Sigma Dp1. Brief review from a reader

Material on Sigma Dp1 especially for Radozhiva prepared Dima.

Sigma Dp1

Sigma Dp1

The Sigma Dp family of cameras is a family of compact cameras with 'welded' primes and a large sensor. The crop of the matrix is ​​unusual - it is 1.7X, which is slightly less than that of Nikon and Canon APS-C, but more than 4/3. There were three versions of the camera: 28 mm, 45 mm and 75 mm. In the first case aperture was F/4, in the rest – F/2.8. Sensor size: 20,7 x 13,8 mm. Actually, this is the whole point of the camera, it is very compact and has an impressive size matrix, and not an ordinary one, but a three-layer one, called Foveon. The camera was announced on May 19, 2008.

As a lover of landscapes, I, of course, liked the 28 mm version. Yes, to be honest, I haven’t seen any other options on the secondary market. At the time of announcement, the camera cost about $800, which in my opinion is very expensive. After the camera was discontinued, prices usually doubled. A hand-held camera could be found for about $250 (as of 2012). The camera is quite rare; it appears on the secondary market very rarely.

And so - the camera body is a rather nice weighty metal block, everything is fitted very well and the camera fits nicely in the hand. The camera has a lot of disadvantages, but looking at what can be squeezed out of its RAW, you forgive everything. The matrix of this camera has three layers, each layer has a color (red, green, blue).

The image resolution was only 4 megapixels, but for some reason the manufacturer stated 12, that is, 4 for each layer. But the resolution of the image itself is only 2640 by 1760. But the detail was so high (there was no low-pass filter) that without problems and obvious deterioration in quality when saving in the native editor, it was possible to save the image in double size.

Pictures from this camera were distinguished by very high, ringing detail at any aperture, high dynamic range, and unusual color that could be squeezed out of it. Not exact, but unusual and unreal, artistically beautiful. Only one white balance could achieve an interesting and deep shade. The camera loves good light, a tripod and low ISO.

She had 50-200 working ISOs. All! Everything above was noisy, and very noisy. Colored noise, spots - whatever. The camera is very slow and leisurely, solely for the soul and leisurely shooting and, of course, only as a second one. Jeeps and videos were formally there, but the quality was so terrible that one could say they were not there.

An interesting feature: all other things being equal, Sigma always required 2 times more time for the same exposure as other cameras. As I understand it, this was a feature of the three-layer sensor. Sometimes she was weird with the white balance and it was difficult to get an adequate color. But this only happened in difficult conditions. The menu and controls were quite simple and friendly. Another feature, maximum excerpt was only 15 seconds.

When focusing, the camera made cute, unusual sounds. The lens was very afraid of backlight from the sun and gave just terrible red glare that completely spoiled the frame, but it painted interesting and unusual stars on the city lamps, it looked very artistic.

And now a little about the native editor. It could be downloaded for free from the company's website. Quite an impressive number of versions have been released today. And he was not without jokes. On the oldest Dp models, not all functionality was available. On the newer ones (merill) there were more settings and all sorts of corrections available. And there were quite a lot of them there. And only a native editor could successfully suppress the proprietary noise of sigma at ISO 400 and higher. And it was possible to get more or less tolerable pictures. Again, an interesting feature: the noise reduction mode was activated only at ISO 400 and higher. As for color, the native editor made it possible to get a very good interesting picture, much better than ACR. But today ACR has learned to adequately develop Sigma files. There are even profiles for lenses. But only the native program can suppress the noise adequately.

The native editor is very slow, specific and inconvenient. Nothing new in general.

As a result, Sigma Dp1 is a very interesting compact that you can always carry with you. Easily fits into a jacket pocket. Only suitable as a second chamber for the soul.

At ISO up to 200 it produced phenomenally clear, transparent and clear images. With the right bb interesting colors and shades. Loves good light and tripods. You can also shoot handheld, but for evening shooting, a tripod and ISO 50 are better for ideal results.

Below are examples shown both in the native program and in ACR.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here и here.


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Comments: 14, on topic: Sigma Dp1. Brief review from a reader

  • Oleg

    I think sigma will be born into a full-frame foveon. Super review. Thank you

    • Dima

      Thank you. I remember Canon wanted to make a full-size foveon for a long time) These sensors, in addition to their advantages, have a lot of disadvantages.

    • Dima

      And if Fuji made a full-frame super SSD)

  • Dmitry Kostin

    The matrices are really interesting, but they should also have everything else, starting from the availability of free sale of both cameras and lenses, as well as accessories for them - for example, batteries, and ending with the availability of service.
    Now, at the moment, there is one service for the entire Russian Federation, in Moscow, and one master working there for the entire Russian Federation.
    As for Foveon itself, the color starts to fade at ISO 200, but I didn’t want to shoot at 400 on the SD-1 Merrill - well, that’s not what this matrix is ​​for.
    Then you can continue about: the dim-witted slow AF system, which has its roots in film SLRs, about the waste of batteries, as well as the heating of some cameras (SD-1 Merrill), etc., etc.
    I had an SD-1 Merrill and it was an interesting experience and better if I got this camera later. Cameras on Foveon are cameras for the soul and they are well suited if you have free time, good weather, there are no household (or work) chores, and most importantly, when you have a lot of experience and a desire to turn a blind eye to some of their features.

    • Dmitry Kostin

      Thanks for the review!
      Nostalgia has awakened.
      I once thought about discarding the SD-1 Merrill and buying an SD QH, but I did the right thing by abandoning this idea.

      • Dima

        I would buy Dp1 merill. But they have a resolution of 15 megapixels. the files weigh as much as 45 meters. And it’s useless to look on our secondary market.
        And so Fuji and Pervopyatak are of course good, but Foveon Sigma, you must agree, is a separate universe. It's just another planet.

        • Dmitry Kostin

          Foveon is a slightly different story, I agree, especially in terms of detail and color profiles, as well as camera features.
          By the way, I used my native program and it did not require any ultra-powerful PC. It took a long time for a core i7 4790k @4.5GHz, 16GB of memory and an SSD. Now the basic Core i3 of 11-12 generations has the same performance.

          • Dima

            Native SPP is very light, even my ancient computer ran on it 10 years ago. By the way, I forgot to mention in the review that older versions sometimes gave better results in color and light. I don’t know why, but it’s a fact. Not just old ones, but almost the very first versions.

            • Dmitry Kostin

              They had a program update before (and several versions after) the release of the Quattro line and its requirements for the PC have subjectively increased.
              In terms of color, to be honest, I didn’t notice a difference, but on the photo_ru forum they advised that if you didn’t want to switch to Quattro series cameras, stay on the old versions.

              • Dima

                I had both versions at the same time, one with the old design, even a gray interface, and the newer one, and so I developed one file at the same time, the old one noticeably won.

              • Marius

                a kakaya versia uje dlya Quatro ??

  • Oleg

    The review may be interesting, but the author has a strange knowledge of information; for some reason he entered an equivalent focal length not for dp (the first line), but for merill (28, 45 and 75mm) there is a regular crop factor of 1.5. Moreover, dp3, as far as I know, does not exist; Merill already had a third focal length (just 75 equiv.)

    • Dima

      As for Dp3, let the author of the resource make corrections.


    The photographs are simply a sight to behold, both technically (light, colors) and artistically (composition and all that)! Bravo!

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