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Sigma DP2S 14MP X3 FOVEON CMOS Digital Camera with 24.2mm f/2.8 and 2.5 inch LCD

by Sigma
21 customer reviews

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  • Full-Scale Sensor: The same APS-C sized sensor used on Sigma DSLR delivers on the DP2 promise of high resolution and rich tone.
  • Direct Image Sensor: Sigma's three-layered Foveon X3 direct image sensor captures all the color, creating images of unprecedented immediacy.
  • Integral Lens: Lens expert Sigma has poured its best technology into an integral lens just for the DP2, with a focal length
  • Imaging Capability: The Foveon X3 direct image sensor captures images in all their clarity and richness-it captures the very feeling in the air
  • True II: A proprietary algorithm optimizes image-processing time and quality
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Sigma's DP series cameras are designed so as to provide the photographer full creative freedom and control within a compact digital camera. Thanks to its proprietary three-layered Foveon X3 direct image sensor, this 14.45 mega pixel camera creates photographs with a unique 3-D look along with the kind of clarity and sharpness you'd expect of a digital DSLR, something you might create with a much larger camera. The DP series cameras have been upgraded for easier operation and have now been unified so that using both is effortless.

The latest version, the DP2s, remains true to that objective and maintains its "True II" image processing engine and its standard lens focal length, but reflects several upgrades from the initial introduction of the DP series back in 2008. Specifically, the new AF algorithm provides high speed auto focusing, ensuring convenient shooting, the Power Save Mode lowers the battery consumption allowing for a greater number of pictures to be taken with a single battery charge. The new rear design makes the user interface easier to interpret and use with quick, easy button recognition as the addition of red buttons enable easier operation of the camera controls. The DP2s is accompanied by the latest RAW image processing software, Sigma Photo Pro 4.0 which has superior image processing algorithm and improved compatibility with multi core CPUs and provides better image processing speed and improved image quality. The incorporation of a new noise reduction algorithm reduces Chroma and Luminance noise when processing X3F files taken at ISO 400 or more.

Optional accessories include a viewfinder, hood adapter, close-up lens and filters which enhance the photographic experience. So despite being small enough to carry anywhere, the DP2s offer full creative opportunities and delivers outstanding picture quality.

From the Manufacturer

The DP2's and DP2s's integral standard lens is brand-new and purpose-designed, with a focal length equivalent to 41mm in a 35mm camera. We wanted to allow photographic effects beyond the scope of the focal length of the wide-angle lens of the DP1, which is equivalent to 28mm in a 35mm camera. So we gave the DP2 a standard-range focal length more suitable for snapshots and portraits.

Sigma DP2s highlights

The DP1's wide-angle lens is good with perspective, geared towards dynamic shots of scenery, buildings, celebrations. The standard lens built into the DP2 and DP2s, on the other hand, has a narrower field angle, giving a stronger effect, making the subject stand out. In other words, we've given it the ability to create the photo that you, and only you, can see in your mind's eye. Naturally, this is great for portraits. And for capturing the elusive beauty of ordinary, everyday subjects, this standard lens is ideal.

Its focal length is longer than the DP1's lens. So, at low F-numbers (larger apertures), you can create amazing pictures by deliberately blurring the background. This makes the subject stand out sharply, in a compelling, almost mystical way. In this sense, you could say the DP2 and DP2s turns ordinary into awesome.

The DP2s has outstanding picture quality and superior features. The DP2s features faster Auto Focusing with an enhanced AF algorithm, giving you more confidence and more comfort. By reducing power consumption, the newly implemented "Power Save Mode" makes better use of your battery and increases your shooting capacity. The back panel User Interface is improved for better visibility and faster operation. The red markings for shooting and the white markings for reviewing images have been used to enable quicker and accurate operation of the camera’s controls. Try the SIGMA DP2s, with its enhanced features and character, for yourself.

Single Focus Lens Advantages

Some say that single-focal length lenses are tricky to use, and too much hassle. Would you agree? There was a time when they were standard. But when high-performance zoom-lenses appeared on the scene, single-focal length lenses were nudged out of their mainstream position and relegated to the sidelines, where they have remained for many a year. No wonder most people think of them as a niche product.

Sigma DP2s highlights
Sure, when you have to shoot from just one spot, with no physical room to move, a high-magnification zoom lens, covering the range from wide-angle to telephoto, is the height of convenience. And conversely, when your single-focal length lens has the wrong field angle for the situation, you might not get the ideal shot.

Nevertheless, despite this "inconvenience", many amateur photographers still love single-focal length lenses. They keep taking great pictures with them. Of course, in wide-aperture lenses of F2 and over, or telephoto/super-wide-angle lenses, or macro or fisheye lenses, the single-focus option gives the best overall balance. But that's not the only reason.

Using a single-focus lens makes you pay attention to the basics of photography. Sigma believes that taking a photo should always be a fully conscious, personal act. Choosing the subject. Finding the best angle. Framing the shot in the best way possible. Considering the light and shadow falling on the subject. Taking the colors in account. These are all elements of photography. In our view, it's only by making these choices for yourself that you can relate to your subject and your photo in your own uniquely personal way.

These are the very shots that end up being your best-ever pictures. Your emotionally-charged masterpieces. The ones that resonate with everyone who sees them. Sure, you would go through the same basic process if you were using a zoom lens.

But with a zoom lens, you can get the perfect field angle with a single twist of the zoom ring. Creatively speaking, that makes it harder to get into the "zone". We're not knocking zoom lenses. Once you understand how convenient they are, you can go all-out and take full advantage of the benefits they offer. But just remember, their very convenience can diminish some of the most fascinating and crucial aspects of photography.

With a single-focal length lenses, there's no convenient zoom function. You have to "zoom with your legs", and frame the shot yourself. Remember our conviction that it should be you, not the camera, who takes the picture. We think this effort is all part of the art. Using a zoom lens is like painting by numbers. A single-focal length lenses. gets you physically moving, forces you to frame your own shot, opens your eyes to unexpected beauty. It makes taking pictures more fun. It engages your creativity more fully. Like the saying goes, less is more. Single-focal length lenses. can be a challenge, but it's no drawback.

Are you looking for a camera that brings out the artist in you? That would be the DP series. What could you do with them?

Sigma DP2s Highlights

Full Scale Sensor
Sigma DP2s highlights
The bigger the film size, the better the image quality. That's common knowledge in the world of film cameras. Ever tried using a Brownie film camera to shoot high-quality photos? Then you'll have a vivid sense of the exponential increase in image quality as film size increases. Basically, the same goes for digital cameras. In other words, sensor performance being equal, the image quality of a digital camera is determined by the size of the image sensor, be it CCD, CMOS or any other type.

In the era of film cameras, both SLRs and compacts using the 35mm system used the same size of film, and image quality came down to lens quality and performance. There used to be compact film cameras that delivered high image quality despite their small body size, and those compacts had a large following among amateur photographers. When cameras made the switch from film to digital, however, it was taken for granted that DSLRs and digital compacts would use different image sensors.

Direct Image Sensor
Apart from the SD series and the DP series, almost all the digital cameras on the market use monochrome sensors only capable of capturing light intensity. Because these sensors do not capture color data, a color filter with a mosaic of pixels for the three primary colors - red, blue and green (RGB) - is mounted on top so that color data can be represented. But each light-sensing photodiode has a one-color filter, which means that each pixel can only capture one color, and data for the other two colors is discarded.

Until this stage, of course, as in the Autochrome process, the RGB color "particles", or pixels, are recorded unmodified, forming the photo. A color interpolation process known as demosaicing is therefore performed in the latter stage of the image processing, and this restores the colors lost by individual pixels. This interpolation process basically consists of guessing the missing colors by analyzing the neighboring pixels, and adding those missing colors back in.

