Sigma SD15 vs. Sigma DP3 Merrill

Comparison

change cameras »
SD15 image
vs
DP3 Merrill image
Sigma SD15 Sigma DP3 Merrill
check price » check price »
Megapixels
4.70
15.40
Max. image resolution
2640 x 1760 x 3
Note: Both Sigma SD15 and Sigma DP3 Merrill use Foveon X3 image sensor, which is a new type of sensor that has 3 layers of photoelements stacked together in 1 pixel location. Traditional CCD/CMOS sensors have 1 pixel for 1 color, whereas Foveon sensor captures all 3 colors (blue, green, and red) at every pixel.

Sensor

Sensor type
Foveon
Foveon
Sensor size
20.7 x 13.8 mm
24 x 16 mm
Sensor resolution
2655 x 1770
4806 x 3204
Diagonal
24.88 mm
28.84 mm
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
1 : 1.34
(ratio)
Sigma SD15 Sigma DP3 Merrill
Surface area:
285.66 mm² vs 384.00 mm²
Difference: 98.34 mm² (34%)
DP3 Merrill sensor is approx. 1.34x bigger than SD15 sensor.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 3 year gap between Sigma SD15 (2010) and Sigma DP3 Merrill (2013). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
7.8 µm
4.99 µm
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Difference: 2.81 µm (56%)
Pixel pitch of SD15 is approx. 56% higher than pixel pitch of DP3 Merrill.
Pixel area
60.84 µm²
24.9 µm²
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 35.94 µm² (144%)
A pixel on Sigma SD15 sensor is approx. 144% bigger than a pixel on Sigma DP3 Merrill.
Pixel density
1.65 MP/cm²
4.01 MP/cm²
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Difference: 2.36 µm (143%)
Sigma DP3 Merrill has approx. 143% higher pixel density than Sigma SD15.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Sigma SD15
Sigma DP3 Merrill
Crop factor
1.74
1.5
Total megapixels
4.70
15.40
Effective megapixels
4.70
15.40
Optical zoom
1x
Digital zoom
No
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
100-6400
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
Macro focus range
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
75 mm
Aperture priority
Yes
Max. aperture
f2.8
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
n/a
f4.2
Metering
Center-weighted average, Centre weighted, Evaluative, Spot
Exposure compensation
±3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Min. shutter speed
B+30 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/4000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Optical (pentaprism)
None
White balance presets
8
Screen size
3"
3"
Screen resolution
460,000 dots
920,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
Storage types
SDHC, Secure Digital
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
Weight
750 g
330 g
Dimensions
144 x 107.3 x 80.5 mm
122 x 67 x 59 mm
Year
2010
2013




Choose cameras to compare

vs

Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Sigma SD15 diagonal

w = 20.70 mm
h = 13.80 mm
Diagonal =  20.70² + 13.80²   = 24.88 mm

Sigma DP3 Merrill diagonal

w = 24.00 mm
h = 16.00 mm
Diagonal =  24.00² + 16.00²   = 28.84 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

SD15 sensor area

Width = 20.70 mm
Height = 13.80 mm

Surface area = 20.70 × 13.80 = 285.66 mm²

DP3 Merrill sensor area

Width = 24.00 mm
Height = 16.00 mm

Surface area = 24.00 × 16.00 = 384.00 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

SD15 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 20.70 mm
Sensor resolution width = 2655 pixels
Pixel pitch =   20.70  × 1000  = 7.8 µm
2655

DP3 Merrill pixel pitch

Sensor width = 24.00 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4806 pixels
Pixel pitch =   24.00  × 1000  = 4.99 µm
4806


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

SD15 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 7.8 µm

Pixel area = 7.8² = 60.84 µm²

DP3 Merrill pixel area

Pixel pitch = 4.99 µm

Pixel area = 4.99² = 24.9 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

SD15 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 2655 pixels
Sensor width = 2.07 cm

Pixel density = (2655 / 2.07)² / 1000000 = 1.65 MP/cm²

DP3 Merrill pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4806 pixels
Sensor width = 2.4 cm

Pixel density = (4806 / 2.4)² / 1000000 = 4.01 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

SD15 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 20.70 mm
Sensor height = 13.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 4.70
r = 20.70/13.80 = 1.5
X =  4.70 × 1000000  = 1770
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 1770 × 1.5 = 2655
Resolution vertical: X = 1770

Sensor resolution = 2655 x 1770

DP3 Merrill sensor resolution

Sensor width = 24.00 mm
Sensor height = 16.00 mm
Effective megapixels = 15.40
r = 24.00/16.00 = 1.5
X =  15.40 × 1000000  = 3204
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3204 × 1.5 = 4806
Resolution vertical: X = 3204

Sensor resolution = 4806 x 3204


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


SD15 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 24.88 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.74
24.88

DP3 Merrill crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 28.84 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.5
28.84

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

SD15 equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Sigma SD15, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Sigma SD15 is 1.74

DP3 Merrill equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 1.5
Aperture = f2.8

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.8) × 1.5 = f4.2

Enter your screen size (diagonal)

My screen size is  inches



Actual size is currently adjusted to screen.

If your screen (phone, tablet, or monitor) is not in diagonal, then the actual size of a sensor won't be shown correctly.