Ming Thein DP3 Merrill review

Started Jul 8, 2013 | Discussions
TalleyrandBH
Forum MemberPosts: 61
Like?
Ming Thein DP3 Merrill review
Jul 8, 2013
Sigma DP3 Merrill
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
Forum ProPosts: 18,556Gear list
Like?
Really good review
In reply to TalleyrandBH, Jul 8, 2013

That's a pretty good review of the DP-3M, although I disagree a bit that the body without a grip is hard to hold.  I don't think it's that bad.

It's great that he points out that the DP-M cameras give you the ability to adjust a monochrome image based on color channels, unlike the Leica-M.

One guy in the comments dislikes the images because of too *much* micro-contrast!  He finds it distracting.  Interesting, and I've not heard anyone say that before.

Thanks for posting the link.

 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
PrebenR
Senior MemberPosts: 2,725
Like?
Re: Really good review
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Jul 8, 2013

I agree.

I like the handling though. I have no problem holding the dpxms. But I don't walk around to much with camera in my hand. Is that the problem? I don't put a grip on mine as I prefer the original design too much , but it is excellent to see that such grips do exist and are highly valued.

I have tried the OM-D in a store, but for me that was not comfortable and had to use two hands. Perhaps it all depend on your size of hands and the way you walk around with the camera?

-- hide signature --

Lightwriting with Sigma

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
PrebenR
Senior MemberPosts: 2,725
Like?
Re: Really good review
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Jul 8, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

One guy in the comments dislikes the images because of too *much* micro-contrast! He finds it distracting. Interesting, and I've not heard anyone say that before.

I saw a poll somewhere (trying to remember where, but I cannot at the moment) about how people viewed their photos. The majority by far were viewing them on screen only. Viewing a high resolution image at 96 dpi with poor image scaling can give artifacts. F.ex you see plenty moire just do to the crude scaling down software, but there is non in the real image. This is one reason I wish Flickr got rid of the awful lightbox.

Printing DPxM photos, even small, you want the micro contrast/acuity as it gives such clarity to the photo.

-- hide signature --

Lightwriting with Sigma

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
hexxthalion
Contributing MemberPosts: 536Gear list
Like?
Re: Really good review
In reply to PrebenR, Jul 8, 2013

PrebenR wrote:

I agree.

I like the handling though. I have no problem holding the dpxms. But I don't walk around to much with camera in my hand. Is that the problem? I don't put a grip on mine as I prefer the original design too much , but it is excellent to see that such grips do exist and are highly valued.

I have tried the OM-D in a store, but for me that was not comfortable and had to use two hands. Perhaps it all depend on your size of hands and the way you walk around with the camera?

-- hide signature --

Lightwriting with Sigma

adding a grip (I use Mr Franiec's one) improves handling dramatically - I usually walk around with Sigma in my hand and X-Pro1 on the strap.

 hexxthalion's gear list:hexxthalion's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sigma DP2 Merrill Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R +11 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KM Legacy
Senior MemberPosts: 1,955
Like?
Re: Ming Thein DP3 Merrill review
In reply to TalleyrandBH, Jul 8, 2013

As it is, this camera challenges the very best of the 35mm full frame DSLRs on image quality; it’s probably better than the previous generation of medium format digital backs, too. And it still beats the current ones on high ISO performance.

That sums it up. The DPxMs are comparable to all but the latest medium format digital cameras. They are, IMO, better than the giant medium format film cameras of yesteryear. That's why I don't really care if they aren't the most hand-holdable, high-speed, high-ISO machines. I do think that a bulge in the front would allow a larger battery and improve hand-holding, without reducing portability that much.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Antone
Contributing MemberPosts: 740
Like?
Re: Ming Thein DP3 Merrill review
In reply to KM Legacy, Jul 8, 2013

I just wish there were DPxM cameras with a 12mm-14mm and 75mm lenses...

