|Sigma DP1 14MP Digital Camera
|List Price: $599.99
Our Price: $445.00
You Save: $154.99 (26%)
The DP1 is a completely new type of camera offering the full specs and high image quality of a DSLR in the body of a compact camera. It is powered by the 14-megapixel Foveon X3 direct-image-sensor, which can reproduce high-definition images rich in gradation and impressive three-dimensional detail.
It is possible to record images in RAW or the widely used JPEG in four resolution modes. It offers five Exposure modes and three Metering modes as well as being equipped with a built-in flash with the Guide Number of 6, hot shoe, neck strap and 2.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 pixels.
The DP1 has the high resolution and functionality of an SLR, plus adaptability in terms of accessories, all built into a small body.
- 14-megapixel resolution; SLR-sized image sensor
- 16.6mm F4 lens designed exclusively for the DP1
- Large, 2.5-inch LCD; 3 metering modes and 5 exposure modes
- JPEG recording format for convenience plus a RAW data (X3F) recording mode
- Capture images to SD/SDHC cards and MMC (not included)
- I'm more than satisfied
+ Nice optics
+ Awesome colour fidelity
+ Cool manual modes
+ Manual focus
- LCD freezes between shots
- AutoFocus is too slow
I wish Amazon increased the availability of the macro lens adapters.
This cam is really good for amateur photographers who want to avoid the endless cost loop of collecting DSLR lenses and accessories for each single purpose....more info
- Amazing quality for the size/price. But.....
My background is in fine art and architectural photography. I use film/digital and have always wanted a high quality yet pocketable digital camera. The reviews on the web were mixed at best - but I felt that there were enough high quality photos taken at iso 200/400 out there to convince me to give it a shot.
-You MUST shoot with raw files as they are much higher quality then jpg files
-You MUST be OK with using JUST the 28mm field of view (I hate zooms!)
-You MUST take the time to run the files through the included (but very slow) SPP software AND then spend more time with photoshop
-Auto focus is not the best, but perfectly usable in my experience. Manual focus is easy to use outdoors when you know the available depth of field (numbers are floating around the web)
-The camera handles very well with an accessory viewfinder - easily fits in your jacket pocket.
-ISO 50 is absolutely amazing quality. Also, I feel that you can go up to 400 as color images/prints. I would use 800 only for b+w's because of the noise.
-While there are not that many buttons on the back, I have customized it so that both ISO and metering settings can be changed with one button press each.
In summary, this is a great little camera for the seasoned photographer. The main drawback is it's relative slowness in terms of AF and file writing. Overall though, the image quality it produces outweigh those weaknesses. I predict that this will reach cult status when discontinued.
Hope this helps.
ps. My comparisons were based on my experience with a canon 5d mkI and an epson r-d1. ...more info
- A digiatl Leica M that can do AF. It is NOT for everyone.
I have been a happy user of this camera for more than 2 months. In terms of image quality, I would say it is better than most affordable DSLRs. After I got my Sigma SD14, I threw my Canon 400D into trash can and sold my 5D at very cheap price. After I got this DP1 as soon as it was 'in stock' at Amazon, I use SD14 only when longer lenses are needed.
But I have never recommended it to anyone who asked me about digital cameras, because of the poor operation as has been mentioned in many reviews. It does not bother me, as I have been using old cameras such as Leica M and Hasselblad. Actually, in addition to IQ, there is one thing I like very much: the manual focusing wheel. After some half-hour practice, I found that I got a digital Leica M with a 28mm lens, which can do auto focus when needed!
- not perfect however very close
I where looking for a high quality SLR similar compact camera I can carry in my pocket. In general the DP1 is exactly what I was looking for. The results are amazing and since everything can be done manually you can shoot in every situation with extremely good results. However there are some things to put into consideration: First - automatic focus takes forever. The only way to get around is to just simply switch to manual mode, what is ok in almost any situation. Second - I never know where to put the lens cap. So far I do not have a solution found. Third - the DP1 is not a point and shoot camera. You have to put some brain in every photo you take and use the controls wisely. Fourth - the camera is slightly too big and does not really fit in my pocket.
