It’s hard for me to believe that it has been seven years since I spent a month using, and reviewing, a Sigma DP2 Merrill. The little camera had amazaing output, and if I hadn’t already purchased two other cameras I had tested not long before, I would probably have bought it then and there. I’ve always been a fan of the “look” one gets from Foveon sensors, which use a radically different technology than other manufacturers. While others have different pixels absorbing and reporting different colors that are then merged to form the picture, each individual pixel in a Foveon sensor is sensitive to all of the three primary colors – red, green, and blue. The Foveon formula blew other sensors away when it came to sharpness and resolving power per pixel. The small camera came with a small f2.8 45mm equivalent lens that was a perfect match for the sensor and which have some very nice bokeh, to my eyes at least.
But that was 2012, and the bayer pattern sensors that have abandoned detail-smearing anti-aliasing filters, and Fujifilm sensors that also don’t have such filters, have narrowed the gap on the Foveons these days. Until the latest round of Sigma cameras, however, RAW images from Foveon sensors did not play well with Adobe products. One had to use Sigma’s own rather clunky software to first convert RAW files into TIFF formats, and then import the TIFFs into Lightroom. Also, Foveon sensors have always been, and apparently continue to be, very noisy about ISO 400. In short, those Sigma cameras are (still!) capable of truly impressive images, but at the cost of more work and less versatility than their bayer pattern siblings from other companies. At the time, while appreciating the special nature of the Sigma pictures, I opted for ease and versatility in my camera choices.
Here are a few of my favorites from the 2012 DP2 Merrill, taken while I had it.