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Thread: Sigma Dp1

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    Sigma Dp1

    Many months ago I had the Sigma Dp1 for a few days, but in the end I did not keep it. It was too slow. However, I've been thinking about it again for its compactness and IQ, and I reviewed the Dp1 RAW files last night and I was impressed.

    This time around I don't think the slowness will bother me. My photography has slowed down for several reasons. I've been shooting film and I don't want to waste it, so I'm much more cautious about what I shoot, and with two young kids and a busy work life my free time is very limited, and I don't have hours and hours to sort through and process thousands of digital images. So, the effect is that my digital capture has slowed down to the pace of film. I always have a serious compact with me, usually a GRD2 and VF in the case that I do find an interesting picture in the landscape.

    I have a GRD2 and GX100, but though good as they are they have limitations. Color representation and richness is better on the Dp1 and the Dp1 creates more stunning B&W images because of the dynamic range. And they are clean, less noisy images.

    But will I just be frustrated again??? Am I fooling myself?

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    Senior Member fordfanjpn's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    How about waiting for the DP2? It supposedly will be faster to use, and will have a faster lens.

    Bill

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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    The DP2 is interesting, and I like that focal length, but 40mm is not 28mm.

  4. #4
    ddk
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewteee View Post
    Many months ago I had the Sigma Dp1 for a few days, but in the end I did not keep it. It was too slow. However, I've been thinking about it again for its compactness and IQ, and I reviewed the Dp1 RAW files last night and I was impressed.

    This time around I don't think the slowness will bother me. My photography has slowed down for several reasons. I've been shooting film and I don't want to waste it, so I'm much more cautious about what I shoot, and with two young kids and a busy work life my free time is very limited, and I don't have hours and hours to sort through and process thousands of digital images. So, the effect is that my digital capture has slowed down to the pace of film. I always have a serious compact with me, usually a GRD2 and VF in the case that I do find an interesting picture in the landscape.

    I have a GRD2 and GX100, but though good as they are they have limitations. Color representation and richness is better on the Dp1 and the Dp1 creates more stunning B&W images because of the dynamic range. And they are clean, less noisy images.

    But will I just be frustrated again??? Am I fooling myself?
    You'll be fooling yourself! I hung on to mine for several months for the same reason you mentioned above; I liked the camera's IQ but not my images. Something about the DP1's handling and industrial design didn't click with my sensibilities. I also have the GRD2 and I manage to take far better images with the Ricoh than I ever could with Sigma. I don't think that it was a speed issue as I'm used to fairly deliberate cameras, its just the nature of the thing you either love it or hate it.

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    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    You'll be fooling yourself! I hung on to mine for several months for the same reason you mentioned above; I liked the camera's IQ but not my images. Something about the DP1's handling and industrial design didn't click with my sensibilities. I also have the GRD2 and I manage to take far better images with the Ricoh than I ever could with Sigma. I don't think that it was a speed issue as I'm used to fairly deliberate cameras, its just the nature of the thing you either love it or hate it.
    I would go along with that. I'm still making myself use the DP1 because I love some of the images it produces but it is very much a hate love relationship rather than a love hate one.

  6. #6
    asabet
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Andrew, I'll weigh in on the other side here. I think you're thinking is sound, and you should go for it.

    I shoot some 35mm film as well, and like you I have two small children. The DP1, for me, is a lot like film. It's easy to set manual focus, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO; plus when you trigger the shutter, there is no lag; so from that standpoint, it's a fairly responsive camera when using it as one would use a rangefinder. The main way in which film is more responsive is that I can get shorter shot to shot times with film than with the DP1.

    When taking photographs of static scenes with time to set up, the only thing frustrating about the DP1 is the lousy LCD. I keep the brightness up and manage to get by. No other compact can match the image quality.

    Maybe I'm the wrong person to give advice about the DP1, because I've never been frustrated by it. There are two other things that have changed since you last owned the DP1. First, the RAW files are now supported in Lightroom/ACR. That has made a big difference for some folks. Second, the price has come down. If you're in the US, Canoga Camera has them for $600 new.

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    since i sold my DP1 this past spring
    I found on occasion I do miss it......
    I am EXCITED about the dp2
    and 40mm seems like it will train my eye
    and suit me just Fine
    Hope they have made enormous leaps w/the new version

    Cheers ! -H

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    When is the release of the DP2 scheduled?
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Thanks for all the input! Always two sides to a decision. Some great points made.

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Interestingly, I came late to the DP1. Initially I was so looking forward to it and waited anxiously throughout the long development period, and then when the reviews came out, I decided to pass on it.

    About three months ago, however, I started to get renewed interest in the camera seeing the stellar results on forums such as DPI and DP. I bit the bullet and bought one and I've found it to be the best small format camera I've ever used. Yes, it has its foibles, but as Amin pointed out, if you use it as you would a film camera with manual focus, there's no issue with speed of use. And the images, my god, the images are just gorgeous, especially in B&W.

    At this point, I have my D300s and all the associated glass and then I have my trio of small cameras, the DP1, the G9 and the LX3. I can pack all three little guys in the same (if not less) space than one of the D300s and I have a huge range of opportunities for shooting, and all without breaking my back.

    The DP1 remains the camera I'll go to for landscapes and more contemplative work, or, of course, where the IQ is paramount.

    So, diatribe aside, my advise is don't count this camera out... it's a gem.

    Ciao,

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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Nice work Simon. it's clear that you really enjoy the compact cameras and know how to use them creatively!

  12. #12
    ddk
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    if you use it as you would a film camera with manual focus, there's no issue with speed of use. And the images, my god, the images are just gorgeous, especially in B&W.
    Please excuse me I'm trying to understand mean by using it like a film camera with manual focus? Unless you mean to use it like a cheap old instamatic; guess and hope for the best.

    The lcd is too poor quality and slow to use a focusing aid under any circumstances, the focusing adjustment is even too rough to be used for proper focusing even if the lcd was up to scratch. What kind of manual focusing are we talking about here? Hyperfocal? Then we're back to the instamatics and not any kind of decent film camera, the difference is that those cheap instamatics worked provided you had film when you needed it with the DP1 you have worry if the crummy battery has any juice, I had 3 of them and not one would keep charge over any period of time, unlike of my other cameras, compact or not. If I have to be this deliberate with a camera for its IQ then I'll pull out the 4x5! I don't know about you but I buy a COMPACT camera for convenience as much as anything else, the thought of carrying 3 different cameras to the job of one properly designed one just doesn't jive with me, its defeating the purpose of this kind of camera, but each to his own. For me Sigma dropped the ball with this one, specially considering the price and the time that they had to develop it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Please excuse me I'm trying to understand mean by using it like a film camera with manual focus? Unless you mean to use it like a cheap old instamatic; guess and hope for the best.

    The lcd is too poor quality and slow to use a focusing aid under any circumstances, the focusing adjustment is even too rough to be used for proper focusing even if the lcd was up to scratch. What kind of manual focusing are we talking about here? Hyperfocal? Then we're back to the instamatics and not any kind of decent film camera, the difference is that those cheap instamatics worked provided you had film when you needed it with the DP1 you have worry if the crummy battery has any juice, I had 3 of them and not one would keep charge over any period of time, unlike of my other cameras, compact or not. If I have to be this deliberate with a camera for its IQ then I'll pull out the 4x5! I don't know about you but I buy a COMPACT camera for convenience as much as anything else, the thought of carrying 3 different cameras to the job of one properly designed one just doesn't jive with me, its defeating the purpose of this kind of camera, but each to his own. For me Sigma dropped the ball with this one, specially considering the price and the time that they had to develop it.
    David,

    Wow, sounds like you have a real bee in your bonnet about the DP1. Let's see, how to answer this...

    Firstly, yes, I am talking about hyperfocal, a method that I used with many non-instamatic cameras, including the M6, M7 and M8. I (and obviously many others) find this to be a valid and useful shooting methodology. In fact, the DP1 works admirably well using this method which allows you to use it quickly and reliably (without the LCD). Set this way, the DP1 is a great street shooter.

    It's my understanding that the last firmware release corrected the battery drain issue, and indeed I've had no issues with this myself. I also, buy several batteries for any new cameras but I have had no issues with any of the batteries. No biggie here.

    As to the "deliberate" working methodology, using hyperfocal/manual focus is anything but, and you can shoot with no lag whatsoever. Using the camera without this strategy is hardly comparable to lugging a 4X5 around, it simply requires a bit more effort than an AF DSLR might.

    Finally, I didn't mean to suggest that I have to carry 3 cameras to the job. Nor did I mean to imply that I always drag all of them around at once. First of all, I'm not shooting for a living, I do this for pure passion. Secondly, I find that each of the cameras has a specific use for me: the LX3 gives me the 24mm EFV as well as the 16:9 aspect ratio and allows me to shoot RAW and manually if I wish (in a very small footprint). It also has the best high ISO performance between it and the G9. The G9 also affords me a small package that shoots RAW and allows full manual if I wish to do so, and I like the 35 to 210mm range. The DP1 is the one I turn to for doing high IQ work, predominantly landscapes etc. If I want to go beyond the capabilities that these cameras offer me, then I'll bring my D300s and associated glass.

    Certainly is would be decidedly more convenient to have a single compact camera that did all things and had excellent IQ. Sorry, I've yet to find one. The DP1 is an interesting and bold experiment. Sigma may have "dropped the ball" for you, but seeing as this is the only one of its kind out there, I have to applaud them for their guts. The fact is that they are a very small company compared to their competition, especially at building cameras, so they have done a remarkable thing with the DP1. Yes, they could have given us a better LCD, a better GUI and better speed etc, but the fact is they gave us a camera that is closer to what we've all be clamoring for than anyone else has so far.

    Cheers,

  14. #14
    asabet
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    I too go back and forth between using the slow but reliable AF and zone focusing with the DP1. Between the two methods, I feel like I have a good, working approach to focusing with this camera for static and moving subjects. I've never had a problem with the two batteries I use either. Haven't bothered to update to the latest firmware either. I recently picked up the camera after not using it for weeks, and the battery life was well preserved. There certainly was a battery drain issue, and there may still be, but it doesn't affect everyone.

  15. #15
    ddk
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Hi Simon,

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    David,

    Wow, sounds like you have a real bee in your bonnet about the DP1. Let's see, how to answer this...
    Let's call it a hornet!

