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Sigma DP1 Merrill Image Quality

Sigma DP1 Merrill

The Sigma DP1 Merrill is a review in progress in Guide to Mirrorless.

The Sigma DP1 Merrill is an ugly duckling of a camera that lays golden eggs: the image sharpness of its 14.25 megapixel finished RGB images from its “true color” Foveon sensor is second to none in that megapixel range, with certain limitations that I will discuss in my review. Basically, it can fairly be called an 18-20 megapixel camera, but even that doesn’t really do justice to the superb per-pixel image quality and its lens, which must be called unusually good in the context of this style of camera. Still, the sensor could benefit from something LeicaM-like, but then the camera would have to cost more I suppose. Not that Sigma would tolerate using another brand lens.

Anyway, here’s an appetizer which will be followed in October with substantial coverage in October after I return from my trip— it’s not really feasible to publish anything in detail after shooting all day (sleep is one annoying incursion, as is turtle-slow internet in the mountains via cell phone).

There are several not so likeable things with the Sigma DP1 Merrill; I have mentioned a few of them in my review, and I’ll be elaborating on others.

I shot this scene with the Leica M9P also— the result is probably superior overall from the Sigma DP1M, since it has more depth of field and this makes the whole frame sharp, not true with the full-frame Leica (with 28/2 Summicron-M ASPH).

Sigma DP1 Merrill @ f/5.6

These two actual pixels crops show what I mean about the outstanding per-pixel detail that no conventional DSLR could match without at least 20 megapixels. Check out the tiniest type; no conventional sensor could ever resolve down to that level. Hopefully the JPEG version hasn’t lost anything, the original in TIF is superb.

Actual pixels
Actual pixels
Sigma DP1 Merrill @ f/4

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