DP2 Merrill Prospective Buyer - Questions

Started Nov 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Rand 47
Regular MemberPosts: 366Gear list
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Re: DP2 Merrill Prospective Buyer - Questions
In reply to igluck, Nov 9, 2012

The latest version of Sigma SPP handles specifically the banding issue, IMO. So banding no longer a problem. Noise is irrelevant if you shoot ISO 100-200. You can even work OK up to 400, but for landscapes, why would you? As with any digital capture, making sure you don't underexpose is important re noise, especially in shadow areas.

I own and prefer the DP2M for landscape work, as I'd much rather do a two or three vertical frame stitch and retain the main elements of my composition that way, than just "go wider." I prefer the look.

I've printed 4 shot stitched pans 60" wide and they are stunning. (Above)  I've printed single frames to 17x25 (as big as a full image frame can go on my Epson 4880) and they are at least as good if not better than my Sony a900 files. I think they could go larger w/o difficulty.

The camera is a one-trick-pony. It writes to the card so slowly that it is actually kind of funny for a current model digital camera. The good news is that the buffer will allow about 7 RAW files in quick succession - so for landscape work it is a non-issue. The LCD is mediocre.

Of most significance is that you test the meter in the camera. Almost everyone reports underexposure of RAW files while the LCD jpeg image looks fine, and even has some blinky warnings on true highlights. Mine is typical, it is a solid - 0.7 under. I've calibrated using my incident light meter and have a permanent + 0.7 exposure compensation dialed in. I've turned off the highlight blinky warning as it is completely inaccurate for RAW capture. At + 0.7 EC I've yet to have a non-specular highlight that could not be easily recovered in LR 4.

Another down-side is the necessity of using Sigma's clunky SPP for initial RAW conversion. It is mostly worthless for doing actual image editing. So, -1 sharpness, default noise & banding settings in SPP and immediately save as 16 bit TIFF to be imported into LR 4. That's the optimal work-around IMO.

If you're willing to be patient and work carefully with this camera (it isn't a "snap shot P&S" by any means) it can yield stunning results.

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