Besides from that - I love the camera. The pictures are extraordinary. ...more info
- Thoughts on the DP-1
The DP-1 has been widely reviewed and lambasted, so I will keep my comments to my findings and experience with this camera. Upon opening the box I was impressed with the solid, yet compact, feel of the DP-1. It feels well made and constructed with high quality materials. Fits the hand nicely, though somewhat slippery.
The lens is not completely housed within the camera body, so that while it's a compact design this isn't truly a pocket camera, unless you wear cargo pants. This camera really wants to be carried in a pouch, a small waist bag or a purse or backpack.
Once you turn it on your greeted by a fairly bright and large LCD, some have complained of loss of detail in bright light. I find that the LCD is about what you'd expect from most cameras, it's utility is degraded in bright light. The Sub-menu structure is somewhat involved, with different options presented depending on the setting the main dial is on. This can make on the fly changes somewhat difficult, and requires that you experiment, practice and set the camera to one major setting (Program, Aperture priority, etc) during a shoot, making small adjustments within it as you go (ISO, focus, etc).
This lens really sings, it's got wonderful IQ, the images captured are sharp, brilliant and extremely vivd. I don't miss the ability to zoom, though with this kind of lens it would be nice.
Good feedback from all the dials and buttons, though some of them require reviewing the manual to understand their use.
Easy to use (with the caveats listed below)
Great lens IQ
Great, vivid image capture
Small size makes it easy to shoot daily
Full manual control of the photographic process
Short battery life, if shooting with LCD and flash
F4.0 lens can lead to long exposure times and some difficulty in capturing images in low light
Menu layout is not intuitive and varies with settings
Unable to quickly change essential settings quickly
Image format not yet natively accepted by Aperture, requiring saving multiple file copies.
Autofocus can be very slow
Slow image write times to card
This is not your typical P&S camera, nor should it be purchased by amateurs that desire quick P&S type function.
For the serious amateur or professional who wants a small format, excellent digital capture camera the DP-1 can quickly become an important piece of equipment.
The images are really beautiful and can easily match those of prosumer DSLRs.
This is a great V1 implementation of a larger sensor in a small camera. Hopefully V2 will be even better....more info
- Glad I bought it
I thought long and hard about this purchase. After all, I am retired, fixed income. I have a Leica Digilux 2 cameera, which is excellent, but very bulky. I have wanted a Foveon camera since they were first announced. However, the first ones to market were very expensive and I could not justify it.
This little camera, however, is a dream. I photograph in daylight, nothing fancy, and I am not in a hurry. The photos are incredible. They are everything you have read, and more. The camera is small and easy to carry around. Others have written better reviews than this, but if you understand what the Foveon sensor is, you must have this camera....more info
- Great image quality in a compact, take one.
Although there are a number of widely varying opinions amongst the reviews on this page, hardly anyone says anything that I'd say is wrong. It's just a question of what priorities you have and what you want in a camera. If you're looking for the best all-around compact you can get, and are satisfied with perfectly decent image quality, maybe you'd be better off with something like the Canon G10 or Panasonic LX3, excellent cameras by all accounts. On the other hand, if you want a compact camera that has, hands down, the best picture quality of any compact digicam on the market today, and you are willing to put up with a slow, quirky, limited camera to get it, welcome to the Sigma DP1.
A lot has been written about this camera, both in these Amazon reviews, and elsewhere. Since there is no shortage of information, I am going to limit my comments to two areas. First, some specifics regarding image quality, followed by a couple of clarifications regarding things that people have said in other reviews on this page.
Other than being cool looking (to my eye), and very solidly built, this camera is basically a one trick pony, and its trick is unsurpassed image quality. So even the most minor image quality flaws bear mentioning. Keep in mind, the pictures from this camera are outstanding, and I am doing everything I can to nitpick here.
