The Amazing Sigma DP3 Merrill

For a long time I have been looking for the best possile quality camera I can carry in a pocket - sort of a super "Point and shoot". I have bought quite a few cameras in this quest - but none of them gave me the kind of image quality that I was looking for. I have been spoiled by good quality glass and fantastic capabilities - and I have an aversion to zoom lenses as they compromise the picture quality I was looking for. I seem to have finally found the camera I have been looking for - and in fact a series of 3 cameras that do almost all I want. All have amazing sensors - among the best installed in any camera, big or small. All have fixed focal length lenses with amazing quality and all have moderately fast apertures of F2.8. These are the 3 "DPx" models in the Merrill series by Sigma - the DP1, DP2 and DP3. Sigma is better know for making reasonable third-party lenses for mounting on Canon, Nikon and various other cameras. They have for some time been making their own cameras, and modest is the best way to describe them. The dive into pocketable cameras is recent one and the results are amazing. Central to these cameras is the "Foveon" sesor, what works in a fundamentally different way to regular "Bayer" senors. These record all three basic colours - red, green and blue (RGB) - at each photo site. Regular sensor record one and use software to work out the other two from the surrounding sites. Best to ahve a look elsewhre for a full description of this, but the result is simply stunning quality, detail and sharpness - until you go to higher ISO's where at all kind of falls apart. That's OK, for what I do, high ISO is not much more than a party trick. If it is not light enough, use a tripod I say. Becasue these cameras are fixed lens and the lenses are not zooms - the lens is PERFECTLY matched to the body and sensor and that simply amplifies the quality the sensor can produce. End result - fabulous.

Take a look at some of these random shots from the DP3 - whoch has a 35mm equivalent lens of 75mm, so is a great camera for bokeh and portraits. I have not got any portraits here as the folks I take photos of dont like the idea of appearing on the web. Still, let me know what you think……


The DP3 is simple and elegant - and all metal. The lens does stick out a little, but then it is an amazing lens. Advertise I say. I have added a grip to the left of the body on mine.


A stage at a temple halfway up Mount Fuji. It was raining - perfect day for photos of these kind of places.


Charms for sale at a temple. Name your need and they probably have something to help.


Water to wash before entering a temple.


The small paper streamers symbolize the boundary between our world and the world of the Gods/spirits.


Door detail at the shrine in Shiba Koean, Tokyo.


Ready for launch.




Koinobori to celebrate Children's Day - see my blog post earlier.


Prayer stations at Mount Takao. There are 88 statues and people 1 Yen coin on each as a means of fast pilgrimage to each of the shrines represented by each statue. This guy got one on his head.


Wooden bridge near Sawai - location of one of the best Sake brewers in Tokyo.


The symbol of the brewer os Sawai - called Sawanoi. They are nowhere near the sea- so how come  a crab I wonder.


Typical Japanese way to slow water down as it comes from a roof gutter to ground level.


Spider engineering.


Someone turned an old Citroen 2CV into a coffee shop and parks it near my home in Meguro. Brilliant.


It's a common sight that small businesses will place a chair outside to advertise their business. Those who know me know I don't need a haircut - ever - so don't need these services.

© David Runacres 2014