Sigma DP2: 14MP Foveon X3 Digital Compact Camera

Sigma DP2 Specifications

Image Sensor: 20.7 x 13.8mm 14.45MP FOVEON X3 CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Image Size: 2640 x 1760 (15.4MB RAW, 3.3MB JPG Fine)
Lens: 24.2mm (41mm: 35mm-Equivalent) F2.8
Storage: SD/SDHC, MMC
File Format: RAW, JPEG, AVI (Movie)
Movie: 320 x 240 at 30fps
ISO: ISO 100 – 1600
Auto Focus: Contrast Detection, 9-point
Shutter: 1/2000 – 15 seconds
LCD Monitor: 2.5″ TFT LCD with about 230,000 Pixels
Connectivity: USB 2.0, Video Out
Dimensions: 113.3 x 59.5 x 56.1mm, 4.5 x 2.3 x 2.2″ (WxHxD)
Weight: 260g (9.2oz) 

sigma_dp2_02

Update 2009.03.07 9:02AM PST: The folks over at LetsGoDigital took some photos with a pre-production DP2. Although the pictures look great most point-and-shoot digital compact cameras will do just as good in situations where there is plenty of light. What I am curious about is how the DP2 does in low-light situations. Hop on over to LetsGoDigital for the sample gallery.

Original Posted 2009.03.03 12:40PM PST: Sigma’s DP2 is an update to its DP1. The DP1 was the first compact digital camera to house a full-frame sensor. There were high expectations for the DP1. Other than Sigma, no other major camera manufacturer has attempted to do this. The DP1 in the right lighting conditions captured pictures that were excellent. The image sensor in the DP1 is unique: a FOVEON X3 CMOS image sensor that captures all three red, green and blue colors in a single pixel–something that ordinary sensors cannot do. I’m a big fan of FOVOEN’s X3 technology because the underlying image capture process is quite a bit more advanced than how other image sensors capture light.

The DP2 incorporates a full-frame 14.45MP CMOS FOVEON X3 image sensor and generates images with a pixel format of 2640 x 1760 with an aspect ratio of 3:2. The images can be saved in RAW or JPEG formats. You can also capture video but it is merely adequate for YouTube uploades at 320 x 240 at 30fps. The LCD monitor is a decent 2.5″ in size and sports about 230,000 pixels. Sigma should have done a bit better in this department with a slightly larger LCD and a bit more pixels.

foveon_x3

The DP1 did have some shortfalls: very poor image quality in low light situations, and very slow AF, shutter and read/write times. The DP1 was, deliberately or not, geared for daylight landscape and architecture photography. For a complete review of the DP1, check out DPReview. There are currently no reviews of the DP2 at the moment but I do hope Sigma has addressed all of the shortcomings of the DP1. And I think it did by looking at the sample image gallery… But one of the things that concerns me is that there are no pictures that were taken with ISO400 or higher in an environment with less-than-ideal lighting. Here’s a sample picture that was taken at ISO200, 1/160 seconds at F6.3 with what seems to be less-than-ideal lighting conditions (but there still seems to be plenty of light):

sigma_dp2_sample_image_01

If you are a daylight landscape and architecture photographer, the DP1 can be a good fit: Amazon has it for $618.95 as of this writing and I would guess the price will drop further when the DP2 ships.

Source: Sigma, LetsGoDigital

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