Sigma has unveiled a new professional quality 120-300mm f/2.8 lens and a new Merrill compact camera and announced a new Photo Pro Monochrome Mode for processing raw data from its Merrill series of cameras.


The new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 lens. (Source: Sigma.)

The new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM is the first product from the company’s ‘Sports’ line and has been designed to enable photographers to capture fast-moving subjects, even at distance. Built to be  dust-proof and splash-proof the new lens contains  23 elements in 18 groups and features two  FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have performance equal to fluorite and one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element to compensate for colour aberrations. Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. The design also compensates for sagittal coma flare.

Internal focusing and zooming keeps the barrel length constant and allows angle-critical attachments to be used without requiring constant re-adjustments. A focus limiter is included to provide fast focus setting. The USB dock and supplied software enable users to change the range of the auto focusing at the user’s discretion.

The built-in OS (Optical Stabilisation) system provides up to four f-stops of compensation, extending the ability of the lens to be used hand-held. The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures high speed and quiet AF as well as full-time manual focus override by rotation of the focus ring. This lens incorporates a brass made bayonet mount which has both high accuracy and durability. The addition of Sigma’s 1.4x EX DG APO or 2x EX DG APO Tele Converter produces a 168-420mm f/4 AF telephoto zoom lens or a 240-600mm f/5.6 AF telephoto zoom lens respectively. Full details are available at :

The new DP3 Merrill is the latest in the series of compact cameras incorporating the 23.5 x 15.7mm full-color Foveon X3 direct image sensor with 46 effective megapixels (4800 x 3200 x 3 layers) and 44 recording megapixels (4704 x 3136 x 3 layers).  Featuring a 50mm f/2.8 lens, it completes the Merrill series. The Foveon X3 direct image sensor captures all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location with three layers, ensuring the capture of full and complete colour. Since colour moirø© is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required.

The dual ‘TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II’ image processing engine dedicated to Foveon X3 direct image sensors improves the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. The new camera features a continuous shooting speed of up to 4 frames/second and  has a buffer memory that can accommodate up to seven RAW images per sequence. Movies can be recorded with VGA (640 x 480) size at 30 fps.

A 3.0 inch TFT colour monitor with 920,000 pixel resolution provides facilities for viewing images and using the advanced user interface controls. The custom quick set menu and the metallic command dial are incorporated to improve usability. The diaphragm, shutter speed and menu can be changed quickly using the command dial. The Quick Set (QS) menu which consists of the most commonly used functions can be easily displayed by pressing the QS button. Details are available at Sigma’s DP3 Merrill Special Site:

Sigma has also announced a special mode  in Sigma Photo Pro for processing the RAW data of the Sigma Merrill series to create monochrome images. The new system produces richly detailed Monochrome images with a wide dynamic range from highlight to shadow. Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 for both Windows and Macintosh OS will be available in February.