Sigma describe this camera as having the soul of an SLR in the body of a compact camera. The DP-1 has been designed with the more creative photographer in mind rather than just being aimed at reducing the margin for photographic error. The only differences between the DP-1 and a digital SLR are the absence of a TTL viewfinder with detachable lenses and continuous shooting. The rest is the same, just in a more compact body.
SLR- Sized Image Sensor
The DP-1 uses an identical sensor to the SD-14, ie. a 14 megapixel Foveon CMOS sensor. Its physical size is typically 7 to 12 times bigger than those usually found on digital compact cameras. The benefit of having a larger sensor is that each pixel itself is larger giving a much improved dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio. Another advantage is that the lens has a longer focal length, allowing for a shallower depth of field that is far more useful for selecting areas of an image to be in or out of focus such as for portraiture.
The Foveon sensor used in Sigma cameras differs from conventional CCD and CMOS units because all three RGB colour pixels are located on top of each other rather than side by side. The benefit of this is far better colour accuracy especially in edge areas and complex patterns..
Specially Designed Lens
Specially developed for the DP-1 and to the same standards as Sigma’s SLR lenses. Sigma have used their extensive research experience for this 28mm equivalent wideangle lens which uses aspheric elements and Super Multi-Layer coating to give superior resolution and contrast. With distortion values within -2.3% even at close range, this camera keeps straight edges straight and is therefore great for architectural photography. Edge darkening is also kept to within -1EV.