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Thread: dp1 as a street shooter

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    dp1 as a street shooter

    well i thought i might offer up my impressions on the dp1 as a street camera. i shoot street stuff to sort of "chill" from the documentary work as it can be a little taxing (emotionally) at times.

    i currently shoot press and commissioned documentary work for a living.

    the dp1 as it turns out has a very strong niche in the hands of the "old school" street shooters. coming from a rangefinder i am very comfortable with zone focusing. the dp1 has a brilliant interface for manual zone focusing and my only quibble is that i wish the manual focus wheel was also in "feet" much like the display after firmware 2.0. old habits... i am surprised that so many reviews seemed fail to pick up on just how well suited the camera is for said approach to street shooting. mostly one is warned to stay away if you want a fast, responsive camera. well, beyond the write times when shooting raw and start up, the camera, with a little knowledge, can be set up to shoot as quick as you can press the shutter.

    i have also set the ael button to lock focus distance (like the "snap" mode on the old gr1's). works brilliantly when you have the lighting to run small apertures providing lot's of DOF.

    i was quite pleased, initially, with being able to set the top right buttons to toggle iso however i now find that is the exact point where i rest my thumb so i am quickly trying to figure out how to disengage them completely... it looks like "off" will do it!

    the raw write times are a bother. if you are used to rattling a couple of frames off it will take some time to get used to. from a tech standpoint this can be seen as a serious flaw however as we all know limitation can serve you well. i found over the first day of using it i have become quite patient and wait for what i deem the "decisive moment" (please forgive me for using that phrase). i have only shot raw files and will try shooting jpegs soon on a suggestion from a member here.

    as you all know the camera can be set-up to shoot completely silent. slap an external finder on there, turn off the display and auto review and you are running on the serious DL (down low).

    i don't have enough time in with the files yet to comment but so far i am pleased. it is easily noticed that i am no "stickler" for megapixels and super clean images though. content, content, content is my mantra.

    the software is, in my humble opinion, a royal pain in the arse! slow! slow! slow!

    a few quibbles i thought i would throw out there as i am sure there is answers with the more experienced dp1 shooters.

    1/ the playback button, after the camera is on for a while, doesn't playback images for me. in essence, after about 20 minutes of being ready to go (i have a habit of touching the shutter release every once in a while to keep the camera awake and ready) the playback button becomes a dud. after powering the camera off and back on again the playback button comes back online? not a BIG deal for me as i rarely use it but every once in a while i check lighting etc.

    2/ running a 24" g5 imac with 10.4.11. the sigma software doesn't seem to recognize the camera when hooked up by usb. again not a big issue as i usually employ a card reader but as it stands it doesn't recognize the camera... the mac will register the camera as a drive.

    3/ according to most of the literature i have read the dp1 has a 3 shot buffer? is that a 3 jpeg buffer only? my experience so far is 1 raw file and wait... and wait.

    well i hope to add more as i learn and experience the dp1. i applaud sigma for the ba*$ to put the camera out and hope and pray that a firmware update will be forthcoming with a deeper buffer. please feel free to add comments or clear up any errors i may inadvertently have made.
    Last edited by gallery7; 16th November 2009 at 22:56.

  2. #2
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Great write-up on the DP1. I like it for much the same reasons you describe. It is a unique camera that is excellent for certain types of shooting. Plus I really like the results in B&W at ISO 400 and 800 - very pleasing.

    Haven't noticed any issue with the replay button, but I seem to recall some issue with the camera not responding to some button presses at some point. I'll have to pay attention if this happens again.

    I haven't even installed the Sigma software since I already was using Lightroom.

    The 3 shot buffer only comes into play when you set the Drive Mode to Continuous. In that mode the camera quickly takes three raw shots that are later saved to the card. I find this feature pretty much useless since you can't control when the second and third shots are fired.

    -Thomas

  3. #3
    wbrandsma
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by gallery7 View Post
    the raw write times are a bother. if you are used to rattling a couple of frames off it will take some time to get used to. from a tech standpoint this can be seen as a serious flaw however as we all know limitation can serve you well. i found over the first day of using it i have become quite patient and wait for what i deem the "decisive moment" (please forgive me for using that phrase). i have only shot raw files and will try shooting jpegs soon on a suggestion from a member here.
    Many thanks for your impression of the DP1. I pretty much made up my mind that I want this camera. But I am seriously interested in the quality of the jpegs. Are the differences in terms of quality really noticable for street photography? So keep us informed how you like the jpegs for street photography.

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    The 3 shot buffer is actually right.....you can record while the red light blinks.....

    I would suggest that you turn power save off in the menu. Just remember to turn off the camera when not in use or you'll be complaining about battery life rather quickly....

    on the zoomie buttons...turn the "T" button off...and the "W" button to ISO....your thumb shouldn't hit the W button....it's nice to just change iso at the touch of a button....no pun intended...

