qqzcbsfr

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
SigmaDP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera
 
4.1

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good image quality (9)
  • Compact (8)
  • Easy to use (5)
  • Great resolution (4)
  • Large clear LCD (4)

Cons

  • Short battery life (12)
  • No viewfinder (7)
  • Poor in low light (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (12)
  • Travel (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (9), Pro photographer (4), Semi-pro photographer (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (16)

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

 

A camera with a identity crisis

It is a camera designed for photographers. The controls are fairly easy to use, the camera feels good in your hand. There are nothing on the camera that is not functional. There are...Read complete review

It is a camera designed for photographers. The controls are fairly easy to use, the camera feels good in your hand. There are nothing on the camera that is not functional. There are many shortcomings, however: The images are noisy unless the ISO is less than 400. The camera is also slow to process each exposure. The battery does not last even half a day of shooting. The SIGMA Raw files need their own Sigma software for processing and the software is buggy at best. These are some of the reasons why this camera, even with its superior Foveon X3 sensor design, is not a commercial hit.

Reviewed by 17 customers

Displaying reviews 1-17

Back to top

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Non-Technical Guy buys a Sigma!

By KBPhotos

from Irvine, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Great Resolution
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • No Viewfinder

Best Uses

  • Architecture
  • Art Photography
  • Landscape
  • Pattern Photography
  • Street Photography
  • Travel

Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

I have been researching this camera for 2 years and have read a ton of reviews about slow write times and software, so I want to add something new: I don't know the difference between an F-stop and a bus stop and, caveat emptor, I still bought it. Am I happy? I am thrilled. Looking into the pictures on my computer, I can see the Merrill magic--there is a kind of depth to the image that is unique. And the wide angle lens is perfect for me. I usually photograph architecture and landscapes. Recently, I was on UC Irvine's campus and I shot some images of construction in the Engineering quad...the images were SO HUGE that I could easily crop brilliant compositions and have them look clean and sharp when viewed as full screen crops. And a beach scene I took had so many clusters of people coming and going at sunset that it was like an entire system of social ecology, with all these wonderful ensembles in motion.
It's okay not to be technical and get this camera. I think patience is more important, and self-knowledge about what one wants in photographs and the photographic process. On a side note, the build-quality of a camera is important to me and the DP1 is solid and the heft to value ratio is high. Get yours! Enjoy today!

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

A camera with a identity crisis

By Professor

from Tennessee

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Resolution
  • Large Clear LCD

Cons

  • Poor in Low Light
  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

    Comments about Sigma DP1 Merrill Compact Digital Camera:

    It is a camera designed for photographers. The controls are fairly easy to use, the camera feels good in your hand. There are nothing on the camera that is not functional. There are many shortcomings, however: The images are noisy unless the ISO is less than 400. The camera is also slow to process each exposure. The battery does not last even half a day of shooting. The SIGMA Raw files need their own Sigma software for processing and the software is buggy at best. These are some of the reasons why this camera, even with its superior Foveon X3 sensor design, is not a commercial hit.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    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

    (15 of 46 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
     
    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

    (1 of 3 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
     
    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

    (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

    (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

    (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

    (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

        (3 of 3 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
         
        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

        (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

        (6 of 6 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

          (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

          (22 of 22 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

          Displaying reviews 1-17

          Back to top