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Thread: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

  1. #1

    Default Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    The Sigma DP1M was launched locally yesterday in very limited numbers well ahead of the rest of the world and I managed to snare one for myself to keep my DP2M company. What's more, the local agent is still giving away a free flash, the Sigma EF-140DG, with each DP1M sold, making Singapore probably the cheapest place in the world to buy the DP1M+Flash bundle. So kudos to Sigma Marketing.


    The Sigma DP1M is essentially the same as the DP2M both in the body and operation. The only difference is that the DP1M has a 19mm (equivalent to ~28mm on the 35mm system) fixed focal length lens while that on the DP1M is 30mm (equivalent to 45mm on the 35mm system). All other differences between the 2 cameras be it image quality or use of accessories are related to the differences in the design of these lenses.

    When I got my DP1M, the first thing I did was to see if the accessories of the DP2M could be used on the DP1M. Well, it turns out that the hood (LH2-01) of the DP2M could not be used on the DP1M as the opening in the LH2-01 lens hood is too small and would cause vignetting if used on the DP1M. The DP1M has its own dedicated lens hood in the form of the LH1-01 which unfortunately was not available when I got my DP1M.

    Though the DP2M has a close-up lens (AML-2) listed as an accessory, there is no such close-up lens listed for the DP1M. Nonetheless, I found that the AML-2 close-up lens could still work on the DP1M which being a wide angle lens would not be useful for close-up shooting on its own. The use of the AML-2 on the DP1M turns it into something else altogether. Example of shot taken with the DP1M + AML-2 without cropping:

    #1

    1/25s f/8.0 at 19.0mm ISO 100

    I then took the DP1M for a spin downtown in the late afternoon. It was not a good day to shoot due to the haze and the time of day but I was impatient to try it out. So here are a few of the first shots from the DP1M...

    #2

    1/250s f/8.0 at 19.0mm ISO 100

    #3

    1/10s f/4.5 at 19.0mm ISO 100

    #4

    1/40s f/4.0 at 19.0mm ISO 100

    More images and findings on the optical quality of the DP1M lens to come...
    Last edited by tomcat; 10th September 2012 at 09:55 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    More shots...

    #5

    1/200s f/4.0 at 19.0mm ISO 100

    #6

    1/80s f/4.0 at 19.0mm ISO 100

    #7

    A vertical panorama... in some situations, 28mm is just not wide enough.

    As can be seen from #5 & #7, the lens of the DP1M is somewhat prone to a bit of green/magenta fringing especially near the edge of the images. The DP2M does not exhibit so much color fringing artifacts. Luckily, the green/magenta fringing is easily correctable in post processing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    So how sharp is the lens of the DP1M?
    #8

    1/200s f/5.6 at 19.0mm ISO 100
    Check out the full-sized version of this image and see for yourself.
    Peoples Park Centre photo - Steve photos at pbase.com

    And how is the image quality from centre to edge?
    Check out the 100% crops of the centre, right edge and top left corner of this image...
    #9

    1/100s f/5.6 at 19.0mm ISO 100

    #10

    100% Centre crop

    #11

    100% Right edge crop

    #12

    100% Left top corner crop

    To me, this lens is very sharp in the centre; it is still sharp at the right and left edges for objects along the same focal plane except for some perspective distortion which is unavoidable in wide angle lenses like this. It does suffer from some green/magenta fringing which are luckily correctable in Photoshop (I did not correct for them in these images here as I wanted to show them as they were) especially in the edges and corners.

