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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma DP3 product images (4 of 8)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 3.2

Earlier on in the year, we saw some hacked Sigma DP cameras that were modified by a Chinese company to accept Leica M lenses. But according to a new report, the company may be coming out with a Micro Four Thirds camera of some sort. Years ago, Sigma joined the Micro Four Thirds coalition and a rumor about this also came about. They were quickly proven to be false, and the company has since been supporting the system with lenses and even refreshes to those lenses (see our Sigma Prime Lens Guide).

If the company has been considering an ILC system, then they’re going to have to target at the higher end and studio spectrum unless they can come out with an absolutely kick ass sensor that does well in low light. When we reviewed the DP3, we were thrilled with its performance. The camera’s sensor resolves so much detail and the high ISO results when converted to black and white are beautiful. But another problem holding them back in Adobe’s lack of more support for the Foveon sensor despite how excellent it is.

Who knows: maybe they’ll come out with something like the OMD.

Via Sigma Rumors

Chris Gampat fujifilm CES 2013 announcements x20 and x100s (16 of 22)ISO 32001-140 sec at f - 1.4

The fixed-lens compact camera with a larger-than-average sensor is the prothusiast’s most valued companion. Why? Because it promises excellent image quality in a small and light package. Often equipped with lenses between 28 and 35mm, these cameras lend themselves to street photography and journalistic styles. Due to the success and popularity of this camera type, there is now a significant number of models on the market, which can make it difficult to decide which one to get. In order to make things easier for you, here are five fixed-lens compacts that The Phoblographer recommends.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma DP3 product images (1 of 8)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 2.0

Sigma’s DP line of point and shoots have never really caught on with the public. The cameras have always exhibited exceptional low ISO abilities and some extremely detailed and  chromatically-rich RAW files. But the high ISO performance has generally been deemed as unacceptable by many reviewers across the web. With that said though, one could probably think of the Sigma DP3 Merrlill as a medium format point and shoot with a smaller sensor–this is due to the high megapixel count with the Foveon sensor. Further, modern medium format cameras all do quite poorly at high ISOs and this end the images are often converted to black and white. Sigma very subtly encourages this with their new Monochrome mode in Sigma Photo Pro–the company’s software needed to edit the RAW files.

But then you consider the fact that the camera also has a fixed 50mm f2.8 lens–effectively rendering a 75mm field of view and then you say, “what?” The DP3 is meant to complement the DP1 and DP2 Merrill; and by itself it is a little bit out of place of the conventional thought of a high end point and shoot user.

Then who is it for?

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sigma_leica_zpsdcd38249

Before we decided to post this, we did a little bit of research and confirmed it to be true. Sigma’s DP line of point and shoots such as the DP1, DP2 and DP3 Merrill have been hacked by the Chinese to use an M Mount. We first heard about this via Mirrorless Rumors, and it is indeed real. There are some more images of the hack in this Google translated forum and a company is charging to do it for users.

So what does this mean? Well first off, this is one of the most exciting pieces of news that we’ve heard in a while. Sigma’s Foveon sensor is actually quite good if you can think of it as a Hasselblad Medium format camera–which means that you need to use proprietary software to get the best results and that the ISO range isn’t up to par with others. In this way, you could probably call it the closest thing to a Mamiya 7 II in terms of digital formats–but many of us who have used that camera know that nothing could ever touch it.

But the bigger question is why isn’t Sigma doing this themselves? Back at CES, I spoke with the President of the company–and his desk (he doesn’t have an office) is in the same area as the engineers. But I really wonder what he’s thinking, and am confident he’s reading this and looking at it with great curiosity

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma DP3 CES 2013 First Impressions (2 of 9)ISO 16001-170 sec at f - 4.0

Today, Sigma has announced the price of their new DP3 digital camera. For just under $1,000 smackaroos, you too can own a fixed lens compact camera with a 50mm f2.8 lens.

Sound a bit crazy to you? Not really when you consider how much Sigma is embracing what the Foveon sensor can do at both low ISO settings and high ISO settings (with their new Photo Pro software.) We had some play time with the camera at CES–and we actually liked it quite a bit.

Granted, there are other things that I’d personally spend $1,000 on.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma DP3 CES 2013 First Impressions (1 of 9)ISO 16001-240 sec at f - 4.0

Sigma’s DP3 was just announced at CES 2013. The new camera once again Sigma’s Foveon sensor technology and finds a way to differentiate itself from the other DP camera models. What’s so different about this camera is the fact that there is a 50mm f2.8 lens permanently attached to it: rendering the field of view to 75mm.

In my original news post, I bashed this a bit. And then, I tried it.

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