If you're really curious, I'd recommend downloading a couple RAW files from the Sigma SD14 (or one of the earlier Sigma DSLRs) and see what you think. Also, Phil Askey's review of the SD 10, http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sigmasd10/, might be interesting to read as background on the Foveon. Also check imaging-resource.com for Sigma SLR reviews. I think the principle is the same with all of these Sigma cameras.
Also...I haven't tested a Sigma yet but, based on what I've seen so far, I suspect that the files will up-res much better than their MP size might suggest. Obviously, I'll know more when I have the actual DP1 in my hands.
That's a good idea too. In a couple of weeks, I'll start one of my most intense extended periods of photographing and I'm looking forward to it. The M8 is still the M8.
Now back on photography. After a long time I re-subscribed to Sean´s reviews recently. I had forgotten how unique his approach to reviews and equipment is, and would like to recomend anybody who hasn´t to give it a try, really worth it. Thanks Sean. And by the way...WHAT´S NEXT???
Good light to all..
I found this a very interesting read on the bayer vs foveon sensor debate.
One big plus being small file sizes.
Please pardon my vague English..
The E-410 is simply a mainstream version of the E-400 with a Panasonic NMOS sensor, which is a better performer above 400 ISO - although some E-400 owners (myself included) romanticise about the Kodak CCD in the E-400 having better colour character at base ISO. I don't think there's enough of a difference to worry about... especially if you shoot RAW (which I recommend)
On the subject of RAW, the E-410 compresses RAW to <10MB which is very welcome. It also provides a form of live-view which can be very useful for tripod based work (i.e. macros).
The twin kit lens version of the E-410 is excellent optical quality, and superb value for money, but I suspect there will be an E-420 announced in the next couple of months, hopefully with an even better sensor - perhaps derived from the E-3.
I find the ergonomics of the E-400 series to be excellent, and surprisingly close to the DP1 in size, with the added quality and flexibility of 4/3rd lens choice...
E-410 compared with DP1
Hope that helps,
That's the question I face every morning <G>. Here's what's cooking:
- comments on a pre-production version of an upgraded M8
- the first of two articles on children as photographers
- an essay on B&W photogrpahy
- various Leica and Pentax lens reviews
- reviews of the DP1, Olympus E3 and Nikon D3
Thanks for the comments on the site.
thanks for your review site... I'm taking my time reading through them all and really enjoying it. I particularly enjoyed the R1 review - since mine has hardly been used since I got it last year... however I've found that the E-3 in live view mode with the lcd flipped out onto my left wrist allows me the same top-down shooting style so I think my R1's days are numbered.
Here's a shot taken with my E-3 + Hexanon 57mm f1.2 - inspired by your R1 review I used the E-3 waist level...
Have you considered reviewing the Olympus E-410 in a similar class to the DP1?
Keep up the good work!
Last edited by Brian Mosley; 12th February 2008 at 05:27.
Beautiful portrait Brian.
I think the Foveon sensor is pretty impressive with direct to B&W conversions from RAW. At high ISO, the blotchiness seen in color images is largely absent from black and white. Click here to see extremely high ISO images from the Sigma SD14, which has the same sensor as the DP1. Click here to see an SD14 B&W image upres'd to 14MP.
Last edited by asabet; 12th February 2008 at 19:18.
Hi, Sean —
Thanks for being interested in seeing my B & W infrared stuff. I'd love to show it to you, but it'll have to be awhile, as none of it is in digital form yet.
Thanks for your interest, which is most encouraging.
Hi, johnastovall —
I was thinking, more prosaically, that there might be some theoretical writings by Blake which I hadn't heard of, rather than of his amazing art.
Your response reminds me of the story about Frank LLoyd Wright, who was asked by a women's group to talk to them on the theme, "What is Art?" He dutifully arrived, made his way to the podium, took a small book from his pocket and, with no words of introduction or explanation, began to read to them the whole of one of Hans Christian Anderson's Fairy Tales. When he'd finished, he closed the book, said, "That, dear Ladies, is Art," and took his seat.
Thanks for being so imaginatively concrete.
thanks for the DP1 links... and yes, the high ISO B&W images do seem to be very impressive indeed - as you say, the noise is very fine grained. It would be excellent to see a comparison with the GRD/II at ISO 3200/6400
The B&W portrait is also very good... unfortunately, I don't think the fixed lens on the DP1 will be well suited to portrait work though... although I can see more of a case for street shooting in B&W given your linked info.
