SD15 and DP2 | First thoughts..

After much wait there finally is a SD15 and oala also a DP2. the biggest improvement seams to be the new TRUE 2 engine, hopefully that means even better image quality and much improved speed! That’s one of the main issues I think for both DP1 and SD14. Speed. But also AF fine tuning is of great importance! slightly off and the extreme sharpness of the foveon image shows it.

Also want video recording for the SD15, was hoping for that with the SD9 too but never got it so I guess I’ll have to wait another decade or so before getting it. hehe.. Just imagine 1080p 24p RAW footage made with a Foveon sensor! That would kick RED EPICs butt just like that! REAL, crisp colors in lifelike pictures full of micro contrast like I’m used to!  – Or should I wait for the Scarlet? Without even knowing what specs it will have now when it’s all changed (se RED.com for more info). Maybe it’s Nikons D90 and Canons 5DMark2 that got me kickin’..

DP2 has a new 41mm lens. One of my most used lenses has been my 30mm 1.4. It’s pretty close to 24.5mm and I’m pretty sure it will become a classic especially with a bright f2.8 with nice bokeh. (Sigma has become really good with bokeh). But why isn’t the lens out at all times and made of solid, naked metal? That’s more my style. Heavy is cool! :D With focus and aperture control on the lens. THAT would be a killer! :D Maybe a Full Frame DP3 will give me a surprise!

But for now, the SD14 delivers incredible image quality (at lower ISO), the SD15 will have the same sensor but with two generations newer image processor that hopefully will do magic. What can I say? Bring it on! But it better be good!

EDIT: One more thing that I really would like to see in the SD15 is a split screen focus screen thingi. Like in the old days. I really like the feeling of taking my time to just focus. You know turn off auto functions (all of them) and focus. :D

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
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17 Responses to SD15 and DP2 | First thoughts..

  1. DaveB says:

    Carl-
    Any thoughts on why Sigma chose a 41mm vs 50mm for the DP2???? I can imagine a lot of photography schools might push kids towards the DP2 for project work if it had the 50mm…
    /dave

  2. difference between 41mm and 50mm is very low – I’m pretty sure it will work out pretty much the same. It gives you slightly more to work with. I think that lots of people will have the DP1 and the DP2, it’s a perfect combo for journalism etc.. Really wide and perfect portraits.

    Btw, Lightroom 2 and ACR has DP1 support and GREAT support too! Great colors even better then what Sigmas own software does at least according to my initial tests.

  3. Here’s hoping that Sigma’s new processing engine does a better / faster job, but considering how it’s getting leap-frogged in the marketplace I hold out little hope that their market-share will expand at all. It used to be that Sigma saying “14MP” used to be a big deal. Now with the Sony A900, the 5D Mk II and even the D700, it’s meaning less and less.

    No doubt the SD14 and DP1 are fine cameras and will continue to produce fine results in optimal lighting scenarios, but there’s not much hope that Sigma can capture a sales numbers that will make it worth developing cameras for the future. My prediction is that IF the DP2 and SD15 make it to market, they will be Sigma’s last.

    I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong, but I have not vested interest having moved over to FourThirds myself (with my DP1 in my day-bag).

  4. ThePanda says:

    Long time Carl!

    I like the new layout. Glad to see you back up and running.

    On the lens of the DP2 check out this video…

    I won’t spoil it for you

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9nbA694K1k

    -Chris

  5. dc says:

    Does anyone want to translate that video, for us poor monolingual American fools?

    Carl: I agree entirely about the always-out lens with manual controls. I bought my DP1 because it was the closest thing I could find to a 70s-era rangefinder, without all the fruity “night-waterfall-baby-flower-shot” presets; the manual aperture, ISO, and focus, and (sometimes!) very filmlike grain were a huge selling point for me. Since I got it, the most exasperating thing is having to move through the menus to access the manual settings. Having dedicated controls for them would make it so much easier and faster to use. (But then, having faster manual controls might make it that much more of a pain to wait for RAW images to write… :)

    And of course, having the lens always out would remove the 1 second + minimum shot time… oooh wouldn’t that be nice. I’m very excited about the Olympus 4/3ds compact camera for that reason. Prime when I want, zoom when I want, no startup lag… but no Foveon. Balls!

  6. DC, I’m requesting lots more balls too.. They need to stand out a and with a long engine sound before you can take the first shot is not cool.

    I would also like to see the “all times out” lens to be faster. Maybe it’s easier to make a great prime faster if it’s not supposed to move in and out. I’ve seen great fast pancake primes. (At least I think they’re good, never tried one). 41mm at 2.8 is OK. But 41mm at 1.4 – 1.8 is even cooler!

    And I hoooope a lot in the movie mode. I really do enjoy a video from time to time. I started out in the film business before getting in to still images.

  7. scott.. You are right – it feels like Sigma needs a new sesnor from Foveon. But at the same time I have images here beside me that are printed 90x70cm – and I use to show them on different fairs in sweden – People as asked me if it’s taken with a medium format camera. It looks soo so so crisp and sharp and vivid EVEN close up. http://www.rytterfalk.com/2007/11/17/from-the-photo-fair/

    There IS something special with the foveon image. we still have problem to point out exactly what. Micro contrast and micro colors might be the answer.

    I for one don’t really care for more pixels. I want the camera to work faster and without hesitation.

  8. Curtis says:

    Carl:

    Do you have an idea what they are going to be asking for the SD15? DP2?? Also, my Lightroom 2 won’t import DP1 raw files. What update am i missing?

  9. Hi Curtis. Your Lightroom has to be 2.1 ( http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Lightroom_2.1#Download ) and the price of coming cameras are still unknown. I hope it’s not too much though. :)

  10. Nathan says:

    Howdy! Great site. I’ve been visiting here for the last few months since I got a DP1 and have learned a lot. Very excited about the DP2!
    Any news on DP3?

    I have a slightly off topic question and I thought you’d be the one to know. With my DP1, I find that highlights often burn out and I loose color and detail that can’t be regained. Any way to avoid this?
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks.

  11. Hi Nathan!

    Burned highlights sounds like a ISO50 effect. Colors could be developers fault. I know that there is a new SPP on it’s way with improved data handling for the DP1 – not tried it and it’s more a rumor type of knowledge. Lightroom 2.1 has better color separation of the DP1 files. If you like, send me one file and I’ll develop it for you and we can see if it becomes any better.

  12. The Panda! Welcome back! That video says very little. hehe.. it’s like looking at a DP1 and listen to someone speaking dutch. hehe but thanks. :)

  13. John Maitland Graves says:

    The reason that a retro focus lens is used that there is a narrower light cone, therefore less light fall off. A pancake lens has a wider angel light cone, therefore more light fall off in addition to the light striking the sensor as a greater angle toward the edges of the sensor.
    I have a DP1 and a DP2. I plan to use the DP2 for panoramas and fine art reproduction using PTGui’s stitching software. By the way, PhotoZoom does a terrific job enlarging Sigma images. Even if the speed is not “quite up there,” the quality of the image more than make up for it. I would compare the IQ to 4×5 ectachromes

  14. I think it would have been a better idea to keep the good ol’ compact flash memory in the SD15. For one, you can simply buy a compact flash – SD adapter if you really wanted to use SD in the Sigma… You can’t go SD – compact flash… & compact flash is more dependable, with the benefit of more space. Everything else looks good on the SD15 though… It’ll be interesting to see how the new processor does it’s job at making better images… Perhaps they geared it towards getting better images EASIER (for the average consumer)– which with the switch to less professional SD memory, makes me think they’re taking that Canon/Nikon simplistic road… (maybe I’m just trying to justify my purchase of the SD14 about a week ago and not waiting for the 15! haha) About your comment regarding video. That would be a great feature, however something freaks me out about combining a still image sensor with video capture — just leaves me feeling like there’s more to loose by combining the two… I’m not an expert though, just a thought. All & all you’re right Foveon should get into the business of making video chips. I believe the RED cam uses a similar technology actually, which would explain it’s film like characteristics.

    P.S. just picked up a SD14 last week here in Canada– Was waiting about 5 years for film-like digital to spring into existence at an affordable rate; And here it is! (impossible to find/buy ANYWHERE here in Canada). I absolutely love it. I’m used to shooting in expensive 35mm format so I don’t mind taking my time at all with my images and so far getting some decent results. I know they’ll only get better as I get faster and faster with it! Perhaps I can soon be a Sigma spokesperson like you & the others & push people to invest in the Sigma/Foveon system for years to come! Some of my first images are online –

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37542518@N06/sets/

    Thanks for the inspiration Carl, keep up the good work (& Sigma marketing!)

    -Tyler Shoemaker
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

  15. I don’t really understand the anti-SD sentiments. I have an SD14 which takes Compact Flash, and a DP1 which takes SD. They both seem to work equally well.

  16. I am using a Sigma SD14 with a CF-SD adapter, with an SD-MicroSDHC adapter in it, with a 4 GB class 6 MicroSDHC card. It works great! I’ll be getting an 8 GB class 10 MicroSDHC card soon, because I just don’t think the CF cards are necessary. This type of memory card set-up worked fine in my old Sony R1 also. The MicroSDHC cards didn’t work in my Canon 5 D, but regular MicroSD cards did (with the adapters, of course).

    Now there are new, super-fast SD cards in very large sizes, so there is really no need for CF cards anymore.

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