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Thread: Sigma SD1

  1. #51
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Dragos,
    The problem with systems like Sigma, Olympus or Pentax isn't that the systems are too small. Many photographers can get away with just 3-5 lenses for most of what they do. When I do motor racing, I use 4-5 different lenses, the 5th one being a macro. Sigma easily covers that.

    The problem for many pro photographers would be support, and that's a real challenge where I live. Even Nikon has had mediocre support in Bangkok until now. That will hopefully improve now, as they take over the distribution themselves. Sigma is out of the question for me, partly due to the lack of support and partly due to price, but I would really love to have one. This looks like a great camera.
    Don't get me wrong - I have nothing to say about the IQ of the SD1 in spite of some of the poor sample images that have been posted. I've been excited about owning [the dream of] this camera since September. My issue is with the "IQ at any price" statement, and my only point is that the best IQ in the world means absolutely nothing if the camera that sports that IQ isn't available (either through a prohibitive pricing strategy, or through poor distribution as in the case of the GH2, or through poor reliability and poor service as you mentioned which is not uncommon to Sigma products).

    Hope Sigma comes to their senses, apologizes for the pricing snafu, and releases this camera as a sensible price point. Just read an article on LL discussing just what that kind of strategy would look like - Sigma needs to listen if they want to salvage anything at this point.
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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Sigma needs to listen if they want to salvage anything at this point.
    And have a serious discussion with the VP of marketing or whoever made the decision on pricing.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Its funny seeing this thread - seeing people outraged by pricing on this camera. How many of you have seriously considered switching to Sigma even if the camera offered the same quality of 645D?

    People! it is their freakin baby! of course they love it more than everyone else! and they are free to name their price! Sigma lovers like all apple lovers will buy it regardless! at least they are generating a lot of talk and chatter over their camera!

    I say great PR & marketing on sigma!

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    A quote from dpreview's preview: "Because the Foveon sensor captures full color data at each pixel location, it's not susceptible to color moiré."

    Huh? I thought moire was a function of the distance between pixels and the width of the pattern being photographed; why would foveon be immune?

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Well - I'm not so sure that the pricing is a mistake.

    It seems to me that there are two possibilities

    1. it doesn't offer better IQ than the D3x 5DII A900 etc.
    in which case it's dead in the water . . . . and it'd be dead in the water at $3000 as well.

    2. it Does offer better IQ than the D3x 5DII A900 etc.
    In which case those who want Foveon, and want that quality, and who aren't necessarily requiring all the bells and whistles of the Canikon big guns might see it as a considerable saving over a MF kit. (especially if you start thinking about lenses).

    When these pricing arguments come up nobody seems to remember about costs and production runs. If it costs $2500 to make, and you sell it for $7500 you only have to sell 1 camera for every 10 you would have to sell if it's $3000!

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Question is then I suppose whether the lenses and specifically their poor QC is up to a sensor (if it is) better than a D2X. Add to that the upcoming 30 megapixel plus flagships from the big two which will come in, as usual, at $8000 with pro bodies, full dealer and rental support worldwide, sophisticated accessories to draw upon, etc and the D3X will be still cheaper. I just can't see it happening.

    Lets face it, in a year from now if you want 30 megapixels in a DSLR sized mid priced and speced body then you'll be shooting a 5DIII and although mid speced, it will still cream the SD1 in every way.
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by usathyan View Post
    Its funny seeing this thread - seeing people outraged by pricing on this camera. How many of you have seriously considered switching to Sigma even if the camera offered the same quality of 645D?
    I have. And who says anything about switching? At $2000 it's cheap enough as a second/third body alongside a FF camera body, for example. At $9700 it's out even as a primary body when others are way more capable as a system. Lots of people have more than one camera body, and more than one camera brand. They're all tools for the job, that's all. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition (something that Sigma also doesn't get in choosing not to offer multi-mount lenses/cameras).
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  8. #58
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    A quote from dpreview's preview: "Because the Foveon sensor captures full color data at each pixel location, it's not susceptible to color moiré."

