Sigma DP1 Review
Timing & Performance
Sigma claims the DP1 is a DSLR substitute in a compact package. While this might perhaps be true in the image quality department it's certainly not in terms of speed. To be frank, the DP1 feels mostly fairly sluggish and sometimes even painfully slow, most budget compacts will give it a run for its money.
The Sigma takes almost four seconds to get ready for shooting and it only gets worse form there. The autofocus is very slow and completely gives up in dim conditions. Typically a compact camera's AF will slow down in low light but most of them will lock the focus eventually. Unfortunately that's not true for the DP1. Once you've focused you will experience the rather unimpressive shutter lag and after you've pressed the shutter button you can decide how to entertain yourself while the camera is writing its data to the SD card. Should you be thinking about using the built-in flash, select your shots carefully, it takes ages to recycle (which means the DP1 certainly is not the ideal party snapshot camera). All in all a rather lengthy experience.
If things need to work quickly in your world the DP1 definitely is not for you. If you carefully set up every shot and aren't too much worried about some waiting time in between shots you might be able to live with the DP1's slow speed of operation.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2640 x 2592 Fine JPEG image (approx. 2,230 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 4.0 GB Sandisk Extreme III card.
|Power: Off to Record||3.6|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||4.2|
|Power: Record to Off||All activity ceased||1.8|
|Power: Play to Off||Lens extended||1.8|
|Power: Play to Off||Lens already retracted||0.1|
|Record Review RAW||Image displayed||2.8|
|Record Review JPEG||Image displayed||2.4|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens already extended||1.4|
|Mode: Record to Play||Lens already extended||0.4|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (16x)||1.6|
|Play: Image to Image RAW||Time to display each saved image||0.2|
|Play: Image to Image JPEG||Time to display each saved image||0.2|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||0.4|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||1.2*1|
|Pre-focus Lag (S1>S2)||LCD live view||~0.2|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view||1.6|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||5.6|
|Shot to Shot RAW||Flash off||~4.5|
|Shot to Shot JPEG||Flash off||~3.6|
|Shot to Shot RAW||Flash on ( red eye reduction on / off)||~6.2 / ~5.5|
|Shot to Shot JPEG||Flash on ( red eye reduction on / off)||~5.6 / ~3.9|
|*1||This is fairly independent of light levels. In low light the DP1 regularly fails to lock the focus completely.|
Lag Timing Definitions
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)
The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. The media used for these tests was a 4GB Sandisk Extreme III SD Card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.
Continuous drive mode
Frames in a burst *1
|HI (2640 x 1760) JPEG Fine||Continuous||3.3||3||~9.3s delay|
|HI (2640 x 1760) JPEG Norm||Continuous||3.5||3||~9.3s delay|
|HI (2640 x 1760) JPEG Basic||Continuous||3.4||3||~9.3s delay|
|HI (2640 x 1760) RAW||Continuous||3.4||3||~13.5s delay|
|MED (1776 x 1184) JPEG Fine||Continuous||3.5||3||~9.0s delay|
|LOW (1776 x 1184) JPEG Fine||Continuous||3.6||3||~9.0s delay|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).|
|*2||Once the buffer is full the DP1 stops for a few seconds as the images are saved to the memory card. Then you can shoot another burst by pressing the shutter again.|
The DP1 only has one continuous shooting mode. At the highest image quality it gives you three frames per second which is not bad at all for a compact camera. However, most DSLRs are (significantly) quicker and the usefulness of the DP1's continuous mode is seriously flawed by the fact that you can only shoot three frames in one burst. After that the buffer is full and the camera takes its time (and a lot of it) to clear it and get ready for the next burst. Depending on your setting it can take between 9 and 13.5 sec to clear the buffer. This feels like an eternity if you're desperately waiting to take your next shot.
When shooting at lower image quality the frame rates and buffer clearance times get marginally faster but overall the settings you choose have hardly any impact on the DP1's continuous shooting performance. Only the buffer takes noticeably longer to clear when shooting RAW.
File Write / Display and Sizes
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when the activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the camera's processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 4GB Sandisk Extreme III SD card.
Time to store
Time to display
File size *1
Images on a *2
|HI (2640 x 1760) JPEG Fine||~4.4||~2.8||2,230 KB||1225|
|HI (2640 x 1760) JPEG Norm||~4.4||~2.8||1,340 KB||2113|
|HI (2640 x 1760) JPEG Basic||~4.4||~2.8||1,070 KB||2786|
|HI (2640 x 1760) RAW||~7.2||~3.2||12,930 KB||258|
|MED (1776 x 1184) JPEG Fine||~4.4||~2.8||1,080 KB||2390|
|LOW (1776 x 1184) JPEG Fine||~4.2||~2.8||682KB||4654|
|*1||All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (detail and noise).|
The DP1's write performance is unimpressive to say the least. When shooting RAW the rather large files are written on the card at a rate of approximately 1.75MB/sec. This is not exactly fast and so it takes over 7 seconds before you can take the next image. When shooting in JPEG this decreases to about 4.4 seconds. Considering that the DP1's JPEG files are considerably smaller than their RAW counterparts a large proportion of this time must be taken up by image processing rather than storing.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.