140517 DP Merrill - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

The Merrill is a camera that punishes sloppy technique. Its LCD-only viewfinder is poor, the light will change by the time the post-exposure histogram is available, each battery will only endure fifty exposures, the files are large, the bespoke raw-conversion software is clumsy and slow, the resulting tiff files that move to Lightroom are massive, and it's only at the end of this long process that I can have any real sense of what they look like.

If there's a mistake in the shutter-pushing part of this sequence then I'm guaranteed to not know about it in time to fix it pre-post, and the data workflow is so laborious that I'm inhibited from bracketing or taking follow-up shots that are second nature with any other digital camera.

Yet for all that there's no question that I'll be bringing the Merrill whenever I travel to take photos. In fact, rather than leave it at home, I've decided to give up some of the small-camera bulk and weight savings by bringing an LCD viewfinder loupe with me. Anything that increases my chances of capturing a well-composed and focused image is a blessing, especially when travelling to a location that I may not return to for many years.


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