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Which Sigma DP to try?

Discussion in 'Sigma DP Forum' started by wt21, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    I'm simplifying, having sold my mirrorless system. I'm down to my DSLR as my system and my all-rounder RX100.

    I would like to get 1 quality compact for walking around, landscape, architecture and simple street (more like street scenes than candids of people).

    I get frustrated, though, with slow cameras, but I'm cheap as the day is long. I also prefer closer to 50mm eq for 135.

    So, I've found a DP2 for $175 and a DP2M for $750, and there's also the possibility to find a Fuji X100 in the $600s.

    What do you think of the DP2 at $175?
     
  2. Prototype

    Prototype SC Veteran

    207
    Jul 9, 2010
    Illinois
    Brian
    Are you a RAW shooter? The DP2 is certainly worth more than $175 and you may even be able to sell it for the same or higher if it doesn't fit your style. Since you have an RX100, both cameras are small enough to carry together. You could have the RX100 as your main camera and take the DP2 out when you have a chance to slow it down.

    Personally, if I found the X100 for sale in the $600s and a DP2 in the $100s I would buy both. But I remember your thread about simplifying. :tongue:
     
  3. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    I have the dp2m as well as the Fuji x100. From some info handed down to me from one who owns a dp2s, there is a defect that one needs to be aware of when purchasing the older pre-Merrill version (any of the retractable lens versions).. There is a wiring setup from the lens assemble to the camera body that sometimes becomes damaged from use.. The owner of the dp2s warned me about this but also said he never had the problem himself. The dp2 is the first generation of the dp camera series followed by the x and then the s version if I remember correctly. The Merrill being the latest. The Merrill is a apsc (1.5 factor) sensor, the prior ones were not 15 factor sensors, something smaller, but I can't remember off the top what their lens factor was. The shots I have seen from the dp2s have a creamy smoothness to them that the Merrill does not have (IMHO). The Merrill is sharper w/ more micro detail. The x100 can't beat the Merrill in terms of overall,color iq from 100 to 400. After 800 iso, the x100 is better. For b&w the dp2m can hold its own up to 1600 but the x100 can easily do 3200 iso. Af speed the x100 is slightly better.

    I have been told by those who own the non-Merrill that the distance wheel on the camera body makes it better for street then the Merrill version. Set the f stop and adjust the distance on the wheel (scale info and wheel) for the zone works better than the current Merrill design which depends on the LCD to give distance scale info.

    Current the dp1 and 2m are my default monochrom camera.and the camera I pick up by default.

    I have seen the dp2 go for around this price, maybe slightly higher.. The dp2s is about 1 to 2 hundred more.

    Gary
     
  4. Prototype

    Prototype SC Veteran

    207
    Jul 9, 2010
    Illinois
    Brian
    Garylh, the original DP cameras had a 1.7x crop, but the sensor's height was very similar to a four-thirds sensor. Its 3:2 aspect ratio just made it wider.

    It's a good thing you mentioned the fragile nature of retracting lens mechanisms. It's important to note that I have not heard of any lens problems with the DP2, but there are many threads on DPReview about the weak DP1 lens mechanism. I was the thread-starter on one of them and I'm on my replacement DP1. It was out of warranty, but Sigma kindly made an exception. I think it's worth the risk at $175.

    As for image quality, I can confirm the smoothness of the 1.7 crop Foveon sensor. It was creamy smooth at ISO100 and even smoother at ISO50. The Merrills are relatively noisy at base ISO. There's something special with those images that even the technically superior DP1M/DP2M/DP3M can't beat. This thread has made me reminisce about my first serious compact and it might be time to bring it out of retirement.
     
  5. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Get a Merrill if you can afford it!
     
  6. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Typo or really your opinion? No actual user of a DP Merrill would agree with this statement as it is simply inaccurate.
     
  7. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    I had the first generation DP1, DP2 and DP2x. The DP1 and DP2 produce nice files but are really slow in focusing. The DP2x is noticeably faster. The files produced by these cameras are very nice, but if you can afford it, go for a DP1 or DP2 Merrill as their output is in the "gotta be kidding me" class. You mention landscape and street shooting in which case a DP1M might be more useful than the DP2M. Particularly for street, zone focusing with a 28mm equivalent focal length is much easier than with a 45 mm e. For landscapes I think it depends on your style, I`m not one those who believe landscapes shooting requires a wide angle lens.
     
  8. Prototype

    Prototype SC Veteran

    207
    Jul 9, 2010
    Illinois
    Brian
    Images at ISO 200 from the new camera are grainier. It's especially evident with the blue sky, as the Merrill simply can't match the clean result of the original at base ISO. I'll add the word "relatively" in my original post because I was only comparing the two sensors.

    Update: I've done a search on DPReview forums as I remember several discussions on the topic. One user recommends using ISO 100 for a cleaner sky, but highlights will not be as easy to recover without the expanded dynamic range of ISO 200. I still shoot at ISO 200 for my low ISO work, as dynamic range is more important to me. But I thought I should mention the noise characteristics of both cameras in a thread comparing the two.
     
  9. Maczero

    Maczero SC Regular

    30
    Mar 19, 2013
    Fife, Scotland
    Andrew
    I think that is probably true, but the DP2 did get a number of firmware updates that did make it about as fast as as a DP2S, I believe.

    I have a second-hand original DP2 and a DP1X that I got at a fire sale price. They make a nice pair for daylight shooting and the files are amazing. The Merrills are newer and pack a lot more detail, but the files are big and the cameras are relatively expensive. I'd get a DP1X or a DP2 to see if you like Foveon. You can take it from there if you like what you see (and I am sure you will).

    Andrew
     
  10. Prototype

    Prototype SC Veteran

    207
    Jul 9, 2010
    Illinois
    Brian
    wt21, have you had a chance to play with some RAW files? It might sway you to go with one over the other, or perhaps chase you away from both. I downloaded Carl Rytterfalk's RAW packs before deciding on the DP1 years ago, to familiarize myself with the workflow of these cameras. His site has not been updated in over a year but his DP2 RAW pack is still available. As for the Merrill, PhotographyBLOG has several RAW samples available for download. Both will work in the latest version of SPP, for free at Sigma's website.

    Have a look at the Fill Light slider, to explore the 1.7x crop sensor's incredible dynamic range at ISO 100. Or switch with SPP's Monochrome Mode, to produce some great high ISO images from the Merrill.