Most recently, I have decided to take a closer look at compact cameras, so that I can take high quality images while traveling and for everyday use.
The Sigma DP2 Quattro is a great camera for beginners, as it is suitable for both portrait and for nature photography as well as for close-ups.
I just grabbed this model and took it with me whenever I went out. The images can easily keep up with those taken with a DSLR camera. When it’s getting darker outside and you still want to take sharp pictures you may take flashlight accessories with you, just to be on the safe side.
When looking at the pictures on your computer screen afterwards, you can see how sharp they actually are and that they do have nice bokeh. Due to the Foveon sensor the motifs appear in their best colors and the many filters you can add through the menu of the DP cameras allow much freedom for experimental photographers.
First of all the most important thing: I wish you all a very Happy New Year! 🙂
In the following posting I’d like to show you some images that can make your decision between the Marumi DHG200 and the Raynox DCR-250 easier. Both achromatic lenses are a good and cheap (~ €70) option to improve the macro suitability of a camera or of a lens, respectively. But which one of the two achromatic lenses offers more for the same value?
I’ve taken quite a few nice macro shots with my go-to macro gear (Sigma DP3 Merrill and Marumi DHG200 achromatic lens) in the past. Being curious as I am, I’ve wondered for quite some time, how this combo would perform, if one were to screw an additional achromatic lens on to the Marumi. Since this thought just didn’t leave me alone, I finally gave in and bought a Raynox DCR-250 a few days ago. I’ve added a couple of photos of the DP3M and the two achromatic lenses down below. From left to right: DP3M, Marumi DHG200, Raynox DCR-250, Raynox adapter for filter threads with 52mm to 67mm diameters.
After all the photo walks with Art Lenses and the DP2 Quattro, it was time again to take the DP3 Merrill for a walk. From Sunday on it’s supposed to get a lot colder, so today’s photo walk is likely to have been the last chance for a few macros this year. As soon as temperatures drop, you won’t find any six-legged or eight-legged creatures. Unfortunately, the oak spiders have said goodbye for this year. The sac spiders have already closed their openings to their habitat sacs. Along the riverbank you can find many small “lumps” of cobweb, but hardly any insects or spiders. Nevertheless I could discover a few subjects for macros, of which I consider the following “Tarzan Spider” most interesting. 🙂
Although I’ve been taking pictures for ages, I’m still always surprised how important good light actually is. Modern photo technology, and modern sensors in particular, make shooting good pictures easier even under suboptimal lighting conditions; however, higher resolution, higher color depth and larger headroom in the shadows and highlights can’t replace good light. Light is still by far the most important ingredient in taking photos.
And that’s exactly what I’ve been reminded of many times over the past few weeks. I felt like taking pictures, and so I often went for a photo walk, but the weather didn’t turn out to be nice. I only shot pictures that ended up in the recycle bin after I’d seen them on my computer. You could argue about whether flat light or the photographer is to be blamed. 😉 But one thing’s for sure, good pictures need inspiration. But are there photographers who feel inspired by the cloudy sky and who, as they look at it, keep thinking, “oh yeah, that looks so nice…I’ve got to take a pic right away”? 😉
The day before yesterday I visited Veliko Gradište, a town on the banks of the river Danube in Eastern Serbia. Compared to Belgrade this place with a population of 6,500 is tiny and by far not so exciting but it’s still worth a trip, as colleagues assured me a number of times. The thing that makes this little town, which may seem unspectacular at first sight, so interesting is its lake Srebrno jezero (silver lake), which is 14 km long, as well as the nearby Golubac Fortress. Unfortunately, the latter is currently being renovated so I’ve decided to visit it at a later time after construction work has been finished. On that occasion I’ll also take a look at the sights close to the Iron Gates (Mraconia Monastery, Tabula Traiana etc.). All this will certainly take me two, perhaps even three days because one free day was barely enough for a walk along Srebrno Jezero and the Danube. 🙂
As I knew that I’d spend all day walking, I only took my DP2 Quattro with me. Luckily the weather turned out to be wonderful. 🙂
As I announced a couple of days ago, today I’ll present a workflow that further increases the High-ISO range of Merrill and Quattro Foveon sensors when taking color pictures. In contrast to the blue channel workflow, which is able to improve noise performance in black-and-white images almost without any side-effects, this particular workflow is a compromise between resolution and noise. My aim is to reduce luminance and colored cloud noise that is typical of Foveon sensors as much as possible, without making the images look softer than those taken with comparable Bayer sensor cameras. However, I haven’t yet found a magical way to make noise in color images disappear completely. 😉
Never has Sigma published so many sample images and so much informative material at the launch of a new camera as they have now for the launch of the DP0 Quattro. All three reports (slash/New York, slash/Nostalgic Japan, slash/Structure) have already been published on the website of Sigma Japan. As is the standard nowadays, all sample images are available for download in full resolution.
Furthermore, a few days ago the article „Inside Stories of Development“ was published, which allows a glimpse behind the curtain of the development of the camera and the unusual lens. It is interesting to know that the DP0 was originally planned as a fourth Merrill model, but that the project was ultimately abandoned. According to the article, the time was not yet deemed right for such a camera. The project was only picked up again after the DP2Q had been announced.
As the first website worldwide, SLRGear.com had the opportunity to thoroughly test the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art. According to a Review on Imaging-Resource’s partner website, the 24-35/2 A has very similar imaging qualities to its crop sibling (18-35/1.8 A).
A few days ago, Sigma published firmware updates for the DP Quattro series. As can be seen in the change log below, this time around the focus was on the speed of the auto focus and on the compatibility with Eye-Fi memory cards. Since I was still on holiday when the news where published and only had the combo SD1/18-300 C with me, I could not install the new firmware version 1.06 on my DP2 Quattro to test whether the AF speed had really been improved.
Today I finally got around to doing this and I have to say, my first impression is indeed rather positive. The boost in speed feels much bigger than when the firmware was updated to firmware version 1.02. The DP2 Quattro focuses accurately and sufficiently fast even at f/2.8, ISO3200 and an exposure time of 1/10s or longer. And it does that without the assist light and with the smallest AF area selected. The DP3 Merrill takes more than twice as long under the same light conditions, and even then the camera often runs through the entire focus range before finally giving up. As soon as one goes outside, however, the advantage of the DP2Q lessens somewhat, as can be expected. The Quattro certainly is no Olympus OMD in terms of AF speed, but after all the firmware updates, it is noticeably faster and much more reliable at focusing than the DP3M.