Sigma DP3 Merrill to ship in March, deliver distance macros for $999

Sigma may have left us waiting on details for the DP3 Merrill's launch, but not for long. It just confirmed that its next crack at a small Foveon X3 camera will reach US shops in March, when it should cost the same $999 on the street as its Merrill siblings. You're mostly getting a change in optics with the DP3 variant: it brings in a 50mm (75mm with crop factor) f/2.8 lens that allows bright macro and telephoto shots without cozying up to the subject. As long as you can live with quirks like VGA-only video, the DP3 Merrill is ready to pre-order at the source link.

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Sigma Corporation announces pricing, availability of Sigma DP3 Merrill compact camera

Pocket-size, 46-megapixel camera available in early March for street price of $999

RONKONKOMA, N.Y., Feb. 22, 2013 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, has announced that its DP3 Merrill compact digital camera will be available in early March for the street price of $999.

As the final camera in the Sigma DP Merrill lineup, the DP3 Merrill features a high-performance 50mm F2.8 lens, which is equivalent to 75mm on a 35mm SLR camera. Like the previously released DP1 (19mm F2.8) and DP2 (30mm F2.8) Merrill cameras, it is equipped with the Foveon X3 direct image sensor, which uniquely produces outstanding resolution and a natural rendering with rich gradation, resulting in a 3D feel.

"The trio of DP Merrill cameras is a complete compact camera tool set," said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. "While the DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill cameras are known for their wide angle and standard range, respectively, the DP3 Merrill delivers impressive optical performance for mid-telephoto and macro shooting."

Other features of the DP3 Merrill include:

* A unique, dual, Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine (TRUE) II image processing engine, which is dedicated to Foveon X3 direct image sensors to improve the processing speed and overall quality of the final image, and provide high-resolution power

* The use of Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass that is accompanied by aspherical lens elements to compensate for a variety of aberrations and allow for a more compact size. The superior telecentric optical design improves image quality throughout the frame and adds depth to the image

* A minimum focusing distance of 8.9 inches and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3, which can offer quality macro shooting

* Easy-to-use auto focus that features a nine-point select mode to set the desired focusing point from nine different frames, and "free move mode," which can move the desired focus point. Manual Focus is available when autofocus or focus lock is not desired

* The new Face Detection AF prioritizes focus on the face of the subject when detected by the sensor. AF Limit Mode can adjust the range of auto focusing and "Shutter Priority AF" offers faster focus adjustment by stopping the live view to increase the speed of the auto focusing.

* The new AF+MF mode adjusts the focus manually after verifying the AF by rotating the focus ring

* RAW+JPEG format recording

* The supplied image processing software, Sigma Photo Pro 5.5, converts RAW data quickly and easily. It renders the full, 46-megapixel data. SPP 5.5 is an easy-to-use editing software with all the necessary functions needed to process an image. Moreover, the new Monochrome Mode makes it possible to generate monochrome images by fully optimizing the Foveon X3 direct image sensor capabilities