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Sunday, 19 April 2009

Comments

Yeah, this one's pretty high up on the shopping list. Although now that we're starting to see leaks on the new Pentax dSLR, it may have some competition for my wallet.

Mike,

I have been really intrigued by the DP2. I need to replace my "point and shoot" - gave it to my son - and want an "advanced" compact. I am curious what you think these days is the best advanced compact, and what you think is missing from whichever camera it is. I shoot with a Nikon D200 for my DSLR, but always love having the second compact camera.

BTW, love your blog and read it every day!

Thanks,
Bruce

Except for some seriously blow highlights on the close pin photo the pictures looks impressive. Three Words come to mind....: I Want One.

I got tired of waiting for the Sigma DP2, which has a focal length I would prefer - so I bought the DP1 after the price dropped to $450. This camera has the reputation of being slow, which I have found to be untrue. Takes a long time to write raw files, but the three shot burst is enough at least for skiing action photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/miketallman/sets/72157616982837989/

The camera is pretty responsive, especially when using manual focus and exposure. I have found the controls to be very easy to work with. The DP2 will be a great camera.

Those B&W tones are insanely creamy (is it just me who can't stop staring at Carl's grandmother's picture?). The ISO3200 B&W shot shows the camera is definitely useful in this scenario. AND the little bugger works great at f/2.8.

If it's true that the speed is now faster than a speeding snail, Sigma could have a winner on their hands...and maybe even a DMD... Dare we hope!?

How does that song go again...
"Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’
Planning and dreamin' each night of usefull responsiveness"

I'm intrigued, too, but as he said Carl didn't cover the negatives. Every camera is a tradeoff, I'm just curious as to what I would be trading off against.

(And I need to get my tax situation straightened out, among other things.)

First off: I am interested in the DP2 and will consider buying one when it becomes available.

BUT: It seems that the DP2 has a retracting lens. On all of the digital cameras I have had so far with retracting lenses, the lens would automatically retract after a specified period of time when the camera went into power-saving "sleep" mode.

I hate that.

Why? Because I want to walk around with the camera in my hand (or pocket) ready to take a picture at a moment's notice. If I have to take the camera, wake it up, wait for the lens to extend and then wait for the camera to focus, the moment is almost surely gone.

Does anyone know WHY digicams retract the lens when they go into sleep mode? Would it be possible to have the camera go into sleep mode with the lens extended, or does that somehow use up a lot of power?

I would also point out that with the lens extended and ready-to-shoot, the DP2 isn't exactly pocketable. I find the mock-up of the Olympus micro-Four Thirds camera much more appealing: the lens seems very small, doesn't appear to extend and the camera itself is also small. Of course, at least we know that there are DP2s out there that are being used. The Olympus is pure vaporware at this point and who knows whether the rumored 17mm f/2.8 will look anything like the mock-up at all....

Best,
Adam

P.S. Who says you can't make everyone (and especially photographers) happy?

;-)

Just out of curiosity, to those old farts that still remember, how much did an old Canon QL17 or Minolta Hi-Matic or Yashica Electro go for back in the day? How much would that be if inflation adjusted in today's dollars? I think B&H is quoting $650 for this now.

Disappointingly, I can't afford to have $650 tied up in a camera like this, as much as I'd love to have a low cost entry to the Foveon sensor. However, if it goes down to close-out prices in a few years like the DP1 I will probably reconsider that position.

Yum! At $649 my willpower is waning...

And more samples are now available on Pbase:
http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr/users_dp2

It appears as if the camera has launched in Japan. I'm sure most of these photos on line are from 'mostly baked' prerelease versions. From what I've heard from the photographers who have had this camera in their hands, it's faster shot-to-shot then the DP1, and the lens is even better than the DP1.

Looking good---kudos to Sigma for being willing to pursue a different path and bring an excellent imaging making camera to the market.

Like others, I'm interested in the DP2. But I'm not waiting for it. A few weeks ago I picked up a Leica D-Lux 4 (a.k.a. Panasonic LX3) as a new pocketable camera and have been extremely impressed with it, particularly its JPGs !

Carl Rytterfalk might be ga-ga over what he's seen so far from an early DP2 but it's nearly impossible to distinguish one camera's tiny 72 dpi sRGB sample from another's on the Internet. From what I observed, there were few complaints about the DP1's lens or images. The complaints centered on the camera's Flintstone-like operational design. (ex: You press the shutter button and a little bird carves the picture on a tiny stone tablet.) If Sigma has overcome the camera's slow processing speed (as Carl suggests) then they may have a winner, albeit a couple of years late.

Ken,

In all fairness to Carl, he did provide a link to the full size version for each picture. They're still sRGB, but hardly tiny.

Best regards,
Adam

Those are very lovely sample pictures.

@Peter

"Just out of curiosity, to those old farts that still remember, how much did an old Canon QL17 or Minolta Hi-Matic or Yashica Electro go for back in the day? How much would that be if inflation adjusted in today's dollars?"

The Canon Camera Museum lists the Canonet at 29,000¥ or about $95.68 in 1972. Based on the consumer price index, this equates to something like 80,160¥ or $680.71 as of 2007.

I was a bit disheartened to see the Sigma DP1 show up at $799 when it came out. I was really hoping for a $599 price tag for the DP2 and am happy to say that $649 is close enough for me. As a further point of reference I bought a used Leica Minilux in 2003 for $375 and spent about $600 on film and processing in the first year. While the DP2 is not bargain bin cheap, I'm finding it all too easy to justify buying one.

References:
Inflation calculators and currency exchange rates

and

Canon Camera Museum entry for the Canonet QL17 G-III

Andre,

Nice--that means that the cost of a camera with a small body and a fixed lens has not changed much. On the other hand, the lens has gotten more than a stop slower...

The NYC street price of the Canonet GIII 17 in 1979 was around $105, which is roughly equivalent to $308 in 2009 dollars if adjusted using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI calculator.

"Does anyone know WHY digicams retract the lens when they go into sleep mode? Would it be possible to have the camera go into sleep mode with the lens extended, or does that somehow use up a lot of power?"

I would imagine that it is because the software needs to know where the lens is in terms of focus and focal length. The P&S cameras probably all run in "open loop" mode, where the computer tells the lens where to go, but never checks to see where it is. If the camera went to sleep with the lens extended, it would have to re-index the the lens by racking it all the way in and then out. If it did that the startup time would be even longer. Also, the lens is more fragile in extended position. From what I understand , a failure mode of some cameras including Canons, is that the computer loses track of where the lens is and then tries to extend it past it's limit at which point a variety of bad things happen.

Owners of pre 1977 Nikons have to do essentially the same thing by hand to tell the light meter what the speed of the lens is, and owners of Commodore 64 floppy drives can remember the incredibly loud hammering sound of the 1541 drive indexing itself.

Peter,

Considering that the price of fast film has reduced by quite a bit, losing just one stop at the same price is not too bad in 37 years.

Andrew

[[Because I want to walk around with the camera in my hand (or pocket) ready to take a picture at a moment's notice.]]

Assuming your camera doesn't have a menu option to disable auto power down:

If you are carrying the camera in your hand you can keep it awake by lightly touching the shutter every few minutes or by rocking the zoom button back and forth (assuming a zoom lever on the camera, of course). It might sound silly (heck, maybe it is silly) but that's what I did with my first point and shoot.

There's no good solution to an extended lens design in the pocket though. The only other option there is one with internal folded optics like the "Tough" series from Olympus (which have their own series of compromises)

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