Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill

February 8, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras | 13 Comments | |
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Sigma has updated its large-sensor compact cameras, the Sigma DP1 and the Sigma DP2, to incorporate the high-resolution sensor found in the Sigma SD1. This imaging chip features over 15.3 million sensor photosites with stacked red, green and blue filters (as opposed to a typical 16-megapixel Bayer sensor that has 8 million green-, 4 million red- and 4 million blue-sensitive pixels) for superior colour reproduction and resolution. In addition, the new versions boast totally redesigned lenses - a 19mm f/2.8 lens for the Sigma DP1 Merrill and a 30mm f/2.8 for the Sigma DP2 Merrill - with moulded-glass aspherical elements, “F” Low Dispersion and Super Multi Layer coating, and a telecentric optical design. The new generation name “Merrill” is a tribute to Foveon’s co-founder, the late Richard B. Merrill, who developed the original Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor. Pricing to be confirmed.

Sigma Press Release

SIGMA DP1 Merrill and SIGMA DP2 Merrill

Compact digital cameras with a 46MP APS-C size image sensor

46 megapixel Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor
Dual TRUE II Image Processing Engine
Exclusively designed high performance lenses
Lens mounted manual focus ring

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the new SIGMA DP1 Merrill and SIGMA DP2 Merrill. These high image quality compact digital cameras feature a 46 megapixel (4800×3200×3 layers) FOVEON X3 direct image sensor.

The SIGMA DP1 Merrill and SIGMA DP2 Merrill are the next generation of high image quality digital cameras which incorporate a newly developed 46 megapixel large image sensor in a compact body. The full-colour FOVEON X3 direct image sensor ensures outstanding resolution and natural rendering with rich gradation as well as a three-dimensional feel. The manual focus ring and custom QS (Quick Set) mode improve the user interface.

About the generation-name “Merrill”
The Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor uses technology originally developed by the late Dick Merrill (1949-2008), a brilliant engineer and talented photographer. This revolutionary image capture system reflects both the artistic and technological sides of Merrill’s personality. As an expression of Sigma’s passion for photography and in honour of Dick Merrill’s genius, we have named the latest generation of the Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor the Foveon Merrill.

SIGMA DP Merrill Special Site ?

46 megapixel. 23.5×15.7mm Full-colour X3 Merrill sensor
The 23.5×15.7mm full-colour FOVEON X3 direct image sensor featured in the SIGMA DP Merrill series, 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 colours at each and every pixel location with 3 layers, ensuring the capture of full and complete colour. Since colour moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning both light and colour is captured with a three-dimensional feel.

Dual TRUE II image processing engine
The SIGMA DP Merrill series incorporate a dual “TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II” image processing engine dedicated to FOVEON X3 direct image sensor. This 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.

Exclusively designed high performance lenses
The exclusively designed lenses for the SIGMA DP Merill series are developed to maximise the sensor performance. For the SIGMA DP1 Merrill, a 19mm F2.8 lens, equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm SLR camera, and for SIGMA DP2 Merrill, a 30mm F2.8 lens, equivalent to 45mm on a 35mm SLR camera. FLD (“F” Low Dispersion), which has a performance equal to fluorite glass, and molded glass aspherical lenses correct aberrations. The superior telecentric optical design improves image quality throughout the frame by passing on information about subjects to the sensor. The Super Multi Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting, which makes it usable even under severe conditions such as taking photos against or towards the sun.

RAW+JPEG format recording
The SIGMA DP Merrill series obtain 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 of the DP Merrill series keep brightness and colour data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. When the image is processes in SIGMA Photo Pro, it will preserve the balance of the natural data for the best photos with the best image quality. It is also possible to record RAW data and JPEG data simultaneously to provide more convenience.

SIGMA Photo Pro
The supplied image processing software, “SIGMA Photo Pro”, converts RAW data quickly and easily. While looking at photographed images, it is possible to render desired photographic expression by moving the slider from side to side. It incorporates functions such as a loupe, exposure picker, print, JPEG conversion, and batch white balance settings.

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.

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.

SD card
The DP Merrill series adopt the SD Card (SDHC compatible) which is compact and easy to carry.

Large, highly visible 3.0” TFT colour LCD Monitor
The DP Merrill series feature a 3.0 inch TFT colour monitor with approximately 920,000 pixel resolution. The monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to capture details and to check focusing and composition.

Hot Shoe
The DP Merrill series cameras are equipped with a hot shoe, allowing use of Sigma’s optional dedicated external flashgun, the EF-140 DG 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 optional dedicated bayonet lens hood can be attached to block out extraneous light.

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

Image Gallery

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Your Comments

13 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Joe


I bet that the 6 people in the world who will run out and buy one of these, would be in even more of a hurry, if, If, IF, it could accommodate INTERCHANGEABLE LENSES !!!!!!!!!!!! Adapters! Maybe even one for the handful of old SIGMA-mount lenses hidden out there!! Come on Sigma R&D; make that one of your NEXt original thoughts...

9:12 pm - Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#2 dutch666

Nice, 15.3 MP per layer. If the autofocus is a lot faster than the one bestowed to the DP2s, this truely could be a (big) winner!

Impatiently awaiting the first Review at any place, I give hail to this beauty of a creation which is the legacy of the late Dick Merrill!


7:08 pm - Thursday, February 9, 2012

#3 rob

Somebody needs a reality check... :)

11:24 pm - Friday, February 10, 2012

#4 Tack Sharp

I have a Sigma DP1x. I think Sigma is on the right track. Statistically, most photographers rarely swap off their fav lens. Since the Sigma cameras do not interpolate pixel data, they have no anti-aliasing filter making for sharper images. If you coule this with the advantages of a prime lens, you get tack sharp images. This is one of the things that blows me away over and over when I look through my images. I am really looking forward to a sensor with 3x the data. Colors are awesome as is the dynamic range, albeit they have to fix the way they handle LSB shadow data. Firmware should fix that.

6:19 am - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#5 Bulstrode Whitelocke

Sigma is at least 5 years behind the times. Their equipment is shoddy, cheap and unreliable. The images are good when everything is going right, but the keeper rate is dreadful.

Great kit for those with Aspergers or OCD.

3:39 am - Saturday, February 18, 2012

#6 Tack Sharp

post scriptum: What is it about photography blogs that draw out all the snarky, negative comments? Whatever happened to trying to understand the impact of newly released imaging technolgy and optics on image quality? If you really hate a brand, don't follow links to articles on their cameras. Please!! Seriously!

10:19 am - Sunday, February 19, 2012

#7 anne

i might be the 7th aficionada of the brand if i got my hands on a number of sample images (shot in different circumstances) somewhere, and on a writing where in common human language (not using pro slang) the difference between dp1 and dp2 had been made clear. well, the difference on pics using one or other lense (i undrestand width of lense IS the only difference between the two, or am i wrong?). and which one is better for what kind of shooting objects?
cause i am really bewitched by the pics produced by sigmas i've happened to see. there IS a different quality compared to all other brands i've been introduced to so far. i understand it has a lot of lacks too. but at this point i'd like to understand its working as much as possible in common human non-esoteric language.
with admiration to sigma and regards to everyone

8:51 am - Friday, April 6, 2012

#8 Charlietuna

Dear Anne
You are obviously such a nice person, so mired in practicality, and possessed of an inquisitive and open minded nature that you will never survive long on these forums!

Good luck in your search for real sample images. The abilities of the sensor in terms of resolution can be estimated from the dpreview samples from the SD-1,(Same sensor and it does seem to be excellent). However they apparently had a major meltdown in their color settings. (I know they try hard but I refuse to believe any camera could be that appalling if set properly)

I haven't found anything yet to show me how well the DP-1M with the 18mm fixed lens will perform.
I currently use a Nikon D-7000 and an 18-200 Nikkor VR-II zoom. However I'm looking for a backpacking/bike touring camera capable of truly high resolution and good color production.

The DP-1 looks interesting even if it should have several "mortal flaws" according to the "experts".

Good luck and good snapping!

3:04 am - Saturday, April 14, 2012

#9 anne

thank you, charlie,
if there's any meltdown in color settings then the project sigma turns completely pointless for me (probably too expensive anyway, havn't detected any price meltdown, sadly).
i have thought of fuji x10 lately.
backpackable high resolution thing would be the one for me, too. please keep us posted when you find something!
good luck you too!

12:36 pm - Thursday, April 19, 2012

#10 mark

Can't wait to get one! I've had a dp2, the original, for a few years, my fave camera. It's about the quality of the image, some people see it , some don't. The 4.5 file was often compared to 12 and 14meg images and at print viewing the dp2 usually was deemed best print! Imagine the same comparison with a sensor of more than 3x the resolution.

2:35 pm - Saturday, April 28, 2012

#11 DarrinW

I used to own a Sigma DP1s. It was a really good camera as long as the subject is not moving, you have good patience, and you can accept the fixed lens (the digital zoom is awful).

But, yes, the image quality is SUPER. Sharp and no noise! Seriously good.

If Sigma can develop a compact with optical zoom lens, or God forbid, even an interchangeable lens camera, I will beat a path to Sigma's door any day.

4:09 am - Tuesday, June 19, 2012

#12 jim seekers

wonder if this will be better than fuji x100

5:38 pm - Friday, July 6, 2012

#13 mark YOUNG

A comparison to the x100 is not appropriate. The x100 is a much more user friendly camera, faster operating, and with an amazing viewing system. The DP series is very slow, no built in viewer, and otherwise not user friendly. But, the sensor is really the appeal with foveon cameras. I have no hesitation in saying that the 15meg sensor will give 30meg results! That is amazing. The x100 is a 12meg. camera.

6:35 pm - Friday, July 6, 2012