Published on June 3rd,2009 at 10:33 AM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

Sigma DP2, an Astonishing Camera for the Artist in You: Review

A lot has been said lately about the new SIGMA DP2, and to be honest, most articles and reviews I’ve read about it underline the lack of understanding people have about this camera.

Before going any further in this review, I’d like to warn you, NO the Sigma DP2 is NOT MADE for you, neither myself nor your brother, grandmother or cousin, the Sigma DP2 is made for professional photographers or enthusiasts looking for a fun camera to play with during their free time and to reveal the artist in them. If you don’t understand this, just ignore this camera and this review.

Sigma DP2 Specs
– FOVEON X3® Direct Image Sensor (CMOS)
– Image Sensor Size 20.7×13.8mm
– Effective Pixels 14.06MP (2652×1768×3 layers)
– Aspect Ratio 3:2
– Focal Length 24.2mm F2.8 (35mm equivalent focal length:41mm)
– Lens Construction 6 Groups 7 Elements
– ISO Sensitivity AUTO (ISO 100-ISO 200) : With Flash (ISO 100,ISO 400), ISO 50, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600

First Impressions
If you’ve never had a DP1 in your hands and are used to well built Canons and Nikons, you may be a bit surprised by the DP2. In many aspects it seems to have been hand made, with somewhat lower grade plastics when compared to a Canon or Nikon. But this lack of polishing underlines another reality, think of the DP2 as the result of a master photographer building-up his very own camera for the love of picture taking rather than design.
Yes the DP2 could be built better, there’s NO doubt about it, the camera looks cheap but put this aside and take the DP2 to another level. Appearance doesn’t count here, results are what it’s all about!

Let’s Shoot Baby!
To me shooting with the DP2 and enjoying its AMAZING pictures is like wearing a pair of Size made John Lobb shoes, and like Size made Lobbs, the first days are tough. The leather has to become soft to give you that amazing walking experience. The DP2 is exactly like this, you have to get use to it, know what you can and cannot do with it and know how to be PATIENT. Once you understand these basic steps and know how to be patient, the DP2 gives you STUNNING photos and you’ll finally be able to let the artist in you talk.

I’m not going to spend hours describing the quality of pictures taken by the DP2, this is useless since the result is amazing with amazingly sharp and crisp pictures, with breath taking results in low light even at ISO 200.

I’m sure you’ll see a lot of gorgeous pictures taken in sunlight with the DP2, so I’ll only give some samples of photos taken at night… and let’s you enjoy the results. All the above photos were taken at IS 200, except for the first one taken in ISO100, with the camera either placed on the floor or shot without any means of steadying the camera.


Criticizing the Sigma DP2 is like criticizing the work of a master craftsman for producing a unique piece of furniture giving you a different taste of what building perfection is from his two bare hands. Yes the DP2 needs some design polish, menu, as well as improvements in photo speed and processing (which is greatly improved compared to the DP1)… But the DP2 isn’t for us, the DP2 is for the artist or photographer who wants to have fun with a camera in their spare time… Should you buy a DP2? Well if you can afford a “niche” camera and have a lot of time to play with it, hell yes! You might feel some frustration at the beginning, but once you’ve mastered it… you’ll be amazed!

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  • Alkit

    Thanks for the good review!!

    I just try both in yodobashi. I personally prefer DP1’s 28mm lens. Also, I expect it offer everything better with this price tag. The LCD is just so so in quality. I guess a big portion of price we pay to the big sensor.

    GRD seems a better choice.

  • Pradeep

    What about the optical zoom, is it as effecient when zoomed in..?

  • Daimaou

    Optical Zoom ??? Are you kidding ???

  • balls187

    Thanks for the review.

    I’ve been eyeing this camera, because I want a smaller cam to compliment by 5D2.

    I’m curious about the response time. Did it feel laggy like most compact cameras or did it have a snappiness typically found in modern DSLRS?

    Excited about the low-light possibilities with this.

    Thanks again.

  • Daimaou

    You cannot compare the snappiness of the DP2 to a DSLR… the PD2 is faster than you average point & shoot but don’t expect too much here neither

  • Alkit

    I have the same case as “balls187”. We are too spoiled by the 5D2. Hardly find a lighter and smaller with similar quality. I am considering Olympus 620 with pancake lens, or the coming up Olympus Pen series.

    The DP1 & 2 are faster than typical DC but……not that much. Cant compare with DSLR. It is just the class difference.

    To me: it is a compact DC with DSLR sensor.

    I wonder if 1 day every compact DC with big sensor. Just like the old day, every camera with film (full film)



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