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SIGMA DP1 Merrilll. This high image quality compact digital camera features a 46 megapixel (4800×3200×3 layers) Foveon X3 direct image sensor (generation-name "Merrilll") which is also incorporated into Sigma's latest digital SLR Camera, the SIGMA SD1 Merrilll.
The SIGMA DP1 Merrilll is the next generation of high image quality digital camera which incorporates a Foveon's newly developed 46 megapixel APS-C size image sensor in a compact body. The full-color 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. The high-performance wide angle 19mm F2.8, which lens has the equivalent angle of view as a 28mm (35mm equivalent focal length) lens, has been designed exclusively for the SIGMA DP1 Merrilll to maximize the sensor performance. With the addition of the "SIGMA DP1 Merrilll", you can creatively use the "SIGMA DP1 Merrilll" for wide angle photography and the "SIGMA DP2 Merrilll" for standard range photography, depending on your shooting style.
1. 46 megapixel, 23.5×15.7mm Full-color Foveon X3 Merrilll sensor
The 23.5×15.7mm full-color Foveon X3 direct image sensor (Generation name "Merrilll"), featured in the SIGMA DP1 Merrilll, 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 Merrilll 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 wide angle 19mm F2.8 lens
The high-performance, wide angle 19mm F2.8 lens has the equivalent angle of view as a 28mm (35mm equivalent focal length) lens and has been designed exclusively for the SIGMA DP1 Merrilll to maximize the sensor performance. One FLD ("F" Low Dispersion) glass element, which has the performance equal to fluorite glass, two glass mold aspherical lenses and one high refractive index lens 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 DP1 Merrilll 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 DP1 Merrilll 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. In addition, it is possible to select the size of the focus frame from three types; Spot, Regular and Large. The Newly incorporated speed priority AF enables faster auto-focusing by freezing the LCD monitor while focusing. The new AF+MF mode adjusts the focus manually after verifying the AF by rotating the focus ring.
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 DP1 Merrilll 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 | 3
brightness and color 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 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
Portable compact and lightweight body
The SIGMA DP1 Merrilll has compact dimensions of 121.5mm(W)×66.7mm(H)×64.3mm(D), 360g. The supplied neck strap provides perfect mobility for candid photography.
Large, highly visible 3.0" TFT color LCD Monitor
The SIGMA DP1 Merrilll 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.
The SIGMA DP1 Merrilll 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 (LH1-01) can be attached to block out extraneous light. Attaching Sigma's optional dedicated 49mm DG filters such as the DG wide circular PL to the camera body extends the shooting possibilities.
* Lens hood and 49mm filters are sold separately.
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.
Yes, this camera does have some shortcomings but only when compared to the latest greatest cameras on the market today. If you are used to shooting film, these shortcomings will be non-existent. If you work around these shortcomings (battery life, low ISO capability), you will be rewarded with outstanding image quality. This is also making me a better photographer. The first shot I took (and jpeg as well) was of a car - what stood out to me was the analog quality of how light reflected off the chrome. Difficult to articulate but I can only equate it to the sound you get out of a tube amp.
This camera produces absolutely amazing image quality, but requires a few compromises. The sensor and lens combo are fantastic, the lens is one of the sharpest I have ever used. With good light, image quality is fantastic, but above ISO 800 is only really useable as B&W. The camera is much faster in operation than the previous DP series, however it is still quite slow in certain respects, especially the file write time, about 9 seconds for a RAW image. You can still take up to 6 more images while a single image is being written, however. Otherwise, the focus speed is reasonable, the shutter lag is low, and the controls are quite good. The battery life is the other major compromise, about 100 shots per battery, less if you use the LCD. If you're willing to accept this camera's quirks, you will be rewarded with the best image quality from a camera anywhere near it's size.
