Sigma DP1 Digital Compact

Another new product announcement, that maybe of interest to me is the new Sigma DP1, the only downside is that it has no optical viewfinder and it could have benefitted from having a faster aperture lens especially as it is a fixed 28mm (equivelent) something like an F2 or 2.8 ( an F1.4 might be wishing a little to much.

The Sigma Press Release said:

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new, groundbreaking Sigma DP1 compact digital camera featuring a 14 megapixel FOVEON X3 direct image sensor (2652 _ 1768 _ 3 layers) as used in the Sigma SD14 digital SLR. The image sensor uses three silicon embedded layers of photo sensors, stacked to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. The size of image sensor used in DP1 camera is approximately 10 times larger than those used in an ordinary compact digital camera.

A 16.6mm F4 Sigma lens, with a wide angle field of view equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm film camera, has been developed to maximize the image quality in conjunction with the full colour capture image sensor. Glass mold aspherical lens elements provide correction for all types of aberrations and capture full and accurate colour information.

Sigma’s unique and powerful ‘True’ image processor is incorporated into the DP1, enabling it to handle the large image files produced by the 14 megapixel sensor and reproduce exceptional definition with image quality equal to professional digital SLR cameras and on a par with top quality film. The Sigma DP1 is equipped with a large 2.5” TFT LCD monitor with 100% image preview, making confirmation of composition, focusing and exposure quick and easy. This compact camera includes JPEG recording format for speed and convenience and a RAW data (X3F) recording mode for retaining full image capture detail of the utmost quality.

The DP1 has a compact and lightweight body with dimensions of 113.3mm wide x 59.5mm high x 50.3mm deep and weighs only 240g. Its compact body and lightweight design makes it easy to carry everywhere.

The Sigma DP1 camera features a new, large 2.5inch, 230,000-pixel resolution LCD monitor. The LCD monitor displays 100% of the image, allowing the photographer to easily and accurately confirm the image composition.

The new design now includes a hot-shoe, thus allowing the attachment of dedicated external flash and high performance external viewfinder (VF11).

A dedicated lens hood, used to maximise performance from the lens and image sensor, is supplied as a standard accessory.


Sigma also have added on the Sigma-DP1 website

Sigma has developed an integral-lens compact camera with the spec of a digital SLR.
In other words, the DP1 has all the functions of a full-spec digital SLR, packed into a compact camera
with a built-in lens. This is indescribably hard to do. That’s why nobody has ever done it before.
Here at Sigma, we focused all our resources on achieving the nearly-impossible. That’s because
for Sigma the standards for good photos and good cameras are constant. Sigma is not about creating run-of-the-mill photographs, or pursuing image quality defined by
numbers. Our basic principle is to capture the truth.

We’re on a quest for the essence of photographic reproduction, which is to record things exactly as
they are. And now this uncompromising conviction has opened up a whole new horizon in all-in-one
digital cameras. The sensor is key here. If the camera is an eye, the sensor is its retina. The DP1’s sensor is just as big as the one in a digital SLR. So, in its unparalleled capacity to capture light (*1)
, the DP1 leaves conventional compact cameras far, far behind.

And that’s not all. The DP1’s sensor (*2) is also unique and ground-breaking because it captures
all the light, using three layers of color-sensing pixels. None of the light data gets lost or distorted.
This sensor guarantees pure, unadulterated image quality, because it reproduces colors and textures
as they really are. Then there’s the brand-new “TRUE®” (*3) image-processing engine. Even when you’re shooting at full resolution in RAW mode, the data is recorded so swiftly that the DP1 won’t ever feel slow.

It’s just like using a DSLR. And let’s not forget the lens. Using our many years of expertise with optical lenses, we’ve developed a lens (*4) specially for the DP1. Powerful enough to capture the tiniest nuance, it exploits the full power of that sensor. We give you the world’s first full-spec compact digital camera. A compact with the potential to capture exactly what you see and what you feel, with no compromises. Now you can capture images you might not even have seen before.
Full-scale, SLR-sized image sensor
1: The DP1’s sensor boasts about ten times the area* of a conventional compact-camera sensor. The biggest advantage of a large sensor is that the sensor pixels themselves, embedded in silicon, are also large. A conventional compact digital camera is made up of miniaturized sensor pixels on a small silicon motherboard: the more advanced the model, the smaller the pixels, and the higher the pixel count. Pixel miniaturization, however, can only go so far. The smaller the pixel, the poorer
the quality of the light data captured. That’s why we took a different approach, increasing the size of the sensor itself, so that rich image data can be captured faithfully, and so that the color signal is superb right from the start.

* The DP1’s integral sensor is about 12 times the size of the 1- to 2.5-inch sensor, and about
7 times the size of a 1- to 1.8-inch sensor, used in a conventional compact camera.

Foveon X3® Direct Image Sensor
2: The image sensor in a conventional digital camera has a fundamental flaw: each sensor pixel only captures a third of the light, so complex computations have to be performed in order to complete the picture. A color filter is used, and the gaps in the light data are filled in by interpolation. So, no matter how many extra pixels it has, a conventional sensor can only offer so- called “high image quality” by artificially generating colors that were never captured in the first place. The DP1, however, uses the Foveon X3® direct image sensor, which relies on a full-color capture system taking in the full complement of color data. This radically-innovative process delivers genuinely uncompromising image quality.

Brand-new “TRUE®”
image-processing engine
3: Thanks to its unrivaled expertise, Sigma has succeeded in developing the world’s only digital SLR camera with an integral direct-image sensor. Conventional digital cameras use image-processing based on the Bayer sensor, but Sigma has developed a proprietary image-processing algorithm of its own, which uses the high-grade optical signal captured by the large-size direct-image sensor, and generates a high-quality image. In short, Sigma has created a new digital signal processing engine. We call it the TRUE : Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine, or “TRUE” for short. Without making any compromises in image quality, the TRUE® engine performs sophisticated image-processing computations so swiftly that processing times are slashed by an amazing 75%, according to Sigma’s own reckoning. Thanks to the TRUE® image-processing engine, the DP1 never feels slow, even
when you’re shooting in RAW data mode

Integral lens does justice to the large sensor
4: A photo is only as good as the lens it was taken with. This is Sigma’s firm belief, and having spent years developing optical lenses, we should know. The DP1 is the culmination of years of lens-related R&D. And because the DP1 has a large, full-color sensor, we had to develop a special lens to do justice to this extra power. This is the integral 16.6mm F4 lens (28mm equivalent), designed to give the photographer full scope for artistic expression.

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