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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 28 Feb 2016 (Sunday) 18:05
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Trying Out a New Camera

 
Colorado ­ CJ
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Feb 28, 2016 18:05 |  #1

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

IMAGE: http://static.fokussiert.com/1361910039/sigma-faveon-sensor-x3.jpg


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: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1623/24728313884_ce5863d6a5_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/DFa5​co  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 1 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1463/25063329020_c79ea3c1e8_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EbL7​wq  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 2 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1561/24728313284_e996448bf8_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/DFa5​23  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 3 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1506/25240669222_c6c97a9977_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Esr2​A7  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 4 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1632/25265863881_99604ccaac_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EuEa​5M  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 5 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1443/25358930285_1b8d9382dd_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ECT9​tX  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 6 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

My Photography Website
http://andrewmarjamaph​otography.com (external link)

  
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MalVeauX
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Feb 28, 2016 18:47 |  #2

Really cool, learned something new here. Didn't realize they were so inexpensive too ($450 used, $600ish new, and the new model too). Might have to entertain one of these some time.

Would love to see a full resolution image to peak into. Would also love to see the SOOC image vs your processing.

Very best,


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Colorado ­ CJ
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Feb 28, 2016 18:58 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #3

I bought this one for $400.00 in barely used condition.

I'll see if I can add some 100% crops. Like I said though, these were just some test shots, nothing special.


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Colorado ­ CJ
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Feb 28, 2016 19:16 |  #4

I uploaded a 100% crop of the below image. No sharpening was applied, I actually put in -2 sharpening on the raw conversion software.

What is interesting is the amount of pixel level detail this sensor creates. You can see individual pine needles on the trees, where with my D600, it is just a splash of color with no differentiation.

The whole image.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1443/25358930285_1b8d9382dd_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ECT9​tX  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 6 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

And the 100% crop with no sharpening

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1665/25065273550_50f80bbd17_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EbW5​yN  (external link) 100% Crop of Test 6 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

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DutchinCLE
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Feb 28, 2016 19:44 |  #5

I have eyes on the new Sigma SD Quatro H. Seems like a great camera.


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MalVeauX
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Feb 28, 2016 20:26 |  #6

Interesting thanks, kind of behaves like a lot of high megapixel images in that sense (there are more pixels on those needles).

Very best,


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Colorado ­ CJ
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Mar 02, 2016 09:34 |  #7

I shot a couple of photos after work today. The sky was setting up to have a nice sunset, but heavy clouds over the mountains didn't let the sunset have the colors I was hoping for.


Anyway here are a couple. I'm starting to see what all the fuss is about with these Foveon sensors! I'm already seeing close to what I get out of large format Velvia with this camera. Even though this wasn't the greatest sunset, I still got some nice colors. The detail and color gradation in the full size image is outstanding. This web-based size really doesn't do the sensor justice.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1486/25309420642_e7b36f3fe5_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Eyvo​Zq  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 8 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr


And here is a B&W conversion. those are small ripples in the water on the lower part of the image, not pixelation. This sensore has so much micro-detail that photos just look "different" compared to a normal bayer sensor camera. Full size images really DO look like medium, or even large format images. I can see I'll be shooting a lot of B&W with this camera as well. It really looks film-like to me, especially at higher ISO's.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1563/25401599096_14a918c18e_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EGDQ​r7  (external link) Merrill DP2 Test 7 (external link) by Andrew Marjama (external link), on Flickr

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http://andrewmarjamaph​otography.com (external link)

  
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DutchinCLE
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Mar 02, 2016 09:45 as a reply to  @ Colorado CJ's post |  #8

these are nice!!


Bas
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ef2nyd
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Mar 03, 2016 17:51 |  #9

I've always admired these when Sigma released them. How are your prints compared to what's displayed on the screen? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe most computer screens use something similar to the Bayer pattern to display colors, so some of the data from the Foveon photographs would be missing and thus look no different than regular photos taken with a Bayer sensor.




  
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Trying Out a New Camera
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