Fuji X100 vs Sigma Merrill

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by demiro, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. demiro

    demiro FujiXspot Regular

    93
    Jan 31, 2013
    PA-USA
    Dean
    Just wondering if anyone has had a chance to compare one of the Sigma Merrills with the X100? The Fuji certainly seems more functional in most every way, but I guess I am wondering about opinions regarding the magical Foveon 3D look vs output from the X100.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    855
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'd like to hear the opinion as well. I owned a Merrill for one day. I'm just too addicted to high ISO since a lot of my shooting is in low light. A few test shots at ISO 400 and ISO 800 made me feel like I was using a digital camera from 2002. Also, their software (which is necessary to get good results) kept crashing my admittedly old and crappy laptop. I have seen some truly BREATHTAKING samples, but it wasn't the right camera for me, so I wasn't about to find out. The last thing I needed to do was try it out and good light and find out how amazing it was, because that's just NOT where most of shooting takes place.
     
  3. Nic

    Nic FujiXspot Regular

    118
    Feb 5, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    The most amazing shots that I have seen from the Sigma Merrills have been broader scale images with lots of fine detail. Elevated view of a large city skyline in daylight for example. Away from this type of application I stop seeing any great distinction between them and cameras with more traditional sensor designs.
     
  4. garylh

    garylh FujiXspot Regular

    71
    Feb 7, 2013
    I have x100, xp1, dp1 and dp2 Merrill's.

    X100 pros
    - slightly faster af
    - better dynamic range by at least a stop if not more
    - better UI
    - ovf/evf
    - macro mode
    - most silent shutter
    - faster lens by a stop
    - better LCD
    - much higher iso. Color 1600 easy versus 400 best case for Merrill. B&w 3200 no problem, Merrill is lucky to push 1600.
    - best ooc jpgs
    - better battery life by more than double, around 80- 98 shots per charge on Merrill.
    - faster write times to sd card
    - raw conversion simple due to Bayer filter

    Dp Merrill pros
    - most accurate color
    - higher resolution/sharpness even better than xp1, closer to a 24mp in equiv resolving capability
    - quick menu 1/2 I like better than x100s or xp1 implementation
    - easier to get b&w from raw files.


    Additional here is a cut and past from rff post I did today due a question in that forum someone had for me on Merrill fwiw.

    Dynamic range is maybe about 1.5 to 2 stop worst than the xp1.
    - best iq at iso 100 to 320. 400 ok, grey zone for color at 800.
    - B&w up 1600 iso. Past 400 weird color issues crop up..but depends on situation.
    - I like the quick menu 1 and 2 design better than the Fuji implementation
    - color accuracy is amazing up to 320 as well as image detail
    - jpgs are the worst of any modern digital camera after iso 200, but even 100 to 200 is not as good as it should be.
    -- I use jpg+raw so that I can use aperture to do initial sort/process. Anything that I deem good enough then goes thru processing in silky pix to create a tiff16 file for import to aperture.
    - has three levels of raw size.
    -- about 3.x mp - for about 11mb
    -- 7.1mp - for 22.5mb
    -- 15mp for about 44-45mb
    -- jpg+raw large about 51mb
    -- in the smaller mp sizes, it still appears to be using the complete fame, but is interpreting and down revving.
    - I use a rollei ovf from my rf days as well
    - I have a real right stuff grip, I like the additional weight. Helps dampen for shutter release jitter. Grip looks big w/ it, but works really well for better overall stability.
    - as everyone has said, the 30f2.8 is better than the 19 at the corners and is about the same in the center, but 30 has the edge.
    - af speed is somewhere between x100 first ship to last firmware update. It is not bad, but definitely not for action. May want to think about zone focus instead...
    - metering can be fooled, but then again IMHO no one beats Nikon matrix metering.
    -- I tend to use aperture priority and exposure compensation more than I would w/ xp1 or x100
    - currently have three custom settings
    -- c1 - auto iso to 800, aperture at f5.6, medium raw + jpg
    --- default setting
    -- c2 - auto iso to 1600, f2.8, large raw + jpg
    --- low light.
    -- c3 - auto iso to 200, f8, large raw + jpg
    --- I c something that deserves best results
    - sigma noise suppression implementation is very heavy handed, this is one of reasons in camera jpgs are not very good
    -- in spp raw converter I tend to use -2 for noise values. Would rather live r fix in better sw apps then live w/ what sigma is doing.
    - shutter noise is not bad once u disable all sound. But x100 w/ leaf shutter has it beat and Ricoh gxr or Pentax q w/ electronic shutter mode is the absolute quietest.

    Hope that helps
    Gary
     
  5. garylh

    garylh FujiXspot Regular

    71
    Feb 7, 2013
    Yep.. High iso camera it is not. Best to think of it as a sunny day camera. Once u get past iso 400, start thing about b&w. the crappy sw in my mind is the only really issue I have. I have figured out a lot about how to live w/ it's faults. I use an IMac i5 w/ a 3.6 ghz CPU and 8gb of memory. Only had two crashes since I bought do2m before December.