Have you ever looked at an image generated by a digital camera and noticed something, well... unnatural, about it? The edges may be strongly emphasized, and the image may look reasonably nuanced, but there's definitely something wrong. Right?

Images produced by Sigma's SD series cameras, and by the DP series, have what's been called an "emotional quality". The emotion comes with a level of image quality that only the Foveon X3® direct image sensor can deliver. Image quality of a clarity and exquisiteness easily outclassing that of conventional digital cameras. This level of image quality reproduces the scene you shot, right down to the feeling in the air. It's only possible in a vertical color-capture system that does not require color interpolation, and an image-processing system that does not require an optical low-pass filter.

A conventional image-sensor, on the other hand, fudges the colors, and even cuts out high-frequency areas. To compensate, the sharpness processing is ramped up to give some overall nuancing and a general impression of high resolution. This explains the tendency to generate images that, as a whole, have an unnatural feel. The colors can be adjusted to some extent in post-processing, but the detailed data previously lost cannot be recovered. The breathtaking image quality delivered by the Foveon X3®, which reproduces pure, rich data and nothing else, has to be seen to be believed.

Integral Lens
A lens with a focal length of 40mm to 60mm on a 35mm film camera is known as a "standard lens" because it delivers natural perspective, close to what the human eye perceives. The usual definition of a standard lens is one that has a focal length close to the diagonal length of the image format. The focal length of the DP2's and DP2s's lens is 24.2mm, and the diagonal length of the image sensor is 24.86mm. So, the lens used in the DP2 and DP2s really do deserve to be called a standard lens.

In the past, standard lenses have traditionally been of either the Tessar or the Gauss type. The Gauss type is basically used for larger apertures with high performance. Its disadvantages include susceptibility to saggital coma flare when used with a point light source, and a tendency for the light volume to decrease towards the periphery. The Tessar type, on the other hand, has a simple structure, making it easy to miniaturize. However, its drawback is that it tends not to deliver high performance at larger apertures.

Sigma DP2s highlights
Imaging Capability
In fact, shooting in X3F format has some advantages. In a digital camera, the image signal captured in RGB is recorded by being converted into what is known as YCbCr color space. The Y stands for brightness, and the CbCr stands for color difference. In an ordinary digital camera, a file format known as YCbCr 4:2:2 is used, where the color signal is set to half the brightness signal. This format was developed in order to send color information efficiently on the limited bandwidth available back when color television was first developed. Designed on the principle that the human eye is less sensitive to color data than to brightness data, this historical format has survived intact to this day, and is still used as the mainstream format in digital cameras.

However, now that digital camera performance has improved so dramatically, people are using their photos in different ways, displaying enlargements on their computer screens, and large photo prints are mainstream. Today's output conditions are getting better and better. The old YCbCr 4:2:2 format was designed for efficient signal transmission, and not for high-quality output. To our way of thinking, this format no longer adequate to meet the needs of all photographers.

True II
The DP1 offers a specially-designed image-processing engine called "TRUE". For the DP2, we developed this key technology further, creating "TRUEII" and it was first incorporated to the DP2. Applying our exhaustive knowledge of the image-creation mechanism of the direct image sensor, we used a proprietary algorithm to do full justice to its uniquely sophisticated 3-D rendering power, successfully optimizing both the image-processing time and the in-camera image processing itself.

Having focused our efforts on optimizing and recording the pure, rich signal captured by the sensor, we were determined that the DP series would be the only camera fully able to deliver the optimal image quality we had pursued throughout our development of SLRs. The rich optical signal captured by the groundbreaking direct image sensor needed to be translated into an information-rich image. We entrusted that crucial task to our new, improved "TRUE II".

