The BIGGEST problem with my DP2M....

Started Apr 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
richard stone Senior Member • Posts: 2,708
Re: The BIGGEST problem with my DP2M....

DMillier wrote:


Let's accept for sake of this discussion that there is a visible difference between Foveon or Bayer.

In your mind, is this difference caused by Foveon breakthrough technology or a flaw in the Bayer method? In other words, do you think there is something new and wonderful about Foveon technology or do you think Bayer is just broken?

There is a distinct difference is tone about these options to me - one is saying that what is special about Foveon is that it is not Bayer, the other is saying that Foveon is actually special in its own right, it is doing something no other technology can offer.

There are some rather obvious ways to test this:

1. B&W only

Compare the B&W output from Foveon to the output of the Leica Monochrome. Neither use CFA arrays or AA filters, so the only differences under discussion are plain ordinary CCD vs 3 layer Foveon

2. Colour

Compare Foveon to scanned film. Does the famous Foveon detail, sharpness, micro contrast, 3D look and any other magical property assigned to the technology stand out in a comparison with film?

If we conclude (for instance) at the end of this that Foveon has no obvious stand out qualities compared to film or to a monochrome CCD, then I think it would be reasonable to conclude that the the problem Foveon technology is dealing with is overcoming flaws in the Bayer process that make Bayer images worse than other techniques (such as film, 3 CCD designs or exposing a mono sensor multiple times through filters and combining the results).

To me, if we had this result, the tone of the praise heaped on Foveon output ought to change. Instead of eulogising Foveon itself, we should be criticising Bayer flaws and we should regard Foveon as one possible solution to those problems.  We should also be motivated by any other alternative process that overcomes Bayer flaws as we have a mutual self interest as photographers. Foveon might not be the only alternative. We could also rename the Forum to the Anti-Bayer forum!

If we conclude something different, that Foveon adds something to the party rather than merely overcoming Bayer weaknesses, we have a whole different ballgame and a whole new arena for exploration....


richard stone wrote:

Meanwhile, I am firmly convinced that some people simply cannot (or is it will not?) "see" any difference between Bayer images and those taken with a Foveon sensor, and I think they are mostly blind, but still, and indeed in part because they cannot see the difference, more to be pitied than scorned. No amount of arguing, no amount of well produced sample images, will convince them to open their eyes or their minds.


To begin, I would refer to a post from above, in which you suggest that even if Lin is right (in his comparison of a Nikon image and a DPxM image...) you do not accept the results because it does not look right to you. That was sort of my point.

Second, I do not think there is any hope of convincing the "critics" and I would not make the attempt. The critics have their own reasons for saying what they say, and they clearly "see" what they want to see. This falls into the category of trying to argue people out of opinions that they were not argued into.

Third, to address your point more directly, no, I do not think that more tests are necessary, because there have already been plenty of "tests" done by experts and they pretty much all reached the same result. DP Review, as I read the report, generally concluded that the DP2M was at least equal to and probably better than the D800 in lower ISO images. Michael Reichman and Quentin Bargate and others have essentially concluded the same thing, and noted as well that the DP2M images had a certain unique look, one that they liked. Third, I would propose that another real "test" is is one that Lin Evans personally did and reported, long ago, in which he had (as I recall) art directors choose, among comparable and similar images, the images they liked the best, and the Sigma images were more likely to be chosen.

As a secondary part to this, the problem is that unless one is very careful, it is extremely difficult to not "see" what we want to see, and that includes making trivial things important. You are very sensitive to artifacts and halos. Not everyone is. Some people are so sensitive to purple blotches that it ruins everything for them. Similarly, if I can be permitted to (continue to) generalize, some people and their images simply have no need for the probable benefits of the Foveon sensor. That is, many images are simply not based on the detail that such a sensor provides. Who needs such detail in sport pictures, unless the image somehow benefits from that? Maybe in the scheme of the purpose of the images, it is more important to simply get the shot, and it is very dark? Use the D800, etc.

So no, at this stage I do not think that another test is needed. Only a troll would argue, or even suggest, that the DP2M is somehow not a superb camera. (Now, my view on this includes a conclusion that Sigma, as the maker of that camera, gets some serious credit too.) Thus, we could have a discussion about whether the DP2M was an ideal tool for all uses but really, even in that discussion, the idea is that talented people, and desperate ones too, find a way to use cameras well in unusual circumstances.

Also, as noted in this thread and others, the point is as well that many users report they enjoy using the camera and they enjoy seeing the images from it. Isn't that what this is all about? Trying to tell someone that they should not enjoy their gear is just bizarre. What purpose is served by arguing with someone who says his DP2M image is sharper than from (for example) his Nikon 7000? Who cares either way? In that discussion there is the distinct possibility that the DP2M really is better. And again, this is a "gear" forum, so laments about images not being artistic or the users having no talent are kind of pointless.


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