Yesterday’s image at 100% magnification.
Colour and resolution are pretty amazing.
(comment above from me. WordPress are so annoying – on my mobile devices they make me login to WordPress before making the comment in my own name, and then force me to use this pseudonym. On the desktop now I need to opt out of using the pseudonym and cannot set it the other way around).
Although I know you are a master of white balance, and therefore might get the natural feel of these colors from your beloved CCD, these colors look very natural to me, and the resolution is extraordinary. I just read “Egor”‘s review of the DP3 at ULTRAsomething. I’m glad that Sigma are persevering with the foveon sensor. When I look at the Flickr stream, its clear it ain’t CMOS.
The problem is, they sort of botched it up with the Quattro series and the redesigned Foveon. I knew it immediately when I saw the first few sample images. That’s one of the reasons I snapped up this Merrill. Hopefully, Sigma will find the secret sauce again. Could you imagine a full frame Fovean? Even at this size, this sensor leaves me wanting nothing.
As for CCD, it too has its charms… it too needs to remain. My Open Letter to Leica is approaching 400 signatures; hopefully Leica is watching and listening.
(Linden here). Interesting about the Quattro. I like the idea of a camera dedicated to 75mm (or even 85mm or 90mm).
I was late signing your letter because I asked myself first – if Leica produce a new CCD camera (weather proof, quiet shutter, decent buffer, decent rear screen, etc, like the M240), would I buy one? I think the answer now, if I could afford it, would be yes. I have even been tempted to acquire a well priced M9 lately with a replaced sensor. And I think Leica might entertain another replacement should one be required within a year or two. But even so, a camera out of warranty with a known problem at c$3,000 had left me shy for the time being.
The fovean sensor remains very interesting – as your photo amply demonstrates.
Thanks for your thoughts Linden. I hope you find an M9/M-E (or M8) from a reputable seller. Any sensor issues will of course be adequately dealt with by Leica. Still, until the corrosion issue is solved, a black cloud will hover over all of Leica’s CCD offerings.
To this day, if I had to pick only one camera to keep, it would be the M9/M-E for it’s image quality AND versatility.
The Sigma Merrill models are so addictive however. I’m simply gobsmacked by the rendering of the Foveon sensor.
Is there comparative test between the Leica Monochrom and the Sigma Merrils or the Sigma Quattro, you could suggest?
I´m a Canon shooter (macro and colour work) and I seek for a very good B&W camera in order to make platinum prints. I do this kind of fine art prints with my 5DMIII files but I want better ,-) without medium or large format (wight and portability are important to me).
For your intended use, the best choice out of the options you are considering would be the Leica Monochrom: exceptional image quality (but you must be careful to expose properly because highlights get clipped easily), portability, many lenses to choose from, wide ISO band to work with. Second best choice: the Leica M8 (I know that wasn’t on your list, but I actually prefer it to the Monochrom, despite its smaller sensor and low ISO-limited performance).
Now, if versatility is not important to you, the Merrill sensor in the Sigmas is remarkable.
I don’t know of any sites comparing the cameras you are considering, but I’ve used all of the ones discussed above (with the exception of the Quattro – but I don’t like its output).
I agree with Peter about the M8. I have the Leica MM now and it is a really great camera. That said, I still get a warm feeling when thinking about the M8.2 I had before. It is a great camera and the BW prints the M8 produces are just breathtaking. I fact everytime I see a M8 for sale i have this urge to get one again. The colors it produces are great too and the files are sharp!
Thanks Roel for you feedback too. Could kindly (I´m sure you keep your DNG files form your M8) answer what I asked about files/negatives sizes at 360ppi, please?
I saved a M8.2 color DNG file as Tiff at 25x25cm at 360ppi and that file is 50.7 MB.
Hi Roel, my question was (my mistake maybe): With a 22Mpx sensor (Canon 5DMIII) I can produce a file as big as 25x25cm (square crop) with 360ppi; without any interpolation.
With a much smaller 10Mpx sensor (Leica M8) at 360ppi, how big a file can be to print a digital negative?
Luis. To not hijack Peters post about the incredible performance of the DP3m please send me a mail and I will send you a original M8 file. Then you can check and test yourself.
You´re correct. Check your e-mail please. Thanks .-)
yes the MM is an amazing camera, indeed as far as I could saw and read. Never used one. I´m aware of the clipping aspects.
The M8 is a novelty to me for B&W work. Not so many clipping issues because of the available color information within each channel.
For Platinum print a negative must be the same dimension as the final print (its a contact process). I can produce digital negatives from the 5DMIII with 25×25 cm maximum with 360ppi (its a kind of ppi standard for this process).
At this 360ppi resolution how big are the files from the M8 (its a rather small sensor)?
I don´t know also how big at 360ppi the Merrill or the Quattro files, are?
At the same time, an M8 could be an affordable way for me to enter the Leica M universe .-) because I must keep both systems, so it must be in small and very affordable steps.
All other things being equal, a Bayer sensor’s true resolution is 80% of its nominal resolution, if I remember correctly. So in real terms, the M9 has an effective resolution of 11.5Mpx (4166 x 2777). But that effective resolution is a genuine 11.5Mpx. And the Sony A7r has an effective resolution of 16.5Mpx (4972 x 3315).
Of course per-pixel sharpness is in favour of the Foveon. But maybe the better compromise is with the Bayer array, unless DR and sensitivity in the Foveon can match Bayer sensors. OTOH, Foveon sensors can be smaller than Bayer sensors and give the same tonality – based on my observations. So an APS-C Foveon is just as good as a 24 x 36mm CCD.
The Foveon, even at APS-C, might actually have better tonality!
I loved the files from my DP1. Had to sell it to fund the Monochrome but these files were soo ‘airy’ and almost 3d like. A shame that it was to slow for my street work.
Great info and photos Peter. I have been jonesing for one or two of these cameras for long time and I think you have just pushed me over the edge. Do all three models (DP1, DP2 and DP3 Merrill) have the same sensor, processor, speed (or lack of) etc?
Found the info I needed and ordered the DP3 along with a bag of batteries :O
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