Saturday Shout: Is the Sigma DP1 the Ultimate Compact Camera?

March 17, 2007 | Mark Goldstein | Saturday Shout | 57 Comments | |

Saturday ShoutSaturday Shout is back! People have been telling me how much they miss this weekly column, so I’ve blown off the virtual cobwebs and kicked things off with this question: Is the new Sigma DP1 the ultimate compact camera? Consider these facts. The size of the image sensor used in the Sigma DP1 camera is 10 times larger than in a normal compact digital camera. Yes, that’s 10 times larger! the DP1 features the same 14 megapixel FOVEON X3, APS-C size image sensor (2652 × 1768 × 3 layers) that Sigma’s new DSLR camera uses, and can shoot in either JPEG or RAW. The DP1 has a fixed 28mm f/4 wide-angle lens. As well as a large 2.5 inch LCD screen, there’s even an optional viewfinder that fits into the camera’s flash hotshoe (did I mention that the DP1 has a dedicated hotshoe?). There’s even a dedicated dial for, get this, easy manual focusing! Sure, the price might be a bit steep (upwards of £500) and Sigma aren’t exactly renowned for making good compact digicams (errm, this is their first actually). But hey, you never know, the Sigma DP1 could turn out to be the compact digital camera that every serious shutterbug has been waiting for. What do you think - has the Sigma DP1 caught your eye, or is it fatally flawed? Shout out now…

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#1 Nicholas

For me it will depend on the amount of distortion the 28mm lens creates.

Walking around with this camera would lead me to want to crop many images, to 'get closer' to the subject.

If Sigma wanted to create a real classic or niche camera, the lens should be 50mm ( at 35mm equivalency ).

This would eliminate any thought of distorion of one's subjects.

Being Live View, I wonder why the SD-14 is not Live View as well.

12:34 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#2 dario

No way. 28 is awesome!
I agree though, a 50 would be more normal. Terrible pun fully intended.
f/4 is a bit slow but I guess they sacrificed speed for smaller size.
What would make this or break this is the lag time. If i press the shutter button, will a photo be taken automatically?
A film camera from 1950 is still faster than a point and shoot these days.

I wish it had a 1.8" LCD rather than 2.5. LCDs are for suckers. Good for histograms and deleting pictures you took of your foot when running.

1:22 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#3 dario

oh, one more thing. IT MUST BE QUIET!
It has no mirror! WEEEEEE....

1:23 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#4 Björn

The DP1 has definitely caught my eye. Although quite a bit more expensive, its image quality will likely leave all other digital compacts far behind. It’s a trade-off: superior image quality but a less flexible, fixed 28mm lens. Barring any major issues with the DP1, a compromise I’m more than willing to make.

Is it flawed? No camera is perfect, or suited to all tasks you might wish to throw at it. I was hoping that the DP1 would have image stabilisation to compensate for its compact, but slower lens. That would have been great for static subjects in low light, making it less necessary to use higher ISO settings.

2:24 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#5 chema

I'd like to see the lens performance, my feel is that if it is so slow lens (f:4) is because the performance will be top from wide open, just as (for ex.) a mamiya 7 80mm is almost twice superior at f:4 wide open to all other Medium Format lenses at that aperture, faster and more expensive lenses.

If thats the case of this one, I'm sure the incredible Foveon per pixel quality will give very good quality images.

If I had to stay with one focal I'll too choose the 28mm, it's very useful, but I find the ~43mm is the best looking focal.

2:27 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#6 Wigwam Jones

I am watching the DP1 carefully. I note that in the specs that have been released, important facts like ISO range have not been listed, which makes me presume it may be awhile before we see this camera on the market.

As a 'me-too' to the Ricoh Digital GR, it boasts a much larger sensor (yay) and a much slower lens (boo), but all in all, I'd take the larger sensor over the faster lens. However, without knowing the ISO range of the sensor in this camera, we do not know how practically useful this camera is.

I applaud the dedicated hotshoe, but loathe the need for an external viewfinder. To me, this is a potentially fatal flaw, as the Ricoh Digital GR choose the same course, and frankly, that's what has kept me from having any interest in it.

Knobs to adjust manual settings are nice, although I did not know about a manual focus wheel, I'll have to look into that. However, where are the changes reflected? I don't see a shutter speed knob, for example, so I presume one must examine the setting on the LCD screen. I'd prefer not to do that - most of the time, I'd want that thing shut off. This would also be seen as a flaw to me - just like the Ricoh Digital GR. They tout the ability to shut off the LCD and shoot in stealth mode using the external viewfinder, but of course that's only true until you want to adjust the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, or even focus (if the statement about manually adjusting focus on the DP1 is correct).

I am aware that I am part of a dwindling minority who want an internal viewfinder and controls that have their readings as well as their adjustments external to the infernal LCD, so I may well end up having to settle for what I can get in a digital street camera or continue to use film for that purpose until it becomes too hard to find. But I am fascinated by what I've seen thus far from the DP1, and I await more information from Sigma.

