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Friday, 30 November 2007

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I will be quite interested to see the final DP-1 when it is out. Looks like an interesting camera. On a side note, Mr. Yamaki's statement was wonderfully written, and my holiday wish is that the next US president could be so honest and forthright.

I was interested in the DP1 but unfortunately for Sigma it's taken too long and the f/4 lens was just too slow.

It is good to see them tell us the problems but setting expectations and not meeting is a kiss of death in marketing.

This is splendid news, indeed. However, I feel that the lack of even a modest zoom lens will hurt sales of this camera. A fixed lens camera will have to be truly, and I mean truly, exceptional to succeed in today's marketplace. I hope its not too late for Sigma to change.

I admire your friendly view on the company policy of Sigma.
I'm disappointed about the factual content of this statement all the more I'm waiting for a "street photography device" with good IQ.
But I'm not waiting for Sigma.
As Franz Beckenbauer, The Kaiser (emperor) of the german soccer, always says: Schaun mer mal. (roughly speaking: let's wait and have a look.)
And that's all what we can do.

Hi Mike,

I've had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Yamaki and he's an enthusiastic photographer who really wants to make a difference in the camera business. This kind of communication is unusually refreshing for any organization, and it's good to know that they're concerned with the image quality.

For those who complain about how this camera 'misses' the mark---I find it amusing that one could predict this without holding it and seeing how it performs. Look at the package above with the f4 lens---can you see a f2.8 or f2 lens on a camera this size? Won't fit, at least with this lens design. A zoom might be nice (and I would certainly not be surprised to see a DP-2 zoom in the future), but Sigma needs to get this camera out the door successfully first.

It should be fast, it should be flexible with regard to speed, and it should have the image quality standard of at least the SD14 (I know the goal is higher IQ---after all, you can optimize for the one lens).

As for the delay, my speculation is that the Fujitsu TRUE dsp chip for the x3 sensor just didn't perform to expectations with regard to quality, and they've had to retool the electronics for the imaging pipeline. But I'm looking forward to the camera as a compliment to my SD14...

No viewfinder - bummer! Doesn't have to be built in, could mount on the flash shoe. Sorry but I'm not gonna start taking photographs at arms length this late in the game.

I sent Sigma an email directly on their site (which hopefully will reach Mr. Yamaki) thanking the company for their consideration to customers in making this announcement. It is all too rare that we hear "plain talk" from any company these days, and it's refreshing!

If this camera does what I've read so far, I'll most likely take a hard look at it. I have one concern though... reviews I've read about the SD-14 image quality revolving around that particular type sensor are not particularly encouraging. If that were my main SLR, I'd be likewise inclined to back it up with the DP1. However, if imho I am not sold on the SD-14 sensor's capabilities, can I seriously entertain the DP1 with reference to image quality? Obviously, the other features/design of the DP1 are very much needed and appreciated.
Mike, how do you feel about the foveon sensor?

Warwick,
It has a viewfinder. Check the website.

Mike J.

This will be a great camera for B&W photography, every sensor is used for every color. F/4 is just fine (An f/2.8 lens would be to large for this type of camera). it's sharpest point will probably be around f/8 to 11. 28mm is perfect for landscape photography (using PS CS3 stitch or another stitch program will give you all the wide angle you need). It does have a 3 times digital zoom in it. I do like the fact that it's all black, not the aluminum foil silver look. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but if the price is right I'm in for one. View finder--any old Leica wide angle view finder will work also.

(1) There is always a better camera coming.

(2) There are always flaws in that "better camera" that ensure the perpetuality of this cycle.

This is called "marketing".

f/2.8 will be fine ... for start, of course!

I agree about the lens. F/4 is too slow. I don't mind shooting at 1600 (well, on film) to compensate for a slightly slower lens, but all the time?

On digital, it's got to be a lot better than crappy P&S for that speed. As long as noise isn't *too* crazy, 1600 is good. I hate how the small cams get noisy as hell and all smeary. But that's not the point. I'd be willing to go to a higher ISO for some shots because the lens is only f/2.8. Or f/2.4. Or best, f/2, but that ain't gonna happen. But I'm not forking over $1k for the privilege of running high iso's because I'm stuck with an f/4 lens.

