Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sigma DP2 (Part II) - My gears ...

I got myself the DP2 after reading about the Foveon sensor image quality. I must admit i have a soft spot for underdogs company that tried to produce outstanding and innovative products. When i found a really good offer by a camera reseller in Pudu Plaza (KL, Malaysia), i reasoned that since the 28 mm A12 GXR won't be available here for sometime, i might as well use my budget and try out this camera.

Here is how it looks like when unboxed. It comes with the standard stuff on usb cables, batteries and the Sigma PhotoPro software.

I got mine with an extra batteries and a hood adapter for the price around USD 650. I didn't even use the cd provided since i know there must be many revisions since the packaged was shipped to this reseller. In fact when i checked the camera's firmware it is 1.00. Obviously Sigma camera presence in Malaysia is very very weak and i only found out about this DP2 a year later after it was launched...from the internet.

Brand new

Now to cut short the unboxing story, i upgraded the firmware to 1.05 which is the latest at this point and the camera initial impression was "The autofocus, and lcd screen is so outdated in performance".
After weeks of playing with it and religiously reading other owners blogs and reviews and tips i concluded the following rules on using DP2 :

1. It can actually perform VERY well in lowlight, you just needed a TRIPOD. So get yourself a gorilla pod or those minipod (yeap DP2 is so light that these small tripods can work). Alternative somekind of beanbag can work too. I also tried using techniques on holding cameras without shaking and worked pretty ok.
You can read more about those techniques here : 6 Techniques on holding camera

Updated 4th January 2011
Get a mecablitz 20 c-2 external flash. This flash is small and its support tilting and enables you to
angle the flash to the ceiling. With this flash you just select either 2.8 or the 5.6 markings on the flash and use the 2 same aperture on your system. You can get very good images, there is just no two way about
it, either use a tripod or use an external flash. You set to manual and set the shutter speed to say 1/60 at least and be amazed of how nice your shots looks like in low light.

2. You will need 2 batteries. It can only shoot up to 100 images before it runs dry and that pretty fast. Sometimes i shot just up to 40 images and it runs out if i spend too much time viewing it via the LCD.

3. For anything less that 1 meter in broad daylight, use ISO 50 . You will see how beautiful and clear portraits are in DP2, thanks to the Foveon sensor.

4. Street photography is very good if its outdoor and fill with sunlight. Set manual focus to slightly over 5 meter and set F to 5.6.

5. As mentioned by many users, shoot only in RAW and use the SPP software to process it. I use a class 10 card and have no problem shooting all the way doing street photography style.

6. Do not set ISO over 400. Its really not usable for color photos. For B&W photography however, you can set ISO up to 3200.

7. Its pretty easy to do HDR photography. Click on the OK button and the up arrow until it reaches 2.7 or 3.0 (the display on the upper left) and then just click once. It will take 3 photos on +- the exposure you set just now and you just need an HDR software to do it. I personally find HDR overrated especially those that leans towards the "fake" look. Whats the point of creating a photo that loses all its realism? A good HDR would be to make the photo clear and have good details in the EV combined, it should look real

Here is a PSEUDO HDR, done via just a single picture.


Here is how a real HDR looks like


As you can see, there really isn't much saturation nor those CGI looking stuffs on it, just
better contrast combined due to the 3 diff exposures.

Now carrying the DP2 around is easy, I got myself a waist/slingbag to hold the hold, a tripod and an extra battery. All these fit into a relatively small pouch/sling bag that makes it my travel companion.

DP2, Tripod, Hood, +1 extra battery fits here

Although the GXR pouch is even smaller, the DP2 pouch is larger because i put in a mini tripod.

A mini tripod like this one is a MUST for DP2

In subsequent posting i will be sharing mostly on further discoveries, photos on the DP2 and GXRs.

No comments:

Post a Comment