3:03 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#7 Evan

Actually, 28 mm is not wide enough IMHO. If they were available, I would buy one of these with a 24 mm, and one with a 105 mm. That's right - two separate cameras, one for portraits (105) and one for landscape/architecture (24). That said, this camera is a start in the right direction. Sigma "gets it".

6:06 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#8 Michel

The way it is, the DP-1 certainly looks like THE ’’close to perfect’’ street photography camera. The only wish? In the ideal world (not the case but hey... who knows?) A triple focal lens (like Leica), say the actual 28, + 50mm, +85 or 90mm, and an Optical Viewfinder, would’ve been great!!! Without rising the price (too much) either... hehe... Ideal world, right?

6:17 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#9 Dave

This looks like a nice camera for $349, which is what it will be selling for in about four months, because NOBODY IS GOING TO BUY IT. Seriously, the specs are unimpressive to anybody who doesn't already have a digital SLR. Why would you get this over, say, a Canon G7?

Sigma may "get it" but consumers don't "get" Sigma. It's just too bad that Foveon wasn't licensed to a manufacturer who could have taken it farther.

7:09 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#10 Matthew H.

I agree that a faster lens or at least I.S. would make this camera a lot more useful. I think the 28mm (35 equiv) focal length is consistent with the high-quality 35mm compacts of the past, which all had lenses in the 28-35 range (Contax T2, Nikon 35ti).

To me, the significance of this camera is the move towards the large sensor. Hopefully this will be a sign of things to come and other manufacturers will follow Sigma's lead, creating compact cameras that actually have usable output. I was really impressed when I first saw the Nikon D80's quality at EI400 -- something I could never say of *any* compact camera to date, which I think can be attributed primarily to their limited sensor size and resulting noise.

7:25 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#11 Alex Hofmann

I wish it had a 40mm f2.4 lens, or at least there be an other version of the camera that has. Talk about your digital Leica CM, or loads of other great compacts from the past. 35mm f2.8 would be close. For me, 28mm is a little too wide, I don't need a camera like this for landscape shots. And for photographing people I use 40/35mm (35 equiv.) lenses. Good ISO 400/800 (maybe even 1600), fast RAW, 40mm f2.4 lens -- that would be amazing!

Other than that, I think it's certainly a step in the right direction. Let's just hope other manufacturers are following suit. I'm just not interested in a fully automated 20MP, 1/2,5" sensor camera that has terrible noise (or worse: terrible noise reduction) even at ISO 50! And even if I were, I'm sure in a few years there will be 850+ "different" models to choose from...

8:29 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#12 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

Two points to consider here - one is that some people seem to think the lens is actually 28mm. It's really 16mm, but with the size of the sensor that is a 28mm equiv - so there is no need for conversion, because the reported 28mm is after conversion. i would not worry much about that because Sigma is adept at making wide lenses with little distorition (both the 10-20mm and 15-30mm EX lenses are excelent in that regard).

The second is the target market, some people seem to think this is aimed at the P&S crowd. I would say it would be far more popular with the DSLR crowd - people who already own DSLR's and do not want to give up the image quality they are used to in those times when they cannot have a DSLR with them. It's almost like buyng a wide lens with a second body attached, when looked at that way the predicted cost seems like a bargain. So the entire market of DSLR owners, of any brand, are potential buyers for this camera.

10:40 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#13 Adam

I don't know if you guys have already seen this video:

The thing that concerns me is the start-up time... The ON button is pressed at 0'45" (in the video) and the camera is finally ready at 0'50".. 5 seconds!! It's hardly what you would call street-cam performance.

This is a pre-production model so hopefully things improve before it comes onto the market.

Otherwise it looks like a lovely camera. 28mm suits me fine. F4 is a little slow but with hopefully better high-ISO performance than your average digicam sensor low light shots shouldn't be a problem. DOF isn't an issue either... it's a wide angle after all.

11:54 pm - Saturday, March 17, 2007

#14 Bruce McL

The large sensor is welcome. Sony had one in the R-1, which is not a small camera, but also not a DSLR. I'd like to see another company like Panasonic or Canon try a large sensor, wide angle compact camera.

2:55 am - Sunday, March 18, 2007

#15 Arjun

I agree with Bruce on a camera modeled on R-1. Since APS sensor camera tend to be large in size, a four-third sensor based camera would be with a fixed Leica 25mm, 14-50mm or 14-150mm 4/3 lens would be amazing.

7:00 am - Sunday, March 18, 2007

#16 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

The R1 didn't sell very well though - in part because the form factor was too close to a DSLR, so it could not easily be used where a compact P&S camera might more often be used.

The nice thing about the DP-1 is that it still has that large sensor, but is truly compact enough to keep in your pocket so you can always have it with you. It has a more palateable set of compromises to those that already own DSLR's, rather than trying to lure DSLR owners to a single lens system that has almost the smae form factor.

