Sigma DP1 samples on DPReview

Sigma DP1

Digital Photography Review has some samples from a beta of Sigma’s upcoming and LONG-awaited large-sensor compact DP1.

From what I can tell having a very quick look at these is that the detail as you’d expect with a Foveon sensor, and the dynamic range looks pretty too. Colour aberrations look pretty controlled in that lens too, as is lens flare, including when the sun is right in the shot.

Also to be expected, but nice to see pretty much confirmed is the very low noise on the ISO 800 sample. What little noise there is looks like “nice noise” too – nothing to make you recoil. That’s the main conflict of compact cameras for me: the times when I really need something smaller to shoot with is also exactly when I need good high ISO and/or low-light performance, like in a bar or club.

Yet another item for the Gearlust list! <sigh>

Lighting and its importance.


As everyone knows, photography is 10% photographer, 10% equipment and 80% lighting (or something like that) proving again the 80-20 rule I suppose. Then again, lighting’s 80% can largely be answered by equipment or more precisely its correct application.

Anyway, the point is that there’s not much difference between shots with an SLR and a good compact if the lighting is good. (Not taking in to account responsiveness, speed and all that…) I’ve done this twice in the last few days, setting up a couple of 285HV’s with umbrellas in the first case and bounces off a low-ish white-ish ceiling in the second case. The shots from the 20D and the GX100 aren’t that easy to tell apart.

Canon 400D looks maybe interesting…

Canon EOS 400D

Engadget: Canon China spills beans on new DSLR. It looks sort of interesting, with its full-frame 10.1 megapixels and ultra-sonic dust removal. Nothing amazing, though, really. (And am I the only one not following these Canon EOS DSLR naming conventions?)

What looks more interesting, though, is the new EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens also announced, along with the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, which as far as I can tell, a lot of people have been asking for (the IS part, of course…)

[UPDATE: So, it turns out it’s an APS-C sensor…]

Nikon D50

Not exactly news, this, but I thought I’d better at least mention that Nikon has unveiled their latest entry-level DSLR: the D50. It’s got a decently-sized 2inch LCD, near-instant startup time, and lots of automated options for the weekend shooter. It’s also got SD, which I don’t suppose is an issue for the intended audience of first-time DSLR folks. It uses the same 6 megapixel CCD sensor as the D70 – maybe that would be the clincher for the uninformed when choosing between this and the Canon 350D/Rebel XT? Oh and there’s a lovely silver version too.

Predictably, DPReview have got the hands-on preview.

Epson P-2000 firmware update

Epson P-2000I’ve been eyeing the Epson P-2000 since it was first mentioned. This firmware update allows RAW files from more cameras, as well as the display of JPEGs from cameras with up to 17.8 megapixel output, meaning it can now deal with files from the Canon EOS-1Ds MkII. Another useful addition is histogram display, all of which make it an even more interesting proposition.

Buy Epson P-2000 at Amazon.

Brighter, sharper, faster: Lensbaby 2.0

Lensbaby 2.0 has been released, and adds some nice upgrades from the version 1 (which I never got around to trying out, although I keep meaning to.) Lensbaby 2.0 adds a brighter aperture of f2.0 (in addition to the f2.8-f8.0 (in steps) of the original. It also uses better optical elements, of coated low dispersion glass. Changing apertures is faster thanks to magnetic positioning of the aperture disks, instead of rubber gaskets. You just drop them in and they jump into position. Anyway, worth a look and maybe I’ll finally get around to trying one.