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Author Topic: Will the DP 1/2/3 merrill resolve more detail than my Canon 6D + TS-E 24 II?  (Read 5584 times)
powerslave12r
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« on: July 22, 2013, 12:20:19 AM »
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I have searched around for a comparison but havent found any direct ones.

I am afraid I'm falling in love withe the merrill trio. I was wondering mainly about two things:

1. Does the DpxM sensor offer better DR than the 6D at base ISO?
2. Does the DPxM sensor resolve more detail than the 6D coupled with the monster TS-E 24 II?

Thank you Smiley
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 02:37:41 AM »
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I have searched around for a comparison but havent found any direct ones.

Hi,

Well, that's a strange comparison to ask for..., especially for a first post on LuLa.

The handling of those cameras alone is so vastly different that it makes hardly any sense to compare them on image quality. If you can't make the shot to begin with, you can't compare.

Quote
I am afraid I'm falling in love withe the merrill trio. I was wondering mainly about two things:

1. Does the DpxM sensor offer better DR than the 6D at base ISO?

For an objective answer to that question one should look at a site like DxOMark.com, but they have no in depth technical test for the DP3 Merrill. The EOS-6D looks good enough for most purposes with some 11.4 stops DR on sensor (12.1 on equivalent print size).

Quote
2. Does the DPxM sensor resolve more detail than the 6D coupled with the monster TS-E 24 II?

I doubt it makes much of a difference, since you are comparing a camera with an AA-filter with a camera without one. Then the slightly higher number of sensels (5568 vs 4800 horizontally, or 16% more) for the EOS-6D isn't going to make a world of difference. Of course the TS-E 24mm II is hard to beat in that FOV range, and it can achieve focus and perspective effects that only such a lens design could.

I think it's not an either/or choice, but rather would you want to spend the additional money to have both for different types of use...

The Merrill should be fun for light travel, but has it's quirks e.g. with regards to higher ISO and sometimes color. The Canon is a system camera with lots of possible accessories for specific uses. Hard to compare ...

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 08:08:38 AM by BartvanderWolf » Logged
powerslave12r
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 07:38:06 AM »
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Hi,

Well, that's a strange comparison to ask for..., especially for a first post on LuLa.

Hi Bart, would you agree that's better than asking something that's already been answered somewhere? Wink I have been a long time lurker here but never signed up until now because I usually find what I need.

Quote

The handling of those cameras alone is so vastly different that it makes hardly any sense to compare them on image quality. If you can't make the shot to begin with, you can't compare.
I understand that they are two completely different systems and that is why I narrowed it down to the factors that are the most important to me as mainly a landscape photographer

Quote
For an objective answer to that question one should look at a site like DxOMark.com, but they have no in depth technical test for the DP3 Merrill. The EOS-6D looks good enough for most purposes with some 11.4 stops DR on sensor (12.1 on equivalent print size).

Yes, I searched on DxOMark and came up with nothing. I suspect they don't have much data on Foveon sensors due to their testing methodologies being suited for Bayer filter based sensors. Most of the data on these cameras is anecdotal and that's what prompted me to make a post here.

Quote
I doubt it makes much of a difference, since you are comparing a camera with an AA-filter with a camera without one. Then the slightly higher number of sensels (5568 vs 4800 horizontally, or 16% more) for the EOS-6D isn't going to make a world of difference. Of course the TS-E 24mm II is hard to beat in that FOV range, and it can achieve focus and perspective effects that only such a lens design could.

Of course you are correct. The motivation behind my question is that I'm seriously GASsing for a DP1m or DP2m (haven't made up my mind yet) and I want to know what I'm paying for apart from the magical process of making an exposure and ridiculous resolution of detail and dare I say it, that 'magical' mysterious quality in the images.

I want to know if there's indeed some thing that I am going to gain from the DPxM cameras that I don't already get from my 6D + TS-E 24 II. I love that combination and do not plan on getting rid of it.

I'm not very worried about the FOV because I'm comfortable with stitching.

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I think it's not an either/or choice, but rather would you want to spend the additional money to have both for different types of use...
Absolutely and that's exactly why I narrowed it down to the two factors that would affect my decision. If I do not gain a lot over the system I already have, I would have a hard time spending $800 and justifying the purchase.

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The Merrill should be fun for light travel, but has it's quirks e.g. with regards to higher ISO and sometimes color. The Canon is a system camera with lots of possible accessories for specific uses. Hard to compare ...

