the speed of writes etc is bog slow so you'd be left standing there frustrated.

Its really a landscape camera or at least a camera for a landscape minded photographer IMHO.

If your used to working with a tripod, take a few carefully composed exposures, and then are used to spending a lot of time working on the image doing countless revisions, layer blends and color tweaks etc (regardless of what its shot with) then it should fit into the workflow nicely.

The results, when the subject matters suits it, are worth the effort, and at $800 new these days, the prices are to where I can personally justify keeping one around even though I admittedly don't use it all that often. For the cost of just 1 midgrade lens its just a special tool.

Lately I've been comparing it with my Fuji XE-1 (w/ 35mm).

Xtrans vs X3 for foliage detail....



glacierpete
Registered: Sep 17, 2010
Total Posts: 148
Country: N/A

Millsart have you seen this posting from Amin Sabet on fujixspot (with DP2M and Fuji XE-1 raws)

http://www.fujixspot.com/f24/full-res-zeiss-touit-32mm-f-1-8-sample-photos-1287/

These 25mb files do hold a lot of detail. They are not far behind the DP2M. I did run them through C1 and SPP. Amazing considering these samples. I do own a DP2m myself BTW.
I did read your remarks regarding the 100s. "What I don't find I'm getting from the Fuji's, regardless of lens choice, is that true pixel level clarity of the Leica's, or the Merril's (my "M" cameras of choice these days)."
The Zeisss Touit might contribute to the difference between the 100s and these files.
Just curious.



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4699
Country: N/A

I did see those comparisons and they are pretty much in line with what I've been seeing between my 35mm 1.4 on the XE-1 and the DP2m, other than a little closer in focal length.

The 35mm, as is the Zeiss it appears, are both really good sharp lens, which is reasonable to expect at the price points and moderate focal lengths.

They render good sharp detail as well, but areas where I can see some differences are the edges of the frame, as the Merrill is as sharp in the center as it is the edge, and also for more distant details. I guess it maybe just comes down to the sensor and different wavelengths of light perhaps, but the Merrills can this ability of just making everything in the entire frame sharp, if you give them enough DoF that is.

In the samples, just look at some fine detail in the background such as tree limbs. Even with less focal length advantage, the Sigma files are finely detailed where the Fuji kind of get a bit mushy.

Its not even an XTrans thing though as I can see the same thing with my Sony RX1 which has a real resolution edge with 24meg and a great lens, plus normal bayer array. Every bit as sharp if not sharper for closer subjects, but not more distant ones.

I've done some testing shooting some things like houses across a field and the differences are always surprising to me how much better the Sigma does, which is really why I keep it.

Of course in most situations one probably just cares about the main subject, but for those special landscape applications where you might want, say a foreground river, and then mountain peak in the background both to be really detailed, the Merrill is a great tool.

I'm again not sure exactly what gives it this advantage, if its perhaps different wavelengths is a theory I have, as I do find the cameras can cut through haze pretty well, and you do have full resolution of each channel, but whatever they do, it works quite well.



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4699
Country: N/A

Forgot to add that for what I use the Merrill for, stitching, the across the frame sharpness really comes in handy.

If you look at the samples of the wooden sign in front of the lake, while all three images have great detail of the sign itself, if you look across the frame along the area in focus, the Merrill shots weeds or grasses are as finely detailed at the far edge as they are in the middle. The Fuji shots get a good bit softer, and when stitching, having no distortion or softness to account for helps for a better overall end file.

Again though, realistically if the subject was the sign, then its a moot point and any camera/lens delivered a fine shot, but there are some differences you can find depending on what your end usage of the file is.



rattymouse
Registered: Feb 04, 2006
Total Posts: 4472
Country: China

millsart wrote:
FlyPenFly wrote:
I hate spending time developing a photo in software. I spend more than enough time in front of the computer for work. I guess this is not really the camera for me.


Perhaps not, its not a camera you'd really want to use the jpegs out of, and honestly I don't even like shooting it handheld, plus the speed of writes etc is bog slow so you'd be left standing there frustrated.



I dont understand this comment. The buffer on the DP2M is quite deep and allows you to keep shooting after each shot. I find the camera to be fast enough to shoot most situations, far beyond landscape. Rarely do I ever hit the buffer limit and that is only when shooting many shots for stitching later.



edwinIII
Registered: Apr 15, 2011
Total Posts: 243
Country: United States

Cumberland Marsh, Virginia







millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4699
Country: N/A

rattymouse wrote:
millsart wrote:
FlyPenFly wrote:
I hate spending time developing a photo in software. I spend more than enough time in front of the computer for work. I guess this is not really the camera for me.