1. Color noise, especially at high ISO in dark areas, takes the form of green and magenta mottling. It is much less finely grained than color noise usually is, and as such, is not entirely removed by the normally very effective "color noise reduction" slider in Lightroom.
2. White balance sometimes tends towards magenta in the highlights, and green in shadow areas, making a global white balance correction difficult in some cases.
3. Color saturation is greatly reduced at high ISO.
4. Chromatic abberation, though slight and easily corrected in Lightroom, seems more pronounced in many of my photos than it had been in sample photos that I'd looked at before purchase.
Again, I'm really looking for flaws here. Sharpness and dynamic range are incredible. Color and noise levels are amazing. The picture quality of this camera bests not only any other compact, but indeed many lower end DSLRs as well.
Lastly, a few comments regarding some things said in other reviews on this page.
1. The latest DP1 firmware (1.04 as of this writing) includes a number of improvements, including the ability to map the ISO controls to the otherwise useless "zoom" buttons on the camera. This means that ISO can now be changed directly with a single button push, without going into any menu. (My camera, ordered a couple weeks ago from Amazon, did not come with the latest firmware, but it is easy to download and install from Sigma's website.)
2. As of this writing, Adobe Camera Raw, DNG Converter, and Lightroom 2.1 now offer "preliminary" support for DP1 raw files. I have been using Lightroom 2.1, and to be honest, it does not render the DP1 raw files as well as Sigma's own software. But it is adequate in most cases, and it is reasonable to expect that this will improve once the support is no longer just "preliminary."
3. Some reviewers have mentioned that the camera is not really 14 megapixels, one reviewer going so far as to suggest that the claim is misleading, "since each pixel records only one color." By that logic, the megapixel claims of all manufacturers are spurious, since the same is true of every camera on the market. If you're interested in this camera, you probably already know what the Foveon X3 sensor is, and understand issues of color interpolation vs. spacial interpolation, and photo sensors vs. final image pixels. But if you're interested in reading more about this, Mike Chaney gives the best explanation I've encountered. (Amazon apparently won't let me give a link here, you can do a Google search for "Chaney" and "sd14" and click the first result.) Mr. Chaney is talking about the Sigma SD14, but the SD14 and the DP1 use the same image sensor, and all of his comments are applicable to the DP1 as well.
All in all, I am very happy with this camera, and I hope it is a sign of things to come. It is not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction, and it would be great to see Sigma, and other manufactures, continue down this road of making compact cameras for serious photographers....more info
- Sigma DP-1camera review
After reading so many mixed reviews about this camera I sure was confused.It took me several weeks to decide what to do.I finally took the plunge and purchased it and I do not regret it.This camera produces excellent quality pictures and that`s what I was after.Also manual controls are what I needed.Anybody who is not familiar with basic photography should choose a different point&shoot camera..This is not a camera for rapid shooting.I shoot a lot of landscapes an slow prepared set-ups,so as I already said "it`s an excellent little camera"....more info
- Image Quality makes this a 5 star for me
You may have read reviews that complain about some of the old fashion aspects of this camera - it's slow, its display is hard to read in the sun, it doesn't have a bunch of bells and whistles. But when it comes right down to what matters most, image quality, this camera has all of the other small cameras beat by miles. The combination of large size sensor and foveon technology makes this camera a winner for me. If you are a point-and-shooter I wouldn't buy this camera because it lacks many features of the usual point-and-shoot camera. But if like me image quality is what you seek, you'll find it in this funky little camera. I love mine and have taken over 6000 pictures with it. I took it with me to Italy and got some great photos. I shoot raw and use the Sigma software to process my photos. It's slow to use but handles dynamic range really well....more info
- A highly specialized tool for the artist
The Sigma DP1 is a highly specialized tool for the artist/photographer and has a very sharp 28mm (35mm equiv.) non-interchangeable wide angle lens. It has no optical zoom. Much has been written about the quality of its images and it is well-deserved; the images are amazingly beautiful. The colors seem "cleaner," less muted. Interestingly though, Sigma has skimped on everything except image quality, like not having a built-in lens cover, image-stabilization, a viewfinder, a spring loaded battery cover, or a strong flash. Or generating a jpeg simultaneously along with RAW files. (Jpeg's are standard, but when set to RAW there is no jpeg generated, which means you can view it on the camera's LCD but not on the computer, unless you create a jpeg by processing it through their Sigma Photo Pro program.) The Sigma DP1 is a very compact camera about the same size as the Panasonic LX3, and weight and bulk of the Canon G9, but with an SLR-sized (APS-C) Foveon sensor. It comes with an excellent manual and once you turn off the beeping for focus confirmation and button click (which I tend to do), it operates silently except for the mechanical groan it emits when extending or retracting its lens on power-on and power-down.
