The Sigma DP3 Merrill is a boxy shooter with a fixed 50mm f/2.8 lens. It follows the the 19mm DP1 Merrill and the 30mm DP2, which aside from their focal distances are identical. This is a trinity of image quality awesome, and if it were any other manufacturer, we’d join the haters in saying this is a waste.
You see, at its core, Sigma is a lens manufacturer, and these lenses are built perfectly for the somewhat clumsy bodies on which they live. In addition to innovating optics, Sigma also happens to own the absurdly sophisticated Foveon X3 image sensor, which uses three different 15.3-megapixel layers (one for each primary colour) to capture images. Instead, a third camera increases the awesome by half.
As we learned when we reviewed the DP2 in the fall, these cameras are a little tricky to use because they don’t have all the easy features most of us are used to. Still, the image quality is spectacular. The cameras, then, are basically, bland black boxes built around a badass 23.5mm x 15.7mm Foveon X3 with a lens that has been perfectly built for that design.
So even if owning all three of the DP Merrills might be a bit excessive, having the option of a longer fixed lens is something we’re looking forward to when the camera ships. Even if the longer lens does jut out further than the rest, and even if it costs $US1000 like the other two do. Speaking of which, there’s still no word on when when can bring this camera home with us or exactly how many paper stacks we’ll have to burn to buy one. [Sigma]