Leveraging the strengths of the direct image sensor, TRUE II does full justice to its uniquely sophisticated 3D rendering power, optimizing both in-camera image processing quality and speed. Also enhancing color reproduction and dynamic range, TRUE II, significantly contributing to the quality of the images produced within the camera. Further, noise that can tend to occur at higher sensitivities is suppressed by a new proprietary algorithm, with resolution maintained at the highest possible level.

And automatic exposure, focus and white balance functionality are strengthened, enhancing the camera's overall performance.

Sigma Photo Pro
Sigma DP2s highlights
The SIGMA DP has an X3F mode (RAW file format) in which all the image data captured by the sensor can be recorded without any significant deterioration in camera performance. If you want to do your own hands-on photo-finishing, then for best results, we recommend Sigma Photo Pro4.0 the image-processing software designed exclusively for these X3F files. You may think that "RAW data processing" sounds like something intimidatingly technical, requiring high levels of knowledge and skill.

If so, just try Sigma Photo Pro4.0 for yourself, and you'll soon find out how easy it really can be. Sigma Photo Pro4.0 focuses on only those functions you really need for artistic photo-finishing. Its interface is one of the most user-friendly and intuitive of the many RAW data-processing software packages on the market, so even if you're a beginner, you'll find it simple to turn your images into finished photos. Images can be customized using just seven parameters -- exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, color saturation, sharpness and X3 Fill Light -- and two new parameters of noise reduction all provided in the Adjustment Controls Palette, plus the Color Wheel for adjusting the colors. Simply adjust these parameters and watch the image change in real time. That's all it takes to recreate the ideal photo you had in your mind's eye as you pressed the shutter.

Images can be customized using the Color Wheel and just seven parameters provided in the Adjustment Controls Palette: exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, color saturation, sharpness and X3 Fill Light. And to take full advantage of the advanced functionality of the SIGMA DP, Sigma Photo Pro4.0 adds additional color modes allowing you to select portrait, landscape, vivid and etc for each shooting situation.

Further, with RAW data, the mode can be changed even after the shot is taken. With slideshows and the capability to work with multiple process windows simultaneously, the software's functionality is significantly enhanced for more efficient, smoother workflows. And you can now print X3F files directly, for enhanced connectivity. With new Sigma Photo Pro4.0, you can easily explore photo processing for that one shot that only you could have created.

Design Policy
The business of taking photos boils down to the skill of the photographer. The photograph is the canvas for the photographer's individual self-expression. Sigma creates equipment for delving into the essence of photography. Sigma's design policy is to empower the photographer to concentrate on the core task: taking pictures. Our top priority is to deliver the functionality and reliability this requires. That's way in adding extra features, we've been generous to a fault.

The rather simple user interface we gave the DP1 has been refined for the DP2, making it even easier to shoot pictures just the way you want. Because it's a lightweight compact, we've focused on making it a more complete photographic tool that you can carry around with you every day.

What's in the Box
DP2s digital camera, Li-ion Battery BP-31, Battery Charger BC-31, Lens Cap LCP-11, Neck Strap NS-11, Soft Case CS-70, Hot Shoe Cover HSC-11, USB Cable, Video Cable, SIGMA Photo Pro Disc, Instruction Manual

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.2 x 2.4 inches ; 9.9 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • Item model number: DP2S
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,646 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at June 17, 2003

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Enche Tjin on June 5, 2010
Verified Purchase
Sigma DP series are unique because it is the first compact camera that utilize a large sensor size equivalent to Digital SLR camera. It is also unique because it use Foveon sensor instead of more popular CMOS / CCD sensor. So far, only Sigma uses this type of sensor. Sigma uses it on compact DP series (DP1, DP2) and DSLR like SD series (SD10, SD 14, and upcoming SD15).

Foveon sensor has different characteristic than regular sensor, which I will discuss a bit on image quality section.

So, what is new about DP2s? Sigma DP2s is an update of DP2, so it has many similarities like the image sensor, shape etc. The main improvement is in the processing speed. DP2s use TRUE II engine which Sigma claims to be faster than TRUE I which is employed in DP1.

