Sigma DP1

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Sigma DP1

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:35 am

This guy is putting the camera through its paces and I have to say I am impressed.

Carrying my SLR's with me everywhere will kill my back one day and I have been looking at digital P&S cameras. The closest thing I can find is the Canon G9 or the Ricoh cameras but this Sigma is really making me consider it. It's a fixed wide lens (no zoom) on a DSLR-sized sensor in a small package.

At the very least this camera should make the other manufacturers see that P&S right now are way too much of a compromise.

I won't give up my DSLRs, but it'd be nice to have something smaller on me at all times. A wide lens with no zoom doesn't bother me too much because I'm not afraid to get close.

Check out the link, I think the images look pretty good.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by viewsthroughmylens on Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:39 am

Wow. They are good. Hard to even tell that they're from a P&S. Interesting.....
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by mikef on Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:32 pm

Look at the reviews of the G9.. hardly usable above ISO 400.. grain is very evident in shadows even at ISO100. The sad part is that people still buy into the megapixel myth with P&S cameras.. even people that should know better. (<- that wasn't aimed at you Ken.)
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:04 pm

The most attractive thing about the G9 is that it can use my Canon flash. Any of those P&S cameras are bad for noise.

It wouldn't be a replacement for my SLRs, just something for in my pocket when I'm not on an assignment.

I really like the idea of the Sigma, but the prime lens seems to be a mixed blessing. Really good in some situations, bad in others.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Nando on Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:05 pm

The lens is really slow. I feel that the Ricoh GRD II is a better camera.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:07 pm

I'd like to try both.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by mikef on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:32 pm

Does the DP1 use the same sensor (Foveon X3 14MP) as the SD14?
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:41 pm

Yeah.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by mikef on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:58 pm

The SD14 is an intriguing camera. I think if I had a second start with gear (not that I'm all that heavily invested anyway) I'd seriously consider the SD14.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Nando on Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:06 pm

The GRD II is supposed to be a really good digital camera for street-shooting. Has a relatively fast f/2.5 lens that is equivalent to a 28mm lens. (Winogrand used a Canon 28mm f/2.8 Serenar on his Leica.) The idea is to turn off the digital-display, flash, and utilize an external viewfinder. Most prefer utilizing the tiny Voightlander 28/35mm viewfinder instead of the much larger Ricoh viewfinder, which also have framelines for the conversion lenses. With the leaf-shutter, it is going to be a very quiet camera.

I saw the GRD II with all the add-ons, 2gB card and extra battery at Popflash today for $900. However, for that much you could buy a very nice M3, M2, M4-P, or M5 body and these will last forever. A very nice M6 is just a little bit more. Keep your priorities straight Ken. Very Happy
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Nando on Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:20 pm

Holy! I just saw that the MSRP on the DP1 is $1000! Shocked
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:21 pm

The Sigma also comes with an accessory viewfinder option. It has a large DSLR size sensor, manual focus, etc etc.

It's really a lot like the Ricoh but with a larger sensor and a slower lens.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Nando on Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:11 pm

Yes, but the GRD II, by itself without accessories, is $300 less. Popflash is selling the previous generation GRD for $427.

The first L____ (aka Ur-L____ or L____ 0) in 1925 had a 50mm f/3.5 Elmar lens. Faster than the Sigma DP1 from 2008. I don't know, I feel that a slow f4 lens is somewhat ridiculous in a $1000 digital camera.

Another option is the Ricoh GX100. It is like the GRD but with a crappier 24mm-72mm zoom lens instead of the excellent (for a digital p&s) 28mm prime. Instead of an external optical viewfinder, the GX100 has an interesting external LCD viewfinder as an option. It's roughly 1/2 the price of a GRD II.

Martin Parr took the following photographs featuring fellow Magnum photographer Chris Steel-Perkins using a GX100.
photo 1
photo 2

Still, I find the prices for both the Sigma and GRD II to be very high for something that probably won't last over 4-5 years with regular use. Ken, are you really considering getting one of these things? I think you really ought to concentrate on getting an M6.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:45 pm

It's a lot easier to make a 50mm f/2.8 than a 16mm f/2.8, you would think. There aren't a lot of lenses that fast in that focal length for DSLR's. The Canon 17-40mm f/4 L is a good example of a very well respected f/4, probably Canon's sharpest zoom. A lot of people get a lot of use out of that lens.

The Sigma MSRP is $799 + tax so that's $902 after tax. Also the Ricoh is next to impossible to find in this country. Not everyone wants to buy online.

