A digital compact worth owning?

My...precious...Canon EOS 5DFor some time I have wanted to buy an extra camera. Only problem is: it doesn’t exist. At least not yet. I drag my “precious”, my Canon EOS 5D (usually with 17-40mm L lens and 24-105mm L lens) almost everywhere and I love it, it is a truly phenomenal camera. But it’s big. It’s heavy. And it’s certainly not discreet. For street photography it also calls far too much attention to itself and people become very aware of you and your camera. In short: a compact digital rangefinder camera (with optical viewfinder!) as backup camera and for street photography would be a very welcome addition.

Again. Trouble is…it doesn’t bloody exist! I want a high quality rangefinder style digital compact with optical viewfinder, fullframe (or 1.6 crop sensor), fixed lens at perhaps 24 or 21mm and no bloody frills at all – except it should be very high quality and of course save RAW images. No company in the world makes a camera that comes close to this. No digital camera that is, there were plenty of high quality compact rangefinders available when film was still all the rage.

Leica M8Well, Leica makes a digital version of the M8, but that’s still a bit too big and heavy (not to mention expensive!) to be an option as a backup compact camera. Wouldn’t mind owning it though 😀

As for the current offering of digital compacts. I don’t want 10 megazillion super noisy pixels in a mega small sensor, I don’t want super zooms going from 28-300mm, I don’t want 3.5 inch lcd screen with no optical viewfinder, I don’t need video options, I don’t want face detection, automatic red eye reduction and awful noise reduction…actually I don’t want any of the stupid features they install in compact digital cams presently! What happened to making quality cameras instead of adding features that don’t work and nobody wants? Seems to me the market for digital compacts is moving backwards.

sigma-dp-1.jpgSigma may just come to the rescue though. The Sigma DP-1 camera could very well be everything that the serious photographer has looked for in a backup camera and not found yet. Sigma promises a “full spec compact digital camera with all the power of a dslr”. 14 megapixel compact with the same Foveon sensor the Sigma SD-14 dslr has. Optical viewfinder. Sigma apparently is still working on it, it was announced last September and still isn’t out – with no word of when it is coming out. It may very well prove to be worth the wait! In the meantime here’s a picture of it. Doesn’t look like much? Precisely. That’s the point. This is not for the standard consumer market. It’s for photographers!

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