28mm equiv is pretty cool, but I'd probably be happier with 35mm. To be honest, I think a fast 40mm equiv lens would be just about perfect. If they could wrangle out an f/2.x where x 28/1.8 > 35/2, and in terms of price and size, the 28/1.8 won out. However, at 40mm, you are more or less the same as 35mm, yet just slightly tighter. If you want the 50mm FOV, just step forward a hair. 35? Lean back. The same could be said for a 35mm lens, but sometimes it's just a hair wide. And sometimes you run into a wall backing up with a 50mm.

Forward this onto Sigma for me :)

I too wondered about the f4, which will prevent you getting this effect.

http://www.blipfoto.com/view.php?id=62221&month=9&year=2007

(Tamron Adaptall 1st series 28mm f2.8 on 5D) but in reality I mainly use a 28 stopped down beyond f4 for landscape or street photography and if it keeps the camera small then the tradeoff may be satisfactory. Final judgement reserved pending first high ISO samples and price announcement.

I agree with MJ's opinion in the addendum.

F4 is too slow for this sort of camera. I think we would be better off with a 2/35 instead, if a higher speed 28mm equivalent turns out to be too big. Otherwise it will be restricted to daylight shots or we will have to crank the ASA up to high levels, which will increase noise.

Think of the Hexar. What made that camera was the built in killer 2/35mm lens. Same for the 28mm in the Rioch GR or 40mm in the Rollei.

This camera will not be cheap, so it can't be limited by slow glass.


This is great news! Although I never really believed they had abandoned it, as some did.

I'm not convinced the f4 will kill the camera (although I too would prefer something faster). It's going to be a niche product no matter what, and if they manage to achieve the IQ they're shooting for, and the DMD-like usability, then most people drawn to the thing will likely overlook that aspect.

Warwick, the optical viewfinder is a clip-on that goes on the hot shoe. You can see it (as compared with a Leica M7) on my blog about the DP1 (yes, I have a blog about nothing but the DP1...):

http://mydp1.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/dp1-rangefinder/

(Sorry for the plug, but I think it's topical.)

Mike, Given the limitations of lens size on this compact/sensor combo... what do you think would work? 35mm 2.8, 40mm 2.0 or even an equivalent of a 50 2.0 (smaller still) with a 35mm'ish wide angle converter?

I would buy the 40 or 50mm options... need a wider view? shoot two shots :P

I'm sorry, Sigma, an f/4 lens just doesn't cut it. Would it have killed the camera to fit it with an f/2.8 ?

"A fixed lens camera will have to be truly, and I mean truly, exceptional to succeed in today's marketplace."

Scott, the Ricoh GR-D has proven very successful as a niche fixed-length product, and judging by the online discussion traffic about the GR-D II, its successor looks poised to do the same. Neither of these cameras has a sensor as large as the Sigma, but they are carving out their own portion of an extremely crowded compact-digital market. A fixed-length lens does not spell automatic failure for this product in the marketplace.

"The f/4 lens was just too slow"

I've been perfectly happy with the 50mm/4 and 75mm/3.5 lenses on my beloved Mamiya 6. Likewise, the lenses for the Mamiya 7 are also mostly f/4 or smaller maximum apertures. These are top-notch cameras that continue to satisfy many pros who use them right alongside their digital SLRs.

I don't mind these "slow" apertures because what matters to me is not purely the speed of the lens, it's my results. Can I hand-hold it and still get the shots I want to take? Can I get sufficient control of DOF for my needs? With the Mamiya 6, my answer to these questions is "yes".

The key deciding factor for the DP-1 won't be lens speed alone. It will be a relationship between lens speed and high ISO performance. That's what will get me a "yes, yes" in answer to those two questions.

If Sigma can get the kind of high-ISO image quality out of this sensor that we're seeing from the new Nikon D300, then I'll be perfectly happy with it. As long as f/4 at 1600 gives the quality I want, that's all I ask. I'm fine with needing a DSLR to do more selective focus...f/4 gives me a reasonable amount of control on a sensor of this size, while still keeping the camera small and light enough to be pocketable.

A pocketable large-sensor compact that has a 1.7 lens like my old Canonet QL17 is a nice pipe dream, but the realities of wide-angle lens design for current digital sensor technologies make it effectively impossible at the present moment. The lens would be too big, and too heavy.

In this moment, the DP-1 is about as dreamy as any compact camera can get for me. I'm eager to see it debut and find out how well it answers my two key questions.

Well I really like the results I've seen from the Foevon sensor and that's what makes this camera extra frustrating.
The major problem is that 28mm equivalent focal length which leads on to lots of other negatives as far as I'm concerned.
There are days and locations when I walk around and 28mm seems to be the ideal view, but that's only once or twice a year usually in an urban environment, mostly if I'm carrying only one camera/lens it will need to be 35-42mm.
With 28mm the image quality really does have to be something special simply because details will be so small in the image, look at a landscape taken with a small digicam at its wide end and you'll see what I mean.
Where is the need for autofocus with 28mm? Why not just have something that looks like a "real" lens with manual zone focus and make the camera look like something special - at the moment it just looks like any other small P&S and non photographer prospective customers will shy away as soon as they realise there's no zoom.
We have had the Epson RD-1 and now the Leica M8 as digital replacements for the traditional interchangeable lens rangefinder, what a pity Sigma couldn't make us a replacement for the traditional fixed lens rangefinder, complete with built in viewfinder.

Cheers, Robin

P.S. (not serious alert) Mike, your site really does mess with my life, while (laboriously) typing this I missed the end of an eBay auction I'd intended "winning".

As others have noted, the lens is just, so, slow. I would have been happy with a 2.8. It's slready dead for me.

Ok to have the option of a snap on viewfinder, not thrilling though. However, IMO, this camera and cameras similar are screaming for a swiveling screen, best invention ever. Deader for me without that. Though, I would have accepted the lack of a swiveling screen if the lens was faster.

I find it to be ironic that they market this camera as a serious, pro quality image producing device and then cripple it by creating a platform that will obviously have a difficult time accomodating a faster lens. Once they decided on the sensor, they should have been designing around the lens first and foremost. If you're gonna screw a large sensor into the back of camera you have got to start thinking about putting a serious lens on it. After that, some features to sew up the deal.

I think they had a chance to do something really great here and I agree, dead already. It sounds like the same old story where these cameras that sound so promising get crippled by a lack of follow through in the right areas. I don't get it.

I sent a bunch of e-mails to Sigma after this camera was announced, suggesting that they re-think this thing. I felt so good after I sent those mails. I thought they would listen to me. That night, I told my wife that I had just changed the face of digital photography. She made me a great dinner.

If the image quality can hold up at 800 or so then it might be ok.

The Ricoh GRD cameras seem to have almost (no swiveling screen) everything I'm looking for. Noisy, but from what I've seen that noise is not too objectionable.

I think a viewfinder that is held to the eye is needed in any camera that is used by people that have been using that type of finder all their lives ..even a compact camera....Canon does .......just a note on the english language...A tip....in the new Apple Leopard OX if you hold down the ctrl/apple/D with your curser over any word....in a second up pops all you need to know about it..

The f/4 lens is definitely a consideration, but what I think is really missing is a fully-articulated (pop-up, twist-around) viewscreen. Some photographers may poo-poo an articulated view screen, but I did the same thing until I tried one on a P&S camera.

Like Mike said yesterday, I just hope that this doesn't fail in the marketplace because some manufacturers might take that as a signal that the concept is a failure.

Andy Frazer

Not only does the camera have a (removable hotshoe) viewfinder, it's a joy to look through when compared to the built in viewfinders in most compact cameras...

Bill---what have you found 'not encouraging' about the SD-14 images? You can find hosts of full-sized images at http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr/user_sd14
It's my main camera, and I'd be happy to discuss pros and cons...

Jim

From Mr. Yamaki's statement: "...we had to change some of the specifications that we had announced. (An official announcement with the final specifications will be made at the appropriate time)."

With all due respect to the knowledge and wisdom behind some of these comments, is there much point in lamenting how specs we don't yet know are going to miss the mark?

I think the slow lens will definitely be a marketing difficulty, but from a functional standpoint, I'm not terribly concerned. The Foveon sensor is already poor at low light and it's not like another stop from the lens is going to make a huge difference. Might as well play to its strengths.