I would like to put it through real world use. Yes it is only f/4, but with the larger sensor it probably has a lot less noise. So you could use it at ISO 400 at f/4 where you'd use another P&S at a lower ISO. If I was shooting low light I'd probably still use my Canons with 50mm f/1.4 or 30mm f/1.4.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:03 pm

He just added a video review, he's not too credible though Very Happy

http://www.rytterfalk.com/
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Nando on Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:50 pm

I got the $1000 MSRP price from an old 'preview' article - probably outdated.

Yes, it is more difficult to make a 16mm f/2.8 than a 50mm f/2.8 when it comes to 35mm format. The Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon ZM in M-mount costs $4000 without a viewfinder. Move to a Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 and the price drops to under $400 with a viewfinder. However, we're not dealing with 35mm format here, we are dealing with a smaller format. Generally, the smaller the format, the easier it is to make fast glass. You don't see any 80mm f/1.4's normal lenses for medium format cameras however any manufacturer that doesn't make a 50mm f/1.4 normal lens for their 35mm format cameras should be considered wussies. If you look at C-mount lenses, say for 16mm-format cine cameras and microscopes, you will find some extremely fast and inexpensive glass. Pentax made a 12mm f/1.2 in C-mount. There are lots of 25mm f/1.4 lenses in C-mount, which is like a normal lens. I saw a 50mm f/0.95 on ebay just the other day. One time I saw a 50mm f/0.75.

In fact, the thought of a digital camera, that could take C-mount lenses makes my mouth water. 16mm-cine format is very close to 4/3rd format I believe. There are just so many nice and fast C-mount lenses out there available for next to nothing. I'm flabbergasted as to why anybody hasn't made a digital camera to take advantage of the huge number of C-mount lenses available. When I was considering a Panasonic DMC-L1 a few months ago that uses the 4/3rd's format, my first thought was if I could use C-mount glass on it. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any way of making it work. My next thought was "What the hell is wrong with me? Why would I want to waste your money on a 16mm or 4/3rd format when it has no advantage over 35mm?"

Frankly, I wish that the L____ 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-ASPH in M-mount was the same price as the L____ 25mm f/1.4 Summilux-ASPH in 4/3rd-mount. It would have saved people an enormous amount of $$$$. Fact is that the 25mm 4/3rd-mount lens is a lot easier to make and, in addition, the lens also isn't engineered/built to the same standards as the M-lenses.

Well if I had to choose between the Sigma and the Ricoh, I'd choose the Ricoh solely because of the extra speed. Such a discrete and quiet camera would be very nice to use indoors without flash and without the LCD turned on. I'm sure that one would appreciate being able to bring the Ricoh into a place, like a nice restaurant say, in a coat pocket instead of fumbling with a big, loud SLR fitted a fast 50mm f/1.4 which may not be appropriate in such a setting. I do not understand the technical issues that prevented Sigma from using a faster lens but f4 is a huge turn-off for me considering that even the el-cheapo digital p&s cameras can be had with zoom lenses as fast as f2.8. If I want a point-and-shoot camera that I can fit in my pocket for serious use. I'd probably opt for a film camera. I would consider a Ricoh GR, Contax T, or L____ Minilux probably... More likely, I'd just use one of my rangefinders. In any case, one can usually get a good film camera and a prosumer flatbed scanner (that can batch scan a 24-exp roll) like an Epson v700 for perhaps a bit more than a GRD II or a Sigma and you would end up with much better results.

For Ricoh, L____ and Zeiss, I highly recommend Tony Rose @ Popflash. He carries Ricoh digital cameras and he's one of the classiest guys in the photo business. He's in California but deals with Canadians regularly. I usually buy my L____ stuff from him. Every time I do business with Tony, I feel like jumping on a plane and flying to LA just to shake his hand. He's that good. Yes, you got to deal with Tony over the Internet but I wouldn't count on Camera Craft having a stock of Ricohs any time soon.
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Re: Sigma DP1

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:14 pm

Well I'm going to say this for like the 4th time.. I'd like to try both Very Happy

I agree that they should have made it with faster glass but I' not going to discount it without even trying it. Sigma makes some good fast glass, so it's not like they don't know how to do it. A Sigma 30mm f/1.4 on it giving it a 50mm equivalent would be nice (I'm sure you'd appreciate it).

So for the 30th time... I'd like to try it Razz
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