    Huh? I thought moire was a function of the distance between pixels and the width of the pattern being photographed; why would foveon be immune?
    Hi Tom,

    In a Bayer pattern sensor color interpolation HAS to occur as full color info is not available for each pixel. This can lead to color moire if de-mosaic algorithms are not very good (or not present). Foveon sensors have red, green, and blue data for every pixel, so no color interpolation is needed.

    Sigma's (and Foveon's) argument vis-a-vis number of pixels goes like this: Bayer sensors claim to have a certain number of pixels, however due to the nature of the Bayer sensor 25% are red, 50% are green, and 25% are blue. RGB info is interpolated based on data from nearby pixels. This degrades sharpness. For example, a 10 MP Bayer sensor would have 2.5MP red, 5 MP green, and 2.5 MP blue pixels. Thus in reality you only have 2.5 MP of actual RGB data before interpolation and there is positional shift information you need to take into account which can to mosaicing.

    The Foveon's multi-layer design assures RGB info is present for every single pixel without interpolation. However, this means that in truth only 1/3 of the pixels involved are resolved into image data. Since Bayer sensor makers count every individual pixel in the final count, Sigma/Foveon decided to do the same.
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    The discussion reminds me of what happened when the Leica S2 was launched No, the Sigma is not a Leica, but then, it's not selling at anything near Leica prices. Everything I've seen so far indicates that it's an excellent photographic tool, but the price, like the price of the S2, seems to make it a total no-go. In many ways, it's the opposite of what the mainstream manufacturers offer these days: less features but more image quality. That's what some of us have been wanting since we transferred to digital anyway. It's not a digital FM3A or OM-4, but it's very far from the run-of-the-mill plastic fantastic cameras that are launched more or less every day.

    There are still people paying rather healthy prices for cameras like the Kodak SLR/N or Contax 645, cameras that went down and out years ago, and where support is sketchy to say the least. Compared to that, the Sigma is almost mainstream.

    Can the Sigma lenses live up to the potential of the sensor? Some can undoubtedly, particularly from 50mm and up. But the price excludes a lot of photographers and then there's the support side. But if the kit prices on the America website are correct, some will buy it, and as Jono points out, it may be better business for Sigma to sell fewer at a higher price. That makes support easier to handle as well.

    But I can't afford it... I think

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    The discussion reminds me of what happened when the Leica S2 was launched No, the Sigma is not a Leica, but then, it's not selling at anything near Leica prices. Everything I've seen so far indicates that it's an excellent photographic tool, but the price, like the price of the S2, seems to make it a total no-go. In many ways, it's the opposite of what the mainstream manufacturers offer these days: less features but more image quality. That's what some of us have been wanting since we transferred to digital anyway. It's not a digital FM3A or OM-4, but it's very far from the run-of-the-mill plastic fantastic cameras that are launched more or less every day.

    There are still people paying rather healthy prices for cameras like the Kodak SLR/N or Contax 645, cameras that went down and out years ago, and where support is sketchy to say the least. Compared to that, the Sigma is almost mainstream.

    Can the Sigma lenses live up to the potential of the sensor? Some can undoubtedly, particularly from 50mm and up. But the price excludes a lot of photographers and then there's the support side. But if the kit prices on the America website are correct, some will buy it, and as Jono points out, it may be better business for Sigma to sell fewer at a higher price. That makes support easier to handle as well.

    But I can't afford it... I think
    Quite right Jorgen - this is exactly what was said about the S2 - especially around here.

    It seems to me that for Leica that had the advantage that they didn't sell too many cameras to start with - which made support and fixing stuff possible, and they did appear to respond pretty well (look at Marc's experience).

    Then, a year later, when it's settled down and some sterling images appear . . . Lo and behold, people are buying it and seeing that it's good. I get the distinct impression that it's doing very well.

    If you make a niche product, then you can sell it for more. The question here (IMHO) is whether the SD1 qualifies as a niche product? If it does, then fine . . . . if it doesn't . . . .

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Sigma are not Leica though, are they.

    They are well known as a cost-effective 3rd party lens manufacturer... and that's about it.

    They have made a handful of film cameras no one remembers and a small number of DSLRs that have sold just a few tens of thousands in a decade that have suffered notorious reliability and bugginess issues (I've just taken the bottom plate off my SD14 and and soldered in a bunch of wires in an attempt to solve the very common problem that if you dare to fill the 5 shot buffer, there is a high probability that the camera will freeze up). The cameras are seriously underspecced, years behind in performance, lack any kind pretence of standard features such as dust shakers, live view or video, suffer from poor LCDs, terrible battery life and are stuck with the SA mount (for which lenses are hard to find).

    The majoritity of their sales have been to hobbyists, and in particular to a relatively small group of hardcore fans. Most of these people are not in the position of purchasing expensive highend cameras but have supported Sigma/Foveon, buying each iteration despite the faults of the previous model because they are committed to Foveon. Most of those people have waited a long time for a modern, competive camera from Sigma and the SD1 was hyped as the one.

    The price is a marketing disaster even if they manage to find some customers and even if they make some money from it. Sigma senior executives publically speculated the price would be competitive with the Canon 7D. They have totally alienated their devout customer base - read the forums, universal condemnation from the only people that ever bought Sigma. Largely, they feel betrayed.

    What happens to Sigma, if the fans turn their faces away and then the handful of pros and rich people who buy into the "baby medium format" scam, suddenly come to realize this a Sigma and you are expected to solder it yourself to make it work!

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    Hi Tom,

    In a Bayer pattern sensor color interpolation HAS to occur as full color info is not available for each pixel. This can lead to color moire if de-mosaic algorithms are not very good (or not present). Foveon sensors have red, green, and blue data for every pixel, so no color interpolation is needed.

    Sigma's (and Foveon's) argument vis-a-vis number of pixels goes like this: Bayer sensors claim to have a certain number of pixels, however due to the nature of the Bayer sensor 25% are red, 50% are green, and 25% are blue. RGB info is interpolated based on data from nearby pixels. This degrades sharpness. For example, a 10 MP Bayer sensor would have 2.5MP red, 5 MP green, and 2.5 MP blue pixels. Thus in reality you only have 2.5 MP of actual RGB data before interpolation and there is positional shift information you need to take into account which can to mosaicing.

    The Foveon's multi-layer design assures RGB info is present for every single pixel without interpolation. However, this means that in truth only 1/3 of the pixels involved are resolved into image data. Since Bayer sensor makers count every individual pixel in the final count, Sigma/Foveon decided to do the same.
    This does not address the issue of moire, which occurs "occurs when a signal is sampled at a less than twice the highest frequency present in the signal". It seems to me that any digital sensor will be subject to this phenomenon.

    Since the Foveon has a higher effective resolution, I would suppose it would require a much smaller pattern to produce moire; none the less, moire should occur under the right circumstances. Below is a link to a page showing an example of moire from a Sigma SD-9, which I believe was the first to use the foveon technology.

    Link

    I suspect that the foveon system may be less prone to moire, but I am not convinced that it is free of moire.

  13. #63
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Following Tom's link (and then on to the imaging-resource review of the SD9), there seems to be a distinction made between colour aliasing and luminance aliasing: e.g. from the imaging-resource review: "While not subject to the sort of color aliasing seen in striped sensors, the X3 sensor is still a sampled-data device,...", and also: "Thus, while it is pretty completely immune to color aliasing, it is much more subject to luminance aliasing than its competition.".

    So, if one uses moiré in the limited sense of colour aliasing, then a foveon sensor is probably free of it. As an example, in Sean Reid's review of the Fuji X100, where there are comparison pictures from the X100, a Leica X1, a Leica M8, and a Sigma DP2, using a WhiBal card which has a pattern on it, the M8 shows much more (colour) moiré than the X100 or X1, and the DP2 shows none. In that case luminance aliasing would probably be much harder to see, and its occurrence would depend on the DP2's sensor pitch compared to the pattern spacing.

