The successor to Sigma's DP1 arrives with big expectations and striking design. But how does it fair on the WDC testing bench?
Value and Verdict
With a current street price in the region of £500, the DP2 is priced into an intriguing area of the market. For the same amount of cash could bag a decent entry-level DSLR – such as the Pentax K-m or Sony a350 – and a lens to get you started, and then develop into a system. Granted, the DP2 does offer a more compact option than a DSLR, and there are more and more photographers looking for an advanced compact to accompany their enthusiast-level gear, so there is no doubt an area for this type of camera.
It is worth noting that the image quality provided by the combination of the fixed focal length lens and large Foveon sensor is genuinely impressive. However, there are too many flaws in the build of the camera to make image quality alone recommend it, and for the price-tag of £500 there are many better options on the market that offer comparable quality
Sigma made a bold move with the DP1. They stole a march on other manufacturers by inserting a DSLR-sized sensor into a compact body, and really caught the imagination of the market. The DP2 followed on where the DP1 left off, packing the same sensor with a slightly altered specification. The only issue with this continuation of the camera’s identity is that a range of niggles that were existent of then previous model, as Sigma seem to have not attended to them. The DP2 suffers from some real operating issues. To start off with, the ergonomics of the camera are disappointing and make the model difficult to handle. The camera’s menu system is frustrating, while the button layout seems to lack planning.
Then there are niggles with standard imaging functionality of the DP2. Focus is frustratingly stuttering, seemingly searching for the right point, and making a loud noise to boot. Finally there is the price – for £500 you could buy a host of similar cameras that suffer none of the same issues as the DP2, while they also offer more flexibility than the DP2.
The DP2 does offer excellent image quality, but there are far too many flaws for it to be recommended.