Now here is an honest review of the DP2 Merrill..

Started Feb 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
Gary Dean Mercer Clark Veteran Member • Posts: 5,606
Re: Now here is an honest review of the DP2 Merrill..

I don't have a problem with anyone voicing their opinion about a product. It is what it is-- an opinion!

The statement that Sigma is an ODDBALL company with a cultish following discredits the review upfront.  I'm an independent mind, not a member of a cult and shoot with Bayer sensored cameras and also like many of my friends really like the Merrill sensored cameras DP2M,DP1M, SD1M etc.  Having shot extensively with Bayer sensored cameras and Sigma foveon technology, I find his comments about the "BLUR" that we magically attribute to bayer sensors to be amusing.

Do this simple test.  Take any raw Sigma Foveon image from a Merrill sensored camera--you can download the raws from  Make sure that the sharpening is turned down -2 so you have a raw image that has not been sharpened.   Now import that image into SPP5.4 and don't do anything to it--just export same size it as a 16Bit .tiff file with the photopro colorspace. Import this image into Photoshop. Open this image to 100 percent. Duplicate it and open it as 200% in a second cascaded window.

Now import any Nikon D800 or Nikon D800E file raw into photoshop.  Look at these files at 100 percent and also 200 percent and look at how clear those image are and how much image detail you see at 200 percent.

Finally smart sharpen the Nikon image at 100 percent.  Look at the same images at 100 percent and 200 percent.

Now smart sharpen the Sigma images at 60 percent.  Sharpen at 100 percent.  Compare all the images from both systems.

Do this same method with Pentax KIIs.

What will you find?  You will find that native Sigma Merrill image exported at -2 sharpening which is supposed to provide an unsharpened raw image for you to start out with is sharper at 200 percent than any Bayer sensored image at 200 percent.  In fact a 100 percent view of the Nikon D800 compared to the Sigma SD1M  image blown up to 200 precent are strangely very similar in size and the Sigma is showing detail very similar to the Nikon even at 200 percent!---of course you start to see the pixels in the Sigma as you know we are pushing the limits of Sigma image---but it is very telling nontheless!

So the reviewer does a disservice refering to professionals like myself and other that use this technology--saying we are cultish?  Knocking a lens manufacturer for showing images from Professionals shooting with different cameras that they supply third party lenses for and is their bread and butter?  Making claims that there are only a few professional photographers shooting with Sigma cameras? ( Where is he getting these statistics to back up these claims?) These are unsubstantiated claims not basrd on fact.  Sigma sells Lenses---You better show professionals using Pentax, Sony, Canon and Nikon an 4/3 and all the brands that you sell third party lenses for!  That is called Marketing!

I admit that I shoot with Sigma lenses on my Bayer sensored cameras---I like value for my money and great optics.  I also admit that there is more image detail captured at the pixel level with a foveon merill series sigma camera than  with a Bayer sensor camera---no doubt about it.  However, I also know that I can sharpen the heck out of my Bayer sensored camera image and carefully nudge out image detail---something that those of us professional photographers have been doing for years?  So does that make me a member of a cult? No.  We make do with the tools that best suit our needs and finances etc.

I don't own 40 different brands of cameras and don't buy the newest thing out.  I'm not a camera collector or amateur, though I approach my love of photography with the same love I approached it when I was an amateur.  I like to completely master a camera before I move on to the next camera or decide to change brands.  I did change from shooting with Canon to Sony for the simple reason that I needed to have every lens image stabilized so I could handhold and shoot---I could have bought the excellent Pentax K5 as well--it is superb but I needed to produce 20x30 sized images or larger and that was pushing it a bit with the K5--it can be done,but not without some serious work.  Canon did not offer an image stabilized wide angle lens and I didn't want to shoot with zoom lenses to get wide angle shots--as the edges weren't sharp enough for me. So I painfully moved to Sony and while it has its limits and foibles, its a pretty good system for me which my neuromuscular issues.  Even carrying around a tripod is an issue now for me.  The DP2M is fantastic, but I must use a tripod with it or shoot in very bright light and very high shutter speeds to avoid blurring my images.  When Sigma offers an image stabilized prime wide angle lens---I'll move back to shooting with the SD1M series gladly. Photography is about what my needs are---not so much what brand the camera is. Even though the foveon sensor can produce images that I just can't reproduce with Bayer sensored cameras and I agree with the reviewer that how it captures reflections from water at night is better than any bayer image of reflections I've ever shot. So his review does have some good points too.

Now I can certainly go and purchase 40 different cameras and collect them and will get great shots with all of them as photography comes naturally to me--BUT there is no way I could truly master all 40 cameras, remember every menu location and settings unique to each camera to really bring out the best of what that camera offers. I can pull off some general rule stuff from my experience---but 40?

I respect the person's opinion, but I've found that starting an opinion about a camera trashing the brand or the manufacturer calling them ODD and its buyers cultish discredits the review upfront.

diolus wrote:

I guess he never drank the cool aid.

Gary Dean Mercer Clark

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