Cameras

Sigma Announces Pricing & Launch Date For DP1

Jan. 31, 2008 - Sigma today announced the highly-anticipated DP1, a compact digital camera with the same 14-megapixel sensor found in the manufacturer's DSLRs. The camera was first introduced in at Photokina 2006 in Germany, but news about the camera drop

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Jan. 31, 2008 - Sigma today announced the launch and price of the highly-anticipated DP1, a compact digital camera with the same 14-megapixel sensor found in the manufacturer's DSLRs. The DP1 will be avaialble in April for an anticipated price of $799. It was first introduced in at Photokina 2006 in Germany, but news about the camera dropped off following its original announcement.

Sigma USA marketing manager Thomas Sobey told Digitalcamerainfo.com that manufacturing on the DP1 would start in March or April, and that the price of the long-awaited camera was anticipated to be $799. The product was announced in 2006, but more than a year went by without further specs on the DP1, Sigma's CEO, Kazuto Yamaki, sought to explain the lag in a statement earlier this month.

'The image processing pipeline we had developed for the DP1 was not ideal for achieving the best image quality,' Yamaki said. 'We had a choice between compromising image quality and moving forward or taking a different path. After long and sometimes intense discussions, we finally decided to change the entire image processing pipeline.'

The camera was redesigned, with Yamaki stating Sigma would rather 'get it right than release it early.' Now, it seems the DP1's time has come. The compact uses the same Foveon X3 sensor used in the SD14 SLR, thus fitting many of the specs and functions of a SLR into a compact camera.

The 14-megapixel camera features a 20.7 x 13.8mm image sensor, approximately seven to eight times larger than the average sensor found in modern point-and-shoots. It runs on Sigma's 'TRUE' (Three layer-Responsive Ultimate Engine), made for the Foveon image sensor, which Sigma claims enables better image quality and high-speed image processing.

Although it has the same image sensor as an SLR, it keeps the size and shape of a compact point-and-shoot. It's 4.5 x 2.3 x 2 inches and weighs 8.5 ounces.

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The DP1 features a 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD, and records RAW files, as well as JPEG, in four resolution modes. RAW files captures pure data, allowing any processing or editing to be completed manually post-capture. It's an option used most often by advanced photographers who want maximum control over editing their images. Sigma's Photo Pro software, which comes with the DP1, converts RAW data in three modes. Users can choose X3F mode to keep the original settings of the image, Auto Adjustment to allow the software to automatically make corrections to RAW images, or Custom mode, which allows the user to choose which adjustments to make.

The DP1 has a hot shoe for external flashes and accessories, but also comes with a built-in flash. It has five exposure modes - Auto, Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, and Manual, and three metering modes - Evaluative, Center-Weighted, and Spot.

The 16.6mm lens (28mm in 35mm equivalent) was developed exclusively for the DP1. According to Sigma, the large diameter of the lens helps provide high contrast images, and the multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting.

The DP1 features a nine-point autofocus system, and allows users to manually choose the focusing point. It can focus from as close as 30 centimeters to infinity.

The DP1 has a Movie mode that records 340 x 240 resolution video at 30 frames per second. This is of lower quality than the many modern point-and-shoots that offer higher resolution 640 x 480 movie recording. Its Burst mode records four frames at 2.8 fps, or 1.1 fps until the memory card is filled.

The compact runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is expected to ship this spring.

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