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    Firstly, yes, I am talking about hyperfocal, a method that I used with many non-instamatic cameras, including the M6, M7 and M8. I (and obviously many others) find this to be a valid and useful shooting methodology. In fact, the DP1 works admirably well using this method which allows you to use it quickly and reliably (without the LCD). Set this way, the DP1 is a great street shooter.
    So do I, out of choice and when needed but not by default. The DP1 really isn't my pick for the street.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    It's my understanding that the last firmware release corrected the battery drain issue, and indeed I've had no issues with this myself. I also, buy several batteries for any new cameras but I have had no issues with any of the batteries. No biggie here.
    Don't know anything about the new firmware I already sold the camera, the battery situation is/was a huge biggie, specially since even the extra batteries don't hold their charge well.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    As to the "deliberate" working methodology, using hyperfocal/manual focus is anything but, and you can shoot with no lag whatsoever. Using the camera without this strategy is hardly comparable to lugging a 4X5 around, it simply requires a bit more effort than an AF DSLR might.
    I don't use AF lenses on my dslrs so its not that. Simply the effort for me to get what I call a keeper out of the DP-1 is too much to justify. Yes, the IQ is good compared to some other compacts with tiny chips but its not earth shattering either. Yes a 4x5 or MF camera is harder to lug around but at least they never got in the way of getting an image for me. I guess we all have different expectations from a compact camera or I've been totally spoilt by the GRD's ergonomics or Fuji's ease and IQ.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    Finally, I didn't mean to suggest that I have to carry 3 cameras to the job. Nor did I mean to imply that I always drag all of them around at once.
    Sorry, that's how I read it.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    First of all, I'm not shooting for a living, I do this for pure passion. Secondly, I find that each of the cameras has a specific use for me: the LX3 gives me the 24mm EFV as well as the 16:9 aspect ratio and allows me to shoot RAW and manually if I wish (in a very small footprint). It also has the best high ISO performance between it and the G9. The G9 also affords me a small package that shoots RAW and allows full manual if I wish to do so, and I like the 35 to 210mm range. The DP1 is the one I turn to for doing high IQ work, predominantly landscapes etc. If I want to go beyond the capabilities that these cameras offer me, then I'll bring my D300s and associated glass.
    I never meant to question your style or what you shoot just don't agree with calling forced hyperfocal, MF. By all means you should use and enjoy anything that works for you and no explanations are needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    Certainly is would be decidedly more convenient to have a single compact camera that did all things and had excellent IQ. Sorry, I've yet to find one. The DP1 is an interesting and bold experiment. Sigma may have "dropped the ball" for you, but seeing as this is the only one of its kind out there, I have to applaud them for their guts. The fact is that they are a very small company compared to their competition, especially at building cameras, so they have done a remarkable thing with the DP1. Yes, they could have given us a better LCD, a better GUI and better speed etc, but the fact is they gave us a camera that is closer to what we've all be clamoring for than anyone else has so far.
    Maybe for you Simon but I wouldn't call sticking an athletes heart in a 95 year old's body that has one foot in the grave even before its out of the hospital bold, its stupid. Wether you like the camera or not I know that we all agree the DP1 was already dated when it hit the street. I was a small manufacturer for many years and the only way we could sell our products was because of their quality, no one ever paid us a dime for good try and as small as you think Sigma is, we were miniscule in comparison. There are many people like me that had high hopes for the DP-1 only to be disappointed, the GRD started life as a niche product too but most people who bought one were rewarded...

    At the end of the day I love gear as much as the next guy/gal here but I mostly see cameras as tools, they either work for you or they don't.

    Take care and enjoy!

    Cheers,[/QUOTE]

  16. #16
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    ...I wouldn't call sticking an athletes heart in a 95 year old's body that has one foot in the grave even before its out of the hospital bold, its stupid.
    David,

    I have to love that retort!

    No offense was taken at your remarks BTW. It's so interesting how some cameras can be so different to different people. While I do see your point, I guess I just have a lower tolerance for "usage pain" with regard to this camera. I should mention I always use it with a CV viewfinder rather than using the LCD for framing. I've never felt constrained by its usage foibles, and I've never really missed any shots while using it.

    I totally agree on the Ricoh comments though, but I should also point out that at this time, I'm selling both my GX100 and GRD II as I find the other cameras (DP1, LX3 and G9) now supplant them, so I guess I've found tools that work for me.

    Ciao,

  17. #17
    christopher e.
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    When is the release of the DP2 scheduled?
    The DP2 is scheduled for release February/March 2009. We'll see...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV5yCNLRV6E

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=29500603

  18. #18
    christopher e.
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    I'm waiting on the DP2, but I don't have a DP1. Does anyone have any idea if we will see anything before the launch date? Or do we have to wait until Feb/March (or beyond) for any sample pics/reviews?

    Thanks,
    Christopher

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    The way I understood that video is that a dp2 will be out in February. Along with that a new release of a dp1 with the dp2 new features essentially dp2 at 40mm and a new dp1 28mm....right?
    Mike

    website under construction

  20. #20
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Dp1

    No mention of a better LCD though

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