Amin, I read on dpreview that the DP1 may suffer from blotchy colour noise at high ISO... I didn't know that - the DP1 looks like it will be a very interesting mix of capabilities / limitations.
I think it will be a camera some people love, and some people hate... i.e. a camera with character! which I like - just a matter of understanding the very specific niche in which it will sing.
A slight hijack for one line only:
UK Prices announced at http://www.sigmauser.eu/content/view/189/63/
Dp1 digital camera £549.99
DP1 digital camera with optical viewfinder £599.99
Finder alone £ 84.99
EF 140DG Flashgun £ 44.99
HA-11 Hood Adaptor £ 19.99
SAC-3 AC Adaptor £ 39.99
BC-31 Battery Charger £ 39.99
BP-31 spare battery £ 29.99
An E-410? Maybe, the E-3 will be first and we'll see from there.
That is stunning portrait, you are a very effective patron of the Olympus DSLR'S!!!!
I'm hoping that by the time you've done the E-3 there will be an E-420 announced! that would be an even more interesting review...
Good luck with your E-3 review, I'm really looking forward to your insights. Do you have any Leica R lenses you could try with an adapter? Rich Simpson is getting some beautiful results with his... and they're still relatively inexpensive to collect - I must get started with that.
The E-1 has a beautifully quiet shutter release, it's a real shame Olympus couldn't have brought that forward to the E-3.
I thought I read somewhere that the sensor was similar to the SD14, and that the software/firmware would be different. Have you seen anything about that?
Other than the high ISO issues, do you think the B&W rendering from the DP1 at low ISO will be as good, or better, than from a Bayer sensor at low ISO?
Everything I have read suggests that the sensors of the DP1 and SD14 are the same, which does not preclude differences in firmware or in-camera processing, or handling by RAW software. It may be that Sigma has redesigned the microlenses, though I've seen no indication of that either. As far as low ISO B&W from the DP1 vs Bayer sensors, I don't have the answer. Clearly not all Bayer sensors are created equal. I'm probably going to pick up a DP1 and do some detailed image quality comparisons between that camera, the GRD II, and the Canon 5D.
Does anyone know if the DP1 will be able to attach adaptors like the GRDII currently does? Thanks!
It's my understanding that the hood is threaded which would allow various after-market converters to be used.
the 410 isn't weather-sealed. I think Brian is hoping that the yet-to-be-announced 420 will be.
I agree hiro, the DP1 seems to be dramatically overpriced considering the competition... however, it could be a PR stunt to raise the perception of the camera's value at launch.
Also, I get the feeling that Sigma are in the habit of raising the flag to see who salutes! the original DP1 concept was panned on the forums for not having a viewfinder - Sigma seemed to take the comments on board and added a hotshoe + viewfinder attachment.
I have a strong feeling that once production ramps up, the RRP will drop to £450 including viewfinder attachment in the UK. Either that, or it will flop and we'll be picking it up at £200 in the firesales.
Isn't it true that most manufacturers announce a price an the actual street price ends up be ing far lower?
Of course that simply could be wishful thinking on my part
Firesale price sounds nice to me around now, not that I would wish them a failure. It would just seem that the UK is the eternal cash cow.
Here is the price from Amazon as of today on preorders, not sure about the converted price for the UK.
List Price: $999.99
Price: $799.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping. Details
You Save: $200.00 (20%)
Availability: This item will be released on March 25, 2008. Pre-order now! Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Just about every Sigma camera falls dramatically in price over time. This is in contrast to the Ricohs, which seem to hold price until they are replaced. That said, the US street price for the DP1 is less than 15% more than the price of the GRD II, and I find the higher price of the Sigma justified given that it is the first of its kind and will most likely have much better image quality than the Ricoh in certain situations. Of course the part about better image quality is just a guess. We'll find out soon enough. In the meanwhile, here's an interesting comparison of the Kodak 14nx (DSLR with a 14MP Bayer sensor and no AA filter) and the Sigma SD14 (SLR with the same Foveon sensor found in the DP1). Too bad they didn't have a GRD II on hand for the test .
