Sigma DP-2

Sigma DP2

It’s done! The Sigma DP-2 has been ordered. With a couple of accessories it sums up to a shocking CHF 1’280.

I’ve spent several days reading through almost every available article on internet and came to the conclusion that this compact camera would be the ideal companion for my summer vacation on Canary Islands. I love shooting nature and buildings where I have a lot of time to fiddle with the settings of a camera, seeking for the best picture and of what I’ve read so far, the DP-2 ideally suits for this purpose.

As indicated above, I’ve been looking for a compact camera, with focus on “compact”. I did not even want to bring my Nikon D-40 along, due to the amount of various lenses which I would have had to carry with me. Of course, I could have taken only a 50mm along, but once you’re there and like to shoot a vast landscape, you’d be upset that you have left the 28mm at home. The DP-2 is a big relief in that respect. 🙂 Furthermore taking the airplane also sets the limitation for weight of luggage and since I always take a few good books along, every kilo is worth thousands of words rather than bulky photo equipment.

Choosing the DP-2 was everything except easy. Besides compactness, I wanted to have a viewfinder, manual controls, raw file output for post processing (especially white balance, where I’m not a spoiled kid with the D-40), rather less of zoom-factor than a fast lens, shooting up to ISO 800 with suitable color quality, external flash mount, manual focus and of course best picture quality for printing up to A3 format.

The DP-2 was compared to:

  • Nikon Coolpix P6000
  • Canon Powershot G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

I’m pretty sure that all above cameras are great and that the buyers are happy to own them.

The Nikon would have been suitable since I already own Nikon stuff and I like the ergonomics of the D-40, the clear menus (of course I’m used to them in the meantime), the reuse of my SB-400 flash, the viewfinder and the robust looking built quality. One of the downsides is that Nikon has invented a new raw format (NRW) which would have forced me to update Capture NX to version 2.(2).

The Canon G10 looks really great and it seems that it is really built like a “rock”. From my investigation, I could not really see any negative points, except that I would have had to buy a new flash.

Except for the missing view finder, the Panasonic seems to have the best picture quality (according to various comparison tests).

So why did I eventually go for the DP-2? I was looking at tons of picture samples on Flickr and other sources and there it was: of what I’ve seen, the pictures shot by the DP-2 are more appealing, especially looking at the colors. The pictures of the other cameras looked much more artificial to me and the Nikon even shows white spots on dark colors…

The decision was not easy, and I’m somewhat afraid of the negative points of the DP-2 which are slow autofocus, difficult to read the display in bright environments, build quality compared to G10 & P6000 and totally new menu structure with lack of ergonomics. (Imaging that you have to change your mobile device to another brand. It will take you days until you can handle the new phone the same way as the previous one.)

Let’s see how this new compact camera will do and I’ll certainly be back with my personal review about the DP-2 soon.