New Gear: Sigma Introduces DP1, DP2, and SD1 Merrill Cameras

The SD1 gets a serious price drop and the DP series gets in on the sweet Foveon X3 action

When Sigma announced their flagship SD1 DSLR, it caused a lot of commotion. People were very interested in the 46-megapixel (15.3 x 3) Foveon X3 sensor. They were even more interested in the initially quoted list price of $9,700. But, Today Sigma is doing some house cleaning in their camera lines and they seem to have things in pretty good order.

All three models have gained a Merrill in their name, which is in honor of Richard Merrill, the co-creator of the Foveon X3 sensor. The SD1 remains unchanged in the hardware department, but along with its new name comes a new price of $2,300. That’s almost exactly 1/3 the $6,899 price it’s currently commanding online. While it still doesn’t perform exactly like a 46-megapixel camera, that much of a price drop should make everyone see the SD1 in a bit of a different light. Sigma says the change comes from changes in the manufacturing process that has made things more efficient.

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The DP1 and the DP2 Merrill have both received more than just a name change. The pair now come equipped with the same APS-C Foveon X3 sensor found inside the SD1. The DP2x that came before had the APS-C Foveon sensor, but it was only rated at 14-megapixels, compared to the 46 claimed by Sigma on the new version. That’s a big step up.

Both cameras have fixed lenses, with the DP1 carrying a 19mm F/2.8 lens (28mm equivalent) and the DP2 bringing a 30mm F/2.8l lens (45mm equivalent). Both use Sigma’s FLD glass and a 3-inch LCD display with 920,000 dots. They also offer manual focus.

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There’s no pricing information available at the moment, but we’ll be very curious to see where these compacts end up. They have a ton of imaging capability, but they lack some things many people look for in a truly high-end compact like a viewfinder or even HD video (recording caps out at 640 x 480). But, the thought of having that sweet Foveon in a little box definitely has us excited.

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