    Those who are interested can see the full-sized version of #9 here:
    Chinatown01.jpg photo - Steve photos at pbase.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    I have never felt so intrigue by the images of a camera before, i spent my sat night zooming in and out of the images, checking every nook and cranny. Maybe it is the first time i encountered greater than 40-50mb files. I came to a similar conclusion... very sharp! Another reason why u don,t need macro is because u can just crop a normal shot. I shot some flowers and the subtle shade of the petals are discernible, has a delicate feel to it. But i need more batteries! Hurray for the underdog! Kudos to u for bringing attention to this series of camera by sigma.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tengk View Post
    I have never felt so intrigue by the images of a camera before, i spent my sat night zooming in and out of the images, checking every nook and cranny. Maybe it is the first time i encountered greater than 40-50mb files. I came to a similar conclusion... very sharp! Another reason why u don,t need macro is because u can just crop a normal shot. I shot some flowers and the subtle shade of the petals are discernible, has a delicate feel to it. But i need more batteries! Hurray for the underdog! Kudos to u for bringing attention to this series of camera by sigma.
    Thanks. I have always been impressed by the image quality of the Foveon sensor based cameras since the DP1 & 2 days but this DP1/2 Merrill is something else altogether. I can't see so much details so clearly and sharply even from my D800E images.
    With so much time spent zooming in and out of images on your DP1M, you probably need to get the AC Adapter SAC-5.


  6. #6

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    #13

    1/13s f/3.2 at 19.0mm ISO 100
    Converting your DP1M into a DP2M using the AML-2 Close-Up Lens

    #14

    1/160s f/8.0 at 19.0mm ISO 100

    Check out the details in the 100% crop of the distant background of #14
    #15


    #16

    1/6s f/2.8 at 19.0mm ISO 100
    A night shot
    Last edited by tomcat; 11th September 2012 at 10:57 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tengk View Post
    I have never felt so intrigue by the images of a camera before, i spent my sat night zooming in and out of the images, checking every nook and cranny. Maybe it is the first time i encountered greater than 40-50mb files. I came to a similar conclusion... very sharp! Another reason why u don,t need macro is because u can just crop a normal shot. I shot some flowers and the subtle shade of the petals are discernible, has a delicate feel to it. But i need more batteries! Hurray for the underdog! Kudos to u for bringing attention to this series of camera by sigma.
    why do you spend your time draining the battery zooming in and out, do you not have a computer that can display said images on the monitor, I suggest a multi-monitor set up in your case .... from these images here, I will be happy with my DP1s ....

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    I have both DP1 & DP2 as well as the SD14. They are very good compared to other DSLRs but nowhere as good as the DP1M & DP2M due to the much higher resolution of the Merrill cameras. All that is needed to see the difference is to take the shots with the cameras at the same position under the same lighting conditions and compare them at 100% resolution.

    I can understand why tengk zoom in & out to check out his images. The size of the images posted here due to size & space constraints does no justice to the actual quality of the images captured. When reduced to this size, it does not really look much different from those of any other DSLRs or even some good P&S cameras. The devil is in the details that could be seen for what they are only when viewed at 100% resolution. I don't see that much details even from my D800E.
    Last edited by tomcat; 11th September 2012 at 11:13 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    I have both DP1 & DP2 as well as the SD14. They are very good compared to other DSLRs but nowhere as good as the DP1M & DP2M due to the much higher resolution of the Merrill cameras. All that is needed to see the difference is to take the shots with the cameras at the same position under the same lighting conditions and compare them at 100% resolution.

    I can understand why tengk zoom in & out to check out his images. The size of the images posted here due to size & space constraints does no justice to the actual quality of the images captured. When reduced to this size, it does not really look much different from those of any other DSLRs or even some good P&S cameras. The devil is in the details that could be seen for what they are only when viewed at 100% resolution. I don't see that much details even from my D800E.
    so in other words, the higher resolution of the merrill is not really suitable for printing, since my prints don't go beyond 8" X 10" and my DP1s is great at that, the Merrill would be overkill already for me ....

    A Merrill image at 100% resolution can easily filled 9 monitors stacked 3 up and 3 across, how's that for a sense of perspective .... so to view it on the small display behind the camera, the bulk of one's time will be busy working the buttons and draining the battery, depending on one's inclination ....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by DeepOne View Post
    so in other words, the higher resolution of the merrill is not really suitable for printing, since my prints don't go beyond 8" X 10" and my DP1s is great at that, the Merrill would be overkill already for me ....