    I would suggest the hood only because us old school M Shooters will feel like we have a M4 in our hands......The camera will respond that way. I usually 1/2 press every few minutes not because the camera has to wake up but because I have a 1/2 press
    neurosis ...but it does reassure me that the camera is awake.....

    It's a sweet camera but a devil in disguise. I can't use anything else with commitment because of the results the DP1 creates....other cameras bar NONE just don't have that life in their images.....sad but true for me....

    Oh, don't ever feel funny about using the words..."The Decisive Moment". We as photographers have a duty and responsibility to continue and encourage the genre' of
    street photography. Those words belong to all of us not just Henri.

    shooter

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    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    I've just decided to set the camera up internally for b&W jpg then the W zoom button for image quality. You can then choose to shoot RAW or B&W or just use the B&W setting as a sort of preview for composing in B&W, then shoot RAW.

  6. #6
    ddk
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    gallery 7, where did you take this picture? The streets look like a war zone and the woman are stylishly dolled up with 60's hairdos and glasses, very interesting!

  7. #7
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    David...Looks like Philly to me...home sweet home...

  8. #8
    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Hi David,

    My guess would be Quebec somewhere judging by the presence of French and English and a North American kind of look. Gallery7 states Montreal as one of his locations too.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Centre de Loto sign could mean a Latin country??

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    toronto... canada. out on queen st. west. bit gritty on that stretch. montreal would be a very good guess as i do have a flat there! the canadian press images office is in toronto so i spend a few days a month there.

    it was a very strange chain of events... the extremely warm day, in an otherwise very, very cold and snowy winter provided a very messy street scene and then these two came waking straight out of the 60's manhattan?!?! it all just came together then vanished almost as quickly.

    i will try the single button for iso change today streetshooter. if it works out i will be very pleased. perhaps my issue's with the playback button are in fact the camera not responding as a whole. it will still take the photo. i just have no playback that i know of. i'll give it a try today. it's interesting that the battery life was mentioned as i am less than pleased with the battery life so far... i didn't comment on it directly as i am sure there are some tricks to extend the life. i currently shoot with an optical finder and the display off most of the day. i do however have the same "half shutter twitch" which keeps the camera on for hours on end so perhaps this is my issue? i currently work on a d700 and d3 and the battery life on those things has set a very, very high bar. must keep that in perspective i suppose.

    i'll rattle off some jpegs today and see how they work out. again, please keep in mind that i tend to favor an old pushed tri-x kind of look. what you will see is not necessarily the same file the dp1 will put out.

  11. #11
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    G7,
    I'm there with you with the Tri-X look.
    Mitch over at RFF sold me on Silver Efex. He was right.
    The battery issue was covered well at the DP Review
    Sigma forum. Get 2 backups...you need them.

    the button trick I got from here. There are some very
    good shooters here. If you keep the lcd set to off...
    then it only comes on when you change something.
    Then just 1/2 press the release and the screen goes
    off again....
    The finder works well but sometimes I struggle
    to see the frame lines.... because of the shape/size,
    there isn't a good alternative.....
    But it's a great camera anyway.....

  12. #12
    VladimirV
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetshooter View Post
    The finder works well but sometimes I struggle
    to see the frame lines.... because of the shape/size,
    there isn't a good alternative...
    You should have a look at the GV2 finder from Ricoh, it is relatively inexpensive but is of higher quality than the Sigma one. It is made by Cosina/Voigtländer and full metal. The framelines are much easier to see there.
    But don't take the GV1 finder, although it is much better, it won't fit on the DP1 due to the mode dial being in the way.

  13. #13
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    i use the voigtlander 28/35 mini finder and those lines are bright as can be!

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    I used the Voigtlander 28/35 mini finder as well but it requires me to put my eye really close to see the 28mm frame lines. Just got the Voigtlander 28mm finder and it has better eye relief plus there are no distracting 35mm frames. It's a bit bigger but I find it better for my use. It's also a little higher so the hood blocks less of the view.

    -Thomas

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    it does require that eyeball up close but it also fit's very well in my pocket. i would prefer the larger 28mm finder but alas that would not fit that well in my pocket. i tried it with a grd to no avail. and when i say pocket i mean jeans... back pocket while i ride my jalopy bike around town.

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Yeah, even my Leica finders are to big.
    The mini works well but I hate the double framelines ..
    made me crazy with the R-D1s. I might try the
    Ricoh GV2 if it's as good as youse say....
    shooter

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    The issue with the Ricoh finder is that it's 3:4 ratio rather than 2:3, so you need to be aware of the difference when framing.

    -Thomas

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Thomas,
    Ya just saved me some agg and a few hundred...
    I was just ordering from Popflash....
    Thank you Sir....