Absolutely. I have downloaded a lot of X3F files from a website (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_sigma_dp1_3.php) and have been playing around in SPP and also SPP -> export as TIFF to LR.

So far I have not been able to make up my mind. The files do contain a lot of information and pushing shadows and pulling highlights does seem to work great, but from my non-scientific comparisons, I don't see much being offered over the kit I currently use.

But there is something 'magical' when I look at the overall image. I just want to know if that's my rose-tinted glasses powered by GAS/gear lust or there actually is a 'look' that these cameras have that's unique to these cameras.

I was hoping if someone knew of any resources that compare photos from these cameras (or any Canon full frame + TS-E 24 II) could point me in that direction.

Quote
Cheers,
Bart
Thank you Smiley

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Smiley

PS: Hello Luminous Landscape! Thank you for your great reviews/resources and stunning images over the years!
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2013, 08:23:53 AM »
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But there is something 'magical' when I look at the overall image. I just want to know if that's my rose-tinted glasses powered by GAS/gear lust or there actually is a 'look' that these cameras have that's unique to these cameras.

Hi,

It's probably because many people are not accustomed to looking at AA-filterless images. One can create a similar look by using a Plugin like Topaz Lab's Infocus, by pushing it too far (beyond what is accurate and enough). The Foveon sensor natively has very low saturation, and therefore the saturation needs to be pushed a lot, and is often pushed too much.

Those two factors probably account for most of the 'look', and can therefore be recreated in software for other images as well. The lack of an AA-filter, and the co-located RGB sampling of the Foveon sensor do offer a somewhat higher MTF response, so for an absolute resolution comparison (relevant for large format output, which most people never produce), the other camera to compare with should have a bit higher resolution, like the 6D versus the DP3.

Cheers,
Bart
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powerslave12r
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 08:29:33 AM »
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Thanks! That addresses the doubt I had in my head. I will probably hold off from making the purchase. Perhaps wait until the next iteration of the DPxM cameras. Smiley


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ron ritcher
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2013, 10:40:24 AM »
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Well, Bart's technical replies are WAY over my head, as a casual photographer, but I'll toss in my two-cents anyway.  I have a 5Dii, along with a couple L lenses, and recently bought both the DP1M and the 3.  Primarily to check their relative focus quirks, I shot a handful of test shots (with all 3 cameras) from driveway to sunlit front yard and into my shadowy garage.  Right out of the camera (which is far as I went -- no attempts yet to pull anything out of the darks and lights), I was surprised to see how "far" the Canon reached into the murky garage.  That said, there was no denying -- on screen at 100% -- how well the Sigma resolves.  In this very limited comparison, the Canon won the DR battle; Sigma won for resolution.

I have a few 16x24 prints on the wall from the DP3, and they DO have a look that lures me closer each time I enter the room. Two are macro and the third a wider landscape; I smile every time I look.

Admittedly NOT very technical/objective, and while my experiences so far may not help you with your decision, I can state without the slightest hesitation that I'm very happy to have bought the Sigmas -- and the 3 is getting the lion-share of my attention, for sure.  Good luck!

Ron
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powerslave12r
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 01:47:28 PM »
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Hey Ron,

Thanks for your input. That feeling you describe is what made me consider the DPm in the first place. Most pictures I've seen out of these cameras have had that special feel to it. As Bart pointed out though, it's perhaps a function of the two factors.

I will keep my eyes peeled for a successor to these DPxM cameras. Any rumors on the successors to these yet?
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NancyP
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 04:02:24 PM »
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My thoughts on the DP#M cameras for landscape or general purpose shooting:
The DP#M (in my case, DP2M) cameras are small, inconspicuous, and light, and paired with a good lightweight tripod, are easy solutions to backwoods landscape photography. Just count those ounces, including ounces saved by going with a lightweight tripod. The DP2M is also a fine walk-around camera for the times you don't want to carry full kit. I do have a combination grip/L-bracket on it, and I do carry a Hoodman on the "large P&S" sized bag. Unless you have very big pockets, it is not a pocket camera.

I also photograph birds, so I need and use a traditional DSLR (60D), and I admit that I like the ergonomics of a DSLR over those of hold-at-arm's-length cameras.

Does the DP2M outresolve your 6D plus TSE24? I don't know. The DP2M files have a different look. I find that the DP2M requires higher shutter speeds for off-tripod use than does the 60D - DP2M is pretty unforgiving of bad or careless technique. The L-bracket was a "must-have" for me (grip alone is much lighter). I must say that the camera looks a little silly perched on a beefy tripod and beefy head. (One of these days I will get a "lightweight compact" tripod...)
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2013, 05:05:49 PM »
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Diglloyd has a lot on this, which seems helpful to me. As you probably know, it's a subscription site. Then there's Ming Thein, who says it's good enough for photographing watches for the glossies, if it weren't for the software ...
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powerslave12r
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2013, 06:21:11 PM »
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My thoughts on the DP#M cameras for landscape or general purpose shooting:
The DP#M (in my case, DP2M) cameras are small, inconspicuous, and light, and paired with a good lightweight tripod, are easy solutions to backwoods landscape photography. Just count those ounces, including ounces saved by going with a lightweight tripod. The DP2M is also a fine walk-around camera for the times you don't want to carry full kit. I do have a combination grip/L-bracket on it, and I do carry a Hoodman on the "large P&S" sized bag. Unless you have very big pockets, it is not a pocket camera.

I also photograph birds, so I need and use a traditional DSLR (60D), and I admit that I like the ergonomics of a DSLR over those of hold-at-arm's-length cameras.

Does the DP2M outresolve your 6D plus TSE24? I don't know. The DP2M files have a different look. I find that the DP2M requires higher shutter speeds for off-tripod use than does the 60D - DP2M is pretty unforgiving of bad or careless technique. The L-bracket was a "must-have" for me (grip alone is much lighter). I must say that the camera looks a little silly perched on a beefy tripod and beefy head. (One of these days I will get a "lightweight compact" tripod...)

Hello Nancy,

Thank you for your insight into this. I have to admit, I do hike quite a bit and I do some steep climbing and a tripod + a camera bag in those situations is a REALLY big deal. I usually wear shorts while hiking and those do tend to have large pockets.

That is definitely one important consideration. I have also been considering the Sony RX100 and Fujifilm X100 for these reasons, but the images from these don't seem to have the same magic, although I'm sure they are capable cameras in their own ways.

Diglloyd has a lot on this, which seems helpful to me. As you probably know, it's a subscription site. Then there's Ming Thein, who says it's good enough for photographing watches for the glossies, if it weren't for the software ...

Yes I came across Digilloyd but if I recall correctly, the subscription fee is about $250 per year or so. For one review I think that's a little steep. I would rather buy the DPxM and use it and sell it if I don't like it and still have spent less at the end of it. Smiley I'm sure it's worth the cost to most people, but seems overpriced for my single use!

Thanks for the Ming Thein recommendation, I'll check it out.

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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2013, 07:55:54 PM »
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I own all 3 Merrills, the canon 6D and a Sony NEX7.  I have been shooting with all three for about 6 months.

Using the Canon and Sony make life so much easier than using the Merrils, except in bright daylight where I can use the Merrils handheld.  Other wise a tripod and ASA 100 is needed.

The sigma files are definitely the sharpest and there is a quality that I would describe as --"it just looks like the scene did when I was standing there--just like my eyes saw".  This quality is hard to describe in words but I have seen it repeatedly, just yesterday again when i was shooting in the woods in Ohio.  The canon and sony, although very good, do not have this quality even with a lot of post processing, and cannot capture the dynamic range that the Merrills can so easily,  in my opinion.

The image quality from the Merrils is so good that I put up with its limitations when working in the field with them.   However, its limitations do sometimes become a PIA. The post processing needed is much less than images form other cameras--less correction, less sharpening and less manipulation overall.  The prints made from them have a 3-D quality that is unique quite amazing.

For me, the shooting situation determines which camera i use--if subject motion, need for a high ASA, or a need for spontaneity or portability is required, the Canon Or SOny are my choice.  If I take the tripod, and I can slow down, the Merrils are my choice

Honestly, when I lOOK at the images taken afterwards with two cameras as I did in OHIO, I regret not using the MERRILS on the whole shoot.  I can see the differences in LR with just browsing and no post processing at all--they are unique and terrific instruments

MDIJB

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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2013, 08:24:45 PM »
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Thanks for that detailed first hand experience mdijb, I really appreciate it.

Can I ask what lenses you use with the 6D?


Thanks!
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2013, 12:05:02 AM »
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Re: Lloyd Chambers. Very expensive review site but he is a pixelpeeper extraordinaire. If thats your thing, he's your guy.


