Sony RX1 & Sigma DP1 Merrill

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Sigma

Conventional wisdom is to invest in glass. I dumped conventional wisdom along with my Nikon D800, replacing it with the fixed lens / sensor combination of the Sony RX1.

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richardjwalls.com

Sony

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And having done it once I went and compounded the crime, buying a Sigma DP1 Merrill with the pennies left over from the D800 fire sale.

Sigma
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richardjwalls.com

The expert reviews of the Foveon sensor and Merrill cameras intrigued me. Summarised, rubbish cameras, great image taking devices, potentially great monochrome.

Sigma
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Sadly the Merrill DP1 was stolen a week after it arrived but i managed to take a few shots before it went and compare it to the Sony RX1.

Sony
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Put simply I was stunned with the pictures produced. I love the output of the RX1, but the colour rendition, detail and monochrome total range of the Merrill is amazing, and I mean this in absolute rather the relative cost terms.

Sigma

Put the pictures taken with the Sony, the Merrill, even a Leica, in front of a bunch of photographers and get the to choose which are which. I wonder what the results would be! (Ok I know wide open the Leica will be be instantly recognisable, but in all other circumstances)

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Sony
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More to the point the sensor / lens combination give the final image a look which is totally unique; a different type of quality which is not about pixel counting, or the buying the most expensive glass, but a certain unique feel.

Sony
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I don’t plan to dump the RX1, it’s the one that I’ll have in my pocket 90% of the time, but I’m going to replace the Merrill as soon as cash-flow allows. I shoot manual most of the time, and I’m more than happy to stick to ISO200 to keep the noise down.

Sigma

I just hope the thieves who pinched the Merrill (along with a brand new Fuji XE2) take up photography and learn what a great camera they’ve got!