The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...

Started Oct 12, 2012 | Discussions
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
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The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...
Oct 12, 2012

Sigma is finally getting the recognition due with the release of the DP2M. All the attacks against Sigma are just background noise when you focus on the truth: Sigma has produced cameras that create the highest quality images possible. Nothing else matters.

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petr marek
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Re: The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...
In reply to Gary Dean Mercer Clark, Oct 12, 2012

Nothing else matters... for Sigma, unfortunately. What does matter, at least for me (and I can live with all bugs Merrills have, including high ISO IQ), is missing Lightroom (or any usable RAW developing program) support for X3F Merrills. There are very limited possibilities to work with X3F files in SPP. And this fact IS about image quality too. It´s the only simple thing, which holds me back from buying DP2M and I regret it, because I do realize it´s potential.

Part of the satisfaction is taking the photo, but bigger part, for me, is revealing it´s beauty from RAW.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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TIFF approach as good and in some ways better
In reply to petr marek, Oct 12, 2012

petr marek wrote:

Nothing else matters... for Sigma, unfortunately. What does matter, at least for me (and I can live with all bugs Merrills have, including high ISO IQ), is missing Lightroom (or any usable RAW developing program) support for X3F Merrills.

I disagree.  SPP has all of the adjustments you need in a program meant to convert RAW data into an image for further work.

No denying it is handy to be able to use a RAW file directly in Lightroom or Aperture.  But I have found using a generated TIFF file to work just as well by and large.  I can rotate and crop and if I decide that the conversion is a little off I can go back to SPP, regenerate the TIFF file and see all my previous adjustments overlaid on the base image.

That sad, I am pretty sure with the growing DP-M popularity we'll see Photoshop support for the Merrill sensor within a year or so.

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ChromeLight
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Re: The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...
In reply to Gary Dean Mercer Clark, Oct 12, 2012

I think in a lot of ways the prior ten years were a mixed bag because Foveon and Sigma were separate companies and the elder Yamaki maybe didn't run the company all that well. Nikon was kind of like that from 2000-2005 or so. Then they had a shake up, really improved production, launched a line of FF cameras and never looked back. I think the younger Yamaki will push the company foward in the next few years.

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petr marek
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Re: TIFF approach as good and in some ways better
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Oct 12, 2012

Main problems with SPP weren´t with adjustment scheme, but with overall functionality. When installed I have to change main timezone settings to GMT otherwise loupe and zooming of X3F image won´t work(!). When changed, some other programs won´t work, so I have to change it back after working in SPP. It´s bizarre. On my strong PC (for full HD video editing etc.) with Win7 64-bit it´s slow and often unstable.

Second thing is, when I work with my SD14 x3f in Lightroom or Silkypix, I can reach better results with much wider possibilities and corrections than in SPP (e.g. RGB camera calibration in Lightroom does a great job with higher ISO files etc...)

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BuckieJoe
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Re: The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...
In reply to Gary Dean Mercer Clark, Oct 12, 2012

Did I miss anything? Who's started recognizing it?

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SandyF
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Re: TIFF approach as good and in some ways better
In reply to petr marek, Oct 12, 2012

petr marek wrote:

Main problems with SPP weren´t with adjustment scheme, but with overall functionality. When installed I have to change main timezone settings to GMT otherwise loupe and zooming of X3F image won´t work(!). When changed, some other programs won´t work, so I have to change it back after working in SPP. It´s bizarre. On my strong PC (for full HD video editing etc.) with Win7 64-bit it´s slow and often unstable.

Second thing is, when I work with my SD14 x3f in Lightroom or Silkypix, I can reach better results with much wider possibilities and corrections than in SPP (e.g. RGB camera calibration in Lightroom does a great job with higher ISO files etc...)

On your first paragraph, if you're referring to Merrill X3F files, you need to load them in full resolution mode before the loupe and zooming will work. Click the 'full res' button to load full resolution. This is different on the Merrill's than on previous cameras' X3F files.  Also, someone in Europe found that the , (comma) in European style numbers instead of . (period) affects how SPP works. I forget the details, but I've never heard of GMT time zone affecting.... perhaps it's something to do with , vs .

Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://wwww.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current, DP2Merrill photos)

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villebon
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Re: TIFF approach as good and in some ways better
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Oct 12, 2012

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

petr marek wrote:

Nothing else matters... for Sigma, unfortunately. What does matter, at least for me (and I can live with all bugs Merrills have, including high ISO IQ), is missing Lightroom (or any usable RAW developing program) support for X3F Merrills.

I disagree.  SPP has all of the adjustments you need in a program meant to convert RAW data into an image for further work.

I've used SPP recently and must say that after a while it was load picture in SPP, adjust WB and save to tiff as quickly as possible. Now that I have LR4 watching a designated folder (thank you SCT member) my time with SPP is down to a minimum.

Sigma really needs to offer info to Adobe and others so that they can support X3F files.

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Villebon

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Gary Dean Mercer Clark
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Re: LOL
In reply to BuckieJoe, Oct 12, 2012

BuckieJoe wrote:

Did I miss anything? Who's started recognizing it?

Yes.  Ask someone in the Sigma forum to explain it to you.

