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Sigma DP2s Overview

Posted: 02/20/2010

Sigma's DP2s digital camera is a relatively minor update to the company's existing Sigma DP2 model, which was first announced in September 2008, and reached the market the following May. The Sigma DP2s is a fixed-lens compact digital camera that, like its predecessor, is closely related to the company's existing Sigma DP1 model. The most significant differences between the DP2 and DP2s as compared to the DP1 is in their choice of lenses and image processors.

Where the original DP1 had a 28mm-equivalent (16.6mm actual) lens with a maximum aperture of f/4.0 that focuses as close as 12.2" / 30cm, the DP2 and DP2s replace this with a rather less wide angle 41mm equivalent (24.2mm actual) lens that has a brighter maximum aperture of f/2.8 and can focus to 11" / 28cm. All three cameras place the lens 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 DP2s hence outputs a 4.64 megapixel maximum image size. Like the DP2 before it, the Sigma DP2s includes Sigma's "TRUE II" image processor, instead of the original Sigma TRUE ("Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine") processor from the DP1. The Sigma TRUE II processor is said to offer improvements in processing speed, operation, and performance as compared to the original TRUE processor.

Changes in the Sigma DP2s as compared to the DP2 are mainly to be found in its firmware and the bundled software. The Sigma DP2s is said to have improved autofocus algorithms that improve focusing speed. There's also a new power save mode 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 rear-panel 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 DP2s and DP2 is in the software bundle. The DP2s now includes Sigma Photo Pro 4.0, rather than the current Sigma Photo Pro 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 DP2s had not been announced at press time.