It handles easily on a wrist strap. Its 230,000 pixel LCD is adequate for a 2.5" display and doesn't seem unusually coarse or dim. Auto-focusing is deliberate and slow. As a work-around, you can speed things up by setting the camera to manual focus and either zone-focus for a distance or infinity. Auto-exposure is also slow, taking a second or two to settle on the exposure. Since the camera has no image stabilization (a big draw-back in my opinion, and fairly common amongst point-and-shoots costing less than half the price) forget about photographing indoors without flash, unless of course you use a tripod. The power button placement is awkward. The LCD can easily be scratched. Noise (graininess) is evident in darker tones beyond ISO 200. In low light the display becomes grayscale even though the final image is normal. But if you can tolerate all that the results are worth it.
Letter size prints looked awesome but the real test was seeing how they would print on 13" wide paper on my Epson 2200. Increasing image size in Photoshop (bicubic for smoother) from 2640 x 1760 pixels to 3240 x 2160 pixels (for 12x18") while maintaining resolution at 180 ppi (pixels-per-inch) yielded impressive results. To my eye the Sigma DP1 RAW files produces sharper prints than anything from a Canon G9 or Panasonic LX2.
If close-up photography is your thing the Hood Adapter HA-11 is mandatory because there are no filter screw treads on the lens.
The updated Sigma Photo Pro v3.2 software for processing RAW files has a powerful new interface which makes it very user-friendly. The Firmware update 2.0 (released late 2008) adds a bit more customizable functionality to the LCD display and buttons.
This camera might be too limiting for the beginner, but if your photography is one of reflection and observation rather than quick reaction, you will find the Sigma DP1 a noteworthy asset in your arsenal of image-making tools....more info
- Are you serious about this?
$800 to match the performance of a $40 Insta-Matic? This is progress?
This camera does a few things exceptionally well, which will suit a few people well. But for most of the things people buy a camera for, this one does mediocrely, at best.
It may be the slowest camera on the market at almost everything--so no quick shots of the kids playing, the dog fetching, or a sports team doing anything but stand there.
The 14MP sensor is a somewhat specious claim. Each pixel records only one color, so the actual image size is only 4.46MP--smaller than almost any other camera out there. (In bright light, those will be 4.46 very good MP's. But its performance in low light is not outstanding.) This is an adequate file size for a 11x14 print, if you don't need to crop. But given the lens, you probably will need to crop--a lot.
Insta-Matics had wide-angle lenses mainly because they put everything in focus. But they also distort perspective badly, which creates problems for most shots. The shot of your family opening Christmas presents will show little, tiny people in an immense, cavernous living room. That nice snapshot of your family standing in front of the Eiffel Tower will turn out to be a scary shot of the Eiffel Tower looming over your little, tiny family. To get the picture you wanted of your family, you'll have to crop the shot, which will be too small a file to get a good enlargement. Eight-hundred dollars is a lot to spend for 4x6 snaps.
To get a portrait of your mom, you'll have to shove the camera in her face, which she probably won't like. She'll like the picture you get even less, because she'll look like a squirrel--pointy nosed and round-cheeked. By exaggerating perspective, a wide angle lens not only makes spaces look deeper than they are, they also exaggerate facial features--which is why portrait photographers use telephoto lenses. Pointy noses and apple cheeks for everyone.
So if this camera does EXACTLY what you need, go for it. For the same money, however, you can get a much more versatile DSLR, which will do more things better than this, even if it'll be larger and more complicated to use. If you need RAW output, a Canon G9 will do most things better than this at half the cost. And, if you don't need RAW, something like a $200 Canon A720IS will give more people more usable prints than this camera. Actually, almost any decent consumer point-and-shoot will give more people more useful prints, even if none is anywhere near as good as this camera's best shots.
All digital cameras involve compromises, but this seems to offer too many for all but a few users....more info
- In just a few months I've taken some of my Fav images of all time
I've had the Sigma Dp1 for about 4 months now and it has helped me create some great images (I've uploaded them to amazon so please check them). The camera does have some serious drawbacks but if you work to its strengths-shooting in good natural light-focusing manually-you can get some superb results. I've also taken some nice shots using long exposures but it can be hit or miss. I like to experiment a lot in my photography and with the Dp1 I know that I may miss some shots. If I'm going to a party I'm much more likely to take my Canon SD870, which is also a great camera. For Macro or sports photography I'll take my Nikon D300 but for an everyday camera for street photography something I can carry around and is very unobtrusive it the Dp1.
My biggest complaint about the Dp1 is not the camera but the software that comes with it, its not very mac friendly and is clunky. I hope that some day I'll be able to import directly to Adobe lightroom directly.
So to conclude I'm very happy and satisfied with my purchase. Its not the right camera for everyone. But if you love experimenting and can work with its limitations I think you will like this camera. ...more info
- Think and shoot
This is a very wise camera in a very small body. It forces the user to be wise, as well, and do some thinking before shooting. It has limitations, but for my purposes, the glorious image quality in such a small package are more than enough to outweigh any negatives. It's a wonderful product. Just don't expect it to do what it can't do. ...more info
- 5 Stars...Met My Expectations
It came down to Panasonic and Sigma for me. I suppose I'm an amateur photographer, but one with a large amount of experience using DSLRs. I always get frustrated with compact digital cameras since they usually have little creative/manual controls...then I heard about the DP1 from a friend of my brother's, did some research...
The quality of the DP1 is amazing for how small the camera is. It's the main reason I chose this camera over the Panasonic LX3. Well...and it was about $200 cheaper than the Panasonic at the time I bought it ($450 is a steal for this camera!). The design of the camera really appealed to me as well. The DP1 makes you work a little more for a good photo. That's what I wanted - not a feature-packed camera with an exceptional auto mode. The auto mode on the DP1 is alright, but I almost never use it because you can't manually focus in that mode. As long as you don't expect this camera to perform like a DSLR, you'll be alright. The flash is weak, ISO above 200/400 is usually too grainy (mostly in low-light), and card write times are relatively slow. The videos from the DP1 have a great look to them, but the resolution is too small for any use other than making video for Internet upload. But hey, it's a digital camera, so the quality of the video mode doesn't really matter to me.
If you want a more consumer-friendly camera, buy the Nikon P6000 or Canon G10. If you want HD video and to pay more, get the Panasonic LX3. Or, if you want the BEST quality photos and to learn a little bit about photography, get the DP1 like I did.
A few random tips:
-I got the Mountainsmith Cyber II M case at REI, it fits the DP1 perfectly with a spare battery and memory card, and is a rugged case for all of my outdoor adventures
-Check out Lensmate for customizing the DP1, I got the grip from their website and I love it
-Figure out if you want to shoot RAW or JPEG, a 4 GB card holds about 1,100-1,200 high quality JPEGS, while only holding 250 RAW files (I'm getting into RAW and wish I had bought a larger card initially, oh well!)
-The software that comes with the DP1 is definitely average, so look around if you want better options for converting and editing RAW images. I suggest Adobe Lightroom...more info
- Great Images, Poor Software
This isn't a camera for everyone. I hike a lot in the mountains and its images are *gorgeous*. The 28mm is o.k.; I'd prefer something a little wider. It's s l o w with raw images; that's all I shoot. The Sigma software is (today) the /only/ way to convert raw images to TIFFs, and it's buggy. The Mac version crashes after 10 -12 images. That's totally unacceptable. Other Intel Mac users have the same problems according to the blogs. We're all waiting for ACR to do what Sigma hasn't yet been able to do.
I'm surprised that some reviewers bought this camera to take snapshots of kiddies opening Christmas presents under the tree and were disappointed. This isn't a camera for action shots nor does it have smile detection, play slideshows, etc. No camera is good for all uses, just as no automobile is good for all uses. But what this does well, it does /very/ well. Just know what you're buying before you click on the "Buy" button.
My Canon G9 has a great user interface but suffers from pixel packing. It's great for snapshots, but when I want SLR quality images without the bulk of an SLR, the Sigma is easily the superior camera....more info
- Warning - Actually a 5MP camera and NOT 14MP.
Sigma uses a very different sensor technology that actually captures three colors for every pixel while all other digital cameras capture one color per pixel and then interpolate the colors. Unfortunately Sigma has taken this difference as an excuse to mislead people by claiming that 2640 x 1760 pixels is 14MP when simple arithmetic shows it to be not quite 5MP....more info
- I wanted to like it
I wanted to like this camera but didn't.
The lens is too wide for most uses. I suppose if you shoot mostly with a 28mm lens, you may like this camera more but I would have prefered a 35mm equivalent lens. I also found that it was too sluggish in operation and I longed for a faster lens. The out of focus areas are quite smooth and due to the large sensor, you can still get shallow depth of field (the larger the sensor, the shallower DOF is obtainable) however in low light situations, the f4 lens is not fast enough.
The RAW files must be processed through Sigma's own software which is kludgey.
And the video feature on this camera is a joke. Even a $150. Canon ELPh can do higher quality 640x480 DVD quality videos. The Sigma DP1 only does QVGA 320 resolution videos.
The camera looks cool and the images out of it are certainly better than other small point and shoot cameras (it comes close but does not equal the image quality of out a DSLR). But, with all the negatives, the Sigma DP1 is just not worth the money. ...more info
- Your choice...
Here is my contribution to the Sigma DP1 users review in the form of a question to you, potential buyer :-)
What do you prefer?
I. A compact cam from a well known and respected manufacturer with all the latest bells and whistles and designed around a small and crappy bayer matrix sensor producing noisy and lifeless images consistently?
II. A compact cam from a more humble brand with average operational performance, designed around an excellent prime lens and a 7 times larger sensor producing amazing results that will make you love doing photography again?
I answered II....more info
- Quarky little Dp1
This little camera even with its quarks, like slow write SD card times, is amazing. The image quality of the Foveon sensor is great, with the sensor being full scale shooting raw at iso 400 gives almost noise free images, even at 800 with a properly exposed image the noise is not too great. This is a wonderful camera to add to a DSLR collection for those everyday, carry everywhere shots. It's size and handling make it a super street camera. The Dp1 even with it's auto features it is not a beginner or PTBS machine, it does require a bit of thought and understanding to make it work for the photographer. I do recommend getting either the Sigma or a Voigtlander view finder, the lens hood and an extra battery....more info
- dp1 a different breed
dp1 is a great camera, but it really is not a point and shot. specially for portrait, it's a bit too slow to capture anything with only small movements. for still life, it's a great camera if you learn how to use it. the noise level is really really good compared to any other point and shot. but compared to DSLR the resolution desires a bit more. while RAW is great, none of other software been able to read it and the sigma photo pro is so limiting even in the converting side, i have to figure out a work flow to convert 2 times for lightroom (one low res and when finishing a highest res with 16 bit).
but the biggest lacking features is a small zoom and anti-shake, if sigma can put a decent zoom and good anti-shake and still keep the size, I would never have to bring my DSLR anymore.