Let's talk more about that 28mm lens and distinctive sensor.
Sigma developed the lens especially for the Sigma DP1s and its predecessor, and it's of high quality, with minimal distortion.
While the fixed 28mm focal length may feel restrictive after a while, this is actually a good wide-angle length for landscapes.
The inclusion of a zoom button on the rear of the camera is puzzling as it's a fixed length lens; instead, it's used for digital zoom (best avoided, as always) and zooming in during image playback.
The rear screen displays 100 per cent of the image and it's easy enough to adjust brightness. This is essential actually, as out of the box you'll find your images look more washed out than they really are - don't be afraid to adjust the screen brightness.
As for the 14MP sensor, we struggle to find an immediate advantage to the Foveon technology over more conventional formats.
This is actually a controversial area, with arguments centering on the actual size of the sensor in terms of megapixels. Without getting into a technical discussion about the relative merits of competing sensor designs, suffice to say that the Sigma DP1s's sensor does deliver generally high quality, low noise images – but remember that the final image size is restricted to 2652×1768 pixels.
Again, this is probably not a major issue for the Sigma DP1s's target market, but it will restrict how big you can blow images up, for example.
Probably a bigger issue for prospective customers are the features that the Sigma DP1s lacks.
There's no facility to record HD video, for example, and no optical viewfinder as standard. There isn't a multi-point AF option or AF assist lamp, either, and in-camera tweaks are kept to the absolute minimum – you can select Normal colour, Black and White and Sepia, and that's about it.
On the brighter side the Sigma DP1s does have full support for RAW shots and the PASM dial does give you plenty of exposure options. You can also shoot in RAW when using the Auto mode, which is a bonus on a compact camera, but as we'll see, shooting RAW is not recommended for anyone in a hurry.