Sigma DP1 review

Started Aug 26, 2008 | User reviews thread
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solsang
solsang Senior Member • Posts: 1,260
Sigma DP1 review

I wanted this camera so much and read *all* messages in this forum about it during
the early spring, being utterly exited when it was released and Rytterfalk put his first
examples out, and ecstatic when seeing the VR panoramas by Stanislav like a dream
come true.

Thus I collected the advice from the early users, making a help-page also
mentioning the equipment for making panoramas, and adviced the finnish importer
about the need of using fast memory plus several other issues.
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dfn7v4dm_105fdr8sdhq

As I ordered the DP1 in Finland, and wanted to try it out there, i was very sad about
the shipping delays, and eventually had it delivered the very day before packing for
travelling. So I returned the camera based upon the reports of problematic issues
that I now could recite by heart, plus my painful experiences of using Sigma Photo
Pro on mac

Awaiting the DP2 or what would come from another company, I continued using
my trusty Fujifilm f31fd as my pocket camera, enjoyed its 600 picture battery life
and useful high iso. Yet with every daylight picture i started thinking about how
much sharper and deeper it could be with the Sigma, despite it shortcomings

Thus when i incidentally found the DP1 second hand for almost half price, i gave
in, and have now taken photos in churches and nature, of friends and animals plus
started looking for the nodal ninja and 52 mm adaptor with filters

Pros

Truly pocketable, beautiful and discreet
Incredible sharpness and detail when in daylight
Cannot see any chromatic aberration at all
Higher dynamic range than pocket cams
Lifelike, almost threedimentional on some pictures
Ability to make VR panoramas
Very nice bokeh (when closeup)
Full manual control, i love it!!!
Useful 28mm
Beautiful small videos
Takes filters and small lenses
Flash nicely hidden away
Support from other users and Rytterfalks homepage
Easy automatic firmware upgrade (including iso 50:)
Feels amazing to use, almost like professional gear

Cons

Low-grade monitor makes it difficult to frame and evaluate pictures
Pictures look boring on the camera and before development
Jpgs processed significantly worse in camera than in Sigma Photo Pro, making a
default of using raw exclusively...
...osx version of Sigma Photo Pro slow (handles memory wrongly with multiple
pictures, unlike Lightroom and Aperture)
Saving time 3 seconds without possibility to do anything else - although this gives
time to enjoy the surroundings is it really frustrating when you want to change
settings
Infrared filter makes red spots around sun or night-lamps
Colours significantly less saturated in iso 400 and 800 and quite tricky to get right
in spp
Autofocus slower than my f31fd (both use contrast evaluation)
Missing anti-shake (especially since high iso is useless)
f/4 only, background only slightly blurred
Flash relatively useless (good thing it is hidden)
Strange sound when turning on
Video only half-vga
***
Small issues:
***
Slight colour offset in the corners
Digital zoom interpolates enlargement instead of cropping
Battery by default needs to be taken out to be charged
Settings and button use a bit convoluted, bracketing, iso and timer are all hidden
away inside the menu system
No close macro without extra lens
Manual focus wheel easy to change accidentally
Lens cover a bit tricky to put on
Framing lines only in autofocus
Lid has no string and must be put somewhere
Fits only into big pocket and medium camerabag
Onehanded grip is difficult (possible to buy add-on grip)
Optional power cannot charge battery

Collected all issues and essential advice for users of the dp1:
***********************************************
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dfn7v4dm_105fdr8sdhq

Problems:

Besides all the technical limitations, the camera works nicely but batterylife is short
and autofocus doesn't always get people that move (especially compared to f31fd
that has 600 picutures and perfect autofocus - they should cooperate to fix this:)

Sigma photo pro (which is still mandatory to use!) breaks down easily!!
The memory is not being released after each picture is edited, and the thumbnails
take space too, so you must have limited amount of pictures at hand, editing only a
few at a time and make individual folders so as not to get too many thumbnails

Alternative programs and help will also appear on the advice page

 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 DP1
5 megapixels • 2.5 screen • 28 mm
Announced: Sep 26, 2006
solsang's score
3.5
Average community score
4.2
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