Sigma DP1 – update

Finally, someone gets it.

I wrote hopefully about Sigma’s upcoming fixed focal length digital point-and-shoot here.

Well, Sigma has now released the camera and, guess what?

Yes, that’s an accessory shoe complete with a Sigma optical viewfinder on top. Oh! joy, oh! bliss, an optical viewfinder makes all that silly squinting at the screen and holding the camera at arm’s length unnecessary. Someone at Sigma must actually have used this camera before releasing it.

Now the lens remains at a modest f/4, but the fabulous Foveon three layer sensor will go a long way to keeping noise low (it uses relatively large sensor elements – a good thing, just like with Canon’s 5D), so I’m hoping the high ISO performance of this little gem will not be a compromised as in my Panasonic Lumix LX1 which I had to submit to the ignominy of a glued-on finder – click on ‘Leica DP’ in the left hand column for more. At 8 ozs in weight, this is a pretty solid sounding package. The fixed focal length lens? A dream for street snappers – it’s like a 25mm wide angle (assuming a 1.5x APS sensor factor) on a 35mm full frame camera. But Sigma, please, take a look at Leica’s hoods for their wide angles and do a bit of design ‘borrowing’ – it’s OK, Leica won’t sue you, they are broke….

It will be interesting to read the reviews – I am especially interested in the quality of the lens and praying that shutter lag is in Leica rangefinder territory rather than in the miserable world of point-and-shoots from everyone else. If those two measure up well, the Panasonic LX1 may find itself moving on….

One thing which has so changed with all these new camera makers is that loyalty to any one brand really makes no sense and the next great innovation is more likely than not to come from someone else.

2 thoughts on “Sigma DP1 – update

  1. That’s an interesting link, Manu, thank you.

    I learned a couple of interesting things from the PDF brochure they offer – the aspect ratio of the sensor is just like Leica’s – 3:2 – hooray!

    And while there is no mention of shutter lag, my eye caught this reference:

    Now THAT sounds encouraging. Let’s hope speed of recording is equalled by speed of shutter response. I’m optimistic, as this design clearly targets the street snapper, for whom any shutter lag is too much. We will see.

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