10:12 am - Sunday, March 18, 2007

#17 aditya

Though we are happy to have Saturday Shout Back could you please also get the Garrie's Parries column back. I really miss not reading his answers every Sunday

2:43 pm - Sunday, March 18, 2007

#18 Mike

Hmmm wonder if the viewfinder would work on other cameras. It'd be great to have a little cross hair for burst shooting with my canon.

9:56 pm - Sunday, March 18, 2007

#19 tom

I would really want one of these, but f/4 is just too slow. if they come out with an f/2 or f2.8 model with any fixed focal lenght lens Id buy one in an instant. I detest zooms, and i long for a compact camera with a full size sensor. i wouldnt mind the distortion of the 16mm (28mm equiv) lens if it were faster, but id prefer a 35mm eqivlent fast lens. Sigma definately "gets it". (almost).

11:09 pm - Sunday, March 18, 2007

#20 yes

If it has acceptable noise at high iso (1600), I will be buying one to take when i dont want to lug around my D2x. And even when i do take the D2x, the DP1 would definately also be with me.

11:22 pm - Sunday, March 18, 2007

#21 AA

A good effort, but not good enough.

I wish it could have a zoom. They made the lens protrude and, it actually moves forward on start-up anyways - why couldn't they have just put in a small zoom? It's half way there to having one with this mechanism!
And, it's only f4, for being a Prime. It should be at least f1.8, if not lower! But I guess that would've made the camera too expensive to put in such a fast lens.

So all in all this is just a confusing, unsatisfatory camera.

To Kendall on #16 above - "but is truly compact enough to keep in your pocket" - er, I don't think so, man.
In your pocket? Which one? That fat-baggy pseudo-Bermuda shorts with the extra pockets on the side that you wear so you can go eat a dozen Big Macs? The lens sticks out, and this camera is bigger than the Panasonic DMC-LX2, which actually can fit in your jeans back pocket albeit a bit tightly.

The DP1 is one of those "experimentals" that actually make it to market to see what the public's reaction really is, and to offer it to those camera addicts who just like to mess with stuff.

Sorry, but it's not a camera geared towards the general public. It's for a specialized market.

11:24 pm - Sunday, March 18, 2007

#22 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

First, it does have a zoom - a digital zoom which is of some practical use on a camera with enough resolution and low noise. Equate it to about a 1x to 2x zoom. Or simply step closer.

You also are not understanding just what goes into making a camera so compact with a sensor that is (as this article states) 10x larger than sensors you are used to. If you put a 1.8 prime on this it would be the size of your fist (or basically the size of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 today). That destroys the compactness.

Speaking of being compact - look at a picture of someone holding it:

Pay attention to the size of her hand in relation to the camera (the camera angle makes it look a little bigger than it is, note how her hand seems almost as large as her head). Remember that when the camera is powered down, the lens retracts. I was at PMA and got to play with them in person - I could easily fit one inside the pocket of a pair of jeans. It's much smaller in person than in photos you may have seen.

You are right in one thing, it's not geared towards the general market, just the market of every DSLR shooter on the planet. While more limited than a Kodak P&S camera market, it's still pretty substantial.

12:16 am - Monday, March 19, 2007

#23 AA

I am right in just the ONE thing, huh?

Oh yeah and you know so much!

You know you have very condescending manner of speech?

What makes you think I only shoot with compacts? DUH.
I have every Nikon DSLR with practically every lens they make. I just can't get a hold of that damned 18-200 VR that is so in demand, goddamit! hahahaha

Why would anyone want to use a digital zoom when they can do the same in their computer? DUH.
Step closer? Oh yeah? How do you expect me step closer to a friggin' Helium TV Blimp that's floating 1000 feet above my head? How about that F-22 flying by? How about shooting the close-up of a top of a skyscraper from the ground? How do you expect me shoot the close-up of a mountain glacier when I'm standing 3000 feet from it and I can't just "step closer" to it? HUH? Riddle me that, Batman!

I'm not understand what it takes to make a camera? Oh yeah? And you work in one of them camera factories, I suppose, toiling in slave-labor making us these machines, huh? hahahahahaha!

No, I don't need to pay attention to her hands - I can figure out the dimensions of this thing by doing a comparison of its size with other cameras. If her hands are almost as large as her head, then she's a fricking monster, mate, or she's severely disabled to have such big hands - or a really tiny head. hahahahahahahahahahaha!

You can fit EASILY into your jeans? Oh yeah? Not all of us have size 45 inch waste like you, man. I have size 30 inch waste - you try fitting anything bigger than a DMC-LX2 in these pockets! Sit down and your pockets will burst. Yeah we're not all as fat and geeky as you, man.

You were at PMA? Then why don't you show us a photo of you holding it, or a photo of you shoving into your jeans pocket then, instead of a photo of some bird with extra-big hands? HUH?