-- hide signature --

Tony-S

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BarrytheB
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,189
Like?
Re: Ming Thein DP3 Merrill review
In reply to TalleyrandBH, Jul 8, 2013

Good review- I always enjoy Ming's take on things, thanks for the post

-- hide signature --

Barry Byrd
http://www.pbase.com/barryb
http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr
'Liking it ain't required'
Gary Hale
1952-2008

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Gate bois
Regular MemberPosts: 204
Like?
Re: Ming Thein DP3 Merrill review
In reply to BarrytheB, Jul 8, 2013

In the example presented for comparison with the D800E, the facade of the building with foliage, dp3M shows more detail than the D800E.
I did a test by expanding the original crop the equivalent of D800E, using PhotoZoom and working accentuation in photoshop.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
maceoQ
Contributing MemberPosts: 681
Like?
Re: Really good review
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Jul 8, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

One guy in the comments dislikes the images because of too *much* micro-contrast! He finds it distracting. Interesting, and I've not heard anyone say that before.

Really? I think the harsh microcontrast is the main problem when shooting portraits withe the Merrills.
There has been lots of comments about it. There is even an article in x3magazin: "smoother portraits".

But on the other hand the strong microconrast is welcome when photographing textures, landscapes, old facades etc.

Anyway, since there is the monochrome mode (blue channel) smooth portraits are easy to make.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
Forum ProPosts: 18,556Gear list
Like?
Not at all a problem
In reply to maceoQ, Jul 8, 2013

maceoQ wrote:

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

One guy in the comments dislikes the images because of too *much* micro-contrast! He finds it distracting. Interesting, and I've not heard anyone say that before.

Really? I think the harsh microcontrast is the main problem when shooting portraits withe the Merrills.
There has been lots of comments about it. There is even an article in x3magazin: "smoother portraits".

There are a huge number of options for smoothing skin.  What the microcontrast is great for is hair, eyes, jewelry, clothing, etc.  In none of those cases does micro-contrast do anything but improve the image.

And even without the micro-contrast boost, you'd have to smooth the skin ANYWAY to remove imperfections, most bayer portrait shooters do this also.  So it's not like it saves you any time not having micro-contrast.

But on the other hand the strong microconrast is welcome when photographing textures, landscapes, old facades etc.

Which also make great backdrops for models...

Anyway, since there is the monochrome mode (blue channel) smooth portraits are easy to make.

But that can smooth out other things, I prefer just affecting the skin if possible.

Also if the subject is old and has a "weathered" face, then micro-contrast is a boon on skin!  It really brings out the character.

 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
Laurence Matson
Forum ProPosts: 11,247Gear list
Like?
Push em back, push em back, push em waaaay back
In reply to maceoQ, Jul 8, 2013

maceoQ wrote:

Really? I think the harsh microcontrast is the main problem when shooting portraits withe the Merrills.

There has been lots of comments about it. There is even an article in x3magazin: "smoother portraits".

But on the other hand the strong microconrast is welcome when photographing textures, landscapes, old facades etc.

Anyway, since there is the monochrome mode (blue channel) smooth portraits are easy to make.

Of course this requires a push back.

The inconsistency above is similar to the order and chaos problem in physics and right-brained people.

You can always create order, but you can never "create" chaos.

The right-brained version is: You can always get organized, but you cannot "become" intuitive.

And so it is with detail: You cannot create detail, but you can always get rid of it.

In fact, with SPP and NFL, it is a snap.

For portraits, there have been portraits taken with SD cameras since day one (starting with Kevin Ames and Stephen Johnson), and they have been beautifully rendered with creamy smoothness, when desired, and left raw when that was the message.

-- hide signature --

Laurence
laurence at appledore-farm dot com
"I thought: I read something in a book, I dream, I imagine, and it comes true. And it is exactly like this in life.
"You can dream, and it comes true, as long as you can get out of the certitudes. As long as you can get a pioneering spirit, as long as you can explore, as long as you can think off the grid. So much time we spend in our education, in our lives is spent learning certitudes, learning habits, trying to fight against the unknown, to avoid the doubts and question marks. As soon as you start to love the unknown, to love the doubts, to love the question marks, life becomes an absolutely fabulous adventure."
Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss person
http://www.pbase.com/lmatson
http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr
http://www.howardmyerslaw.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Antone
Contributing MemberPosts: 740
Like?
Re: Really good review
In reply to maceoQ, Jul 9, 2013

maceoQ wrote:

Really? I think the harsh microcontrast is the main problem when shooting portraits withe the Merrills.

It's easy to soften a sharp image. It's difficult to sharpen a soft image. All things being equal, I'll take sharp images over soft images.

