Although there are plenty of DP2 Merrill reviews out there, I still feel like sharing my thoughts about Sigma’s premium compact. The fact that I used to have the previous model, the DP1s, allows me to evaluate some of its features even better than some well-known reviewers.
What’s the first thing you notice about it? The DP2 Merrill is bigger and heavier than the old DP1s. The latter weighed 249g and had the following dimensions (WxHxD):113x60x50mm. The DP2m is 80g heavier and gains additional 9/7/10mm on every side; otherwise it’d be impossible to fit the most recent Foveon sensor (now APS-C) and the 3“display (instead of a 2,5“). The screen makes up ca. 60% of the DP2m’s back side.
You can see some changes not only on the outside, but also under the hood. As I’ve already mentioned, the DP2m’s has a larger sensor with three times more pixels (14,75 instead of 4,7 MP per layer). It’s not only the new sensor that was integrated, but also a faster processor which increases the AF speed. Now you don’t have to wait on the internal card reader to save single shots onto the card, instead you have a 350MB buffer which allows you keep shooting. Thanks to the larger buffer you can take 7 RAWs in a row without having to wait for the camera to write them all down to the card. De facto you can instantly see the effect of the new processor (AF) and the buffer. The DP2m is much faster than the DP1s and taking photos with it is much more fun. You’re gonna love it.
The handling also became much easier due to some improvements. First of all you can now adjust the aperture with the mode dial on the top of the camera instead of having to use zoom in/out buttons. Secondly, the Q-menu makes any adjustments much easier. Thirdly, manual focusing is performed via a lens ring, same like when using old analogue cameras (of course if you’re old enough to have experienced them first hand ) The MF is “by wire”, but it is much better than in case of the DP1s’ thumbwheel.
I can’t find the words to fully describe improvement in picture quality. While the smaller Foveon sensor in DP1 comes close to Bayer sensors in the 10-16 MP range, the new APS-C Foveon in the Merrill models beats everything except for D800(E). Some argue that it’s even better than Nikon’s full frame image sensor without the AA filter (german speaking forum). I am really impressed by the sharpness of this little inconspicuous camera. Pictures also look amazingly sharp at full aperture and in the 100%. Incredible!
Hopefully the weather in March will be better. Anyway, I will continue to take shots with my DP2m and when I have a bit more time, will write a more in-depth review.
I hope you enjoyed it. You can find more DP2m shots on Pinterest or in my Flickr Set.