DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
Mar 29, 2013

Hello everyone,

following all the messages and polemics regarding the DP3 Merrill's colour rendition and whether it is different or not from the DP1/DP2 pair, I proceeded to a controlled test that should put this discussion to rest - I shot colour charts under controlled flash light, using different WB, computing all colorimetric values in PS, etc.

In short, the result is that there are in fact differences; especially so if you use Auto WB or WB Presets, where the DP3 is much better than the DP1/DP2, much less so if you use Custom WB in which case, actually, the DP2 and DP3 are very similar, versus the DP1 which stands alone in this case.

I posted the whole test, colour charts shots included, on my blog HERE for your reference.

Hope this helps to clarify things on this heated issue

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Sigma DP1 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
SandyF
Forum ProPosts: 14,875Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to vbd70, Mar 29, 2013

Excellent review, thanks very much for doing the work and posting.

My only suggestion would be that you consistently call the cameras with Merrill in their names, ie DP1Merrill or DP1M rather than DP1. DP2Merrill or DP2M rather than DP2. DP3Merrill or DP3M rather than DP3.

There are still many original DP1 and DP2 cameras in use. The lack of designation M (Merrill) may be confusing as time passes and your blog comes up on Interest search and keyword as DP1 or DP2 rather than with the Merrill.

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

 SandyF's gear list:SandyF's gear list
Sigma DP2 Sigma DP1 Sigma DP2 Merrill Canon EOS 5D Mark II Sigma SD9 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to SandyF, Mar 29, 2013

SandyF wrote:

Excellent review, thanks very much for doing the work and posting.

My only suggestion would be that you consistently call the cameras with Merrill in their names, ie DP1Merrill or DP1M rather than DP1. DP2Merrill or DP2M rather than DP2. DP3Merrill or DP3M rather than DP3.

There are still many original DP1 and DP2 cameras in use. The lack of designation M (Merrill) may be confusing as time passes and your blog comes up on Interest search and keyword as DP1 or DP2 rather than with the Merrill.

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

Hello Sandy,

thank you very much, I am glad you found it useful

Thank you for your suggestion re: confusion in naming of the DP series cameras, I added a M after each instance to eliminate the confusion.

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
Forum ProPosts: 18,150Gear list
Like?
So really cameras are not different, Auto WB is.
In reply to vbd70, Mar 29, 2013

Another good test, although I would say response between the cameras could vary from flash based light source to natural light - between your test and Bob's we all have a better idea what to expect.

It seems like in the end the cameras are not really different, if a custom WB yields nearly the same result across the line.  Instead for whatever reason, it's Auto WB that creates more variation... which is really good to know.

It does mean in a setting where I'm using two cameras and want the results to match I'm more likely to set a custom WB.

 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner's gear list:Kendall Helmstetter Gelner's gear list
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Buhl213
Regular MemberPosts: 160Gear list
Like?
Re: So really cameras are not different, Auto WB is.
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Mar 29, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Another good test, although I would say response between the cameras could vary from flash based light source to natural light - between your test and Bob's we all have a better idea what to expect.

Yes, but it would be lovely to see some spectral distribution of Bob's dutch grey ambient light compared to the distribution of Vieri's flash.

Vieri, you wouldn't happen to have a small-spectered light-source (like a LED-lamp or so)? And far too much time on your hands?

It seems like in the end the cameras are not really different, if a custom WB yields nearly the same result across the line.  Instead for whatever reason, it's Auto WB that creates more variation... which is really good to know.

But the angle of light hitting the sensor is different - and Sigma have to find a good compromise between receiving as much light as possible on one side versus not having the circuitry of the first two layers shadow for the well at the third layer on the other side. Could this be accounting for the difference?