    A Merrill image at 100% resolution can easily filled 9 monitors stacked 3 up and 3 across, how's that for a sense of perspective .... so to view it on the small display behind the camera, the bulk of one's time will be busy working the buttons and draining the battery, depending on one's inclination ....
    au contraire.. the Merrill is very suitable for printing especially if you shot a great landscape with it and somebody likes it so much and is willing to pay generously for the rights to print it up to a huge poster size. It is just not necessary for printing 8"x10"s that's all. In fact any 5M pixel camera will be sufficient for 8x10 prints. So even the DP1s/x is an overkill for your needs.

    But it sounds like you are just trying to convince yourself that you should not buy the DP1M.
    Last edited by tomcat; 11th September 2012 at 03:57 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    au contraire.. the Merrill is very suitable for printing especially if you shot a great landscape with it and somebody likes it so much and is willing to pay generously for the rights to print it up to a huge poster size. It is just not necessary for printing 8"x10"s that's all. In fact any 5M pixel camera will be sufficient for 8x10 prints. So even the DP1s/x is an overkill for your needs.

    But it sounds like you are just trying to convince yourself that you should not buy the DP1M.
    Looks like you are not aware that the DP1s resolution at 100% is just under 5M, and that easily make fine prints at 8"X10" .... a few people I know hang 10 to 20 framed images of this size and smaller on a wall for a purpose .... a poster would have taken up too much space.

    I would like to be convinced when the DP1M is make available in Europe, that way I will have an accurate picture ....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by DeepOne View Post
    Looks like you are not aware that the DP1s resolution at 100% is just under 5M, and that easily make fine prints at 8"X10" .... a few people I know hang 10 to 20 framed images of this size and smaller on a wall for a purpose .... a poster would have taken up too much space.

    I would like to be convinced when the DP1M is make available in Europe, that way I will have an accurate picture ....
    I'm very aware that the actual image size of the DP1 & 2 (and the SD14) is actually about 5Mp but the amount of details captured with the Foveon sensor far exceeds that of similarly sized Bayer sensor cameras. That's why Sigma's marketing spiel at that time described the DP1 & 2 and the SD14 as 14Mp cameras. I have actually up-resed some of my SD14 images to 12Mp to compare with outputs from my Nikon D700 just for the fun of it and was surprised to find that the image quality of the up-resed Sigma files actually did not fare at all badly when compared to that of the D700's 12Mp-sized files.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    I have both DP1 & DP2 as well as the SD14. They are very good compared to other DSLRs but nowhere as good as the DP1M & DP2M due to the much higher resolution of the Merrill cameras. All that is needed to see the difference is to take the shots with the cameras at the same position under the same lighting conditions and compare them at 100% resolution.

