After a day with the DP2M - some thoughts and images

Started Aug 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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rick decker
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After a day with the DP2M - some thoughts and images
Aug 9, 2012

I have had the camera for a little over a day now. Lots of rain but some clear skies in the morning. Here are my first thoughts:

Look/Feel: It looks simple and solid, and feels solid. Simpler in the design than the non-M series. simpler than the non-M's. Easier to set up and use. As soon as I picked it up I new it needed a grip as it (is and)_ "feels" bigger and a little heavier although still seems to be "pocketable". I had talked with Richard Franiec and he told me the current grips were not quite right as they would block some functions on the camera. I shot for a while and then decided I would at least try one of his grips as I have an extra one that is not being used. It does indeed block the two tabs (AC and image transfer) but is a great addition for hand-holding. It would be great if Rich does a grip (a little more beffy than the non-M grips) for this camera.

Menus: There are no separate set up and shooting menus, and the setup and operation have been simplified. A plus for this camera IMHO. It is possible that some functions have been dropped in the simplification but I haven't looked compared the two at this point. Buttons for changing settings and options seem to work faster and to be more responsive. In addition, it is really easy to customize this camera. I have to admit that this is the first time I have gone through the manual from A to Z before using a camera. A good job by Sigma for designing the menu system for those of us that are not patient and/or analytically oriented.

AF: I have not noticed any differences between the M and non-M versions. It does hunt a little, seemingly on points closer in. I have not had many issues with the non-M cameras AF.

Battery Power: Bad...bad...bad...How bad? Well I take the old Army approach - don't ask....don't tell. The only comment I have at this point is "Batteries...don't leave home without them". I haven't done any counts yet. Battery/Card compartment is easy to open and battery and SD card slide out very easily. Old habits die hard as I keep trying to open the compartment as I would do with the non-M cameras. Power button blinks when the LCD goes off. I am not sure what the advantage of this is, especially with battery life being poor. Camera does tend to run hot when shooting multiple images.

LCD: The screen is akin to the newer glossy screens on laptops - very rich colors and lots of pop/contrast. The detail/resolution of the screen seems to be the best of all the cameras. The presentation of the subject seems to be contrasty but the presentation of the resulting image looks very good. Initial tests of a red-purple flower show accurate color on the LCLD and on the image. My wife commented about how good the image looks on the LCD. The screen is very prone to finger prints/skin oil as is the SD1/M. The non-M DP's do not seem to exhibit this to such a degree.

Q/R Plate: Because the camera and LCD are wider, there is more space for a Q/R plate without blocking the Batter/Card compartment cover. I had to get custom Arca/Swiss for the old cameras.

IQ: First shots, camera does not seem to suffer from the deep shadows that the SD1/M can suffer from - BRAVO Sigma. Lens appears to be tack sharp. This would be expected given the samples we have seen so far.

Timings: Single shot - time for taking, processing and writing full-size RAW, 12.5 seconds with SanDisk 8gb class 10 95mbs; 15.5 seconds with Patriot 8gb class 6; 16 sec for a SanDisk 20mbs extreme hd video; 17 sec SanDisk 8gb class 4 15mbs ultra. Multiple Shots: w/SanDisk 8gb class 10 95mbs, shots to fill buffer 7; time to take, process and write full buffer (7 shots), 46 seconds (6 1/2 sec per shot).

Things I don't like and/or miss: For better or worse. Focus Wheel which you can turn with you thumb while you hold the DP1/2. I feel kind of clumsy having to reach around to the barrel of the lens, more so when it is on a tripod and doing close-up. Retractable lens - I find myself taking the cover off the lens before turning the power on. DP1/2 battery cover - I still try to slide the cover open. Picture settings for JPEG show on the LCD. For a RAW shooter they are unnecessary.

A few samples at at:

The landscape shot is ISO400 and some polarizing of the sky via NIK. Check out the sky as compared to the SD1/M

Thanks to Sandy Fleischmann who reviewed this and concurs with my comments.

Sigma DP1 Sigma DP2 Sigma SD1
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