Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sigma DP Merrill and Other Gear Talk

It's been a while since I've posted. I am still using the Sigma DP Merrill cameras. (DP2M, and DP3M). I don't want to give them up. I do miss using Leica cameras, but the cost and the quality control of the digital bodies prevent me from using them again. I still use the Leica D-Lux 4, even though I have purchased a Canon G7X which has a 1 inch sensor, bigger than the D-Lux's. I still don't want to sell the little D-Lux because the lens on it is very sharp. Not to put down the little Canon camera, it does have a little more range with the bigger sensor. I like the tilt screen on it. 

I sold the Sony NEX 6 due to the camera's quirks with the kit lenses, and my not wanting to invest big money into their E mount Zeiss lenses. I think I'll wait for the Sony A7RII or equivalent. I am still looking to get back into the Fuji X series due to the lovely lenses they have, but because these Sigmas do so well, I can't justify the expense of either a Fuji X series or a full frame camera at this time. So I am kind of stuck with many small cameras that each do different things. 

Thankfully I did break down and get an Induro Tripod. I sent the first one back as it was faulty. B&H Photo took it back with no complaints, and shipped me another one. After the new year, I will be using it with the Sigma DP Merrill cameras, because that's where they shine the best, on a freaking tripod. Yeah, I know it took me long enough to get one, but I kept running into snags on cost and every time I would try to cut costs, the tripod was a piece of junk. I finally found this Induro Series. I also looked into Three Legged Thing tripods due to Trey Ratcliff using them, but I had such a hard time trying to find out about them, and no replies from customer service. When I did finally read some customer reviews, they weren't that great. So, Induro Tripods it is! This is the name of the tripod I purchased if you are interested in checking them out. I got a little tool kit and carrying bag for it. It's the travel tripod so not the big one. (GTT204M2 Grand Truism Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber)

As for buying more cameras, Leica came out with a bunch of new ones, all of them overpriced and lacking in features that I want or need. I will keep my eyes on them. The Leica Q looks interesting. Too expensive for me. Also fixed 28mm which my Ricoh GR already has and is quite sharp. I almost want to step back in time and get the M8.2 again if it not for the high cost and high cost of their lenses. Leica left such a bad taste in my mouth with all the issues I had with their cameras that I am kind of burned out on them. I still hope they will come out with a lovely camera. Meanwhile, I wait with what I have now:

Canon G7X: Bought for the video abilities for Vlogging and the macro. Has a 1 inch sensor. Equivalent to the Sony RX100 IV, but with longer zoom range to 100mm, and the 1.8 lens goes a bit longer in the zoom than the Sony. Plus, the Sony costs $400 more! The Sony has a bit of an edge in low light, as told on reviews, but I am skeptical. The Sonys tilt screen can enable shooting from above, but the frame which holds the tilt screen seemed a tad weak to me. The macro ability on the Sony isn't as good as on the Canon, but it does shoot 4K video. Yeah, it shoots it for only 5 minutes and I have heard of the thing overheating. I honestly don't need 4K video right now. I'm not that into video. Besides, when I update my iPhone, it will have 4K video abilities. For the amount of video I am now shooting, that is sufficient. So, why did I buy the Canon G7X? I am going backward in Sensor size, which kind of pisses me off, but I wanted a camera to shoot videos with selfie abilities, and the flip up tilt screen, along with the macro abilities in a 1 inch sensor size makes this a cool camera. I wish it had the ability to shoot panoramic in camera like the Sony, but I don't use that feature much. (In the end, the Canon G7X is going back. I just can't warrant the cost for the crappier sensor, even if it does cool selfie videos. I will use my iPhone instead for now. ) I liked it in the Sony NEX series though and kind of miss it. The Canon does have touch screen and the ability to use the rotating ring for aperture, (yes!) and for other features that I can set. It clicks which makes it useless for focusing while shooting videos though, (NO! Boo Canon!) I did actually miss my S95camera, which I gave to my sister. The ease of use and pocketability was missed. Using the Ricoh GR, I am annoyed in that it doesn't have image stabilization, something the little Canon G7X has, and the 28mm lens on the Ricoh is sharp, but having a compact with zoom and macro ability is nice too. The Ricoh doesn't shoot good macro. It does have an APS-C sensor in it though. So, I am keeping it for the fact that it is pocketable, is a great street and landscape shooter, and the file convert to LOVELY B&W. The Sigmas beat it in B&W, but the Ricoh GR is no slouch. Plus the snap focus on it along with the usability factor make it a great pocket camera. (As much as I missed the Cann, I grew out of its sensor. Really, there is no going back. I do like the macro though. Oh well. Back to the drawing board!)

So for what I have the Sigma Dp3M has a 75mm lens, great for product and portraits. Also great if I want to stitch files together for panoramic that will blow up into MONSTER SIZE prints. The Sigma DP2M is 45mm, somewhat like shooting the 50mm lens which is most like our eyesight. Both cameras have tack sharp lenses and that Foveon yumminess. (The DP2M is good at street, but in bright daylight in ISO 100-200, or 400-800 if converted to B&W. Lots of dynamic range. The shine best with landscape though.) The Ricoh GR is a poor women's Leica. The 28mm lens is as sharp as a Leica Summicron lens according to tests done by Digilloyd's website. No image stabilization and a not so fast 2.8 lens are annoying. Also, some units have dust within the camera, which is talked about in some forums. So quality control isn't the greatest. Still, it's a killer street photography camera. Inspired Eye Magazine's creator loves them. Wouter shoots with them. (The new Ricoh GR is not a good upgrade in my opinion. The only thing they added was in software and WiFi. No EVF, no image stabilization. It's a re-branding, and many reviews mention this. Save your money if thinking of upgrading)

I don't know what the answer is for compact cameras with big sensors in them. Right now, each camera out there has something great, but is also lacking in something. I think the manufacturers do this on purpose. I would love for a compact camera to come out that shoots 4K without broiling, has either an APS-C sensor or full frame, (but only 24mp), tilt screen ability, has sharp lenses, can shoot macro, has image stabilization, shoots in a RAW format that every program recognizes, has WiFi, firmware updates, and either Fuji lenses or Leica lenses attached. Okay, so where is that camera. Take the Fuji lenses and place it on a hybrid Sony A6000 that looks like a Fuji X-T1 or the new Fuji X Pro 2 without the Xtrans, but with a Foveon Sensor and ability to shoot in low light like the Sony A7S. Whew. Good luck manufacturers. That's a tall order. It won't happen. 

Nikon D810 looks pretty good about now, if it were the size of a Sony A6000. ;)

Below are pictures taken with the Sigma DP2M & DP3M