The DP Merrill series give the best value in photography for discerning photographers. They all share identical bodies with the stunningly sharp X3 Foveon ‘Merrill’ sensor. It’s APSc sized in a compact body. The only thing that differs between the three cameras is the lens. The DP1m has a 19mm lens, equivalent to ~28mm on a full-frame camera.
The DP2m has a 30mm lens (45mm) and the DP3 has a 50mm lens; equivalent to a 75mm short telephoto on a 35mm film camera or full frame dSLR. All lenses share a maximum aperture of f2.8 and a minimum aperture of f16.
The optical performance of all of these lenses is incredible. The colours, bokeh and especially acutance is excellent, even wide-open. However, the DP1, being a wide-angle, isn’t perfectly sharp in the corners and has a little distortion; to be expected. The 30mm is sharp across the frame and has effectively no distortion.
I’m excited by the DP3 Merrill because it’s got a 50mm lens; a focal length that’s always been a sweet spot for prime lenses. Because it’s slightly longer, I’m expecting less distortion too, making it ideal for portraits.
Well I have the DP3 Merrill here now, and I’m going to be reviewing it over the next fortnight. I’ve already reviewed the DP2 Merrill and talked about how brilliant the sensor is, and how ‘pure’ the camera is in general.
Now I’m interested to see if this lens can go even further and get even better results from that magical Merrill sensor. Particularly, I’m curious to see whether a photo-stitch of several images can rival medium format digital cameras; this should be better with the 50mm lens in the DP3m.
Oh, and with enormous thanks to Jaume, Rui and Sandra at Sigma Photo ES, I’ve got the DP1 here as well; so I might as well review all three together and compare them. Stay tuned…
Here’s a first few high resolution sample images from Sigma’s DP3 Merrill so you can appreciate the quality that these cameras achieve. Click on the images to download the high resolution Jpegs.
More photographs to come soon!