    Gary
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. garylh

    garylh FujiXspot Regular

    71
    Feb 7, 2013
    Forgot another pro.. For Merrill. Much cheaper lens hood ..
    Gary
     
  7. garylh

    garylh FujiXspot Regular

    71
    Feb 7, 2013
    I hope u did your evaluation w/ raw to tiff files. Jpg are the wrist of any modern digital camera. By your spp crash comment wasn't sure if u had the chance. Raw to tiff images will show just how good it really is.

    Gary
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther FujiXspot Veteran

    461
    Feb 2, 2013
    Texas
    • Like Like x 2
  9. garylh

    garylh FujiXspot Regular

    71
    Feb 7, 2013
    I like the yellow rose, the Texas blue bonnet and the last two Picts the best.

    Here is a set I post at sc a while ago...a mix of medium and large raw files converted to tiff16. The b&w were converted from the color tiff using the silver fx pro 2 plugin for aperture.

    8489777597_e0881b5c9e_b_d.

    8490876706_45ffc0172e_b_d.

    8490876494_04fc518953_b_d.

    8489776679_5395cab996_b_d.

    8489776081_de6690471c_b_d.

    8490875366_21537012b4_b_d.

    8489775549_c20f38c106_b_d.

    8489775251_01b2219f8b_b_d.

    8490874338_dbccaa91a9_b_d.

    8489612113_38bc9605f7_b_d.

    8490711000_2e85a7d9bc_b_d.

    Gary
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. garylh

    garylh FujiXspot Regular

    71
    Feb 7, 2013
  11. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    855
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    RT and Gary.... lovely shots.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    38
    Feb 2, 2013
    I absolutely LOVED the colors from the DP2s outdoors in good light and sometimes even indoors, but the horrible AF system and horrible ISO noise at 400 ISO and above made me sell it. The DP2 Merrill still suffers from ISO noise at 400+ and although the AF has improved it still struggles in low light and has slower AF than even "slow" cameras like my Pentax K-01.

    http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=5210&review=+sigma+DP2+merrill
     
  13. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto FujiXspot Regular

    61
    Feb 10, 2013
    Frederick, CO
    I am impressed, beyond amazed, at the IQ that the Sigma DPs are producing. The Foveon X3 seems to be a killer sensor technology. I poo-pood the "poor resolution" of these "46 megapixel" claims (I LOOOVE big prints, I'd happily shoot 8x10 film or digital medium format if I could) until I saw some reviews that forced some sense back into my head like this one and [video=youtube;f3VjyHQiqdE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3VjyHQiqdE[/video].

    Now I just wish I could get that sensor in a compact mirrorless body. I'm struggling with the logic of buying the DP1M, DP2M, DP3M, and 3 extra batteries each, instead of one body, 3 lenses, and 3 batteries.
     
  14. garylh

    garylh FujiXspot Regular

    71
    Feb 7, 2013
    I think a lot depends on how big u print. U definitely need three batteries, but u maybe able to get by w/ two cameras unless u need a macro that is. From a normal Bayer sensor setup, a 16mp sensor even w/ 50% crop should provide easy print to 8x10, depending on your expectations as high as 13x19. Thus the 45mm equiv of the dp2m can be used to create some effects the equiv of 75 to 90 but the issue would be the background separation will not have the same true look as a real tele lens.

    I don't like to change lenses in the field, so back in the day when I was using Leica/Minolta CLs, I had a 21 cv on one body and a 40f2 Minolta v2 on the other. I always loved that combo. I wish sigma would one day produce a wider lens then the one on dp1m. This is why I am looking forward to the Fuji 14 and 27 combo.

    Sigma Merrill's are not the prettiest, nor the sexist or the fastest out there, and Sigma w/ spp is a boat anchor compared to even silky pix. I hope one day they can get adobe or apple or capture one involved. It is not a camera for everyone... They probably have the smallest niche of any digital camera company, but I still love my Merrill... :D

    Gary

    Ps. At least the Merrill's come w/ two batteries...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. demiro

    demiro FujiXspot Regular

    93
    Jan 31, 2013
    PA-USA
    Dean
    Thanks for all the replies and great shots. This validates my previous opinion that the Sigma Merrills are potentially awesome but pretty damn scary. They certainly do have the capability to seduce you if your shooting style fits the niche they fill.
     
  16. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther FujiXspot Veteran

    461
    Feb 2, 2013
    Texas
    If you're an avid strobist, the Foveons should be for you :cool:
     
  17. garylh

    garylh FujiXspot Regular

    71
    Feb 7, 2013
    To me using the Merrill's is like back in the film days when we shot w/ slide film like Kodachrome or fujichrome. Not as much dynamic range as negatives and best shot using low iso films, but the contrast, punch and color made up for it.

    Gary
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto FujiXspot Regular

    61
    Feb 10, 2013
    Frederick, CO
    30"+ on the long side, 300dpi metal prints usually. I have stitched panos from my OMD that I have had to upscale to fit that print size. :)

    Same here, although I'm more likely to use a zoom than two bodies with a prime on each. That might change if I can get the Fuji 14 as well. :)

    Right! I forgot about that, that's very cool!