Top positive review
38 of 39 people found this helpful
Almost impossible to review.
on November 21, 2010
I have, use, and mostly love the original DP1. The DP1 has enormous shortcomings but its one saving grace is that the image quality at low ISOs is simply better than cameras with smaller sensors--which for now, means all P&S cameras, until the Fuji x100 arrives. This is not an issue of how megapixels are counted or Foveon sensors. Its the bigger sensor and the lack of an anti-aliasing filter. So the test reports that say "The camera sucks unless getting the sharpest, most detailed image is your top priority" are correct. But the DP1 has more than its share of problems so I had to know if the DP1x solved them.
The answer, amazingly, is that the DP1x its dramatically better in most ways but in at least one, its worse. The good news: Blue skies, which were cyan with the DP1 are now a beautiful "polarizer" blue. Neutral grays, which were a sort of green/cyan on the DP1 are now almost neutral. Reddish blotches of color noise (the hardest thing to correct with the DP1) are only visible upon careful inspection of even-toned areas. Green corners are almost gone (yea!). Startup is a little faster, the LCD is brighter (although still low res), the quick access menu is great and in general, things are a little snappier (firmware 1.1). This increase in speed is nice because its now feasible to shoot everything in brackets of three, to make sure the highlights are under control.
So what's not to like? Well, the buttons are a little cheesier and wigglier than on the DP1, and for some reason the DP1x simply won't focus in low light or if the subject isn't contrasty. When I say "won't focus" I mean its not as good as the DP1 and that's saying something. In good light, the DP1x AF is fine and its a little faster than the DP1. (Interestingly, the original Ricoh GR Digital had much better focusing than the GRD II so maybe this is somebody's idea of evolution).
Should you get a DP1x? Not for $600, but after the holidays for $450? If you're used to using the DP1 slowly and methodically and would like to spend less time color correcting, yes. If you like Foveon saturation but wish it was a little more accurate, yes. If you're happy or ecstatic with what you're getting from the DP1 or DP1s, I'd say stick with with what you have. The Fuji x100 won't have any of these problems but it will cost a grand and still have just a 35mm equivalent lens. The bottom line I guess is that comparing Sigma DP cameras to other point and shoot cameras is pointless. Its almost as if they are in a different category, both better and worse than the best from Canon, Ricoh, etc.