Compact size adds versatility. But the relatively slow lens, coupled with a sensor that has not been hailed for high-ISO performance, might limit available-light photography. No mention is made of any vibration-reduction system. These factors reduce versatility.

The actual degree of trade-offs is yet to be determined. The announcement by Sigma demonstrates rare candor: Sigma seems to have the photographer uppermost in mind. The biggest surprise would be if the image quality of the DP-1 is anything short of outstanding--within certain parameters.

We'll just have to wait a bit longer to see what those parameters are.

I am happy that Sigma has not abandoned the DP-1 project and I can hardly wait to handle the camera. I can live with a 28mm/4.0 given the size and DSLR quality IQ. After all, I won't be getting rid of my DSLRs anytime soon.

In the heyday of film, my pocketable camera was an Olympus Epic. It's 35mm/2.8 lens imposed limitations but the camera still afforded my the opportunity to create images that didn't need excuses. I am hoping that the DP-1 will be an even more capable camera.

I have mixed expectations about cameras like this. Like Steve Gillette wrote about on ToP, they may in the end have little over small-sensor compacts.

I have now a Canon SD960 (Ixus 950 in Europe), and I tell you, it is really hard to beat the image quality of this thing, even with a near-4X zoom. And even at ISO 400. (1600 is a different matter.)

I paid twice as much for a Ricoh GR digital, and it was not near as good, and had only a fixed lens.

Someday someone will build all of the following:

* A Hexar AF-D with a large sensor and that great 35 F2 lens because F4 really is too slow

* A Nikon FM3-DBW (that's an FM3 with a B&W only digital sensor)

* A Zeiss Ikon-D because we deserve more than one digital RF

* An Olympus 0M4-DBW because we deserver more than one retro bodied, B&W only digital SLR with manual focus.

* An infinite money machine with which to fund the purchase of all of the above

Like Jim Kofron, I've also met Mr. Yamaki. Further more, I've had a few extensive conversation with him regarding the DP1.

Sigma's goal is to bring out a COMPACT camera. while a 2.8 lens might be more attractive, it will also make the camera larger than compact and much less cost effective.

Their goal is to design a lens that is optimized for this Foveon sensor and for this particular body design. So I would hope that this lens would be sharp wide open from center to edge. Also, keep in mind that this is actually a 16.6mm lens. so hand holding at slow shutter speed even at say ISO100 would be fine in many situations.

Further more, High ISO performance from this generation of Foveon Sensor is much better compared to that in the SD10. ISO800 is very usable under most situations(http://www.pbase.com/chunsum/image/75400907
http://www.pbase.com/chunsum/image/75400906
http://www.pbase.com/chunsum/image/75951861
http://www.pbase.com/chunsum/image/79122863
http://www.pbase.com/chunsum/image/80321934). So, I would hope that the high ISO performance for the DP1 would be on par if not better than the SD14.

Knowing Mr. Yamaki and others from Sigma, I do believe that they will do their best to bring us a good product in regards to the DP1.

Re the image quality of the Foveon sensor, see here:

http://www.auspiciousdragon.net/photowords/?p=1323

Mike J.

Looking at the presentation on the Sigma web site, it looks like the lens needs to extend from it's "parked" position. It would be nice if the lens was truly "fixed".

What the f4 says to me is "really cheap lens" hey even 28mm f2.8s are cheap. That and the lack of a decent viewfinder kills it. The 28 also isn't wide enough, equal to about a 50mm on 35. I have always shot street stuff with a 35. The other item is the Foveon isn't the best high ISO sensor by along ways, though dead sharp when used right. Interesting camera but has too many warts for a grand.

Tom

Talking about wishes from Santa ...
I wish the DP1 had replaceable lenses.
Then we could have, in addition to the 21/4, also the 35/2.5 and the 50/1.8 and everyone (almost) will be happy

Matt, well said, LOL.

I regret not buying a Konica Hexar back in the day when I was still using film. That lens rocked.

By the way, one more thing about the small Canon: image stabilization. I'm not buying one more camera without it.

I doubt the camera will sell well, except to enthusiasts in a very small niche -- and figuring out exactly what that niche is, is a problem.

The f/4 wouldn't be so much of a problem if the sensor was good up to 3200, but the other Foveon sensors have not had a great rep for low-light. That means that you're essentially buying a daytime shooter -- f4 and ISO400.

