Sigma’s DP2 Merrill APS-C Compact Hitting US Shelves July 12th for $999

The point-and-shoot may be on its way out, but it certainly isn’t going out without a fight. A few weeks ago we saw Sony release the RX100, which has been called “the best pocket camera of all time,” and now Sigma is following that up with its own high-end compact to hit shelves on July 12th: the DP2 Merrill.

The camera was announced back in February around the same time as the SD1, and this one will probably be joining Sony’s RX100 and Canon’s G1 X in a whole new class of digital compact — the kind you see photogs using as serious backups. This is because, as far as hardware goes, the DP2 packs a 14.8MP Foveon X3 APS-C sensor, dual True-II image processors (both inherited from the SD1 Merrill DSLR), a 3-inch 920K dot LCD display, and a 30mm (42mm equivalent) f/2.8 prime lens.

The major downside here, as you may have imagined, is price. The camera will retail for just under $1000 when it hits shelves in less than two weeks, possibly making it impractical for both the typical compact user and the photographer looking for a small backup camera. But at the very least we don’t have to wait long to see if the quality will justify the price. For more details, check out the entire press release over on Sigma’s website.

  • wickerprints

    Regardless of image quality, $1000 is a lot to pay for a camera with a fixed 30mm f/2.8 lens. This camera cannot be compared to the Sony RX100, nor the Canon G1 X for this reason alone. Rather, the most appropriate comparison is to the Fuji X100, which sports a similarly fixed (but significantly wider and a full stop faster) 23mm f/2 lens. It shows that Sigma doesn’t understand how Fuji successfully marketed the X100, and why the camera was well-received.

    Sigma seems to practice “cargo cult science” when it comes to designing their cameras. They look at their competitors’ successes and then try to copy them, but without the understanding of why their competitors succeeded. The X100 made waves because it deliberately evoked the retro fixed-lens rangefinder concept, updated with a novel hybrid viewfinder. (Not that I personally had any interest in it, but others clearly did.) Sigma just took the fixed lens idea and their Foveon sensor and then slapped them on a cheapo-looking P&S body. Expecting anyone to pay $1000 for it is delusional at best. It’s not even remotely in the same league as the Sony RX100.

  • Luiz Fellipe Carneiro

    Agree. Cut some of that price and the camera could sell very well.

  • Luiz Fellipe Carneiro

    Agree. Cut some of that price and the camera could sell very well.

  • E

    Do they at least have the sense to make an external (optical) viewfinder for it? … mind you, at this price it should be included.

  • ss

    you are comparing this 2.x something camera with a 1.5x sensor. a sensor that used to be in sd1 that goes for 7000usd awhile ago.

    basically the sensor alone is worth more than what the g1x or rx100 has to offer. and its a 2.8lens cause f1.8 apsc lens cant be small enough.

    btw, where is dp1m : (

  • wickerprints

    And look at how well the Sigma SD1 sold, for all its emphasis on its sensor design, and how they slashed the price. Again, it proves how Sigma just doesn’t understand the camera market. They even tried to pull a Leica and release a limited-edition of the SD1 by slapping some exotic wood on it, to try to make it appeal to the luxury market.

    The problem with obsessing over the sensor specifications is exactly the same trap that Sigma has fallen into: people won’t buy a camera for the sensor’s performance alone. In fact, this is more applicable for compact cameras than it is for DSLRs. Just because the DP2 has the SD1 Foveon sensor doesn’t mean it is worth a price premium. The consumer will look at this camera and wonder if it’s worth spending $1000 if all it has is a 30/2.8 prime lens on it, while bringing nothing new–no hybrid viewfinder, no attention to ergonomics, etc.

  • 9inchnail

    “The point-and-shoot may be on its way out, but it certainly isn’t going out without a fight”

    That’s not fighting. They’re like the band that kept playing when the Titanic sank. Smartphones are a big competitor to point and shoot cameras and you’re not gonna win the fight by selling cameras that cost more than an iPhone. Who’s gonna buy that?

    Image quality is not an argument. The people running to Apple and other smartphones obviously have other priorities. Instagram would not be where it is if people cared about image quality. Most oft them don’t even look at their photos on the PC, the images just have to look good on a phone to show their friends. You’re not gonna win those people back with an expensive point and shoot.

  • ss

    i thought the reason they didnt sell well is basically due to a poor marketing team.

    average consumer wont even know what a crop factor is, so they have no chance from the start with that kind of cost/price tag/brandname.

    what they should advertise is a compact with picture quality that rivals medium format/d800 and grabs the semi to a pro market in mirrorless sector.

    but yea, they failed that too, i agree they should make a camera match its sensor quality and try to improve something in the Sd line. its been like 5 years and they havent change anything

    ps, cant wait to get the dp1m though. as landscape photographer, a slow and unintuitive camera with good sensor is good enough for me.

    also, i thought that wooden body looks awesome, but awesome price tag for something thats not wanted by many to begin with.

  • tonyl

    This camera should produce approximately 25MP equivalent resolution (Compared to a standard Bayer sensor) with excellent pixel-level sharpness and great colours and dynamic range. It is amazing that they can sell it so cheap. It should be capable of producing professional results.
    I wonder if the lens can resolve the sharpness the sensor is capable of? I wonder if Adobe Lightroom will ever be able to read the Foveon sensor raw files? I wonder if they can improve low-light performance?
    The main problem is the look. Surely they can get designers who can make it look classy like the Fuji X-100.

  • roblewisephotoco

    what happend to the dp1 35mm eqv lens for street photography it looked great

  • James McDonnell

    Zooming’s not a huge issue due to the ability to crop, but they’ll need to release a wide angle adapter akin to the AML-2 Close up filter. I’m interested to see what kind of dynamic range the sensor captures via DXO’s tests.