an afternoon with the DP2s

Discussion in 'Sigma' started by pdh, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    hmm ... I have a small confession to make ... having teased one or two forum members about the number of cameras they have ... and having professed being satisfied with my E-P2 ... and having kept on seeing images from the Foveon sensor ... and wondered how it would suit my eye ... I found a secondhand-but-brand-new-and-unopened DP2s on eBay, and in a moment of madness, bought it ... peccavi ... it arrived today and I've taken some snaps ...

    ok, well, let's see ...

    Oddly light and almost flimsy? ✔​
    Makes stupid grinding farting noises when you switch it on or off? ✔​
    Weirdly slow AF accompanied by more wincingly horrid noises? ✔​
    Tiny LCD that I can't see properly in bright light? ✔​
    Or any light really? ✔​

    Hmm ... this is going well ... nothing to dislike so far ... what else is there ...

    Ugly, slow RAW software implemented in tiny fonts that I can't read? ✔​
    Stupidly expensive add-on OVF? ✔​
    Absurdly long write time even in RAW-only mode? ✔​
    Lens cap that has to be wrestled off at the risk of pulling the lens out? ✔​
    Battery "life" more like "life but not as we know it"? ✔​

    Top notch stuff ... lets see what it does when you press the shutter release ... oh ... I see ...

    Dynamic range that means you can shoot into the sun without blowing the sky OR losing shadow detail? ✔​
    At the same time? ✔​
    Noise? ... What is this "noise" you Earth-people speak of? ✔​
    Colour? ✔✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​ ✔​

    Yes, I think I might keep this little camera ...
    • Like Like x 4
  2. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    One of the best reviews I've read in a looooong time! Thanks for sharing (and making coffee come out my nose "Makes stupid grinding farting noises when you switch it on or off?")
    • Like Like x 1
  3. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    :rofl: Great first impression mate. Spot on!

    Ummmmm...a humble request though, please DO NOT post the images on here. I do not need to regret my parting with the Ziggy any more. Each time I look back at my Lightroom shots I say, "Wow, what did I take that with?". Sure enough it's the DP2s every time!!! The IQ is simply spectacular...and with time one forgets the agony of getting some of those shots. Oh the benefit of hindsight.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. akulya

    akulya Veteran

    Mar 1, 2011

    You should write scripts for BBC radio, very funny Paul, and I'm sure very true.
    I'm sure you can wrestle some "Magic Vale" shots out of it before (if?) it forces your hand.

    I spent quite a bit of time researching Foveon shots earlier in the year, and really hope that sensor technology matures. Good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I'm not sure what to make of that comment about the technology maturing, Kal!

    I reckon it's a Duck-Billed Platypus of a camera, if you know what I mean ... the sensor does seem to produce remarkable results (even after taking just a few shots) , but the technology surrounding it is a all a bit steam-punk ...

    (I like Duck-Billed Platypus a lot by the way ...)
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Paul, I do miss those noises from the DP's.... it's almost robotic..... yeah, if only the GXR sounded like that.....
    Good luck with one of the finest image making cameras ever produced....
    • Like Like x 1
  7. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Did you ever get over this weird green-colour-shift-vignetting thing that goes on?
    If so, how?
    It's driving me a bit nutty at the moment ...
  8. akulya

    akulya Veteran

    Mar 1, 2011
    Oh agree about Duck-billed Platypi, brilliant little animals, as for the sensor - I see so much potential in the Foveon images, to my eye, they are the de-facto finest colour capture devices.

    But Sigma owns the whole lot, and their R&D budget can only go so far. I hope that one day other foundries are able to use the idea and (not that I love or hate Sony or anything, honestly I'm pretty impartial, they just seem to be the best at sensor development atm) make a run with it, bigger (ff?), faster (120Hz output), put it in other (non-sigma) bodies.

    A bit of rambling now, but isn't one of the 'problems' with digital capture that the sensor surface is a flat plane whereas film has depth?

    Well Foveon sensors have depth too! so surely lenses could be developed (along the lines of apochromats) but rather than focusing light from all wavelenghts at a fixed point (hard to do), they could relax the design so that different wavelenghts focused at different depths - that corresponded with the depth of the imaging chip!

    Surely that would be the Foveon revolution!


    And I'd love to see more of your work with the DP2s, is it staying with you?
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    120Hz? Blimey you have done your research ... I wonder what the thickness of the silver halide or dye coatings on film stock are compared to the structure of a sensor surface ... and I'm not sure what difference "depth" might make ... so I'd love to hear more on this subject ... as for focusing different wavelengths of light at sub-micron intervals ... sounds like Star Trek :wink:

    as for me, well, watch this space ... I'll keep it if it works properly , but right now I seem to have discovered a QC problem with my example ... a weird green colour cast down the sides which can't be fully eliminated whatever postprocessing I use ]... I think everyone has to accustom themselves to a different palette with the Foveon sensor, but I'm pretty sure something's wrong ... Sigma UK are examining some RAW files at the moment and I'll add an update here as soon as I get any news ... such a bummer!
  10. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    hmm well Sigma UK say of the images I sent them "These have been inspected by our Digital expert and from the images provided he believes the camera to be to manufacturers standards" ... I remain unconvinced ... viz ...

    green cast by _loupe, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  11. akulya

    akulya Veteran

    Mar 1, 2011
    Is that wall evenly lit?

    I mean, other than the shadow of the curtains;
    I can see a green to cyan tint horizontally between the top and bottom corners.

    You are probably quite justified in being curious and miffed if this is repeatable, non-white balance related, and hard to fix.
  12. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    absolutely repeatable, appearing in many images and non-WB related!
    I copied Sigma Japan into my emails to Sigma UK - they seem to have taken an interest and I'm hoping for a resolution.
    There are apparently always some issues with colour cast with this sensor, especially in slightly lower lighting, but they should not be as marked as this.
    Funnily enough, I was looking forward to doing a lot of B&W work with this camera ... hehehe
  13. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    well, the camera has been back to Japan and now back with me.
    Apparently "NFF" .... better format the card and get snapping ....

    watch this space
  14. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I think I've worked out what the problem was.
    The DP2s was homesick and needed some time back in its native land.
    It's obviously now feeling reassured and is happy to settle down to life in England, without feeling sick and turning green all the time.
  15. Lili

    Lili Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    OMIGOD I just snarfed my tea!!!!! Excellent review!
    • Like Like x 1