Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sigma DP2 Merrill Revisited

Autumn Tree Leaves - Tehachapi, California
I purchased a Sigma DP2 Merrill camera almost three months ago, and wrote a full review over two months ago. I've had the camera long enough to fully know if the quirks are worth putting up with.

Like any fancy new electronic, once the initial excitement wears off, the shortcomings become more and more annoying. This is true with every camera. And every camera has shortcomings.
Decrepit Corner - Rosamond, California
The Sigma DP2 Merrill certainly has shortcomings. There are things about it that really annoy me. Yet, I've never been happier about a camera before. That's because as much as the shortcomings bug the heck out of me, the highlights of the camera continue to blow me away.

I purchased the Sigma DP2 Merrill because of how it handles color. But what I found that I like the most about the camera is how it handles monochrome. Specifically, because it captures the entire scene in red, green and blue color channels, one can choose exactly how to mix that, effectively making whatever "filter" one wants. Or, one can actually use black-and-white filters meant for film cameras on the Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Rusted Bolt - Loraine, California
To be honest, I'm not sure if there is a better digital camera for black-and-white than Sigma's Merrill cameras. Maybe the Leica M Monochrom, but I'm not sure because it still uses a Beyer sensor.

Something else that continues to impress me about the Sigma DP2 Merrill is its ability to recovery highlights in RAW. I've found that I can overexpose by one stop and still recover the highlights, no problem. This is important because the DP2 Merrill has a fairly average dynamic range, with shadows being the Achilles' heel. I believe that this is because of the three-layered sensor, in which dim light has trouble penetrating all three layers. However, by over-exposing one stop and recovering the highlights, one is able to increase dynamic range by one stop. This gives the camera a dynamic range that is closer to full-frame DSLRs.
Abandoned Bathroom - Rosamond, California
Another thing worth mentioning is that the camera producing incredibly sharp and detailed images. It compares well to cameras that cost thousands of dollars more. But, it is a low-ISO camera meant for good-light situations.

Because the Sigma DP2 Merrill is small and lightweight, I've found that I have it with me more often than other cameras. And because I have it with me more often I capture more images.
Tired Window - Rosamond, California
So my initial impressions of the camera continues to prove true. And I am still quite happy with my purchase. I strongly believe that the Sigma DP2 Merrill is not a camera for everyone, but for the right photographers it is an incredible tool.

You can read my full review by clicking here.
Light From Above - Rosamond, California

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