Perhaps not, its not a camera you'd really want to use the jpegs out of, and honestly I don't even like shooting it handheld, plus the speed of writes etc is bog slow so you'd be left standing there frustrated.



I dont understand this comment. The buffer on the DP2M is quite deep and allows you to keep shooting after each shot. I find the camera to be fast enough to shoot most situations, far beyond landscape. Rarely do I ever hit the buffer limit and that is only when shooting many shots for stitching later.



The buffer on mine is only 7 raw images, and it takes the camera about 2 minutes to clear the buffer after that, so in my book, that is bog slow, and also not remotely deep.

Are you just shooting JPEG ? That perhaps makes the buffer work better, but I find the jpegs to be pretty poor, or at least not remotely as good as the raw files can be. I use jpeg with my Fuji's and Sony's and they turn out pretty good, but the Merrill jpegs always have poor color, higher noise and aren't nearly as sharp.

Unless of course there just is something wrong with my DP2m because as I said, I don't for the life of me understand how you can say its got a deep buffer when it comes to shooting RAW



rattymouse
Registered: Feb 04, 2006
Total Posts: 4472
Country: China

Nope, I never shoot JPEG. I agree with you, this is a RAW only camera.

7 shots is a very deep buffer for me as I virtually never, ever hit the maximum.



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4699
Country: N/A

7 shots would be fine if it could clear the buffer at the rate of most any other camera, but each file takes 20-30 seconds of the activity light, so it can be writing (and unable to do anything) for 2 minutes or so when the buffer is filled.

I find this somewhat problematic as I often will do an exposure bracketed stitch, so basically after shooting 2 just positions, I've already got the buffer full, and then have to wait to shot the remainder on even a simple 3 frame pano.

Granted the latitude and DR is pretty good so its not as if every image needs bracketing, but when you use it, your stuck with a slow camera.

Also each RAW file is huge, 40-50meg so the camera is moving a lot of data, so I guess its not "slow" per say in the pipeline, but the net result is long write times due to file size



rattymouse
Registered: Feb 04, 2006
Total Posts: 4472
Country: China

Yes, I agree, the DP2M isnt really slow, it's just moving massive amounts of data. Any other camera moving that much data would be just as slow.

I have never done a bracketed stitch so your situation is unfamiliar to me. I can see how you hit the buffer really fast then.

Still, I find the stitched images that I can make with the DP2M so impressive, that if i had to wait 2 mins to get the shot, that would not be a problem with me and not even something I would think about. It would just be the "cost of doing business" to get such an impressive shot.



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4699
Country: N/A

It does stitch better than any camera I've owned, on account of the nearly flawless less, but, with some scenes, such as when the light is changing quickly, either due to a setting sun, or clouds about to obscure the sun etc, that delay in waiting for the camera can prove costly.

There are things that you just can't do with a pano, such as breaking ocean waves, just isn't possible to blend (unless you do a super long exposure at least) no matter how fast you go, but usually if your pretty quick shot to shot, even scenes with people in them etc will stitch together without much ghosting.

Its when you've got that 2 minute wait that a lot can change from the last frame you took, such as the overall light level.

One solution if your using a head with indexing rotor is to just do one full pano at one exposure, and then change exposure to account for a darker foreground or what have you, and then shot that as its own pano, then blend the two pano's together.

This works as the indexing rotor lets you go to the same positions each time, but with shooting using just a ballhead, your going to have alignment issues.



rattymouse
Registered: Feb 04, 2006
Total Posts: 4472
Country: China

I"ve never done any of this! Care to post some of your work that illustrates such? Sounds very interesting.



tsdevine
Registered: May 26, 2006
Total Posts: 1059
Country: United States


Bass Harbor Head Light - Acadia National Park



-Tim



sculptormic
Registered: Feb 05, 2012
Total Posts: 1275
Country: Netherlands

Two shot stich.







tsdevine
Registered: May 26, 2006
Total Posts: 1059
Country: United States


Nice capture sculptormic.....I really need to try stitching. I would imagine you have a pretty wicked file when you're done, something that could be printed LARGE.

-Tim



juan_amores
Registered: May 21, 2009
Total Posts: 476
Country: Spain

And now from Sierra Nevada (Spain)


_SDI1071 por John Loves, en Flickr


_SDI1073 por John Loves, en Flickr


_SDI1075 por John Loves, en Flickr


_SDI1087 por John Loves, en Flickr



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