The DP2 is, of course, an entirely live view camera (there's an optional external viewfinder but, as with other systems, it's expensive and not perfectly convenient to use because of its lack of shooting information).
Live view display modes
There are five main shooting screens, with varying amounts of information - full shooting info, full shooting info with histogram, just the preview image, dark screen or a dark screen with shooting info. The dark screen with shooting info is presumably designed for use with the optional external viewfinder (the LCD effectively becoming an info panel, rather than preview), though it's unclear why any composition guidelines you might have selected remain visible on it. The dark screen without shooting options actually turns the screen backlight off for discreet shooting and battery life preservation
|Preview with shooting info||Preview, shooting info and histogram|
|Just preview image||Just shooting info|
|Moving to Manual Focus mode brings up a focus scale on the bottom of the screen.||At which point, pressing the OK button jumps to a magnified view of the selected AF point|
Overall handling and operation comments
The DP2 represents a vast improvement over the DP1, not least in the addition of the 'QS' sub-menu. However, it remains heroically quirky compared to just about every other camera on the market. You get used to it, of course, but I'd love to meet the person that decided that, once you've selected a menu option, you should remain stuck there until you press the display button.
The black-lettering-on-a-black-background buttons may initially look stylish (and some science fiction fans may be disappointed that a black light doesn't light up black every time you press one), but for all their understated charm, they represent a missed opportunity. This is because the camera's interface has been color-coded - anything represented in yellow can be controlled by pressing left or right on the four-way controlled, while anything colored green is adjusted using the up and down arrows at the top right of the camera - yet there is not a hint of color on the buttons to remind you of this relationship.
The most positive thing I can say is that if you have the DP2 as your second camera, there's no risk that you'll end up getting frustrated by the slight differences between their control systems - the DP2 behaves unlike anything else you're likely to ever encounter. I found this esoteric behavior initially frustrating but ultimately strangely endearing - others in the office simply refused to use it.
|Sigma DP2 Merrill 46 Megapixel Compact Camera - Black||$685.00|
|Sigma Photo Sigma Photo VF-41 Viewfinder for DP2 Quattro||$245.00|