Yes You Can....Shoot with a DP2M over iso 100 and get good results.
Sometimes I'm astounded at the comments I read that reviewers make regarding cameras that they are testing. A number of online camera review websites and personal photography blogs have made some very tall claims about what the Sigma DP2M can't do. Thats a matter of perspective in my opinion. Compared to what? Images shot in the film days of grain? Or are we talking about today's super high ISO shooting cameras that turn anything above iso 1600 into mush with their in camera over processing? Let be real here. The only reason I can ever see to shoot higher than iso 1600 is if you absolutely have to get that image and the image is not going to be printed larger than 8x10.---Event photographers, photojournalist and paparazzi all can benefit from super high iso shooting. I understand this need. But video bloggers, professional reviewers and amateur reviewers making statements that the DP2M can't shoot decent images above iso 100 is doing a disservice to photographers who might truly benefit from shooting with this remarkable camera. So I provide you with actual proof that you can handhold and shoot with a DP2M at higher than ISO 100---even at night.
I shot the images below right after sunset at 6:24 pm until the end of twilight which ended at 6:46pm. There was absolutely no way I could ever hand hold an image at iso 100 after sunset but I didn't have my tripod with me. I tried--thinking that maybe I just might be able to surprise myself--but physics like heart beats have a way of getting in the way of things. So I set the camera to iso400 F2.8 on Aperture priority and took these images, changing the iso up to iso up to 6400. Iso 1200 is missing in series of images.
Conclusions? Color images processed in SPP5.5 looked decent up to iso 1600. Forget about shooting color images at above iso 1600 in super low light conditions. The sensor is just not capable of really pulling of capturing color images in dark conditions at above iso 1600 with acceptable results. Now if you want to shoot monochrome images at iso 3200 and iso 6400---by all means. You will get grainy looking images that remind me of Tri X film pushed to iso 1200 in the good old Black and white film days. Interestingly enough, Sigma has added some new goodies in the newest version of Sigma Photo Pro Software ( SPP5.5) that really takes creating monochrome images with the foveon sensor seriously up a notch! There is a banding removal tool and the ability to add film grain to the images--so if you are a film admirer like me who emulates films in his own work--its my way of seperating myself and the look of my images from the hoards of Canon and Nikon shooters out there--LOL, then you will love this new monochrome feature in the program. In the images below---I show you how you can salvage your Iso 3200 and Iso 6400 images by making them monochrome for a dramatic affect. I did not edit these images outside of SPP5.5 except to overlay the copyright mark using lightroom 4.0. In this scenario I didn't add film grain to them as there is plenty grain to go around at iso 3200 and iso 6400 already.
|ISO 400 F2.8|
|ISO 800 F2.8|
|ISO 800 F2.8 BW|
|ISO 1600 F2.8|
|ISO 1600 F2.8|
|ISO 3200 F2.8|
|ISO 3200 F2.8 BW|
|ISO 6400 F2.8|