By the way - it's all of 3mm x 5mm x 5mm bigger than the LX2. I was simply trying to illustrate a point about it not being "compact" in the traditional sense that a person in the general public would consider.

Yeah and you're such a bloody expert.

If you're a PHOTO expert trying to describe this for the public, then show us some photos. That's the least you can do to illustrate that this protruding lens when it's not in operation isn't really going to bother anyone of average size like myself when they shove it in their normal fitting jeans pockets.

12:58 am - Monday, March 19, 2007

#24 Nicholas

May I re-state my original question that started this very interesting thread?

As a people photographer, I hope there will not be too much distortion so that I may heavily crop and not have fat looking subjects due to the lens focal length.

Any opinions would be helpful.

1:38 am - Monday, March 19, 2007

#25 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

AA - I am really sorry you took offense - you posted three things, one of which was right - I did not mean to have that sound derogatory (which I agree it did where it was placed in the response). I agree that digital zoom is not as nice as optical zoom but it does have one useful ability, to make sure you get the framing right on the LCD and that important details you could not see fully zoomed out (like eyes open or a pose) are correct.

I was also simply stating why an f/1.8 lens was not practical on this camera, corroborated by an interview with the COO of Sigma:

A quote from that article:

"It is a compromise. If we had increased the aperture, the lens would have been much bigger and we would not have been able to integrate it into a compact sized camera. The same goes for a zoom lens."

Her hands are not actually as big as her head, I was indicating that was a trick of both the angle and the lens used.

I have other pictures of the body at the show, but no others with people handling them. You can review the gallery of the Sigma booth here (all taken by myself):

What I do have that is much better, is a video taken of someone handling the camera - but I don't have that online yet. I'll try and post that soon, and provide a link here. Video is always more illuminating in terms of a products size in relation to people.

Again I apologize you took offense, I meant only to provide information as to why things are the way they are with the DP-1 and why some things are different that people have come to expect from compact cameras.

Now as to the distortion question - I do not think that will be much of a problem after having used the Sigma 15-30 lens. Also remember this lens will be highly optimized to the sensor so they can design out a lot of things like distortion to really low levels. Just from looking at people in the LCD at the show, it seemed OK.

4:15 am - Monday, March 19, 2007

#26 AA

Jeez, man, you just don't get it, do you?

As if I hadn't thought of all those things -

DUH. It's obvious that the machine was a compromise to not have a fast Prime lens, let alone an optical zoom of any worth - this camera was not built for the general consumer! What is your point? I know it's not practical to shove a f1.8 in it for the time being - was I asking for the world? - but that is besides the point, isn't it?
Your efforts in to explaining why my FEELINGS have anything to do with your OPINIONS on why this camera exists, is redundant, can't you see? You really are condescending. You automatically assume that people out here know less than you do, and that what they say is incorrect and not as important as what it's in front of you, in your hand. What does your opinion of what you hold in your hand, have anything to do with how I feel about it? Nothing. You have your opinions, and I have mine.
All I said was "I wish" and you turned it into some real FLAW about the camera! You really are one condescending know-it-all, eh? ! I bet you have real problems communicating with normal people, don't you? You think you're a real intellectual, you do, I can tell.

I was stating my opinion, as this "Saturday Shout" blog's question at the top asks:
"What do you think - has the Sigma DP1 caught your eye, or is it fatally flawed? Shout out now…"


So you don't need to tell me what this camera has and doesn't have, or what it is, or isn't. I was stating my feelings about it in relation to the question, man! I was simply, as you might say, SHOUTING OUT! DUH.

I KNOW what it has and hasn't. I'm not a passive consumer. I am an intermediate photographer of some skill, I've been shooting for over 20 years - I know what all this crap you talk about means and how it all comes about, I know how econimics work in this world: supply-and-demand, economies of scale, practicality and usefulness, etc etc........

You need to learn to treat everyone as their own person, and stop talking down to people as if they don't know anything.

"What I do have that is much better......."
Better how? Better because you shot it?
"Video is always more illuminating in terms of a products size in relation to people"
Who says? You? What makes you so sure? A lot of people say that video is completely deceiving, that they prefer to see nice photos instead! Of course, I think they mean that if there are many photos from many angles with varying degrees of comparison, but I can't be sure, because I AM NOT THEM! But that's what some people say.

"Again I apologize you took offense, I meant only to provide information as to why things are the way they are with the DP-1 and why some things are different that people have come to expect from compact cameras."

Not accepted, because you went off and made excuses, again! They're just excuses, man. Things are the way they are? Really? I never would've guessed if I hadn't actually SEEN the camera myself. And no, you don't really mean it, and I can tell this by your somehow confident but opinionated statement that everybody expects the same thing from a compact camera.

"Also remember this lens will be......"
WHO talks like this? To whom? Why do you talk in such a condescending manner? Are you some sort of PhD doctor in some lecture class dictating to some students or something? What makes you so high and mighty to talk like this?

