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Friday, 08 February 2008

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Shoot. I was really hoping to see it come in under $600. Oh well I guess I can wait until the price drops or, better yet, until a 40mme version comes out.

LetsGoDigital has posted more samples from PMA in Las Vegas (http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/18382/las-vegas-photos/). I harvested one shot, "Las Vegas Hotel", and enlarged the resolution from 2640 pixels (long dimension) to 4000 pixels.

This was accomplished first in Photoshop, and then (to slightly better effect) in the latest version of Genuine Fractals. Starting from the native 4.6MP file (albeit in Foveon parlance this is stated as equivalent to 14MP), the enlarged file was about the same as that from a 10.7MP camera.

The result was a very crisp image, corner-to-corner. It was recorded at ISO 100, so noise was not an issue. But is this image substantially better than high-end digicams (like Canon's G9)? At ISO 100, probably not.

Cameras like the G9 also offer image stabilization, effectively reducing the need for higher ISO's in some cases. (The DP-1 tops out at ISO 800, meaning the G9, in similar lighting, could achieve proper exposure at ISO 200 with IS.)

The G9 also offers a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/4), adding another full stop. This means that under certain conditions, the DP-1 will need its full ISO 800 sensitivity to record a scene the G9 captures at full aperture and ISO 100.

Given a price almost double that of the G9 (and more when purchased with a flash and/or optional viewfinder), the image quality of the production DP-1's will need to be uniquely impressive to attract sufficient numbers of buyers. The souring world economy will not help Sigma in this regard.

Sigh. Everything right, except one number: f/4

PFFHHHP, that was the sound of me shooting Sprite out my nose.

$800 for a Sigma point and shoot? Wow.

I'd gladly pay the $800 for it today if it had a much faster lens. f/2.8 at the slowest.

Maybe in version 2. Or (hopefully) Nikon will have come out with a digital rangefinder by then.

I just don't understand the f4 lens. I know it's been discussed everywhere already. I'd be so psyched for it if it were f2. 2.8 even I could see. 1.4 wouldn't seem totally crazy. f4 just doesn't seem to make any sense.

I'm sad to say I find it fundamentally flawed in that regard and totally disinteresting because of it.

I also wonder that they kept f4. This will cost many potential buyers.

Once there was a Hexar AF with a 35/2 lens. Oh, and full frame. Where are we now, begging for an 2.8 lens in a compact design? This lens is FIXED, and still f4! Is this called progress? ISO 800 and f4 is like 200 with f2. My old Oly 5050 can do ISO 400 with f1.8, and i make A4 monochrome prints from this 400 files.

But i think it is not Sigma to blame here, it is the so called free market which is a dictatorship of a dumb majority, i.e. of a elite minority manipulating the former.

Hey, maybe in some years we can enjoy our 100x zooms with 120 megapixels on a 1/18" sensor. Aperture from 8-22, diffraction limited by 2.8, and ISO from 25 to 50000, but only with boost turned on ;-))

Come on, some company, i don't care which one, adapt some of the old ingenious designs and give us a real capable point and shoot, please.

best always
Andreas

That Fuji folder is looking better all the time.

A long base RF body with an M mount, a quiet shutter/advance mechanism, and either a 5D or D3 full frame chip that only shoots 14-16 bit RAW to cut down on those pesky menus. Metered manual or AV exposure modes are all that is necessary. The AA filter should be minimal to take advantage of lens quality. ISO should start at 100 and end no lower than a fully useable 3200. No BS, make it simple, accurate, durable and discrete. Bring it in under 2 grand and you have a useable tool for years to come. Add a CV lens or two and it'll beat the pants off of any p/s camera and most dslr's.

I really like this, but again, f4. Tempting, though.
I want a Nikon D3 rangefinder. The size of a Leica. Or a Leica M9 with the 25mp Sony sensor. Removeable sensor, or course, for upgrades.

Joe

How about a large digital sensor on a Barnak Leica (that "original Leica" they sell?

I think it's funny how people know that it's a bad camera because of one line on the spec sheet!
There's really no point in taking the thing out of the box, charging the battery and seeing what she'll do.

The internet has spoken!

Using this camera would be like showing-up in highschool wearing last year's sneakers. How embarassing.

The DP1 has an f/4 lens because Sigma put so much emphasis on compact size. The DP1 is considerably smaller than a Canon G9 and only slightly larger than a Ricoh GRD II. Personally, I'd prefer it if they had made it larger than a G9 with a 40mm (equivalent) f/2 lens. It would still be a fair bit smaller than the smallest DSLR with such a lens, and that would be my point of comparison.

I've been waiting to see what this camera can do before I get a G9. I don't mind the f/4 apeture, as long as it is sharp wide open. My other concern is that the lens extends and retracts just for space savings. Since the lens is fixed length, I'd prefer it to be a simpler, more robust design. Bring on the reviews !

