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Monday, 13 July 2009

Comments

Well, the shortest review would have certainly been "it sucks". I know you are too much of a gentleman to write something like that, though.

Sort of an either or, but not both scenario.

As to the three year old child...
you've been there as I recall.

This is an evidence demonstrating that long reviews are not necessarily more informative, Mike.

To say that you nailed it would be more than understatement (in more than one sense!).

And you forgot the "elephant in the room" - the Olympus E-P1 which makes it redundant. I'm not saying the latter camera is perfect, but at least it's responsive with a similar IQ and form.

Here's a suggestion for your ideal DMD camera. Take a Canon G10, add up to an inch in height and up to an inch an a half in width and put in a full size sensor. Charge up to double. If for that price you also can offer me few tweaks, 3 fps, better glass, better viewfinder, etc., then great. If you need to ditch the video to do so, good riddance. Now is that too freaking hard for these masterminds at the manufacturers?!

I laid hands on the EP1 this weekend (courtesy of a big NYC retailer) and it is really no more pocketable than the hypothetical one described above and - call me a sucker for knobs - far less quickly adaptable. Seems like an object, not a tool.

A camera for Japanese retired gentlemen to take pictures of tranquil Japanese landscapes with low bulk and great quality. If I were to live in Japan I would certainly get one (once retired).

My daughter is visiting this week, and took the two kids (toddler, new baby) over to visit their great-grandmother, and I got to watch her work with a Canon G10. It's small, responsive, has a nice zoom, good ISO performance and resolution for what it is -- a small sensor design --and makes decent small prints of the kind people pass around. If Sigma had duplicated just a few pieces of that, you would have had your DMD. The astonishing thing is that *it's all there* in different cameras, and across the photo blogosphere, pretty much everybody agrees on what is needed (a G10 with a larger sensor.) So what's the problem?

The D-P1 with a wide-angle lens is faster in some sense: you can prefocus it...

Sounds like a piece of junk. Why not just use a good 35mm film camera.

I must know quite a bit less even than I originally thought I knew (which was very little) about the technical challenges involved in creating a small, good IQ camera which functions smoothly!

How can a company, which has already made one attempt (DP1), and surely would have had to be aware of its shortcomings, produce another camera with almost the same shortcomings as the first, at least with respect to performance?

I don't understand...

Really a shame. I had such hopes for this camera.

Just recently, I held in my hand for the first time a DP-1, a camera I had plans to acquire before the scathing reviews started. I noticed one overwhelming sensation: It's slippery. Lame, lame, lame.

Absolutely right, for a combination of good images and speed you need a Rolleiflex or Hasselblad at least ....... fast and speedy contraptions, made for speed and optimal imagry....

You must be fair however. Sigma has never said the DPx series was for action shooting (where rapid focusing is important). It is a camera targeted at people wanting top image quality and are looking to capture the emotion in a scene. The DPx series does this extremely well.

Having personally shot over 10,000 images with my DP1 (which is not as fast as the DP2), I can say that for me and others like me, it is a great fit. I could have shot the same 10,000 shots with a faster, feature laden camera but I would have been so disappointed in the resultant image quality.

After all the shooting is done, what is left? The image. I want it to be the best possible.

No camera will fit everybody's style. Obviously, the DP2 did not suit your style. does that make it a bad camera? No, it just means it's not the right one for you.

Hope the Olympus Pen is better!

Mike -
Your conclusion is pretty well in line with everything else I've read about this camera which, on paper, is very attractive to me. What I just don't get is why the AF on the DP2 isn't a lot better. My mid-nineties $500 Hexar AF has really fast, really accurate AF regardless of light level. I can understand that implementing an AF system in a zoom lens camera is no simple matter but, in this day and age, why can't a fixed lens AF camera focus instantly?
End of rant...

I don't understand why it's so hard to call a dog a dog. Sigma's job was to listen to customer reviews and complaints. They've failed. All we need to know. End of story.

I disagree, it's a great camera (no fanboy-ism here, I've had it for 2 months, my first Foveon). I think you fell into the same trap every other DP2 reviewer falls into -- comparing it with their DSLR because it has an DSLR-sized sensor. A case of failed expectations, maybe.

