Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sigma DP2 Merrill vs. Nokia Lumia 1020 - Part 2

About a month ago I published a post comparing the Sigma DP2 Merrill and the Nokia Lumia 1020 cameras. I wanted to share some more thoughts and also share one more set of example photographs.

Let me begin by giving a little more background information than I provided in that first post. After purchasing a Sigma DP2 Merrill camera, I discovered that I really liked it. The image quality is simply fantastic at low ISO.

I've wanted to add a DP1 Merrill and DP3 Merrill to go along with that DP2 Merrill. The only significant difference between the three cameras are the focal length of the lens. I like the focal length of the DP2 Merrill (45mm equivalent), but thought that having a couple more options would be nice (28mm and 75mm equivalent, respectively).

But I didn't want to have G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), and I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on cameras. I decided to wait until the price dropped significantly on the two cameras before taking the plunge.

Then something happened: it was time to get a new cell phone. I decided on the Nokia Lumia 1020. In many ways this cell phone camera is a close approximation of the Sigma DP1 Merrill. Is it a Foveon sensor? No. Is it as sharp? No. But its image quality is surprisingly good and not that far off from the Merrill cameras.

In yesterday's post entitled Chasing The Light you may have seen a photograph of a colorful sunset. That image was very similar to one that I captured with the DP2 Merrill back in January. You can see them below:
Sunset, California - Stallion Springs, California
Captured with a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Stallion Springs Sunset - Stallion Springs, California
Captured with a Nokia Lumia 1020.
I was standing in almost the same exact place and the two sunsets had similar qualities to them. They're a little different, but as similar as you'll find captured over two months apart.

Which photograph is best? Which camera did a better job? I personally like the Lumia 1020 image, but I think it has more to do with how the sky was that night than which camera was used. Perhaps the wide-angle lens of the Lumia 1020 added some drama.

The point here is that it isn't nearly as important to have the best equipment as it is to have the best vision. Does it really matter what camera I used? No. The Lumia 1020 did the trick, just as the DP1 Merrill would have if I'd purchased it and used it instead.

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