Just enlarged some of those test shots to 40"X60" at 100%, very sharp corner to corner. The noise in the shadows is very grain like and does not exhibit the color bayer pattern jelly bean look. Why you would need f/2.8 on this camera I have no idea. I believe this will make a great B&W camera for landscape photographers. The biggest problem this camera has is the price. The regular Sigma SD14 DSLR with a fixed 28mm may be a better deal and about the same price.
I also believe you can remove the IR filter on the SD14, which is right behind the lens to do IR photography. You will need the camera on a tripod to take IR photos though.

But it's marked down $200! How could anyone pass up a deal like that?! :-)

A good look at the Foveon sensor in the SD14 as compared to the 5D. http://www.ddisoftware.com/sd14-5d/
After reading this I think the DP1 should prove it's worth.

$800?? I was hoping this might arrive at $400. 28mm & f/4 won't do it for me. I'd much rather have 35 - 40mm and f/2.8. By the time I get done cropping images shot at 28mm, I'd have negated the advantage of the larger sensor. It's too bad; great idea, but poor execution. I'll wait for a DP-2, but doubt the DP-1 will do well enough to warrant another model.

Isn't a fast lens less important at wide-angle anyway? I mean, more light is always nice, but seems like usually you're going to want all the depth of field you can get.

Two years ago this camera might have gotten more attention than it will likely get this year, principally for the reasons that Stephen outlined. It certainly won't pry my G9 from my hand. And at $800 for a fixed focus f/4 p&s it's going to be an issue with the mid-range enthusiasts, particularly given the shriveling consumer credit scene in the U.S. .

I think it's too little for too much too late. I wonder if it will also be the last stand for the highly-touted-but-underachieving Foveon sensor.

I won't be very original, but I'm also wondering why the lens is so slow.

To me, the only advantages of large sensors is :
- low-light capabilities
- shallow depth-of-field

With such a lens you get neither, and this makes the camera not really better than a high-end small sensor.

However, with for example a f/2 lens, it would have no competition.

I can't understand sigma...

The lens is wrong. It should be a 40mm or 50 mm (35mm equivalent) and F2.8.

"But it's marked down $200! How could anyone pass up a deal like that?! :-)"

I imagine it will be down to $600 within six or eight months. If you want to be an "early adopter," you have to pay the premium...as early adopters of the iPhone found out to their annoyance.

Mike J.

I get a kick (not) out of people complaining about people who complain about the f4 lens. Speaking from experience, I've gotten some favorite pictures at ISO 1600, ~f2, lit by a campfire. No IS.

This one, for instance. http://flickr.com/photos/paulmcevoy/2120337217/in/set-72157603490493590/

Which I quite like. So when I say that f4 at ISO 800 is not interesting to me, that's speaking from experience. I'm not a technician, engineer or anything else. I don't know much about optics. I know that I'm used to cameras that have fast prime lenses, and I liked fast prime lenses when I shot film.

I also know that when I had an f4 zoom on my camera, it was no fun at all. With this camera, I give up both the speed and the zoom. I should be excited about this?

If someone else wants to use this as their outdoors, daylight, street camera, more power to them. For a lot of the things I like to do, it's more or less useless.

Iam glad that so many are dismissing the camera the que has shortened considerably...........still I reckon it will get longer after the first few come out

"The lens is wrong. It should be a 40mm or 50 mm (35mm equivalent) and F2.8."

This is not directed specifically at Antonio, but we should remember that specialty camera products these days are almost all directed mainly at the Japanese home market, not at the export markets. The days when the Japanese built everything specifically for Americans are gone. The Sigma DP-1 is excessively small for my own taste and probably for U.S. and European tastes generally, but that's because the Japanese love small, gem-like mechanisms. The lens is also too wide for most of us, but it is what it is because 28mm-e is a much more popular focal length in Japan than it is here. People in the U.S. and Europe might not really care for the way the DP-1 is spec'd, but you should bear in mind that it wasn't really built for you. Most sales will be to Japan and it's Japanese buyers the Sigma engineers were no doubt trying hardest to please.

Mike J.

Only 28mm? I was hoping for a Tri-Elmar type 24-28-35 or something similar. I'm still going to keep an eye on this one though - that f/4 lens is more usable than most would credit. My 'poor-man's digital Leica' Fuji E900 needs replacing...

RobG

The DP-1 only goes a little further than the Ricoh GRD.
What's really wanted was something vastly different from the 200 other new this year compact cameras.

