28 JUNE 2014

I had more or less decided that I was switching from expensive DSLRs to using the Sony NEX-7 [and whatever replaced it] as the camera that I would use for street photography. I was hoping to upgrade from the NEX-7 to the A7R but while I might be able to afford the body this side of Christmas there is no way that I could afford a set of suitable lenses within a reasonable time period.

At the end of May I got the opportunity to purchase a Sigma DP3 Merrill at €399.00 including delivery to Dublin so based on a number of reviews I decided to take a gamble and purchase one. I had to wait almost two months and I was about to cancel the order but it arrived a few days ago and I got a chance to test it today.

There is no doubting the fact that the DP3 Merrill is very different to anything that I have used to date [including the original DP1 or DP2] and while I am glad that I got it there are many issues. The main problem is battery life, there is no way that 45 photographs per charge is acceptable. The second problem is that Adobe Lightroom does not recognise the output from the DP3 Merrill [I only shoot in RAW] so one must use the software that is supplied by Sigma. Sigma Photo Pro is not as bad as some may have you believe but in my case I am not at all keen to add another stage to the process.

The third problem is that I am really limited to shooting at ISO100 so it is a waste of time shooting in poor light and there is plenty of that here in Dublin.

The Sigma DP3 uses an excellent 50mm f/2.8 prime lens which is the equivalent of a 75mm optic on a 35mm camera. The lens design features ten elements in eight groups, and there's a seven-bladed aperture diaphragm. Focusing is possible to as close as 8.9 inches (22.6cm), and maximum magnification is 1:3 (0.33x). There's no image stabilisation which may make the camera less suitable for street photography.


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