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Sigma DP1 14MP Digital Camera
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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)
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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.
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.
Sigma DP1: In-depth review from dpreview.com
Top customer reviews
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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. 800 is somewhat disappointing as color saturation drops off dramatically.
Yes it is slow for point and shooters and has a lousy lcd but if that is sacrifices Sigma had to make for a superior image from a compact camera at this price point its fine with me. I am having a blast with this camera as it opens up a whole new world of image possibilities. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a photography style that suits a M8 but does not want to spend a fortune for the tool to do it with. Its not a M8 of course but a bargain in comparison.
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!
But even if other companies started putting larger sensors into small bodies, I would still buy another Sigma. Why? Because of the Foveon sensor!
I was almost discouraged from buying this camera due to many of the negative comments about poor speed and lack of features. Now I am very happy that I went ahead and bought the Sigma DP1.
I understand some customer disastisfaction with the slower in-camera image processing speed, limit of rapid fire shots, and lack of face/smile recognition. Yes, this camera is lacking some of the modern bells and whistles of the digital camera age. Rather than a major con, however, I see it as something positive.
This camera forces the photographer to slow his itchy trigger finger and be present with the subject. Being forced to slow down returns the photographer to the simple beauty of photography. The fine details of the subject and the camera settings become important again. The removal of "auto-everything" features restore the magic of photography and imbue the photos with individual personality.
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. Foveon sensors capture real color, while Bayer sensors guesstimate colors with mathematics. In this age of simulated reality (TV shows, Hollywood blockbusters, XBox 360), the DP1 may seem a bit out of place. But I prefer to capture the natural beauty of our lovely world and not some artificial reconstruction.
If you want a simple and authentic camera, then the Sigma DP1 may very well be for you. I've read a few stories of loyal film photographers finally taking the plunge to digital with the DP1, and being very pleased.
However, if you want to shoot 1,000 photos of your son's soccer game and skip the post processing, then go with another brand. You may get frustrated with the patience and peace of using such a simple camera.
But you'll miss the amazing photos!
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