The target photographer, who might buy this, really would be better served with a the same sensor in a 42mm f/1.7 digital Olympus SP ( see http://www.cameraquest.com/olysp.htm )

The acceptable compromise is a little bigger, with OVF and a faster lens. 40mm EFOV could perhaps even ease lens design.

f/4 often just does not cut it, you might just manage with f/2.8, but you really need a minimum of ISO 800 and f/2 for night-time domestic indoor lighting levels, and even that's for non-action shots.

This could all be possible with the DP1 core electronics, just add the 'retro' features in to the mix, for instant run away success please.

yes, these days, it would cost 2x a base DSLR with f/4 ...5.6 kit zoom, but it would have better sales numbers than this half-way offering.

Mike suggests that we might be looking at the DP1 from the wrong perspective: from this side of the Pacific, it seems a bit off-the-mark, but for the home Japanese market, it combines several key desirable features.

This makes perfect sense. It also makes sense to offer products that have stronger appeal to European and American tastes. At least from a business perspective.

That said, if a DP1 found itself in my camera bag, I would be thrilled to put it through its paces. The results, in many typical shooting environments, will likely be stunning. In the end, the overall flexibility of the camera might be less so.

Something tells me that Sigma will also face some interesting competition before the year is over.

Personally i'm waiting for my Contax T2 next week…

It seems it impossible to make the same camera in the digital world !

And Leica, they can't do a digital Leica CM ?

I don't get some comments here:
Jim Kofron said, that one stop would be hardly a deal breaker. Pardon? Then why do exist 1.4 lenses? Just take the 2 siblings, because one stop can't be a deal breaker.

And you should learn to hold the camera still? Right, but there is still subject movement. It always depends on your subject matter.

The DP-1 just can't be used indoors for anything other than static subjects. If this is not my domain, the DP-1 is not for me, and not for many others here.

That the 28 equiv. lens is targeted for the Japanese market is reasonable, and that's fine, but that doesn't render my or many other's arguments invalid. I am just saying that a 28/4 lens is not a much usefull glass for me, since we need a fast "normal" prime most of the time.

And no matter which market, a 4 lens with maximum ISO of 800 is a limiting package, i.e. the limit is sunset! This might not matter to Jim Kofron, but honestly i get a kick out of such arguments that only take one's personal preferences for universal.

Again, saying that one stop can hardly be a dealbreaker is beyond my scope. I would expect such statements from a salesperson trying to sell these slowish lenses, but not a featured comment on TOP. Neither this still-holding advice, which is on the edge to presumptuousness, imho.

Sorry for the rant...


I would speculate that if the DP-1 is even a moderate success, then Canon and Nikon will come out with something fairly rapidly to compete head to head with it. And probably half the price...

I agree on the f4 issue. The slow lens almost entirely eliminates the advantage of the larger sensor's better noise performance (which is the real advantage of larger sensors in a P&S). I'll take the G9 with its faster lens, even if it isn't quite wide enough. Between IS and the faster lens I'll be able to match the likely performance of the DP1 (as high ISO noise is not the Foveon sensor's strong point).

An f2 lens would have made this a must-buy. An f2.8 would have been acceptable. f4 is just too slow. I'm not looking for a camera that does well in good light, I'm looking for one that does better in low light than the current crop of P&S's, because that's where they fall down. The DP1 is not it. It's a toy for the japanese home market.

Caveat emptor! Last year the Fotopolis website ran a test of Sigma SD14. The results were simply devastating for the camera: massive green and purple color shifts above ISO 200, spots its dark areas of photos due to lack of the green component, slow recording of photos, disorganised menu, unstable software, and greatly overpriced.

I, like most of you already have a DSLR and some good lenses but I also need a lighter camera for travelling and I am not satisfied with my Canon SD900 or any other P&S camera (except the Fuji f31fd) So I am eager to see a DPreview on the DP1 because 28 mm-f4 will do just fine for me. 28mm because you could use your feet to advance when needed but most of the times you have no place to fall back. I agree that f4 is slow but Sigma could have some technical problems to implement a f2.8.

You could wait for DP2 but nothing is perfect in this world. I will wait for the price to fall down and I will be going for DP1.

Sigma's decision on a 16.6mm f4 lens has its reasons.

1.) Size. given the size of the imager, anything larger than f4 would have made this unit too large to be "pocketable".

2.) Quality. "They can still squeeze in a f2.8 if they wanted." I've heard people say. However, that would mean a lens that's soft wide open and ugly in the corners. the currently lens on the DP1 is sharp wide open corner to corner. I don't think any other compact can say that

3.) Flexibility. 28mm EFOV is wide enough for almost everything. if they had made it a 35mm or 40mm, you would have the same amount of people complaining about how the lens isn't wide enough for this and that.

Ultimately, you have the DP1 with a 16.6 mm f4 (efov 28mm).

Here's a thought. If Leica was the company that's bringing out this camera. what would people's reaction be? How much would it be?
Maybe I will put a red dot on the DP1 when I get it and parade it around Chicago and see what people say. ;)

May I add a final thought, one that is too easily overseen in the heat of the battle...