The f4 might also be helped by IS, but I don't see that in the specs.

I disagree that a slightly faster lens would have been a problem -- it really isn't a true pocketable camera with that fixed external lens anyway, so a 35 or 40mm f2.8 wouldn't make much difference. A Pentax 40mm f/2.8 is smaller than the Sigma f4 lens shown on the DP1 website.

It wouldn't be a good travel camera, because you need a zoom (not a digital zoom, which is just another way of cropping in-camera). Nothing like trying to take a picture of the Sistine Chapel ceiling with a 28mm lens...or an impressive mountain, for that matter -- it'd be a speck in the distance.

Not much good for portraits, unless you like *really* wide noses.

So the niche is small -- daytime streets. Maybe there are enough people who'd do that. But then, look at DPR's review of the Canon G9...

Was anybody else driven slightly crazy by the website?

JC

Great news, looks very interesting.

F4 is fine.

The only depressing part is, as usual, all the pessimistic comments, or wishes for things that this camera obviously is not designed for.

Tom Monego,
It's a 28mm *equivalent* lens, not a 28mm lens.

Mike J.

Just as a clarification here, note that I'm not necessarily objecting to the f/4 lens. What I'm saying is that I'm worried that the f/4 lens will stifle sales.

There are many products through the years that I thought were wonderful--no, that I *knew* were wonderful--that failed because of perception. My usual, favorite example is the Canon EOS RT. It was essentially an EOS 630 with Canon's pellicle mirror--a fixed mirror that transmitted some light and reflected some light. So it wasn't actually an SLR, in the lens wasn't a reflex lens. It was fixed. Canon made 10,000 units of the camera and expected it to sell out within a year, at a premium price. They were sure it was going to be popular.

The problem was that the pellicle mirror cut down the amount of light reaching the film, which people assumed would make their lenses functionally slower. While true, this was in fact a trivial problem. But the perception ruled. Buyers "stayed away in droves," as the saying goes. SIX years later, cameras from the original run were still available, now at bargain prices (as I recall, a bit more than half of the original asking price).

The EOS RT was a brilliant camera--still one of the high points in my experience with cameras. But the negative perception--really just a thought for most prospective buyers--doomed it.

That's what I'm afraid may happen with the slow lens on the DP1. The lens may work fine. What I'm talking about is perception.

Mike J.

On the first sight this camera looks almost perfect. But JUST on the first sight. I could even forget about they forgot about the optical viewfinder. And the f/4 lens is not ANY problem.
But the 28mm-equivalent focal length, for THE ONLY lens is purely UN-AC-CEP-TAB-LE.
Sorry.

John Camp said "Nothing like trying to take a picture of the Sistine Chapel ceiling with a 28mm lens..."

John, you're not allowed to photograph the Sistine Chapel ceiling anyway, because of light damage from the flash (not that it stops people from doing it). And forget about bringing a tripod in there...

(I spent two weeks in Italy with just a pocket Nikon with a 28mm lens and I got lots of nice shots...)

I think an 35 or 40mm [equivalant] F2.8 lens could be made as small as the planned 28mm F4. Like many other commenters I would much prefer that option and would love to have the DP-1 should it have those specs. 28mm [equivalant] F4 is too wide and too slow for my taste.

28 mm equivalent it too wide for me. I agree with Mike J. I really loved the old 70's rangefinders like the Olympus 35 RC and the Canonette that had approximately 40 mm lenses. A fixed lens DP1 type camera with a 40 mm lens would quickly become my everyday, all day camera.

f4 is fine with me. What bothers me is the stated minimum focus distance of 30cm. This means macro shooting also suffers greatly. I agree that the lens choice (for various reasons) has pegged the entire camera into a pretty small niche.

It's a shame, because in most other respects the specs are great and the target emphasis is right on.

I'll echo everything that has been said above.

What I get a kick out of is the design resemblance to the Argus C3 "Brick" of ages past! How cool would it be to see a "DigiBrick" gain as much popularity as the original did?

Gads, I might have to throw a roll of film in my C3 and go shooting this weekend now!

I have a Nikon 28ti - a high quality compact 35mm film camera. The lens opens up to f/2.8 and is tiny. I can't see why it's supposedly such a problem to do something similar on the Sigma.

f/4.0 is a sticking point for me. I tested a Voigtlander 25mm pancake lens on my M6. If it was f/2.8 I would have bought one, but I could see myself getting stuck in low light & night photography. I'm used to shooting ISO 1600 f/2.0 at 1/15 at night so losing 2 stops from the lens is a problem.

I think I'll be standing pat with my Voigtlander Perkeo II with it's 56mm square sensor and 75/3.5 Color-Skopar as my "pocket 'blad."

28mm fixed, f4 and clip on optical viewfinder are all ok with me as long as noise is moderate at ISO's to 1600. Not invisible noise, i don't ask for that, but not oppressive either.

I currently shoot the street with a Voigtlander Bessa and a 21mm F4. What a dilemma as the light starts to fade in the afternoon! We don't have daylight savings time, we have 6 months of rain and due to our proximity to the equator it's dark by 5'ish all year round. There's no film faster than 400 for sale here so I push my film with uneven results and i get very grouchy when i get my negatives back from the pro lab, recalling how i pushed myself through exhaustion to shoot one more roll only to get blocked shadows, blurry movement and otherwise dreary results. I 'will' (no 'might' about it) seriously consider the digital camera that's compact, has a fixed wide-angle lens that behaves fairly well at high ISO's, gets very high grades in the performance department (read quick shutter/focus and shoots raw with no lag time). Till then, I'm hand carrying vast amounts of fast film in my carry-on luggage from the US, having it hand-checked in customs and swearing, 'there's gotta be a better way!!'

I'm with Jonathan -- f/4 works just fine on my Mamiya 7. Of course, my 80mm f/4 is at its sharpest at f/4 and f/5.6. An f/4 lens that reaches its peak at f/8 is obviously unacceptable.

That said, I also agree with David Goldfarb -- it would take a lot for me to give up my Perkeo as my coat pocket camera. Just think how long we'll have to wait for a pocketable MF digital! :)

I applaud your giving Sigma the benefit of the doubt and I want to believe, I really do. Certainly, that's a well written and sincere reading press release, but the anti-marketing-spin cynic in me urges caution. It's been what? A year and quite a bit since first exhibit of the DP1 concept? An age in camera development, nowadays. Sigma says they've "decided to change the entire image processing pipeline", whatever that means. Given that a modern digital camera could be considered almost nothing but an "image processing pipeline", that sounds rather drastic. I'm left wondering if Sigma really know what they're doing as a camera maker - their primary business has always been lenses, after all. None of this inspires confidence. I so hope they don't make a mess of this, for the reasons you express - it could kill an entire product category at birth - and because if they get it right, I want one!

I'm still looking for the "splendid" part of this non-news story.

Let's see: the camera isn't finished; it isn't available; they don't know when it will be finished; they don't know when it will be available.

Also, the camera doesn't have the specifications that photographers want, but it's ALMOST finished.

Nah, I'm not bitter; I'm just even more excited about the arrival of my Ricoh GRD2.

Now THAT'S a news story!


I don't mean to be a downer here but if you look through the comments the most commented about item is the 28mm f/4 lens. Many of the comments deal with making do with the 28mm f/4 or just not wanting it at all. Very few are happy with it and people who frequent this forum are the potential market for this camera.

If a company came out with a 28mm f/4 lens for your DSLR NOBODY would buy it. It certainly is too slow and IMHO too wide as a single lens on this type of camera. We should not have to make excuses for the lens on this camera. Plus, It is not going to be inexpensive. I imagine it will be in the $1000 US range. Perhaps Sigma could put out a couple of versions. One wide, one normal to satisfy the majority of us.

I agree that the first incarnation of this type of camera should sport a 35 or 40mm f/2 or 2.8 lens. If it has this, adjustable noise reduction and a good RAW buffer I would seriously consider it. I have been waiting for a camera like this for years, as we all have. Otherwise I just can't compromise for that price. I too am gnawing at the carpet. But mainly because another compromised camera is ready to come to market and I will have to wait even longer for the gem we are all looking for.


