Summary: Awesome awesome awesome camera! but this is more of an artists tool then a consumer camera. I must assume that if you're aware of the Sigma cameras and the Foven sensor, you know what you're getting into with slow processing and writing times, huge raw files, and horrible ISO performance past 400. Despite those comments, this is by far my favorite series camera. (I own the DP1M too.
Summary: If you are willing to work at it, this camera will deliver phenomenal images. However, it will not deliver those images every time. You have to work at it. As far as "ease of use" goes, my cell phone tops this camera in the point and shoot category. An entry level traditional DSLR will focus faster (deleted incorrect comment about the number of focus points). I also find the Canon DSLR menu system far more intutive.
Summary: Pros * with sufficient light, it takes outstanding photographs * the detail is incredible * light weight Cons * lousy battery life Note 1: It's not a consumer-friendly point-and-shoot, nor an action photographer's dream. I'd done my research and knew what the Merrill's strengths and weaknesses were before purchasing. I'm not going to ding it because of its limited useful ISO range, slow write speeds, or slow auto-focus.
Summary: As someone who prefers film cameras, but is addicted to digital editing, this camera seemed like a good fit. It is, but you need patience, a lot of patience, and buy a couple of more batteries. I also recommend buying a protective camera case. This camera does not feel like it can take a beating. The lens, while wonderful, feels fragile and plasticy. Image quality does rival much higher end cameras in natural light.
Excerpt: I have a 5D2 and tried a Sony A7r but felt the image quality little improved, given the diffraction issues brought on by the file density. Curbing my ability to stop down as far as I would like. I always had some issues with shutter speeds between 1/30 thru 1/125 on the 5D2 on a tripod W/ mirror lock up, & felt it was worse with the A7r.
Incredible lens, great sensor; MF quality in a tiny package
Jim K, Amazon
4 March 2014
Summary: I've been shooting Foveon-sensored cameras since the SD10. There's a magical look with these files that you don't typically get with other digital cameras (CFA sensored-cameras). The reason is that each pixel in the file is 'full color', and the images display an amazing amount of sharpness and microcontrast. The DP3 Merrill is the short-telephoto version of the DP series.
Excerpt: I enjoy landscape shooting, and this camera delivers color and detail that puts it at the high end. At the same time the price is not too high. Low light performance is surprisingly good but the Sigma Foveon sensor is not known for high-ISO performance above ISO800. Even so, it is able to deliver good snapshot quality at this ISO.
Pros: Easy to Use, Great Resolution, Small / Compact
Summary: The Sigma DP3 Merrill is something else entirely: an enthusiast-only camera. This is a machine that cannot conceivably be used as an all-around imaging device, a product that lacks many of the basic features we've come to expect from modern digital cameras. Need usable high-ISO images? Too bad.. How about quick autofocus and decent write speeds? Nah, you don't need that.
Summary: I bought this camera for: Foveon Sensor, small size, quality lens, and as a cheap substitute to a Leica Rangefinder. It has excellent build quality and is made in Sigma's single factory in Japan. It has a real resolution of 15MP (45/3[RGB]). I use it exclusively as a monochrome camera and shoot in RAW. With a tripod, the images this camera produces are astounding as is their clarity.