Michael Reichmann's review of the DP1M is up...

Started Sep 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
Andrew Hodgkinson
Andrew Hodgkinson Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: Michael Reichmann's review of the DP1M is up...

Usee wrote:

Andrew Hodgkinson wrote:

I doubt any third party would put in as much attention to algorithm detail or include subtle things like SPP 5.3.2's slight de-banding.

ISL (Silkypix) did - and is supporting the SD14 and the older DP's better than SPP...

I have SilkyPix Developer Studio 4. It doesn't have any kind of debanding that I can see and its noise reduction algorithms are at best decent; but the NeatImage plugin for Photoshop definitely seems to produce superior results.

If I run a 16-bit banded TIFF from SPP through SilkyPix, then even if I crank up all noise reduction parameters to maximum, banding is still very clearly present. SilkyPix seems to think that the bands are actually image detail rather than noise. If I increase NR in SPP then banding can be hidden but fine detail suffers badly. If I run such a TIFF through NeatImage and select a representative section of banding to build the noise profile, it cleans up nicely without the overall scene blur you get with maximum chroma reduction in SPP, though low contrast fine non-banding detail can still suffer.

Colour rendering in SilkyPix is also an acquired taste, with none of its various colour modes ever seeming to produce something that "looks right" IMHO. Worse, it has highlight problems - in fact I've seen such bizarre dynamic range related issues with it on a number of occasions that I strongly suspect it has a partially or completely 8-bit processing path.

As for the GUI - ugh. It's terrible. Not intuitive, not native, not integrated, not even something as basic as an "open recent" list in the File menu... Tiny, fiddly controls and lettering... I'm definitely not a fan. I hate paying a lot of money for a piece of software and finding out that its authors decided they knew better than the operating system vendors about how to make GUI controls work.

In the end, I consistently got "better" results (i.e. images I personally preferred) from SPP for most of my DP2s images. The only time SilkyPix seemed to do better was dealing with overdriven reds and in the end, before I got the DP2m, that was pretty much all I used it for. Overall I'm disappointed at the performance of SilkyPix, I'm disappointed at its sluggish uptake of new camera models and all in all I consider it a bit of a waste of money for me personally.

If support for the Merrill X3F files is added (and included in a v4 update, not just for v5) then I'd give SilkyPix a whirl again and see if it did better with the raw files directly. Since the DP2m doesn't have anywhere near as big an issue with reds as the DP2s does, though, I don't think I'd really bother using it much.

 Andrew Hodgkinson's gear list:Andrew Hodgkinson's gear list
Sigma DP2 Merrill Sony RX100 Sigma dp0 Quattro
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