Main Specs

- 14 MP Foveon sensor
- 24.2 mm f/2.8 lens equivalent to 41mm in 35mm camera.
- True II processor
- 2.5' LCD screen, 230k resolution
- ISO 100-800 expandable to 3200
- 3 fps continuous shooting
- 9 selectable auto focus points


Sigma Dp2s weighs 260g, and its dimension is 4.4 x 2.4 x 2.0 in. (113 x 60 x 50 mm). It is just a bit bigger than Panasonic LX3, an advanced compact camera, and smaller than Panasonic GF1, a micro four thirds camera.

Sigma DP2s has metal casing. The design is plain and boxy, at a glance, it is almost similar to Canon S90 IS but larger in size due to the bigger sensor and lens.

Despite the plain and boxy design, it is good to hold and does not attract attention. When it is on, the lens will extend out around 1 inch.

Sigma DP2, the former model has been criticized quite heavily because of the unclear labeling (dark text in black button).
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Hg Wells on June 15, 2010
I recently bought the Sigma DP2S along with a normal point and shoot zoom camera, the Panasonic DMC-ZS7. I was going to wait for the Sigma SD 15, which has not been released as of the date of this review, but I wanted to try out the Foveon sensor. I have considered replacing my entire Canon system with Sigma's SD 15 based on the image quality I have seen and comments by some pros. While waiting for the SD 15 to become available, I decided to try out the DP2S. I figure I'll return it after trying it out. Well, that was the plan. After having played with it for a few days, I'm at the point of not being able to return it. It's a wonderful camera. Image quality is terrific, better than even some of my Canon's L lenses. No zoom. No interchangeable lenses. Expensive camera. But great photos. And that's the bottom line why I get a good camera. Not only am I increasingly likely to keep it, but I still also anticipate getting the SD 15 when it's out. The SD 15 is a full SLR with a variety of good lenses available. The DP2S only has the built-in, non-zoom lens. Why am I paying so much for a non-zoom "compact" camera, I ask myself, especially since I now have the Panasonic point-and-shoot and anticipate getting Sigma's SLR? Someone somewhere called Sigma's Foveon sensor cameras the "poor man's Leica." And I now understand why.

The menu system and controls of the DP2S are different from most digital cameras. But I like them. The more I have become used to them over the past few days, the more I resent the more "traditional" digital complications. I love the unusual manual focus option. (Read the manual to understand the zoom to focus option.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joe Cho on August 9, 2010
Verified Purchase
*August 2010: (from time i purchased)I am not going to explain the details as above users have explained more than enough.
i tested out indoors and outdoor shots, and despite all of what it can not dos, the image quality is amazing, and this little thing will embarrass some of big bulky and more expensive DSLRs. SigmaDP2s is slow, Point and shoot is not easy, but more like think and compose then press the shutter with confidence. Definitely not for beginners and definitely not for a fast moving objects. The stunning picture quality can be achieved usually with still objects with a tripod.
Taking one shot at a time is what this camera is for. Video quality is bad, don't bother with it.
the only thing good for is the image quality, and it's the best in its class which is the only reason i bought it.
I will post more photos as i test out more and after later time..

*January 2012 - After using this camera for about 16 months: DP2s produces exactly the same as the new. So far no problem, no error, does the same job every time producing that colorful foveon sensor that Sigma claims that is unique and film like... still very happy with the camera.

*January 2013 - After 28 months of owning, this camera is very unique in that it has foveon sensor. Now there are many point and shoot cameras at this price range produces less noise, better looking fast camera, but the picture quality and the way it process the picture is somewhat outdated and slow, but still unique and special. Still produces that fantastic life like rich vibrant colors. Recommend for thinkers artsy peeps out there.

*December 2014 - I mostly used D700. D600 was good but oil/dust problem, D800 files are too big. D700 is semipro good for back up pro cameras. SigmaDP2s. Still rocks.
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