Exploring DP3M, and SPP B&W, workflow, in real world street situation

Started Apr 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 36,442
Exploring DP3M, and SPP B&W, workflow, in real world street situation

A friend loaned me his DP3M a couple of days and gave it a spin.  This thread is for those wondering about how the new Foveon does in a more typical nightlife situation, a bit more about the DP3M/SPP5.5 and particular exploration of the B&W mode - consider this just a data point. As always, if you have the camera, just see for yourself.

A few further impressions and comments first, an extension of what I already said about the DP3M here:


- DP3M - LCD - it's ok, it's better than the previous DP series. I wouldn't call it great.

- AF at night - it's not fast but it's not horribly slow. Most importantly, surprisingly so, it was able to lock focus in many situations I remember would have given my DP2 a nightmare..

I still wished Sigma kept the physical manual focus dial.

SPP 5.5.1 (latest, Mac OS/X version)

OMG.  Seriously Sigma, you need to get your team locked up in a room for a month and iron the most common bugs which are btw laughably easy to get.  The fact this program was bundled and expected to be used in a professional environment with the original SD1 is a complete utter joke- or better yet an insult- to professionals that, such camera system was attempted to be sold to.

The program has so many bugs and like half of them are pretty fatal. Crashes, hangs, lack of updating proper settings, - you name it-.  In just under two minutes I am bumping against at least one to usually several of these things.  I have to often set settings on a photo, quit, re-launch the program to continue working.

This is useless in a professional environment where you need to get work done and time is of essence.

And it's not the feature set/UI that are really bad here- those are actually pretty decent. It's just general program stability (again, Mac OS/X version, haven't tried the PC version but from previous experiences, it's probably ball park similar).

Color in mixed light in high ISO situations

Pretty bad to the point of virtually no go in mixed light at night.  ISO 1600, 3200, 6400.  In the environment I was shooting, literally the Pentax Q does better color (yes, the Q).  The Fuji X-E1 is a completely different galaxy (several hundred hears better) in this area.

But I wasn't expecting miracles. I suppose ISO 1600 may be doable depending on the light. It all boils down again to how the light is, and Foveon having much more noise when red kicks in.

B&W mode (mixed light/high iso situations) - The Good News

The good news is that the new B&W mode does allow for good photographs well above what color would allow. I find ISO 1600 quite fine for the most part, ISO 3200 completely doable and ISO 6400 relatively doable at least binned (exported at half size) and full size in some situations.

Bandind starts to show up and how bad or intrusive it will be will vary per subject and light situation but at ISO 1600 seems virtually a non issue, ISO 3200 a tiny bit, ISO 6400 something to watch for. Latest SPP's here have definitively improved on this situation.

Using the "blue" filtering does give you like one additional stop or so to manage B&W but again, you are applying a full pass blue filter on the entire image- many images seem still quite workable this way while others may change.  Just make sure when you do it, you pay attention to what it will do to the colors in B&W and see if you still like the result or works for what you wanted.

(i.e. do not do it in one-pass automatic)

Here's ISO 1600 in color and then in B&W

It has many issues in color here and this is resized down... but B&W...

I find B&W for the most part quite fine in the same situation...

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Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- I photograph black cats in coal mines at night...
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” - George Orwell

Fujifilm X-E1 Sigma DP2 Sigma SD1
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