Sigma Sticks Its Top DSLR Sensor Into Compact Cameras

You probably know Sigma for its inexpensive alternatives to brand-name lenses, but the company also makes some fine digital cameras. The newly rebooted DP-series compact cameras pack the same sensor technology as the company's excellent $US3300 SD1 DSLR.

The new DP Merrill cameras feature the company's proprietary Foveon x3 46MP, APS-C sensor, which sounds like an unbelievably high-resolution beast, but it's not exactly what it seems. It's really just an APS-C sensor with three stacked 15.4MP layers — one for each of the three primary colours. The difference between the two new DP Merrill cameras is the size of their fixed lenses. The DP1 has a 19mm, F2.8, wide-angle lens and the DP2 has a 30mm, F2.8 lens. The cameras are outfitted with 920,000-dot TFT LCDs.

I'm excited to see how the Sigma 1's impressive sensor fairs on these compact cameras. Even if they're likely to be pricey, almost everything about the Merrill DP1 and DP2 bodes well. The one obvious drawback is that the cameras will only shoot 640x480 VGA video. There's still no word on pricing and availability, but expect the cameras to come in somewhere between $US600-$US1000. [Sigma via Engadget]

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