2008 Photo Marketing Association Tradeshow
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Sigma's DP1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sigma, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sigma DP1 nears availability
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 22:06 EST)

Alongside a whopping raft of lens announcements at the PMA show, Sigma has officially launched its Foveon X3 sensor-based DP1 compact digital camera.

Alongside the press release Sigma has issued updated specifications for the DP1, fulfilling a pledge made at the end of November 2007 when the company commented on delays in commercializing the camera, which was first shown as a prototype at the 2006 Photokina tradeshow.

Changes from the initial specifications that were provided a little under a year ago include a very slight ten gram / 0.4 ounce increase in the DP1's weight, a reduction in the fastest shutter speed available (previously 1/4000 second, now revised to 1/2000 second), and the addition of a 16:9 aspect ratio mode. There have also been slight adjustments to the DP1's image dimensions at lower resolutions, although the maximum resolution remains unchanged.

Along with these changes, there are a few new details not formerly announced. The DP1's sensitivity will range from ISO 100 to 800 equivalents, with the camera's Auto ISO mode able to select between ISO 100 and 200 equivalents, or as high as ISO 400 when the flash is used. Further details on the camera's movie mode have also been disclosed. The Sigma DP1 will apparently store movies in AVI format, captured at QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) resolution with a framerate of 30fps. Sigma has also provided estimated battery life, with the DP1 rated as good for 250 shots per charge at 25° celsius.

A comparison with the photos we captured of the DP1 prototype at last year's PMA show show that Sigma has also continued to refine and fine-tune the camera externally. The buttons located on the rear of the camera have been changed from silver to black although their positions remain unchanged, and the shape of the textured area that provides purchase for your thumb while holding the camera has also been changed somewhat.

The most up-to-date specifications we have from Sigma for the DP1 follow below, along with the latest press images of the camera body. Sigma booth representatives have suggested that the camera will be available this spring.

Sigma DP1
Sigma's DP1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sigma, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Mid-Sized
Manufacturer Sigma
Model Number DP1
Dimensions 4.5 x 2.3 x 2.0"
113.3 x 59.5 x 50.3mm
Weight 250.0 g
8.7 oz
Planned Availability Spring 2008
Image Capture
Sensor Type 0.98 Foveon X3 CMOS
4.80 megapixels (total)
4.69 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type Full Color
Aspect Ratio 3:2, 16:9
Image Dimensions 2640 x 1760 (4.6 megapixels)
2640 x 1485 (3.9 megapixels)
1872 x 1248 (2.3 megapixels)
1312 x 880 (1.2 megapixels)
Image Quality 4 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.5", 230,000 pixels
100% field of view
Lens
Lens Type Sigma Lens
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 16.6mm (actual)
28mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/4.0 - ???
Focusing System 9-point contrast detection
Manual Focus possible
Focusing Range Normal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto (100 - 200), Flash (100 - 400), 100, 200, 400, 800
Shutter Speed 15 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Modes Program, Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes Evaluative, center-weighted average, spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Sunlight, Shade, Overcast, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Custom, Manual
Internal Flash Guide Number: 6
Modes: Anti red-eye, Auto, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Off
Range: 30cm to 2.1m at ISO 200
Creative
Digital Zoom 3.0x
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 10 seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format AVI with audio
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format CCD-RAW, 12-bit RAW (.X3F), JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Other Audio out (monaural)
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary BP-31
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
More Photos
Sigma's DP1 digital camera. Courtesy of Sigma, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

Sigma launches the DP1 compact digital camera

14 megapixel high definition digital camera, packing the full spec of a DSLR into the body of a compact camera: THE SIGMA DP1

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the Sigma DP1 compact digital camera featuring a 14 megapixel FOVEON X3 direct image sensor (2652 × 1768 × 3 layers) as used in the Sigma SD14 digital SLR.

The DP1 is a completely new type of camera offering the full spec. and high image quality of a DSLR in the body of a compact camera. It is powered by the 14 megapixel Foveon X3 direct-image-sensor, which can reproduce high definition images rich in gradation and impressive three-dimensional detail.

It is possible to record images in RAW or the widely used JPEG in four resolution modes. It offers five Exposure modes and three Metering modes as well as being equipped with a built-in flash with the Guide Number of 6, hot shoe, neck strap and 2.5 inch TFT color LCD monitor with approx. 230,000 pixels.

The DP1 has the high resolution and functionality of an SLR, plus adaptability in terms of accessories, all built into a small body. A wide range of accessories, optical viewfinder [VF-11], Lens Hood [HA-11], and Electronic Flash [EF-140 DG] are available for the DP1 camera.

Development
Sigma introduced its digital SLRs, the SD9, SD10 and SD14 to the market in October 2002, November, 2003 and March, 2007. They have established strong support from a wide range of photographers, both amateur and professionals. Recently, demand for a compact digital camera with portability as well as high image quality has increased. In order to meet this demand, the new DP1 has been developed as a completely new type of camera with high image quality and features that would not be out of place in a full spec DSLR.