Wake and stop going around telling everyone what you think you know. Because it doesn't matter. We all see what's out there, and we can all shout about it. That's it. So no need to tell me how I should feel about what I feel.

4:53 am - Monday, March 19, 2007

#27 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

AA - ""What I do have that is much better......."
Better how? Better because you shot it? "

No, I am probably the worst video shooter you will ever find. However it is better than my own images (or many other product shots) simply because it shows a hand holding the DP-1 and also rotating it, so you can get a sense of the size and how it fits in the hand. I have not actually seen any product shots in hand, that would be rather illuminating although I still think generaly lacking in information compared to even a brief video.

You can all be thankful the video was shot on a tripod as my own handheld video work brings new meaning to the word "shaky". Not even Sony's most advanced stablization can act against my handhlding technique.

Since you seem to be out of real questions or useful information, I will respond to messages from other people if they have actual questions based on what I saw at the show (still early pre-production though so the actual operation I can't say much about), and of course I'll provide a link to the video that I'm sure will be of some interest generally even if not to AA.

5:43 am - Monday, March 19, 2007

#28 AA

That was a rhetorical question, man. You don't even get that!

Figures that you would run away and ramble on without recognize your failures in the English language.

We don't like people who are full of it in the Internet. Haven't you noticed?

Stop answering my questions, stop illuminating your feelings of my opinions - none of those things matter, since I was answering the Blog's question in the first place. It ends there.
I've all seen loads of videos and photos of this camera from numerous sources, and they all show the same thing. One thing I have not seen is how it fits comfortably into someone's jeans' backpocket. But I am not asking you to show it to me. I can do that myself by going to the store when it comes out.

6:30 am - Monday, March 19, 2007

#29 Nicholas

Thank you Kendall.

It is good news that people appeared OK in the LCD.

With all those DP1's in the case at the Sigma booth at PMA, your smugmug photos seem to indicate that they are ready to be put on sale.

Did you hear any sale date for the US and/or Europe?

11:18 am - Monday, March 19, 2007

#30 Sacratomato

I have been waiting, not so patiently, for a full size sensor in a compact camera. I love the quality of a DSLR's imaging; but the reality is, I'm not going to carry it with me everywhere I go.

But is Sigma the company to bring the concept to market? I hope the idea of a full size sensor in a compact camera doesn't die away, if Sigma doesn't have the marketing power to make it a success.

I wish Sigma all the luck in the world and can't wait to try out a DP1. I hope the other camera makers (are you listening Canon?) explore the concept.

4:02 pm - Monday, March 19, 2007

#31 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

Nicholas - I believe the DP-1 case design is pretty much final. But although you could turn them on and take pictures, a number of the features of the camera did not yet work - so I think there's at least a few months before we would see the cameras ship, probably longer as they also have other things to test.

Sacratomato - It's true that Sigma does not have the budget that say a Canon or Nikon would as far as marketing. However they are not a small company by any means, being at this point the second largest lens maker on the planet. They also have actually conducted a pretty decent PR campaign for the SD-14 with ads in many photographic magazines. So, they can market... but the way a camera like the DP-1 becomes a success in this day in age is really more through viral marketing, where people like it and tell others how well they like it.

Finally, for that video that I promised - here is the link:

It's pretty brief and does not show the camera on, but I think gives a good sense of what it is like to handle and to carry.

Let me know if anyone has further questions.

4:55 pm - Monday, March 19, 2007

#32 Jag

Hey Kendall,

Very informative posts (and pics)! Thanks. I really appreciate it. I will buy probably two of these cameras if the reviews check out okay!

It will most likely be the perfect street and wedding camera ever.

5:10 pm - Monday, March 19, 2007

#33 Nicholas

Just saw a video on the SD-14. The photographer said it takes 8 seconds to write to the card when shooting raw.

Is this accurate?

5:49 pm - Monday, March 19, 2007

#34 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

The SD-14 takes between six and nine seconds (as far as I can tell) to write images to a CF card. The files are pretty large (around 12-19 MB) which is partly why they take a while. The time to write (and size of file) depends on scene complexity. Also, a review image comes up three seconds into that write so you can review the histogram, and at any time you may take another photo (you don't have to wait for writes to finish).

It's hard to say how that carries over to DP-1 write speed, even though it's using the same sensor - they may be able to reach faster write speeds with the CF card and also have that whole TRUE chip thing which may speed some things up.

8:53 pm - Monday, March 19, 2007

#35 Nicholas

Thanks Kendall,

Two more observations/questions if I may.

Are Jpegs faster in CF card write and available review times than Raw?

Is it possible that during my forum peeking on the web during the last few days, evaluating SD-14 images, that I have become Sigmatized without knowing it?

I am a Sony R-1 user, my R-1 galleries are here: .

This afternoon I was in a Sony DSLR forum following a thread on the new CZ 16-80 lens for the Alpha A100 (possibly to replace my R-1). I looked at all the sample Sony Alpha 100 images with this lens and my first impression is 'everything looks like it is made of plastic'.

