Sigma DP3 Merrill – First to Review in Singapore!

Picture: Sigma DP3 Merrill (left) & Sigma DP2 Merrill (Right back)
Photo by Allan LEE

February 2013 – The Sigma flagship compact sees a 3rd incarnation – the Sigma DP3 Merrill, which is more
than just a cosmetic update as many had perceived to be. Although the DP3 uses & share about 70%
identical parts from the DP2, the new DP3 had a different lens, a new focusing engine that resulted in
fast focusing plus face detection, a tweaked processor that records faster than its predecessors and it is
“macro-enabled” now. Key specs after the jump.

Picture: Sigma DP2 Merrill (left) & Sigma DP3 Merrill (Right back) You cannot tell each other apart
except the lens size and the printed “DP2” or “DP3”.

Photo by Allan LEE

Many users will not be able to immediately tell the difference between the DP3 with the older DP2 since
they shares close to 70% parts. The first thing that might catch your attention will be the lens cap. The DP2 came
with the standard Sigma pinch cap from the “150-500mm era” while the DP3 came with the “35mm F1.4 ART New Type”
in Sigma’s language. This also brings the flagship compact’s look closer to be in line with the Sigma’s global vision
(Re-inventing & Re-innovating all the lenses in the current line up) – which all the new lenses under the new line
will be supplied with caps of this design.

Picture: Sigma DP2 Merrill lens cap(front) & Sigma DP3 Merrill lens cap (back)
Photo by Allan LEE

Picture: Sigma DP3 Merrill with 50mm F2.8 Macro
Photo by Allan LEE

Picture: Sigma DP2 Merrill with 30mm F2.8
Photo by Allan LEE

OK, so the lens are different – sound stupid but the main reason why Sigma release a DP Twin is also for
the main purpose for suiting different photographers since the 3 DPs are all very similar. The DP3 with its
50mm F2.8 Macro (75mm at 35mm format) are an excellent portrait range and it is also a Macro lens at it.
For me, I am one of those weirdos that likes to shoot landscape with telephoto lenses and this lens will be great
for my style of shooting. (shooting buildings with telephoto lenses give super straight structures with little
distortions). The DP2’s 30mm (45mm at 35mm format) are really made for general photography like street photography , etc and the DP1’s 19mm (28mm at 35mm format) are more suited for landscape and interior’s stuff.

So how does the camera perform?

Picture: A scene of RWS shot from Harbourfront Centre with the Sigma DP3 Merrill.
Photo by Allan LEE

Picture: A scene of Reflections shot from Harbourfront Centre with the Sigma DP3 Merrill.
Photo by Allan LEE

Picture: A scene of Singapore Cruise Centre shot from Harbourfront Centre with the Sigma DP3 Merrill.
Photo by Allan LEE

Picture: A scene of Vivo City shot from Harbourfront Centre with the Sigma DP3 Merrill.
Photo by Allan LEE

Picture: Designs from a claded pillar at Singapore Cruise Centre with the Sigma DP3 Merrill.
Photo by Allan LEE

Since the supplied fixed lens is “Macro-enabled”, this review wouldn’t be complete without
a close up shot using the DP3. I spotted a really, really small flower by the road.
See the next 2 photos. 🙂

Picture: Close Up of a wild flower shot using the Sigma DP3 Merrill. (See next photo)
Photo by Allan LEE

And to give you an idea how small the above flower was, I added my finger in the next shot.
Photo below.

Picture: Close Up of a wild flower shot using the Sigma DP3 Merrill. (See next photo)
Photo by Allan LEE

Did you went “WOW!”? I hope you did. The Sigma DP3 Merrill does live up to its flagship status.
Apart from the solidly built exterior which feels really “expensive” but feels good to the hands, internally
Sigma had upgraded the focusing and added face detection so that DP3 focuses much faster than the DP2 & DP1.
Recording is a tad faster now when compared to the older DPs too. I had used the DP2 & DP1 and I remembered
the “Recording” blinking light will go on for a while (a longer-than-usual while) after every shot and that
kind of irritates me. But the DP3 had changed that perception as the recording is now closer to my acceptable
level. That is a plus point for me personally.

Major Differences of DP1, DP2 & DP3
Key Specs Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP1 Merrill
Sensor Foveon X3 DIS Foveon X3 DIS Foveon X3 DIS
Effective Pixels 46mp 46mp 46mp
Supplied Lens (Fixed) 50mm F2.8 Macro 30mm F2.8 19mm F2.8
35mm Equivalent Approx 75mm Approx 45mm Approx 28mm
Camera Intended for Portraitures/ Macro Street/ General Landscape/ Architectures
Macro Magnifications Yes No No
Shutter Speed 1/2000 – 30 secs 1/2000 – 30 secs 1/4000 – 15 secs

The Sigma’s DP series are designed and made for professionals & serious enthusiasts as a light carry-about alternative.
Boasting a large sensor (APS-C) in a compact body, Sigma was the first manufacturer to do this before the competition came out with near-equivalents – go do your research. The 46mp Foveon X3 sensor was/is the first & one of its kind since its debut and still remained relevant till today. A closer look at the DP series will probably remind you of a Leica M3 from many angles. The design and layout and everything else in between just complete the perfect package as the “Professional’s Side Kick”.

Go get yours today.

Special Thanks to Sigma Marketing (Singapore) for the DP3 Review Unit!

For more information on the Sigma DP3 Merrill click here.

For other Sigma Related Articles & Reviews click here.

For a High Res copy of the review photos, please email me at
(The photos I posted seems to have been compressed by wordpress)

Sigma Marketing Singapore Pte Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sigma Japan Corporation.

For more information, please visit

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5 Responses to Sigma DP3 Merrill – First to Review in Singapore!

  1. if only the pricing is right – this is a good one – would love to take it for a test run – any chance?

  2. Mark says:

    Great insights, thank you very much. One question, do you use or recommend a tripod with the DP3? Thanks.

  3. Pingback: The Best Sigma Lenses That I will Personally Use (Part 2) | Shutter Journey (SGP)

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