Sigma DP2 Review

August 12, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 2.5Mb.

The Sigma DP2's image quality is fantastic, much better than most compact cameras that we've ever reviewed, and on a par with many entry-level DSLRs.

The Sigma DP2 handled noise extremely well, with only the fastest JPEG setting of ISO 800 showing some noise, slight loss of detail and colour desaturation. I'm a little puzzled why Sigma chose not to include ISO 1600 and 3200 settings for JPEG as well as RAW files.

The Sigma DP2 dealt with chromatic aberrations so well that I struggled to find a single example from the hundreds of frames that I shot. The images were just a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting, but you can increase the level in-camera, or use Adobe Photoshop later. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds allowing you to capture enough light for the majority of after-dark situations.

The built-in flash worked quite well indoors, with no red-eye, adequate range and fairly good overall exposure. Macro performance was the only fly in the ointment, allowing you to focus as close as 28cms away from the subject, which means that you'll need to buy the DP2 lens hood and then fit a third-party close-up macro filter if you want to get really close to your subject.


There are 5 ISO settings available on the Sigma DP2 for JPEGs, with ISO 1600 and 3200 also available when shooting in RAW mode. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and RAW on the right:



ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso50.jpg iso50raw.jpg

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


ISO 3200 (100% Crop)



Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The images are just a little soft at the default sharpening setting of 0. You can change the in-camera sharpening level to one of the 10 preset preset levels (0.2 increments on a scale of +1 to -1) if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

The Sigma DP2 has 3 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

14M Fine (2.98Mb) (100% Crop) 14M Normal (1.80Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg
14M Basic (1.23Mb) (100% Crop)  

Chromatic Aberrations

As with the DP1, the Sigma DP2 handled chromatic aberrations so well during the review that I struggled to find a single example to show you. The ironwork in the corner of this over-exposed roof area is exhibiting just the merest hint of purple-fringing, but you won't notice any chromatic aberrations in almost all photos from the DP2.

Example 1 (100% Crop)



The Sigma DP1 doesn't offer a dedicated Macro setting. The closest distance that you can focus on a subject is 28cms away from the camera when it's set to Full Focus mode. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The flash settings on the Sigma DP1 are On, Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Synchro + Red-eye Reduction and Flash Compensation. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (41mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (41mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-Eye Reduction options caused any red-eye.


On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Sigma DP2's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds, which is good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds, aperture of f/5.6 at ISO 50. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg