Sigma DP3 Merrill

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DP3 MerrillSigma’s compact DP3 Merrill features a 46-megapixel Foveon X3 direct image sensor. Before you consider that a typo, read on.

The Foveon X3 sensor captures all primary RGB colours at each and every pixel location with 3 layers. Physically it’s 23.5 × 15.7 mm with a 4,800 × 3,200 pixel array, and with three layers, that effectively makes 46 megapixels, says Sigma. Since colour moiré is not generated, explains the company, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and colour are captured by the sensor with a three-dimensional feel.

The camera sports a50 mm f/2.8 lens (equivalent to 75 mm on a 35 mm camera), effectively a mild tele, with macro capability.

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 by passing on information about subjects to the sensor.

The DP3 Merrill 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, such as taking photos against or towards the sun.

The TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II image processing engine dedicated to the Foveon X3 sensor improves the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. But wait, this camera has two of them. This, says Sigma, provides high-resolution power and reproduces high-definition images with richly graduated tones, as well as a three-dimensional feel.

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.

A large volume buffer memory enables the camera to capture up to 7 RAW images per sequence in continuous shooting mode.

Using high-speed data transfer and processing, the DP3 Merrill features a continuous shooting speed of up to 4 frames per second. In addition, it is possible to capture up to 5 fps and up to 14 images per sequence in continuous shooting mode in Medium and Low image quality mode.

The compact camera features a 9-Point Select Mode, offering a selectable focusing point from 9 different frames, and Free Move Mode, which moves the desired point as you like.

The new Face Detection AF prioritizes focus on the face of the subject when detected by the sensor.

AF Limit Mode can adjust the range of auto focusing 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. It is possible to use the focus ring for focusing and magnify the display to ensure precise focusing.

The DP3 Merrill features a RAW data recording mode plus a JPEG recording format. RAW data and JPEG data are recorded simultaneously, even in Monochrome Mode.The supplied image processing software, Sigma Photo Pro, converts RAW data.

The camera uses the SD Card (SDXC compatible) format, has a 3.0-inch TFT colour monitor, and is equipped with a hot shoe.

The DP3 Merrill is capable of capturing video at 30 frames per second (VGA, 640 × 480).

ISO sensitivity can be set from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 in 1/3 EV steps.

Available in March, the Sigma DP3 Merrill has a suggested retail price of $1099.95.

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