Gary Mercer

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Tom Schum
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Re: The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...
In reply to Gary Dean Mercer Clark, Oct 17, 2012

gary mercer wrote:

Sigma is finally getting the recognition due with the release of the DP2M. All the attacks against Sigma are just background noise when you focus on the truth: Sigma has produced cameras that create the highest quality images possible. Nothing else matters.

No doubt that the highest quality images possible from APS-C come from Sigma equipment, but most people (even me, sometimes) don't want or need top quality.

These are the people that mostly use their cellphones for taking pictures (used to be point-and-shoot cameras but they are now displaced by cellphones).  As for me, I pull out my Fuji X10 when I want something quick and simple that delivers adequate image quality.

In my opinion, very high quality imagery will remain a niche market for the foreseeable future.  I think Sigma has this market cornered, but it's a very small market!

One volume possibility for Sigma might be in the videocam market, with a Foveon near-APS-C 1080x1920 HD imager and a nice zoom lens such as the 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM.  It could be a really versatile high quality videocam, maybe even a big seller.  Of course these pixels would be substantially bigger than those in the SD14/15 sensor, and much better in low light (due in part to the advances made in the Merrill sensor), so a small aperture zoom would work well under many conditions.  Not to mention the stills from such a videocam would all be perfect.

I wonder why Sigma has not pursued a videocam so far?

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Tom Schum

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1chaz
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Re: The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...
In reply to BuckieJoe, Oct 17, 2012

BuckieJoe wrote:

Did I miss anything? Who's started recognizing it?

check out diglloyd,  luminous landscape or just search the web. As far as IQ is concerned these guys are amazed at the dp-m series. When people that are used to shooting MF, digibacks, high end dslr etc. with the best glass ( Leica, Zeiss etc. )  are impressed with its IQ that is getting recognition. It is what most that shoot  sigma cameras have always seen and known. All this in a 1k package, one top quality lens to match the dp series quality from Leica, Ziess, canon L or Nikon gold will set you back more than the whole dp-m and will be bigger and weigh much more  just my 02

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glacierpete
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Re: The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...
In reply to Tom Schum, Oct 17, 2012

Tom Schum wrote:

In my opinion, very high quality imagery will remain a niche market for the foreseeable future.  I think Sigma has this market cornered, but it's a very small market!

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Tom Schum

I think high quality photography equipment is not a niche market at all.

Look how many pro lenses and bodies every brand offers in APC and FF. It don't even talk about medium format digital.

It has a lot to do with branding. Sigma had to proof that they are able to produce a first class body and lens combination. They certainly showed that.

Sigma tries to get rid of their cheap, mediocre third party, bad quality control image.

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Raist3d
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Denial-ism reigns...
In reply to Gary Dean Mercer Clark, Oct 17, 2012

The Sigma/Foveon has its strengths but also its weaknesses. To make the blanket statement that it espouses the highest image quality is a fool's claim. It needs a context.

Yes, in good full spectrum light it's phenomenal, falling apart in the other situations. The fact you get color constancies issues sometimes even at ISO 100 should already be a clue you can't make that claim as a blanket statement.

So to be clear, I think it's great Sigma is getting the recognition of *when* it is good (and if you look around at several of the positive reviews of the DP2M, they put this in context). But it's when we jump to the whole "unilateral highest image quality" and "all that matters" that we have crossed into ridiculous territory.

To name a few more things- some professionals will prefer the superb image quality some other options can provide (yes, there are other options that can have superb image quality, imagine that)., with a far better workflow because they have a business to run.

Some other shots you don't get the dynamic range nor tonality of some of the better 14-bit raw sensors.

It depends what kind of photography you are doing. And I am glad the Sigma Foveon exists as an option but it's not going to be the ultimate destination for many equipment wise since the so called "ultimate image quality" is in a very limited context.

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Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- I photograph black cats in coal mines at night...

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: TIFF approach as good and in some ways better
In reply to SandyF, Oct 17, 2012

SandyF wrote:

On your first paragraph, if you're referring to Merrill X3F files, you need to load them in full resolution mode before the loupe and zooming will work. Click the 'full res' button to load full resolution. This is different on the Merrill's than on previous cameras' X3F files.  Also, someone in Europe found that the , (comma) in European style numbers instead of . (period) affects how SPP works. I forget the details, but I've never heard of GMT time zone affecting.... perhaps it's something to do with , vs .

You are probably right. Its a Locale problem. Programs and OSes had exactly that problem in the 1980:ies. When you choose e.g. Swedish Locale, then lots of things was broken. But ... it was fixed and now you dont see such things.

Welcome to 1984 and SPP!

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: The Sigma approach is finally getting the recognition due...
In reply to Gary Dean Mercer Clark, Oct 17, 2012

gary mercer wrote:

Sigma is finally getting the recognition due with the release of the DP2M. All the attacks against Sigma are just background noise when you focus on the truth: Sigma has produced cameras that create the highest quality images possible. Nothing else matters.

Yes - it gets some recognition, but always with caveats.

When the DP2M excels, then its hard to find a match, at least such a small camera.

But it does not always excel, and there are some quirks.

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