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Sigma DP1x

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Sigma DP1x Overview

Posted: 02/20/2010

Sigma's DP1x digital camera is a relatively minor update to the company's existing Sigma DP1s model, announced last October. The DP1s itself was an update to the Sigma DP1, which was first announced in September 2006, and reached the market in early 2008. The Sigma DP1x is a fixed-lens compact digital camera that retains most of the hardware features of the DP1, while incorporating some of the updates that have been made in the related DP2 and DP2s models.

Like the original DP1, the DP1x has a 28mm-equivalent (16.6mm actual) lens with a maximum aperture of f/4.0 that focuses as close as 12.2" / 30cm, in front of a near-APS-C sized (0.98" / 24.9mm) diagonal Foveon X3 image sensor with 14.1 million 7.8Ám photodiodes, capable of measuring full RGB color information at every pixel location. The Sigma DP1x hence outputs a 4.64 megapixel maximum image size. In place of the original Sigma TRUE ("Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine") processor from the DP1, the Sigma DP1x incorporates Sigma's "TRUE II" image processor which made its debut in the DP2. The Sigma TRUE II processor is said to offer improvements in processing speed, operation, and performance as compared to the original TRUE processor.

Other changes in the Sigma DP1x as compared to the DP1 are mainly to be found in its firmware and the bundled software. The Sigma DP1x is said to have the same improved autofocus algorithms as the simultaneously announced DP2s, which should improve focusing speed. There's also a new power save mode in both the DP1x and DP2s that can be enabled to extend battery life, although it isn't stated precisely how this is acheived (nor how much the battery life can potentially be extended). The DP1x also inherits the newer setup menu and rear-panel design from the DP2 and DP2s, which includes a Quick Set button. Like the DP2s, the DP1x's icons indicating the functions of the various controls have also been changed, with a dark red instead of light blue screen printing used for the playback mode functions. Also, several more of the buttons now have their function physically imprinted into the button surface as well as being screen-printed adjacent to the button.

The other main change between the Sigma DP1x and DP1 is in the software bundle. The DP1x now includes Sigma Photo Pro 4.0, rather than the current Sigma Photo Pro 3.5.2.0 release. Sigma Photo Pro 4 has new image processing algorithms, as well as new chrominance / luminance noise reduction algorithms applied at ISO 400 or above. These are said to improve image quality, and the application also now has multi-core support, which should boost processing speed. Sigma Photo Pro 4 also is said to offer improved display speed, and better printing. Finally, the Mac version has inherited some more functions from the Windows version including batch white balance and JPEG conversion.

Pricing and availability for the Sigma DP1x had not been announced at press time.