Despite many of us having objections against a 4 lens, I think Sigma has to be applauded for launching such a camera. Hopefully this first step will change the p&s market, even if I doubt this. But I hope...

Ahh, finally a post, by chunsum choi, on this topic with a bit of reality. And yes I agree on the reaction of adding a red dot...

Chunsum

1) I'd sacrifice pocketable for useable any day of the week. I used to put a Pentax MX in my jacket pocket all the time. Something the size of a Leica would still be much smaller than my 5d.

2) Soft wide open and ugly in the corners at f2 is what I'm used to. It's not necessarily a useless lens because it's a little soft. And corners? Who looks at the corners? I tend a very subtle vignette in the corners anyway.

3) I'm not concerned with the focal length. 28mm is perfect, 35mm would have also been perfect. 40mm would have been very useful.

If Leica brought this camera out, I think many of us would have pointed and laughed. Except for the fanboys. Plus it probably would have cost $1200.

Again, I think if anyone thinks this is their great camera, go for it. It's a major disappointment for many of us, who would have jumped on board with glee given some changes.

This sounds like a perfect photojournalist street camera to me... f16, wide, small size... but I am a little confused whether the sensor is the size of say a 40D? D300?

*steve

ps I will buy one in a second if the files are looking good...

"I am a little confused whether the sensor is the size of say a 40D? D300?"

Steve,
Sigma's Foveon sensors (at least the ones I've been aware of) have a 1.7X crop factor. They're more or less in between APS-C and 4/3rds.

Mike J.

Please don't get me wrong. I would go for a faster lens as well. However, given the parameters Sigma had to work with, they chose to do the DP1 as it is. Believe me, no one would love to have a faster lens on the DP1 more than Mr. Kazuto Yamaki.

Paul: the way I see it, if they were to opt for a faster lens and make the camera larger, people would have a different things to pick on. regardless, criticism will come from all sides. This is true for any new camera these days. Sigma set out to fill a section of the market that's yet to be explored, and only tie will tell what will come of it. I do hope the camera will be successful to a certain degree that they will perhaps a DP2 with some innovations in lens design that might give us a faster lens and a even thinner body.

Here's how I would use the camera:

as a companion to my SD14/10, I'd use it when I have a longer lens on the 14 and pop the DP1 out when I'm shooting what ever 'scape'.

as a primary camera, I'd set it on ISO800, set my focus to say 3-4 meters and snap away for some BW images.

Personally, I'd prefer a 35mm EFOV. but hey, I can work with 28mm.

Anyway, someone will find some good use for it. I am sure.

Anyone else weirded out by the comments that Canon and/or Nikon will produce a camera that is less expensive than a Sigma product. Times are sure a changing.

F/4 is actually not that bad because this is a non SLR and you don't have mirror slap thereby enabling 1/3 to 1 stop advantage when handholding.

I can see several markets for this type of camera other than the Japanese such as real estate professionals that need a compact wide lens with ability to use external flashes, travelers wishing for a small pocketable wide lens to take pictures of scenery in daylight, Strobists.....

Package something like this with a Nikon name with iTTL for around 250 or so and I'm all over it like fat boy and cake.

However I think Sigma made a marketing blunder as their name is equated with "cheap" lenses and I would've either partnered or licensed another company's name. I wouldn't mind buying a Hasselblad branded DP1.

Where's the viewfinder?
The pricing suggests they're taking Leica pills.

Finally a manufacturer is taking a chance and producing a small, fixed lens camera with "Pro" leanings. The nits that are being picked above don't really matter. Consider that 2 previous small, good to iso 800 cameras, the Fuji f30 f31 have actually increased in value over the past year (now selling for around $500). The DP-1 has a sensor probably 4x the size of the f30 and has a hot shoe for real flash attachment as well.!! Although I shoot 6x9 film and also a Nikon digital (their CLS is worth it's weight in gold to me) I always have a contax tvs film camera attached to my belt for the quick shots i've just gotta get. I'm thinking the DP-1 might be the one to replace it. Bon Opportuno Sigma.

Why the viewfinder for the DP1?
Maybe to compete with the Ricoh GRII, which is only $500 here in Japan (it will be lower in a couple more months).
I like my Ricoh (love the viewfinder), and don't mind the noise because I prefer black & white, and if processed properly, the noise can look like a tri-X pic.
(why was it ever termed "noise" in the first place... gotta be a better term... I keep waiting to "hear it")
I'm hoping some reviewer somewhere will compare these two heads up, since they both have fixed 28mm lenses. Actually, I usually shoot with the 21mm accessory lens. Maybe Ricoh will come up with a 2100mm accessory lens some day for the telephoto freaks!

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