X

Sigma DP2 photo samples

Image samples and a discussion of the Sigma DP2's photo quality.

LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg
LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg

Lori Grunin

See full bio

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

335789272540SIC1.jpg
1 of 8 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

Noise

The DP2's photos remain quite sharp across the entire ISO sensitivity range, and the color noise patterns are quite subtle and pleasing.(You can only shoot ISO 1,600 and ISO 3,200 in raw, which, in turn, only supports AdobeRGB, so the higher ISO shots will look a bit flatter than normal.) However, the camera has unusually poor color consistency across the various sensitivities, even at the low end.
335789272540SIC5.jpg
2 of 8 Lori Grunin/CNET

Noise, ISO 800

The DP2's high ISO photos stand up well to noise reduction. You can see there's virtually no color noise, while it still retains a fair amount of detail and little or no graininess. The photos do tend to get desaturated at the higher ISOs, however, starting with the greens. (ISO 800, f4, 1/400 sec, Adobe Camera Raw default settings. The ACR settings seemed to produce a similar image as from Sigma's raw processing software. You can probably get slightly better results with more tweaking.)
335789272540SIC7.jpg
3 of 8 Lori Grunin/CNET

Noise, ISO 3,200

Here the desaturation and slight bit of color noise becomes more prominent, but there's still a reasonable amount of subject detail and depending upon what you're shooting and the effect you're going for, the photos can still be quite usable. (ISO 3,200, f4, 1/800 sec, Adobe Camera Raw default settings. The ACR settings seemed to produce a similar image as from Sigma's raw processing software. You can probably get slightly better results with more tweaking.)
335789272540SIC2.jpg
4 of 8 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sharpness

Because of the lack of an antialiasing filter on the sensor, the DP2's photos look quite sharp. Our sharpness tests place the camera's performance on par with that of an 8-megapixel camera with a good lens; not quite as good as Sigma's claim of 14 megapixels, but far better than you'd expect of a sensor with a spatial resolution of 4.7 megapixels.
335789272540SIC3.jpg
5 of 8 Lori Grunin/CNET

Distortion

For a lens with a physical focal length of 24.2mm, there's surprisingly little distortion, and it's pretty symmetrical. (This is underexposed; I had better exposures but they were all slightly skewed.)
335789272540SIC4.jpg
6 of 8 Lori Grunin/CNET

Color settings

The Sigma DP2's default Standard color mode isn't quite as bad as that on many consumer cameras, but it still results in some color shifts. You can't change the settings for any of the presets (or even know what the exact settings are) but you can increase or decrease contrast, saturation, and sharpness for any of them, via a separate setting, in +/- 5 steps.
335789272540SIC8.jpg
7 of 8 Lori Grunin/CNET

Black and white

The Foveon sensor renders fine patterns with no moire. And the fine-grained appearance of noise makes the camera a natural for shooting very film-like black and white photos. (ISO 800, 1/50 sec, f2.8. I've got the contrast cranked up a bit here.)
335789272540SIC9.jpg
8 of 8 Lori Grunin/CNET

Color

The DP2's white balance is excessively cool; those geraniums in the upper left corner are actually an eye-burning red. (All shot in Neutral color mode. Our lab tests were shot in the default Standard mode. Neither yielded particularly accurate colors.)

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

93 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

More Galleries

2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

53 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
2023 Nissan Z Gains Sharp Looks and a Turbocharged Personality

More Galleries

2023 Nissan Z Gains Sharp Looks and a Turbocharged Personality

47 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos