REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
SigmaDP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera
 
4.1

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good image quality (9)
  • Compact (7)
  • Easy to use (4)
  • Large clear LCD (3)

Cons

  • Short battery life (11)
  • No viewfinder (6)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (11)
  • Travel (8)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (8), Semi-pro photographer (4), Pro photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (14)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Stunning image quality!

The image quality from this little camera is stunning! Truly spectacular. The resolution, microcontrast and sharpness is comparable to much more expensive cameras with 30+ MP full-frame sensors. Some reviewers have even...Read complete review

The image quality from this little camera is stunning! Truly spectacular. The resolution, microcontrast and sharpness is comparable to much more expensive cameras with 30+ MP full-frame sensors. Some reviewers have even compared it to medium format quality. Amazing. Now that I have experienced what the DP1 Merrill can deliver, my other cameras stay on the shelf (except for low light).

The main caveat is that the outstanding, stunning image quality of the DP1 Merrill is only achievable using ISO 100-200 and 400 is the maximum usable ISO. This is a limitation of all Foveon sensors. However, in bright light, the image quality is so spectacular that I can live with the limitations. The DP1 Merrill is best thought of as a specialized tool and not an all-around, all-purpose camera. Getting these incredible results from it has a learning curve and requires patience in the field and during post-processing. It is not a camera for casual users or beginners. Never-the-less, now that I have experienced the "Foveon look", I can't go back to Bayer sensor cameras except for special needs (low light, high speed, macro and telephoto).

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

As Quirky As Reported - But Good!

This camera is not for everyone but, if you can put up with a few quirks (fixed lens, slow operation, poor battery life, lack of compatability with all but Sigma's proprietary post...Read complete review

This camera is not for everyone but, if you can put up with a few quirks (fixed lens, slow operation, poor battery life, lack of compatability with all but Sigma's proprietary post processing software, poor low light operation, etc.) the results, at least to date and for what it is good for, are stunning.

Reviewed by 15 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-15

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4.0

Hi quality images

By marcoc17

from Bay Area, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Resolution
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • Poor in Low Light
  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • Travel

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

nice lens, good performance at base ISO, fat flash sync, really super easy and practical controls. Unfortunately it is slow in saving images, out of the box need to update the firmware from 1.0 to 1.04, starts to become noisy with ISO higher than 200

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(6 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Not sharp but True Great Flowing colors

By kay bhee

from NYC

About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

Pros

  • Small / Compact
  • True Color Variations

Cons

  • Not So Sharp Duhh
  • No Viewfinder
  • Poor Image Stabilization
  • Poor in Low Light
  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • Everyday Items Fotos
  • Nature Fotos
  • Travel
  • Wildlife photos

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

Sigma DP-1 Merrill Digital Camera First, with this camera, forget about jpg.to make sense, one must use its RAW x3f mode...this camera is a bigger sensor, APS c size...so pls NOTE that first.I guess people LIE thru their teeth.There is NOTHING SHARP abt this camera, even in its raw x3f mode...in its own software, as raw or 16 bit tiff.the usd 450 Ricoh gxr a16 in JPG mode is sharper... than this so called merrill dp1...duhhhso many reviews...so many lies ?or people cant COMPARE ? or lost sight of what is sharp ?i checked a hundred fotos, ON 24 INCH SCREEN full mag, as well as BIG prints.... fuji film paper... fuji frontier system...it is NOT sharp...only average sharp...BUT THE COLORS. THE TONES. THE SUBTLE VARIATIONS.THIS CAMERA WILL BLOW YOUR MIND IN THAT.Foveon triple color sensors are Designed Right,NOT like the Rest of the world's Black n White sensors with colors added on later...this camera will NOT honestly be known for true sharpness....you will have to sharpen in its sigma software once,and then again...and maybe yet again... if you like Leica TACK sharpness...in order to BEGIN TO GET CLOSE to those countless pix you see onsigma s site, or other reviewers fotos...BUT the subtle variations of tones, colors, etc...will remind you ofSLIDE FILM all over again...this camera will force you to GO OUTSIDE ( stick to iso 100 and takea light tripod ) on rainy days or sunny days...and the results will make you go oooooh and aaaaaahespecially if you get to PRINT out big fotos.sharpness is 2.5COLOR is 4.5one can get from [*] JP for about usd 750.sigma japan ofc is helpful in case of emergencies.TAKE AT LEAST 6 batteries and 2 chargers with you,,,for serious taking,as each batt will give you only 50-80 fotos max.CAMERA GETS QUITE WARM ON RIGHT SIDE thanks to foveon chip guzzling amps.PROTECT the viewer LCD screen with special films.GET THE HOOD.GET THE SIGMA UV FILTERand have Great FUN !!!thanks

  • Ease of Operation:
  • 9
  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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4.0

Outstanding but with limitations

By cbphoto

from Okemos, MI

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great image quality
  • Great Resolution
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • No Viewfinder
  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • Family Photos
  • Travel
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

This is a simple looking compact camera which I found much more attractive in the flesh (er - metal). Bottom line though is that the produced images are large and outstanding. I am still getting to know the camera - its strengths and weaknesses. It is slow to write to the media card. I have ordered faster cards to see how that improves the write speed. I do shoot predominantly in raw. That brings up a weakness in that I am forced to use Sigma's raw converter program which does a good job, but doesn't have all the features and flexibility of Lightroom. Sigma could probably increase the appeal of this camera by coordinating with Adobe. Once converted to jpegs, the files are huge, but at 72 dpi. Why do they do that? Why not convert them to 240 or 300? The battery does run low quite quickly so it is shipped with two and I ordered a third. There is no built in flash which would be useful in limited circumstances. An added flash just upps the overall cost. It is small and light - though not pocketable in normal pockets. I plan to test it more and compare it with my Nikon and Olympus SLRs. If I am still impressed, I probably will add the DP3Merril to my kit.

  • Ease of Operation:
  • 9
  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Very Sharp Images

By Tom

from California

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Image Quality

Cons

  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

Landscape Photos

  • Ease of Operation:
  • 9
  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

Share this review

 
3.0

As Quirky As Reported - But Good!

By Norm

from Albuquerque New Mexico

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Image Quality

Cons

  • Lag / Shutter Delay
  • Short Battery Life
  • Sigma Viewfinder Bad

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

This camera is not for everyone but, if you can put up with a few quirks (fixed lens, slow operation, poor battery life, lack of compatability with all but Sigma's proprietary post processing software, poor low light operation, etc.) the results, at least to date and for what it is good for, are stunning.

  • Ease of Operation:
  • 4
  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very high quality captures!

By Chambertin1

from Montréal, Canada

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Image Quality
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • No Viewfinder
  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Travel

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

I use this camera for artistic purposes. This is not an everyday, everthing type of camera. Use with care, most of the time on tripod low ISO.

  • Ease of Operation:
  • 8
  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Big improvement

By AMcA

from Chicago

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Glorious Image Quality
  • Greatly Improved Function

Cons

  • Not A Speedy All-arounder
  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • A Shot You Compose
  • Portraits In Good Light

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

Huge improvement over the original DP1. Between the faster lens and the unproved sensor it gives me another 3, maybe 4 stops to work with in dim light. I find the new control layout a vast improvement over the old. Particularly like the custom settings. Camera's reflexes are noticeably faster, too. And the manual focus feature is unexpectedly more useful than expected.

Give it good, or interesting light and the attention it requires, and it will give you images of unparalleled beauty.

No, it's not up to the performance of more mainstream cameras. But working within its parameters, the images are noticeably gorgeous. And in this new camera those parameters are much wider than they used to be. If you ever used a manual film camera, the pace of this camera will feel very familiar.

Overall, huge improvement. Particularly nice build quality, very solid and satisfying in hand. Count me very satisfied.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great image quality but limited use

By Sheen

from Chicago, IL

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Image Quality
  • Great Zoom
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Nice Body Color

Cons

  • Poor Flash
  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Travel

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

Sigma dp is always famous for its sharpness and great color, you cannot expect more about image quality-- outside when weather is good. However, the focus distance is fixed which means it is not very great to frame your picture. The larger sensor with more megapixels of merrill kind of supplement this shortage, a zoom of 1/16 of the original picture can still make a great and sharp laptop desktop background. Great progress compared to my dp1x.. Only problem is you cannot have the advantage of wide-angle lens under that condition.
Performance under low light is still poor with lot of noise but better than dp1x, at least it gives acceptable pics after using spp5.
A good substitute to SLR because its small size and weight. Come with no voucher or bag and still not find a good case for it.
Battery life extremely short to other cameras, but come with two batteries in box.
Shutter speed fine but saving raw form still takes several seconds, but you can still shot during saving..

  • Ease of Operation:
  • 4
  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A gem of a camera!

