Question for Sigma DP Merrill users

Discussion in 'Sigma' started by Jock Elliott, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Is the proprietary processing software really as slow, balky, and disruptive as some reviewers say?

    Are there any alternatives?

    Cheers, Jock
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    yes, the software is awful. My system is slightly underpowered, but I can still use Photoshop without a hiccup. Adjusting sliders in Sigma Photo can result in a 5 second wait (or more) for your adjustments to be visible.

    There are no alternatives of which I am aware.

    Having said all that, I am still in the market for a DP3M as soon as my budget allows. If you can be patient and can live with all of the other limitations, there is no other camera that can do what the Sigma does.

    Whether it would be a good match for you and how you use your camera is a totally different question.
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  3. Boid

    Boid All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    I heard/read all the horror stories associated with Sigma's processing software before I bought a DP3M. Yes it is slow, ponderous and increases your workflow quite a bit.

    You have to save the raw files as a 16 bit tiff and then work on it again in LR. I have a pretty fast computer and load my sigma files from a SSD.

    For me it takes maybe 2-3 seconds to open each file. the software shows a full screen preview immediately and then takes some time to open an editable version of the file. And then if you want to see the image full size, it takes an additional 2-3 seconds.

    On a slower computer the wait time might be completely unacceptable. It's definitely clunky.

    But for me, the images I'm getting out of it are like nothing I've seen (I also shoot with a Nikon D800e, so am quite used to working on files which carry a lot of detail. But the Sigma throws up similar files, albeit with lesser resolution, but in astounding color). It's almost a shame one has to save the images in sRGB for the web.

    About the processing itself, I actually love the sliders in the software. You can really push the file around and the sliders keep everything in check. There are very few tools to work with in the software, but the stuff that is in there, is among the best I've used. I might be the only person on the planet who actually kind of enjoys using the software. The results are so good that it keeps me interested.
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  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    a bit of a masochist streak, Rajiv?

    I joke, but I also have suffered through the pain for the beauty of these files. The end results are beautiful, but until you've actually worked on a file yourself, it's hard to understand. I think you can download the software for free. Then just look for some sample RAW files to download and have a play yourself. I may have a few sitting around on my hard drive, too.
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  5. ivoire

    ivoire All-Pro

    Dec 3, 2011
    chicago burbs
    I experience a 3 second wait adjusting the sliders and the initial load time for a days shoot is longer than i like. You can batch process the images which allows you to walk away for coffee while waiting. If you are satisfied with the image after processing in Photo Pro you can save as a tif or jpg. I usually save as a tif and then make slight adjustments in CS6. I'm using a pc with i7 processor and 12gb ram. There is no other windows based program that will process the raw files. Even with the software and camera quirks, my DP2M will be around for a long time
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  6. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    I did not find it as bad as i was led to believe. More than happy with it. I'm running it on a four year old iMac 3.2 GHz i3 with 8 gig of ram.
    Imo the results are worth a little wait.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    I don't own one but have borrowed my brother's DP2M and will hopefully get one of my own at some point.

    Yes, the software is slow and cumbersome. If I get one I will likely get into the habit of shooting a grey card to start each important shot. I can then just use the software to batch export tiff and then do all editing in Lightroom.

    My coffee consumption will likely increase.
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  8. Boid

    Boid All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
  9. biglouis

    biglouis Veteran

    Aug 4, 2013
    Yes, it is slow. Much faster than film development and scanning and sometimes in life you have to wait a little longer for something really good.

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  10. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    I haven't tried the batch processing option. I have been processing each file individually since I find the X3F fill light slider is quite useful -- and it seems to be the only slider where the reaction is instant. I haven't compared that function to the highlight/shadow sliders in LR though. It is undoubtedly a very slow piece of software. I especially don't like the double progress bar display when you save files. That's just pure bad UI design.
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  11. nippa

    nippa Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    I actually like the software but it is slow and needs a reasonable computer.
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  12. juliandecourcy

    juliandecourcy Veteran

    Apr 16, 2013
    I tried the Helicon pc software which does read the Raw X3F files from Merrill and the Quattro. There is a 30 day trial period. But having said that I un installed after an hour or so as the interface I found to be wanting. Also the output was nowhere near the output of SSP along with a very limited manipulation of the files. But it is there for anyone to try.
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