Sigma DP3 Merrill compact camera pictures and hands-on

Sigma has updated its DP-series of high-end, APS-C sensor cameras with the introduction of the DP3 Merrill. Pocket-lint was able to extract the latest compact from behind its display on the Sigma stand at this year's Consumer Electronics Show to have a play.

While its spec is similar to the DP2 Merrill, in that it shares the same Foveon X3 APS-C sensor, it's the lens that's the DP3's main calling card.

The DP3, left, has a longer 50mm lens than the DP2's, right

The 50mm f/2.8 macro lens is the equivalent of a 75mm in full-frame terms, which makes it considerably longer than the DP2 Merrill's 24mm optical offering. Indeed it makes the DP3 a whole different camera, less an "upgrade".

The camera's sensor is unusual. While it calls itself a "46-megapixel" sensor, it's actually three lots of 15.3-megapixel sensors stacked on top of one another, hence the "X3" Foveon name. Each layer captures different colour information which makes for excellent colour reproduction unlike any other camera out there.

However the sensor is the very same as that of the DP2, so don't expect high ISO shots to come out all clean and shiny because that won't be the case. Despite merit in its spec, the DP3 isn't exactly a hot performer.

Boxy by design, and slow to autofocus, there are few surprises to revel in here. But the DP3 will attract a specific user base, albeit a niche one, just for that specialised sensor - although we do wish Sigma would give the DP-series a performance kick up the behind to truly take it to the next level.

Certainly not one for all, but interesting nonetheless...