For a while now I've been wanting to try out an oddball of a camera. What makes it an oddball is the design of the camera's sensor.
Regular cameras use what is known as a bayer sensor, where the sensor is made on a single surface in which the red green and blue individual sensors are placed in a repeating pattern.
This new camera's sensor resembles slide film, where there are three separate sensors stacked and each sensor is responsible for one color only. This is known as a Foveon sensor.
Here's a simple illustration
There are lots of downsides to this Foveon type of sensor though, the biggest being that the sensor is very bad at shooting at anything over the base sensitivity or ISO. The usefull ISO is only between 100-400, anything more and there is a lot of noise in the image. Bayer sensors, on the other hand, handle high ISO's, up in to the 12,000 or more very well.
Another problem with Foveon sensors is that they are VERY power hungry. You actually are using 3 separate full size sensors instead of one that the bayer uses, so you have 3 times the power to run them and 3 times the information to process.
Those downsides pale in comparison in what you get when you start shooting though. At base ISO (100-200), these Foveon sensors compete with medium format cameras for the level of detail and color fidelity they have.
Anyway, I finally picked up a used camera that has one of these sensors, a Sigma DP2 Merrill. It is a nearly compact sized camera that has an APS-C sized foveon sensor and a fixed 30mm F2.8 lens. People call these things a pocket Hasselblad.
I took it out today to see how well it works. Unfortunately, I shot at high noon, so there was very bright, but flat light. Saying that, I am amazed at what this little camera captured. The level of detail at 100% is amazing, and the sharpness is incredible. People are printing these files at 24" x 36" and they look great, now I see why.
Here are a few quick shots I took today, all around noon. I can't wait to see what I can come up with with some better light and a little more planning. This camera may replace my D600 for my hiking camera. It will compliment my Zone VI 4x5 large format camera that I usually hike with.IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/DFa5co Merrill DP2 Test 1 by Andrew Marjama, on FlickrIMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EbL7wq Merrill DP2 Test 2 by Andrew Marjama, on FlickrIMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/DFa523 Merrill DP2 Test 3 by Andrew Marjama, on FlickrIMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Esr2A7 Merrill DP2 Test 4 by Andrew Marjama, on FlickrIMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EuEa5M Merrill DP2 Test 5 by Andrew Marjama, on FlickrIMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ECT9tX Merrill DP2 Test 6 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr