Sigma DP2x Review

July 1, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |


The Sigma DP2x is a very minor upgrade of the previous DP2s model, with quicker autofocusing being the principal new feature. Although this helps to make the camera faster to operate, it's not enough to keep up with the ever-expanding competition. In isolation the DP2x is a solid enough camera with great image quality, but there are just too many better alternatives on the market.

Four years is a long time in the world of photography, and sadly time hasn't been too kind to Sigma's compact camera vision. Back in 2008, the DP2 stood alone as the only relatively small camera with a DSLR sensor, providing fantastic image quality in a pocketable format. Fast forward to mid-2011 though, and Sigma have been joined by Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Ricoh and most recently Pentax in this segment of the market, with their compact system cameras providing comparable image quality, often in a similar sized package to the DP2x. The compact system cameras also offer the significant benefit of interchangeable lenses, both prime and zoom, making them instantly much more verastile than Sigma's cameras.

Which isn't to say that the Sigma DP2x is suddenly a bad camera. Far from it - the X3F sensor still offers excellent image quality with the added benefit of RAW format support. There is virtually no noise throughout the ISO range, only at the fastest JPEG setting of ISO 800, which left me wondering why Sigma chose not to include ISO 1600 and 3200 settings for JPEG as well as RAW files. Chromatic aberrations like purple and green-fringing, typically a problem in this class of camera, are simply non-existent on the DP2x, testament to the excellent prime lens, which is also the reason for the almost complete lack of pincushion or barrel distortion, and the fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 is very welcome. Just be aware that the quoted 14.06 megapixel resolution isn't comparable to a Bayer sensor, in that it creates much smaller 2652×1768 pixel images which you'll need to interpolate for larger print sizes.

The speed of the DP2x has been improved thanks to the improved AF algorithim, but don't expect a quantum leap in performance from the previous DP2. The DP2x is still not well-suited to quick moving subjects, with a slower and more considered approach required to get the best from it. The full retail price of £619 / $699 is an awful lot to pay for a compact camera, with the DP2x costing the same as a mid-range DSLR camera with kit lens or a comparably-sized compact system camera. So although the Sigma DP2x improves on the previous generation, there are now far too many more verastile and simply better alternatives to recommend it more strongly.

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Features 3
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 3