Sigma DP3 Merrill 46 MP Digital Camera

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Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma announces the DP3 Merrill, their latest version of the company's large sensor enthusiast compact camera. Practically identical to the previous DP Merrill versions, this digital camera offers the familiar 15x3MP Foveon X3 APS-C sensor, however now it is combined with a 75mm equivalent, 50mm f/2.8 lens. The lens is great for shooting portraits while featuring a minimum focusing distance of less than one inch, delivers a reasonable 1:3 magnification. Recording of video is yet limited to VGA only resolution however the DP3M can capture up to 4 fps for 7 frames for Raw.


The DP3 Merrill Compact Digital Camera from Sigma employs the 46MP Foveon Sensor with three layers of vertically stacked receptors to take advantage of silicon's unique ability to absorb light at different depths. The three different 15.3MP layers, one for each primary color, capture images with accurate colors and extremely sharp resolution.

The DP3 houses a 50mm f/2.8 prime lens that is equivalent to a 75mm lens in the 35mm format. This is a short telephoto or portrait length lens and is longer than the 19mm and 30mm lenses offered by the Merrill DP1 and DP2, respectively. The 50mm f/2.8 lens was designed to match the DP3 Merrill's sensor, it includes Special Low Dispersion glass and aspherical lens elements to compensate for aberrations and to keep the lens compact. Super Multi Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. The lens can focus as close as 8.9" (22.6 cm) resulting in a near-macro 1:3 maximum magnification.

The DP3 provides RAW capture at 3 different sizes and numerous JPEG resolutions. It can burst shoot RAW images at 4 frames per second for up to 7 images. Its ISO range is 100-6400 and can be set at full or 1/3 steps. Manual and autofocus are possible as is manual and program auto exposure control. VGA (640 x 480) size video recording is supported by the DP3 and with its stark, handsome body and simple metal command dial the DP3 provides high resolution photography without unnecessary bells and whistles. A Quick Set button is available to make readily available your most-used custom settings and a 3.0" TFT color LCD monitor with 920k-pixel resolution provides composition and playback.

Press Release:

The Sigma DP3 Merrill, the latest in the series of compact cameras incorporating the 46 megapixel Foveon X3 direct image sensor.

SIGMA DP3 Merrill

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 7, 2012 — Sigma Corporation (CEO: Kazuto Yamaki) is pleased to announce 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. The SIGMA DP1 Merrill is designed for wide angle images, the SIGMA DP2 Merrill is for standard range, while the DP3 Merrill rounds out the series with a camera for all shooting situations.

Key Features

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• SD card
The SIGMA DP3 Merrill adopts the SD Card (SDXC compatible) which is compact and easy to carry.

• 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.

• 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).

• 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.

• Movie Mode
Movies can be recorded with VGA (640×480) size. The number of shooting frames per second is 30 frames.

• 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.


Specifications
Body type Large sensor compact  
Sensor
Effective pixels 15.4 megapixels  
Sensor photo detectors 46.0 megapixels  
Sensor size APS-C (24 x 16 mm)  
Sensor type CMOS (Foveon X3)  
Processor Dual TRUE II engine  
Image
Image stabilization Unknown  
Uncompressed format RAW  
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 75 mm  
Optical zoom 1×  
Manual focus Yes  
Lens mount None  
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed  
Screen dots 920,000  
Viewfinder type None  
Photography features
Maximum aperture F2.8  
External flash Yes (via hot-shoe)  
Videography features
Format
  • Motion JPEG
 
Microphone Mono  
Speaker Mono  
Videography notes 640 x 480 (30 fps)  
Storage
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)  
Physical
Battery Battery Pack  
Weight (inc. batteries) 330 g (0.73 lb / 11.64 oz)  
Dimensions 122 x 67 x 59 mm (4.8 x 2.64 x 2.32")  
Other features
GPS None


Accessories


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Sigma DP3 Merrill Digital Camera
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Sigma DP3 Merrill 46 megapixel Foveon X3 direct image sensor Camera Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 4.5