Sigma DP2 Review

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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Sigma DP2
Resolution: 4.64 Megapixels
Sensor size: 0.98 inch
Lens: Non-Zoom
(41mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
ISO: 50-1600
Shutter: 15-1/2000
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.3 x 2.2 in.
(113 x 60 x 56 mm)
Weight: 9.2 oz (260 g)
MSRP: $870
Availability: 05/2009
Manufacturer: Sigma
Full specs: Sigma DP2 specifications

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0.98 inch
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The Sigma DP2 is a fixed-lens compact digital camera that's closely related to the company's existing Sigma DP1 model. The main difference between the two cameras is in their choice of lens. 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 replaces 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. As with its sibling, this lens sits in front of a 0.98" (24.9mm) diagonal Foveon X3 image sensor with 14.1 million 7.8µm photodiodes, capable of measuring full RGB color information at every pixel location. The Sigma DP2 hence outputs a 4.64 megapixel maximum image size.

Another significant difference between the DP1 and DP2 is in the choice of image processor. Where the original DP1 was based around a Sigma TRUE ("Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine") processor, the Sigma DP2 replaces this with an upgraded "TRUE II" image processor which will also be shared with the company's new SD15 digital SLR. The Sigma TRUE II processor is said to offer improvements in processing speed, operation, and performance. The sensitivity range increases at both ends, and now ranges from ISO 50 to 1,600 equivalents, where the original DP1 was ISO 100 to 800. Maximum flash range at ISO 200 increases from 2.1m to 3m in the DP2, likely due to the brighter lens. While the body design and styling is largely similar to the DP1, there has been a scant 0.2" (5.8 mm) increase in thickness, and some changes to the rear panel control layout with one added button, a change of orientation from horizontal to vertical for the digital zoom buttons, and a relocation of some of the labelling from screen-prints on the body to imprints in the buttons. Despite the somewhat larger body, the Sigma DP2 is slightly lighter than its sibling - 9.1 oz / 260g versus the Sigma DP1's 9/7 oz / 278g.

Preliminary specifications for the Sigma DP2 are otherwise largely similar to the existing DP1 model. Images and movies are framed on a 2.5" LCD display with 100% coverage, or on an optionally available hot-shoe mounted VF-21 external viewfinder. Evaluative, center-weighted or spot metering are available, and as well as shooting in Program mode, the DP2 photographer can opt for Aperture- or Shutter-priority or fully manual shooting. Autofocusing is contrast detection-type, with a manual focus mode also available. Eight white balance settings are available, including both Auto and Manual plus six presets. A built-in manual popup flash offers both red-eye reduction and slow synchro modes, and there's also a flash hot shoe for external flash strobes.

The Sigma DP2 can record still images in .X3F Raw or JPEG file formats onto Secure Digital cards, including the newer SDHC types, and is also MultiMediaCard compatible. Movies are saved as AVI files, and are recorded at 320 x 240 pixel resolution at a rate of 30 frames per second. Connectivity options include NTSC / PAL video output, and USB 2.0 computer connectivity. Power comes from a BP-31 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, with a charger included in the product bundle.

The Sigma DP2 lists for US$870, and ships from May, 2009.

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