Think of it as a Jeep Wrangler; lots of fun for certain conditions but not something you'd want to drive everyday. I wouldn't want it as my only camera, but the images are the only thing this side of digital to compare with Kodachrome, so for me it's a joy even with all its quirks.

Well, y'all already know my opinion of the DP-2.

As I jot this note I'm in the final stages of preparing an E-P1 write-up. Preview: I think Mike will enjoy this camera much more. Nope, it's not perfect. But it's fun and a better picture-maker than I expected.

Mike,
Thanks,there is obviously a great deal of
pleasure in the TRUTH.Please,keep it coming.

Mike -

An amazing thing to me was that after I reviewed the DP1, I was deluged with emails and comments about how I misjudged the speed of the camera and that it really was a pretty fast camera if you knew how to use it.

Now that the camera's reputation is well known, you probably won't get much "hate" mail, but it is always interesting how much some camera buffs rationalize. The tendency is to blame the user of the camera or the reviewer.

I stopped using the DP1 even though I liked some of the images. I was missing too many shots because of slowness. I had a DP2 for about a week, but it too was very slow and less forgiving with focus issues, so I sold it.

Ed

I think the explanation is pretty obvious: Sigma makes lenses, and they are enamored with the Foveon sensor, which no one else is. They want to put the two together, but don't have or want to spend the engineering money to build a serious camera because they don't see themselves as a camera company. So, they did they best they could, or were willing to.

So, you get an excellent lens and excellent IQ. But bad mechanics and electronics.

A decent DMD won't appear until a serious camera company makes it, which means pretty much the usual suspects: Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Casio, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus.

--Marc

It's not polite to throw someone's words back at them with a hearty "I told you so!"

I'll therefore forgo the last part:
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?

Actually, as you pointed out, a tripod should ideally have all three legs.

"How can a company, which has already made one attempt (DP1), and surely would have had to be aware of its shortcomings, produce another camera with almost the same shortcomings as the first, at least with respect to performance?"

Maybe it's a corporate culture thing. The largest corporation in the US, General Motors, managed to produce products with the same shortcomings for more than 20 years. Of course they recently got a do-over so all is well or not once again.

I wonder if the Sigma DSLR is any good. I'd really try the sensor technology out for myself but the reviews of the DPx cameras scare me.

Your verdict would be "absolutely not recommended" if you had seen some of the photographs of the inside of this camera that are floating about the internet.

The best that can be said for it is that no chewing gum or scotch tape is involved.

Dear Mike,

Hmmm, reminds me of my experience with the Olympus Stylus Infinity. I fell in love with that camera the moment I saw it. So much that I actually bought one for myself and THEN wrote a glowing review of it.

Wouldn't have been so glowing had I tried it for any real candid work. I'm more of Dibutil's school of photography, so I didn't notice the abysmally slow response time -- nearly half a second -- until I tried using it at a birthday party. Not a single photo with an animated expression nor gesture was acceptable. One can only anticipate so far into the future.

Maybe acceptable in a special purpose camera, but not in the one I wanted to carry in my pocket everywhere.

(The next generation Stylus Infinity Epic was *MUCH* better.)

pax / Ctein

I never said the DP2 was fast. It's not. It's slow. I've never missed shots with it because I carry (at the same time) a fast camera for fast subjects and the DP2 mostly for still subjects.

It is interesting how many TOP readers have the patience for old film SLRs, large format, pinholes, manual focusing, etc. but none whatsoever for the DP2's operational slowness. Leaving Sigma the company out of it and considering the camera strictly as-is, I have to believe people are just not understanding its limitations going in, or if they are, simply ignoring them and wishing for something else.

I've been using dslr's since the Canon D30 days. I am currently using a 50D. About 3 weeks ago I purchased a G10, and frankly if I were not a nature (bird) photographer the G10 would be all I need. I am making 13" x17.3" prints that no one can decide if they were taken with the 50D or the G10. At iso's of 200 or less the image quality is amazing. If Canon would get off there design butt and make a G10 with a much lager sensor we would have the killer camera many people desire. Even in it's current configuration, the G10 is an amazing piece of camera design. This is best walk around camera I have had since my Leica days. With all sounds turned off this camera is dead silent and very responsive.

If I had the money I'd be tempted to go out and buy one after reading your review!
When I want people shots to pass around I borrow the wife's Fuji P&S. For the rare occasion that I shoot moving subjects I would use my DSLR.
The Sigma sounds ideal as a pocket camera, except for that missing viewfinder - sure you can buy an accessory finder but it makes the camera a difficult shape and costs more than several good film cameras could be obtained for these days.

fmertz jokes that no chewing gum or scotch tape is involved in holding the camera together. He may not realize that a number of years ago, Sigma actually did use tape to hold their lenses together, and quite often, the tape didn't stick and the lenses just fell apart. Seriously. I'd post a few links but I'm not sure if that's allowed here, but if you Google you'll find some horror stories from users.

As for the camera, I can't help but laugh at the comments, such as triplight's comment that it's so slow, he has to carry a second camera that's much faster. Isn't the whole idea of a large sensor compact to not carry so much stuff? Why is carrying two mediocre cameras better than carrying one good camera?

I recently acquired a Sigma DP-1 since the price is more reasonable these days (south of $400). In the limited time I have had with it, I have really come to love the photos it takes. Its image quality really is better than my DSLR in some respects. Now, slowness is certainly an issue, there is no denying that. Slow autofocus is particularly annoying - and inexcusable. For me however, there are several factors that make this camera indispensable.

1) Astounding image quality. Super sharp 28mm lens. This focal length works very well for me although I'd prefer 35mm.
2) Unique Foveon look of the images.
3) Light weight and compact. I went to my local store this weekend to compare the DP-1 with the EP-1. I'm sure there will be smaller and lighter m34 cameras in the future, but EP-1 is not it.

DP-1 is useful to me for most of the photo opportunities I encounter every day. The joy I get from looking at those photos far outweigh the pain of missing a few photos because of its slowness.

I am secretly happy that DP-1 will never become a mainstream camera. It means those who are willing to work patiently around its shortcomings, will be rewarded with very memorable images while others will simply dismiss it off as a failed experiment. If a DP1S ever comes along, I will surely be in line to pick it up. Until then, I am hoping to get the best out of my DP-1.

"fmertz jokes that no chewing gum or scotch tape is involved in holding the camera together. He may not realize that a number of years ago, Sigma actually did use tape to hold their lenses together, and quite often, the tape didn't stick and the lenses just fell apart."

It's not particularly valid to generalize one product from another, even if they're from the same company, especially from different eras--an old Chevette doesn't give us meaningful information about a new Corvette. However, I was privvy to one set of tests in the 1980s (actually, the source was another lens manufacturer, for what that's worth, but it was a high-end one) in which several inexpensive lenses tested very well when they were brand new but tested significantly worse after some time had passed. One thing that especially made an impression on me was that in one case, a specific lens's tested performance deteriorated over time even though it *hadn't been used* in the meantime. Its numbers got worse after it just sat around for a year.

I should caution against generalizing from that, which might not be fair either. Still, one of the things you pay for when you buy a very good lens is the knowledge that you can use it hard and it won't drift from its original spec.

Mike

Thank goodness I have an M8, that performs beautifully, superb image quality, and compact size.

Given this review, and the other M4/3 near misses of late, the M8 looks like a dream come true.

Life is too short to constantly be waiting for the DMD, it's here already......it came out in 2006!

Re; The G10/larger sensor issue...
Consider this scenario. Canon puts a larger sensor in, ups the framerate/response time,ditches the video, etc. Then, maybe a lot of SLR users would move to the G10 and take SLR LENS revenue stream with them and Canon would suffer economically.
Remember, OUR wants are secondary to Canon wanting as much $ as possible from their products, so, even if the "new" G10 was a wild success, it might hurt Canon's revenue stream.
Or, maybe it's possible I don't know what I'm talkin' about.;)

The idea of a compact, large sensor camera may in fact be to carry less stuff, but there are only five to choose from at the moment and only the GH1 comes remotely close to doing it all -- at $1,500, with a slow, big zoom that's not yet optional. Even if some uber-compact existed, I'd want to carry the DP2 along just for the way it renders color.

Quoting Mike: "I have to call a personal verdict of 'not recommended.'"

So in DPReview-speak, it is Average?

Patrick

Those were precisely my comments, posted to dpreview forums. It's quite unfortunate, because the sensor is really impressive. I had always read those claims of Foveon's "3-D imaging" with extreme 'doubt.' But, i believe i actually did see those effects, even in the limited amount of time i spent with the camera.

In the end, the camera does dictate the way you take pictures. That's also true of a camera like a Rolleiflex, but i just didn't buy a 'convenience camera' to be inconvenienced. And, i really didn't like the way the thing felt.... Oh, well. Maybe in a few more years, someone will do it right. I only hope it's NOT Leica, because it will cost a fortune.

triplight,

When a manual camera is slow, it's the user's problem. A good user can be very quick when familiar with how manual cameras work.

Also there's the perception of waiting. On a manual camera the photographer is doing the work. Cock the shutter, fiddle with the dials, turn the focus ring. While it might not be as fast, the sense of involvement means there is no waiting to be felt, and any slowness is on the consequences of the photographer.

On a slow automatic camera like the DP series, there is nothing the user can do to speed things up. You're just left with tapping your foot as you wait for the camera to get on with it!

As the owner of the DP2 Mike tested, I can say that I agree with Mike's assessment of the camera's slow autofocus. I haven't found the file flush wait a problem, but I can understand that it could be an issue. I have found the image quality stunning, and for my style of photography that is enough for me to keep and use the camera.

Clearly, the DP2 is not perfect. Nor, I think, has been Sigma's hype over it. 14MP: puleese. That said, I am willing to be patient with their efforts. Canon enjoys sales of about $40 billion per year, and operating cash of $6 billion, Sigma $400 million in sales and only $5 million in operating capital. $5 million doesn't buy a lot of R&D in today's world. That explains the long gestation period and shortcomings of Sigma's cameras, if nothing else does. And even with their $6 billion, Canon was able to trip over autofocus with their 1DSMkIII flagship camera. Also, look at Leica's M8 problems, even with Dr. Kaufmann's deep pocketbook. By the way, Dr. K pumped in 6 million more Euros in capital, which makes me suspicious about Leica's inherent health. I think questionable financials explains why the M8 came out with so many problems as well. Am I the only one that sees similarities between Leica and Sigma in the speed they introduce cameras, and way both company's cameras seem to not be quite "finished"?

And how both companies do lots of firmware/incremental upgrades?

That said, lots of people use Leica M8's, and "get around" their shortcomings, including no autofocus at all. Why? Image quality. In the final analysis, I'll work around the DP2 shortcomings and concentrate on image quality too.

Interesting the comments on the Canon G10 with a larger sensor. This of course would require a larger lens in order to maintain the same zoom ratio, maximum F stop etc, and would make the overall camera larger. That said, the Pentax Espio lineup of compact film cameras were small and had a 35mm size sensor (film) and still managed to get a fairly small lens, so perhaps this is a doable proposition by Canon. Add the articulating LCD and it would be a big selling camera.

--Gary Mortensen wrote:

My mid-nineties $500 Hexar AF has really fast, really accurate AF regardless of light level.... [I]n this day and age, why can't a fixed lens AF camera focus instantly?

I'm pretty sure the primary issue is, as you might imagine, cost. The Hexar, Contax T2, Fuji GA645 and other high-end fixed lens cameras used active AF systems; hence their ability to focus in absolute darkness. Active AF systems require more hardware, while the ubiquitous contrast-detect systems basically only require soft/firmware since an AF motor and a sensor are already there. Ricoh used active AF on the GRD and GX100, but had to drop it for the GRD II and GX200 apparently because their supplier stopped making them and the other suppliers they found wanted too much money.

It would be very nice, indeed, if manufacturers used active AF for more of their fixed-lens cameras. I'd be willing to pay more for it.

What Ted said. My DP2 is still the camera that I pick up and use at least 98% of the time.

It's kind of fun reading the various criticisms of the DP2 while in the midst of my umpteenth re-reading of Edward Weston's Daybooks: Pages of laments over leaky bellows, warped film holders, lousy lenses, and defective film/paper. And yet Mr. Weston managed to produce exceptional art.

We'll see how I feel about the DP2 in a year or so (assuming it's still in one piece). In the meantime I'll take that sensor and that lens despite the qualities of the light-tight box that houses them.

Given Sigma's dire record of producing overpriced, near-obsolete-at-launch digital cameras that can't compete with what's out there already, and their superb record of taking lens sales from Canikon, etc ....

Ummm, what was my question ...?

YS, you know the old saying about the workman blaming his tools... and the DP2 has a manual focus dial that utterly eliminates AF lag. The only real holdup for the experienced owner is RAW write speed.

"Life is too short to constantly be waiting for the DMD, it's here already......it came out in 2006!"
I'm with Seascape on this one. Haven't enjoyed picture taking this much since selling (stupid) the Epson R-D1!
Come to think of it......it came out in 2004!

Wasn't one of the DMD requirements "remotely affordable"? The M8 doesn't even come close to fulfilling that one.

I'd place my bets on Panasonic getting another MFT compact out before Canon; we'll see.

C'mon guys, give the Caesar what is Caesar's... but don't expect miracles. Sigma is a lens manufacturer and you only need a peek at the rest of their camera line-up to know how "good" the DP-3 will be.

Now imagine Ricoh would have acquired Foveon...

Hi Mike,
I too am with Ted on this one,when I need to, I use my IDS MK3 in the studio or my 5D with a 24,50 or 85 L lens for weddings, I can achieve what I want. BUT sometimes (usually just wandering) I bring the DP2 along and enjoy its incredible picture producing quality. Yes occasionally it reacts slowly but so, I am not working for Sports Illustrated,Reuters etc and suspect most of the great TOP community don't either.
Ed.

I still don't understand the allure of a "pocketable" camera.

If you are so interested in "capturing the moment" then set it up the same way you did your M6: manual focus with a hyperfocal point, M exposure, and - if you want - turn off the LCD.

Image quality is what counts, and as with any camera I have ever used in the last more than 50 years, you have to learn to work with the device rather than bend it to your liking.

Ted said: "That said, lots of people use Leica M8's, and \"get around\" their shortcomings, including no autofocus at all. Why? Image quality. "

Wrong: no autofocus is not a shortcoming in a Leica camera. Rangefinder focusing and viewing is at the core of the design.

And I also think the DMD came out in 2004: Epson RD-1.

I have the camera set up with lens shade and optical viewfinder. It works well with the only limitation for me, noise. It's too much over 800. Yes it's slow but again, for me who is an impatient guy, it's not a deal breaker.

People forget it's only been a few years since we've had fast auto focus and for a walk around camera to compliment a dslr package it is an excellent choice. Why? Because in the final analysis image quality is all that's important, and the dp2 has it in spades.

Mike,
Remember the Leica Minilux? A wonderful little film camera capable of professional results.Now that Leica,Olympus and Panasonic
share the 4/3 system why do we not have a minilux digital,lets call it a Microlux with a 4/3 sensor,in body IS per olympus,a
black body that resembles a scaled down M8.
Accompanied by Three fast primes of at least F2,with those beautiful vented hoods?

In my comments on the Leica "Microlux" I,and
no doubt others would appreciate you doing an article on why you believe the reasons behind this or a similar camera has yet to be produced by any manufacturer.The EP-1 is
indeed an interesting camera but is far more a glorified P&S than a serious professional instrument.Yes,many want it,but its simply because thers no alternative.Please Respond. THANK YOU.

To me, it is not whether the camera meets all of my needs, but rather does it come closest. I continue to be interested in this camera even though I would prefer a larger RAW buffer and faster focus. However, the pocket digital that it would replace does not shoot RAW, has a smaller sensor, doesn't focus any faster than this camera and doesn't have a VF. Therefore, the DP2 is an improvement in two important ways (sensor size and RAW) for me, while falling short in others. Clearly, I can continue to use the pocket digital I already own, or spend the money and gain some advantage in the interim with the plan to replace it should a camera become available in the future that meets more of my needs. I don't view the present MFT options as competitors for the DP2 niche for me as they are not pocket cameras, although I am considering them for when I would like to have a flexible, but lighter kit than the D700 that I use as my primary camera.

