DP2 high ISO short review.

[EDIT, just to clarify. All images in this post was shot last night some time after sunset. ISO800 or more was a good idea to use, all hand held and often using three continues shots in order to make sure sharpness. Three continues is done in less then one second using RAW]. Lots of emails and questions (here and on other forums) about what the DP2 can do with higher ISO in color. Well, it’s a dual sided coin. On one hand, they look very nice and impressive. Pretty noise free (using color) and much thanks to the great lens it’s perfectly ok to shoot wide open.

ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.
The other side of the coin is maybe more a questions about taste. I don’t like colors being smeared and showing up a little beside it’s “real” pixel and that’s what happens sometimes when using too much noise reduction. I can see when opening these files that the embedded shot has less noise reduction applied and therefore looks better. So, I’m hoping Sigma to add some sort of option so that I can get MORE noise of I want. :D

ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.
Local store shot without any alterations at ISO800 and F4.

ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.

ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.
This biker shot has been exposed twice to save the sky a bit (fast and dirty). Also a bit of warmth is added in photoshop. Also all above shots are taken using auto focus, I needed to see if I could trust it, and it seams to work very nice. And I must add that even if I feel that the DP2 is faster than the DP1 – it’s not a huge step forward. I would like it to be much faster still.

ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.
Ones more we have double exposed one RAW. Started out with a ISO800 raw that I saved +0.7 and another with -1 (for the sky). So the final image ending up as a ISO1250 shot with a ISO400 sky. :D

ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.

ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.
I do find banding in darker areas, in some pictures more and some less. I hope this is something that can be fixed in future firm wares or gone with the “real” cameras. Btw, the guy in the above shot is a friend of mine that currently suffers from col, he’s not feeling well tonight.

ISO800 - 3200 | DP2 shots.
Ending this serie with a ISO3200 shot tweaked with a strong curve in Photoshop.  (i think it’s more ISO4000) :) I’m still a HUGE fan of the monochrome mode! Last note, all above shots has been taken using triple exposures. (in order to be safe about one sharp exposure – too much coffee)

All above shots are availible as full size at this DP2 flickr set.

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. :)
This entry was posted in Full size, High ISO/ASA (400+), Review, Sigma DP2, Sigma Photo Pro and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to DP2 high ISO short review.

  1. Andrew says:

    I like the grain in that last shot.

  2. Kiwibirch says:

    Carl, Can you take a shot into the sun so we can see if the magenta flare issue has gone?

  3. thechebb says:

    Carl, great shots!
    I really like the B&W shots they are so rich….
    Well done my friend!

  4. alex says:

    3200 seems to have a bit too much noise, especially in the dark areas. I don’t find that very pleasing, even in bw.
    How about 1600, how does it stand?

  5. A. says:

    Hi Carl, would you please quantify or elaborate on the issue of speed? I sold my DP1 because it was too slow with autofocus and auto exposure. How does the DP2 differ from the DP1 in these two areas? Also, how about startup and shot-to-shot time in RAW?

    Thanks for the update!

  6. Hi Carl, I would also be interseted in knowing about the speed issues and if they have been fixed. I just bought my DP1 from a local dealer here in Iceland and I find that once you learn how to use it and see the excellent results the speed issue just fades away. Do you think they will make an new firmware for DP1 which will include these colour schemes you are talking about?

  7. Alex, if you do not want the sharp noise you can take sharpness down a bit and get a smoother grain which in many cases looks better.

  8. A and Birkir! I will see if I can do some timing done tonight. I am very curious myself and would wanna know if it’s just me or reality. :) / I did talk with another DP2 tester (Guenter) and he’s very sure it’s faster – he loves to use it for 360 QTWRs now which was a little painful with the Dp1, and VERY painful I think using the SD14.

  9. Kiwibirch, coming! :P

  10. A. says:

    Thanks, looking forward to the timing-post :-)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi Carl. How to do double exposed one raw? Do you mean you do that in lightroom?

