Sigma DP2 Merrill Gets a Price Tag

June 29, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras | 7 Comments | |
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Sigma has announced the release date and suggested retail pricing for the Sigma DP2 Merrill large-sensor digital compact camera. Featuring a 15x3-megapixel Foveon sensor and a 30mm f/2.8 lens, the Sigma DP2 Merrill will be available in the UK from 12th July with a suggested retail price of £799.99. In the United States, the camera will hit the shelves on the same day at an estimated street price of $999.

Sigma Press Release

SIGMA DP2 Merrill

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

Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd is pleased to announce that the new SIGMA DP2 Merrill will be available in the UK from 12th July with a suggested retail price of £799.99. This high image quality compact digital camera features a 46 megapixel (4800×3200×3 layers) Foveon X3 direct image sensor. The full-colour Foveon X3 direct image sensor ensures outstanding resolution and natural rendering with rich gradation as well as a three-dimensional feel. A focus ring and custom Quick Set (QS) mode also improve the user interface.

46 megapixel, 23.5×15.7mm full-colour Foveon X3 Merrill sensor
The 23.5×15.7mm full-colour Foveon X3 direct image sensor featured in the SIGMA DP2 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 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 light and colour are captured 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 30mm F2.8 lens
The high-performance 30mm F2.8 lens has the equivalent angle of view as a 45mm (35mm equivalent focal length) lens and has been designed exclusively for the SIGMA DP2 Merrill to maximise the sensor performance. A glass mold aspherical lens and three high refractive index lenses provide excellent correction for all types of 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, 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 DP2 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 autofocus
The SIGMA DP2 Merrill features a “9 point select mode” which can select the desired focusing point from 9 different frames and “Free move mode” which can move the desired point as you like.  In addition, it is possible to select the size of the focus frame from three types; Spot, Regular and Large.  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 DP2 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 keeps brightness and colour 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 is also possible to record RAW data and JPEG data simultaneously to provide more convenience.

SIGMA Photo Pro (supplied)
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. 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.

Portable compact and lightweight body
The SIGMA DP2 Merrill has compact dimensions of 121.5mm (W) × 66.7mm (H) × 59.2mm (D), and weighs just 330g.  The supplied neck strap provides perfect mobility for candid photography.

SD card
The SIGMA DP2 Merrill adopts the SD Card (SDXC compatible) which is compact and easy to carry.

Large, highly visible 3.0” TFT colour LCD Monitor
The SIGMA DP2 Merrill features a 3.0 inch TFT colour 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 DP2 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 (LH2-01) can be attached to block out extraneous light.  Attaching the optional Close-up Lens AML-2 and dedicated Sigma’s DG filters to the camera body extend the shooting range.
* Lens hood, Close-up and DG 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.


LH2-01 Lens Hood
The dedicated bayonet lens hood (LH2-01) can be attached to block out extraneous light.

VF-21 Viewfinder
This precision-made optical viewfinder mounts on the camera’s hot shoe. It allows framing of the image without using the LCD monitor.

EF-140 DG Electronic Flash
A compact flashgun designed exclusively for the DP series cameras and featuring a Guide Number of 14.  This flashgun extends the camera’s photographic possibilities with such features as fill-in flash and full-flash for night photography.

AML-2 Close-up Lens
When this close-up lens is attached to the camera, it enables close-up photography.  The exclusive design ensures superior image quality.

SAC-5 AC Adapter
when using your camera for an extended period of time or connecting the camera to a computer.  AC Adapter SAC-5 is used together with DC connector DC-11.  DC connector DC-11 is supplied with AC Adapter SAC-5.

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Your Comments

7 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Mark

This is overpriced point and shoot camera. What VGA movie??

Some of the better alternatives IMO would be

1. Sony Nex 5n with Samsung 30mm f2.8 lens.
2. Panasonic Gx1 with a 20mm f1.7.
3. A more pocketable option would be the new Sony RX100 yet to be released. Will have to wait for the reviews to come out.

7:42 pm - Friday, June 29, 2012

#2 James

My rommendation would be (money not being the factor)

True pocket camera
Sony RX100 or Canon S90/95 (thought it's not a sport/action/shooting kids kind of camera)

Coat/Jacket pocket camera
Sony Nex 5n with Sigma 30mm f2.8 lens

8:38 pm - Friday, June 29, 2012

#3 Jonas

Plan on bagging one a.s.a.p.;
as a DP2 shooter, I will never get the itch to drop ~$3,500 for a Leica M lens [which would provide the comparable IQ].
Of course one would need hardware too, to bolt it on.

Hail Richard Merrill!

1:37 am - Saturday, June 30, 2012

#4 Chad

Mark and James; had you have owned a DP camera and understood Fovean technology (and thus the results) in any way, you would know how much of a stupid statement it is to compare this camera to a 4/3rds, canon s95 or the NEX (all of which I own). As usual then, people with opinions not based on fact!

