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Shootout: Sigma DP2 Merrill vs Canon 5D Mark III

Sigma DP2 Merrill

Quite a few readers have written to say they are looking for a high quality compact camera to replace or supplement a DSLR. The Sigma DP1/DP2 Merrill is one camera that produces very high per-pixel quality.

Previously published in Guide to Mirrorless was a Nikon D600 vs Sigma DP1 Merrill comparison, along with a color comparison.

Now added is a Canon 5D Mark III vs Sigma DP2 Merrill comparison.

I show one very large actual (native) pixels crop from each, along with the entire frame along with a variety of resampled-to-match crops so that the two cameras can go head to head.

Comparing Sigma DP-1/DP2 Merrill to Canon / Nikon DSLRs
  Sigma DP1 Merrill / DP2 Merrill Canon 5D Mark III Nikon D600
Lens: 19mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent)
30mm f/2.8 (45mm equivalent)
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II Zeiss 28mm f/2 Distagon (for this test)
Sensor type Foveon true-color 14.25 X 3 megasensels* (effective) Conventional 22.3 megasensel Bayer-pattern sensor requiring demosaicing: 1/2 green, 1/4 red, 1/4 blue photosites Conventional 24.16 megasensel Bayer-pattern sensor requiring demosaicing: 1/2 green, 1/4 red, 1/4 blue photosites
Sensor size: APS-C = 23.5×15.7 mm Full-frame = 36.0 X 24.0mm Full-frame = 35.9 X 24.0mm
Finished image size 4704 X 3136 = 14.75 megapixels
88.6 MB 16-bit RGB TIF
5760 X 3840 = 22.1 megapixels = 22% higher spatial resolution
132.7 MB 16-bit RGB TIF
6016 X 4106 = 24.16 megapixels = 28% higher spatial resolution
145.1 MB 16-bit RGB TIF
RAW size (for this test): 62.5MB
(X3F lossless compressed, bit depth unclear)
39.9 MB
Canon CR2 RAW
37.8 MB
(14-bit lossless compressed NEF)
Redwoods and stone bridge
Sigma DP1 Merrill vs Canon 5D Mark III
Fall Color, Cottonwood Canyon
Sigma DP1 Merrill vs Nikon D600
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