I loved the original DP1 and DP2 so much that this year, I finally got around to buying a DP2 Merrill. Unfortunately, I'm still half-half about the Merrill, and I wonder if I could have either just hung on to my money, or bought another lens or even a Panasonic LX100 instead.
- DP2 gets about 100-120 shots per battery charge. Bring at least three batteries on trips plus the charger.
- DP2 is slower to start and focus than the Merrill, and makes more noise when extending the lens barrel and focusing.
- DP2 writes to the card faster than the Merrill, and allows you to review images much faster.
- DP2 images are utterly gorgeous - when you get it right. If you like that kind of look, all you need to do is set SPP to Auto and it will spit out beautifully clear, transparent images. However, if you don't like greenish colour casts, you'll have to adjust things manually. By comparison, I don't like how Merrill photos look on Auto, they seem too harsh and 'bitty', if that makes sense. I'm still trying to tweak them to be more to my liking, months after buying the camera.
- DP2 holds highlight detail much better than the Merrill, which has a tendency to overexpose and blow out highlights. Highlight recovery is better with the DP2.
- DP1 and DP2 can focus on clouds, which the Merrill can't. It's bizarre.
- Lightroom/ACR does NOT do Foveon images justice. Processing DP1/2 files with Lightroom removes that unique Foveon 3D clarity, and makes them look like normal Bayer files. Avoid Lightroom unless you want a particular look that you can't get with SPP.
- DP2 will fit in a jacket pocket, whereas the Merrill is a little larger. And the Merrill chews up batteries much faster than the original DP2.
- ISO 800 is the furthest you want to go for colour. Anything higher is black and white territory. SPP 6 has greatly improved high ISO handling for the original cameras, which has given them greater usability.
- if you're after a light travel camera and can live with the relative slowness and audible creakiness, the DP2 produces wonderfully transparent and film-like images. I just love my DP1 and DP2. I know a guy who sold his Leica M8 because his DP2 came very close to its output for his purposes, and he couldn't justify the Leica!
My DP1 set on flickr:
My DP2 set on flickr: