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Sigma DP1s review

A solid camera at a keen price, but speedy it ain't

sigma dp1s

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.

sigma dp1s

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.

dp1s

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.

dp1s

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.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution320 x 240
Effective Camera Resolution14.1 Megapixel
USBYes
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, MultiMediaCard (MMC)
ColourBlack
Digital Zoom3x
Brand NameSigma
Screen Size6.4 cm (2.5")
Video FormatsAVI
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)250 g
Maximum Image Resolution2640 x 1760
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height59.5 mm
Width113.3 mm
Depth50.3 mm
Focal Length16.60 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSigma Corporation
Product ModelDP1
Product NameDP1 Compact Camera
Manufacturer Part NumberC7S900
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com
Marketing Information

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.