Here's Chris Niccolls from TheCameraStore in Calgary, Alberta, & Nick Devlin, renowned landscape photographer and columnist…
The Sigma DP3 Merrill is the latest in the series of compact cameras incorporating the Foveon X3 direct image sensor. It’s making its debut this week at the CES show in Las Vegas, NV. The new SIGMA DP3 Merrill, featuring a 50mm F2.8 lens, will join the lineup of the “SIGMA DP Merrill” series. The SIGMA DP3 Merrill is the next generation of high image quality compact digital cameras. Equipped with the Foveon X3 image sensor, the DP3 Merrill ensures outstanding resolution and natural rendering with rich gradation as well as a three-dimensional feel.
Featuring a high performance 50mm F2.8 lens (a focal range equivalent to 75mm on a 35mm SLR camera), the SIGMA DP3 Merrill offers incredibly high levels of optical performance and takes in every detail of the subject’s information. This state of the art lens also offers enhanced macro functionality as well.
The SIGMA DP3 Merrill completes this series of compact cameras by satisfying the mid-telephoto and macro range shooting. While the SIGMA DP1 Merrill is designed for wide angle images, and the SIGMA DP2 Merrill is for standard range, the DP3 Merrill rounds out the series with a camera for all shooting situations.
SIGMA DP3 Merrill
UPC Code : 0085126-929558
For an excellent field report on the DP series cameras, we suggest you view the one done by Uwe Steinmueller at Digital Outback Photo found here: http://www.outbackphoto.net
1. 46 megapixel, 23.5×15.7mm Full-color Foveon X3 Merrill sensor
The 23.5×15.7mm full-color Foveon X3 direct image sensor (Generation name “Merrill”), featured in the SIGMA DP3 Merrill, incorporates 46 effective megapixels (4,800×3,200×3 layers) and 44 recording megapixels (4,704×3,136×3 layers). The Foveon X3 direct image sensor captures all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location with 3 layers, ensuring the capture of full and complete color. Since color moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and color are captured by the 46 megapixel 23.5×15.7mm full-color X3 Merrill sensor with a three-dimensional feel.
2. Dual TRUE II image processing engine
The dual “TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II” image processing engine dedicated to Foveon X3 direct image sensors improves the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. By incorporating two TRUE II processors, Sigma’s unique image-processing algorithm provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images with richly graduated tones as well as a three-dimensional feel.
3. Exclusively designed high performance 50mm F2.8 lens
The high-performance 50mm F2.8 lens has the equivalent angle of view as 75mm on a 35mm lens, and it has been designed exclusively for the SIGMA DP3 Merrill to maximizes the sensor performance. The use of Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass accompanied by aspherical lens elements not only compensates for a variety of aberrations, but also allows for a more compact size. The superior telecentric optical design improves image quality throughout the frame by passing on information about subjects to the sensor. The DP3 Merrill has a minimum focusing distance of 22.6cm (8.9”) and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3, which can offer quality macro shooting. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting, ensuring sharp, high contrast image quality even under severe conditions such as taking photos against or towards the sun.
4. Advanced User Interface
The custom quick set menu and the metallic command dial are incorporated to improve usability. The diaphragm, shutter speed and menu can be changed quickly using the command dial. The Quick Set (QS) menu which consists of the most commonly used functions can be easily displayed by pressing the QS button. It allows photographers to change the menu content and the order depending on their preferences.
5. Capable of 7 frames continuous shooting
A large volume buffer memory enables the camera to capture up to 7 RAW images per sequence in continuous shooting mode. Using the high speed data transfer and processing, the SIGMA DP3 Merrill features a continuous shooting speed of up to 4 frames per second. In addition, depending on the situation, it is possible to capture up to 5 frames per second and up to 14 images per sequence in continuous shooting mode in Medium and Low image quality mode.
6. Easy to use auto focus
The SIGMA DP3 Merrill features a “9 point select mode” which can select the desires focusing point from 9 different frames and “Free move mode” which can move the desired point as you like. User friendly, the new “Face Detection AF”, prioritizes focus on the face of the subject when detected by the sensor. “AF Limit Mode” can adjust the range of auto focusing and “Shutter Priority AF” offers faster focus adjustment by stopping the live view to increase the speed of the auto focusing. The new AF+MF mode adjusts the focus manually after verifying the AF by rotating the focus ring.
7. Manual Focus
Manual Focus is available for use when autofocus or focus lock is not desired. It is possible to use the focus ring for focusing just like an SLR camera. It is also possible to magnify the display to ensure precise focusing.
8. RAW+JPEG format recording
The SIGMA DP3 Merrill features a RAW data recording mode for retaining full image capture detail of the utmost quality captured through the direct image sensor, plus a JPEG recording format for convenience. The RAW data format provides pure data for high-resolution images, and uses lossless compression for more compact, yet uncompromised, data files. The RAW data format of the camera keep brightness and color data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. When the image is processed in SIGMA Photo Pro, it will preserve the balance of the natural data for the best photos with the best image quality. It offers better usability as the RAW data and JPEG data are recorded simultaneously in Monochrome Mode.
