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Cameras & Lenses » Cameras » Digital Cameras » Sigma
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The Sigma DP1 Merrill Digital Camera features a fixed wide 19mm f2.8 lens and offers the same level of quality and control you would find in a DSLR into a body of a compact camera. The newly developed 46 megapixel 23.5x15.7mm sized image sensor which captures pure, rich light efficiently, so the image signal is superb right from the start. This gives the DP1 its high resolution and richly-graduated tones. The purpose design integral lens has a focal length equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm format camera and a maximum aperture of f2.8, making it suitable for portraits and travel shots, while the full manual controls of the Sigma DP1 ensure that the photographer remains in total control of the image making process. Other features include RAW+JPEG shooting, manual focus, a large 3.0” TFT colour LCD monitor, a hotshoe to enable the use of Sigma’s external flashguns, dual True II image processing engine and continuous shooting of up to 7fps in RAW. More
46 megapixel, 23.5×15.7mm full-colour Foveon X3 Merrill sensor
The 23.5×15.7mm full-colour Foveon X3 direct image sensor featured in the SIGMA DP2 Merrill, 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 colours at each and every pixel location with 3 layers, ensuring the capture of full and complete colour. Since colour moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and colour are captured 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 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 Merrill 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 Merrill 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 autofocus
The SIGMA DP1 Merrill features a “9 point select mode” which can select the desired 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 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 Merrill 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 keeps brightness and colour data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. When the image is processed 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 (supplied)
The supplied 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. 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 Merrill has compact dimensions of 121.5mm (W) × 66.7mm (H) × 59.2mm (D), and weighs just 360g. The supplied neck strap provides perfect mobility for candid photography.
The SIGMA DP1 Merrill adopts the SD Card (SDXC compatible) which is compact and easy to carry.
Large, highly visible 3.0” TFT colour LCD Monitor
The SIGMA DP1 Merrill features a 3.0 inch TFT colour 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 Merrill 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.
Movies can be recorded with VGA (640×480) size. The number of shooting frames per second is 30 frames.
LH1-01 Lens Hood
The dedicated bayonet lens hood (LH1-01) can be attached to block out extraneous light.
This precision-made optical viewfinder mounts on the camera's hot shoe. It allows framing of the image without using the LCD monitor.
EF-140 DG Electronic Flash
A compact flashgun designed exclusively for the DP series cameras and featuring a Guide Number of 14. This flashgun extends the camera’s photographic possibilities with such features as fill-in flash and full-flash for night photography.
SAC-5 AC Adapter
when using your camera for an extended period of time or connecting the camera to a computer. AC Adapter SAC-5 is used together with DC connector DC-11. DC connector DC-11 is supplied with AC Adapter SAC-5.
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(8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)
Fabulous Images, Makes You Work for Them
By Rich R
from South West England
About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast
See all my reviews
Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Black Digital Camera:
This is a long review so you might want to make that coffee *before* you embark on reading it...Much is to be found on the web on the subject of the Sigma's DP line of compact cameras, with their amazing Foveon sensors and amazing (in a bad way) but necessary Photo Pro software.Having just bought a DP1 through WEX (I'm the reason it is now out of stock - sorry) I thought I'd try to expand on some of the some of the info you've probably already read, from the point of view of a new owner currently "undergoing the adjustment".[...] :)After some fiddling about getting used to the controls befoer going shooting, I spent about 4 hours today shooting my first 'real' pictures.1st up, the camera IS small enough to get into a jacket pocket - I'm not big and it fits into my lightweight blouson jacket pocket (albeit snugly - but it fits). I shoved it in the pocket and cycled to my local park, leaving all bags and cases at home.The build quality is very sound and the buttons have a very definite edges and you-know-when-you've-pressed-them feel. Coupled with the relative simplicity of button layout and the very well-organised interface I can feel the right button straight away and am well on the way to being able to use the camera without looking, even when wearing thin gloves. If this was intentional on the part of Sigma I cannot thank them enough - with 3 buttons in a vertical row, the 4-way circle & centre button below, then two further buttons at the bottom I can feel exactly where I am. I *still* can't get the right button in the row of 7 to the left of the screen on my 7D after over two years of ownership and >100,000 photos taken.The buttons don't require much force to press, but enough force that you likely won't press one by accident. Likewise the control wheel that surrounds the shutter button has (I think) just the right level of resistance and nice positive steps to it's movement.Amazingly, the exception to the above applies to the most important button of all - the shutter release. This requires a little bit more force than most cameras to depress half way down, yet only a tiny increase in force and distance travelled will see it depress all the way and release the shutter. I've taken at least 4 photos unintentionally today so if I could change this to require a bit more force and distance (35%, say?) it would be perfect. The camera will take a picture before it's finished focussing, which will then leave it 'blind' and unable to continue focussing for about 2 seconds.Auto-focus isn't as fast as a dSLR but to be honest, it's fine, sub 1 second and with very few instances of focus-hunting so far. You wouldn't really use this camera for sports or kids parties or the like but for its likely targets (such as street scenes, skies, boats, portraits, landscapes, sunsets etc) it is plenty fast enough. There's a faster AF mode that restricts minimum focus distance to 1m (it's normally about 45cm) which claims to speed up AF (haven't tried it yet).The leaf shutter is fast, responsive and nearly silent. :)More they've-thought-it-through stuff: the tripod mount is right under the middle of the lens and well away from the battery door (a small tripod plate can be fitted and still allow the door to open fully - my plate allows this