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Top of camera controls

To the left of the flash hot shoe you can see the built-in flash, to the right are the power button, mode dial (which lets you choose between the different shooting modes, video or sound recording) and the shutter button. From this angle you can also see the small lever that makes the flash 'pop' out and the manual focus dial, both technically located on the camera back.

Exposure modes

The DP1's five exposure modes will be familiar to most photographers. In Auto mode exposure is controlled by the camera and most of the settings cannot be changed. In the 'PASM' modes all menu functions and camera settings are available.

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Description

Auto Mode

In this mode the camera has complete control over exposure, point-and-shoot operation. Many settings such as ISO, WB or metering are fixed. You can still modify image size and quality though.

Exposure and flash exposure compensation, slow synch flash, AE lock and manual focus are not available in this mode.

P

Program Auto Exposure (Flexible)

Very similar to AUTO exposure but you have access to all the normal manual controls, can set the ISO, exposure compensation, use AE lock, bracketing etc. Program AE offers Program Shift which means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures by pressing the left and right buttons on the four-way controller. Example:
       
 • 1/25 F5.6 (metered)
 • 1/30 F5.0 (one left press)
 • 1/20 F6.3 (one right press) etc.

A

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is displayed on the LCD, press the left or right button on the four-way controller to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the shutter speed will blink. Aperture values can be set in 1/3 stop increments from F4.0 to F11.

S

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD, press the left or right button on the four-way controller to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the aperture will blink. You can select shutter speeds from 15 to 1/2000 sec in 1/3 steps.

M

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select both the aperture and the shutter speed manually. The left and right buttons on the four-way controller are used to change shutter speed and aperture. You switch between the two by pressing the exposure compensation button. The meter on the LCD will reflect the exposure level compared to the calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 3EV the indicator bar will blink.

The following shutter speed/aperture combinations are possible:

 • 15s~1/1000s - F4.0~F11
 • 1/1250s - F5.6~F11
 • 1/1600s - F8.0~F11
 • 1/2000s - F10~F11

Other modes

Apart from the familiar Auto and PASM modes there are two more settings on the DP1's mode dial that you won't typically find on a DSLR - the video and voice recording modes.

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Description

Movie Mode

In movie mode the DP1 records video footage in QVGA quality. While the image size is 320x240 pixels, the 'effective' image area only measures 320x212 pixels, there is a black bar at the top and bottom of the video. Press the shutter button to start and stop recording. The only available menu settings in movie mode are WB and Digital Zoom.

Videos are recorded as .AVI files and the maximum file size is 2 GB.

Sound Recording Mode

In this mode the DP1 starts recording a sound file when you press the shutter button. Press the shutter button again and the recording will stop. Sound files will be stored as .WAV files and a 1GB card will approximately store 356 minutes of sound recording.

Rear of camera controls

The camera back sports the same simple 'no-nonense' design as the rest of the body. There is only a relatively small number of external controls on the DP1's back considering that this camera has the 'Soul of an SLR' (Sigma marketing speak). The flash lever and the AF lamp are located above the 2.5 inch screen. To the right you'll find the manual focus dial, the four-way controller and a selection of the usual buttons. The layout is clear and intuitive although in some light situations the 'black-on-black' writing on the buttons is frankly not readable at all. Once you've got to know the camera this is not a problem but during the ''getting to know' phase it can be slightly annoying.

Shooting mode

Button
Operation
Menu / OK Menu / OK button

Enter or leave the menu by pressing this button. Once in the menu you use this button to confirm a selection. The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review.
Four-Way Controller

The left and right buttons of the Four-Way Controller are used in the PASM modes to either enable program shift or change aperture and/or shutter speed (depending on mode). In shooting mode the up and down buttons function as the focus mode and flash mode button respectively (see below).
AEL

Auto Exposure Lock button

You can customize the AEL button in the Setup Menu to either

 • lock the exposure
 • lock the central AF, or
 • lock both exposure and central AF

Wide- and Tele buttons

These buttons are used to operate the Digital Zoom (if it has been enabled in the menu), something of a waste of buttons in our opinion.
Exposure Compensation / Delete button

In shooting mode a press of this button activates exposure compensation. You can then add positive or negative compensation using the left and right buttons on the four-way controller.
View button

Pressing the view button lets you switch between record and review modes. When the camera is switched off you can also press this button for two seconds to start the DP1 in review mode.
FOCUS Focus button

Pressing the Focus button lets you choose between the different focus modes:

 • Normal AF (Minimum focus distance 50cm)
 • Full AF (Minimum focus distance 30cm)
 • Manual Focus
Flash Mode button

When the built-in flash is popped up this button lets you choose the different flash modes (not in Auto mode):

 • Flash on
 • Slow Synch
 • Red Eye Reduction
 • Slow Synch / Red Eye Reduction
Display button

Pressing the Display button lets you switch between the different Display Modes.

Review mode

Button
Operation
Menu / OK Menu / OK button

Enter or leave the menu by pressing this button. Once in the menu you use this button to confirm a selection. The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review.
Four-Way Controller

In Review Mode you use the left and right buttons of the Four-Way Controller to scroll through images and videos. When reviewing a video the up and down buttons are used to start, stop and pause the footage. They don't have any function when reviewing still images.
Wide- and Tele buttons

Use these buttons to zoom in and out when reviewing images and to switch into thumbnail view.
Exposure Compensation / Delete button

In review mode the Exposure Compensation button becomes the Delete button. Press it once and you can choose between deleting a single image, marked images or all images.
View button

Pressing the view button lets you switch between record and review modes. When the camera is switched off you can also press this button for two seconds to start the DP1 in review mode.
Display button

Pressing the Display button lets you switch between the different Display Modes.
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