I hope Vieris test and Bowmans observations are flawed, of course -- otherwise I HAVE to get a DP3M )-:

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
cquarksnow
Regular MemberPosts: 331Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to vbd70, Mar 29, 2013

For some strange reason, the serials have been omitted, so here they are :

DP1M 2158  (current batch is above 5900)
DP2M 5394  (current batch is above 9700)
DP3M 1393  (current batch is above 2690)

Also I take that the firmware is the latest (1.04 for DP1M, 1.03 for DP2M  and 1.01 for DP3M)

The *.jpeg reflect Adobe CS6 was used. Not sure what the flow was (SPP 5.5.1, Iridient ?)

Chris

 cquarksnow's gear list:cquarksnow's gear list
Sigma DP1 Merrill
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: So really cameras are not different, Auto WB is.
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Mar 29, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Another good test, although I would say response between the cameras could vary from flash based light source to natural light - between your test and Bob's we all have a better idea what to expect.

It seems like in the end the cameras are not really different, if a custom WB yields nearly the same result across the line.  Instead for whatever reason, it's Auto WB that creates more variation... which is really good to know.

It does mean in a setting where I'm using two cameras and want the results to match I'm more likely to set a custom WB.

Hello Kendall,

yes I assume it would naturally change under different light. As I said in the review, my aim was not to determine the DP3's colour response (or any of the three Merrill, for that matter) in absolute terms, but to compare them and see if there was any truth in the claims that the three cameras produce different colours. They do, though not quite exactly as some people claimed - pretty vocally, I might add - online.

Generally speaking, Auto WB is rarely the best way to go if one wants faithful colour response; with pretty much any camera other presets (and of course a custom WB) held better results than Auto, and it is pretty clear to me after my test that the Merrill are no exception to this

So yes, the cameras' output is not dramatically different - the cameras different implementations of WB (Auto and Presets) are...

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: So really cameras are not different, Auto WB is.
In reply to Buhl213, Mar 29, 2013

Buhl213 wrote:

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Another good test, although I would say response between the cameras could vary from flash based light source to natural light - between your test and Bob's we all have a better idea what to expect.

Yes, but it would be lovely to see some spectral distribution of Bob's dutch grey ambient light compared to the distribution of Vieri's flash.

Vieri, you wouldn't happen to have a small-spectered light-source (like a LED-lamp or so)? And far too much time on your hands?

Well, I choose to use flash because it pretty much repeatable (more than any ambient light for sure) and because it is an "easy" light for cameras to work with.

I surely do have a LED-lamp or two around the house, but of the thin Mag-Lite kind; it is nearly impossible to illuminate a target chart decently with these...

It seems like in the end the cameras are not really different, if a custom WB yields nearly the same result across the line.  Instead for whatever reason, it's Auto WB that creates more variation... which is really good to know.

But the angle of light hitting the sensor is different - and Sigma have to find a good compromise between receiving as much light as possible on one side versus not having the circuitry of the first two layers shadow for the well at the third layer on the other side. Could this be accounting for the difference?

I hope Vieris test and Bowmans observations are flawed, of course -- otherwise I HAVE to get a DP3M )-:

True, but on the other hand the cameras are fixed-lens cameras, so Sigma could do pretty much any optimisation they cared to try, both at micro-lens level and at processing level, and fine-tune it precisely for each of the three Merrill camera. I am actually thinking about the differences in exposures that I noticed in my tests... Strangely enough, Sigma didn't do anything to compensate for this in camera; so, if you shoot the same event with more than one camera, you'll have to use different exposures for each to have matching results.

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to cquarksnow, Mar 29, 2013

cquarksnow wrote:

For some strange reason, the serials have been omitted, so here they are :

DP1M 2158  (current batch is above 5900)
DP2M 5394  (current batch is above 9700)
DP3M 1393  (current batch is above 2690)

Also I take that the firmware is the latest (1.04 for DP1M, 1.03 for DP2M  and 1.01 for DP3M)

The *.jpeg reflect Adobe CS6 was used. Not sure what the flow was (SPP 5.5.1, Iridient ?)

Chris

Not strange, I am not in the custom to sharing my equipment's serials online, and I don't see how they matter anyway: what counts is that FW are all latest versions, as I say in the article; and if you are interested in it, my workflow is clearly expressed in the article as well.

