I just wanted to mention in passing that I might still buy a DP2, despite Ken's review. No, I guess it's not the DMD, and that's too bad—but then, nothing else is, either; the DMD appears to be beyond the range of the technically feasible for the world's otherwise demonstrably competent cameramakers, for what reasons I know not.
One of my favorite cameras, one that I used only for a year or so in about 1986 or '87, was an Exakta 66 Model II. It had a fascinating backstory, but it was a real clunker—no light meter, a wildly inaccurate finder, and film advance as touchy as a sadistic dictator with a migraine. It could really barely perform basic camera functions adequately. But it had one of the best lenses I've ever used, and the results I got with it were just outstanding. I have some framed in my house to this day. Of all the cameras and lenses that have passed through my hands over the years, that's one I wish I'd kept.
The thing that appeals to me about the DP2 despite the proliferating accounts of its various and sundry shortcomings is that it seems to get two things very right—the lens, and the related perplex of image quality. It seems to me that over the years, a great many photographers have put up with all manner of inconvenience to get the results they crave. If you've ever lugged around an 8x10 on a tripod, even briefly, I'm sure you know what I mean. So which would you rather have: a beautifully built, ergonomically perfect camera that gives you so-so image quality at best, or a hunk of antediluvian junk held together with baling wire and chewing gum that yields image quality that's really outstanding? Given that choice—putting it that way—in my view it's not even a question; the conclusion's foregone.
The DP2 seems to do some things wrong, but the really important things right. As I read more and more about it, and see more results from it, the more the feeling sneaks up on me that I could do good things with it.
Maybe not, but I might want to see for myself. I could chalk it up to a learning experience. That's how I justify most everything I want to do, even when doing it doesn't make perfect sense.