So some kind of conclusion maybe? Well again its mostly repeating myself. These DP Merrill cameras have one great pro and lots and lots of cons. The pro however can't be found anywhere else. There just isn't any other camera in the DSLR / Mirrorless / Rangefinder marketplace that offers the level of image quality at ISO 100 that these cameras do. The lenses are optimised to the sensor, so you are going to get better results than with an SD1 and the majority of Sigma lenses, so thats only partly a competitor. As I've written before if you upsize one of the files from these cameras they are pretty close to what you can get from a 36MP Nikon D800E and possibly better than what you can get from the basic D800. If you make prints you can make huge prints from these cameras and they will reproduce up to A2 with no problem at all.
However if you want to see the magic, because that is sometimes what it strikes me as being, leave the files at their native size and scroll around at 100% just to see what you were close to when you took the photograph. These cameras and this sensor produce forensically clear images. Just finally to give you an idea of whats going on I've put together two blowups to show the difference between Foveon and Bayer sensors.
One taken on the DP1 the other on a NEX-6 with a similar lens the 19mm Sigma prime on the Sony.
I've blown up the area to the right of the red button on the left remote control to 3200% which shows the image at the pixel level. The Sony image is sharpened, the Sigma image isn't.
As I said at the start of my piece yesterday, why don't all digital images do this? Why can't we have this level of definition in all cameras? Well we probably can't because of commercial reasons. Every camera manufacturer isn't going to ditch the Bayer sensor and start again. It would be madness if they did. Apart from that who else but nerds like me look at files at 3200% !!!
And thats the real reason. People don't really care that much. The Bayer CMOS sensors do their job, give us acceptable images that print and reproduce well and of course allow us to take pictures in all sorts of situations that the Foveon sensor doesn't. And ultimately its what the image consists of rather than how it looks and the technical quality, thats important.
But then assume you have extraordinary warm evening light illuminating the glorious landscape in front of you and you have a Bayer sensor camera and a Sigma Foveon camera with you, and you have your tripod. Which one do you choose then??
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