SD2M notes after 12 days of travel

Started Sep 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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E_Nielsen
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SD2M notes after 12 days of travel
Sep 6, 2012

Here are my initial impressions of the SD2M after nearly two weeks of travel photography. Pros will probably recognize that I'm a amateur/enthusiast, and may find some experiences amusing, but I hope that anyone interested in the SD2M will find this at least marginally useful.

  • SD2M is a fabulous travel & landscape camera. The results are well worth the extra effort to compose a shot with no image stabilization or zoom lens.

  • As everyone is aware, the resolution is stunning. My only hesitation in buying the camera was the idea that I'd be stuck with a fixed 45mm lens. What I didn't realize was that the zooming occurs after taking the shot. After processing the photo, you can zoom in to explore the details that you never saw when taking the photo. So many surprises... It's really fun!

  • The batteries don't last long at all, due to the huge file sizes and massive processing required for each shot. I used 2-3 batteries each day (3-6 hours of sighseeing). Since Sigma batteries were not available before I left, I purchased Wasabi Power batteries: BTR-BH125C-JWP. They seem to be fully compatible and I had no issues.

  • I took only one 32GB class 10 SDHC flash. That lasted only a week. I could not upload photos while traveling due to the large file sizes, so I crossed my fingers and copied everything to my laptop & wiped my flash card for the next week. Luckily the laptop wasn't stolen or broken. A better solution will take some thought.

  • I carried my trusty Canon G11 as a backup, and was thankful when I was indoors or in tricky lighting situations. The SD2M requires a tripod in low-light, whereas the Canon can be hand-held without flash most of the time.

  • After the first couple of days of somewhat erratic exposures, I became very familiar with the exposure compensation settings. That made a huge difference - much more so than on my Canon - and is one of the first things I check before taking any photo now.

  • A polarizing filter came in handy, as the UV filter resulted in some pink clouds. No filters were available yet from Sigma, so I bought 3rd party filters from Amazon. Be careful if you're buying filters: the Sigma site did not have a DP2M Accessories page, so I checked the DP1/DP2 accessories. 46mm filters were listed, but the DP2M requires 49mm filters.

  • Kudos to Sigma for their PhotoPro 5 software used to process RAW photos. It's fast and easy to use, if limited in features. (Sigma - would you please add cropping and zoom?) I was also amazed at how far you can push the settings with in an SD2M RAW photo. Shots that I would otherwise delete could be salvaged.

  • I'm going to need a bigger, higher-res monitor to do justice to the photos when I process them.

I hope you will find this helpful. I'm delighted with the SD2M, and am in awe of the engineering behind it. My only other suggestion to Sigma would be to try to squeeze in image stabilization in a future model if at all possible.

 E_Nielsen's gear list:E_Nielsen's gear list
Canon PowerShot G11 Sigma DP2 Merrill
Canon PowerShot G11 Sigma DP1 Sigma DP2
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