Have I been Sigmatized?

Thanks again, Nicholas

12:47 am - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

#36 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

It's better to be Sigmatized than Stigmatized!

The write times for JPG are faster - 5 seconds for normal res JPG, seems to be no difference with scene content. For the Super-Fine resolution JPG (14MP) it takes around 9 seconds total, also constant.

Some people might think Super-Fine mode is a gimmick, but what it does is help preserve detail from being lost to JPG compression. So if you are going to shoot JPG it preserves a little more detail. With a camera like the SD-14 (or DP-1) however, it's a shame not take images in RAW most of the time as it really gives you the best detail and shadows.

5:38 am - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

#37 Charles Bandes

Well, I for one am eager to get my hands on a DP-1, for my purposes it seems near-perfect. I rarely use the zoom on my compact (currently a SD700IS from Canon) and I do a lot of low-light shooting, which would really benefit from the larger lower-noise sensor. I do wish it were a little bit higher-resolution, but I suppose 4.5MP really isn't bad. I hope it's suitably fast for documentary work in raw...

3:11 pm - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

#38 Csaba Farkas

The DP-1 has more than caught my eye. Actually, I was browsing to find reviews on PS cameras, as I'm about to buy a high-end, carry-everywhere backup shooter. I was wavering between the Lumix LX-2, Ricoh GR digi and the Canon G7 but there's too much compromise in all of them. I thought: isn't there anyone to make a decent camera with a sharp fixed lense or maybe a 3x zoom and a good CMOS sensor? Like the Sony R1 with less bells and whistles downsized into a point and shoot. And then the news of the Sigma compact propped up in my search engine. It's a godsend. 28mm is the best focal length for shooting events, street scenes, landscape. 70% of my shots are made with 28mm. With the Contax G2 film camera, I used 21mm half the time. F4 is a bit slow but if high ISO is tolerable (it should be with the CMOS), then it's OK. I just can't wait to see! Decisive features that Sigma should look out for: image quality, especially fine detail and dynamic range with minimal noise reduction (leave it to a pro software if need be), build quality (alloy body and good cover please), burst speed for continuous shots, and RAW saving time. And easy handling of manual features of course.
I think I'll shelf the purchase until the DP-1 hits the market. The only news that could beat this one would be someone rehashing the Contax G rangefinders with a cosy, non-slr digital body to match those superb lenses. That would be like Xmas all year round.

4:31 pm - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

#39 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

For those concerned about the lower number of megapixels, remember this actually has 14 million photosites - they are just stacked, not spread out like in other sensors. But that also means increased sharpness with a greater ability to upsample to larger sizes. For example, as the Sigma booth at PMA there were A0 sized prints (about 46x33 inches) from the SD-14 that looked quite sharp and you could examine within a few inches. That uses the same sensor that will be in the DP1 - for an example of what a full-size image looks like from that sensor consider these two shots:

(click on "original" link below images to see full size)

7:29 pm - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

#40 pedro figueiredo

awesome! how could anyone not come up with this sort of thing before, but instead of an f4 stick a f2.4 on it? oh, wait, ricoh did that!

(full disclosure: i have a grd)

11:09 pm - Monday, March 26, 2007

#41 Wigwam Jones

Really? That's great news! When did the Ricoh GRD gain a APS-C size sensor? Oh, never? Well, then. Nevermind, eh?

11:26 pm - Monday, March 26, 2007

#42 pedro figueiredo

who cares about that? if the sensor is very good (and ricoh's is), i'd rather have a better lens, full manual, ease of use, etc.

if only there was a site where one could pick a couple of cameras and do a side-by-side comparison...

8:24 am - Tuesday, March 27, 2007

#43 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

Compare this 1 second night shot at ISO 154 from the Ricoh GRD:

With a 13-second night exposure from the SD-14 at ISO 100:

Or even this ISO 800 image from the SD-14 at f5.6:

Now take that same output from the SD-14 sensor, only make it a little better since the lens and sensor are engineered to work with each other, and you have the DP-1.

Now do you start to see why having a sensor about 10x larger (no exaggeration) than other compact cameras while keeping the same form factor might be something of interest to people?

Additionally this demonstrates why an f/4 lens is really not much of an issue, when you can simply increase the ISO to a far greater degree than other compact cameras.

8:43 am - Tuesday, March 27, 2007

#44 Martijn

The lower speed of the lens on an APS-C is not that important when comparing with camera's having a smaller sized sensor. The F4 lens on the DP1 has a 4mm diameter. Compare this with the Ricoh GR lens which has only a 2.5mm diameter. You can conclude that the DP1 lens will be capturing 165% more light which will probably be seen as less noise at higher ISO values (the reason why the lens is slower is because the 16mm lens will spread the captured light into a larger solid angle this does not mean that it will capture less light eventually what counts is the speed of the lens and the pixel combined, larger pixels have higher speed/higher ISO ranges). Comparing with the Sony DSC-R1 you'll have to consider that the pixels of the foveon sensor are larger because they are placed behind each other and can take more space. Eventually this will lead to about a 3 times more effective light capture or 1.6 stops. So don't worry to much with the slow speed of the F4 lens this will be made up with the high sensitivity of the pixels.

