Sigma’s new DP3 Merrill was launched at CES 2013, bearing the same 46 MP sensor as its siblings.
Sigma’s press release states that the new camera packs the same powerful APS-C sized 46MP Foveon X3 Merrill sensor as the one found in Sigma DP1 and DP2 cameras. The 50mm f/2.8 lens is a somewhat natural step-up from DP1’s 19mm and DP2’s 30mm lens. Still, Sigma DP3 is a fixed lens camera packed in the same body as its siblings.
The sensor is not an actual 46 MP one, but rather three different 15.4 MP sensor-layers stacked on top of each other. The Foveon X3 sensor features three different photo-sensitive layers for each of the primary colors. This means it delivers excellent color graduations and great light sensitivity. Also, the usage of two TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II image processors improves the quality of the images.
The 50mm 2.8 lens – specifically made for DP3 – takes pride in its telecentric design that directs the light almost perpendicularly onto the sensor. The Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass, aspherical elements and Super Multi-Layer Coatings add up to reduce flare, ghosting and other image distortions. The lens also delivers macro photography, from a minimum focusing distance of 22.6 cm with a 1:3 magnification ratio. Manual focus is provided as well, allowing the photographer to take use of the focusing ring found on it.
Sigma DP3 has a large memory buffer, enabling the user to shoot up to 7 RAW images in bursts of 4 frames per second. In some situations, when Medium or Low image quality modes are enabled, the bursts can get as high as 5 fps for a sequence of 14 images. The pictures can be recorded in both RAW and JPEG formats. On the storage side, DP3 accepts SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.
The 3” monitor seems to be the same as DP1’s and DP2’s: a 920,000 dots TFT LCD. The camera doesn’t have a flashlight but it does offer a hot shoe on top of the body, for attaching a dedicated flashgun. Other functions are: Face Detection AF mode and Shutter Priority AF option that stop the Live View feed for faster focusing speeds, Movie Mode that enables the user to record VGA (640×480) size videos, and manual ISO control.
The starting price or availability date were still undisclosed at the time this article was published, but we tend to think that Sigma DP3 Merrill will cost the same as its siblings, somewhere around $1000.