Sigma Dp1s

A friend offered to lend me his Sigma Dp1s so that I might sip from the sweet Foveon Kool Aid.  OK those weren’t his words or likely his intent, thanks Duncan.  Let me be clear though this camera has some major shortcomings that can’t be ignored.  It’s slow, the sort of slow where I could load a roll of film faster than it can write a file to a card.  The rear LCD appears to exist to show your settings and to confirm that yes you did capture something.   The metering also did some serious highlight clipping even when I had -1 exposure compensation, of course I had no way of knowing this until I got the files into my computer (see previous sentence).  For all other complaints please refer to the rest of the Internet.  Now for the positive side and where the argument for the purpose of this camera begins.  It produces nice sharp noise free files with accurate colours.  It has a 16mm f4.0 lens on an APSC sized sensor which is unique and while on the slow side it performs very well.  The close focus distance is quite long at 30cm so that does limit some of the creative possibilities.  I guess for me the unanswered question now is how large an image can be rendered from these files.  As is well documented the sensor captures 3 colours at different layers but the file dimensions are 2640×1760 however you slice it.  Aside from the issues of speed I actually like the simplicity of the camera and it’s compactness.  I was able to configure the otherwise useless (wide/tele) buttons to control ISO, why does a camera with a fixed focal length have these controls?  This arrangement ends up in practice being the best of any camera I have ever used, wide decreases ISO, tele increases ISO, simple and immediate making ISO the third variable much like my DSLR.  I easily moved between ISO 50 to 400 and even found ISO 800 to be largely noise free.  So while I will reserve any final verdict until I have seen an image printed, it appears that the only thing standing in this cameras way from being a good photographic tool is it’s glacial speed, and exposure system.  Whether these issues are adequately addressed with the latest version the Dp1x I can’t say but any improvement in speed would be welcome.


10 Responses to “Sigma Dp1s”

  • Duncan Says:

    Told you it was slow….

  • Duncan Says:

    i think the DP2 was replacement….

  • Duncan Says:

    how was the detail??? is the Foveon a Sweet Kool-Aid or a Bitter Ale?

  • Wallace Says:

    Well if the result is all that matters it produces a detailed file but with limited dynamic range.

  • Wallace Says:

    Tsk, tsk the DP2 is the 24mm version (41mm equivelent) with the same sensor. I guess your supposed to fill your bag with these cameras.

  • Nikhil Ramkarran Says:

    Second down in the left column and the stacked pile of wood; fantastic! Personally, I’d trade ultimate image quality for a tool that worked better in my hands.

  • Wallace Says:

    Thanks, I too want my camera to be there without getting in the way. It is one of the appealing things about basic film cameras. I want power and customization in my digital cameras but then I want them to get out of the way. The K-7 that I know you have as well is that camera for me.

  • duncan Says:

    thanks for setting the sigma up for me!!!it runs like a dream now, and yes I am enterering another sales contest to win the DP2 so i can fill my bag with these things. maybe with enought of them i can link them all together to make them faster, kinda like a transformer!

  • JJ Says:

    How were you able to set the W/T buttons to change ISO? I have been using the DP2 and wonder if it is also possible with that one. Would be really, really great…

  • Sigma DP1s | Wallace Koopmans Artlog Says:

    […] for me to get to that, the file has been saved). I just re-read my first impression from using the DP1s and it’s pretty much the same. And now for the images, unfortunately they aren’t full […]

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