The Sigma DP3 Merrill uses the Foveon X3 true-color sensor, capable of resolving detail down to the pixel level without interpolation (Bayer matrix demosaicing). The 50mm f/2.8 lens used on the Sigma DP3M is a superb optic, so we can expect excellent results.
The Leica X Vario utilizes a conventional Bayer Matrix RGB sensor. Leica has said that the X Vario lens offers “perfect imaging quality”. But that is a statement on the lens which is only part of the situation: a digital image is a product of lens + sensor + electronics.
Which camera actually produces more detailed images?
The Sigma DP3 Merrill is an APS-C camera with a Foveon true-color sensor. Each photosite is a true red/green/blue pixel capable of a full RGB value. This gives a significant advantage for details in areas dominated by red or blue in particular (green less so), but also in general yields a level of resolved detail that captures texture in a far superior way to a conventional sensor. The images also “blow up” to very large prints with near medium format quality.
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Since 2009, Diglloyd Guide to Mirrorless covers mirrorless cameras and lenses. Includes interchangeable lens camera systems (Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, etc) as well as fixed-lens cameras (Sony, Sigma, Ricoh, etc).
In addition to the manufacturer-brand lenses, lens coverage includes 3rd-party lens lines like Zeiss Touit, Zeiss Loxia and Zeiss Batis.
It includes hundreds of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution, Retina-grade examples for the new mirrorless camera systems from Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Sigma, Ricoh and more. Also included are operational concerns, like shutter vibration or other camera behaviors. This publication will play a decisive role in your selection and use of mirrorless cameras and lenses.