10:09 pm - Wednesday, April 18, 2007

#45 sandfire

i was looking for this type of compact camera for a long time never give up hope browsing the net and one day, Wala
!.my mind is now focus to SIGMA DP1,oh man cant wait for the price more thoughts about leica dlux3 or lx2 or ricoh gr.i prefer to shoot with tripod,shooting in layers and above f5.6 for sharpness priority(can always create depth in photoshop with layers),Raw.With bigger sensor,manual focus,external flash capabilities,its time for commercial shoot indie style.i wonder whether we can shoot tehtered with this,well hopefully it can.what i love more is i can switch myself to tourist and pro(as if) mode with its compactness(leaving your house without having second thought of leaving it behind or bring it with u,answer is,always with me).oh and one question, that im not sure of,can it take high speed sd card like lexar pro or platinum 4gb or even higher? i have my eye on that too..thank u everyone hehe

5:14 am - Friday, April 27, 2007

#46 NOY Business

Does anyone know about the Polaroid X530 with the Foveon X3 direct image sensor and 3 times optical zoom?

See for example
for cameras with X3.

Might this be a reason for the delay in DP1 availability?

9:10 am - Friday, May 4, 2007

#47 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

The Polariod X530 is a pretty old camera, released about three years ago now (and long since discontinued) - but not released by Sigma, and Polaroid did not do a very good job with it. It had a much smaller sensor than the SD-10 (about half the resolution), and didn't handle high ISO at all well - plus it was pretty quirky in terms of controls, and didn't have a very ergonomic layout. It was marketed as a true consumer P&S camera, without much in the way of advanced features or manual control.

The DP-1 is much better in every respect, and also produced by Sigma instead of some other company.

The DP-1 will also be much less noisy than the x530, just as the SD-14 is less noisy than the SD-10.

That said, the X530 was able to provide some pretty nice images - here's a sample gallery of shots from that camera:

6:32 am - Saturday, May 5, 2007

#48 Bob Dodds

Olympus OM-1 35mm was billed as a compact SLR. It also had compact lenses. The 100mm is about the same size as the 50mm. It's not a pocket camera, so it would get left behind a lot.

The Rollei was a compact camera, with a telescoping lense that went all the way in. This Sigma lens does not go all the way inside, so the cam is 2" instead of 1" thick. The Rollei had a 35mm lens.

When I leave the SLR at home, only my cell phone camera feels like it's no burden. In between those two, the cell phone cam not being a real camera of note, I have my "picnic camera", a Nikon coolscan2000 1 meg (ugh). It is the size of this Sigma, but it has a zoom lens that folds all the way inside the body. 5.8-17.4mm f2.8-4.9, there is f2.8.

For the OM-1 I had only a 28mm, 100mm, 200mm, no standard 50mm. For any people work I used the 100mm. With one megapixel res, all the Nikon is good for is shots for 4x6 enlargment, and even then I could not take a baby photo, but had to put the mother and her niece with the baby to turn weakness into strength to a pretty good alright extent of a baby photo.

I don't know if this Sigma will replace my Nikon Coolscan 2000. I've been looking at the Leica D-Lux 3 which has a completely folding lens but not a CMOS sensor.

1:12 am - Monday, May 14, 2007

#49 Bob Dodds

My Olympus OM-1, the original 35mm "compact SLR", is the same size body as this Sigma, only half an inch wider. Did you say you lug a "tripod"? A 100mm Olympus Zuiko lens for OM-1 is 2-/14" diameter and 2" long. Would I be willing to lug a lens even smaller than that for Sigma? Sure. To put it simply, why not just make the lens detachable and give us other fixed focal length manual focusing lenses? "Hardcore" seems to be an aspect of the bracket, do it right. Maybe put an in the camera rangefinder window like the old Leica.

If the above links to compare Ricoh and Sigma do not show exactly comparable settings and situations, I think the horrendous noise on the order of posterization in the Ricoh night shot is probably indicative that the Ricoh is out of the game there, and Sigma DSLR with same sensor/processor as this compact Sigma can do night shots.

Leica D-Lux 3 has autofocus and optical image stabilization in its extremely small format. How about manual focus with OIS, is that hardcore or what?

To answer someone's question, yes, you can get a tacky viewfinder that goes on the hotshoe of any LCD-only cam that has a hotshoe like this Sigma. Try adorama or bhphoto. It's not a rangefinder and has no info in the display.

1:39 am - Monday, May 14, 2007

#50 Digital Art Guy

I wish the construction didn't look so "cheap."

I know, I'm shallow. Looks like a great camera otherwise.

