My opinion on Sigma DP2 Merrill


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Although there are plenty of DP2 Merrill reviews out there, I still feel like sharing my thoughts about  Sigma’s premium compact. The fact that I used to have the previous model, the DP1s, allows me to evaluate some of its features even better than some well-known reviewers.

Sigma DP2 MerrillWhat’s the first thing you notice about it? The DP2 Merrill is bigger and heavier than the old DP1s. The latter weighed 249g and had the following dimensions (WxHxD):113x60x50mm. The DP2m is 80g heavier and gains additional 9/7/10mm on every side; otherwise it’d be impossible to fit the most recent Foveon sensor (now APS-C) and the 3“display (instead of a 2,5“). The screen makes up ca. 60% of the DP2m’s back side.
Sigma DP2 Merrill
You can see some changes not only on the outside, but also under the hood. As I’ve already mentioned, the DP2m’s has a larger sensor with three times more pixels (14,75 instead of 4,7 MP per layer). It’s not only the new sensor that was integrated, but also a faster processor which increases the AF speed. Now you don’t have to wait on the internal card reader to save single shots onto the card, instead you have a 350MB buffer which allows you keep shooting. Thanks to the larger buffer you can take 7 RAWs in a row without having to wait for the camera to write them all down to the card. De facto you can instantly see the effect of the new processor (AF) and the buffer. The DP2m is much faster than the DP1s and taking photos with it is much more fun. You’re gonna love it.

The handling also became much easier due to some improvements. First of all you can now adjust the aperture with the mode dial on the top of the camera instead of having to use zoom in/out buttons.Sigma DP2 Merrill Secondly, the Q-menu makes any adjustments much easier. Thirdly, manual focusing is performed via a lens ring, same like when using old analogue cameras (of course if you’re old enough to have experienced them first hand ;) ) The MF is “by wire”, but it is much better than in case of the DP1s’ thumbwheel.

I can’t find the words to fully describe improvement in picture quality. While the smaller Foveon sensor in DP1 comes close to Bayer sensors in the 10-16 MP range, the new APS-C Foveon in the Merrill models beats everything except for  D800(E). Some argue that it’s even better than Nikon’s full frame image sensor without the AA filter (german speaking forum). I am really impressed by the sharpness of this little inconspicuous camera. Pictures also look amazingly sharp at full aperture and in the 100%. Incredible!

100% Ausschnitt / 100% CropHopefully the weather in March will be better. Anyway, I will continue to take shots with my DP2m and when I have a bit more time, will write a more in-depth review.
UnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntUnbenanntI hope you enjoyed it. You can find more DP2m shots on Pinterest or in my Flickr Set.

  1. […] there definitely are sharper standard focal lengths under the sun (more on the DP2m can be found here and here). Sigma’s new 35mm f1.4 Art and 30mm f1.4 Art seem to be sharper, too, judging by the […]

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  2. […] been resharpened (although it cannot be completely ruled out). That’s the Foveon magic inside of DP2m at work. “Koktel Proja”, the mini-version of the cornmeal dish, which I introduced last […]

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  3. […] on the camera. Admittedly, I didn’t use it as an all-purpose camera as I did with the DP2M (1, 2), but primarily for macro shots, which is why I cannot tell exactly how well it does as a single […]

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  4. […] macro-phase, everything is back to normal again. I take photos of anything that crosses my DP2M’s or DP3M’s path. At times cats, at times cars, and at other times dainties straight from the […]

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  5. […] loads of pictures. The tiled roofs suit the Foveon very well. I only just brought the two Merrills (DP2M and DP3M) with me, because I was unsure if I would be able to take photos with the SD1 with my […]

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  6. […] you’ll find more of my holiday photos. This time, too, all of the photos were shot with Sigma’s DP2 Merrill and DP3 Merrill, and are available in full resolution (15 megapixels) on […]

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  7. Good greif, those photos are super sharp! Is this just a characteristic of the Foveon sensor tech? They look 3D. I wish these DPs were more readily available and cheaper!

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    1. Good greif, those photos are super sharp! Is this just a characteristic of the Foveon sensor tech? They look 3D. I wish these DPs were more readily available and cheaper!

      Hi Steve,

      Yes, that’s partly due to the Foveon sensor tech. The other reason is the fixed lens, which is very, very good. Since the successor to the DP2 Merrill (dp2 quattor) is out now, it costs only half of its RRP/MSRP of around $1000. It’s even cheaper in Europe.

      Reply

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