9. SIGMA Photo Pro
The supplied image processing software, “SIGMA Photo Pro”, converts RAW data quickly and easily. It renders the full, 46 megapixel data. While looking at the captured images, it is possible to achieve the desired photographic expression by moving the sliders from side to side. It incorporates functions such as a loupe, exposure picker, print, JPEG conversion, and batch white balance settings, highlight correction, noise reduction and aberration correction mode. Moreover, Monochrome Mode makes it possible to generate monochrome images fully optimizing the Foveon X3 direct image sensor capabilities.
10. Portable compact and lightweight body
The SIGMA DP3 Merrill has compact dimensions of 121.5mm (W)×66.7mm (H)×80.6mm (D), 400g. The supplied neck strap provides perfect mobility for candid photography.
11. SD card
The SIGMA DP3 Merrill adopts the SD Card (SDXC compatible) which is compact and easy to carry.
12. Large, highly visible 3.0” TFT color LCD Monitor
The SIGMA DP3 Merrill features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor which ensures great visibility even outside in the daytime. This approximately 920,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to capture detail and to check focusing and composition.
13. Hot Shoe
The SIGMA DP3 Merrill is equipped with a hot shoe, allowing use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional) as well as SIGMA electronic flashguns for SD series such as EF-610 DG Super (optional) and EF-610 DG ST (optional).
14. Dedicated lens hood
The dedicated bayonet lens hood (LH3-01) can be attached to block out extraneous light. Attaching Sigma’s optional dedicated 52mm DG filters such as the DG wide circular PL to the camera body extends the shooting possibilities.
* Lens hood and 52mm filters are sold separately.
15. Movie Mode
Movies can be recorded with VGA (640×480) size. The number of shooting frames per second is 30 frames.
16. ISO Sensitivity can be set by 1/3 Step
ISO sensitivity can be set from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. By setting the range to 1/3 EV steps from the default 1 EV steps, it is possible to set the sensitivity to ISO 125 or ISO 160. ISO AUTO, where the camera automatically sets the ISO sensitivity according to brightness of the shooting environment enables you to set the upper limit and lower limit depending on your shooting style.
Image Sensor Size
Number of Pixels
Total Pixels: 48MP Effective Pixels: 46MP (4,800×3,200×3)
35mm Equivalent Focal Length
Lens F number
Number of Diaphragm Blades
10 Elements in 8 Groups
22.6cm~∞, LIMIT Mode (It is possible to choose Macro, Portrait and Scenery.)
Maximum Magnification Shooting
1 : 3
SD Card, SDHC Card, SDXC Card, Multi Media Card
Lossless compression RAW data (12-bit, High, Medium, Low),
JPEG (High, Medium, Low), RAW+JPEG, Movie(AVI)
4,704×3,136×3 (Approx. 45MB)
VGA : 640×480 (Image area 640×426)
ISO 100~ISO 6400 (1/3 steps for appropriate sensitivity) AUTO: High limit, low limit setting is possible between ISO 100~ISO 6400. When using with flash, it changes depending on the low limit setting.
8 types (Auto, Daylight, Shade, Overcast, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Custom)
8 types (Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Portrait, Landscape, B&W, Sepia, FOV Classic Blue)
Auto Focus Type
Contrast Detection Type
9 Point Select mode, Free Move mode and Face Detection AF mode (It is possible to change the size of Focus Frame to Spot, Regular and Large.)
Shutter release halfway-down position(AF lock can be done by AE lock button from menu setting)
Focus Ring Type
Evaluative Metering, Center-Weighted Average Metering, Spot Metering
Exposure Control System
(P) Program AE (Program Shift is possible), (S) Shutter Speed Priority AE,
(A) Aperture Priority AE, (M) Manual
±3EV (1/3 stop increments)
AE lock button
Appropriate, under, over; 1/3EV steps up to ±3EV for appropriate exposure
1/2000* – 30sec. (*Depending on the aperture value, shutter speed changes)
Single, Continuous, Self Timer (2sec. / 10sec.) Interval timer, Unlimited Shooting
LCD Monitor Type
TFT color LCD monitor
Approx. 920,000 Pixels
LCD Monitor Language
English / Japanese / German / French / Spanish / Italian / Chinese (Simplified) / Korean / Russian / Chinese (Traditional) / Nederlands / Polski / Português / Dansk / Svenska / Norsk / Suomi
USB (USB2.0), Video Out (NTSC / PAL), Audio Out (Monaural)
Li-ion Battery BP-41, Battery Charger BC-41, AC Adapter SAC-5 (with DC Connector CN-11) (Optional)
Approx. 97 (+25°c)
121.5mm / 4.8in. (W), 66.7mm / 2.6in. (H), 80.6mm / 3.2in. (D)
400g / 14.1oz. (without battery and card)
PLEASE RATE THIS STORY!