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Sigma DP1 14MP Digital Camera

by Sigma
| 3 answered questions

List Price: $599.00
Price: $479.99 + $12.25 shipping
You Save: $119.01 (20%)
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  • 14-megapixel resolution; SLR-sized image sensor
  • 16.6mm F4 lens designed exclusively for the DP1
  • Large, 2.5-inch LCD; 3 metering modes and 5 exposure modes
  • JPEG recording format for convenience plus a RAW data (X3F) recording mode
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC cards and MMC (not included)
4 new from $479.99 3 used from $180.00 2 refurbished from $279.95



Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sigma
  • Model: DP1
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 14 MP
  • Optical Sensor Technology: CMOS
  • Optical zoom: 1 x
  See more technical details

Sigma DP1: In-depth review from dpreview.com
Read the full Sigma DP1 in-depth review at dpreview.com
I'd like to start this conclusion by saying that Sigma deserves an incredible amount of credit for doing what none of the 'big' manufacturers so far have been bold enough to do. In an industry that focuses its marketing efforts almost exclusively on megapixel numbers and features of rather questionable usefulness (and has very little interest in educating the consumer about the implications of sensor sizes and pixel pitch) Sigma has taken a huge economic and technical risk and 'transplanted' the image sensor from its SD14 DSLR into a compact body with a no-nonense, back-to-basics feature set.

Read the full Sigma DP1 review at dpreview.com


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 4.4 x 2.4 inches ; 8.5 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B0013DCOZC
  • Item model number: DP1
  • Batteries 1 Nonstandard Battery batteries required. (included)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,311 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 2, 2001

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Sigma has developed an integral-lens compact camera with the specs of a full-size, high-end SLR. In other words, the DP1 has all the functions of a full-spec digital SLR, packed into a compact camera with a built-in lens. Here at Sigma, we focused all our resources on achieving the nearly impossible. Sigma is not about creating run-of-the-mill photographs, or pursuing image quality defined by numbers. We give you a compact camera with the potential to capture exactly what you see and what you feel, with no compromise.

The DP1 is a completely new type of camera offering the full specifications and high image quality of a DSLR in the body of a compact camera. It is powered by the 14-megapixel Foveon X3 direct-image-sensor, which can reproduce high definition images rich in gradation and impressive three-dimensional detail.

It is possible to record images in RAW or the widely used JPEG in four resolution modes. It offers five Exposure modes and three Metering modes as well as being equipped with a built-in flash with the Guide Number of 6, hot shoe, neck strap and 2.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 pixels.

The DP1 has the high resolution and functionality of an SLR, plus adaptability in terms of accessories, all built into a small body. A wide range of accessories, optical viewfinder [VF-11], Lens Hood [HA-11], and Electronic Flash [EF-140 DG] are available for the DP1 camera.

Sigma DP1 Highlights

SLR-sized image sensor The size of the image sensor used in the DP1 camera is 20.7mm x 13.8mm. It is approximately seven to twelve times larger than the 1/1.8-inch to 1/2.5-inch image sensors used in ordinary compact digital cameras. The pixel size of the image sensor is 7.8µm. The large photodiodes deployed at a large pixel pitch capture pure, rich light efficiently and give the DP1 its high resolution and richly-graduated tones.

Full-color image sensor The DP1 uses the same 14-megapixel direct image sensor as the SD14. Utilizing the special features of silicon, which is penetrated to different depths by different wavelengths of light, this direct image sensor succeeds in full-color capture with the full RGB in a single-pixel location. Just like film, each photodiode captures all the RGB data, so no final-stage demosaicing is required. The DP1 incorporates the brand-new "TRUE" (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine), the world’s first image processing engine suited for Foveon three silicon embedded layer direct image sensor. The unique image-processing algorithm, which has been developed throughout the development of the SD9, SD10 and SD14 cameras, is incorporated into "TRUE". It enables high-speed image processing and high image quality.

16.6mm F4 lens designed exclusively for the DP1 The DP1 is equipped with a 16.6mm F4 lens, equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm SLR camera, which has been designed exclusively for DP1. The large-diameter of aspherical glass provides low distortion and high contrast images. It also offers superior peripheral brightness. The super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting. It allows photographers to take pictures in difficult light conditions. This lens and SLR-sized image sensor provides natural shallow depth-of-field.

RAW format recording The DP1 includes JPEG recording format for convenience plus a RAW data (X3F) recording mode for retaining full image capture detail of the utmost quality. The RAW data format provides pure data for high-resolution images, and uses lossless compression for more compact, yet uncompromised, data files. The RAW data format of the DP1 keeps brightness and color data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. Each pixel location captures the full color of RGB data, so in RAW, X3F files, brightness and color data can be kept in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. When the image is processed in Sigma Photo Pro, it will preserve the balance of the natural data for the best photos with the best image quality.

Exclusive Sigma Photo Pro software included The DP1 comes complete with Sigma Photo Pro software, a RAW image developer that converts all RAW data quickly and easily. Adjustments can be made in three separate modes. The X3F Mode 3 stores the original settings of the image at the point of capture. In the Auto Adjustment Mode, the software analyzes and automatically makes adjustments to the RAW data. The Custom Mode allows the photographer to make individual adjustments (exposure, contrast, shadow, highlight, saturation, sharpness and fill-light for example).

The photographer can make changes easily and quickly by simply adjusting the slider controls within the software. The X3F Mode stores the original settings of the image at point of capture. Photographers` personal modifications can be saved to the RAW, X3F file for future use. Sigma Photo Pro supports 8-bit TIFF, 16-bit TIFF, and JPEG file formats. The JPEG can be saved as YCbCr 4:4:4. It is also possible to half, or double the resolution when processing the image.

Compact and lightweight body The DP1 has compact dimensions of 4.5 (W) x 2.3 (H) x 2.0 inches (D) and weighs just 8.5 ounces. Its compact body and lightweight design makes it easy to carry everywhere.

Three metering modes and five exposure modes The DP1 has three metering modes, Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering and Spot Metering. It is also possible to select the exposure mode from Auto, Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE or Manual. Exposure compensation can be set in 1/3 stop increments from +3.0 to -3.0 stops and an auto bracketing function is also available.

Pop up (manual) built-in flash The DP1 is equipped with a pop up (manual) built-in flash featuring guide number of 6 (ISO100 / m). It is possible to use Normal Flash, Red-Eye Reduction Flash and Slow Synchro Mode. It also features flash exposure compensation in 1/3 stop increments.

AF area selection The AF area of the DP1 is equipped with 9 focusing points and it is possible to manually select the desired focusing point. The focusing distance is from 50cm to infinity, however, it is possible to shorten the minimum focusing distance to 30cm.

Manual Focus Manual Focus is available for photographers who like to take more control, or for use when autofocus or focus lock is not effective. It is also possible to magnify the display to ensure precise focusing.

Recording movies It is possible to record 30fps movies with QVGA (320 x 240). The digital zoom function can be used during movie shooting. A 1GB memory card (not supplied) allows approximately 30 minutes of movie recording.

Large, 2.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor The DP1 camera features large 2.5-inch, 230,000 pixel TFT color LCD monitor. The LCD monitor displays 100 percent of the images, allowing the photographer to easily and accurately confirm the image compensation.

Hot shoe The DP1 camera is equipped with a hot shoe, allowing use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional) or high-performance view finder VF-11 (optional). EF-500 DG and EF-530 DG flashgun series can be used in manual mode only.

Dedicated lens hood This optional lens hood blocks out extraneous light. A hood adapter, designed to accept a 46mm lens filter, is included.

Product Description

The DP1 is a completely new type of camera offering the full specs and high image quality of a DSLR in the body of a compact camera. It is powered by the 14-megapixel Foveon X3 direct-image-sensor, which can reproduce high-definition images rich in gradation and impressive three-dimensional detail.It is possible to record images in RAW or the widely used JPEG in four resolution modes. It offers five Exposure modes and three Metering modes as well as being equipped with a built-in flash with the Guide Number of 6, hot shoe, neck strap and 2.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 pixels.The DP1 has the high resolution and functionality of an SLR, plus adaptability in terms of accessories, all built into a small body.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

I've used this camera for color, b&w, and infrared…While the color photos are excellent (after upping the saturation) and exceedingly sharp, it's the infrared that amazes. Read more ›
In general the DP1 is exactly what I was…The results are amazing and since everything can be done manually you can shoot in every situation with extremely good results. H… Read more ›
On paper, this was the camera I had been looking for to complement my Canon EOS. The image quality is very good, yes: - The sensor is dSLR-sized, so IQ is good even at high… Read more ›
I have had one since they were released in 2008. There is something beautiful about the images from this camera. Powerful. Read more ›
Sorry Sigma, but I usually shoot at night, in restaurants, bars, night clubs, and…If I increase Shutter speed to get sharp image, it's dark and noise as hell.... 9.… Read more ›
Using software you can change any digital picture's colors, contrast, etc., but…My other cameras have all taken good pictures, but they haven't captured what I remember. Read more ›
The flash should be removed, it is simply dumb and has a guide number of about -10 (kidding of course). The lens is nice but needs to be a full stop faster at least. A 2.0… Read more ›
The DP1 puts out some very excellent photos, with one of the sharpest wide angle lenses that I've seen. The 14MP sensor uses layers, which for the lay person means you'll… Read more ›
A compact cam from a more humble brand with average operational performance, designed around an excellent prime lens and a 7 times larger sensor producing amazing results… Read more ›
On the plus side this is a very well built, metal bodied camera with a high quality lens, DSLR sized sensor and phenomenal image quality in well lit conditions. Image… Read more ›
1.) The superb lens. Sigma has really outdone themselves with the lens. Read more ›
I can get a shot off every 2 seconds or so, which in a fast moving street scene means you get one chance for…I wish the powerup was quicker and the lens was a stop faster. Read more ›
If your willing to get facilitative with RAW and get a small tripod and do some mild reading----you have a prize here. Colors are rich and deep and REAL without manipulation. Read more ›
2. White balance sometimes tends towards magenta in the highlights, and green in shadow areas, making a global white…3. Color saturation is greatly reduced at high ISO. Read more ›
Great idea and great little lens (dispite a little light fall-off even at F6.3), even great color, resolution and dynamic highlight range. But in practice, with… Read more ›
On standard (Bayer) sensor cameras, 2/3 of the color data at each pixel site is estimated rather…In the Foveon sensor, each of the pixel sites measures the full true color. Read more ›
I have had this camera for 3 weeks now and have taken it on flights all over…The images taken in bright sunlight are truly STUNNING - clear, sharp and with fantastic color. Read more ›
Great feel. Superb color. Read more ›
F4.0 lens can lead to long exposure times and some difficulty in capturing images in low light Menu layout is not intuitive and varies with settings Unable to quickly… Read more ›
The DP1 makes you work a little more for a good photo. That's what I wanted - not a feature-packed camera with an exceptional auto mode. The auto mode on the DP1 is… Read more ›
+ Awesome colour fidelity + Cool manual modes + Manual focus Read more ›
Menu layout is not intuitive and varies with settings Unable to quickly change essential settings quickly Image format not yet natively accepted by Aperture, requiring… Read more ›
Overall impression: This is not your typical P&S camera, nor should it be purchased by amateurs that desire quick P&S type function. For the serious amateur or professional… Read more ›
These are both super cameras that have been a boon to my business. However, like all modern SLRs they are big, heavy, noisy and the automation works for most everything. I… Read more ›
The LCD is not great. The displays are not great. Read more ›
The LCD is not great. The displays are not great. I put my Voigtlander finder into the shoe and the black paint rubbed off. Read more ›
I get a kick out of the Sigma's old-style manual focus, which uses an actual…The Panasonic manual focus is more awkward, though it does nicely display depth of field. Read more ›
The updated Sigma Photo Pro v3.2 software for…The Firmware update 2.0 (released late 2008) adds a bit more customizable functionality to the LCD display and buttons. Th… Read more ›
Much better. If you feel tempted to delete an image because it doesn't look too good on the lcd screen, resist that temptation. When you take it home, and work on it very… Read more ›
