What to choose

Discussion in 'Sigma' started by TinybyNature, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. TinybyNature

    TinybyNature New Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Hello all :)

    I am new here and am a few days away from deciding on a Sigma Merrill camera. I have been reading experiences both in this forum and a number of others, as well as going through all the amazing images these cameras are capable of.

    I can only afford at this point to pick up one of these cameras. If it was not for the hard choice between the DP2M and the DP3M, I could already own one of these cameras.

    For the most part, my shooting up to this point has been nature, mixed in with some architecture and landscape. I enjoy doing floral closeups and closeups of just about anything else interesting. Up till now I have not done any real portrait photography, other than with my own family and kids. However, it is something I would like to expand, including street portraits.

    My current gear:

    Canon 40d with 50mm macro lens (1/2 life size)
    Pentax K-01 with 40mm pancake lens

    One of the things I have read about the DP3M is that because of the 75mm efov, it introduces a lot of camera shake, when compared to the DP2M. The 50mm macro on my Canon has no IS and I have not noticed any trouble with shake at that focal length, even when using the live view shooting macro. Is there something about the 50mm macro on the Sigma that makes camera shake worse, or are earlier comments that I have read more due to user error?

    I have also read that the DP3M is the sharpest of the two and has better colour rendering, is this true? Was this a hardware / sensor change in the new model?

    Based on the style of shooting I do most often, I am leaning towards the DP3M. However the DP2M with the close up filter would also give me a wider focal length for landscape and allow me to even try out some street photography.

    I really want one of these cameras and I may just have to have the sales guy hold them behind his back and pick an arm. Maybe down the road, I will be able to afford to get the second one. :)

    Any suggestions would be great!

  2. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    My thoughts are, stick with the equiv. focal length, you are most use to and comfortable with. Everything else will work it's self out. Your current gear is in my thoughts, very good for your chosen field of photography. Mine are very similar. And I find that the 50-75mm (35mm equiv). in fixed FL works pretty good for most of my needs. But, I sometimes wish for a bit wider.
  3. ivoire

    ivoire All-Pro

    Dec 3, 2011
    chicago burbs
    If you plan on getting 2 Sigmas the go for the DP1M and DP3M. The DPM2 is the compromise for 1 Sigma camera ownership. All of these deliver excellent image quality. If you plan on doing stitching and macro, get the DP3M
  4. If you get the DP2m then can I suggest you getting the AML-2 close up filter. This will really help with close up work on flowers and general macro.

    I found that I preferred the focal length of the DP1m so sold the DP2m. The AML-2 still works quite well on the DP1m!! They are amazing cameras!!!!!!

    Here is the AML-2 in action!!
    Long way down by andywest1, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    the DP3M is more succeptible to camera shake because it is a longer focal length. And because the Sigmas need to be used as close to base ISO as possible to get good results, you can't just crank it up to ISO 3200 to get a faster shutter speed like you would be able to on either the Pentax or Canon. Despite the fact that you have your 40-50 range crowded already, I' cast my vote for the DP2M. Then I'd sell off the Canon or the Pentax (whichever is your least favorite, and put that money toward a lens for whatever you decide to keep. Then you'll have a better variety of focal lengths.

    Just my 2 cents.
  6. RoyUK

    RoyUK Regular

    Jul 30, 2013
    Blackpool UK
    I enjoy photographing in wilderness and mountainous areas and I also like to be able to take the occasional 'macro' shot.

    For me, the DP3 works well closeup and is often, though not always, the ideal choice for stitched panoramas.

    I feel that the DP2 is often unfairly regarded as a sort of compromise. In fact, I've found it a good choice for general landscape use - but that's because it suits what I like to shoot. If I need a wider angle I mount it vertically on a DIY panorama bracket and shoot three overlapping shots. This gives me an equivalent of about 33mm and of course, I can go wider by taking more shots. For landscape I always use a tripod (a Gitzo Traveller) and the same goes for shooting close when camera movement can become a problem.

    I've found that Raynox Macro lenses (150 and 250) work well on the DP2. They have a 43mm thread and fit via a step-up ring to the DP2's 49mm.

    The results from this unholy alliance may not be quite in the same league as the DP3 but I'm constantly surprised at just how well this little rig works.

    That's why if I have to choose just one of my DPs when travelling light, I often find myself going for the DP2.

    My DP1 is the Cinderella in the kit bag - great for street use but for me, a bit too wide for single shot landscape and a problematic choice for stitching when I need to shoot in panorama mode.
  7. biglouis

    biglouis Veteran

    Aug 4, 2013

    My advice based on experience is that should really start with the DP2M. It is the best all round camera in the range. I consider it to be the same as my Hasselblad 500CM and 80/2.8 medium format kit (although it is fairer to say it is closer to a H4D).

    Sure, it is not a wide angle but then you can always take a few steps back. And it is not a telephoto but you can crop to 100% and your pictures will be pin sharp.

    I also own the DP3M and in comparison although it is optically a fine camera in my opinion the focussing is a slow and poor. If it was your introduction to 'Merrill' photography you'd quickly conclude it was far too quirky to be used seriously, whereas although the DP2M is still a quirky camera you will be astonished with each photograph you process.

    Just my two cents.

  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    I can't weigh in on the camera choices because I've never used a DP, however I have always lusted after the image quality of these cameras and color...when used by someone who knows their stuff.

    Andy, that is one heck of a spectacular image - look at that little snail, the amazing flower, the colors...the background!?! :bravo-009:
  9. TinybyNature

    TinybyNature New Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Thank you everyone for all the great suggestions!! :)

    I am leaning now towards the DP2M and using a close up filter for doing any macro work. The wider focal length, will open up more opportunity for different styles of photography.

  10. Dan Vang

    Dan Vang Rookie

    Sep 11, 2013
    Little Falls, MN
    Does the dp1 Merrill take the sdxc cards or only sdhc? And is there a max size to the card it can take. ie 32gb or 64gb. If that makes any sense.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using SeriousCompacts mobile app
  11. Gosh! Thanks BB :cloud-9-039:
  12. I use 32gb SDHC Extreme Pro cards in mine and it still takes 14 seconds to process each shot. I don't think you would see much improvement with SDXC if they can take them which I think they can.