-- hide signature --

Tony-S

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SigmaChrome
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,179Gear list
Like?
Re: Push em back, push em back, push em waaaay back
In reply to Laurence Matson, Jul 9, 2013

Laurence Matson wrote:

maceoQ wrote:

Really? I think the harsh microcontrast is the main problem when shooting portraits withe the Merrills.

There has been lots of comments about it. There is even an article in x3magazin: "smoother portraits".

But on the other hand the strong microconrast is welcome when photographing textures, landscapes, old facades etc.

Anyway, since there is the monochrome mode (blue channel) smooth portraits are easy to make.

Of course this requires a push back.

The inconsistency above is similar to the order and chaos problem in physics and right-brained people.

You can always create order, but you can never "create" chaos.

The right-brained version is: You can always get organized, but you cannot "become" intuitive.

And so it is with detail: You cannot create detail, but you can always get rid of it.

In fact, with SPP and NFL, it is a snap.

For portraits, there have been portraits taken with SD cameras since day one (starting with Kevin Ames and Stephen Johnson), and they have been beautifully rendered with creamy smoothness, when desired, and left raw when that was the message.

Good point, Laurence.

I have been using NFL for portraits shot with Sigma cameras for years. The trick is to shoot with this in mind from the outset - even for young subjects with great skin it's still a useful approach. Mind you, it's not the whole answer for great portraits with the SD and DP cameras - one still needs to do local spotting, just like in the old days.

-- hide signature --
 SigmaChrome's gear list:SigmaChrome's gear list
Sigma DP1 Sigma DP2 Merrill Sony RX100 Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma SD14 +13 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
glacierpete
Senior MemberPosts: 1,917
Like?
Re: Really good review
In reply to maceoQ, Jul 9, 2013

maceoQ wrote:

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

One guy in the comments dislikes the images because of too *much* micro-contrast! He finds it distracting. Interesting, and I've not heard anyone say that before.

Really? I think the harsh microcontrast is the main problem when shooting portraits withe the Merrills.
There has been lots of comments about it. There is even an article in x3magazin: "smoother portraits".

But on the other hand the strong microconrast is welcome when photographing textures, landscapes, old facades etc.

Anyway, since there is the monochrome mode (blue channel) smooth portraits are easy to make.

maceoQ

I often prefer to set spp sharpness to -2 and use topaz clarity to manipulate contrast and sharpness.

You might want to give it a try. it allows various degrees of aritfact free contrast enhancement and manipulation and comes with a great masking tool. For me it is the perfect tool to fine tune my DP2M files.

http://www.topazlabs.com/clarity/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
maceoQ
Contributing MemberPosts: 681
Like?
Re: Really good review
In reply to Antone, Jul 9, 2013

Antone wrote:

maceoQ wrote:

Really? I think the harsh microcontrast is the main problem when shooting portraits withe the Merrills.

It's easy to soften a sharp image. It's difficult to sharpen a soft image. All things being equal, I'll take sharp images over soft images.

-- hide signature --

Tony-S

I was not talking about sharpness, but about micro contrast.
This asian woman, in real life, has a very smooth skin, but the DP2m makes it look harsh.

Thats why i often use the monochrome mode in such situations.

left side, normal SPP processing, right side monochrome processing, layered in PS

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Harold66
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,530Gear list
Like?
Re: Ming Thein DP3 Merrill review
In reply to BarrytheB, Jul 9, 2013

well the review is ok BUT.. the images are horrible ( especially the images with people in it) Looks like he had a serious underexposure problems with the images he took with the dp3m

Harold

-- hide signature --

www.harold-glit.com
www.modelmayhem.com/haroldglit

 Harold66's gear list:Harold66's gear list
Ricoh GR Digital IV Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill Ricoh GR Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 +16 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DMillier
Forum ProPosts: 17,848
Like?
Re: Execellent review and discussion (nt)
In reply to TalleyrandBH, Jul 10, 2013
-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Hornbrille
Regular MemberPosts: 299Gear list
Like?
Re: Really good review
In reply to maceoQ, Jul 10, 2013

For such portraits it's necessary to lower the chrominance noise reduction to a minimum as described bei Bob in the X3-Magazine. I'd additionally lower the contrast and limit fill-light to 0.3 or less. BTW: I stopped showing unprocessed images to my wife and my mother in law.

Uwe 8-)

 Hornbrille's gear list:Hornbrille's gear list
Sigma DP2 Quattro
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads