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Can the Sigma DP2 Merrill Print Well at 6 Feet Wide by 4 Feet High?

Sigma DP Merrill, canvas, printing

Back in March, I wrote about a 40 X 26 inch gallery wrap canvas print with gloss finish created by Picture Element from an image I made using the Sigma DP2 Merrill (image shown below). These coated canvas prints come alive—give one a try—I generally prefer the gloss finish.

See more tulips with the Sigma DP2 Merrill in the review.

By next week I will have a finished 72 X 47 inch print hanging on my wall of this image. From a $799 point and shoot—Sigma DP2 Merrill—one whose per-pixel quality is far beyond its “pay grade” when exposed and processed ideally.

I haven’t seen it yet, but the printer Mike Chambers (no relation) who sees everything up to high end medium format and larger says “Print is looking amazingly awesome” (prints have to be printed first , then coated and dried and then stretched/mounted onto the wooden frame). I have few doubts myself, based on the 40-inch version.

I am excited to see this image in a really large format.: it is so bright and cheerful and inviting that I look forward to hanging it (I gave the 40" one to a good friend).

Dang, I wish Sigma could deliver a full-frame 32 megapixel sensor in a similar form factor to the DP Merrill series (somewhat larger of course).

Image shown below has additional retouching for the print. Click for larger.

8 sec @ ƒ/10, ISO 100, fill-flash at -1.7 stops compensation Sigma DP2 Merrill
8 sec @ ƒ/10, ISO 100, fill-flash at -1.7 stops compensation
Sigma DP2 Merrill

Wesley W writes:

I have written to you before. Since then I have acquired all three DP Merrills, and have been enjoying the image quality without ends.

I am a print master based in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and I work closely with Hewlett Packard Malaysia. I run a printmaking business specializing in large format photography and art reproduction.

I have tried printing DP2/3 Merrill files at 6'x4' and truly it's been most mesmerizing, further enhancing my belief in the capability of the Foveon sensor. I've done enough prints from other APS-C and FF sensor based DSLR right up to D800/800e, and even medium format from Leica S2, Hasselblad H4D-40/50 and Pentax 645D, I can safely say any Foveon image interpolates extremely well without noticeable (interpolation) artifacts. In other words, it easily surpass the quality (in print) at large sizes even comparing the D800. The micro-contrast and detail extraction from the lens/sensor on the DP Merrills are simply amazing!

I think you will be amazed and happy with the print you ordered. I am subscribing to your paid section (mirrorless) to learn more from your detailed analysis and comparison with other mirrorless cameras. Well done there!

Till then, I've always enjoyed reading your blog.

DIGLLOYD: Only those who try the DP Merrill figure out just how good the image quality really is—there is tremendous unawareness—and some reject them out of hand.

The key issues with DP Merrill are dreadful battery life, slow write speed, no EVF, and unreliable software. The first three are somewhat compensated for by one of the best usability experiences in any compact camera, including pinpoint AF mode, believe it or not! Different from most cameras, but eminently fast and well done (easily rejected with casual use I suppose).

The software issues might or might not be an issue, depending on Mac or PC and the volume of images and CPU cores and so on, and all can be converted to TIF. And the camera JPEGs are the best I’ve seen from any camera.

How can Sigma get traction in the market? Fix all these issues in an update, especially the software. And ideally, introduce a 1.3X-crop of even full frame sensor version.

Roy P writes:

The image below is really stunning! Very impressive. I don’t know what kind of lighting you used / had, but I’m surprised it took an exposure of 8 seconds! Was that picked by the camera, for the given ISO and aperture?

DIGLLOYD: Natural late-day light at dusk, taken inside (window light), one inexpensive large reflector on the side, fill flash at -1.7 compensation to open up things just a bit. Funny how easy it is with some patience: those 10 minutes at the end of the day are worth the 23.8-hour wait (I don’t have space for a proper studio).

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