This is my second Sigma with a Foveon sensor. Upgraded from first generation DP1s and glad I moved up. Results were great with former but fantastic with new DP1 Merrill. Serves not as a competitor to my D800e but to complement it as a lightweight, small, convenient, inconspicuous but quality alternative when I don't want to pull out the big guns. It hangs on my belt in its own holster. Would not travel without it now. Thought I would need wider than the focal length (19mm is 28mm focal length in SLR terms) but actually its a perfect lens choice. Razor sharp images that can better my Nikon in many cases. It's not the fastest or easiest camera by a longshot but it does make extremely sharp and detailed pictures that has no rivals for its size except for Leica. It's not an SLR but then its not trying to be an SLR. It's not a medium format camera either but the results sure look like a medium format image. All I can say is "wow."
Camera with Foveon sensor & super-sharp lens takes fantastic pictures. It's a shame Sigma refuses to mount this remarkable sensor in a 21st century body. It's not a camera for soccer moms, only for those folks who understand its limitations. Probably best to use RAW, but even JPEGs are fantastic. Best used in daylight on non-moving subjects; travel photography, landscapes--no flash limits indoor utility.
Best per pixel sharpness.
A lot has been written regarding the Sigma DP2 Merrill camera. And most of it has focused on its slow auto focusing, fast battery burn rate, and high noise level at anything above ISO 800. And then again, a lot of the pundits have raved about the camera's IQ. I can attest that the images are indeed spectacular. If we do not argue the Foveon's real senor resolution, whether it's 14mp or 46mp, as some bloggers have, and just focus on the IQ sharpness and that oh so realism rendition of colors, one cannot but come away without being truly impressed by this camera's output. A lot has been written about Sigma, and Dick Merrill's Foveon sensor, but I would like to focus on my real world experience with this deliberate photographic tool. And it is a tool. The Sigma DP2 Merrill is a tool that any photographer would enjoy using if they took pictures as an analog photographer. If you grew up with film, then you would enjoy using this camera. Having said that, and having dated my age, the Sigma DP2 Merrill is a camera that makes you take your time in deciding what to shoot. It's not for fast moving subjects, but it works very well shooting street, still life, and landscapes. I found the auto focusing to be very responsive, and initially I agreed with other reviewers that the camera would hunt in low light. There is a work around that and it's an easy one for any photographer that takes their time in composing the shot they want to take. In low light I found that focusing near a light source within the frame allowed the camera to focus spot on without any hunting issues. Setting the camera to auto ISO it never took a night image above ISO 800 with the lens wide open. Most shots like this were taken at 1/15 to 1/30 of a second, and the camera's build quality allows you to firmly grasp it and take perfectly sharp images at those settings. Samples are included here, and all of the night images were shot hand held, without a tripod, at ISO 800, 1/15 of a second, at f/2.8. The 30mm lens on the DP2 Merrill is a beautiful lens, and as a fixed lens it makes you move your feet to get the shots you want. It brought back memories of when I was a kid shooting my Nikon F2 with only a 50mm 1.4 lens. That was the camera and lens I could afford back in my youth, and I loved shooting that lens wide open and using my feet to zoom in and out. The Sigma makes you do it all over again. There is a lot of truth to the battery burn rate. Sigma does provide you with two batteries, and I found that if you shoot in raw, the battery drains fairly quickly. And by quickly I mean if you use the camera to review your shots, turn it on and off frequently you'll get maybe 40 plus images. It's like shooting a roll of 35mm film all over again. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It means that you sow down and consider what image you want to shoot next. It's not all hurly girly in shooting at 9 frames per second. Thought the buffer on the DP2 Merrill is actually quite decent. Having two batteries on you get's you through an afternoon or evening's worth of shooting, if you shoot like I do, slow and deliberate. For all day long shooting, I suggest picking up another battery or two. The DP2 Merrill images are something to crow about. Can't quite place it, but they look like they have been painted onto your sensor. I found using the DP2 Merrill exhilarating and liberating all at the same time. The Sigma DP2 Merrill is one camera that provides plenty of IQ that can satisfy the most curmudgeon photographer out there. It's a camera I highly recommend.