First Impressions:

Picking up the DP2m for the first time was a really positive experience. Unlike the Fuji X-Pro 1, the DP2m had a good weight relative to it’s size and shape, which made the camera feel well built. Besides the perceptual influence of it’s weight, the camera is indeed built very well. Of the few buttons it has, all are neatly positioned and don’t feel cheap when depressed. The single large dial on the top of the camera, the one that houses the shutter release button, also feels good to the touch. It’s clicks are rather crisp, and the dial doesn’t have any wiggle or play. The electronic manual-focus ring on the lens is smooth to the touch with no wiggle room.

So the camera passed the “how does it feel” quality test, and I must admit that it’s simplistic shape and layout is rather nice. I have read mixed opinions on this matter of “looks”, but I just can’t see how this is an ugly camera. Yes, it won’t be winning any design awards, but it’s minimalistic and un-invasive design is what makes it attractive. The design isn’t littered with buttons, dials and ugly imitation leather.

Holding the camera in one hand is simple, but lets face it, a camera shaped like a brick may not provide very good ergonomics. Since it’s light enough, I personally don’t have the need for the support of a small hand grip. However, I can appreciate that others may indeed need one. It’s a great pity that Sigma didn’t provide a small grip as an optional accessory. On these lines, I wish Sigma also offered a classy leather half case for the camera. Gariz offers one, but it’s not cheap.

Another neat aspect of the camera’s design is that I can attach large tripod base plate without it preventing access to the battery and memory card compartment. This wasn’t the case with the Fuji X-Pro 1, which resulted to massive frustration at times.

Sigma’s has silently admitted to the poor battery life of the DP2m by supplying two batteries with the camera. Sadly, two batteries aren’t nearly enough, and it really doesn’t take long to realise this. I would average the capacity of one battery to last about 70 shots, so for my use, about 6 batteries should suffice. Luckily, the DP2m fits a battery design reasonably common amongst some camera manufacturers, so one isn’t stuck buying only Sigma batteries. I would however advise buying products from reputed brands. For a total of 6 batteries, another charger or two would also be advisable, and preferably ones that can also be powered from a car’s 12V socket.

The camera’s LCD display is a rather average 3” display, and the glass incredibly prone to fingerprints, smudging and other marks. The LCD has a high resolution, but the data feed from the live view or playback simply doesn’t look as crisp as it could have. Applying the magnification function for manual focus could be that much easier had the results been crisper. I don’t know what the underlying cause is, but it’s a little disappointing. It reminds me a little of the troublesome live view mode of the Nikon D800. The DP2m’s LCD image can be very difficult to see in bright conditions, and it’s probably only a matter of time until I’ll have to fork out for a Hoodman, which isn’t a bad buy considering I can use it for other cameras too.