DP1x CONCEPT The integral lens and enhanced use interface privilege the autonomy of the individual artist. The DP1x: highly functional photographic instrument.

Overcoming challenges posed by innovation

The DP1 was the world’s first truly full-spec compact camera. It deserves to be remembered as the camera that launched Sigma’s DP series. This truly high-performance compact camera was groundbreaking in that it featured an SLR-sized image sensor. However, precisely because it was so groundbreaking, it faced some challenges.

At Sigma, we believe that users should experience the joy of finessing their pictures, working with superb image quality. In line with this philosophy, we gave the DP1 a specification worthy of an SLR, based on RAW (X3 mode) output. We wanted to create a whole new DP world of our own. But we must admit that, as an instrument for taking photos, the DP1 was more of a breakthrough than a culmination.

We must also concede that the TRUE – the first-generation image-processing engine featured in the DP1 – processed the abundant image data output by the Foveon X3® direct image sensor at a speed that some found unsatisfactory. The DP1’s early adopters may well have felt the need for enhancement.

Better controls + TRUE II engine = one huge leap forward

The concept behind the DP1 – the first-generation model – remains unchanged in the DP1x. The new camera features the Foveon X3® direct image sensor, which provides astonishing definition, said to be on a par with that of medium-format film. It also uses a specially designed ultra high-performance wide-angle lens equivalent to 28mm in a 35mm camera, which is even better than many high-performance interchangeable lenses used in SLRs.

We wanted the DP1x to deliver the special 3-D feel and texture that are the raison d’être of the DP series. That’s why, rather than concentrating on a single index such as MTF, we aimed for all-round lens performance. As for image texture, which is determined by differences in focal length, F-number and other parameters, we took care to make the DP1x consistent with the rest of the DP series.

We also endowed the DP1x with the highly-acclaimed user interface and the TRUE II second-generation image-processing engine used in the DP2 – the second release in the DP series. With more intuitive controls and dramatically improved operability and processing speeds, the DP1x is a more highly-evolved photographic instrument.

The digital camera of anyone’s dreams

Implementing a large sensor presented all sorts of problems: the cost of the sensor, the difficulty of designing the lens, the high processing capacity required for the image-processing engine, enlarging the circuit board, increasing the memory capacity, and so on. Until these problems could be overcome, it was generally accepted that DSLRs used large sensors, and compacts used small ones. Eventually, these problems were effectively solved, allowing sensors to be made smaller. However, this involved a trade-off: reduced image quality.

From then on, photographers dreamed of a compact digital camera with an SLR-sized image sensor. A camera small and light enough to carry around everywhere, yet offering the technology for serious photography. Those dreams came true with Sigma’s DP series.

SIGMA DP1x Special Contents

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