odd-sensor camera


Fuji X-Pro1 is coming back. Well, now it is said. Many people will say that I am totally insane. I have thought this move for many days now and I didn’t want to write anything about it here before I actually did it.

There are few reasons for this move. The first is that I really loved the image quality of X-Trans sensor when I earlier had the X-Pro1. I mean I felt that some of my shots had some really special touch. And this is totally my subjective feeling but it is what counts here. The second one is that I realized that I will need interchangeable lens camera after all even if I am now going to have only the body with 35/1.4 lens. And those Fujinon lenses really are masterpieces. I am really waiting for the new Fujinon 56/1.4 lens. It would nicely complement the 35 mm. The third one is that I want to have both EVF and OVF. I am positive that I will try to use OVF more than before. Old school. The fourth is that I think the next X-Pro generation (X-Pro2) will have many of those improvements incorporated which the new X100S has. And in the coming summer or next fall I am ready to purchase the next generation body (I have no idea when X-Pro2 may come – maybe not in this year?).

I have now Sony RX100 which is easy to take with me everywhere. I think it is the biggest asset of it. RX100 is my snapshot camera and X-Pro1 will be for photowalks and other situations when the photography is the main thing.

Si enim fallor, sum.

An X-Pro1 shot from last summer.

Just a snapshot

This very quick snapshot of Tiitus has got 2000 views in two days in Flickr. My other much older shots are not even close to that sum. Of course I have the best model in the world and he has a pleasing little smile in it. Sigma DP2M has some magic in the shots it produces. Super detailed and sharp with nice 3D look and quite nice bokeh too. Sharpness is so high that I had to smoothen his cheeks little bit.


Nice dynamic range and exposure by DP2M

We were yesterday at Kaapo's Christmas party and I took Sigma DP2 Merrill with me. I knew that it most certainly will be a catastrophic journey photographically because the stage will not be properly lit and there will be a need for higher ISOs that DP2M can stand.

But immediately when I started to shoot I realized that first of all the camera focused very fast in those tricky conditions. Secondly, I saw already from the camera's LCD that exposure is very nice in all shots. Wow. What was happening? I really did not expect that good results.

Here is a shot from Kaapo's song performance. I used evaluative exposure, ISO 400, and the shutter speed was 1/30 and aperture 2.8.

DP2 Merrill for indoor portraits

I have been amazed how I've been able to shoot portraits or even some candids with Sigma DP2 Merrill in quite scarce indoor lighting. All shots below are taken with 1/20 s shutter speed which I find kind of a limit for my hands. I usually have to use ISO 400 to achieve that with aperture 2.8. Today I was able to use ISO 200 when I had artificial lighting from the ceiling and Tiitus was facing towards a window. Of course there is always an option for B&W shots and then ISO may well be 800 or even 1600 (this will produce lots of noise) depending on how grainy results you can stand. Actually the grain with ISO 800 is very nice looking and suits well for B&W work. So, all in all, I am very pleased so far.


Sigma DP2 Merrill indoors

I have shot some more pics with DP2M indoors. It is very clear that you will need quite good lighting (either artificial or from window) to be able to use this camera indoors especially at these dark months when daytime is very short. This camera is good only up to ISO 400 when shooting color shots. With B&W you can go up to ISO 800 or even 1600 depending on the amount of grain you would like to achieve. It is actually not bad looking grain and suits well to B&W shots (I'll post some examples later). Of course ISO 400 is not much. You easily have quite long shutter speeds with that ISO when shooting in available light indoors. You'll need very steady hands or a tripod. I can be quite comfortable with 1/30 – 1/50 shutter speeds to get sharp shots of still objects but with slower than that it will be pure luck every time. The 46 Mp Foveon sensor produces so sharp shots that it will not forgive any movement. For indoor shooting I would like to have a lens with slightly wider aperture, maybe F2.

Taken together DP2M is quite tricky camera for indoor shooting. I knew this beforehand so it is not a surprise to me. I am delighted though that I am able to shoot at least some usable shots indoors even now when available light is very scarce.

1/20, F2.8, ISO 400

1/13, F2.8, ISO 400

Few more DP2 Merrill shots

Yesterday I took my new DP2M outdoors and have to say I am stunned about the resolution. I have lots to learn and adjust myself to the new workflow which is needed with this camera because Sigma Photo Pro is the only program which is able to read files it produces. But those files are gorgeous.

Initial thoughts on Sigma DP2 Merrill

I got my new DP2 Merrill yesterday evening. When I opened the package and took the camera in my hand I was smiling. It really feels solid and very well made. I got the feeling that I am holding a Braun or Junghans product. I immediately felt “home” with it. Maybe even more than with my late Fuji X100. Menu system is simple and easy to understand and use. QS (Quick Set) button and system is a joy to use. Fast access to the most needed features like ISO, metering, and WB.

I feel the focusing is quite fast. And it is really accurate. Have to say that DP2M focuses faster than my Fuji X-Pro1 (even with the XF 35mm lens). Quite funny actually because DP2M does not even have a focusing assist light. So, I am very pleased in this respect. The whole camera is nicely responsive.

The battery life is quite horrible and you have to remember to keep both supplied batteries charged all the time. Fortunately I never shoot lots of shots in one instance, so I believe this is not going to be a very big problem to me. Writing times to memory card (I use a 95 Mb/s card) are slow. Camera has a 7 shot buffer which helps the situation a lot because you can still shoot with the camera when it is writing the files.

Awesome. That’s my overall initial feeling. More later.

F2.8, 1/20, ISO 400.

I am having an odd-sensor camera… and craving more

Just a short post to show that something is happening here! I am quite excited but I do not know which will be my schedule for some changes.

For an odd-sensor camera (OSC) I am referring to my Fuji X-Pro1 which has an X-Trans sensor having totally different pixel array as compared to traditional Bayer type sensors. There is also Foveon sensor by Sigma which is also a different one. Both of above sensor types are causing problems for RAW converter design. It may well be that Foveon sensor will never have support by e.g. Lightroom or Aperture. And support for the X-Trans sensor has been very slow too. They are “tricky” sensors in this respect but I feel they are producing special photos. That’s why I am interested in them. I am an amateur hobbyist so I have the privilege to do this kind of different and maybe also silly decisions. And oh boy, that feels so good!

It is like baking something new into my hobby and tasting it. That’s why the photo below.