DP2 Merrill versus Nikon D800

Discussion in 'Sigma DP Forum' started by petemasty, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. petemasty

    petemasty SC Regular

    90
    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    although not yet possessing.a Merrill, I had decided a few days ago it would be my first purchase after Xmas. The image quality and quirks all seem to bring a bit of zen into photography.

    I read on another forum someone asking for a comparison against a Nikon d800 to see just how the sensor comes up against one of the full frame giants. Well, I have found one.

    Ephotozine.com do camera reviews as you no doubt know. well pick both the dp2m and the Nikon d800 and take a look at the raw to jpeg shot of the stately home with the fountain in the bottom right hand corner. You will see a bit difference.

    When I saw them side by side the first thing I muttered rhymed with clucking bell. A genuine jaw dropping Monet for me. Check out the wall detail and the porch detail over the front door, amongst others.

    I am now counting the minutes until I get this merrill thingy.
     
  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I'll be curious to hear your reactions. I shoot mostly static subjects so I don't imagine the awkward handling would be a problem for me.
     
  3. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    I took delivery of my Merrill thingy (officially the DP2M) 5 days ago. Thanks to the almost constant rain and/or gales, usually both together, I've yet to take a photograph in anger. I'd downloaded some raw files off the internet beforehand so I had some idea of the foibles of the software. Handling the actual camera really reminds me of the first digital camera I ever used, a borrowed Nikon Coolpix 800 all the way back in 2001 :smile: I jest somewhat, there are obviously more and better controls, but for a comparison I reckon that's a decent place to start. Still my interest is in slow, thought about photography and the promised image quality will make up for the handling shortcomings as far as I'm concerned. I'm getting stir crazy here with the atrocious weather, not sure if I could get an hour in tomorrow morning before the next downpour is scheduled. It will have to be a solid subject like rocks, anything else is blowing around so much it would be an unfair test, so that means a short drive to the coast, but somewhere I don't have to stray far from my landie, the forecast rain looks appalling and it's due mid to late morning. At least the tide is low, if neap. If I can only get some decent files of my own to play with it will occupy me for the next couple of evenings, the broadcast entertainment on offer this year has sunk to a new low, and that's saying something :frown:

    Barrie
     
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  4. petemasty

    petemasty SC Regular

    90
    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    After DSLRs and the convenience of excellent quality zooms, I have gone back to the X100. Quality is excellent. a single focal length makes you work and think for the image. But I reckon that handling a DP2 Merrill 'thingy' will slow my photography down even further sothat it almost becomes transendental. If it truly takes quality of image that i have already seen it will be worth every penny.

    when you compare the D800 and DP2M image of the stately home you really do see the effect of the low pass filter on the bayer sensor.

    i want image purity rather than firing off lesser images like a machine gun. I reckon I will be lucky to shot 500 in a year but i reckon every one will be fantastic. Grebeman, I am as keen as you are to get my hands on one. Image processing software issues? Hey, who cares!!! I shall be posting when i start taking shots, but as grebeman says, it aint stopped raining for ages now. Even my car has developed an outboard motor!

    drd1135, I shoot pretty much as your good self. Gonna get myself a close-up lens too and do some awesome macro (hopefully)
     
  5. petemasty

    petemasty SC Regular

    90
    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    grebeman, would you be so kind as to point me in the right direction with regard to downloading RAW files for playing with.
     
  6. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    You should be able to download the raw file for the images posted on this site

    Pond's Place: Sigma DP2M first photos

    click on an image and you should find an option to download the original raw file.

    Barrie
     
  7. petemasty

    petemasty SC Regular

    90
    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    I had a play with some of the shots on Ponds Place. wow, e images are razor razor sharp. A quick convert to TIFF and then straight into LR4, no problems.

    Can't get over how crisp the images are. even comparing them against some of my shots with a Canon7d and my 70-200L lens (which is of the best quality I can assure you), the Sigma wins hands down!!!

    A 200 percent print looks like it will be no problem at all. A2 printing her I come.

    Thanks for website Barrie.
     
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  8. petemasty

    petemasty SC Regular

    90
    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    whoo hoo. My DP2M arrived yesterday. All batteries charged and ready to go. all I need to do now is wait for the weather to improve.

