Sigma announces DP1 to be available spring 2008

Jan 31, 2008 at 00:02 GMT

Pre-PMA 2008: Sigma has announced the imminent availability of the greatly anticipated DP1 digital camera. The DP1 has a sensor around the size of those found in most DLSRs - although it is greatly different in terms of design - and aims to offer equivalent image-quality and specification in a compact format. In common with Sigma's DSLR offerings it utilizes Foveon's direct-image-sensor technology which detects three colors at each of its 4.6 million pixels (collecting the same amount of color data as a conventional 14 megapixel sensor). Our contacts at Sigma say it will be available in "spring."

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The Sigma DP1

14 megapixel high definition digital camera, packing the full spec. of a DSLR into the body of a compact camera

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the Sigma DP1 compact digital camera featuring a 14 megapixel FOVEON X3 direct image sensor (2652 × 1768 × 3 layers) as used in the Sigma SD14 digital SLR.

The DP1 is a completely new type of camera offering the full spec. and high image quality of a DSLR in the body of a compact camera.

It is powered by the 14 megapixel Foveon X3 direct-image-sensor, which can reproduce high definition images rich in gradation and impressive three-dimensional detail.

It is possible to record images in RAW or the widely used JPEG in four resolution modes. It offers five Exposure modes and three Metering modes as well as being quipped with a built-in flash with the Guide Number of 6, hot shoe, neck strap and 2.5 inch TFT color LCD monitor with approx. 230,000 pixels.

The DP1 has the high resolution and functionality of an SLR, plus adaptability in terms of accessories, all built into a small body. A wide range of accessories, optical viewfinder [VF-11], Lens Hood [HA-11], and Electronic Flash [EF-140 DG] are available for the DP1 camera.


Sigma introduced its digital SLRs, the SD9, SD10 and SD14 to the market in October 2002, November, 2003 and March, 2007. They have established strong support from a wide range of photographers, both amateur and professionals. Recently, demand for a compact digital camera with portability as well as high image quality has increased. In order to meet this demand, the new DP1 has been developed as a completely new type of camera with high image quality and features that would not be out of place in a full spec DSLR.

Main features

SLR-sized image sensor
The size of the image sensor used in the DP1 camera is 20.7mm x 13.8mm. It is approximately seven to twelve times larger than the 1/1.8inch to 1/2.5inch image sensors used in ordinary compact digital cameras. The pixel size of the image sensor is 7.8μm. The large photodiodes deployed at a large pixel pitch capture pure, rich light efficiently and give the DP1 its high resolution and richly-graduated tones.

Full-color image sensor
The DP1 uses the same 14 megapixel (2652×1768×3 layers)direct image sensor as the SD14. Utilizing the special features of silicon, which is penetrated to different depths by different wavelengths of light, this direct image sensor succeeds in full-color capture with the full RGB in a single-pixel location. Just like film, each photodiode captures all the RGB data, so no final-stage demosaicing is required.

Brand-new “TRUE” image processing engine
The DP1 incorporates “TRUE” (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine), the world’s first image processing engine suited for Foveon three silicon embedded layer direct image sensor. The unique image processing algorithm, which has been developed throughout the development of the SD9, SD10 and SD14 cameras, is incorporated into “TRUE”. It enables high-speed image processing and high image quality.

16.6mm F4 lens designed exclusively for the DP1
The DP1 is equipped with a 16.6mm F4 lens, equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm SLR camera, which has been designed exclusively for DP1. The large-diameter of aspherical glass provides low distortion and high contrast images. It also offers superior peripheral brightness. The super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting. It allows photographers to take pictures in difficult light conditions. This lens and SLR-sized image sensor provides natural shallow depth-of-field.

RAW format recording
The DP1 includes JPEG recording format for convenience plus a RAW data (X3F) recording mode for retaining full image capture detail of the utmost quality. The RAW data format provides pure data for high-resolution images, and uses lossless compression for more compact, yet uncompromised, data files. The RAW data format of the DP1 keeps brightness and color data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. Each pixel location captures the full color of RGB data, so in RAW, X3F files, brightness and color data can be kept in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. When the image is processed in Sigma Photo Pro, it will preserve the balance of the natural data for the best photos with the best image quality.

Exclusive Sigma PhotoPro Software (Supplied with the DP1)
The DP1 comes complete with SIGMA Photo Pro software, a RAW image developer that converts all RAW data quickly and easily. Adjustments can be made in three separate modes. The X3F Mode stores the original settings of the image at the point of capture. In the Auto Adjustment Mode, the software analyzes and automatically makes adjustments to the RAW data. The Custom Mode allows the photographer to make individual adjustments (exposure, contrast, shadow, highlight, saturation, sharpness and fill-light for example). The photographer can make changes easily and quickly by simply adjusting the slider controls within the software. The X3F Mode stores the original settings of the image at point of capture. Photographers` personal modifications can be saved to the RAW, X3F file for future use. SIGMA Photo Pro supports 8-bit TIFF, 16-bit TIFF, and JPEG file formats. The JPEG can be saved as YCbCr 4:4:4. It is also possible to half, or double the resolution when processing the image.

Compact and lightweight body
The DP1 has compact dimensions of 113.3mm/4.5in. (W) x 59.5mm/2.3in. (H) x 50.3mm/2.0in. (D) and weighs just 240g/8.5ounces. Its compact body and lightweight design makes it easy to carry everywhere.

Three metering modes and five exposure modes
The DP1 has three metering modes, Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering and Spot Metering. It is also possible to select the exposure mode from Auto, Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE or Manual. Exposure compensation can be set in 1/3 stop increments from +3.0 to -3.0 stops and an auto bracketing function is also available.

Pop up (manual) built-in flash
The DP1 is equipped with a pop up (manual) built-in flash featuring guide number of 6 (ISO100/m). It is possible to use Normal Flash, Red-Eye Reduction Flash and Slow Synchro Mode. It also features flash exposure compensation in 1/3 stops increments.

AF Area Selection
The AF area of the DP1 is equipped with 9 focusing points and it is possible to manually select the desired focusing point. The focusing distance is from 50cm to infinity, however, it is possible to shorten the minimum focusing distance to 30cm.

Manual Focus
Manual Focus is available for photographers who like to take more control, or for use when autofocus or focus lock is not effective. It is also possible to magnify the display to ensure precise focusing.

Recording Movies
It is possible to record 30fps movies with QVGA (320 x 240). The digital zoom function can be used during movie shooting. A 1GB memory card (not supplied) allows approximately 30 minutes of movie recording.

Large 2.5” TFT Color LCD Monitor
The DP1 camera features large 2.5 inch, 230,000 pixel TFT color LCD monitor. The LCD monitor displays 100% of the images, allowing the photographer to easily and accurately confirm the image compensation.

Hot Shoe
The DP1 camera is equipped with a hot shoe, allowing use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional) or high performance view finder VF-11 (optional).

Dedicated lens hood
This optional lens hood blocks out extraneous light. A hood adapter, designed to accept a 46mm lens filter, is included.

Sigma DP1 specifications


• 20.7 x 13.8 mm Foveon CMOS sensor
• Direct image sensor
• 14.06 million effective pixels (4.69 million x 3)

Image sizes

• JPEG: 2640 x 1760 pixels (High)
• JPEG: 2640 x 1485 pixels (16:9)
• JPEG: 1872 x 1248 pixels (Medium)
• JPEG: 1312 x 880 pixels (Low)
• RAW: 2640 x 1760 pixels

File formats

• RAW (12-bit uncompressed)
• JPEG (Three quality levels, Exif 2.21)

Lens 16.6mm F4 (28mm equiv.)
Auto focus 9-point contrast detection
Auto focus modes Manually selected single-point
Manual focus Dial type
Metering modes

• Evaluative metering
• Center-weighted average metering
• Spot metering

AE lock Yes
Exposure compensation +/- 3 EV (0.3EV steps)
Exposure bracketing 3 shots, up to +/-3EV in 1/3EV steps

• Auto (100-200)
• With flash (100-400)
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800

Shutter • Electronically controlled lens shutter
• 1/2000 - 15 sec
White balance • Auto
• Sunlight
• Shade
• Overcast
• Incandescent
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Custom
Shooting Modes

• Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter-Priority AE
• Aperture-Priority AE
• Metered Manual
• Movie mode

LCD monitor • TFT color LCD monitor
• 2.5 inch
• Approx. 230,000 pixels

• Pop-up
• Guide number 6 (ISO 100/m)
• Range 30cm - 2.1m (ISO 200)

External flash • Hot shoe
Drive modes

• Single-frame
• Continuous
• Self-timer (10s, 2s)

Continuous shooting • 2.8fps for 4 frames (JPEG and Continuous (Hi), RAW
• 1.1fps until the memory card is full (JPEG and Continuous (Lo)) or for 4 frames (RAW)
Menu languages

English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese (Simplified), Korean


• USB/Video
• DC input
• USB 2.0
• Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats

Storage SD memory card (SDHC compatible)

Li-ion BP-31

Dimensions 113.3mm x 59.5mm x 50.3mm (4.5 x 2.3 x 2.0 in)
Weight (No battery) 250g (8.8 oz.)