Saturday, March 28, 2009

Point and Shoot Camera with SLR soul (Sigma DP1 and DP2)

The Story
I have been using so many cameras. Beside the Canon 5D Mark II, there is another camera I like the most which is Sigma DP1. It come with a 20.7 x13.8mm (about same size as most DSLR) Foveon X3 CMOS sensor and a high quality 28mm prime lens. I find it is a very good camera for landscape which is able deliver rich color image for me. Now, Sigma has DP2 come with 41mm f2.8 prime lens which I truly believe It will make it a perfect street/portraits camera.

What is Foveon X3 sensor?

Digital cameras have for years used what is essentially a monochromatic (b&w) image sensor with individual color filters over each photodetector (known as the Bayer pattern and normally in a GRGB pattern). This means that each photodetector can only detect one of either red, green or blue light. Note that the green channel has twice the number of photodetectors as red or blue (this is because the majority of luminance information is carried in the green channel). A demosaic algorithm then combines the color of neighboring pixels to reproduce the scene color at that pixel location.

Foveon's sensor instead of having a single photodetector at each pixel location has a multi-layered design which has the equivalent of a red, green and blue photodetector at each pixel location. This means that instead of having to interpolate the values of neighboring pixels the X3 sensor 'sees' full color at individual pixel locations. This is pretty much the 'holy grail' of digital image sensors, it should mean ultra sharp, detailed images with full color single pixel resolution.

The Sigma DP2 is available to pre-order from Amazon
Pre-order DP2 From Amazon

Why Pre-order? If you don't pre-order, end up you may need to wait 3-4 months base on the experience for DP1 and all those ebay sellers will charge you premium for it during the shortage period.

Since DP2 come with a 41mm Lens, If you love to shoot landscape, get the DP1 instead.
Order Sigma DP1

Real Live Samples of DP1 which are taken by me.

p.s. I don't think both cameras are easy to use. Also, both cameras come with prime lens which means you need to work harder, walk closer or farther to get the perfect photos. However, if you can master them, They should get you better images than the top line point and shoot cameras (Canon G10 or Panasonic LX3).


  1. Man, that’s great…Thanks for providing such a good info………