  19. #19
    wbrandsma
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by gallery7 View Post
    i'll rattle off some jpegs today and see how they work out. again, please keep in mind that i tend to favor an old pushed tri-x kind of look. what you will see is not necessarily the same file the dp1 will put out.
    I am not so much interested in the original file too. Based on how the processed file lookes it gives me a sense of what is possible with the file. And that is what matters to me, so many thanks in advance.

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    sorry folks, it's late and i just wanted to add a few of the jpegs for the interested...

    quite a bit of the work at www.galler7.com has been and will be shot with the dp1. please look at the "unity" gallery to check it out. of course any and all feedback is welcome... no need to be kind.

    cheers!
    Last edited by gallery7; 16th November 2009 at 22:56.

  21. #21
    VladimirV
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by trisberg View Post
    The issue with the Ricoh finder is that it's 3:4 ratio rather than 2:3, so you need to be aware of the difference when framing.

    -Thomas
    Ah, for some reason I thought the DP1 shoots in 4:3 format.

  22. #22
    nei1
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Two very fine photos,welldone and wellcome .

  23. #23
    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Gallery7,

    Those are both good, expressive photographs.

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    vielen Dank

  25. #25
    wbrandsma
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Thank you John for posting. Very good photographs indeed. Looking through your Unity gallery I really like this one too.

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    thank you very much my friend. the truth of course is that the pictures are only good thanks to the graciousness of the subjects.

    many, many thanx for your kind words and interest.

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    very nice pics, 'gallery7'; thanks for sharing

    cheers
    -sandy
    -----------------------------------------
    http://http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    thank you very much sandy... i really appreciate all the input! please keep an eye on the site and feel free to spread the word as it is a very worthy project. all proceeds from the project (as it develops) will be turned back into the development of the Unity Project.

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    ps sandy, you need to delete the beginning http:// from your link for it to work. cheers!

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Great black and white shots.
    Does the dp1 have a black and white setting for raw shooting or is this done in post. If an in camera setting how do people find this setting compared to shooting in raw colour and converting via dxo film pack or similar purely in terms of geting a relaistic film look..eg for plus-x or tri-x?
    I've been shooting recently with a rangefinder and black and white film and really loving it (I usually shoot medium format film for my fine art and digital for commercal work) but have loved the compact rangefinder experience for black and white personal work...but also need to be able to shoot in colour at a whim for stock shots with the one discreet camera, so looking at the DP1 with external viewfinder as possible not too costly (rd-1 /M8) compact discreet simple solution.

    Cheers,

    Marc

    www.marcwilson.co.uk

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    No, the DP1 has no such settings. Best approach is to shoot RAW and PP to B&W.

    Cheers,

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Cheers,
    I assumed as much but never hurts to ask!
    So with this dp1 sensor are people shooting at the same iso as the desired film look speed (i.e. 400 for tri-x / 100 for plus-x, and then using silver efx, dxo or similar) or getting best results from the cleanest raw file (shot at lowest iso) and then efx'ed?

    Cheers,

    Marc

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    i almost exclusively shoot iso 800, raw, convert via channel mixer.

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by gallery7 View Post
    i almost exclusively shoot iso 800, raw, convert via channel mixer.
    Oh yeah, 800 is about ideal for the DP1.....in raw
    I convert in....(Silver Efex)...gotta be quiet about that.....it's almost to easy...

  35. #35
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Personally, I always try to use the lowest ISO I can for a given situation, but as others point out, the DP1 is easily pushed. Even the f4 lens can fool you... you can get very nice bokeh wide open.

    Ciao,

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    SPP has a very nice monochrome mode where you can see and/or convert all your images easily if you don't want to mess with a lot of PP. it's not as elegant as RAW *and* BW JPEG (so you can see it on your screen), but it's still pretty seamless. you can get a very film-like look and feel just using this, though i usually prefer to do it other ways in PS.

    as Simon mentioned, i'm another who prefers to keep it as low as possible, but i never worry about going up to 800 (if you want the "grain" you can always manipulate it in PP). if you want colour, then you really must keep it low.

  37. #37
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Cam

    That's a very good way to do conversions but...what I do is make the file b&w in SPP, then
    do the corrections...then convert back to color...export and import to PS...and convert to B&W in Silver Efex..

    This way ya get to see the effects on the conversion as it will be in B&W.....

    I like the iso 800 cause it's very nice in B&W...color I would go lower but it's few and far between that I need color....plus at 800 ya can use f8 or f11 and and have great DOF..
    shooter

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    Re: dp1 as a street shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetshooter View Post
    Oh yeah, 800 is about ideal for the DP1.....in raw
    I convert in....(Silver Efex)...gotta be quiet about that.....it's almost to easy...
    shhhhhh....

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