By bmac

from Vancouver, Canada

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Travel

      Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

      The DP1 Merrill is a pleasure to use!
      For pictorial, landscape and still-life imaging this is one amazing 'little' camera. Lightweight, a no-nonsense interface; it produces beautiful, sharp pixels.

      Cons: The battery doesn't last long.(I will be purchasing a third one.) Not for the low-light, on-the-fly action photographer.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      DP1 Merrill, I like it.

      By Rick

      from Morristown, NJ

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Image Quality
      • Small / Compact

      Cons

      • No Viewfinder
      • Short Battery Life

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

      The DP1 is everything I hoped it would be....a good (perhaps great) landscape camera in a small package. Granted, this camera is not for everyone. 1. The battery life is really horrible. 2. It is kinda klunky to shoot in manual mode. 3. It takes quite a while for the image to load after each shot. 4. You have to use proprietary sigma softwate to edit the RAW files.
      In spite of the negatives, I really like the results. The images come straight out of the camera sharper than any Nikon dslr that I have ever owned.

      • Ease of Operation:
      • 8

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Good but needs electronic viewfinder.

      By SAW IT!

      from Lompoc, Ca

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Image Quality
      • Small / Compact

      Cons

      • Lag / Shutter Delay
      • No Viewfinder
      • Short Battery Life

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

      Excellent image quality, some chromatic abberation that needs to be worked with. Difficult to see viewfinder in daylight, I bought a hood and that helps. Having C1,C2,C3 is very nice for most used settings. I have 3 batteries and will need another. Raw processing software is slow but works.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      SIGMA DP1 MERRILL CAMERA

      By Middyboy

      from MT

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Good Image Quality

      Cons

      • No Viewfinder

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

      It's been said before, this camera produces incredile images. However, it falls behind other digital cameras in almost every other respect. If you're shooting immobile subjects and have plenty of time, you can prduce some great shots. It is definitely not for action photography.
      Gary L.

      • Ease of Operation:
      • 9
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Better than expected

      By Ctorresv

      from Bogotá, colombia

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Good Image Quality
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Small / Compact

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife photos

        Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

        This Merrill version is an outstanding upgrade for the DP1, I've owned 4 or 5 standard DP1's used for orthogonal aerial photography and learned to live with the lack of performance of the camera, the tradeoff for the excellent picture quality of the foveon sensor. This version not only is a major step in picture quality but most important in the overall performance of the camera. The online reviews are short on the speed and performance of the sensor-processor combination. It continues to be a dedicated niche camera but is so much fun and easier to use than the previous standard version.

        Most relevant improvements on the performance side are:
        - No more camera lockout during data saving process
        - Good memory buffer (7 shots in raw)
        - Realistic exposure compensation on live lcd / video out feed.
        - ISO limiting in auto mode

        Cons:
        -Foveon Sensor is not the best at high ISO ratings
        -Very big file size (50 Mb/shot)requires really optimum class 10 cards.

        • Ease of Operation:
        • 8
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (3 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Good pictures but slow to write SANDISK

        By Bill

        from Baltimore, MD

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Image Quality

        Cons

        • Poor Image Stabilization

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

        I wanted to take multiple exposures to capture HDR with this camera but the slow write speed to the memory card caused me to miss getting other pictures I wanted. I thought it might be the speed of my memory card but I tried faster ones and it didn't seem to help. It takes up to a minute to store the pictures for HDR.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Stunning image quality!

        By dismalhiker

        from Little Rock, AR

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Stunning Image Quality

        Cons

        • Short Battery Life

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Landscape Panoramas
        • Travel

        Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

        The image quality from this little camera is stunning! Truly spectacular. The resolution, microcontrast and sharpness is comparable to much more expensive cameras with 30+ MP full-frame sensors. Some reviewers have even compared it to medium format quality. Amazing. Now that I have experienced what the DP1 Merrill can deliver, my other cameras stay on the shelf (except for low light).

        The main caveat is that the outstanding, stunning image quality of the DP1 Merrill is only achievable using ISO 100-200 and 400 is the maximum usable ISO. This is a limitation of all Foveon sensors. However, in bright light, the image quality is so spectacular that I can live with the limitations. The DP1 Merrill is best thought of as a specialized tool and not an all-around, all-purpose camera. Getting these incredible results from it has a learning curve and requires patience in the field and during post-processing. It is not a camera for casual users or beginners. Never-the-less, now that I have experienced the "Foveon look", I can't go back to Bayer sensor cameras except for special needs (low light, high speed, macro and telephoto).

        • Ease of Operation:
        • 4
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review