DP2 Merrill in Bataan

Started Oct 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Craigski Contributing Member • Posts: 765
Re: DP2 Merrill in Bataan

Thanks to all for your comments.

I think I could sum up this camera by saying that it is the worst I've ever used that takes the best pictures I've ever seen.

Battery life is abysmal. Even though I charge up both batteries before I set out, I've taken to just turning the camera off when not actually shooting.

The UI really isn't too bad, better than most point-&-shoots but not up there with a DSLR. I am totally spoiled by my Sony a850 in this regard. I am able to change ISO with just a few button-pushes, as well as drive mode. Because of the limitations of this camera, it is basically ideal for stationary subjects in bright light. So I like to keep the drive mode set to 2-sec timer, which gives me time to steady up the frame after pushing the shutter release. With no image-stabilization, every little trick helps in borderline shooting conditions.

Indoor, at f/2.8 and ISO 400, I can just barely maintain a minimum shutter speed of 1/50. Anything slower than this will be soft. I am thinking I will buy the flash for indoor and fill-light shooting. But that kinda takes away the fun of such a small camera. Composing outdoors in bright sunlight, which is the ideal condition for this camera, would no doubt be easier with the optional viewfinder. But one of the benefits of shooting with this camera is its unobtrusive footprint, if you will. Adding a viewfinder and holding it up to your face would make subjects more aware of your intent, and take away the stealth factor so important in capturing authentic street shots.

So far, the metering on my shots tends toward the left, saving the highlights. Since I shoot RAW and develop in SPP and LR4, I am finding that leaving my Ev to +0.7 gives me a better exposure without blowing out the highlights. More on this anon.

One mistake I made when I first went through the setup menu without reading the manual, was to go ahead and set the exposure bracketing to my normal usage. Be advised that once you do this, the camera will then shoot in bracketing mode, as there is no separate drive mode for this. Thus, I took one shot and the exposure came out -0.7 Ev, then the next shot of a different subject came out at metered exposure, and then the next shot of a third subject came out at +0.7 Ev. Happy to say I only made this mistake once, and as per above, the third shot actually came out the best.

Focus on all my cameras I always keep set to center focus point, and programmed to the AEL button. Focus limiting can be selected in the menu, which I find useful. Focus is spot on, but not always quick on low-contrast subjects. Again, this camera is not really meant for kids or pets, much less sports. But again too, for the subjects you do capture, the files are just plain spectacular. Much easier than carrying around a Pentax 645D. And for one-tenth the price.

I"ve yet to shoot a hundred frames with this camera, but I know already that I'll be shooting many more, whenever conditions allow. Not the most versatile camera, but utterly terrific when those conditions are ideal.

A few more from Balanga:

The bike in front has "Kawasaki" written in white on white on the top of the handlebars. Super clear.

Full size, you can read the small print on the wire.

The pieces of jewelry in this shot, seen at full screen, look so incredibly detailed.

You can read the meter at top left, examined at full size.


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