Thanks,
Chuck A

I feel that a poll is in order here..new entry please. : )

It would be interesting to find out how many people would prefer a 28mm equiv. lens (on the their walk around, high quality street/dirt road machine), how many would like a moderate wide like a 35mm, how many would prefer a 50mm or so lens.

if you want the zoom then go find a different poll (smile).

I'd put my money on the 28mm.

I'm a bit puzzled by some of the comments that paint the critics as cynical or negative. Are we at a place where those who offer opinion on camera design can be described this way? That's funky. In an age of cameras that are loaded with all sorts of crap, is a beg for simplicity, functionality and utilitarian design a sign of being pessimistic?

The folks who design these cameras need only dig into the many available forums to find out what photographers really want.

If they took a stand and designed these cameras they way they should be designed it would have the effect of educating the folks who's money they really want, the greater consumer market. It would be everyone's gain.

All the suits and tech guys have to do is type "best compact point and shoot" or "best street shooting camera" into a search window and they would reap tons of criteria on which to base their concepts.

>I'm with Jonathan -- f/4 works just fine on my Mamiya 7. Of >course, my 80mm f/4 is at its sharpest at f/4 and f/5.6. An f/4 >lens that reaches its peak at f/8 is obviously unacceptable.

Yes, but the Mamiya 6 and 7 are medium format cameras and there is a very good reason why most MF glass tops out at f2.8 (there are some exceptions that hit f2.) . A f2 or f2.8/80mm or 60mm that covers 6x7 would be enormous and the DOF would be so shallow that the rangefinder base length would probably have to be expanded greatly to assure accurate focusing.

There are plenty of extremely compact 28mm lenses out there that have to cover 135, which is nearly twice the size of the chip in the DP-1. Many of these lenses are f2.8.

I also agree with many others that 28mm is a little too wide. Personally I would suggest a 2/35mm, which to many is a do anything focal length. But as Mike mentioned, the Japanese love the 28mm and for good reason. Apartments can be very, very tight in Japan and you can only back up so far, so I think it would be difficult to change Sigma's mind.

"Not compliment, polite praise, but complement, "a thing that completes," for our readers for whom English is not a primary language. I always worry about that word."

From reading English-language web forums my impression is that a lot of readers whose primary language in fact is English would have trouble with this word. It seems that today's lingua franca is not English, but 'bad English'. Grammar aside, my favorite errors that get repeated over and over again are 'lense', 'alot' and 'definately'.

Carsten

While historically most of my photography has been at 80mm-equivalent, lately I've been into 32mm-equivalent, first with the Pentax 21mm f/3.2 pancake and now with the Canon 20mm f/2.8, a rather large specimen.

So I think I could find pictures to take with the DP-1.

I kinda drag this ole horse out for a liddle beating from time to time; especially when the conversation gets hyper-focused on gagets. When did the decisive moment become the decisive camera.

I saw the Robert Capa/Greta Taro exhibit at ICP last weekend and I'll be darned, I really didn't pay too much attention as whether the photographers were shooting with their Leicas or their Rolles. Ok, the format was a bit different, but other than that..... The quality of the photos was variable from an esthetic point of view and some were not particularily interesting, but to stand in front of Capa's "Moment of Death" and his incredible photo of the marine on D-Day took my breath away. He could have used a pin hole camera and I wouldn't have cared. He was there and got the shots.

Perhaps every new camera should include a proviso that simply says ........This is a great camera, but if you want to take the great shot, ya gotta be there.

I'm really not a curmudgeon, honest I'm not. Well, maybe a little.

I'm probaby just old-fashioned, but I would never buy any camera without an optical viewfinder.

Given that my ol' Rollei 35 (40mm/F3.5) produced great pictures by virtue that it was always with me, and it was uncomplicated (despite manual everything) I think the Sigma DP1 will work equally well.
So far ordinary P&S cameras have not cut it for me, but I hope this one will. We'll just have to wait. Sigh.

Mike, I don't know if this is common knowledge or not, but smaller-sensored cameras, like the Ricoh GR-D, are comparable to 35mm film, as DSLRs, and Leica's M8 are more like medium format film cameras--IQ speaking, and enlargement potential.

I don't recall, in the film era, ever hearing that a portfolio can't include both 35mm and medium format film-based images. If I'm wrong, I apologize.