    I can understand why tengk zoom in & out to check out his images. The size of the images posted here due to size & space constraints does no justice to the actual quality of the images captured. When reduced to this size, it does not really look much different from those of any other DSLRs or even some good P&S cameras. The devil is in the details that could be seen for what they are only when viewed at 100% resolution. I don't see that much details even from my D800E.
    I am glad i am not the only pixel perv zooming in an out checking out the details (tomcat, no offence intended). I have the Dell ultrasharp 27inch monitor hence i can visualise the quality and details when i zoom in and out. btw photgraphers should look at this monitor , it is a fraction of the cost of eizo, nec. You can also set the colour space for sRGB, so u get what u see when u print. i am thinking of making some big prints to check out the tones and colours of the foveon sensor hence i was asking about big prints in tomcat's dp2m's thread. Do believe the hype about details and sharpness! oops i said it again. Maybe we should organise a hands on for the unbelievers, all in the spirit of spreading the goodness of a foveon sensor. I hope sigma will design a budget medium format camera in the near future.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tengk View Post
    I am glad i am not the only pixel perv zooming in an out checking out the details (tomcat, no offence intended). I have the Dell ultrasharp 27inch monitor hence i can visualise the quality and details when i zoom in and out. btw photgraphers should look at this monitor , it is a fraction of the cost of eizo, nec. You can also set the colour space for sRGB, so u get what u see when u print. i am thinking of making some big prints to check out the tones and colours of the foveon sensor hence i was asking about big prints in tomcat's dp2m's thread. Do believe the hype about details and sharpness! oops i said it again. Maybe we should organise a hands on for the unbelievers, all in the spirit of spreading the goodness of a foveon sensor. I hope sigma will design a budget medium format camera in the near future.
    To better convince the 'unbelievers', maybe more owners of the Sigma DP & SD series of cameras should post their shots...so when are you going to post yours seeing that there are very few erly adopters of the DP1M.
    If you still can't post images because of low no. of postings made, just bump up your postings by responding to other people's posts even if it's with just 1 or 2 words, until you meet the required quota.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    I'm very aware that the actual image size of the DP1 & 2 (and the SD14) is actually about 5Mp but the amount of details captured with the Foveon sensor far exceeds that of similarly sized Bayer sensor cameras. That's why Sigma's marketing spiel at that time described the DP1 & 2 and the SD14 as 14Mp cameras. I have actually up-resed some of my SD14 images to 12Mp to compare with outputs from my Nikon D700 just for the fun of it and was surprised to find that the image quality of the up-resed Sigma files actually did not fare at all badly when compared to that of the D700's 12Mp-sized files.
    so now you know the DP1s is not an overkill for my needs like you said ....

    hopefully Sigma can deliver the camera to the US and European markets on time as claimed and those over there who produced stunting pictures on the web with their DP2M can test them out, I can't wait to see their photos ....
    Last edited by DeepOne; 12th September 2012 at 05:52 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    To better convince the 'unbelievers', maybe more owners of the Sigma DP & SD series of cameras should post their shots...so when are you going to post yours seeing that there are very few erly adopters of the DP1M.
    If you still can't post images because of low no. of postings made, just bump up your postings by responding to other people's posts even if it's with just 1 or 2 words, until you meet the required quota.
    Thanks for the tip! i'll go Ooo and ahhh in other forums then. Any idea how many ooos and ahhhs i need before i can post? After that where is the instruction for posting, i currently don't have any photo website that i post pictures. How big a file size can i upload? TIA

  17. #17

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tengk View Post
    Thanks for the tip! i'll go Ooo and ahhh in other forums then. Any idea how many ooos and ahhhs i need before i can post? After that where is the instruction for posting, i currently don't have any photo website that i post pictures. How big a file size can i upload? TIA
    I also don't know how many posts you have to make before you are allowed to post images. I can't find the information anywhere. Since this is important to newcomers, it should have been made easily available in say.. a FAQ for New Members or something like that. Perhaps you can PM Darren the ClubSnap Administrator or one of the Moderators and ask them.
    Anyway, after you are given access to posting images, the necessary info can be found here:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/faqs-...ap-forums.html

    There are sites that offer free photo hosting service which you can avail yourself to store your images online and to hotlink to ClubSnap for posting. Just google and you will find them. Example:
    Top 5 Best Free Photo Sharing Sites - SocialTimes

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I now know i probably can't post any links until after 30 days or after 50 posts. It was an error message that i received after trying to reply with your quote. (not allowed because of links in the message)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    Quote Originally Posted by tengk View Post
    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I now know i probably can't post any links until after 30 days or after 50 posts. It was an error message that i received after trying to reply with your quote. (not allowed because of links in the message)
    Sooo.. 24 more 'oohs' & aahs' to go

  20. #20

    Default Re: Sigma DP1M - A User's Review

    A grid line test shot to check on the lens distortion of the DP1M.

    #17

    1/80s f/2.8 at 19.0mm ISO 100
    Seems to exhibit a slight barrel distortion from the looks of this shot. However, please note that this is just a quick handheld snap. I will leave it to other more professional reviewers with proper setups to do a more accurate assessment of the lens distortion of the DP1M.
    Last edited by tomcat; 16th September 2012 at 04:39 AM.

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