A fellow teacher at work who is interested in photography tipped me off to the new Sigma DP1 coming out March 25 in the US (already out in Japan). From the outset, this one really looks impressive.
- 14-megapixel resolution; SLR-sized image sensor
- 16.6mm F4 lens designed exclusively for the DP1
- Dimensions of 4.5 (W) x 2.3 (H) x 2.0 inches (D) and weighs just 8.5 ounces
- Large, 2.5-inch LCD; 3 metering modes and 5 exposure modes
- JPEG recording format for convenience plus a RAW data (X3F) recording mode
- Capture images to SD/SDHC cards and MMC
It’s being hailed as the ultra compact camera considering it’s compact size and pro-sumer features. Could be a good swap for me from my Canon Digital Rebel. It basically has all the features I’m looking for: full manual mode, RAW, and hot shoe. The one draw back is the lack of zoom capability and price ($1000 retail and $800 via amazon).
The image sensor is much larger than a typical compact. The company claims this sensor, specially designed for this camera, thus has a great signal-to-noise ratio and excellent (shallow) depth of field. It rings in at 14 MP, which has much less to do with the quality of pictures than people realize.
I have my fair share of gear, so getting high quality images with a more conducive size for traveling is attractive. Plus it is less conspicuous meaning more candid shots and less of a chance to be targeted by thieves.
Another friend recently bought a dSLR and went with a fixed lens. He seems to be getting along well and I suppose it would force you to pay particular attention to composition.
Plus it has a really cool retro-style feel to it. I look forward to getting my hands on one in a store!