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Friday, 17 October 2008

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Mike,

You've got a hankerin' for the DP2? Assuming the performance is equal or a bit better than the DP1 with regard to buffer clearning and consecutive shots, this is the one I've been waiting for.

f2.8, 41 mm equiv, electronic shutter that'll sync to at least 1/1000. I'll be able to use this for both landscape and portrait work...

Jim

Curiously Panasonic-esque?

Why won't Sigma just go ahead and make an M mount range finder out of this thing? The Foveon chip with Leica optics would be a stunning end run around Canon and Nikon, wouldn't it?

Any clue about the release date?

What are the size specs of the DP2 going to be (height, width, depth, weight), as well as the approximapte cost? I need a camera with a fast lens in the 28-50mm range (can be fixed, f2.8 or faster) that has to be small, deliver well in low-light, high ISO situations, but still has enough image quality so that I can make prints 8x12 or 12x18 in size.

Oh, and it has to fit in my fly fishing vest so I can take one-handed portraits of trout up close before I release them.

Sorry, but my DMD requires a viewfinder, preferably built-in, not mounted.

You're killing me Mike. I hope the DP2 doesn't take as long to show up as the DP1 did.

As I noted on a different story, I do find myself more interested in the coming (or threatened) DP2 after having realized that we've already seen the best that the common p&s 1/1.7" sensors can be made to produce. They're so over. I'm also just a tiny bit more interested in what may come of micro four-thirds, although I'm not expecting much on this front.

Don't misunderstand me; I'm not chompin' for anything. I've been embarrassingly self-indulgent this month to salve my investment woes. But I'd really like to see Sigma make a REAL photographer's camera with that big Foveon sensor. (I recently noticed that the Scientific American article featuring a preview of the Foveon had become -very- edge-browned in my files.)

Sigma intimated that this camera should be released around March 2009. They mentioned this date in an interview at Photokina recently. There should be more news at PMA.

With leica seeming to struggle to keep up with the changing technology, I always thought there was a big opportunity for them to own the missing big sensored compact market. But with the new micro fourthirds stuff and sigma's dp cameras, I can't help but feel leica missed the boat on this one.

Yeah, I'm waiting for it too. In the meantime, what's the best way to clean drool from a keyboard? ;-)

Maybe, just maybe, the DP2 will be the long awaited replacement for my lovely old Minox GL. T.O.P. is super (I just couldn't bring myself to say tops). GMP

Why won't Sigma just go ahead and make an M mount live view camera, forget the rangefinder

cw,

I second that.

Chris

Although an M-mount rangefinder with the foveon sounds nice, I can't imagine that they'd sell more that way.

If Sigma can get the responsiveness of the DP2 improved to something reasonable while keeping the DP1's price point, they have a good shot of moving a fair number of these things. But an M-mount version with nice, Leica glass starts to get expensive fast. That's a harder choice to make (unless you're already sitting on a lot of M-mount lenses, but are those people the ones Sigma's aiming at right now?)

Maybe in the future they've move towards a true multi-lens rangefinder system (umm...does Sigma make M-mount lenses at the moment?) and that would be a good thing, I think, but for now I'd be happy if they can get a big sensor compact camera right. :)

"Why won't Sigma just go ahead and make an M mount live view camera, forget the rangefinder"

Hugh (and cw),
Because M mount lenses need to be focused. Without a rangefinder, how are you going to set focus?

Mike J.

The DP2 may come out at nearly the same time as the very compact Olympus micro 4/3 camera and Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake. On the one hand, I think there is something very special about the Foveon sensor, including a significant dynamic range advantage over current Four Thirds sensors. On the other hand, the Olympus lens will be more than a stop faster, and I have more confidence in Olympus to make a great camera (sum of parts).

cw hit it on the head. As someone who keeps eyeing RD-1 prices, and has seriously considered picking up an LC1/Digilux 2 to play with, actually making a rangefinder would be great.

I'm hoping that the micro4/3 cameras will play well with manual glass, that register is short enough that rangefinder lenses could work.

"Without a rangefinder, how are you going to set focus?"

Mike - isn't that the point of live view?

"Mike - isn't that the point of live view?"

I don't know about that. Does anybody use LV to focus? I'd hate to have to focus using any kind of EVF I've seen, but I don't know what others are doing.

Mike J.

I don't see why all the resistance to putting view finders in point & shoots (or at least, why the optional viewfinders are so damn expensive...) OK, it leaves more room for the LCD, but I recall a time when we all used to shoot confidentally without seeing our results right away. Ya know, 'cause we knew how to expose properly, so we knew it would be right.

Crazy thought: do we really need huge LCDs on all our digital cameras, or even one at all? sure, smaller/no previews, but it could make cameras smaller, keep costs down and free us of worrying about every silly little piece of information and let us just photograph...

A camera with a viewfinder to compose and an LCD just big enough to read the histogram would be fine for me. If you can read a histogram right, how helpful is the preview screen really? it's nowhere near the actual image quality anyway and shooting RAW makes the image so flexible while processing anyway. It seems the preview is really just for comfort more than neccesity. eh, maybe it's just me...

Mike - A lot of people are starting to use LV to focus when speed isn't important, because you can magnify the image and obtain more precise focusing than you get with the viewfinder (either optical or electronic).

I don't know if manually focusing in LV would be as quick and easy as it can be with your eye to a viewfinder, but it's possible. You probably wouldn't want to use the zooming feature on a DMD though, and I'm guessing turning the focus ring is more awkward while trying to look at the screen.

Mike, no need to use live view to focus,(imagine doing that in bright sunlight!)Just have a focus confirmation light or beeper, Just like manually focussing a DSLR. How about a "silent" beep via a bluetooth earpiece? Damn, shoulda patented that one.

Manual focusing works pretty well on my Sony R1.
The only thing that bugs me is that the focusing ring is like those on some higher end DSLR lenses that have a clutch so that there is no relationship between the position of the focusing ring and the focusing distance. On a Leica lens with a focusing tab or a Hasselblad with the snap on focusing lever, you can pre focus the camera by feel before you even point it at the subject.

Anyway, a live view camera body that was just a sensor , shutter , and a M mount would be able to use just about any lens made for a 35mm or larger camera, with or without a focusing tab. While they are at it, a detachable finder would be nice as well

Whenever the DP1, or now the DP2 is being discussed there are usually a great number of opinions about focus. The focus capabilities of the camera definitely are strained in low light situations. The viewfinder opinions are possibly a variation of the focus question...ie if it focused faster / better then a built in view finder wouldn't seem so necessary. I have come to wish that there were some way to read what the focus distance is when the camera does finally get it. Once i know that the guitar player, acrobat, tenor or high wire artist is 7 feet away i can leave it on manual & shoot away. I have no idea how difficult this would be to implement but perhaps it wouldn't be so hard.

Charles Maclauchlan

cw (and others), I guess one reason that an M-mount lens on the current design is a bad idea is angle of incidence of the incoming light. Wide lenses for rangefinders sit very close to the sensor and the light at the edges especially comes at a very steep angle. And unlike film, a digital sensor cares a lot about that angle (and microlenses can only help so much).

The main reason Leica introduced their lens marking system is so they can compensate for the resulting light falloff in camera software. The DP 1 and 2 uses Foveon sensors which are even more prone to side effects from this. This, in turn, was probably why the DP-1 had a comparatively slow lens; a larger aperture on that wider lens would have generated this kind of problems.

Just thought to add;
If the Leica M-mount used for a DRF, that allows the use of the Zeiss, and less expensive Voigtlander lense lines.

Here is one problem I see with the DP2 that will not be a popular point on TOP. One of the reasons I stopped using the DP1 is because of its low pixel count. (Ok, I said it - go ahead bash me). I have always argued that more pixels are not the only answer, but we have come to expect a certain amount of resolution and "cropability," and the current Foveon sensor does not always measure up. Sometimes it gives results that match up closely with an 8 MP camera and other times it seems to have the 5 MP that it really has. We may have been happy with that a few years ago, but it just cannot produce results like a modern DSLR and doesn't even have the resolution of a small sensor camera. In real life shooting, I have felt limited by its low MP count on a regular basis. I assume the DP2 will have the same sensor.

OK, start the bashing. I can take it.

Ed

The thing I miss most in my DP1 that I hope is added to the DP2 is closer focussing. I'm desperate for some kind of macro capability without having to use a close up filter and the (silly) accessory tube which means the camera no longer fits in my pocket.

That and a camera that doesn't go dark for a couple of seconds in manual focus mode when you switch from the magnified view back to normal. Unbelievable. That being said, Sigma has done a really good job improving/enhancing functionality through firmware upgrades. Like being able to map the old digital zoom control to almost any other adjustment - like ISO.

A DMD it ain't, but I sure am fond of my DP1's sensor.

- Tim

I forgot to mention that one of the best things about the M mount is that almost any interchangeable lens ever made for still camera use can be adapted to it.

With manual focus lenses, the camera could simply assist your focus by lighting an LED or beeping when focus is achieved. (You can even focus anywhere in the image.)

And if the LCD has the resolution of the one on my Nikon D90, you don't even need a lot of help.

With regard to Ed's comment on the pixel count of the Foveon.

I can't help thinking that if one of the big name manufacturers had used the Foveon sensor (I can't think of anyone but Sigma who use it), then there would have been a lot more put in to research and development to improve the sensor - including upping the 'real' pixel count - than there has been.

That said, I do like my DP1, and while I can't justify the DP2, I will be interested to see where Sigma go next.

An M-mount camera doesn't seem a ridiculous idea. Making an electronic mount which would accept M lenses, plus a few new AF ones, would be a way to give a micro-4/3 competitor a flying start among those who own M lenses.

As others have said, using contrast-detection to give an in-focus light would make manual lenses useful, without having to build a rangefinder with all the high-tolerance mechanics that requires. The body would need to have a shutter of course. It would also have to make do with contrast-detection at the shooting aperture, not wide open, I don't know how problematic that would be. Just please, make it a light in the viewfinder not an irritating beep!

Possibly you'd want to combine C-D with the sort of active system used by the hexar and (I think) contax G: bounce IR off the subject to measure its distance. This would get you information about which direction to focus when you're far from in-focus, which C-D does not.

Following up on Improbable's comments, the micro-4/3 cameras do offer the possibility of accepting Leica M-lenses. Their flange-to-sensor distance of 20mm is sufficiently short as to leave adequate room for the necessary lens mounting adapter, although you will have to use stop-down metering unless somebody is clever enough to create an adapter that interfaces with the camera body electromechanically.

That said, stop-down metering is hardly a deal breaker, as I regularly use adapted lenses on my Panasonic L1 (most often, a 45mm/f2.8 Contax Tessar and Voigtlander 12mm/f5.6) and they both work just fine this way.

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