Sigma Names Compact Cameras for Foveon Creator, Renames Flagship DSLR SD1 Merrill

Sigma Names Compact Cameras for Foveon Creator, Renames Flagship DSLR SD1 Merrill


Ronkonkoma, NY—Sigma Corporation of America introduced its new Merrill series of digital cameras with the DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill. The Merrill series is named in honor of Richard “Dick” Merrill, the cocreator of the Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor technology that powers Sigma’s lineup of cameras.

These upgraded, high-resolution, fixed-lens compact cameras now incorporate the same APS-C-size 46 megapixel X3 image sensor found in the company’s flagship SD1 DSLR. This name change not only pays homage to Merrill, but it also reflects new production efficiencies the company says will result in a reduction in the camera’s market price starting next month.

Additionally, in a personal letter to the company’s customers, Kazuto Yamaki, Sigma Corp.’s CEO, announced that starting next month, Sigma’s flagship 46MP SD1 DSLR will be renamed the SD1 Merrill in honor of Dick Merrill. The otherwise unchanged DSLR will also be sold at a lower price, $2,299, which reflects new efficiencies in the camera’s production. 

Dick Merrill (1949-2008) was a brilliant engineer, talented photographer and Foveon cofounder. He tapped into his passion for electronics to build an innovative pixel structure that uniquely demonstrated the ability to capture RGB information in each pixel location. This discovery led the Foveon team to the development of the X3 direct image sensor. Sigma acquired Foveon in late 2008.

“This revolutionary image capture system reflects both the artistic and technological sides of Merrill’s personality,” said Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma Corporation. “As an expression of Sigma’s passion for photography and in honor of Dick Merrill’s genius, we have named the latest generation of the Foveon X3 direct image sensor the Foveon Merrill.”

The Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill have exclusively designed telecentric fixed lenses. The DP1 Merrill features a wide, 28mm-equivalent f/2.8 lens; the DP2 Merrill offers a 45mm-equivalent f/2.8 lens. Compact and lightweight, the pair utilize Sigma’s “F” Low Dispersion glass, which is said to perform like fluorite glass to improve lens performance, as well as super multilayer coating to reduce flare and ghosting. With the 46MP Foveon X3 sensor, the new DP cameras capture all primary RGB colors at each pixel location with three layers, which results in images with a three-dimensional feel.

The Sigma DP Merrill cameras also feature: a 3.0-inch, 920,000-pixel LCD; a dual, three-layer True II engine that incorporates two True II processors to improve the processing speed and overall image quality; RAW and JPEG recording; movie mode for recording VGA (640×480) clips at 30 frames per second; Sigma Photo Pro processing software that converts RAW data and incorporates functions such as a loupe, exposure picker, print, JPEG conversion and batch white balance settings; manual focus capabilities; and an advanced user interface with a custom quick-set (QS) menu and a metallic command dial that enables the quick changing of the diaphragm, shutter speed and menu.

A hot shoe allows the use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional) as well as Sigma SD-series electronic flashguns, such as EF-610 DG Super (optional) and EF-610 DG ST (optional).

Pricing and availability of the Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill are pending.