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Reader Question/Question: WOW on Sigma DP Merrill, Processing Sigma DP Merrill Files

See Pixel for Pixel, *Nothing* Beats a Sigma DP Merrill—and—a must read before purchasing any of the Merrills—my in-depth review coverage of the DP Merrills.

The DP1 Merrill, DP2 Merrill, DP3 Merrill are all $200 off (instant rebate). I advise plenty of extra Sigma BP-41 batteries (6-8 batteries).

Roy P writes:

B&H shipped me my DP1 and DP3, with the DP2 scheduled for next Monday. There was just enough charge in one battery to take exactly one test shot with the DP3, before the battery died and I had to put it on the charger. But based on just that one image, holy crap! The sharpness and detail are unbelievable!

The colors were off a bit, especially weak in the SOOC JPEG, but the RAW exported to TIFF looked much better, and after a couple of further tweaks of the TIFF in LightRoom, I got the colors a little more accurate. Not perfect, but close enough.

So it’s a PITA workflow, and there’s some color tweaking needed. But it’s pretty darned amazing! BTW, what is the best workflow? Use the Sigma software to go from their RAW to TIFF, then process the TIFF in either PS or LR or CaptureOne?

Very interesting set of cameras. I need to figure out how best to use these.

DIGLLOYD: Exactly the idea. Few cameras today can deliver the kind of detail the Merrills can. I still much prefer the Merrill line over the Quattros, and all three Merrills can be had at a bargain price, as noted above. I recommend grabbing the entire set, before Sigma abandons the line. It’s not clear there will ever be a sensor of this nature again (the Quattro sensor is sort of a cross between a Bayer sensor an the Merrill sensor, and while it’s OK, it’s just not the same).

I shoot my Merrills very carefully (exposure) at ISO 100 (not a real ISO). This yields the best possible results when shooting raw, but the exposure has to be perfect (do not blow out highlights); see Exposure Bracketing Sequence to gain insight into the behavior. ISO 200 results in more noise than ISO, but has some margin of safety on exposure (which is not needed if exposing properly!).

See Best Quality: ISO 100 or ISO 200? and Noise Behavior Example (High Voltage) and Post Processing, all in my review of the Sigma DP Merrill cameras.


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