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When It's Green, go Green on DP2s | by soelin
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When It's Green, go Green on DP2s

Note:

 

When I can't get a good focus and much of the surrounding is too green, I choose to add more of a soft, warm green in post-process.

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Every year, I go to Burma/Myanmar and I only take a carry on and a hand bag. Taking a large camera like the 5DMk2 (even a T2i size camera) with a lens or two is not an option for me since I like to go travel light (especially to Myanmar). I wanted a small camera that could produce great quality images, good bokeh when needed, and good colors; l knew not to prioritize it based on high ISO quality. I'll have to give that up for a small camera.

 

I bought/sold/tried shooting with several cameras--from small, point and shoot size sensor to micro-four thirds. Among the ones I tried, my favorite was the E-PL1 with Panasonic 20/1.7. I wanted to see if I could find something even SMALLER than the Oly/Panny combo without giving up too much on image quality.

 

I debated between the Samsung TL500 / EX1 and the Leica Dlux4. I was impressed with the quality of Samsung's images I saw on the web (and also the cheaper price). But, I ended up getting the Dlux4 because it had been around longer (RAW files supported by most software), and knew I could get good quality images out of it.

 

By the time I got the Dlux4, I was already inflicted with Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS)--I wanted another camera of that size that could produce even BETTER image quality. Since I couldn't afford a Leica X1, I wanted to try out the Sigma DP2s.

 

---SIGMA DP2s---

 

It's "different."

 

The user interface isn't bad, but not as intuitive as others I have tried. I got used it in a couple of days and I find no issues.

 

LCD screen is so-so. I can still view images on the LCD under a bright sun--better than E-P2. Image quality could be better, but with low-res screen, it's hard to see whether I've nailed the focus point. I also have the external optical viewfinder. It's small, with nice bright frame lines, but it's not really that accurate. If the camera could auto focus well, it'd be more useful.

 

The build seems fine. It's similar in size to the DLux4 but a little thicker but lighter. The battery life is average for small cameras (not great but not bad).

 

Performance-wise, it's a hit or miss. In good light, focus is quick but not instant-quick. In lower light, it takes its time locking focus--I'd say average of about a second or sometimes even two. As a range finder camera user, I don't mind taking a little time to shoot since I'm just looking for a good composition and good image quality. This is perfectly fine for stills but not the best for fast paced kids in action. These days, I shoot mostly my kids but I still find DP2s more than usable. I accept and forgive all the quirkiness of the camera since I know I'll get a few really good shots with it. Maybe it's a personal thing--I prefer it over the Oly E-PL1 because it's a little more "challenging" to use and the reward is much more satisfying.

 

The software that came with it works amazingly well. In fact, if I try to process the DP2s RAW files in Lightroom, my results won't be as good--or at least, it would take me a lot of time to get it right like SIGMA Pro Photo 4.1 software. Simga Pro Photo processing speed is fast--about 3-4 seconds on my 17" Macbook Pro 2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM laptop. I can see why many people go goo goo over the FOVEON sensor. The colors are, indeed, rich and the POP of the focused subject is quite similar to what I would get with a Leica Summicron 50/2 lens.

 

All in all, I'm glad I found the DP2s.

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Taken on July 31, 2010