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
HBowman
Senior MemberPosts: 1,068
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to vbd70, Mar 29, 2013

Thank you VIERI.

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
cquarksnow
Regular MemberPosts: 331Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to vbd70, Mar 29, 2013

vbd70 wrote:

cquarksnow wrote:

For some strange reason, the serials have been omitted, so here they are :

DP1M 2158  (current batch is above 5900)
DP2M 5394  (current batch is above 9700)
DP3M 1393  (current batch is above 2690)

Also I take that the firmware is the latest (1.04 for DP1M, 1.03 for DP2M  and 1.01 for DP3M)

The *.jpeg reflect Adobe CS6 was used. Not sure what the flow was (SPP 5.5.1, Iridient ?)

Chris

Not strange, I am not in the custom to sharing my equipment's serials online, and I don't see how they matter anyway: what counts is that FW are all latest versions, as I say in the article; and if you are interested in it, my workflow is clearly expressed in the article as well.

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

Thank you, Vieri -

Indeed I did not see the section describing the flow initially.

I am quite anxious to compare an old DP1M like mine (serial 1154) and a newer one with the same test and if some people feel bored about these this forum lately, I for one feels that this topic, as well as notre très cher Hulyss, is the most exciting ever.

Thanks so much,

Chris

OOC jpg  Warwick, NY

 cquarksnow's gear list:cquarksnow's gear list
Sigma DP1 Merrill
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
HBowman
Senior MemberPosts: 1,068
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to cquarksnow, Mar 29, 2013

I'm not excited any-more I'm just drained lol

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nico1974
Regular MemberPosts: 338
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to vbd70, Mar 30, 2013

Thank you for doing such a thorough review - I sincerely hope that someone from Sigma will read this post and if possible issue a firmware update for the DP1M and DP2M soon

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
cquarksnow
Regular MemberPosts: 331Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to vbd70, Mar 30, 2013

It would be interesting to see if that extraordinary Easter Egg hunt started mainly by BobNL and then Vieri Bottazzini could allow revisiting Yvind's post of a few years ago for the Merrill-based cameras :

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/30738674

Some might be able to advise on the DP1M/DP2M/DP3M/SD1M calibration, how Imatest could help, whether generating a linear dng from 16-bit TIFF might be worthwhile for the Xrite software,   or whether any other calibration and compensation in SPP could allow a "well-tempered" approach to the sensors.

Chris

 cquarksnow's gear list:cquarksnow's gear list
Sigma DP1 Merrill
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,170Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: Heated Issue?
In reply to vbd70, Mar 30, 2013

vbd70 wrote:

Hello everyone,

following all the messages and polemics regarding the DP3 Merrill's colour rendition and whether it is different or not from the DP1/DP2 pair, I proceeded to a controlled test that should put this discussion to rest - I shot colour charts under controlled flash light, using different WB, computing all colorimetric values in PS, etc.

In short, the result is that there are in fact differences; especially so if you use Auto WB or WB Presets, where the DP3 is much better than the DP1/DP2, much less so if you use Custom WB in which case, actually, the DP2 and DP3 are very similar, versus the DP1 which stands alone in this case.

I posted the whole test, colour charts shots included, on my blog HERE for your reference.

Hope this helps to clarify things on this heated issue

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

I think it was a very revealing test.  I think you did a very good job. I don't recall any controversy in the Sony forum about color accuracy between all its plethora of 16.1 mp Nex cameras.  Each camera performs differently, each newer generation shows improvement and better color accuracy. So if I'm to understand this---we expect Sigma to revamp the DP1M and DP2M cameras to have the exact color calibration as the newer generation DP3M? and in addition Sigma should do extensive costly firmware updates of the DP1M and DP2M to bring them up to the color accuracy of its newest generation DP3M?