10:07 am - Saturday, June 30, 2012

#5 pimpim

yes I like the concept of the RX100, a lot better than the Nikon One. And the most compact 'large sensor' camera around.

But, with a street price of $999, in about a year it'll be 700, quirky bugs will be leveled out and I'll probably buy the next DP1 merill. I have the Dp1s at the moment. I just love it. The effectively 4-5 MP are a bit at the border of what a 12x18 inch print can handle, with 15 effective megapixels it'll basically be staggering up to poster sizes.

This camera is basically the closest you can get to a film-point-and-shoot camera. also from working style. The 45MP RAW files deliver the color space and depth to 'develop' your pictures at home into perfection, just like you would do in an 'analog' style. With its prime lens and basic controls it's as close as you can get to a high-quality analog point and shoot.

I do miss the mode wheel and flash, though. I hope they bring out a better looking flash than the current offer.

9:26 pm - Saturday, June 30, 2012

#6 Mike

Lol, I sold my NEX5N and 28mm Elmarit asph and bought a DP2S and DP1S because they just blow the NEX 5N away at ISO 100/200 and I'm mainly interested in image quality. Dynamic range is so much better as is highlight recovery. Colours are so much better than the competition, except maybe the Leica M8/M9. You're right about the film comparison, just like a good slide film, vibrant and alive!

IMHO the DP2M is a couple of hundred quid too expensive, but prices will drop... I'm waiting for the DP1M. Really p****d that video isn't 720P though as I do use it to film my kids and 640x480 is not on. This is where the NEX and M43 cameras shine...

1:48 pm - Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#7 Carl

As a former DP2 "14mp" owner who racked up over 5000 cycles on the shutter in about 16 months (I only sold it after seeing the Merrill announcement)...some of the features of the new Merrill do look promising. Sure, you can bash Sigma and their cameras as being behind Sony, etc. But keep in mind that no other manufacturer has a sensor like this (although I saw a rumor that Sony actually wants it, or wanted it.)

The Sony Nex 7 would be the only one to compare, resolution-wise (at least at low high ISO the Nex 7 might have the edge). Not to mention that the Nex series is an interchangable lens system camera, thus has broader market appeal out of the gate.

But Sigma is still the smaller specialty company, so most of the hardware and software needed to run the camera is going to be simplified and antiquated by comparison to the bigger camera companies. However, that does NOT mean Sigma's DP series isn't worth owning or using, to those that appreciate what they do. At least the LCD will be large and high-rez compared to the previous one. The speed must surely also be vastly increased over the previous model, given the sheer amount of data present from the RAW files, shot at 4 frames per second.

Again, the direct image sensor is unique. Will it ultimately outresolve Sony's Nex 7? It just might. And it will likely have a color rendition and spectrum, unavailable anywhere else. A more important question would be, will anyone with the right test equipment, approach such a test unbiased? Or rather, how much personal bias will they bring to the test? And even after the test likely bears out what I am saying, there will still be naysayers who say it's overpriced, underfeatured, and "slow". To those I say: Why waste your time nitpicking and even slamming something you have a bias against already?

I have two words for those that think a standard mosaic sensor is always going to be superior to other types: Nikon, and in the D800E, and the X Pro-1. The Nikon gets rid of the anti aliasing filter to increase its already high resolution, and the X Pro-1 tries a novel approach of rearranging the color pixels in the mosaic array. The D800E currently ranks at the very top of all cameras including medium format, on a certain test website's ranking...for what that is worth (I admit it's not the end-all-be-all test site...and Nikon isn't even my own personal favorite camera maker...neither is Sigma.)

With those cameras, both Nikon and Fuji are trying to take baby steps to move toward what the Foveon design does naturally (and I admit not perfectly).

Again, to those who might dislike Sigma for the brand's lack of snob appeal: If you think you're such a great photographer and you have a better camera, then go out and let your work compete in the marketplace, and stop the hit and run slamjobs of yet-to-be introduced cameras on the net. It's not like it takes any artistic creativity to opine about gadgetry, nor is it productive to yourself or society.

And it's not as if you are going to convince someone who appreciates the abilities of these cameras, to not buy and use one. Because use it we will, for what it is designed to do (and not what it's not designed to do). Usually we have several cameras and systems anyway, and we know the pluses and minuses of each.

And really, no offense, but if you need to video your kids, buy a very good video camera, trust me on that. The video capability of the DP Merrill series is only there for the most menial purposes. So to complain that it won't be "720p", is sort of like complaining that it won't be "3D", or have geotagging. Might as well complain that it's not an iPhone while you're at it...

My only disappointment is that the DP Merrill series are not an interchangable lens camera...not that I expected it to be one. But then Sigma is a small company, and obviously they don't want to cut into the sales of their DSLR cameras...however small those figures are. Nor do they have the means to constantly develop new product lines. Just look how long it took Canon to decide to jump into the fray of mirrorless system cameras...and they're a camera giant. I guess there are more important types of cameras to develop...

5:38 pm - Friday, August 17, 2012