The Sigma DP2 (check prices: Amazon, B&H, Adorama) features a 14 mega-pixel (4.6MP effective) FOVEON X3 Direct Image CMOS Sensor and a fixed focal length 24.2mm (41mm 35mm equivalent) lens. Apparently Sigma is targeting a group of niche market users who want a small portable camera that takes great photos of ordinary life, who want to go back to the basics of photography with the single-focal length lens and doesn’t mind the “inconvenience” of “zoom with your legs”.
With the large 20.7×13.8mm (0.8 inch×0.5 inch) sensor that is much larger than those in most high-end digital compacts and a fast prime lens, the Sigma Dp2 belongs to a unique category of digital cameras that is between DSLR and compact point & shoot. For Sigma’s targeted customers, the DP2 sounds very interesting and brings high expectations. However quite a few reviews I have found online found the DP2 offers less than expected.
In the review, Ken Tanaka of The Online Photographer found the Sigma DP2 has poor build quality, image issues related to color casts and vignettes, slow and noisy focus, low end LCD screen, clunky and outdated user interface, lock-ups, and poor battery life. In closing thoughts, he wrote, “After using the DP2 daily for over a week I found it to be a sluggish, noisy, unreliable, and generally charmless device which I ultimately decided to return for a refund.”
In the review posted on Gizmodo, Wilson Rothman noted poor high ISO performance, slow focus, lack of RAW+JPG mode, dismal video recording capability, poor battery life, and being relatively expensive.
If you read Sigma’s DP2 product site, Sigma emphasizes on the DP’s philosophy, concept, and identity that are quite different compared to most other digital cameras available today. However these should not be excuses for the problems we see in the Sigma DP2. Even for people who want the DP2 for what it is, it may be a tough decision, considering the price tag.
Keywords: Foveon X3, Sigma, Sigma DP2