I have resorted to carrying the camera pretty much everywhere I go, thanks to it’s practical size and weight. Also, because of it’s capacity to produce such high quality images, I have no reservations or hesitations if it’s the only camera I have with me. It’s limitations are not a problem for me, since I’m pretty much used to the restricted shooting capacity of a fixed lens Rolleiflex with ASA 50 or ASA 100 film.

I find that the fixed lens, with it’s relatively standard field of view, isn’t hard to commit too. I understand that this may be quite restrictive for some,

but then again, buying two or three different DP Merrill models will still likely be as affordable as some mirror-less system with three interchangeable prime lenses. However, I hope that Sigma will one day offer a DP Merrill type body with interchangeable lens options, and preferably with a mount that allows for easy adapting to fit other lenses, or allow for alternative lens manufacturers to make lenses to fit it. Imagine Zeiss Touit lenses to fit Sigma Merrill interchangeable compacts.




Final Remarks:

The Sigma DP Merrill cameras are far from being mainstream, and here in the greater Southern Africa, I wonder if one in a hundred photographers here have even heard of them. It’s such a pity, since the DP Merrill cameras definitely deserve more attention. Sigma South Africa were initially set against bringing in a DP2m for me as a custom order, and only with the help of Sigma Japan did Sigma SA eventually sell me one. I was really puzzled by what seemed like a lack of confidence in the product on their side.

The Sigma DP2m is definitely not for everyone. Many would be frustrated and annoyed by it’s lack of features, restrained functionality, slow performance, and a host of quirks and peculiarities. However, the DP2m does excel in many ways, and while it’s not a camera for all occasions, it’s capable of exceptional quality and incredibly unique images in a very small and light weight package.

I value it’s simple design and functionality, small size, low weight, amazing lens and the unique sensor. The camera is, by today’s standards, comparatively useless at high ISO. Often luminance noise can be observed at base ISO, deep shadows are fairly desaturated, and pattern noise or banding can be easily provoked, yet many still consider this an exceptional camera. There is something special about the DP Merrill cameras that other cameras cannot provide, especially for their price (US$799 at the time of purchase).

The main reason for purchasing this camera was it’s ability to shoot B&W images with colour filters and not suffer the quality loss as seen with CFA-sensor cameras. Presuming the novelty of the “amazing sharpness” would wear off eventually, I would’ve had too few motivating reasons to still purchase the DP2 if it hadn’t been for this ability to shoot B&W with colour filters. I suspect than many DP Merrill owners have had very conflicting post-purchase evaluations, since the “amazing sharpness” factor is such a strong drawing card.

Compared to it’s predecessors, the DP2m feels like Sigma took a step in the right direction. Up until the DP Merrill models were announced, I found the Sigma DP product range fairly odd, unattractive, plagued with issues, and with fairly low resolution output.

While the DP2m feels quite complete as a whole, there are a few refinements that would need to find their way into the next generation, and I hope Sigma will do their homework properly by reading the host of user comments out there...

Below are a handful of basic things that I wish Sigma had done differently on the DP2 Merrill... and the other DP Merrill models alike.

  1. The lack of a threaded cable release option or an infrared remote release is really annoying.

  2. The live view preview could do with great improving when using colour filters in B&W White Balance mode.

  3. The live view feed is not sharp enough on the LCD, which makes confirming focus during manual focus difficult.

  4. Generally, images are not displayed with good detail or colour on the LCD.

  5. The interval timer’s minimum time limit between shots, a whopping 15 seconds, is far too long!

Overall, I’m very happy with my purchase.

I’m grateful it worked out OK, since I didn’t have the opportunity to test one prior to purchasing.

I recommend borrowing or renting the Sigma DP2m, because I don’t think there’s a review out there that can properly determine if the camera will suit your needs or meet your expectations.

Last but not least, if you want to view some of my work with the DP2m, please click on the Flickr image below .