Why Are My Sigma DP1M Test Shots Not Visibly Better Than Coolpix A or Ricoh GR?

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sbansban
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Why Are My Sigma DP1M Test Shots Not Visibly Better Than Coolpix A or Ricoh GR?
2 months ago

I am currently trying out a Sigma DP1 Merrill, a Nikon Coolpix A and a Ricoh GR by mostly comparing them with one another but also with a variety of other assorted cameras, some of them (for reference and perspective), much older and decidedly lower end. The tests are all in bright daylight only to bring out the best in the DP1M. I had read that under these conditions, even the APS-C sensor Coolpix A and the Ricoh GR will be no match for the DP1M. However, even given the small number of shots I have taken so far (and an even smaller subset of these shots that I could upload, given DPR's 200 MB limit per month), under admittedly unscientific conditions, I am surprised by how the DP1M is at best just about keeping up with the Ricoh GR and the Coolpix A. Not only that, but at least one test scenes (the Church), the sharpness of the tree to the extreme right is to be seen to be believed, and way way better on the GR shot, and the other spots on the GR shots are certainly no worse than the DP1M. Matter of fact, even lesser cameras like the LX7 and RX100 on the Hibachi shots do not seem to be behind and the lowly Canon SD1100 and Panasonic TZ5 on the same scene have done very, very well. Yes, there are some caveats - the settings weren't always exactly the same (but I chose the best shots from each camera all the same), the sharpness settings in the church shots of the Coolpix A, for example, were normal rather than hard unlike on the others, on manipulating and tweaking some of the images, they can be, in some cases, be improved and so on, but I was told that the SOOC jpegs on the DP1Munder these conditions will be unbeatable. I also tried the RAW files from the Sigma and the others (wherever available, I shot in RAW + JPEG mode), but I never saw the legendary quality of the Sigma DP1M that was supposed to blow me away.

Please don't get me wrong - the Sigma shots are excellent, it's just that they aren't (to my eyes. in these shots at least) not on another level altogether. I want to keep the DP1M, but I need to be convinced I have a really really good reason.

Below are the links to the respective albums. All the photos are full original size, unedited, straight out of the camera (except one shot from the Nikon D600 in the KFC-all-cameras album which I had to resize to meet DPR's max 3000 px dimension). Apart from the aforementioned cams, there are shots from the Canon S100 as well. I am only inserting a small subset of all the shots here in-line, so please try to check out all the photos by clicking the links below if you can.

I would greatly appreciate your comments, critique and opinions.

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2011715492/albums/hibachi-all-cameras

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2011715492/albums/church-all-cameras

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2011715492/albums/kfc-all-cameras

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2011715492/albums/sigma-dp1-merrill-all-photos

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2011715492/albums/ricoh-gr-all-photos

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2011715492/albums/nikon-coolpix-a-all-photos

 sbansban's gear list:sbansban's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Ricoh GR Nikon D600 +14 more
Kodak Pixpro S-1 Nikon D600 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma SD1 Sony RX100
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