This camera really wants to be carried in a…Once you turn it on your greeted by a fairly bright and large LCD, some have complained of loss of detail in bright light. I… Read more ›
-Auto focus is not the best, but perfectly usable in…Manual focus is easy to use outdoors when you know the available depth of field (numbers are floating around the web) Read more ›
The out of focus areas are quite smooth and due to the large sensor, you can still get shallow depth of field (the larger the sensor, the shallower DOF is obtainable)… Read more ›
Most…Manual focus is great, just rotate the wheel to fast focus and you can zoom in to see detail while focusing by hitting the screen button on the lower right hand corner. Read more ›
However, if you are shooting a lot of action (kids playing, sports, weddings, events where fast focus is needed) do NOT buy this camera. You will only be disappointed by… Read more ›
You have to use your brain to figure out what aperture, speed, ISO, DOF, etc. to get professional…Of course the camera can also help but it's not the quickest in focusing. Read more ›
I sold my 20d (back up) camera and replaced…The camera is very well built and functions very smoothly; I especially like the manual focus and external view finder option. Read more ›
One small note: to have best pictures, shoot RAW and use the latest Sigma Photo Pro (can be downloaded from Sigma website) to convert…The software is very simple to use. Read more ›
-Auto focus is not the best, but perfectly usable in…Manual focus is easy to use outdoors when you know the available depth of field (numbers are floating around the web) Read more ›
This isn't a camera for action shots nor does it have smile detection, play slideshows, etc. No camera is good for all uses, just as no automobile is good for all uses. But… Read more ›
Pros: Easy to use (with the caveats listed below) Great lens IQ Read more ›
Previously, I was taking photos on a medium format camera, scanning the negatives, then…This camera rivals what I can obtain from film, but is much more convenient to use. Read more ›
Sure it's a little noisy…In short. the beauty of this camera is amazing sunlight pictures, light very portable well built body and a lovely quality wide angle sigma lens. Read more ›
A 28mm…At $400 and this kind of beautiful sunlight colors captured by a large foveon sensor in a compact body, the original DP1 could well become a cult classic. Read more ›
And image quality, sharpness is just amazing considering the small compact body. I'm blessed because I don't have to carry heavy SLR and Lens at least for landscaping. Read more ›
This camera has the best image quality in a compact body out of all the compact cameras in the market today. Yes, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the other… Read more ›
The lcd is adequate for composition but difficult to judge exposure. Flash is well matched. Bild quality is the biggest issue. Read more ›
Interestingly though, Sigma has skimped on everything except image quality, like not having a built-in lens cover, image-stabilization, a viewfinder, a spring loaded… Read more ›
Indoor pics with the on camera flash are noisy,not terribly so but probably on par with a typical P&S.However Sigma makes a compact flash unit for this camera which is 2.5… Read more ›
I can deeply underexpose and "push" the "film" speed when needed and still pull a perfectly usable image out of…The Foveon sensor is unique and renders images beautifully. Read more ›
The image quality of the Foveon sensor is great, with the sensor being full scale shooting raw at iso 400 gives almost noise free images, even at 800 with a properly… Read more ›
The Foveon sensor is simply amazing. When compared to every other Bayer-sensored DSLR (Canon, Nikon, etc), the over-saturated cartoonishly fake colors become very apparent. Read more ›
One tip is to use a SD card reader and the fastest SD card…There is an easy wheel on top to select aperture priority, and easy buttons to switch between apertures quickly. Read more ›
If close-up photography is your thing the…The updated Sigma Photo Pro v3.2 software for processing RAW files has a powerful new interface which makes it very user-friendly. Read more ›
Just know what you're buying before you click on the "Buy" button. My Canon G9 has a great user interface but suffers from pixel packing. It's great for snapshots, but when… Read more ›
So that's my biggest gripe about both of these cameras and, I think, likely about all…That's nice for carrying them, but very awkward for use of filters and hoods. Read more ›
They are everything you have read, and more. The camera is small and easy to carry around. Others have written better reviews than this, but if you understand what the… Read more ›

