Sigma DP2m...Some questions I need answers to.

Discussion in 'Sigma' started by Ghosthunter, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. OK.....The Sigma DP2m.

    This (and the earlier variations) is a camera that has intrigued me for a long long time but I have never bought one. They just always seemed way too expensive for a single focal length compact and I never 'got' the whole Foveon thing until the DP2m came out and I took more notice. I have downloaded a fair few image examples to play with and I must say I have never had more enjoyment in processing an image as I have had with the DP2m files!!

    The thing that get's me so much is the amount of detail in the images (here as an example) and how sharp they are plus the processing which is something I LOVE to do. Now I understand the way this camera works and how it will probably be used i.e. slow and steady for those times when I can take time to take an image rather than grab one, I'm wondering the following:

    I usually reduce my images to 2048 Pixels for Flickr so is it a waist having so much detail? Does the overall detail come out in the images even when reduced to 2048pixels? It does seem to from the images I have seen on Flickr. I'm just really trying to see if the high price and drawbacks (I do see a few!) of the camera are worth it. I guess only I can know that for sure. I have a Nikon D700 which although full frame is only 12MPx so the image is great to a point but the DP2m just goes so much further! The D700 will be going as I'm not impressed with it....or rather it's not for me!!

    I have seen on the net that it's suggested to shoot RAW and use the supplies software which I'd be quite happy with. I have seen a few reviews that say the JPG's are pretty good. Would you still use RAW? Also does lightroom 4 support the RAW files yet? And if it does is it any good?

    Is the Macro any good?

    Any advice different from what has been written on this forum would be helpful. I guess I'm kinda asking how you 'feel' about this camera. The images produced by others blow my tiny mind so this could be a truly great camera with the added bonus of files that I can enjoy processing.

  2. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    How different do you want the advice? I'll have a go ...

    Andy, almost anything over about 3mp is a "waste" for web use.

    However "good" the jpegs, or however "good" the raw or however "good" LR4 support is, I expect no-one will notice much difference at 2048*2048 unless they're insane pixel-peepers.

    You know all this already! You work in the business!

    If you want one, buy it because you want it. Don't "justify" it in terms of something called IQ. Then if you don't like it, sell it. Or give it to me.

    What will matter is what you feel when you pick it up and start using it. No-one else's opinion will matter at that point, and if I had one and told you I loved it, it wouldn't make a ha'pence worth of difference if you didn't like it.

    You want macro? Buy a 60mm EF-S or whatever.

    (you know all this! you work in the business!)
  3. Thanks for the reply. I do know the answers to most of my questions I guess but there are differences in how cameras render images and every make of camera has it's own look and feel. I'm a terrible pixel peeper and the DP would satisfy this terrible syndrome which I have tried very hard to beat.....but it has beaten me!! :biggrin: Looking at files that contain so much detail does make them look very crisp and sharp to me and it does satisfy me that 1: they are a joy to process and 2: the end result will please me. The DP2m 'does' clouds like no other camera I have come across except Full frame!

    This camera would probably only be used where I can go to take images using a tri/monopod and where I have time to 'do it properly' and I'll use the other cameras for everything else. As you say the only way to know is to play with one out away from the shop. I'll have to see if I can blag one for a day!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I thought I might have gone in with the Ajax a bit hard but glad you liked it.

    What bugs me is that the DPxM cameras seem to be gathering an almost mythical aura around them.

    They're small light compact, slightly expensive digital cameras.

    They don't need tripods or monopods any more than any other cameras.
  5. Hey! No probs, I would rather someone was honest even to tell me to stop being so stupid etc LOL.

    I'll borrow one from work and see how I get on, It may be bloomin orrible but there's only one way to find out! :smile:
  6. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Andy, it's rained almost every day since I got mine back in December, so I hope you pick a dry day to have a test run. In other words I've little experience to offer as yet, virtually all the few shots I've taken have been tripod mounted. However I've made a small grip using the handle part of an old flash bracket with a quick release platform on it and hope to do some hand held shots when the weather plays ball. Whilst today was dry and even sunny the highest wind gust recorded locally was 63mph so again testing was put on hold!

    I've done a very small number of hand held shots at 400 iso, there are those that say colour fringing or whatever begins to occur at that sort of rating. I have slightly deficient colour vision and struggle to see such problems, but then I'm more interested in converting to black and white, so that probably won't concern me. I'm hoping to use it in a couple of weeks on moving targets, namely a local preservation railway, pre focusing in manual and using an ovf to judge composition which should avoid the updating delay of an evf that has given me some small problems in the past.

    Even then it will be a case of picking the moment, as you say not a camera for machine gunning your subject. I look forward to hearing about your experiences. It's probably a camera that you either love, or hate. I'm hoping for me that it will be the former.

  7. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    PS, I think that shooting raw is the way to go with the sigma, in which case you're stuck with the sigma photo pro software for your initial conversion. I've been doing basic raw processing with spp and then saving as a 16 bit tiff for further processing with a photo editor of choice.

    The camera is not a macro capable camera, although I'm given to understand it can do good "close up" work, I've got a 5T Nikon supplementary lens and a 49/62 stepping ring which I hope to try, but not in 63mph wind gusts :frown:

  8. Thanks Barrie

    I'm glad it's not just us that's getting strong winds!! Let's hope for a decent long hot summer!!!!

    I'll deff borrow one hopefully Friday night so I can use it during the day Sat and return it Sunday when I'm back at work. The Jpg's will give me enough of an idea of what to expect and even if the weather is poop i can still take tripod shots in doors. One way or another I'll be able to put this baby to bed either by a purchase or by saying no once and for all.

    One thing that I like is the black and white images that I have seen on the net. With great sharp detail comes great looking mono images. I'll return with my opinion.
  9. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Indeed. I can vouch for the fact that I have spent the majority of my photographic life shooting ISO 100-200 at apertures often smaller than f/5.6 and rarely feeling that I needed a tripod.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Hi

    I am a new member here...

    I have been using the dp Merrill cameras for about 4-5 months now. Though I use the jpg+raw, the jpgs are to figure out which raw files need to be processed. I personally feel that the sigma jpg engine may be the worst I have seen on a recent camera.. I would not judge the finally iq based on jpg. The raw converter noise reduction i feel is pretty heavy handed in its default settings. Sometimes using -1 or -2 works out better.

  11. Forgot to mention, my preferred photo editor is aperture.. The files that u c in the thread I posted are nothing more than test shots to show different aspects of what the dp2m can do. They were raw to tiff16 conversions and during upload process from aperture converted to jpg w/ max 2048 dimension.. So far none of the major players supports foveon raw, not worth their time considering the number of owners. Sigma raw can be set to three different sizes, small, medium, and large. Large will give u a file of around 46mb, medium is 7.1mb and small is around 3mb. My default setting uses medium raw+jpg (custom 1) and the other custom settings use large+jpg.

  12. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I have nothing to add but to say I've always wanted one of these Sigmas too. I just like that it doesn't try to be everything, it just does what it does very well.
  13. krugorg

    krugorg All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Hey, Andy. I would suggest that you download some of the raw files (let me know if you don't have any luck and I will try to find the raws I used), download the Sigma photo software, and have a go with working with the files. I think it will give you a good feel for the detail in the files, expose you to the horror that is Sigma Photo Pro, and also how you need to deal with banding, etc., especially if you are doing some PP, like with Nik.
  14. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Nik, that comment in some respects points to the different light levels you have available to you compared to some of us in the UK. Here I've experienced some of the most dull light levels I can ever remember in the last few weeks, I've taken to calling them 0.25/8/100 days (translates as speed/f stop/iso), and that's in the middle of the day, no hand holding there :smile:. A little bit of sun makes a significant difference.

  15. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

  16. Thanks everyone.

    I tried to download the SIGMA Photo Pro 5.4.1 software but it just goes to Error 404 cant find page!! :frown: Anyone got any ideas?
  17. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    But it also marks a difference in expectation and personal practice.

    My E-P2 is set almost permanently at ISO160 and I'm rating most of my film at ISO100 or 250. I leave my DP2s at 100 or 200

    Every single shot I take is handheld - and I take a lot of photographs in poor light (it's been no lighter up here in Dorset than down in Devon :rolleyes:)

    The DP series cameras are no more difficult or demanding in themselves than any other camera .
  18. Thanks for the link. Amazing image detail but all lost when saving at 2048 pixels as I do although the images looks very sharp with still lots of detail for the size of image.

    One thing I did notice with these images is the amount of specks of dirt on the sensor! This has been a bit of a problem with a few users!
  19. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Andy, isn't it the case for all cameras, as soon as you downsize a whole image to post on the web you lose some of the quality, which is why I think it's something of a lost cause to illustrate how good a certain camera or lens is by posting web sized whole images. The only real way to judge is to be able to see full sized prints or of course crops from a whole image.