So I should post in the Sony forum and complain that Sony isn't doing anything to improve its older model"s color accuracy and expect a new firmware update to bring all the older models in line exactly with the newest model because these camera have the same sensor etc?  Is this a realistic expectation of a camera manufacturer?

Seems to me that that the lesson here is that if you are going to be out shooting with all three cameras hanging around your neck--you better do a custom white balance.

When shooting wedding with different camera models in the same brand---I always did a custom white balance.  Saves headaches later.

Each model is clearly an improvement over the earlier one in the auto balance performance---I can see a difference between each camera release based on the color charts that you shot. Its good to know that there are difference in performance using Auto WB between the three cameras.

Not sure how heated this issue is or how big a controversy this really is, but I appreciate your hard work and write up!

Gary Dean Mercer Clark

-- hide signature --

Gary Dean Mercer Clark

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to HBowman, Mar 30, 2013

HBowman wrote:

Thank you VIERI.

-- hide signature --

Sure thing Hulyss. Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to cquarksnow, Mar 30, 2013

cquarksnow wrote:

vThank you, Vieri -

Indeed I did not see the section describing the flow initially.

I am quite anxious to compare an old DP1M like mine (serial 1154) and a newer one with the same test and if some people feel bored about these this forum lately, I for one feels that this topic, as well as notre très cher Hulyss, is the most exciting ever.

Thanks so much,

Chris

OOC jpg  Warwick, NY

Hello Chris,

no problem - too many words to read them all anyway!

About the forum, I think there is room for everything; from technical threads like this, to picture showing, to whatever suits people fancy (it's enough to keep it on each forum's topic).

ABout the new DP1M vs older ones, my cameras have been purchased in 11.2012 from B&H which should have a good turnaround; the DP3M very recently, also from B&H. I feel that I got a "mature" enough batch of the DP1M & DP2M, probably one coming after whatever glitch they found in their first batches... but of course without knowing exact production runs serial numbers it is difficult to say anything.

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to HBowman, Mar 30, 2013

HBowman wrote:

I'm not excited any-more I'm just drained lol

-- hide signature --

Nothing like a good ol' controlled, scientific test to draw an argument to its end

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to nico1974, Mar 30, 2013

nico1974 wrote:

Thank you for doing such a thorough review - I sincerely hope that someone from Sigma will read this post and if possible issue a firmware update for the DP1M and DP2M soon

Sure thing Nico, you are welcome

Yes, I hope that Sigma will be monitoring the forums (they most likely do) and will take notice. The more people will post here reinforcing their preference for the new colours, the more likely we'll see them in a FW update.

Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
vbd70
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,761Gear list
Like?
Re: DP1, DP2 & DP3 color rendition: same or different? The truth revealed :)
In reply to cquarksnow, Mar 30, 2013

cquarksnow wrote:

It would be interesting to see if that extraordinary Easter Egg hunt started mainly by BobNL and then Vieri Bottazzini could allow revisiting Yvind's post of a few years ago for the Merrill-based cameras :

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/30738674

Some might be able to advise on the DP1M/DP2M/DP3M/SD1M calibration, how Imatest could help, whether generating a linear dng from 16-bit TIFF might be worthwhile for the Xrite software,   or whether any other calibration and compensation in SPP could allow a "well-tempered" approach to the sensors.

Chris

Hello Chris,

I read just the last few message of that thread (after the one you referred to); I don't seem to find a way to apply profiles IN SPP, so far I did such work after conversion. It is a topic I need to get acquainted with before I can say anything meaningful about it - but definitely worth looking into!

Thanks for pointing it out! Best,

Vieri

-- hide signature --

equipment in profile
Vieri Bottazzini Fine Art Photography
http://www.vieribottazzini.com
My Newsletter:
http://eepurl.com/s1Sjb
portfolios:
http://www.madshutter.com
my blog
http://madshutter.blogspot.com
Facebook galleries:
https://www.facebook.com/vierimadshutter

 vbd70's gear list:vbd70's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Pentax 645D Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Leica M-Monochrom
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads