Sigma DP2 review

Started Oct 2, 2009 | User reviews thread
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solsang
solsang Senior Member • Posts: 1,260
Sigma DP2 review

Excellent camera for learning serious photography
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Pros:
*excellent size, smaller and much lighter than pen, truly pocketable
*pictures having a magic light, especially when using 3xf fill light
*prints are totally sharp and on par with expensive dslrs
*discreet and unobtrusive design, brand safe from being stolen
*easy to learn manual controls and photography basics
*focus wheel intuitve and easy to use
*feels solid and comfortable to carry and use (with franiec grip!)
*interval timer allows timelapse and stopmotion
*shutter is almost silent
*raw files very easy to edit in sigma photo pro

Cons:
*colours fade at higher than iso 200 and chroma noise (good for b&w)
*autofocus is slow (remember to change the autofocus range to high!)
*when photographing towards the sun, red tones may appear
*the motor is making noise when turning on and autofocusing
*a small delay from pressing the shutter to picture taken (use multiple)
*menu is confusing and lacking options for programming (differs from dp1)
*screen lacks the pixelcount and quality for showing nice previews
*the closest focus is 28cm, with closeup lens 18cm
*lens cap snaps on only in one position (learn to rotatepush your hand)
*sigma photo pro (spp) is needed for getting the most out of the pictures
*lack of hand grip (dots only) - a franiec grip gives you a different camera!
*no stabilizer means you should use a tripod when less than full sun

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Have used the camera for 3 months and taken over 2000 pictures with it, both at sunset, midday and indoors, forests and lakes, children and streets, sceneries and architecture, plus the sun, moon and stars.

Being forced to use a 41mm (equiv) lens has taught me more than books could about how to frame and position myself to the motive, being more creative and daring, learning intended cropping as part of composition.

The camera has a body small enough to fit the pocket of a travelshirt, or to carry hanging by the side in the strap, over or under the jacket depending on weather.

I only shoot raw and occationally video and sound, the jpgs are quite ok, yet the raw are truly amazing and highlights can be recovered easily, lowlights tend to have a bit colour noise, so better to expose a tad high

I use iso 100 almost all the time, a tripod or a stone, aperture 13 for nature sceneries with a hyperfocal distance of 5 meters, easy and fun

This is a wonderful camera for nature, architecture, humans and animals that are relatively still, group shots and stock - in low light it is great for black and white, and in sunlight it gives astonishing colour clarity

I truly recommend carrying at least a pocket tripod, all images without moving motives with iso 100 on tripod gives pixelsharp shots free of cromatic aberration or vignetting (see http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2009/06/09/Sigma-DP2/p1s)

Menu system is realtively easy to learn, although the qs button has two modes so you must look at the screen to see what you can do

Use of manual focus and possible hyperfocal setting gives you a wonderful feeling of freedom, the silent and fast ability to click any time, as long as there is sunlight - for indoor pictures its tripod or b&w

Dp2 is great for learning manual photography, for supplementing a dslr (with fast focus and lenses) or a pocketcamera (for snapshots)

For those who have only used filmcameras, the sigma imho presents a more analog look, quite different than using a other cameras, as themagneplanar hifi that despite its lack of deep bass it still presents a soundscape vastly different than normal speakers

Using foveon for a year feels like using records vs cds (mp3/cd, or mobile/landline) detail and emotional quality rather than the convenience of the ordinary http://www.flickr.com/groups/foveon3d/

My collection of advice and experiences from the sigma users during the last two years, highly recommended reading for all users of dp1 and dp2

http://solsang.dk/solsang/Advice.html
(same in live edited version on http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ARddveJWxIl_ZGZuN3Y0ZG1fMTA1ZmRyOHNkaHE&hl=en_GB )

Final word; you must try the sigma photo pro x3f fill light on raw files to see the potential of this camera, i always use it for my photos, and especially love the negative fill light for dreamy sceneries

Problems:

Infrequent freezing (every 100 pictures or so)
* open the battery door, click the battery, close and restart - ready again in 10 seconds

Battery drains quite fast when having the camera on
* i can take 800 pictures in a row with one battery, so it is the time while focusing, previewing and standby that drains

SPP raw editor slow and crashing
* having 2 gb free ram and opening folders with less than 100 photos helps

Developing raw in adobe is giving less than optimal results
* develop in spp and save as tiff - if you have the patience

 solsang's gear list:solsang's gear list
Fujifilm XQ2 Fujifilm X70 Canon G7 X II Fujifilm X-T1 Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS +10 more
Sigma DP2
5 megapixels • 2.5 screen • 41 mm
Announced: Sep 23, 2008
solsang's score
3.7
Average community score
4.0
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