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Tuesday, 23 September 2008

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I do hope Sigma this time manage to get it right. The specs didn't mention image stabilization, so there may be already one minus to the camera. And there needs to be speed, speed, speed - and good handling.

But excellent that Sigma did not give up at the first attempt.

I'll have to go back and find your original statement of the "DMD" idea, but to me the ray of hope was actually the D-Lux 4. Short, fast zoom, larger-than-average sensor, small enough to carry everywhere.

How I missed the LX3 announcement is beyond me. I shoot RAW anyway, so the red dot isn't worth a lot to me, as long as the camera comes in black. :)

I wish there were an LC1/Digilux 2 with a modern sensor, actually. I hope that's where Micro4/3 is going.

Slick ain't it?

I have to also wonder about the operational speed of the m4/3 cams. Anybody have a guess?

I'm a DPR Oly forum regular but I won't even begin to jump into all that right now.

At least you can stick a CV 40mm veiwfinder on it and have something to look through.

I hope the AF is nice and speedy on the D2. But AF is just icing. Winogrand and Cartier-Bresson never had AF.

However, that brings me to a particular gripe I have whenever I use a point and shoot... on the DP2, like almost all small point and shoot cameras, the manual focus isn't controlled by a ring or a lever, but by the button control pad on the back, sometimes buried in a menu process. Sure, that's where most people want it: out of the way, never to be used. But I like using manual focus. I like choosing where my eye draws the focus, even if it's just moving the AF point, and these stupid button pads just don't give me a tactile feeling that makes me feel in control. This frustration even extends to DSLRs when I'm in AF mode and I have to "plick-plick" the AF point buttons whenever I'm not pleased with the camera's default choice. Sometimes I'll just override by going to manual focus (which is really easy to do on most Pentax DA lenses - one touch manual focus while still in AF mode)

It seems to me that if the camera doesn't have a zoom feature, then at least it could use a forward back lever around the trigger (like one for zoom adjustments on the LX3) to control the AF point. Imagine pressing a little button and the zoom lever feature suddenly turns into a manual focus adjustment. That would be my ideal addition to this camera.

At any rate, the DP2 appears to be a fine camera in the promo material, but the proof will be in the pudding.

If this camera is any faster it will be worth the price of admission :)

charlie d:
In DPreview's preview of the G1 they seemed to find the camera's responsiveness acceptable. They were apparently shocked by the autofocus speed.

Don't forget that the new version of Adobe Camera Raw (4.6) will include "preliminary support" for the Sigma DP1 (which leads one to believe that the DP2 will eventually be supported as well). This should be a huge boon for Sigma DP[x] users who were frustrated with Sigma's Photo Pro software and the disruption of their usual workflow.

See http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2008/09/camera_raw_46_and_dng_converte.html

To Michael Gaudet - I imagine someone else will point this out too, but there is a full time manual focus wheel on the DP1 and DP2, located just northeast of the AEL button in the picture above. I'd rather it was on the lens barrel, but it works as is. My gripe is that it's too easily bumped when moving your thumb around.

Actually, I think the real proof of this particular pudding will be whether one can actually develop the RAW files in a decent bit of software. The number one drawback for me in the DP1 was the lack of software support for the files.
It's like having film but no developer chemical: pretty useless.

charlie d:
In DPreview's preview of the G1 they seemed to find the camera's responsiveness acceptable. They were apparently shocked by the autofocus speed.

Thanks Peter,

I did notice that but I am much more concerned with shutter lag. I shoot on the street quite a bit and this would be crucial for me. Digi -cams seem to be more indecisive than not. Know what I mean???

I have two questions for the universe:

1: Can a zoom for a large sensor camera be compact?

2: Can a camera with interchangeable lenses and a normal or wide lens be as compact as a fixed-lens camera with the same lens?

I'm hoping that responsiveness (RAW writing, shutter lag, AF) has been seriously improved. I really like the focal length, the faster lens, and the larger sensor, but will wait to hear if speed has been improved.

On the question of ergonomics, I really wish they'd put a second control dial on there. Using the left/right buttons to control f-stop/shutter speed is a real pain.

"1: Can a zoom for a large sensor camera be compact?"

Relatively. It depends what you mean by "compact," and it depends on other design parameters selected. Size is simply one design constraint, out of many. If you wanted to minimize size and you were completely unconcerned with any other parameter, you could design, say, a 28-32mm f/8-9.5 zoom lens with lots of falloff that would be very compact. But that would defeat the purpose of the lens.

2: Can a camera with interchangeable lenses and a normal or wide lens be as compact as a fixed-lens camera with the same lens?

Sure. At least very close. Again, it depends in practice on other constraints. For instance, if you design a fixed-lens camera you can design the lens without a specific flange back distance already determined; if you're designing an interchangeable lens for a bayonet system with an already-standardized flange back distance, it's possible the latter would leave you "stuck" with limitations you wouldn't have had with the fixed lens.

Mike J.

I recently decided that it would be good for my photography and my marriage to sell most of my cameras and lenses, concentrating only on the gear I would find most useful. I decided to keep a coule film cameras, one "big" digital camera, and one "small" digital camera. Deciding between the DP1 and Oly E-420 with 25/2.8 pancake was tough, but it was the DP1 which I kept for the following reasons (in addition to the obvious fact that it is more compact):

1) The DP1 has dynamic range roughly matching the best I have seen in DSLRs. It compares well in dynamic range to my experience with the Canon 5D and Nikon D700 cameras. The E-420 does not.
2) The DP1 is about as good as it gets for B&W image quality in a 35mm or smaller digital camera. It seems to me that despite the Foveon claims for "true color", B&W is an even stronger case for this sensor technology. Superb tonality.
3) At high ISO, Bayer cameras do better color than the DP1. However, again the DP1 shines in B&W. I have some decent ISO 12,800 equivalent 8x10" prints.
4) I find the DP1 to be more responsive than others let on, at least for my style of shooting. When one focuses manually (very easy to do with the handy manual focus dial) and sets the exposure manually (also very easy to do), the camera responds without hesitation.

Areas I hope (but don't expect) to see improved in the DP2 include faster shot to shot time and better LCD screen.

My dream camera = Oly Micro with a Foveon sensor (at the same sensor size and x/y pixel resolution count as the 4/3 sensor).

I owned the DP1 for a while, and the Foveon really is wonderful.

This is the DP-X I've been waiting for (well, until they bring out an ca 85 mm equivalent). Good for street shooting, reasonable for portraiture. And as a benefit the electronic shutter will sync to somewhere in the 1/2000 s range---so the ability to do some interesting flash work out doors.

My hope is that the shot-to-shot issues are straightened out with this camera as well (and that a firmware update will enable the DP1 shooters to shoot 3 consecutive shots quickly). And of course---I hope the release cycle time is a bit shorter than last time...

For me the what will make or break this camera is the amount of shutter lag. I would use scale focusing most of the time and I'm not too concerned about the buffer size. But if the shutter release is mushy or lags with the AF turned off and focus preset, forget about it.

I usually print at no lower than 300 ppi, usually around 360 ppi. I am interested in this second version (assuming it operation is significantly faster), but that would make for a pretty small file.

I am wondering about that. Also interested (like) the no AA filter part. Wondering if say, 240 ppi might look good?

No matter how capable it may be, any camera you have to hold out in front of you like a tourist is not cool.

"No matter how capable it may be, any camera you have to hold out in front of you like a tourist is not cool."

Really? See, I'd much rather look like a tourist than a photographer. Being somewhat intimidating in person (6'2", 240 lbs., beard, kinda ugly) and too shy to be a great street photographer, I need all the stealth I can get. I used to like film point-and-shoots because it made people ignore me. Nothing was worse than shooting with an F4, because it just shouted "look at me, I'm being intrusive and taking your picture without your permission." Even with electrician's tape over the "Nikon" logo.

Diff'rent strokes, I guess....

