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Sigma DP1x, DP2 and DP3 topic
  • Last year Amazon was selling it at $250, and I gladly got one.

    Latest firmware has Capture Priority Mode feature that processes images when the buffer is full. At max resolution, 3 photos fills up the buffer which kicks in processing that would take about 10~20 seconds. Yeap be patient like slow cooking.

    Dynamic range kinda sucks. SOOC JPEG quality sucks. High ISO performance really sucks. Some claim that its native ISO is only 100, and all other ISO settings are artificially simulated from in-camera post-processing. That explains why ISO 100 looks better than ISO 50. Yes there is noise at ISO 200. Haha gotta love this crazy Foveon!!! Of course there is no face detection. CDAF but manually select only one of 9 point focusing points. What a PITA piece of crap. But I've grown to like it. Foveon sensor is known to give very accurate color information, and it's just amazing how well it captures accurate color in shadow, on water reflection, in bright sun, or whatever crazy condition. Yes I use only ISO 100.

    LR4 supports RAW, but Sigma's SPP app is much better at processing RAW. SPP can raise the brightness and boost color very well and simulate standard/vivid/scenary/monochrome/original/etc picture mode. But that's where its usefulness ends. Export to Tiff format then let LR4 import it.

    SPP 5.5 has a pretty cool feature. Monochrome option from white balance selection strips out color information and uses only luminance values to produce "pure" B&W photo. FYI CMOS sensor has bayer filter on top of it, applies demosaicing algorithms to interpolate a set of complete red, green, and blue values for each point, then B&W photo can be generated from the guesstimated color information. That is a guesstimate from a guesstimate. Since Foveon sensor has three vertically stacked photodiodes for red/blue/green that collect 3 different luma information for each point, this new feature gives excellent B&W by controlling three different luma value separately without getting color noise. Some call it a poorman's Leica M-Monochrom :)

    Example http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/51037744

    But it supports only SD1 and DP1/2/3 Merrill series. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for expanding SPP's Monochrome support for all other DP series.

    About video performance, it sucks.

  • 17 Replies sorted by
  • Congratulations on acquiring this legend of a camera so affordably .

    Just once in a while, you'll get a picture which couldn't have been achieved any other way than Foveon.

  • If you approach the Sigma cameras like a film camera, then everything will be fine. Otherwise, expect the worst.

  • Yes once in a while :) I wish to get DP2 Merrill at $250!!!

    It performs ok in a daylight. Yes ISO 100 is a big bottleneck, but it is what it is.

    A weird thing is that it can see colors better than my eyes.

  • FYI CMOS sensor has bayer filter on top of it, applies demosaicing algorithms to interpolate a set of complete red, green, and blue values for each point, then B&W photo can be generated from the guesstimated color information. That is a guesstimate from a guesstimate. Since Foveon sensor has three vertically stacked photodiodes for red/blue/green that collect 3 different luma information for each point, this new feature gives excellent B&W by controlling three different luma value separately without getting color noise. Some call it a poorman's Leica M-Monochrom :)

    Yet resolution is lower, if you combine 4 pixels reducing B&W image size it'll be same as on Sigma :-)

  • Yet resolution is lower, if you combine 4 pixels reducing B&W image size it'll be same as on Sigma :-)

    Each layer gets 4.7MP where pixel pitch is whooping 7.8 micrometer. Three layers resulting 14MB raw data, but the actual finalized color resolution is only 4.7M pixels. Surprisingly it gives pretty good details due to good color contrast. Yes it responds well to sharpening.

    DP3 triples the pixel counts, and it would require a bit of good horsepower to process. 46MB raw data!!!

    I heard Foveon sensor can't really boost its native sensitivity though. That's where CMOS sensor excels. But CMOS sensor gathers luma information from the green channel only where the channel occupies half of sensor surface.

    They are different beasts :)

  • Each layer gets 4.7MP where pixel pitch is whooping 7.8 micrometer.

    It does not matter, due to simple math. As you reduce resolution of bayer sensor data add up, making resulting pixel conatin information from all 4. In fact, Foveon have all kind of problems due its design.

  • Foveon sensor shows much less aliasing, moire, and CA than Bayer CMOS.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foveon_X3_sensor

  • I'm happy with 1MB JPEG exported from SOOC JPEG from m43 bodies. 4.7MB is more than enough for me. YMMV. Anyways Sigma DP is an interesting beast. I guess I became a fanboy :)

  • @stonebat

    Out of all weirdo cameras, I am fan of Pentax K-01 :-). Looks like a toy, feels like super solid brick made in great quality.

  • Who knows. Ricoh GXR future release might look like K-01 brick. Haha

  • Sigma DP3 review

    The Sigma DP3 Merrill is a bit of an odd beast. It exhibits great image quality in the right conditions and has a heck of a build quality. On top of this the 50mm f2.8 lens attached to the body is spectacular. On the other hand, the high ISO image quality isn’t so pleasing unless you convert them to black and white, the fact that we need to work with Sigma Photo Pro is a bit awkward from our typical workflow, the autofocus is slow and the battery life is poor. But then you consider the fact that it performs very much like a medium format camera and in that case then you find yourself yearning for either a flip-up LCD screen or a real working viewfinder built in.

    If you need the absolute premium in image quality, then this camera is the one to spring for. In fact, it can even outdo the Sony RX1 in some aspects–and that has a full frame sensor.

    Via http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/05/28/review-sigma-dp3-merrill/

  • sens2.jpg
    599 x 398 - 68K
    sens3.jpg
    398 x 600 - 52K
    sens1.jpg
    599 x 485 - 71K
  • I have the dp3m and the dp2m, I have started using them on my fashion shoots along side my canon's and phase one system (p40), I can mix them in with the phase one selections with out any problem for single pages, as long as i dont crop. we shoot them outside with flash at the same speeds as the phaseone leaf shutter lens cameras, quality is amazing.

  • DP series are amazing, but I'm waiting for the day where CMOS bayer filter is removed since its iso performance is much better than Foveon's.