Conclusion - Pros
- Class leading detail in ISO 100 images, higher ISO performance better than most compact cameras
- Resolution is as good as it gets in compact cameras, very impressive for output size
- Good dynamic range (though limited usable headroom in raw files)
- Very small dimensions for the sensor size
- Good lens with only minimal distortion and very few signs of color fringing
- Attractive minimalist styling
- Good build quality
- Usable Manual Focus mode (it's not fantastic though)
- Comprehensive range of accessories available (but no conversion lenses)
- Powerful RAW converter software included (Sigma Photo Pro)
- Battery compartment can be opened when camera on tripod (depends on tripod head though)
Conclusion - Cons
- Desaturated and 'flat' JPEG output
- Some chroma noise even at base ISO, lots of it at higher sensitivities
- Unreliable White Balance (and poor color in low light)
- Generally very slow, very long read/write and processing times
- Unimpressive shutter lag
- Continuous mode only allows three shots per burst
- Very slow Auto-Focus
- Auto Focus gives up completely very quickly in low light (and there is no AF help light)
- 28mm fix focal length limits applications (but you know that before you buy)
- Lens prone to flare (using the optional lens hood helps)
- Red channel clipping
- Low resolution screen that is also prone to reflections and smearing
- Preview and playback view are both inaccurate (but in different ways)
- Low refresh rate results in slightly jerky live preview image
- Preview image turns monochrome in low light
- Longwinded menu structure, few external controls (plus almost redundant zoom buttons)
- Black writing on black buttons hardly readable
- Battery life not impressive, indicator not very precise
- Underpowered Flash, slightly unreliable flash exposure and slow flash recycling
- No live histogramm
- No highlight warning in review mode
- Image parameters cover only small spectrum
- Low quality video recording
- Gridlines cannot be diplayed in Manual Focus mode
- Quite heavy vignetting at F4
- You can't shoot RAW and JPEG (only one or the other)
- No macro mode
- Highest sensitivity only ISO 800
I'd like to start this conclusion by saying that Sigma deserves an incredible amount of credit for doing what none of the 'big' manufacturers so far have been bold enough to do. In an industry that focuses its marketing efforts almost exclusively on megapixel numbers and features of rather questionable usefulness (and has very little interest in educating the consumer about the implications of sensor sizes and pixel pitch) Sigma has taken a huge economic and technical risk and 'transplanted' the image sensor from its SD14 DSLR into a compact body with a no-nonense, back-to-basics feature set.
The rather long time it has taken from the first development announcements until the first DP1s hit the retailers' shelves is an indication for the technical difficulties that had to be overcome during the development of this unique camera. But was it all worth it?
As usual, there is no easy answer. The DP1's forte is no doubt the image quality at low sensitivities. The camera offers a resolution and an amount of detail that is unheard of in the compact camera sector and can keep up with quite a few DSLRs. To make the most of it you have to shoot in RAW though. The DP1's JPEG output is very desaturated and flat and needs a 'boost' in post processing.
Unfortunately this already takes us to the 'Cons' list of this review which is, as you probably have noticed, rather long. Too long in fact to go into too much detail, I'll concentrate on the shortcomings that I feel are most limiting. While the DP1 can produce some brilliant results in daylight it is almost completely useless in any low light situations. At higher sensitivities you'll find large amounts of chroma noise in your images and you start losing detail. Turning on the flash won't help you much either, it is very low power and takes ages to recycle. Chances are you would not be able to focus anyway. The AF gives up completely once you dim the lights and there is no AF help light on the DP1.
Speed is the second (hugely) negative factor. The DP1 is generally very (and I mean veeery) slow but the AF, shutter lag and read/write times are especially frustrating. Always think twice before you press the shutter, it'll be a while before you'll be able to take the next shot. The DP1 definitely wasn't made for spontaneous snapping or anything that requires speed of operation.
Who is it for then? The wide angle lens obviously somehow limits the potential applications of the DP1 and so do the shortcomings I have mentioned above. As you might imagine the DP1 is not great for your typical portrait shoot and it's not ideal for wildlife or sports photography either but it does a very good job in landcape and (due to its low distortion) architecture photography. However, If a reasonable proportion of your photography requires decent low light peformance or an acceptable speed of operation, then walk away now and keep using your DSLR for the foreseeable future.
