Sigma DP3 Merrill

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sigma DP3Sigma’s new compact camera incorporates the 46-megapixel Foveon X3 direct image sensor. More about that number shortly.

The DP3 Merrill features a 50 mm f/2.8 lens (equivalent to 75 mm) with enhanced macro capabilities.

The DP1 Merrill is designed for wide angle images, the DP2 Merrill is for standard range,while the new DP3 Merrill rounds out the series with a camera for all shooting situations.

The 23.5 x 15.7 mm full-color Foveon X3 direct image sensor (named “Merrill”) incorporates 46 effective megapixels (4,800 x 3,200 x 3 layers) and 44 recording megapixels (4,704 x 3,136 x 3 layers). The Foveon X3 direct image sensor captures all primary RGB colours at each and every pixel location with 3 layers. Since colour moire is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and colour are captured with a three-dimensional feel, says Sigma.

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 image-processing algorithm provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images with richly graduated tones as well as a three-dimensional feel.

The lens has been designed exclusively for the DP3 Merrill. The use of Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass accompanied by aspherical lens elements not only compensates for a variety of aberrations, but also allows for a more compact size. The superior telecentric optical design improves image quality throughout the frame. The camera has a minimum focusing distance of 22.6 cm (8.9 inches) and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting, ensuring sharp, high contrast image quality even under severe conditions, says the company.

The custom quick set menu and the metallic command dial are said 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.

A large volume buffer memory enables the camera to capture up to 7 RAW images per sequence in continuous shooting mode. The camera offers 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 fps and up to 14 fps in continuous shooting mode in Medium and Low image quality mode.

The camera 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. The new Face Detection AF gives priority to the face of the subject when detected by the sensor. AF Limit Mode can adjust the range of autofocusing and Shutter Priority AF offers faster focus adjustment by stopping the live view to increase the speed of the autofocusing. The new AF+MF mode adjusts the focus manually after verifying the AF by rotating the focus ring.

Manual Focus is available, using the focus ring for focusing just like an SLR camera. It is also possible to magnify the display to ensure precise focusing.

The DP3 Merrill features a RAW data recording mode plus a JPEG recording format. The supplied image processing software, SIGMA Photo Pro, converts RAW data, rendering the full 46 megapixel data.

The camera has a 3.0-inch TFT colour monitor and a hot shoe, allowing use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional) and others.

Movies can be recorded with VGA (640 x 480) size at 30 fps.

ISO sensitivity can be set from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.

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