Fujifilm X100F vs. Sigma DP2 Merrill

My current camera is a Fujifilm X100F and I used to own a Sigma DP2 Merrill. Both of these are fixed-focal-length digital cameras that can fit into a large pocket. I thought it might be worthwhile to briefly compare the two. Perhaps someone right now is trying to decide which one to buy.

The Sigma DP2 Merrill was introduced in 2012. It has Sigma’s unique three-layer APS-C Foveon sensor with a whopping 46 megapixels (15.3 megapixels on each layer). It has a 30mm (45mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens permanently attached to the front.

The Fujifilm X100F was introduced in 2017. It has Fujifilm’s unique APS-C X-Trans sensor with 24 megapixels. It has a 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/2 lens permanently attached to the front.

Both the DP2 Merrill and the X100F have excellent image quality. They both have great lenses that have a few minor flaws. There are a lot of similarities.

Let’s take a look at a few example photographs from both cameras:

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Red Field, Green Field – Tehachapi, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Red Bicycle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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From The Past – Mojave, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Have A Seat In The Filth – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Desert Cross – Mojave, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Building Storm Over Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cheese – Big Bear, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Look What I Drew – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rangefinder & Film – Stallion Springs, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There’s a lot to love about both of these unique cameras, but which one is better? Which one should you buy? I’ll share with you my opinions based on my experience of using both.

Where the Sigma DP2 Merrill is better:

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Hall Loves You – Newberry Springs, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

The DP2 Merrill has a slightly sharper lens than the X100F. Even though the Sigma camera has almost 90% more megapixels, the actual resolution difference isn’t nearly so big, with the DP2 Merrill just winning out with perhaps a 10% advantage. The DP2 Merrill has a little bit larger dynamic range, particularly in the highlights.

At base ISO, the Sigma DP2 Merrill produces superior image quality to the Fujifilm X100F, but not by a large margin. Honestly, the DP2 Merrill at base ISO has the best image quality of any camera that I’ve ever used. But the X100F isn’t very far behind.

Where the Fujifilm X100F is better:

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Haugen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

The X100F has a five stop high-ISO advantage over the DP2 Merrill. The X100F creates far superior JPEGs. The X100F is much, much quicker. Everything “auto” on the camera is superior. The X100F has way better battery life (which is an understatement). It’s significantly better designed and better looking.

Basically, the Fujifilm X100F is a better camera in every aspect outside of lens sharpness, resolution and dynamic range, where the DP2 Merrill wins by a small margin.

Conclusions

Which one is better is for you to decide. I can’t choose for you which one you’ll like more. I will say this: some of my all-time favorite photographs were captured with a Sigma DP2 Merrill, but I love my Fujifilm X100F. The DP2 Merrill has enough negative aspects about it to make it a frustrating experience, but boy did it make nice-looking pictures! The X100F makes nice-looking pictures, too, without hardly any bad points.

One of the big differences for me, and the reason that I prefer the X100F, is time. My time. The time it takes to get a finished photograph. You have to shoot RAW with the Sigma camera, and you have to use their painfully slow software (maybe it’s better now) to process the RAW files. I would have to dedicate 15 to 20 minutes (and sometimes more) per exposure to edit the Sigma pictures.

The Fujifilm X100F files, on the other hand, are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. No editing. Just shoot and upload. My time is limited and precious, and I literally save hours and hours and hours by not having to post-process my photographs.

If you have lots of free time to spend sitting at a computer, the Sigma camera is a very good option. If not, I’d look at the X100F.

 

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