    One of the first things I am gonna do is a resolution comparison with my Fuji X100
     
  9. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Good luck with that, mine arrived on December 21st and so far the weather has allowed me one morning when it was worth venturing out, and even then it was blowing a near gale, so rocks were the obvious subject below the shelter of some cliffs, otherwise my tripod would have been likely to blow over.

    Barrie
     
  10. Xuereb

    Xuereb SC Veteran

    380
    Nov 5, 2010
    W. Australia
    Pete, it brings not a little Zen but a lot and there is much to be said for this, at any rate, from my thinking about and practice of this craft.

    Handling isn't awkward at all. The menu system is excellent. Write times take very long but pls remember one can shoot 6 more pictures while it is writing to card. The interval between write times is a necessary interlude for reflection.

    The screen however is odd. The image can 'float' on screen and there is a lot of shadow detail which isn't visible but is on the raw image. Be careful not to overexpose as highlights will clip.

    The weather in different parts of the world will conspire to prevent photography: it has been over 37 C every day here for 6 days running, so I can't go out either. The light is too harsh and the physical discomfort palpable; and I will not now speak of all one must do to remove ticks from one's neck and prevent them crawling up one's legs.

    Please remember to use a tripod whenever possible & iso 100. The lens and image quality are breathtaking.
     
  11. Xuereb

    Xuereb SC Veteran

    380
    Nov 5, 2010
    W. Australia
    Barrie our broadcast entertainment is worse than yours.
     
  12. petemasty

    petemasty SC Regular

    90
    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    Xuereb, if I could ebay you our rain, you could have it for free. It is positively biblical here in the West Country.

    bought the DP2M two days ago, and I completely agree with everything you say and will take your advice. A simple comparison I did just blew my mind.
     
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  13. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    :biggrin: Your weather reminds me of the sort of conditions I experienced, and worked in, during my years in the Middle East in the 1970's. I don't think I've been really warm since. Yet another day taken away today with more rain, then we are promised something a bit drier. It's become our wettest year on record, and for the first three months of 2012 we were in a drought situation, a strange year.

    Hopefully 2013 we see me taking some photographs reminiscent of my early days with my roll film Voigtlander thanks to my DP2M. It will be a philosophy and approach that suits me, but by all means not everyone. Certainly an old fashioned approach and the world has moved on, so many glorious skies ruined by vapour trails for example, perhaps more concentration on the details in the landscape rather than the landscape itself, time will tell. I'm looking forward to the experience.

    Barrie
     
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  14. Sapphie

    Sapphie SC Regular

    65
    Oct 8, 2011
    Devon, UK
    I have had mine (DP2M) since October and have taken a few shots with it. It's raining today in Devon but Sidmouth was dry for a while on Christmas Day.

    8307445418_dcdb04ba5e_b.

    I think my biggest problem with this camera is going to be trying to be ruthless with editing - too many big files clogging up the hard drive. They may all have great IQ but they sure aren't all works of art!

    Lee
     
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  15. Xuereb

    Xuereb SC Veteran

    380
    Nov 5, 2010
    W. Australia
    Yes Lee it takes time to overcome the temptation to process each exposure to see how this camera renders detail, texture and colour. I have only just stopped illustrating and begun interpretation.

    Your seascape is very worthy
     
  16. Dave Kai-Piper

    Dave Kai-Piper New to SC

    8
    Jan 29, 2013
    Looks like you are really enjoying the camera !!
    I have had the joy of having an SD1 M for most of last year ( still have a love it) Sigma Layout 02. Sigma Layout 03. Sigma Layout 12. Sigma Layout 20.
     
  17. Dave Kai-Piper

    Dave Kai-Piper New to SC

    8
    Jan 29, 2013
  18. OlAf

    OlAf New to SC

    2
    Apr 17, 2013
  19. petemasty

    petemasty SC Regular

    90
    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    I viewed the pics above on a large iMac screen. There may be bias creeping in here but the dp shots at least equal if not better. They seem to have greater definition. Was out last weekend taking shots of a local manor house and old parish church. The detail captured is amazing and still leaves me speechless. Best thing is, albeit a wide focus range, the ability to crop and still get a3 prints means its like carrying a high quality zoom compact. Absolutely love it.

    Thanks for some great comparison shots dear chap.
     
  20. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Dan
    Dave the black and whites look very good. Do you find that the foveon sensor does an especially well with black and white conversions?