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Chris Kitze on March 29, 2008
If you are looking for a high end digital camera for street or personal diary work, this might be it. It's more expensive than other high end "point and shoots", but this is much more like a digital Leica M3, than a consumer level p+s. I mainly do fine art photography in urban settings, here's a link to a monograph of my latest work The Electric Image so you have an idea of the kind of shooting I do.

Start with the sensor, the Foveon 14 megapixel gives you color fidelity that other digital cameras can't touch. It's great to have this in such a small package. The camera is extremely compact and while you might think the 16.6mm fixed focus lens (28mm equiv. on 35mm camera) is limiting, it is perfect for urban street shooting. The lens quality is very good and the test shots I've taken so far look very promising.

Things I'd like to see; a larger buffer so you can keep shooting longer, a dedicated button on the rear of the camera for faster ISO changes, higher ISO up to 3200 even with all the noise, faster autofocus (though real street shooters always use manual prefocus anyway), a better grip, zero shutter lag -- an issue all digital cameras have and finally support in Lightroom and Photoshop RAW, which I would expect within the next three months or so.

Overall, a very good camera, fairly priced for what it is.

***Update*** I have now been using the camera for about a month. I still love it -- but it is really designed as a daylight street-shooter. I never take it out at night, the noise is too severe, but during the day, the color it produces is JUST GORGEOUS. Remember the first time you saw Kodachromes?? It's that kind of experience.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Kodachrome man on May 27, 2008
Verified Purchase
I am a professional photographer using Nikon's D300 and D3 for portraiture and weddings. These are both super cameras that have been a boon to my business. However, like all modern SLRs they are big, heavy, noisy and the automation works for most everything. I came to photography when cameras were much simpler and actually required a knowledge of how a camera works. I am glad I did, as to use the DP1 to its full advantage you must know what you are doing.

Photography is a passion even in my off time and I wanted something light, small, and quiet for the candids of life that I would always have with me. The poor image quality, control, and responsiveness of compacts was not what I was looking for. I briefly considered the M8 but for a non-money making "fun" camera it was way too much to spend. The DP1 filled the bill for me.

Why? You will read complaints about slowness. If you are a point and shooter, that is correct, and you should avoid this camera.

However, if you are a photographer read on. During my research I read an article written by a Leica user that said he was always ready to shoot by having his camera prefocused and ready to go. That is the best way to use the DP1 also. Use manual focus and the correct aperture for your expected depth of focus needs. Unlike any other compact camera you can both turn off the lcd and the sleep mode and walk around with the camera ready to shot in an instant. Of course with the lcd off you will need the optional viewfinder.

I normally shoot in A mode and the controls allow fast changes to aperture and exposure compensation, something else no other compact camera does.

The image quality at ISO 100 is astounding and loses some quality as it goes up to ISO 800.
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89 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on April 8, 2008
The Sigma DP1 delivers on its promise of excellent image quality, but this is overshadowed by disappointing handling. The autofocus is simply too slow for a camera at this price, and it is made worse by the fact that the preview image freezes while focus is acquired. These problems combine to make it very difficult to focus and frame the image properly in dynamic situations.

Other issues are the rather slow write speed for RAW files...3 seconds, even with a SanDisk Extreme III card and the fact that it takes too many button presses to change the ISO.

If we can have dramatically better handling in compact SLRs at the same price-point, why can't the DP1 match that? (I know SLR's use a completely different focusing mechanism, so it may be hard for a compact to completely match their focus speed). But at a minimum, the DP1 should be at the top of the performance charts in every category when compared to other compacts. The fact that it's only average is disappointing.

I wanted to love the DP1, but I've returned mine. I think the real problem is Sigma's lack of experience with compacts. Please, Canon, Nikon, someone...take the sensor and image processing pipeline from one of your 1.5x crop compact SLR's and build us the DP1 we really want!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Boutilier VINE VOICE on May 30, 2008
Verified Purchase
The DP1 is the first of its kind. A compact camera with a large sensor similar to a mainstream DSLR rather than the usual tiny sensor found in all other compacts.. Sigma's number one goal was image quality and they sacrificed a lot of other things to get it, so this is not a camera for everyone.

On the plus side this is a very well built, metal bodied camera with a high quality lens, DSLR sized sensor and phenomenal image quality in well lit conditions. Image quality is clearly superior to other compact camera's (puts my Canon G9 to shame at all ISO's and I love low ISO shots from the G9). Image quality at low to moderate ISO's clearly competes well with any entry to mid level APS-C or 4/3 sized sensor DSLR.

On the minus side, performance and handling is more like an economy P&S compact. Its no DSLR in these areas, and falls considerably behind something like a Canon G9 in terms of speed and performance. Things like power up time, focus speed and performance, buffer size, write performance, flash performance is more like an entry level P&S.

While I find its no nonsense utilitarian feature set both desirable and refreshing, it requires a lot of work on the part of the photographer. No scene modes, face recognition, image stabilization, or much handholding of any kind. Very few menu options and configurations compared to most camera's today (P&S or DSLR). Its reviews are very mixed because of its limited feature set and primitive implementation.

If you are into photography as an art, think about most of your pictures before you take them, value image quality over everything else and want a light compact camera, this could be a GREAT camera for you.
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