  12. Hi Anonymous! I develop the same RAW twice one for the foreground (guy on bike) one darker for the sky. Then I put those to on top of each other in photoshop and used a big smooth eraser erasing the light sky so that the dark sky becomes visible. All info is there in the RAW – you just need to make it show. :) It’s easy and pretty dirty. You can do this using almost any photo application that supports layers and has a eraser pencil. You could have used Lightroom 2 to do this but there is no support for DP2 raws right now. They look very strange if opened.

  13. Laurent Venet says:

    Hi from France Carl :)

    I’m looking at your web site from times to times and always do enjoy your work, and finally by looking at your gorgeous pictures full of humanity (you like the people you shoot), one more click on evil bay made me the unexpected winner of a DP-1.

    I hope my impatience won’t make me regret DP-2.

    Does DP-2 burry down DP-1 ?

    Thank’s a lot Carl, keep on your great web site.

  14. Carl somewhere else.. says:

    Hi Laurent! If you’re patient with your photography then DP1 will make you very happy! My DP1 has been in the drawer since the DP2 arrived but that’s not where I intend to have it much longer. I very much like the wider angle and IQ of the Dp1. No worries! :)

  15. Pingback: Initial DP2 review with full size shots.. | Carl Rytterfalk Fotografi

  16. WP says:

    Hi carl.
    Great skill, you have!!
    You mentioned that you very much like the wider angle and IQ of the Dp1. Does it mean Dp1 IQ is better than Dp2’s?

    Thank you.

    • Well, the DP2 has many more options and many shortcuts, when you get used to them all I’m sure the DP2 is faster to operate but initially I was ANGRY at it. There is still some part of operation I would like to change (two or three clicks needed to get into magnified manual focus view) – but I also feel much more happy with the DP2 after a few weeks of use.

  17. Jon W says:

    Where are the 100% zoomed shots? That would be much more helpful.

  18. demian says:

    Why are you angry Carl? Are you disappointed concerning the little improvements in comparison with the dp1?

    I still doubt to buy this camera.

    I have still a couple questions.
    You wrote, there is no shutter-lag and the write speeds is much better than the write speed of the dp1, but:

    – Is the AF faster as the predecessor?
    – Is the LCD screen still rather bad?
    – How about the extension speed of the lens / startup time in comparison with the dp1?
    – Makes the dp2 during the lens extension the same rather ugly sound as the dp1?

    Thanks in advance,


  19. Rytterfalk says:

    Hi Demian, what made me ANGRY was the clicks I needed to do in order to get magnified view. I wanted one, if even that. My thinking was that if I turned the thumb wheel the magnified view would automatically turn on. :) For me that’s intuitive.

    AF is slightly faster, not as much faster than saving times thou (compared to DP1). LCD is perfectly OK if you’re not in bright sunlight (but it’s the same old I think).
    Startup is faster. Maybe double. I’m hoping for a “lens out at all times” mode with a future firmware upgrade.

  20. demian says:

    Can I summarise it as follows, the dp2 has compared to the DP1:
    – much shorter shutter lag
    – much better write speed
    – much better startup time
    – slightly faster AF
    – slightly better lens
    – LCD the same (problematic in bright sunligh)

  21. Carl sewing stuff says:

    Hi Demian! Sound like a fair summarize.. But lens is hard to say dp2 is better – DP1 lens was outstanding. Dp2 lens is too. different focal length – same origin.

  22. demian says:

    Hi Carl, perhaps you are right. It’s not my opinion, but I read it on internet (thereby I have no DP 1 or 2, but just I ordered one. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=31818000

  23. Pingback: Sigma DP2 verkar riktigt bra | Stefan Tell, Stockholm

  24. Pingback: SIGMA DP2 ISO感度テスト « Diffuse Information

  25. ffxiv gil says:

    There is obviously a lot to know about this.

  26. Pingback: Sigma DP2

  27. Jeff says:

    I love my DP2 – even high ISO. I posted a comment here with some photos to illustrate: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=38730868

    Some may find noise and colour shift unpalatable, but I think used circumspectly it can be an art tool. Thanks for you informative web site.

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