Mike J.

"No matter how capable it may be, any camera you have to hold out in front of you like a tourist is not cool."

Better to look like a tourist than a "terrorist" or a "pedophile".

I am cautiously optimistic about this camera, though, as stated by others, in order to work for me it has to be very responsive. It can't "get in the way" of my photography. I want DSLR-like shutter lag (or lack of it). 40mm is my favorite focal length and if this turns out to be a responsive camera I have no problem using a 40mm equiv. external viewfinder in the hot shoe. I do that now with the Ricoh GX.

I do think that price may be a problem. I really like light compact cameras. This summer I bought an Olympus e420 with the 25mm pancake prime lens for less than the DP1 costs. It is only slightly bigger than the DP1, has interchangeable lenses, and a built in viewfinder. The Micro 4/3 cameras are also likely to be quite compact. If the DP2 is priced like the DP1 it may be a hard sell at that price point.

I, too, am amazed that it has taken this long for a digital equivalent of the 1970s Olympus 35 RC to come along (fixed 42mm/2.8 compact camera).

normal lens √
ability to limit DOF √
iso 800 √
pocketable √

It seems I may have finally found a replacement for my now deceased Leica Minilux. If they could squeeze in a modest RAW buffer and bring it in at a price around $599 it'd be a no brainer.

"No matter how capable it may be, any camera you have to hold out in front of you like a tourist is not cool."

I'll pile on....Really? Not cool? To just about everyone I know (I'm 32 - so not that young) a big neck strap that says Canon or Nikon isn't cool. But pulling a small camera out of your pocket or purse (for the ladies) and taking a picture that can be printed and framed big is pretty cool. (I'm actually a little uncool I'd think since I carry around a super-zoom EVF, which isn't pocketable.)

I'm actually kind of tired about hearing how a "real" photographer has to have an optical viewfinder pressed to his eye. I've read this quite frequently on various forums, and it always seems like it's based purely on emotion and resistance to change. It seems very anti-progressive (is that a word?) to me. I love my EVF and flip/twist screen, which mean I can hold the camera out in front of me, over me, to the side of me, etc. And I feel like (although I don't know) that people refuse to look at the advantages it offers over an optical finder.

For Adam: Thanks for letting me know about the manual focus wheel on the DP1 and DP2... that little bit of info actually may have just been enough to get me into a store to try one.

David Bostedo, not only anti-progressive, counter revolutionary ;-))

Jokes aside, I agree that more stealth is better for the streets, especially for kinda shy people - of which I am one. And of course looking like the average Joe with his point and shoot is beneficial here. On the other hand, ever more Joes with DSLRs out there.

Mike, you say you are too shy to be a great street shooter. That scares me: is there no way to get over it? I try, and there are the moments where I get a run and get over my reluctance, but only from time to time.

And to the DP2: seems that there is something special about this B&W thing with the Foveon sensor. Take a look here:
http://www.seriouscompacts.com/2008/09/sigma-dp1-b-in-acrlightroom-vs-sigma.html

Maybe this "feature" should get more attention. I mean, great color rendering at low ISO and that certain B&W look at higher ISO is kinda attractiv I guess.

cheers
Andreas

Some months ago I was shopping for a small capable camera and contenders were clear, the Sigma DP1 or the Ricoh GR Digital II. After some pondering and reviews reading, I went for the GR Digital II.
Perhaps if the DP1 specs had been the same as the actual DP2 it would have been a completely different story, but the important thing here is that I really wish the DP2 becomes the great camera we all hoped when the DP1 was announced, because it will mean that Ricoh and Sigma will reap the benefits of their bets on dslr quality pocketable cameras, help this niche market and why don't say it, make many photographers happy.

Btw I love my Ricoh. :)

Looks like the most interesting camera in a long time. Too bad it has almost twice as many pixels as it needs. By going to 8-10 megapixels on the same sensor size, they could dramatically improve high ISO performance, and nobody who doesn't make oversize enlargements would have any reason to complain.

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