Camera store review of dp Merrill
Old 12-22-2012   #1
GaryLH
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Camera store review of dp Merrill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3VjyHQiqdE

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Old 12-22-2012   #2
Jamie Pillers
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Gary, thanks for posting the link. I enjoyed the video a lot. Working with the Merrill cameras appears to be a lot like working with a medium format film camera... slowing the process down to a pleasurable speed. I like making images of scenes rather than action, so these cameras might suit quite well. I can even see using them with a monopod for street photography... although very deliberate street photography. :-)
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Old 12-22-2012   #3
GaryLH
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I actually use mine up to 200 for color (auto-iso to 200). For b&w I go to 400., 800 is ok. I tend to shoot everything in raw+jpg. Convert the best from raw to tiff16. Then do my b&w conversions in aperture.

Autofocus is about x100 before the last firmware update. Jpgs are horrible even at low iso.

If I happen to have my Merrill and we bump into each other in east bay, your welcome to play with it.

Sigma noise algo is horribly heavy handed... I tend to turn it to -2 in sigma raw sw processor. There are times when I do this that 400 iso is very usable even in color.. A lot expends on the type of shot.

Gary

Ps. This camera made me go back and remember all the tricks I used for shooting panotomic x , let alone plus-x.
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Old 12-22-2012   #4
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How do you like using the Sigma raw conversion software? I assume you do something like shown on the video... use the Sigma software to convert the RAW to TIFF and then do all your normal processing in Aperture? (I love Aperture and wouldn't want to move too far away from it.)
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Old 12-22-2012   #5
Jamie Pillers
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By the way, the reason these cameras seem so intriguing is precisely because they are slow to use, and yet produce medium format quality images. Seems perfect for 'scene' photography.
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Old 12-22-2012   #6
GaryLH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
How do you like using the Sigma raw conversion software? I assume you do something like shown on the video... use the Sigma software to convert the RAW to TIFF and then do all your normal processing in Aperture? (I love Aperture and wouldn't want to move too far away from it.)
The best I can say about it is that it is usable for my purpose --> convert to tiff 16 format. Better to use LR or aperture for your real work.

My work flow is import all the jpgs in aperture. Aperture does not even recognize the sigma raw files, but it will usually notice that the are other files to download and will ask u where these other files should go.

Rate the pictures in aperture and do some canned processing to c which ones will go thru the raw to tiff conversion.

After tiff conversion, then import the new tiff file.

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Old 12-22-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
By the way, the reason these cameras seem so intriguing is precisely because they are slow to use, and yet produce medium format quality images. Seems perfect for 'scene' photography.
U can use it like any other camera just like when u were shooting plus x.. Think of it as a bright sunny day camera. Manual focusing is by focusing ring and will automatically bring up mag view.

A tripod will give u the ultimate sharpness at low iso, but I find in bright sun light hand holding is just fine w/ higher shutter speeds. For me that is 1/125th at least. I think of it as my sunny day camera.. Use xp1 if u need low light

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Old 12-22-2012   #8
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Thanks, Gary. I'm definitely considering these cameras. I'm in the process of selling off my Nikon DSLR gear. When that happens... hmmm. :-)
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Old 12-22-2012   #9
Samouraļ
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Entertaining video review. But can anyone explain to me why you can't shoot anything but still life with these cameras?

I'm used to Tri-X with an M3 and a Summicron DR, and the most trouble I've had with light has been in the dimly-lit Hemingway Bar in Paris, with a 1/30 to 1/15 shutter speed, drunk, and getting middling sharpness to evocatively smeary. And this is without pushing the stock.

So I'm losing a stop of light on the lens, but I am guessing that 400asa is usable, and perhaps 800 with intentions of converting to BW. I won't be able to say for certain until I have one in my hands, but this seems more exciting than being given an easy button. The camera has some seriously challenging quirks, but why is everyone acting as though they are insurmountable? Or more to the point: why is this camera not usable for daytime street photography?
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Old 12-22-2012   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samouraļ View Post
Entertaining video review. But can anyone explain to me why you can't shoot anything but still life with these cameras?

I'm used to Tri-X with an M3 and a Summicron DR, and the most trouble I've had with light has been in the dimly-lit Hemingway Bar in Paris, with a 1/30 to 1/15 shutter speed, drunk, and getting middling sharpness to evocatively smeary. And this is without pushing the stock.

