Jul 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm #1230273
Just back from a 10 day trek through the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, using the Sigma DP1. Just starting to review photos today and am very pleased with the results.
More to come eventually, but here's a teaser:
Cabin Creek area on the Thorofare Trail, Yellowstone National Park.Jul 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm #1443813
Great color.Jul 21, 2008 at 5:45 pm #1443842
I thought that the idea was to sit in front of the computer and pick faults on the new cameras. What's up with this "taking pictures" bit ? Looks like another fad to me.
and yes, we have noticed the shelterJul 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm #1443843
What kind of shelter is that? Looks kind of funky from the back.Jul 24, 2008 at 4:24 pm #1444419
You all are privy to the first views of the new BPL Tartan. The UL kilts should be a breakthrough product!Jul 24, 2008 at 4:45 pm #1444422
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Or is it the hand and eye behind the camera?Jul 25, 2008 at 12:17 am #1444490
Roger, right now we want to know about the tent, forget the camera bit…
FrancoJul 25, 2008 at 5:46 am #1444522
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
The suspense of the identity of the shelter is killing me!
Is the "teaser" you're referring to, Ryan, that of the camera or the shelter in the photo???Jul 25, 2008 at 7:31 am #1444540
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I thought the same thing when I first saw the picture, Miguel!
It does look intriguing, and at the same time entirely out of my price range. Though the same analysis applies to the camera :).
AdamJul 25, 2008 at 10:17 am #1444555
Rick called the new shelter the Tartan. It looks like a cuben fiber alphamid sorta, with a back end that can be raised for ventilation. I'm not sure what Rick meant by UL kilts unless he meant kit.Jul 25, 2008 at 5:52 pm #1444609
"Kilt " : an excuse for men that want to wear a skirt; made with a cloth called tartan.
Tartan : criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands, originally a woven cloth but now made using other materials such as the one of a mysterious tent sighted at Backpackinglight.
FrancoJul 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm #1444610
Real men wear kilts.Jul 25, 2008 at 7:42 pm #1444627
@fperkinsLocale: North East
The camera is 8.8 ounces. I wonder if the tent is lighter ;-)Jul 25, 2008 at 8:20 pm #1444630
"real men wear kilts"
But there is nothing worn under the kilt, it's all in working order.
During my brief test of the DP1 I came to the conclusion that the "bad points" were not that relevant to backpacking whilst the "good points" are all applicable.
Now if Ryan spills the beans on the new shelter we might even consider talking about the shots from his Sigma.
FrancoJul 26, 2008 at 10:38 am #1444678
Should I have said "Clan BPL tartan"?
I'll have to stay out of the shelter discussion, as I have zero inside dope on anything new tested on Ry's trip, only the observation he's always testing *something*. I also don't know whether that fabric really appears plaid-like or the Sigma's Foveon sensor is creating a moire pattern not visible to the naked eye.
I do want to know about the carbon-fiber "branch."Jul 26, 2008 at 11:59 am #1444683
Wow, you guys are vultures ;)
(and easily distracted)
The beauty of a dynamic forum is the ability to take conversation where it needs to go I suppose. I'm OK with that. Let this nugget be hidden in this forum!
So we can bring the subject back to photography, I'll concede a little info about the shelter.
This is a Cuben Fiber canopy and a noseeum inner tent with a floor made of the new fabric we are developing for our bivy floor line (silicone coating, about 0.9 oz/yd2). Effectively, it's a double wall tent that weighs about 12 ounces sans poles.
I took this in lieu of a tarp setup on my Yellowstone trek because (a) the mosquitoes were to be extraordinary (and they lived up to their promise) and (b) I wanted to be able to "live" in the tent a little (read, wash, change clothes, look at maps, write) because we were doing lower mileage days.
I did not take trekking poles on this trek, so the front of the tent is pitched with a packrafting paddle (the adjustable Sawyer Packraft Paddle) in the front, and a stick in the back (see photo for the stick). I borrowed my companion's trekking pole for a few nights, working out the trekking pole configuration as well. You can of course also use a paddle or trekking pole or anything else straight for the back. I also took a tent pole and figured that pitch out as well. The pole I use with this tent (when not taking trekking poles or packrafting paddles) is an Easton 0.490" that weighs about 4 oz (shockcorded), because I just like the stiffness of that pole. I did a carbon one as well, about the same diameter and only 2 oz. But you could just as easily use the Fibraplex type and get the pole down to 1.2 oz, but you lose stability going to that thin of a pole.
The rationale for this shelter is the following:
1. It must have complete views out two long sides (front and back) for grizzly bear surveillance :)
2. It must have a completely openable front side for an exceptional sunrise experience, where I can operate my camera and tripod uninhibited from the warmth of my quilt at sunrise.
3. It must have a big enough covered porch in the front for coffee brewing from bed.
4. It must be mosquito tight.
5. It must be large enough to store all my gear inside, sit up, spread out maps, and sort gear. It mostly serves this function, but is a little cramped.
I will post photos to get the discussion back on track in the next post :)
RyanJul 26, 2008 at 1:15 pm #1444688
Here are a few more photos from the DP1.
The flower photo just below has had some photoshopping done to it, to equalize the balance between sky and ground, and to open up the shadows of the subject, since this was taken with a high sun.