anyway). The tripod socket placement is important for 2 reasons, firstly because you'd be wise to use a tripod or mono-pod if at all possible - the accutance of the sensor is so great than even the tiniest wobble will be visible in the final image and having the socket right under the lense helps greatly, especially if contemplating making horizontal panoramas.Secondly, being able to open the battery door with the camera still mounted makes battery changes much easier and therefore quicker and keeps the camera safe & undisturbed in the process. "Batteries are the new film" when it comes to this camera - when folks on the web says the life is shockingly bad, be warned that I shot only 54 pictures earlier with almost no chimping, kept turning off the screen until I needed it (easy to do with one button press) and still burned through the charge of BOTH supplied batteries. The camera remembers shooting settings and keeps the clock ticking via an internal rechargeable battery while you change the main battery.Sigma BP-41 batteries are nigh on impossible to source in the UK yet I've heard Ricoh DB-65s are essentially correct and have a higher capacity than the 1250mAh of the Sigma. Note to Sigma: a big thankyou for including two batteries, but making further batteries available (cheaply) would be great, and making the charger able to charge two at once would reduce downtime significantly (by half, of course). It takes roughly 90 minutes to fully charge one battery, not the 140 it says in the instruction manual.(Note to WEX: your Sigma BP-65 page shows the BP-60 in the photo and the capacity printed on that one is smaller than the standard Sigma offering. If WEX were to extend a discount to proven DP1/2 buyers such as myself on these Ricoh batteries, you'd sell LOTS :) ).Write times to the card are fairly slow, because the files written are large (~45Mb). You'd better have plenty of room on your computer's hard drive, too, because the 16-bit TIFFs exported from Sigma Photo Pro are 85Mb! With a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95mb/s SD card loaded the write-light goes out about 12s after releasing the shutter, with a 20mb/s card the time was 22s. You can continue to shoot, almost immediately after a previous shot, but the rear display and auto-focus are unresponsive for a few seconds after taking a shot, leaving you firing 'blind'. In practise, are you really going to need to focus significantly closer or further away, and will you definitely need the screen to recompose within a 2 seconds of your first shot? I experimented and found that I didn't need either of those things (so far, at least).You probably knew this already but THE IMAGE QUALITY IS AMAZING. Simply jaw dropping. No sign of interpolation at all, it really is just a collection of distinct pixels that are their own colour and brightness as dictated by the scene you're shooting. You get some purple and green fringing in the extreme corners from the otherwise amazing 19mm lens - all it takes is to tick 'Remove Chromatic Aberration' in Lightroom and the problem is fixed.I'll almost certainly be buying the DP2, on the strength of what I've seen from this DP1.Sadly some colours can get blotchy and over-saturated sometimes - this seems to be brought on by the same conditions that would cause lenses to flare - bright light coming in directly from near a corner of the frame. 3 photos out of a sequence of 35 that I took of this evening's sunset had blotches in (but it was a pretty mental sunset...)I haven't played with image settings to dial down the saturation level yet, nor have I invested in a polarising filter which may help - I will do both at some point.The combination of the rubbish battery life, exceptionally revealling image quality from the wonderful lense and sensor and slight 'blindness' after shooting serve to encourages one to slow down and really consider the image being composed. I tend to photograph that way anyway, so I'm choosing to interpret this as a good thing!A word on Sigma Photo Pro (SPP) 5.4This isn't as bad as you may have heard. It certainly isn't a competitor to the paid-for full-featured packages such as Lightroom but, frankly, in my humble opinion it's OK as a first step to get your pics into a usable format with. You'll probably only want to use Photo Pro to tweak white balance and then export your pictures as 16-bit TIFFs for further developing in Lightroom/Aperture/Capture One. Unfortunately it doesn't support Adobe's DNG format and the talk on the web is that currently Sigma aren't working with Adobe, Phase One or Apple to get the Foveon's X3F format supported in Adobe Camera Raw, Capture One and Aperture, respectively, which is a pity.Why not check SPP out in advance if you're worried about it? You can download it for nothing from sigma and experiment with processing some files, in advance of buying a camera. Even if you just play with some jpegs, you'll the get hang of the interface.I spent more time in SPP than I needed simply because it was the fastest way for a new DP owner like me who was panting in anticipation of the lovely details of the day's captures to see them without waiting for the files to be exported ready for Lightroom. The preview window is actually pretty good, with a Loupe Viewer and a few handy panels to show you blown highlights or sunken-blacks using an I've-not-seen-this-before adjustable threshold. ...And how I had to wait when export time came - my first batch of 54 photos took 18 minutes to export, and used all 4Gb that was available to the machine and near 100% CPU (on an 8 core Intel i7 clocked at nearly 3GHz). By comparison, Lightroom imported the TIFFs and created standard previews for them in one (1) minute.BUT - there is a horrendous problem with exporting from SPP that I have discovered, which is going to frustrate me no end: it randomly leaves out EXIF information from exported files! Luckily you can spot this in Lightroom's Import module (before actually importing the files) - the EXIF-less files will appear out of order, at the end of the list if you have the previews ordered by Capture Time (LR has no idea when they were captured, so it pushes them to the end). Note down the filenames of the affected files, and re-export from SPP, overwriting the EXIF-less previous versions. However, there's no guarantee you'll get the EXIF included on a second or even 3rd attempt - I had to export one file 4 times before SPP deigned to write the EXIF data into it. Also, there is no Undo facility in SPP, or if there is one, it's hiding. Could Do Better, Sigma!Summary: * Fabulous image quality, remarkably useable, portable camera. 5/5 for IQ* Terrible battery life - makes you really consider and compose an image as if you were shooting with film 'cos once it's gone, it's gone! I'll be making an outboard battery supply as soon as time allows. 3/5* Flawed accompanying software, and the "big guns" aren't being aided by Sigma - 2 out of 5, would be 3.5 if files would export correctly.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Images shared by Rich R
60pc Quality jpeg; sunset really was this red!
Tags: Made with Product
Rewards 'picking your moment' - lens is sharp!
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