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SHOOTOUT: Leica X Vario vs Sigma DP3 Merrill (Moots Ride to Green Machine)

See also the shootout between the Leica M Typ 240 and the Sony RX1R.

Leica has said that the 16-megapixel Leica X Vario lens offers “perfect image quality”, but that statement refers to the lens (only). Which omits the influential factors of the sensor resolution, anti-aliasing filter and the inherent limitations of an RGB Bayer marrix sensor, which has 1/2 green, 1/4 red and 1/4 blue photosites that require demosaicing interpolation to produce an image.

The Sigma DP3 Merrill with its 14.75-megapixel Foveon X3 true-color sensor samples a true RGB value at every pixel location, which is why its files are so huge.

Which camera can actually deliver better sharpness?

SHOOTOUT: Leica X Vario vs Sigma DP3 Merrill (Moots Ride to Green Machine)

This comparison offers tremendous detail that is highly revealing. It was fascinating even to me in my context of seeing so many cameras and doing this stuff: highly recommended reading.

Sigma DP3 Merrill, Leica X Vario

Moots Mooto X YBB 29er, White Mountains
Sigma DP3 Merrill @ f/8

Mark S writes:

Very informative and thorough comparison.

The apparent detail of the DP3 is much more than 20% or 30% higher than the X Vario to my eye. The DP3 is really very impressive. I imagine it would stack up fairly well to a 24 or 36mp bayer image resampled down to match.

The overall color quality and “nervousness” of the out of focus areas, however, is unfortunate. That and the pokey AF make me think twice about picking one up.

DIGLLOYD Agreed on the “higher” and 24/36 comment also. I suspect that large prints would be as compelling as the tulips, which continues to impress even with time on my wall.
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