At CES 2013 we announced the Sigma DP3 Merrill camera, an f/2.8 fixed 50mm focal length compact camera – the third and final camera in the DP Merrill lineup. With an almost identical build and feel as the DP1 and DP2 Merrill cameras, Sigma enthusiasts will not miss a beat when picking up the DP3. The DP3 Merrill features the same 46 megapixel (15.4-megapixel effective) Foveon X3 image sensor as the rest of the Merrill lineup, including the SD1. Complementing the DP1 (with a 19mm f/2.8 lens) and the DP2 (with a 30mm f/2.8 lens), the DP3 rounds out this group with its 50mm lens (75mm equivalent on a 35mm). The lens gives users greater telephoto focal length and allows for macro shooting.
The Foveon X3 image sensor works by combining the talents of 3 sensor layers (each layer at 4,704 x 3,136) to ensure the capture of full and complete color. Sigma has also done away with a low-pass filter. This allows for better capture of light and color. The camera is powered by two TRUE II processing engines.
The 50mm f/2.8 lens uses Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass and aspherical elements that reduces aberrations and allows for improved image quality. Full manual control over image production is standard on the DP lineup. The camera has the ability to shoot in RAW mode, as well as shoot JPEGs. ISO sensitivities range from 100-6400, although shooting at anything above ISO 400 is not recommended. Movies can be recorded at 640×480 at 30 fps. However, as we have stated in our DP2 Merrill review, that clearly makes a statement that this is camera is meant for creating great still images, not recording stunning video.
If the camera is anything like its brothers (which we expect it to be), it will have amazing image quality but be lack-luster in AF speed and high ISO performance. That being said, we can’t wait to get our hands on it. The Merrill lineup creates some beautiful images and we are excited to put it to the test. With the new Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 software upgrade we look forward to seeing B&W images produced in the monochrome mode.
The Sigma DP3 Merrill will be available in early March for the street price of $999.