Flowers at Enos Lake, WY. At this point in the trek we were off our maps, and just sort of exploring our way down the Pacific Creek drainage from Two Ocean Pass on the CDT. We took a side trail up from Pacific Creek to Enos Lake, after cooking dinner late one night. The next three miles were to have the most fantastic fields of flowers of the entire trek. We took a lot of photos and videos that evening of the flowers, and the next morning as well, near Enos Lake, where this one was taken.
The remarkable thing I've noticed about the Foveon sensor is that (a) it captures a phenomenal amount of color detail in the pixels that can be drawn out later so long as you do not overexpose any of the image, and (b) the dynamic range is terrific. I'm pretty confident that if I shoot at EV-0.3 or -0.7 I can capture enough detail and color out of any shot that I can draw out what I need to during post-processing.
The quality of the images are on par with what I have been getting out of my Olympus D510 and Zuiko 12-60 lens.
Chris Townsend will be authoring a comprehensive review of the DP1 relative to its applicability for backpacking. I think for the photographer, it will be a real winner. For the snapshooter, it's going to frustrate them because it's slower than other P&S's. But if you're a meticulous photographer that likes to use a tripod, take advantage of the Magic Hours, and shoot manual, and focuses on landscape photography, then have a look at the DP1.
A few more:
Campfire on Thorofare River. This was taken from the remotest campsite in Yellowstone: 6T1, on the banks of the Thorofare River. We were the first permitted party into SE YNP this year, and the rangers tried to counsel us not to go, because of high water, dangerous river crossings, swamps, mud, etc. Being back here, and being the only ones back here (before the madness starts July 15, when fishing season opens back here) was one of the finest experiences I've had in several treks to this location. The Thorofare was running hard, and proved to be our most formidable ford early in the day on which this photo was taken.
The photo above was taken with a long exposure – 15sec. There has been some concern about the low light performance of the DP1. After reviewing noise, etc., I have none of these concerns. I think the low light performance is excellent and on par with any of the less-than-full-frame DSLR sensors out there, and better than some of them.
Enos Cutoff Trail near Pacific Creek. Between Enos Lake and Pacific Creek is an unmaintained trail in a state of disrepair, with lots of blowdowns, multiple paths created by outfitting party horses, washouts, overgrown willows, and mud. It was a hard day of hiking, with the weather deteriorating. We hiked late into the evening, and after baking in the hot sun of burned areas all day, we entered the cool forest of Pacific Creek. It was gloomy, but green and pretty at the same time. I really felt like this photo captured that mood.Jul 26, 2008 at 1:58 pm #1444691
Yeowza, look at those colors! That's nine ounces well spent, in my book.
The timed exposure–a bugaboo of typical digicams–really looks good.Jul 26, 2008 at 3:01 pm #1444695
I suppose the next thing y'all are going to ask about are the 4.6 oz trekking shirt and 4.0 oz trekking pants in the flower photo…
Doh! Wrong forum!Jul 26, 2008 at 4:33 pm #1444697
Finally back on track. This is one of the most significant development for the keen but lightweight photographer and some have to spoil it by digressing into totally unrelated banter.
Love the colors in the flower shots ( nice framing) and the "into the woods" feel of that last one. Reminds me of Fuji greens…
Looking forward to Chris's review.
FrancoJul 29, 2008 at 8:07 am #1444981
Excellent pictures! I'd be interested to know your post-processing techniques.
Also, is BPL planning on mass-producing that cuben tarptent you have in the first picture? It's sounds like exactly what I've been looking for!
If you need a beta tester, don't hesitate to send me one =)Jul 29, 2008 at 12:34 pm #1445005
"Excellent pictures! I'd be interested to know your post-processing techniques."
Same. Is that the natural dynamic range in the last one or was it taken as raw and then converted in an HDR program such as Photomatix?
If this camera can get those cloud details as well as the shadow details, then it's probably a pretty good camera.Jul 30, 2008 at 3:21 am #1445117
I have been using a DP1 for a couple of months now and am very happy with it. I was carrying a Canon 30D with a very good 17-50 (not the cheapo it came with) that weighed 3 lbs and cost $2k together, and this half-pound $800 camera for the most part takes pictures that look just as good.
You definitely need to shoot raw. Not only is the overall image quality better than the in-camera jpeg, but you get access to the full dynamic range of the sensor in post-processing.
Its interesting to see the difference in reviews of this camera, which highlite what a niche product it is. Professionals and serious amatures coming from the DSLR world looking for something with similar image quality in a smaller, lighter package tend to like it. The quirks and fiddle factor for them are not a huge deal compared to the great photos you can get with it. Those coming from the point and shoot world for whom ease of use and bells and whistles are high priority generally hate it.Jul 30, 2008 at 4:45 am #1445122
I'm not sure I could handle every one of my shots being at 28mm wide angle. But I can see it's a tradeoff that many will be willing to make for the weight savings.
I must say I'm disappointed it only has a 240×320 movie mode. If they had managed a VGA (640×480) mode that might have been enough to convince me take it instead of a dSLR.Jul 30, 2008 at 5:32 am #1445125
The Foveon sensor module has a VGA movie mode, so there is some hope that Sigma may add support for it in a future firmware update. People have definitely requested it.
Sigma is reportedly working on an additional version with a 50 mm-equivalent lense. For me, the 28 mm works fine most of the time for outdoor use, though I occasionally miss the zoom.
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