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Sigma DP1 vs Pentax K20D (6 pics)
Posted By: tcom, 03-30-2008, 07:41 AM

I am having a Sigma DP1, the unit of the local Sigma rep, to give it a test run over the weekend. I have to bring back the DP1 tomorrow. I shot yesterday with both Sigma DP1 and K20D without trying to make a direct comparison, today I tried to make more or less the same shots with both cameras to compare both.

The Sigma DP1 photos were taken in RAW and converted with Sigma DPP software.

The K20D photos were taken in RAW and converted with Pentax Photo Lab. I used the Sigma 10-20 as lens.

After converting, I resized the photos in Photoshop and gave all photos a 33% smart sharpen.

1. nice weather condition, 100 iso
K20D, Sigma 10-20, 1/400s f/10.0 at 16.0mm iso100


DP1, 1/250s f/11.0 at 16.6mm iso100


2. high iso shots
K20D, Sigma 10-20, 1/20s f/5.6 at 18.0mm iso800


DP1, 1/20s f/4.0 at 16.6mm iso800


3. high iso shots
K20D, Sigma 10-20, 1/20s f/4.5 at 15.0mm iso800


DP1, 1/15s f/4.0 at 16.6mm iso800


These and an additional test comparison shot are under Sigma DP1 vs Pentax K20D Photo Gallery by Dominique Schreckling at pbase.com if interested.

What do you think about?

Last edited by tcom; 04-12-2008 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Corrected the links to the photos, and tried to use similar WB
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03-30-2008, 08:02 AM   #2
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aside from WB differences (which i think you should have tried to adjust to make them identical)

for internet viewing purposes, these shots are indistinguishable in terms of detail and dynamic range (viewing your 800X600 photos on my 2000X1500 monitor)


however i'm certain pixel peeping would favor the K20D


i want the DP1 now... LOL
03-30-2008, 08:08 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
aside from WB differences (which i think you should have tried to adjust to make them identical)

for internet viewing purposes, these shots are indistinguishable in terms of detail and dynamic range (viewing your 800X600 photos on my 2000X1500 monitor)


however i'm certain pixel peeping would favor the K20D


i want the DP1 now... LOL
OK, I have just added one photo from each camera, in full size just as it came out of the RAW converter.

K20D: full size (K20D) photo - Dominique Schreckling photos at pbase.com
DP1: full size (DP1) photo - Dominique Schreckling photos at pbase.com

Last edited by tcom; 03-30-2008 at 08:41 AM.
03-30-2008, 08:54 AM   #4
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i agree with Gooshin... there seems to be a bit of a yellowish cast on the DP1 photos
as for getting a DP1, there are rumours of a DP2 w/ a 40mm f2 and a DP3 w/ zoom

03-30-2008, 09:17 AM   #5
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First of all, these are great pictures! Can't see much difference between them the except I find the colours better in K20D pics, probably due to what Gooshin already noticed about the WB. Interesting comparison anyway.

Last edited by gawan; 03-30-2008 at 11:05 AM. Reason: missing word
03-30-2008, 09:23 AM   #6
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I could certainly have converted the photos to achieve the same colors. But I did not want to hassle too much around in each raw converter. To show what one can get out of the camera, I left the settings in there default position, on both converters and this is the result.

As for the color accuracy, the truth is somewhere between both cameras, the K20D being closer though.
03-30-2008, 09:34 AM   #7
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Very nice tcom,

I had similar results with my DP1 test about a week ago, except I was comparing it to my SD14.

I like the little Sigma camera. And wish that I had the $850 Canadian to buy one.

03-30-2008, 09:35 AM   #8
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the DP1 coulours look bland, fixable, but for straight up shots, the 20d (IMO) has better colour.

BUT it's really an unfair comparison..(dslr vs a compact p/s)

tho the DP1's specs is basically an sd14 w/ a fixed lens

overall impressed w/ it.
03-30-2008, 10:07 AM   #9
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I am not sure if it is such an unfair comparison. The DP1 is clearly aimed as companion to a DSLR, so I guess it is normal to compare it against the K20D.

With these shots, I wanted to make sure, the DP1 could be an alternative on days I do not want to carry a DSLR and its lenses. The resulting shots do show different colors, but there is nothing which could not be fixed, there is no loss of details at higher iso, and the shots are not excessively noisy.
03-30-2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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I got to handle a DP1 in tokyo last weekend and I wasnt overly thrilled. The IQ is undisputed and the lens seems quite good. but the user experience leaved a lot to be desired. slow shot to shot time has been mentioned, also the fact that the lcd freezes up when the camera does its slow AF also took away from the experience. my conclusion was that its iq capabilities are great but its a very quirky product, not the best replacement for a small and fast snapshot p&s to have in your pocket. I hope future versions will be better, shouldnt be that hard to get some faster electronics in there. I ont be getting one but i hope it does well eanough to warant the dp2 and 3 and to make the other manufacturers start considering larger sensors in theire compacts
03-30-2008, 10:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
I got to handle a DP1 in tokyo last weekend and I wasnt overly thrilled. The IQ is undisputed and the lens seems quite good. but the user experience leaved a lot to be desired. slow shot to shot time has been mentioned, also the fact that the lcd freezes up when the camera does its slow AF also took away from the experience. my conclusion was that its iq capabilities are great but its a very quirky product, not the best replacement for a small and fast snapshot p&s to have in your pocket. I hope future versions will be better, shouldnt be that hard to get some faster electronics in there. I ont be getting one but i hope it does well eanough to warant the dp2 and 3 and to make the other manufacturers start considering larger sensors in theire compacts
I am asking myself how Sigma will earn money from such a camera.

If the camera does not sale, we will not see any more compact camera with large sensor, and Sigma will loose a lot of money.

If the camera sells well, the other camera makers will not leave the market to Sigma alone and the other makers have it much easier, as they are known as camera maker.
03-30-2008, 10:55 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
I am not sure if it is such an unfair comparison. The DP1 is clearly aimed as companion to a DSLR, so I guess it is normal to compare it against the K20D.

With these shots, I wanted to make sure, the DP1 could be an alternative on days I do not want to carry a DSLR and its lenses. The resulting shots do show different colors, but there is nothing which could not be fixed, there is no loss of details at higher iso, and the shots are not excessively noisy.
Sigma doesn't have the best preset White Balance in the business, however just playing around with the color adjustment in that circle can usually give you some amazing results.
When I'm really being fussy I'll try all their white balance modes, and touch it up with that adjuster.

BTW, isn't the Sigma DPP software heavenly to use compared to the Pentax software
I wish that Pentax would take some lessons from Sigma there.

QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
I am asking myself how Sigma will earn money from such a camera.

If the camera does not sale, we will not see any more compact camera with large sensor, and Sigma will loose a lot of money.

If the camera sells well, the other camera makers will not leave the market to Sigma alone and the other makers have it much easier, as they are known as camera maker.
Sigma's selling them faster than they can make them at this time
03-30-2008, 11:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Sigma doesn't have the best preset White Balance in the business, however just playing around with the color adjustment in that circle can usually give you some amazing results.
When I'm really being fussy I'll try all their white balance modes, and touch it up with that adjuster.
Yes, I just tried to convert the first shot without the yellow/green cast, it is already much better:



QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
BTW, isn't the Sigma DPP software heavenly to use compared to the Pentax software
I wish that Pentax would take some lessons from Sigma there.
Yes, that's true, the Sigma converter is a pleasure to use. I would like SilkyPix to support the Sigma raw file format, using the same converter for both camera would have been easier.

QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Sigma's selling them faster than they can make them at this time
That's good news. Hopefully it gives ideas to Pentax, how about a small compact camera, with the K20D sensor, would that not be great?
03-30-2008, 11:03 AM   #14
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i think despite all the boo-boys, the DP1 is already a success. when all the people complain about 28 mm lens, F4, blah blah ... clearly the product isn't for them but there is certainly a demand for this type of camera.

i heard that the speed is highly dependent on the speed of the SD cards
03-30-2008, 11:06 AM   #15
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Once you deactivate the quick review, speed is not so much of a problem anymore. The camera is blocked during 1 sec (instead of 5). On the other hand, a 28mm lens is not a lens for sport events. I am doing mostly landscapes, so speed is not really an issue. When I am doing wildlife, 28mm is not enough anyway.
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