Same thing with digital photography, why is it wrong to have a portfolio with both 35mm and medium format-like images (1/1.75" or 1/1.8" sensors versus an APS-C sensors)? Is there a double standard that has cropped-up in the past decade? Or has it always been that a photographer should only work in, or have a porfolio, in one format?

Player,
There aren't any rules, of course, or even guidelines. Some professionals in my day ('80s) even deliberately included different formats to show they could shoot in all three (small, medium, large). From an artistic standpoint I would think it's awkward to have one or two pictures that stand out as being different technically from the rest, which is what might happen if you shoot with a more competent larger rig and a pocketable camera as a walk-around "notepad." But it's entirely a personal issue and a judgment call for each individual.

Personally, I had trouble showing pictures made with different *films* together, even though few viewers could distinguish a difference. That's just me, though, I'm sure.

Mike J.

Thankyou kindly Mike, I'm so glad I asked.

From an aesthetic standpoint, I can understand your taste of not wanting to mix formats.

BTW, was 35mm film photography considered like using a "notepad"?

Last comment/question, I promise.

Staying with the 35mm film/ small sensor, medium format film/ APS-C sensor analogy: is asking the camera makers to build a point 'n' shoot APS-C sensor-sized camera like asking Mamiya or Fuji to build a 35mm-sized camera using medium format film?

Maybe it's just asking too much?

If the lens moved to 35-40mm and would go as wide as f2.8 (with attendant control over DoF), I'd buy one. Even without a viewfinder. Looks great.

As you know the number four stands for death in Japan. And 28, when dividing 8 by 2, also results in 4. Just thought I'd also add something 'useful' to this 'discussion' around this 'important' topic.

No one is commenting on shutter lag. In their promo, Sigma seems to imply that the DP1 will perform as quickly as a DSLR, but they really don't mention shutter lag. Everything they are offering in this camera seems acceptable to me, but only if the shutter lag is reasonably brief.

Well, there's always the Ricoh GR Digital II that just came out. It has a 28mm (35 mm equiv.) f/2.4 lens and an optional hot shoe mounted viewfinder with 10.1 megapixels. For me, this could be the in-your-pocket-and-ready street camera. The Sigma DP-1, like Windows at times, is vaporware so far.

Dear Folks,

I think that this item, and the lens poll, make it clear what a difficult time a manufacturer has designing a "one size fits all" camera. Especially when the camera is the only one in its niche.

It's something of a Consumers' Dilemma. Any given design is only going to be 'just right' for a small fraction of the potential buyers. If buyers wait for the camera that's perfect for them they may never get it, should sales of the pioneer model be so low as to discourage more models in that category. But if they buy the camera that's not right for them, it may increase the odds of the right one coming along.

Glad it's not my problem!

On another point...

Mike brought up the one good reason I can see for insisting on a large sensor compact camera-- so that the results are a good aesthetic match with one's DSLR. That raises a question in my mind. Namely, ARE Foveon-derived photos a good aesthetic match to Bayer array-dervied photos? Putting it another way-- if you mix the 4.7 Mpixel Foveon and 8-12 Mpixel Bayer array photos on a wall, can you readily tell them apart? I know they'll be a close enough match in sharpness and resolution. But will they have distinct and distinctly different tone/color/noise characteristics?

If so, that negates Mike's argument.

Just wondrin'....

pax / Ctein

In all probability, most of the posters here and elsewhere who comment on the potential flaws of the DP1 lens (and camera) are hopelessly anxious that their huge investment in DSLR cameras and lenses will be subverted by a small camera that makes images with equal IQ.

When you think about it, the introduction of this camera will officially mark of the demise of the beastly DSLR.

"...the introduction of this camera will officially mark of the demise of the beastly DSLR."

Or at least, we can dream.

Mike J.

I agree, I was sooo excited until I saw f/4. Then I was like forget it. WHAT a WASTE!!! Wow, that should be f/2, even if it had to be 50mm!

Compliment vs. complement: those words are from latin, they should not be a problem for european latin-derived languages. For example, their Catalan forms are ABSOLUTELY EQUAL than the English ones. AFAIK they exist also in Spanish and French. But "compliment" is a cult word, at least in Spanish and Catalan, not very used in that sense.

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