Lens Guides

The Sigma DP Merrill Series: Pixel Perfect Times Three

The question for photographers who demand the ultimate in image quality in a compact camera is simple.

Which DP Merrill camera do you choose: The new DP3 Merrill with its 50mm F2.8 Macro lens, the DP2 Merrill with its 30mm F2.8 or the DP1 Merrill with its 19mm F2.8 lens?

The Sigma DP Merrill, DP2 Merrill, and DP3 Merrill.

Each of these luxe compact cameras is the perfect pairing of a fast prime lens, the Merrill Generation X3 Direct Image Sensor, and specially tuned image processing algorithms. And the images, of course, speak for themselves–both with incredible detail and sharpness, and in the big-camera feel to background blur when shooting with shallow depth of field at fastest apertures.

Sigma DP3 Merrill Photo by Shinzo Fuko. 1/25 F4.5 ISO 100.

The new DP3 Merrill has the longest reach, with a short telephoto 75mm equivalency on the 1.5x Foveon Sensor. And it brings 1:3 macro capture to the DP series–a first for the DP cameras. The ability of the Merrill Generation Foveon sensor to capture superfine details combined with macro is a flat-out amazing combination. It’s perfect for the photo studio, of course, for still lifes, portraiture and dramatic product photography and fine-art repro work. But the seriously compact body paired with the short tele makes it great for travelling light for all sorts of location work: floral, fashion, documentary, portrait, when there’s no chance (or no desire) to haul a heavy pack.

Sigma DP1 Merill photo by Paul Thacker 1/100 F5.6 ISO 100

The DP1 Merrill is the widest of the DP cameras, with a 19mm F2.8 lens that equates to a 28.5mm lens on the 1.5x Foveon Sensor–perfect for taking in a wider field of view for dramatic, detail rich landscapes, architecture and environmental portraitures. This is the update of the original DP1 camera–the camera that single-handedly created the big-sensor, small camera category upon its introduction, proving that professional-level image quality and a compact body are not mutually exclusive. The Sigma DP1 Merrill captures environments, both interiors and outdoors, that feel simply immersive. There is often a genuine sense of place and presence in the images created with this camera.

Sigma DP2 Merrill Photo by Jack Howard. 1/60 F6.3 ISO 100. Monochrome Processing in Sigma Photo Pro 5.5

The Sigma DP2 Merrill pairs a 30mm F2.8 lens with the legendary Merrill Generation sensor for a 45mm equivalency, the standard field of view for creating photographs with incredible detail and a timeless, classic quality about them. It’s the classic razor-sharp rangefinder loaded with chrome of the digital world. It’s a flat-out fantastic normal-perspective walkabout camera. Read my first impressions blog posting for more hands-on with this camera.

Which Merrill generation compact is right for you is really a matter of personal choice, based on your preferred field of view. If your photographic vision gravitates towards landscapes and architecture, you’re probably going to be most interested in the DP1 Merrill. If you crave macro compositions, the DP3 Merrill is the one for you. Whichever Merill DP camera you choose, the incredible level of detail at every pixel and the subtle nuances of tonal gradations that is at the core of the Foveon feel is going to be present. And Sigma Photo Pro 5.5, with its new dedicated Monochrome Process mode, brings a new dimension to black and white photography with these cameras that must be seen to be appreciated. Click here to see a sample of SPP5.5 Monochrome images!

For photographers who can’t decide on which one, or two, of the Merrill DPs is just right for them, all three of the Merrill Generation cameras at 0nce–plus a bunch of spare batteries and memory cards–can easily fit into a small day bag designed for a single SLR and lens for maximum versatility in achieving the ultimate in compact image quality. And with limited-time special pricing on the DP1 and DP2 Merrills, it’s a great time to add one or two to your bag!

Learn much more about these cameras here.

We want to know: Which DP Merrill camera is right for you? Share your comments below!

Comments (2)
  1. My 2 friends and i bought all the Merrills.
    I personally chose the DP2 Merrill.

  2. Skaja Lee says:

    I like Dp2’s lens which is good on street shot!
    Dp3 is good on medical use like dentistry clinical photography with Micro lens use and external circular flash.
    Dp1s is good on travel view photo shot.

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