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Saturday, 24 May 2008


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I've been following all the announcements, previews and reviews for this camera since day one (a long long time ago). I'd really like such a small cam with super image quality - always having it with me would be a lot of fun and that's what small cams should be about.
Reading the reviews so far the handling of this cam seems to be on the painful side. Large view cameras are allowed to be painful - they achieve that by sheer weight and inconvenience. A camera as small as the DP1 should be *fun* to use. And slow isn't fun!
While Sigma is busy fitting a faster image processing engine, couldn't they upgrade the movie mode too?
Why do I want a decent movie mode? My dSLR doesn't do movies, my phone doesn't even have a camera and if I do buy such a small cam, small video clips are something I'd really want (for *fun*, just in case you wondered why).
Keep us up-to-date - esp. when Sigma "leaks" the specs of a newer model. But that could be on the market in about 3 to 5 years.... Sigh :(

My deal breaker is that it is around $800. For that, I could have a SLR and two lenses.

It's a work in progress, but industrial design is evolutionary - no matter what the product.

I'm going to wait until Photokina, and then make a decision.

I sorta like the quirk ............ a camera that misremembers

Phil Askey had a review a while back (a few days ago? -- I haven't been following closely) on Digital Photography Review, and he rated the DP1 "above average." This is not a good rating; I've not seen a worse one for a camera that I was at all interested in.

Askey said one thing with which I surely agreed: that Sigma should be given credit for going where the other manufacturers haven't. But truth to tell, I suspect that if *any* of the other manufacturers had gone here, their camera would have been better. In some ways, the DP1 reminds me of the Leica M8 -- the thought behind the camera is great; the execution is not.

A pocket camera has to be be accepted for what it is: a handy device that makes somewhat inferior photos. Much more interesting to me would be the most compact possible Nikon DSLR -- no reason that it couldn't be smaller than an M3 since you don't need all the film transport mechanisms -- onto which you could hook the lens of your choice: like a Zeiss ZF50. The D300 sensor in a compact body with small primes would be an amazing package. We'll have it in two or three years.

Won't fit in your pocket, though.


I was eagerly waiting for this camera for years, a compact DMD for everyday use. Upon reading your initial review, I bought a used R-D1s instead. This four years old technology from Epson is still quite impressive; although much bigger and more expensive. Thank you.

There are quite a few DP1 for sale in the used market already; people are selling it in merely 1-2 weeks of use.

"There are quite a few DP1 for sale in the used market already; people are selling it in merely 1-2 weeks of use."

What's your evidence for saying this? There were no used DP1's at all on eBay when I checked this evening.

Mike J.

"I wish I could describe them better or learn how to consistently get that smoothness and luxuriousness. It seems like all the right forces have to come together to produce it."

This is my experience in getting that certain something from my Zeiss lenses (ZF and ZM). I have found that a UV filter kills it (even the best), it needs Provia 100F, and sometimes a little libation helps. But sometimes it isn't to be seen. However when it is.... if only I could describe it.

Sorry Mike, I forget to mention. There are plenty in the local forums here in Hong Kong. Selling for around US$700.

Add a couple links for your reference; these are Chinese by the way. People are selling it at well below HK$6000 now. (US$1 = HK$7.8)


A long time reader of "The Online Photographer", and my first post.

Too expensive. I'd get a film P&S (heck — two or three: b&w and a choice of color materials), load 'em, have the rolls processed "CD only — no prints" and have all the speed films offer.

"There were no used DP1's at all on eBay when I checked this evening."
Even with a worldwide search I only found one - at an exorbitant price. Item number: 110254990671

Cheers, Robin

I fully agree with Edward Taylor's observations regarding the DP1. It took me some time to get accustomed to using the DP1 and in the beginning I did regret buying it. However I am now really exited about the DP1 which has become a serious competitor to my Sony A700 with top glass! So easy to take with me and its amazing image quality!
I hope that Sigma eventually can correct with firmware the slowness problem.

I must admit I'm not a fan a bayer sensors ( http://rvewong.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/bayer-filters-and-accurate-color-not/ ). The Foveon approach seems to have merit but there are issues with the way light is filtered as in progresses through the silicon.

The three sensor approach used in all high end video cameras also seems to have merit although at a higher cost.

I have one of those low end three CCD video cameras that takes still photos as an after thought. Despite it's typically poor image quality it does seem to treat color in a much more natural way than any other camera I have tried.

But I've never tried a Foveon. Has anyone had a chance to compare a decent three sensor camera to a Foveon or Bayer?

My guess is that it was engineered by a non-practitioner who was given a feature list based on existing P&S cameras for general consumers (who shoot birthday parties and occasional beach sunsets) -- not ambitious practitioners, who are the DP-1's actual core target market. The ideas of small size, high ISO, fixed wide-angle -- these are all attributes chosen by photographers who value AGILITY. Ooops.

"A pocket camera has to be be accepted for what it is: a handy device that makes somewhat inferior photos"

I'm not sure I'd agree with such a blanket statement - the quality of photos from a Minox 35 or Contax T (to name but two) is only limited by the operator behind the camera, with a degree of constraint due to the fixed lens (but which can however, sometimes help you create better pictures).

For many years while travelling, I ditched the SLR and only carried a Minox 35GT. That was until I discovered medium format folders. Then I carried a folder and the 35GT.

I don't see why, with a little more development, that Sigma (or anyone else) cannot make something that would truly mirror the Minox/Contax in the digital world.

Dear Paul,

I'm with you; compact cameras aren't limited to making inferior images and many of them don't. I have hundreds of exceptionally high-quality slides made with the Rollei 35 and three of the prints in my dye transfer portfolio are from negatives made with an Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic.

Compactness most commonly means sacrificing some degree of versatility, whether it be exposure , near-focus, focal length, or aperture range. That certainly doesn't mean the pictures made within its realm have to be worse. That's a design/feature choice.

~ pax \ Ctein
[ please excuse any word salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital restorations http://photo-repair.com

Kevin's post, specifically, "... these are all attributes chosen by photographers who value AGILITY. Ooops.", is perhaps the most interesting I have seen re this camera.

I was very interested in it, as a carry-everywhere camera. Its speed problems have soured me on it. How could a company make a camera with a feature set for agile, fast use, and cripple it long write times, etc.?

Scratching my periodic new camera/new lens itch by searching pbase for DP1 photos, I found these, which seem to best corroborate the comments about "magic" I've been reading here:


The whole search was pretty interesting.

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