In conclusion the DP1 is a great concept that needs a considerable amount of additional work to get rid of at least some of the flaws that we have listed in this review. One can only encourage the Sigma engineers to go back to the drawing board and continue the promising work they have done so far. Let's also hope that a few of the 'big boys' can see the potential of the DP1 and present their interpretation of the concept in the not too distant future. The prospect of a DP1-like camera with reasonable speed, DSLR-like High ISO performance and a zoom or interchangeable lenses would be mmore than tantalizing.
As it stands though the DP1 has not been developed to its full potential yet and can only really be recommended for landscape photography (and similar applications) in reasonable light and to photographers who can live with a frustratingly slow speed of operation and the other shortcomings we have talked about above. In the vast majority of situations you'd be better off with a good 'conventional' compact camera and even if you think the DP1 would serve your specific purposes well you'll have to decide if you're willing to shell out the premium that Sigma is asking for.
Great for: Landscape photography in daylight
Not good for: Low light, indoors (social snaps), movies, anything that requires speed
Rating (out of 10)
|Ergonomics & handling||7.0|
Apple has updated its professional video editing app Final Cut Pro X to version 10.4.6. The update brings full 64-bit support, a new feature that helps convert older formats and much more.
Tonight's episode of NBC's Tonight Show, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, was filmed entirely on Samsung's flagship smartphone the Galaxy S10+.
Camera Bits has released the long-awaited update to its photo ingestion software in the form of Photo Mechanic 6.
SmugMug Films has shared its latest film, Streets in Mind, which takes a look at the life and work of London-based street photographer Alan Schaller.
We were in Japan earlier this month for the annual CP+ show in Yokohama, where we sat down with senior executives from several camera and lens manufacturers, among them Nikon.
Sony has released firmware version 5.0 for its flagship mirrorless camera, the a9. The update brings AI-driven autofocus modes, an improved menu structure and other updates.
Night Sight, Portrait Mode and (surprisingly) wide-angle selfie mode are features that we're currently loving about the Pixel 3's camera.
The Auschwitz Museum has asked visitors to be more respectful after an upsurge of pictures posted on social media showing people posing on the train tracks that lead to the main gate.
This week Chris and Jordan take the new Leica Q2 for a spin, and while most of us in the Northern Hemisphere are welcoming spring, they head even farther north than usual to visit ice castles. Because #Canada.
Harvard is facing a lawsuit over profiting from 19th century daguerreotypes that captured the portrait of a slave and his daughter on a South Carolina plantation.
From the detailed textures in rural landscapes to the incredible lighting inside futuristic buildings, the photorealism of Unreal Engine 4 is blurring the lines between fiction and reality...you know...aside from the spaceship.
Facebook has sent out emails to affected users requesting they change their passwords following a discovery that over 20K Facebook employees had access to 600 million passwords.
We've added Panasonic's new Lumix S1 and S1R full-frame mirrorless cameras to three of our buying guides. If you're looking for a quick summary of each model, then have a read.
YouTube channel Photoshop Cafe has shared a video detailing ten tips and tricks you can do to both fix and speed up Photoshop when it's running slow and sluggish.
It's not going to be the banger of the year, but it'll get a few laughs.
DJI has confirmed its drones won't be affected by the GPS 2019 week rollover.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has teamed up with Kodak to release a beer that's capable of doubling as a film developer.
The Diana Instant Square is a retro-inspired camera with manual controls that's fun to shoot in good light, but largely unpredictable in its operation.
Residents of a Paris street plagued by Instagrammers, selfie takers and music video crews are asking the city government for a weekend and evening ban to give them some peace.
The adapter plugs into the Osmo Pocket's USB Type-C port and features a 3.5mm TRS jack to plug in various external microphones.
Checkout allows Instagram users to select products for purchase and make payments directly in the app.
GauGAN as it's known, can create photorealistic images from basic drawings using the power of artificial intelligence.
The EOS RP is Canon's latest full-frame mirrorless camera, with diminutive dimensions and a diminutive price. Find out how it stacks up and get our thoughts in our early review.
Montana judge Dana L. Christensen has ruled the Republican National Committee did not infringe upon the copyright of photographer Erika Peterman after they took a photo from a Democratic candidate's Facebook page without permission and altered it to use in a derogatory promotional mailer.
Nikon has launched updates for three of its programs to address various bugs and glitches that could cause crashes and unwanted results.
LEE Filters has launched the LEE100, its next-generation filter holder that improves the design and looks in all the right places.
With the arrival of some much-needed sunshine and final production firmware for the Panasonic S1, we've been able to get outside and really start putting the camera through its paces.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.