Yes I came across Digilloyd but if I recall correctly, the subscription fee is about $250 per year or so. For one review I think that's a little steep. I would rather buy the DPxM and use it and sell it if I don't like it and still have spent less at the end of it. Smiley I'm sure it's worth the cost to most people, but seems overpriced for my single use!

Thanks for the Ming Thein recommendation, I'll check it out.


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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2013, 12:15:49 AM »
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Hi,

No, much less than 250$, guess something like 40. Lots of different sites.

Best regards
Erik


Re: Lloyd Chambers. Very expensive review site but he is a pixelpeeper extraordinaire. If thats your thing, he's your guy.

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powerslave12r
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2013, 08:32:27 AM »
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Re: Lloyd Chambers. Very expensive review site but he is a pixelpeeper extraordinaire. If thats your thing, he's your guy.


It is definitely my thing when it comes to making purchases. Smiley But $250 for pixel peeping over coffee? Naaah.


Hi,

No, much less than 250$, guess something like 40. Lots of different sites.

Best regards
Erik



He Erik, if it is indeed $40 I'll subscribe, but his subscribe page only gave me two option, 250 for 1 year and 300-something for the 2 year subscription. Perhaps there is a coupon code that allows you to get it for $40?
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 08:58:58 AM »
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It is definitely my thing when it comes to making purchases. Smiley But $250 for pixel peeping over coffee? Naaah.


He Erik, if it is indeed $40 I'll subscribe, but his subscribe page only gave me two option, 250 for 1 year and 300-something for the 2 year subscription. Perhaps there is a coupon code that allows you to get it for $40?

$250 is the price for the six publications. You can subscribe to all six separately.
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2013, 10:13:51 AM »
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$250 is the price for the six publications. You can subscribe to all six separately.

Excellent. I'll look into this later this evening. Thanks!
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2013, 05:00:54 PM »
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"Thanks for that detailed first hand experience mdijb, I really appreciate it.

Can I ask what lenses you use with the 6D?"

I use a 17-40 and 24 -105 ZOOM

MDIJB
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2013, 06:02:40 PM »
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"Thanks for that detailed first hand experience mdijb, I really appreciate it.

Can I ask what lenses you use with the 6D?"

I use a 17-40 and 24 -105 ZOOM

MDIJB


Thanks for that information. Both those are great lenses (I use and love the 24-105 myself) but neither are known for exceptional resolution compared to a lot of other canon L lenses.

I mean no offence, I just wanted to use the lens information to make the comparison. Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2013, 06:30:37 PM »
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Your curiosity is not at all unusual. I was one of many so afflicted when I read (I am paraphrasing this) Reid Reviews describing the images from these cameras as being etched with a razor, and I believe (going from memory), he said they were the most detailed images he has even seen from a small camera. These comments made me look to see if Michael had tested them, and his report was the catalyst to pursing these discussion forums. I saw the same images you’ve seen, so I rented the DP2M and DP3M from Lens Rentals. The very first thing I did after indulging my curiosity with a few snapshots, was to shoot the same things with my D800E and the Merrills just to see how the little Sigmas compared. The D800E Tifs are over 200 MB, and the detail is incredible, but I’d be hard pressed to say there is any signifiant quality difference between the detail recorded by these very different cameras. In one of the reviews I read, the reviewer said you had to approach the use of the little Merrills the way you would medium format cameras. Having spent a lot of time with view cameras and medium format film cameras, I understood what he was saying. The obvious difference is the size and weight. I hike with the dogs every day except in the summer when it is too hot. Carrying the DP2M and DP3M on one of these hikes was a real treat. I’ll take the D3s when I have to photograph action, and the D800E when I don’t need a high fps rate, but if I was traveling and planning to shoot scenics, the Merrills would be my choice of cameras because they combine light weight with incredible image quality. If I knew I would be taking photos at night or in low light (I try not to use anything higher that ISO400 with the Merrills - and that is not the limitation for me that it seems to be for some others) - I’d look into the Sony RX1/R to use in those situations. The last thing that occurs to me to tell you is the detail and image quality is such I find myself photographing things I wouldn’t even consider with the Nikons, just so I can look at the images later.

If you are undecided, rent one or two of them - I discovered I used the DP3M around two thirds of the time I had it and the DP2M rental cameras. You will almost certainly discover all the images you see are representative of what you find in your own photos from the Merrills. You’ll surely see comments grumbling about the software, but I have yet to see anyone say the images are anything other than superlative.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/sigma_dp3_review.shtml

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/sigma_dp2m_review.shtml
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