It's possible to set up the AE lock button on the DP2 so that it locks the focus rather than the exposure. This lets you accurately prefocus and then shoot with essentially no delay between the time you press the button and take the picture. For me, this is far superior to scale focusing and essentially what I have done with Leicas and other non reflex cameras, film and digital, for years. Focus, shoot like a bandit, maybe check focus, keep shooting.

For me, the real problem with the DP2 is making big prints. Is it really what we associate with a conventional 14 Mpixels sensor when the Foveon piles the pixels three deep? Ctein understands these things.

I'm currently evaluating a DP2 and am still formulating an opinion. A few things to note for those struggling with DP2 focus speed:

1) If you set the AF to landscape mode, the AF is limited to objects beyond several feet away but locks faster. A lot of general photography is greater than several feet away, so it pays to get used to when to limit focus range this way.

2) Firmware 1.02 supposedly improves the AF, though I'm not sure how great of a difference it makes.

3) Firmware 1.02 allows one to get a magnified view with a single button push. I find this to be handy when setting manual focus. If I have sufficient time, I often use this method to scale focus rather than relying on the less precise focus wheel.

None of this is to excuse Sigma, who really should have put faster AF in this camera. Just some tips for those trying to make the most of a highly capable compact camera.

YS, I think you got the solution there for the DP3. Sigma should include a manual cocking lever to manually 'wind' the RAW file through the buffer and onto the card.

"you have to learn to work with the device rather than bend it to your liking"

Lawrence,
And why do I have to do that, with nine other cameras in the house and two hundred more on the market?

I have to learn to live with my car, maybe. But that's because I only have one car.

Mike

I have the DP2, the E-P1, just sold my G10, and have had many, many other digicams and DSLRs.

I thought I would sell the DP2 once I got the E-P1 (especially since I can use all of my Zeiss ZF lenses onthe E-P1), but despite the DP2 severe limitations in terms of speed and usability (the lcd is awful too), the files really are something special and I often prefer them to my D700 files.

The reason I use manual focus Zeiss ZF lenses on my D700 and give up AF is because I really like how these lenses "draw." For the same reason, I don't mind giving up certain things that the DP2 doesn't have in order to get the wonderful files it produces. I sure don't use it for general shooting as a P&S though.

I have given up on the quest for the Holy Grail...er, that is, the DMD. I have owned and used many different digital cameras since I first bought a Canon G1 and D30 years ago. I don't know why it is so hard for them to bring out a DMD, but, obviously it is.

An interesting thing has happened with the rise of digital and the "death" of film. C41 film processing has gotten incredibly cheap. My local CVS charges something like 85 cents to develop a roll of C41, yep--less than a buck. I can get a roll of C41 processed and a Picture Disk at Target for about $3.50. Yes, I know these places are not for the obsessive compulsive, but sometimes they have people who care working there who do a decent job.

I have in my camera cabinet a number of wonderful single focal length, compact, manual focus 35mm cameras including the Contax T, Olympus 35 RD and RC, etc.. Fortunately for me, they all have very nice lenses at or near 40mm, my favorite focal length (and that of the DP2). So this summer I bought a hundred bucks worth of film from B and H and I am shooting mainly with my Contax T. The T is a lovely, beautifully made, very compact camera with a razor sharp 38 mm/2.8 Sonnar-T lens. It has a rangefinder focus mechanism, but I usually just load it with ISO 100 film and shoot it at f/8 and hyperfocal distance. It has no detectable shutter delay, and the shutter sound is so quiet as to be barely detectable. It is a pleasure to use. No "chimping"!

I have the film processed with no prints, but with a picture CD disk which serves the same purpose as a contact sheet for me. The few keepers on each roll I scan on my Minolta 5400 II at home. There are also a number of labs now that use Noritsu machines to process the film and do quite high resolution, color corrected scans at very affordable prices, if I don't feel like doing the scans myself.

Voila, my hybrid DMD!

The new firmware is a slight improvement, certainly not enough to turn it into the all-purpose snapshooter everyone seems to want. The "Foveon look" is an aesthetic end goal, as with a Polaroid or an 8x10 negative; if you want it, you deal with the hardware like Ansel and countless others did. If not, you buy something else. End of story.

Mike I have to admit that from all the people I read on the internet, I would have never quite expected this kind of damning verdict due to speed to come from you. I have been a 4/3rds shooter and I like 4/3rds a lot. Bought a Pen and recently gave it away as a gift. Great camera but the lenses are not to what I am used to in 4/3rds, and I already have the small 620 so decided to get something new.

Yes, the Dp2 is slow in focusing, but if you pre focus, you can use it for capturing decisive moments. I am just surprised that you consider auto focus that important when the camera provides a nice dial and magnified view to manually focus. To me the main Achilles heel of this camera is low light/mixed lighting performance that is not full spectrum light, but other than that....

Seriously, correct me here but I think the likes of Henry Cartier used manual focusing also. I am quite surprised that AF ranked so high in your criteria. What about medium and large format photographers? Should they throw away their cameras too because a lot of them are manual AF and "slow" to operate? :-) I mean seriously :-)

These are small images, but due to how Foveon works, you can bet they are super detailed at their nominal size, since they are full information per pixel, except by a little bit the B&W ones- since I shot them at such a high ISO.

http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/sdim0216sm-1.jpg

http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/sdim0054.jpg

ISO 1600:
http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/sdim0038.jpg

ISO 3200:

http://raist3d.typepad.com/files/sdim0072_starbucks_3200.png


I don't really know for sure what a photographic "Decisive Moment" is much less a "Decisive Moment Camera" If I were a curmudgeon I might mention that I believe the majority of people using the terms are as un-enlightened as I. Wait a moment. I AM a curmudgeon! "All Y'all are whacked!!"

Although I do believe there are things my DP1 could be made to do better, like not closing the shot buffer's front door if there's still room in it, all in all the camera is what it is. The DP series remain as near as I can tell the only shirt pocket world class imagers. Many of the "...they could have, or should have's" are not feasible. Not at the retail price at least.

Certainly NOT for everyone, and certainly not intuitive (no camera since my 1971 Nikon F has been, CERTAINLY no digital camera) the series is quite capable. And as long as people are waiting for someone to "Get it right" there are serious risks and penalties for companies like Sigma who at least try.

Isn't it interesting that there is still nothing from Nikon or Canon even though we've been convinced for many years that their offerings were certainly just around the corner.

Bon opportuno Sigma, Olympus Panasonic.

Mike,
The sensor,the sensor,the sensor,that seems
to be the be all end all of the defenders of
Sigmas latest flop.We are to forgive them for creating almost the exact opposite of what the people who buy their product wanted.Would we forgive the Louvre for displaying the MONA LISA in a dirt cheap
Walmart frame?

Hi!
You're so right with your conclusion. Yet, it [DP1, which basically is the same as the DP2] is the most rewarding camera I've ever owned. Once you get acquainted with the downsides, you are able to take just that photo you want.

Ok I have to ask Mike point blank one more thing, not because I am trying to be difficult or anything, but because seeing such a great website for photography post what seems to me a contradiction, I want to know how this is reconciliated, and it's quite possible I am making a mistake somewhere-

How the perception and important on autofocus on the DP2 compares to the article about to buying a Leica and use it with a prime lens for a year? If I understand correctly Leicas being range finder don't have any autofocusing at all?

What is different about doing the same with the Sigma? The tools are there- the dial, the magnified manual focusing....

Mike, what am I missing here ;-) I am just trying to understand why this is different to you. Why can't the DP2 act as a teacher too using a lot of the same criteria? Single focal lens prime...

My only pet peeve in this direction, - as it is with many digital cameras- is that the shutter lag is "non existent" if you are holding the shutter halfway. That can get tiring. Why in manual focusing this isn't faster I will never understand, probably the cameras still have to make an exposure assessment, but I have tried even exposure locking.

Anyway, would love to hear from you on this.

Thanks!

- Ricardo

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