DP1x highlight issue.. Fixable! UPDATE!!

(Using ONLY SPP 4.2 the DP1x shot looks perfect developed!)

UPDATE: If you have many versions of SPP installed on the same machine it seams that they can use each others engines at times – Not all the time, but sometimes. So be aware! The DP1x still have problems like below – but nothing as severe as my examples from yesterday! Man I feel uncomfortable about yesterdays post!.. but the “real” clipping issue still remains but not as severe as mentioned yesterday. SD15 clipping is similar to the DP1x shot below..

Color clipping
The DP1x is far more sensitive to clip highlight than SD14 and the original DP1, although it has cleaner dark areas so maybe it just an exposure issue? There are two easy ways to fix:

Mono WB selected, fine
First way: Switch over to Monochome WB! Now it looks MUCH better. :)

Second way. Be careful when exposing! Use bracketing! DP1x is fast enough to use it full time until Sigma figures out how to deal with “bright” colors.

Finally, the DP1x has the magic that I wanted from the DP1 – have a look at this portrait of – a friend. Shot at sunset at iSO100 and F4.
A dp1x shot, portrait (spp 3.3)

Original sized version. Developed using SPP 3.3 as it keeps skin a little bit more calm compared to SPP 4.2. As a SD and DP user you should have both 3.3 and 4.2 installed as some shots just look better using older algoritms and as a monochrome lover, then 4.2 sometimes is a big no no, especially with higher ISO shots. (You can find all of the important ones here!)

And yes, SD15 seams to have a little of the above issue as well, will Sigma be able to find and cure both cameras?! I certainly hope so!

From yesterday:
Hi All, I’m still working with the DP1x video review and during my work I’ve noticed some serious issues with how the DP1x handles highlights – and it sort of reminds me of the early days of DP2 (remember my early posts with clipped ISO50 shots?) the difference now is that it shows even at higher ISO’s which isn’t so nice – I’ve been worried about it as I think the DP1x takes AMAZING images (in situations where light is under control) and some of us have noticed an increase of sharpness using the SD15 and I’m happy to say that DP1x follows with very crisp images too, a bit SD9-ish.

Anyways today I noticed while looking at Linn’s China shots that the issue that I thought was more my mind related, is a real issue and that it’s likely to be fixable! Why? Because the embedded JPEG looks fine! Have a look:

dp1x - embedded jpeg (fine!)
Embedded JPEG (ISO400). Looks like all info is there. No problems.

dp1x - developed shot (Terrible!!)
Developed shot. Looks about the same using 4.2, 3.3 or even Lightroom .

dp1x - monochrome WB (veeery nice!)
And as a last control, switching on Monochrome WB we clearly see that all info is indeed there, it’s likely that some info is lost in translation. Question is how?! I think that it’s due to something in the RAW-file and not SPP – as all software translates the RAW-data wrong. So if we’re lucky then Sigma can fix with a firmware, and also with a special SPP to have these shots translated correctly.

clipping of highlight

You can also see some of it in my last shot of my room that highlights are clipped a little bit earlier than what we are used to with Sigma Cameras. Frustrating. A bit SD9-ish really. :)

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
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15 Responses to DP1x highlight issue.. Fixable! UPDATE!!

  1. Jacques says:

    Hi Carl! Yes, it’s time for a new SD15 firmware to fixe this issue, it’s really a problem with highlights, i hope they have not forgotten the SD15, now everyone does not think that SD1! :)

  2. Ricky says:

    that’s a nice effect but only when it’s intentional :P

  3. Matthias says:

    The software department, again. Do you know how many software developers work for Sigma, in total?

  4. Slappo says:

    Hi Carl,

    Thank you for this blog entry.

    I had been interested in Sigma smaller cameras for some time. I bought a DP1s some weeks ago because of the low price (arund €300) and was well about some of its shortcomings – long AF time, slow raw writing and sometimes problemes with strong red colors.

    But I was not prepared for the bad clipping that occurs (can occur) in strongly light areas. In sunlight I often/always get terrible clipping of yellow and orange colored areas. Other than that fantastic colors.

    I will check if jpgs will be ok because then I could go jpg if in strong sunlight. Otherwise I will use another camera in this situation.

    Or, if lucky, there could be an firmware upgrade even to the older DP1s if Sigma finds a solution to the problem for your DP1x.

  5. Isiah says:

    Very interesting… Thanks for the comparison

  6. Matthias, I have no idea. I hope it’s another team than the ones developing the SD1. :)

  7. Carl,
    I have found that if I set the SD15 to -0.7 or -1.0 EV that I am not getting any clipping issues. Frankly, I have to do a similar thing with my DP1 but only -0.3 to -0.7 EV.

    I think it may be as simple as a metering problem. Perhaps it is overexposing a little in an attempt to reduce shadow noise.

    • That’s a good idea, but I hope Sigma figures a way so that we don’t have to do that.. Would be nice to gain at least as much as with the SD14(?!) Need to make some tests I think before saying that. :)

  8. Britton says:

    Hi Carl!
    I saw your most recent post regarding shots with yellow exhibiting the issue the most. I pulled up a shot from my SD15 from about four weeks ago. In it are some yellows. I shot this at -0.7 EV and still had to reduce the exposure in SPP 4.2! I agree with you that hopefully Sigma can address the exposure accuracy. Lastly, I have the same experience with my original DP1. I usually am shooting at -0.3 to -0.7. Here is the SD15 image in SPP at 100% along with the image information. Note the histogram. http://photo.brittonrobbins.com/photos/1092722826_umieT-O.jpg

  9. Diamondring says:

    Today, I had a comparison test with DP1s&DP1x for hightlight issue.

    So, what should we do? Just waiting for Sigma to publish a new firmware? After the comparison I decided not to give up my DP1s at the movement. It seems that DP1x has a little bit strange color than DP1s, and a little bit cooler than DP1s.

    I took the following shots handhelded, the DP1x’s photo was blur, so just for a hightlight issue reference. sorry.


  10. Hi Diamondring, let’s hope it’s fixable! Good comparison too, thanks for posting.

  11. Randy says:

    Hi Carl – I always liked the sharpness of the DP1 but I never liked the color, which looked cyan/green to me. The DP1x color is gorgeous…but they have to fix the highlight clipping. How did you get those sunset shots at the ocean without losing the highlights???

  12. Hi Randy, simple! Bracketing! Selecting the one that looks “whole” and work from that one. The Dp1x takes three shots in a really fast succession and it’s really no problem to always do that unless you’re in a hurry. But I only do that with scenes like above where light can be tricky. Remember that the DR of older sigmas is HUGE and the DP1x has a little less – it’s still LOTS to work from!

  13. designdef says:

    I have a DP1 and SD14, it seems from the posts above that later versions of these cameras are worse not better? Or better in the speed department but with some imaging problems. Is it really worth upgrading either of these?

  14. Pingback: SD15, Hilfe wird gebraucht - Sigma - Seite 6 - Bilderforum.de

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