2:39 am - Wednesday, May 16, 2007

#51 Marcello Amari

So? It's almost June 2007. Where the %!*$#@! is the damn thing! Sigma should have just kept mum instead of showing off a "pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre(slapupsidethehead)-production-maybe-someday" version. Just how long do they think people will hold their breath?. By the time they ship it, one of the majors will have created a better compact for less money.

11:41 pm - Thursday, May 24, 2007

#52 Marcello Amari

Ooohh! What's that smell? Hmmm....smells like......VAPORWARE!!!

11:49 pm - Thursday, May 24, 2007

#53 Mig

I, like many people above, have been waiting for a large sensor compact camera for a long time. However, for $1000, I can buy an SLR with a reasonable lens, so the only advantage this camera has is the size. Not good enough.

4:21 pm - Tuesday, May 29, 2007

#54 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner

Who says the camera is $1000? It could be significantly cheaper than that.

As for "looking cheap" it actually has a nice build (from the functional protootypes I saw at PMA, yes they did take pictures). Who knows what the delay is but Sigma is still plannng to release this camera.

6:53 am - Wednesday, May 30, 2007

#55 dc2141

I'm getting impatient waiting for the DP1 to show up, too, but if Sigma needs a little more time to iron out more wrinkles, I'd rather wait than have them rush it out with too many flaws.

What mystifies me are the complaints people have about it. "It's doesn't have X. It doesn't have Y. f/4 lens. blah blah blah." No, it's NOT a mass-consumer product. That's the whole point.

If I wanted a P+S that could crank out mediocre photos no matter what situation I throw at it...oh, wait -- that's EVERY other P+S on the market.

Sigma seems to be doing almost everything right. The thing -- the only and most important thing -- going for the DP1 is the image quality. Thus, the prime lens and a somewhat slow one at that.

Take any lens maker's f/2.8 version of a lens and their f/4 version of that same lens and the f/4 will be the better optical performer almost every time. Comparison tests between otherwise virtually identical Canon L lenses have shown this time and time again.

I think the DP1 is a brilliant move on Sigma's part because it allows people curious about the Foveon (which, apparently, is a LOT of people) to try it out at lower cost than investing in the SD series.

Now, if Sigma would just make the SD series a four-thirds mount to open things up a bit, I think they could do some real business with this Foveon sensor.

BTW, some of you may know of Sean Reid and his (paid) review site Because he has several excellent pieces on the Ricoh, I emailed him to recommend that he add the DP1 to his "to-do" list and he told me that it was indeed his intention to review the DP1 sometime this year.

9:46 pm - Wednesday, June 13, 2007

#56 Lucas Jarvis

To those who may think f4 is 'not fast enough'. Here is another way to look at it putting the DP-1 against a point and shoot with a 2.8 lens.

Say you're in a situation with low light requiring an iso of 400, a shutter of 1/60 and an aperture of 2.8. Since your p/s is capapable of this you dial it all in and fire away. Your other camera, the Sigma, doesn't have f2.8 so you instead bump your iso to 800 and use f4.

Compare images and who is the winner?

Sigma's large sensor will utterly destroy the p/s image quality. Most p/s have god awfull noise even at iso 400, while just looking at the SD14's iso 800 shots will show you what the DP-1 will be capable of.

If sigma put a 2.8 lens or even faster in this body it would be too big. The selling point of this camera is size and image quality, period. With a 1.4 prime it would be nearly as big, if not the same size, as a dslr with a prime. Then who would buy it? Think about it.

(As a side note to the poster AA from above, if you're still following. I'm not going to beat around the bush while you interpret my words and wonder if they offend you and wether or not I'm talking down to you as you thought Kendall was. I'll just make it clear to you insead. You're an idiot. The fact that you accused Kendall of having social problems makes me laugh as it seems very clear that YOU are indeed the one who should probobly get checked out. I applaud Kendall for not even taking a jab back at you, which clearly shows he's a bigger man. He's been nothing but informative)

2:52 am - Sunday, August 5, 2007

#57 Phillip Di Marino

Blah blah blah photo bullshit jargon, has anybody out there shot with this stuff.I have and we do it for a living. Every day. We previously used a 4x5, 2 1/4 (plaubel Makina W67), canon f1 and our DS 1015 drum scanner, no shit. But clients have wanted to pay less and therefore we give them less, digital images. We have sigma sd 10 bodies with a Sony dsc-r1 and a lumix for 16x9 (still back up for sd and hd video) and when properly set, the sd 10's are slightly better than the Sony;but just not as easy. That is why we have a SD-14, and so far the color separation (did you know that sulfur is 3 distinct different yellows?) has been the best ever and the aerial enlargements the most successful. Of course every camera is going to fail specs
, especially if your use is an excel sheet comparison instead of get the shot and get good in the field.
Our clients like the quality of the Sd-14 and
therefore we will be buying at least one
Dp-1. Or, I could carry my our Makina W67 around. Thanks

4:35 pm - Monday, August 6, 2007