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Sigma DP Merrill: ISO 100 or 200?

Sigma DP Merrill, ISO noise

To my review of the Sigma DP1 / DP2 / DP3 Merrill is added an Sigma DP3 Merrill ISO 100 vs ISO 200 study.

I wanted to prove which ISO really delivers the best image quality, ISO 200 being the nominal native ISO of the Sigma/Foveon sensor, and ISO 100 ostensibly less recommened. Because I never just assume things on faith.

This carefully researched study includes an analysis of micro contrast, noise, color saturation in darker areas, detail in darker areas, and general image quality at ISO 100 vs ISO 200.

This study should be considered a MUST READ for any Sigma DP Merrill user. But it should probably be read by any digital camera user to stimulate thought about the choice of ISO.

Image below is a partial crop.

Portion of test scene, Sigma DP3 Merrill
Portion of test scene, Sigma DP3 Merrill

Bruce Z writes:

Great article on the Sigma DP 100/200 ISO comparrison. I would never have seen that much of a subtle difference until you posted such a finely tuned test scene. Once I see it, it becomes glaringly obvious. (Especially the near monochrome loss of color in the shadows of the Red material at 200 ISO) It's interesting to see the VERY slight difference in the specular highlights of the gold thread weave. Very subtle.

I am learning to see more as a photographer by following your postings. The real value of your work is the degree of intensity in the accuracy of the work.

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