That's good to know... I hope the price falls dramatically over a very short time in the UK - because at the moment it's looking silly.
I do accept that a unique camera will deserve a higher price - but as I read somewhere, it is a mass produced plastic camera - i.e. hardly a leica.
DigitalCameraReview.com had the following to say about the production-ready model: "In terms of build, there's a lot more metal here than was seen on earlier prototypes, giving the whole thing the feeling of a precise photographic instrument." It may be mass produced, but Sigma has no illusions about marketing this to the masses. Here's an excerpt from the 20+ page catalog downloadable from the DP1 site:
The DP1 is not priced like a Leica M. It is priced less than 15% higher than a GRD II and close to the average introductory price of the D-LUX series. Seems reasonable to me.Sigma's main effort went into
perfecting basic performance.
We aimed to create a brand-new
compact digital camera delivering
top-of-the-range image quality.
We gave it a large, SLR-sized image
sensor. A direct image sensor
capable of capturing all the light and
color. We developed a lens specially
for top performance. We developed
a special image-processing engine,
from scratch. If you're pursuing the
very essence of cameras and photos,
these elements are indispensable.
We also minimized the automatic
element in selecting the capture
setting. We scaled back the image-
correcting functions, and took care
to leave the photographer plenty
of creative scope. We think the
camera should be a tool that lets the
photographer take the initiative and
work the magic. We designed the
user interface with care.
We made it easy for the user to select
the best mode to shoot in, based his
or her perception of the light and
the subject's texture. We made sure
the camera's own image processing
doesn't tinker too much with the
tone when the data is processed.
This way, the light captured by
the lens is converted faithfully into
image signal. These are the ideals
behind the DP1's approach
to making pictures.
The DP1 may not be the easiest
camera to use, and it may not be
ideal for the casual user. But if you
want a camera that stimulates your
creative intelligence, brings out an
artistic urge you never knew you
had, and ignites your talent, that
would be the DP1. It may not have
the kind of extra features that hit
the headlines. But if you want to
capture the true complexities of
light and color on planet Earth, and
turn them into top-quality images,
then no other camera will do.
A camera for artists: if the DP1
increases the sum of human art by
a single work, Sigma will be happy.
A high-performance compact digital
camera in a class of its own.
A camera aimed squarely at the
heart of photographic art.
A camera that sparks the creative
urge. That would be the DP1.
Price matters to us on a personal level, but really I say these guys should charge whatever they believe will make it worth it for them to manufacture something special. My sense is that truly great cameras don't disappear because they are too expensive. If they produce great models, a lot of us will purchase them — overpriced or not — then other manufacturers will jump in, and on it will go. I predict a flurry of compact innovation, and all of these cameras will cost more than we'd like to spend. It will last a few years, until we all basically have our dream cameras in hand — the digital versions of our Hexars or Canonets or GR1's etc — and once that demand is met, the innovation will slow down and it'll be another generation before a new wave is developed. But at least for now, we're at the beginning of that wave, so ... lets party!
Fully agree Ian.
I agree as well
waiting till DP-1 and or e420 is out.
edit; tho i still prefer the 'drawing' of images from my GRD, also the GX-100 prices are dropping, adding that temptation to the mix
Last edited by Lili; 16th February 2008 at 10:12.
Yesterday i spoke with Tony Rose (POPFLASH)
Thanking him for the rapid arrival of my GR D2 /YEAH!!!! (Traded in my GR d1)
and we talked about the DP1 / which he saw at the Photo Marketing Convention in Las Vegas
The images looked Good that were taken with it but he was NOT impressed with the SIZE
nor the fact that SIGMA would not let you hold or try the camera.
Tony will be getting it in from the Far East by the end of March
Limited amount because SIGMA would prefer you to carry their whole line
SOoooo hold your ears to the ground......wait & see or be content with what you got
Last edited by helenhill; 16th February 2008 at 11:22.
Popflash is my preferred dealer. Tony is cool.
They have the GX-100 discounted, and demo even lower.
Can anyone offer thoughts on how the DP1 may fare in Macro usage? Not sure if the sensor offers advantages here or not. Thanks!
Last edited by bbodine9; 18th February 2008 at 09:37.
There is no macro mode on the DP1, the closest it can focus is 30cm. So for macro it will be useless.