Sigma innovation: DP1 and 200-500/2.8 lens

Sigma announced two products today that I'm really excited about. The first is the Sigma DP1 compact digital camera, which uses an APS-sized Foveon sensor (the size used in most digital SLRs these days) to produce what they're calling 14 megapixel images. The sensor is actually 2652 x 1768 x 3 layers, which should produce images that compete well with images produced by today's 10 megapixel SLRs. Hopefully, this Sigma announcement will signal the first of many compact cameras that use large sensors. At the moment, the only other cameras like this that exist are the Epson RD-1 and Leica M8 digital rangefinders. Both are high-end, expensive cameras meant to satisfy the film rangefinder crowd. Anyway, I've been waiting for such cameras for a long time. The idea that you can get a clean image out of a camera the size of the new DP1 has until now been a fantasy. One big drawback of the DP1 is that it has an f4 lens. Lame.

The other product is the Sigma APO 200-500mm F2.8 lens. Nikon has a 200-400mm f/4 lens already, but a 200-500/2.8 sounds incredible! With a 2x teleconverter, you'd have a working focal length of 400-1000mm at f5.6. I'm sure this thing is going to weigh a lot, and traveling with it might be nearly impossible.

The only long lens I own at the moment is a Canon 400mm/5.6L. It's sharp and light, but won't focus closer than around 10 feet. Luckily, a bunch of friends have other long lenses I can borrow. I'll just have to convince one of them to get the Sigma 200-500/2.8 so I can give it a try. :)