So I'm losing a stop of light on the lens, but I am guessing that 400asa is usable, and perhaps 800 with intentions of converting to BW. I won't be able to say for certain until I have one in my hands, but this seems more exciting than being given an easy button. The camera has some seriously challenging quirks, but why is everyone acting as though they are insurmountable? Or more to the point: why is this camera not usable for daytime street photography?
Of course u can take more than still life, lol. But for the most part, I feel a lot of people, including myself have been spoiled by modern digital cameras w/ fast af and high iso and dynamic range performance. I have taken all kinds of pictures w/ this camera, but since my normal photography needs does not normally require fast af anyway, I would not be the one to push this cameras boundaries. When I first started taking pictures it was all panotomic x and plus x, these included candids.. It was not until I started using this camera that I started to remember all the techniques from the old days I have not used in quite a long time.

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Old 12-22-2012   #11
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I think the problem with hitting 400 and above is that the Merrill(s) are so shockingly great below that.
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Old 12-22-2012   #12
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Te only downside to owning a Merrill, u will make disk drive vendors very happy...

45+mb raw files and 86mb tiff 16 ..

Gary
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Old 12-22-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burancap View Post
I think the problem with hitting 400 and above is that the Merrill(s) are so shockingly great below that.
Yeh... U get spoiled by the quality of the iso 100 and 200 shots.

Gary
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Old 12-22-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
By the way, the reason these cameras seem so intriguing is precisely because they are slow to use, and yet produce medium format quality images. Seems perfect for 'scene' photography.
They aren't that slow to use... I've used them on the street. Sure, you miss some, but not everything. About like the Fuji X100 pre-firmware like GaryLH.
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Old 12-22-2012   #15
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Quote:
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Te only downside to owning a Merrill, u will make disk drive vendors very happy...

45+mb raw files and 86mb tiff 16 ..

Gary
Yes... this is becoming a bigger and bigger issue as digi-camera sensors keep growing. Right now I'm downloading 5Mb jpeg's from the X-Pro1. So Merrill RAW files are going to be 9 times as big. I wonder if the image quality is nine times better?

Do any of you have both a Merrill camera AND a Fuji X-Pro1 or X-E1? I'm wondering if you see a significant gain in image quality with the Sigmas.
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Old 12-22-2012   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post

Do any of you have both a Merrill camera AND a Fuji X-Pro1 or X-E1? I'm wondering if you see a significant gain in image quality with the Sigmas.
Yes, I have the X-Pro1 and the Sigma DP2m. Well, image quality has many factors right? The Sigma's lens is certainly sharper at all apertures (than any fuji lens) and has better resolution in large prints (20x30"), but overall I prefer the X-Pro1 due to it being more comfortable to use, more versatile (fast lenses, high ISO, etc.), and the fact that I don't have to do a two step PP process (converting to tiff). I would say to buy the DP2m as your second camera if you are into high ISO and having a VF built in. However, if you are usually a film user, or want the best resolution / lens combo in this price range, then the DP2m might be your thing. I printed 20x30" prints from the M8, M9 and DP2m and the Sigma was noticeably "better" than both. It just did not show any sign of any compromises at this size.
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Old 12-22-2012   #17
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Lol.. I decided to challenge myself next year by using the dp1 & 2 as my main camera and either the x100 or rx100 as the backup camera. Lets c how long that will last

Overall iq of the images coming of the Merrill's are much better than xp1 so long as u stay within its limits. Past it's limits, no contest, xp1 wins.

Dp2m's 30f2.8 is better across the lens from center to corner than the 19mm on the dp1m. Check out my first impression post. It has sample from both cameras.

http://www.fujirumors.com/rumor-upda...nd-new-sensor/
From post 20 the dp2m and from 59 the dp1m, test shot of wall with 100% crop of various portions of the picture.

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Old 12-22-2012   #18
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Gary, I would say the IQ thing depends on what you want. Some may think the Sigma is too much resolution if they aren't used to it.
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Old 12-22-2012   #19
GaryLH
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Gary, I would say the IQ thing depends on what you want. Some may think the Sigma is too much resolution if they aren't used to it.
Point taken, had not thought about iq in that manner.

Gary
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Old 12-22-2012   #20
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I'm surprised to be impressed with the pictures they took.
Not just the details, but the compositions also.

100 ISO only is just fine by me and I shoot 4x5 also, so I totally get the Large-format references the dude made.

I'm going to start trash-talking this camera.
So one day for $100 I can buy one from a disappointed owner
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