Friday, November 30, 2007

Sigma Corporation reannounces the DP1

I've looked at this camera before and found the front of my shirt getting wet (whatever is causing this seems to be coming from my lips). And then fretting over details like a lot of others seem to be doing.

Personally speaking I'd like a few interchangeable prime lenses, or something like a difocal (maybe 24mm and 40mm equivalents), or a shortish zoom (maybe 24mm to 48mm equivalent), or as a last resort a slightly longer fixed focal length lens (say 35mm equivalent). I think about this and then gnaw on the carpet some more, and then go back to looking at the photos of the camera and wondering if I could live with it as-is. And so on.

Sound familiar, anyone?

It seems that the most important points here are that the IDEA (cuz there ain't no camera yet) of a camera like this is getting some smart people excited, and that a camera company is actually thinking about a camera like this, perfect or not.

Eventually we'll get some really simple, really small, high-image-quality cameras designed for usability, and built from first principles as digital devices.

If this Sigma camera reaches production then it will be the advance scout of this new breed. There will be others, whether this camera is a success or not, but if we can start now, with this camera, it will bring the future along a bit faster.

Humans aren't changing. Cell phones will not replace real cameras. Eventually (some) cameras will re-evolve to suit the needs of agile and perceptive still photographers, and we will be able to get away from imaging devices designed as mindless add-ons for those goofy twitchy people who just like gadgets and have short attention spans.

I recommend the "Inside Straight" column by Herbert Keppler in the November "Popular Photography" magazine. Go look at it. The column is titled "What today's camera makers can learn from the very first Leica: Keep it simple." It has a photo of the original Leica next to a modern DSLR. You will get the point immediately.

Now for some more carpet gnawing, then lunch.

For the Sigma announcement, see Sigma.

For a discussion, see The Online Photographer.