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Head-2-Head Review: Sigma DP1 vs. Canon PowerShot G9
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What camera does a serious photographer want to carry when she doesn't want to carry a DSLR kit? Sigma hopes it's their DP1, a compact camera with an APS-format sensor and an excellent wide angle fixed focal length lens. Canon hopes it's their PowerShot G9, a compact with a conventional (small) sensor and a zoom lens that runs from wide to telephoto. Both cameras shoot RAW as well as JPEG files, and the wide end of the Canon PowerShot G9's lens is wide at 35mm, but still narrower than the Sigma DP1's 28mm-equivalent prime lens.


The DP1 and the G9 look like the results of radically different design strategies. Sigma seems to have taken a DSLR and whittled away all the bulky parts, leaving the user with the DSLR-sized Foveon sensor, a wide-angle lens, and a moderate-sized display. The metal construction remains and RAW format remains, but everything else – the reflex viewfinder, the interchangeable lens mount, good shooting speed, the big battery – are gone. Canon has gone the opposite way, apparently taking a standard point-and-shoot with a zoom lens, scene modes, and so on, and dressing it up with manual modes, manual focus, improved image processing, RAW capability and sturdy construction.

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