Main features

SLR-SIZED IMAGE SENSOR
The size of the image sensor used in the DP1 camera is 20.7mm x 13.8mm. It is approximately seven to twelve times larger than the 1/1.8inch to 1/2.5inch image sensors used in ordinary compact digital cameras. The pixel size of the image sensor is 7.8µm. The large photodiodes deployed at a large pixel pitch capture pure, rich light efficiently and give the DP1 its high resolution and richly-graduated tones.

FULL-COLOR IMAGE SENSOR
The DP1 uses the same 14 megapixel (2652×1768×3 layers)direct image sensor as the SD14. Utilizing the special features of silicon, which is penetrated to different depths by different wavelengths of light, this direct image sensor succeeds in full-color capture with the full RGB in a single-pixel location. Just like film, each photodiode captures all the RGB data, so no final-stage demosaicing is required. Brand-new “TRUE” image processing engine. The DP1 incorporates “TRUE” (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine), the world’s first image processing engine suited for Foveon three silicon embedded layer direct image sensor. The unique image-processing algorithm, which has been developed throughout the development of the SD9, SD10 and SD14 cameras, is incorporated into “TRUE”. It enables high-speed image processing and high image quality.

16.6mm F4 LENS DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE DP1
The DP1 is equipped with a 16.6mm F4 lens, equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm SLR camera, which has been designed exclusively for DP1. The large-diameter of aspherical glass provides low distortion and high contrast images. It also offers superior peripheral brightness. The super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting. It allows photographers to take pictures in difficult light conditions. This lens and SLR-sized image sensor provides natural shallow depth-of-field.

RAW FORMAT RECORDING
The DP1 includes JPEG recording format for convenience plus a RAW data (X3F) recording mode for retaining full image capture detail of the utmost quality. The RAW data format provides pure data for high-resolution images, and uses lossless compression for more compact, yet uncompromised, data files. The RAW data format of the DP1 keeps brightness and color data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. Each pixel location captures the full color of RGB data, so in RAW, X3F files, brightness and color data can be kept in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. When the image is processed in Sigma Photo Pro, it will preserve the balance of the natural data for the best photos with the best image quality.

EXCLUSIVE SIGA PHOTOPRO SOFTWARE (Supplied with the DP1)
The DP1 comes complete with SIGMA Photo Pro software, a RAW image developer that converts all RAW data quickly and easily. Adjustments can be made in three separate modes. The X3F Mode 3 stores the original settings of the image at the point of capture. In the Auto Adjustment Mode, the software analyzes and automatically makes adjustments to the RAW data. The Custom Mode allows the photographer to make individual adjustments (exposure, contrast, shadow, highlight, saturation, sharpness and fill-light for example). The photographer can make changes easily and quickly by simply adjusting the slider controls within the software. The X3F Mode stores the original settings of the image at point of capture. Photographers` personal modifications can be saved to the RAW, X3F file for future use. SIGMA Photo Pro supports 8-bit TIFF, 16-bit TIFF, and JPEG file formats. The JPEG can be saved as YCbCr 4:4:4. It is also possible to half, or double the resolution when processing the image.

COMPACT AND LIGHTWEIGHT BODY
The DP1 has compact dimensions of 113.3mm/4.5in. (W) x 59.5mm/2.3in. (H) x 50.3mm/2.0in. (D) and weighs just 240g/8.5ounces. Its compact body and lightweight design makes it easy to carry everywhere.

THREE METERING MODES AND FIVE EXPOSURE MODES
The DP1 has three metering modes, Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering and Spot Metering. It is also possible to select the exposure mode from Auto, Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE or Manual. Exposure compensation can be set in 1/3 stop increments from +3.0 to -3.0 stops and an auto bracketing function is also available.

Pop up (manual) built-in flash The DP1 is equipped with a pop up (manual) built-in flash featuring guide number of 6 (ISO100 / m). It is possible to use Normal Flash, Red-Eye Reduction Flash and Slow Synchro Mode. It also features flash exposure compensation in 1/3 stops increments.

AF AREA SELECTION
The AF area of the DP1 is equipped with 9 focusing points and it is possible to manually select the desired focusing point. The focusing distance is from 50cm to infinity, however, it is possible to shorten the minimum focusing distance to 30cm.

MANUAL FOCUS
Manual Focus is available for photographers who like to take more control, or for use when autofocus or focus lock is not effective. It is also possible to magnify the display to ensure precise focusing.

RECORDING MOVIES
It is possible to record 30fps movies with QVGA (320 x 240). The digital zoom function can be used during movie shooting. A 1GB memory card (not supplied) allows approximately 30 minutes of movie recording.

LARGE 2.5" TFT COLOR LCD MONITOR
The DP1 camera features large 2.5 inch, 230,000 pixel TFT color LCD monitor. The LCD monitor displays 100% of the images, allowing the photographer to easily and accurately confirm the image compensation.

HOT SHOE
The DP1 camera is equipped with a hot shoe, allowing use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional) or high performance view finder VF-11 (optional). EF-500 DG and EF-530 DG flashgun series can be used in manual mode only.

DEDICATED LENS HOOD
This optional lens hood blocks out extraneous light. A hood adapter, designed to accept a 46mm lens filter, is included.

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