David Z writes:
I started this approach years ago and would carry the Yashica T4 Super in my front pocket to break out for cramped shots at weddings. I had Ricoh GRD years ago and did the same.
I bought a Sigma DP with that in mind and have had a few versions of the DP series, but they are not universally applicable cameras - so it was a fail for weddings with that camera except outdoor shots which are superb.
The only serious difference and problem I run into is buffer. I tend to shoot weddings, fashion and sometimes portraiture with a Mossad approach of a double or multiple shots in succession. With the compacts I hit the buffer ceiling quickly. My workaround is to then switch cameras, but that is not always appropriate for the situation.
But in general, $1,000 on average for a serious high end compact vs. a new grand lens for around the same - well, with a lens I know some fumbling will be required. Some lenses I need, so I go that route. Sometimes, the compact lens is too redundant for DSLR lens I already have - such as with the Sony RX1, so get's hard to justify.
Lastly, the concern for a few years into the purchase is the camera may be out of date whereas the lens will not be and still have strong resale.
So it depends for me.
I'd love to get the Sigma DP3 Merrill, but not true macro, I already own the DP2 so hard to justify especially when considering the DP series is a dog of a camera in imperfect situations despite being a true hero in ideal scenarios.
But I am looking at getting the new Ricoh GR (your fault) and just waiting for the NEXFF - which is an absolute purchase. Can't wait. Will finally get the Zeiss ZM Biogon 25mm for that.
DIGLLOYD: I’m not clear here whether David Z has the Sigma DP or Sigma DP Merrill, which are hugely different cameras in resolution and quality (noise, color) terms.
Sigma DP Merrill is indeed a champ or not so great, it depends on lighting in particular, but shooting speed is also a big one. The original Sigma DP was an interesting proof of concept, and that’s about it.
Regarding a full-frame Sony NEX: ray angle issues mean that Leica M or Zeiss ZM lenses will be poor performers for sharpness, and with severe color shading off center. This is already a significant issue on APS-C NEX, so expecting anything less than optical disaster on a full-frame is not realistic, unless Sony somehow comes up with a sensor that is friendly to a severe ray angle. Since Leica has some impairment with ray angle even with the very best lenses on the M9 and M240 (on a sensor optimized for the lenses), I deem this highly unlikely.