Original Source Press Release:
Sigma's Foveon-based DP1 compact: specifications, photos|
(Thursday, March 8, 2007 - 19:30 EST)
Last September at the Photokina show in Germany, Japanese company Sigma Corp. unveiled a prototype of a compact digital camera that wowed those in attendance, and provoked lengthy discussions in forums around the world.
In a world where sensor sizes of compact cameras seem to be gradually getting smaller by the day, even as pixel densities and claimed ISO sensitivities (not to mention noise levels!) skyrocket, the Sigma DP1 marked a major departure from the norm. Based on the same Foveon X3 CMOS image sensor that Sigma is using in its just-shipped SD14 digital SLR, the DP1's has a light-gathering area an order of magnitude above that of a typical compact camera. More light capture generally equates to better image quality, and Sigma's marketing materials for the camera point out that as compared to a 1/1.8" image sensor, the DP1's sensor is approximately eight times larger. A comparison to the 1/2.5" sensors used in many cameras is even more favorable for Sigma, with the DP1's Foveon imager around twelve times larger. Of course, this isn't your ordinary image sensor in the first place - possessing a Foveon chip means that the DP1 records full color information at every pixel location, where most cameras capture only one color at any single pixel location, and interpolate the remainder from surrounding pixels. Foveon's sensor designs are undeniably clever, and while they've yet to really hit the mainstream, the company has built up a loyal (and oftentimes vocal) fan base thanks to their use in a range of digital SLRs designed and manufactured by Sigma.
Today, Sigma has released significantly more detailed specifications for the Sigma DP1 digital camera, and the company is also showing a working prototype on the PMA show floor. Just a glance at the new DP1 will tell you that a lot of work has been going on to improve the design before release (and indeed, that Sigma is a company that listens to customers' comments). When the initial prototype was shown last Fall, some bemoaned the lack of any provision for external flash strobes or an optical viewfinder. Both of these issues have been resolved, with the current DP1 now including a hot shoe, and Sigma offering an optional VF-11 external viewfinder that slots right into said hot shoe. There's also a newly added manual focus dial, and the camera body has been restyled significantly - no doubt in part due to the other changes made.
Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, but mark our words: this news is likely to have the forums packed once more, as eager would-be customers discuss changes made (and new information released) since the original Sigma DP1 concept was shown some six months ago.
Detailed specifications for the Sigma DP1 follow below. To aid readers in identifying the new information, we've marked it in a bold, green font. We've also included a number of photos of the Sigma DP1 taken on the company's booth earlier this afternoon.
|Dimensions||4.5 x 2.3 x 2.0" |
113.3 x 59.5 x 50.3mm
|Weight||240.0 g |
|Sensor Type||0.98 Foveon X3 CMOS|
4.80 megapixels (total)
4.70 megapixels (effective)
|Filter Type||Full Color|
|Image Dimensions||2640 x 1760 (4.6 megapixels) |
1776 x 1184 (2.1 megapixels)
1296 x 864 (1.1 megapixels)
|Image Quality||3 levels|
|Image Preview / Review|
|Viewfinder ||Yes, optional external viewfinder VF-11 |
|LCD||2.5", 230,000 pixels|
100% field of view
|Lens Type||Sigma Lens|
|Focal Length||16.6mm (actual)|
28mm (35mm equivalent)
|Aperture Range||f/4.0 - ???|
|Focusing System||9-point contrast detection (auto / manual point selection) |
Manual Focus possible
|Focusing Range||12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity) |
|Shutter Speed||15 - 1/4000 second |
|Exposure Modes ||Program, Aperture, Shutter, Manual |
|Metering Modes||8-segment evaluative, center, or center-weighted average |
|Exposure Compensation||+/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments |
|White Balance||Image Sensor - Auto, Sunlight, Shade, Overcast, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Custom, Manual |
|Internal Flash||Modes: Anti red-eye, Auto, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Off |
Range: ISO 200: 30cm to 2.1m
|Digital Zoom||3.0x |
|Self Timer||Yes, 2 or 10 seconds |
|Recording Medium ||SD/MMC (includes SDHC) |
|File System ||Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF) |
|File Format ||CCD-RAW, RAW (.X3F, three resolutions), JPEG (EXIF 2.21, three image resolutions in three quality levels each) |
|Video||Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable|
|Computer||USB 2.0 High Speed|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion rechargeable |
|Battery Form Factor||Proprietary BP-31 |
|Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant||Yes|
|DP1 high end point and shoot digital camera equipped with 14 megapixel (2652x1768x3 layers) large size direct image sensor.|
Featuring a large size direct image sensor as used in the digital SLR camera.
Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new, groundbreaking Sigma DP1 compact digital camera using three silicon embedded layers of photo sensors stacked to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. The size of image sensor used in DP1 camera is approximately 10 times larger than those used in an ordinary point and shoot digital camera.
Large size image sensor takes advantage of larger pixels. So far point and shoot digital cameras incorporated small size image sensors, and researches for increasing the number of pixels by keeping the image sensor small is still continuing. However, there are limitations in these researches, because keeping image sensor size small will result poor capture of the light poorly. In this respect, enlarging the image sensor will result in better capturing color signals.
* The Sigma DP1’s image sensor is approximately 8 times larger than 1/1.8inch image sensor, approximately 12 times larger than 1/2.5 ordinary point and shoot camera
RAW Image Recording Format
The direct image sensor featured in the SIGMA DP1 ensures the capture of full and complete color. This camera incorporates both RAW and JPEG image recording formats enabling photographers to capture the highest possible picture definition and smaller file sizes.
Newly developed unique and powerful “TRUE" image processing engine
" TRUE" (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) *1 DSP (Digital Signal Processor) suited for Foveon*2 three silicon embedded layers direct image sensor is newly developed (joint development with Fujitsu Limited*3) and incorporated into DP1 first time. The unique image processing algorithm developed throughout the development of SD9, SD10 and SD14 cameras is incorporated into "TRUE" and enables high-speed image processing.
*1. "TRUE" is trademark of SIGMA Corporation
*2. Foveon: Chairman and Founder Dr. Carver Mead, CEO D. Federico Faggin
*3. Fujitsu Limited: President, Mr. Hiroaki Kurokawa
Exclusive lens for APS-C size image sensor
The accumulated lens design technology and SD series are used for DP1 development.
A 16.6mm F4 lens, with a wide angle field of view equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm film camera, has been specially developed to maximize the image quality in conjunction with the full color capture image sensor.
Glass mold aspherical lens provide correction for all types of aberrations and capture accurate, full color image information.
Compact and lightweight body
It has compact dimensions of 113.3mm / 4.5in. (W) x 59.5mm / 2.34in. (H) x 50.3mm / 2.0in. (D) and lightweight of 240g/8.5ounces.
Its compact body and lightweight design makes it easy to carry everywhere.
Large 2.5" LCD monitor
The Sigma DP1 camera features a new, large 2.5inch, 230,000-pixel resolution LCD monitor. The LCD monitor displays 100% of the image, allowing the photographer to easily and accurately confirm the image composition.
Hot shoe and external viewfinder
DP1 camera is equipped with a hot-shoe thus allowing the attachment of dedicated external flash and high performance external viewfinder (VF11).
Lens Hood (optional accessory)
For assuring maximum performance from the lens and image sensor, it is equipped with exclusive lens hood.