Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 is a significant update to the raw processor for X3F Raw files from Sigma’s cameras featuring the unique Foveon X3 Direct Image sensor as there is a completely new, dedicated monochrome processor for raw files from the original Sigma SD1 and all Merrill generation cameras, the SD1M, DP1M, DP2M, and the brand-new DP3M. And it is now available for download.
I was lucky enough to have spent much of the week prior to the release going public working up a ton of my X3 files in the new software, and I’ve smiled a lot seeing just how beautifully the new monochrome mode renders detail and tonal gradations. And the film-grain option is simply wonderful for adding a classic feel to images. The results, truly, can be breathtaking. I’ve worked up close to fifty of my shots so far, and this new monochrome process has me excited to get out and shoot more images with my SD1 and DP2M specifically for monochrome output. Continue reading Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 Monochrome: First Look, First Photos
Abandoned Diner, White House, NJ. Shot with the Sigma SD1 and Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM. X3F Raw file processed in Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 Monochrome mode.
The X3 processing has completely re-engineered for exceptional monochrome results, with great control over tonal range, contrast, subtle gradations, and a simply beautiful film grain option for expressive creative control.
So when the first shipments of the Sigma DP2 Merrill arrived we asked Robert if he’d be interested in doing a follow-up to this story featuring this amazing compact camera and his immediate email reply was simply this:YES! When? And then right after we posted this First Impressions blog post, we started making plans to spend a day with Robert Lopshire and model Abbie Davidson and the Sigma DP2 Merrill. We spent a Tuesday in early September at Robert’s home studio, and he and his team made a series of amazing photos.
Robert admitted to being just a little nervous about swapping out the DSLR for a compact camera, especially since this was a full-production shoot with a make-up artist and a hair stylist, but that quickly gave way to amazement and excitement as he checked out the images captured by the Sigma DP2 Merrill, first on the LCD, and then on his big computer monitor during a break in the photo session.
I’ve spent the past few weeks experimenting with the Sigma DP2 Merrill and I am quite honestly blown away by the images this compact prime lens camera produces. The Sigma DP2 Merrill creates amazing photographs with exceptional detail and beautifully smooth color gradations and nuances of tone. The overall image quality of this camera is simply amazing and outstanding.
And the feel of the images is stunning both when there is significant depth of field, and also when there is selective focus and a softened background thanks to the F2.8 maximum aperture with rounded blades and that large APS-C sensor for a “big camera” aesthetic to the images that is often lacking from so many small-chipped compact cameras.
Today, Sigma officially launches three new digital cameras, the Sigma SD1 Merill, the DP1 Merill, and the DP2 Merrill. Each of these cameras wears the name “Merrill” in honor and recognition of the passion, drive and vision of Richard “Dick” Merrill, a founding father of the Foveon sensor that is at the heart of Sigma’s Digital cameras.
Prior to being a member of Foveon’s team at its founding with Carver Mead and Dick Lyon among others in 1997, Merrill worked on semiconductor research and design at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, as well as National Semiconductor. Foveon colleagues talk warmly about Merrill as a prolific inventor, explorer, and problem-solver who owned an oscilloscope at the age of ten. His genius for tackling challenges in design and function is evidenced in the many patents awarded Merrill, and it is here, fueled by Merrill’s passion and brilliance, where so much of the story of Foveon and Sigma Digital Imaging truly unfolds.
Foveon’s first full-color digital imaging system, introduced in 1999, involved three image sensors aligned to the three exit planes for red, blue, and green light from a prism. This first device was capable of producing high-quality color images that recorded all primary colors at each pixel, but the prism manufacturing and assembly process was very complex. Guided by that singular focus–the creation of images in one shot that are comprised of three complete color image planes–was to be Foveon’s driving force throughout its evolution.