    Good point Tom.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by davemillier View Post
    Sigma are not Leica though, are they.

    They are well known as a cost-effective 3rd party lens manufacturer... and that's about it.

    They have made a handful of film cameras no one remembers and a small number of DSLRs that have sold just a few tens of thousands in a decade that have suffered notorious reliability and bugginess issues (I've just taken the bottom plate off my SD14 and and soldered in a bunch of wires in an attempt to solve the very common problem that if you dare to fill the 5 shot buffer, there is a high probability that the camera will freeze up). The cameras are seriously underspecced, years behind in performance, lack any kind pretence of standard features such as dust shakers, live view or video, suffer from poor LCDs, terrible battery life and are stuck with the SA mount (for which lenses are hard to find).

    The majoritity of their sales have been to hobbyists, and in particular to a relatively small group of hardcore fans. Most of these people are not in the position of purchasing expensive highend cameras but have supported Sigma/Foveon, buying each iteration despite the faults of the previous model because they are committed to Foveon. Most of those people have waited a long time for a modern, competive camera from Sigma and the SD1 was hyped as the one.

    The price is a marketing disaster even if they manage to find some customers and even if they make some money from it. Sigma senior executives publically speculated the price would be competitive with the Canon 7D. They have totally alienated their devout customer base - read the forums, universal condemnation from the only people that ever bought Sigma. Largely, they feel betrayed.

    What happens to Sigma, if the fans turn their faces away and then the handful of pros and rich people who buy into the "baby medium format" scam, suddenly come to realize this a Sigma and you are expected to solder it yourself to make it work!
    HI David
    I subscribe to all of this . . . but it does sound terribly similar to what everybody said about the S2 . .

    I go back to my original point, which is that the camera really has something to offer with respect to image quality, then there's an argument for the pricing. If it doesn't there really isn't an argument for the camera, whatever the pricing may be.

    Sigma's loyal fans are admirable, but they aren't really going to support a new camera.

    What's more interesting is how Sigma thought that they'd make money from this.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    I have it on good authority (Laurence Matson who prints the big Foveon prints for trade shows) when we went shooting down in Cornwall after Focus, that the prints from the SD1 are better than any of the full frame cameras and entirely free of noise at the useful ISOs. But he says they're not medium format competitors. Read into that what you want but based on past experience I would estimate resolution will be in the 30-35MP Bayer sensor territory.

    That's nice, if it doesn't have lots of other problems - which it may have as it's a brand new chip architecture.

    But it's still a basic APS-c camera that based on past experience will need about as many firmware updates as a Kodak to work properly (and about 3 generations of body). It will still take 10 secs to write a file and have a 7 shot buffer and likely freeze uselessly while you wait. At least you can entertain yourself twiddling the second command dial until Sigma realises it could have a use as exposure comp...

    You can probably guess I'm a bit cynical about Sigma engineering -

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI David
    I subscribe to all of this . . . but it does sound terribly similar to what everybody said about the S2 . .

    I go back to my original point, which is that the camera really has something to offer with respect to image quality, then there's an argument for the pricing. If it doesn't there really isn't an argument for the camera, whatever the pricing may be.

    Sigma's loyal fans are admirable, but they aren't really going to support a new camera.

    What's more interesting is how Sigma thought that they'd make money from this.

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by davemillier View Post

    The majoritity of their sales have been to hobbyists, and in particular to a relatively small group of hardcore fans. Most of these people are not in the position of purchasing expensive highend cameras but have supported Sigma/Foveon. Most of those people have waited a long time for a modern, competive camera from Sigma and the SD1 was hyped as the one.

    The price is a marketing disaster even if they manage to find some customers and even if they make some money from it. Sigma senior executives publically speculated the price would be competitive with the Canon 7D.
    Dave, your points above ring true for me as well.

    I had a SD1 on my shopping list and even considering moving other items to get one BUT all that was based on this talk of "7D" pricing.
    One issue I think Sigma have not realized is all the "Sigma lens" sales they will miss out on by not putting a good Sigma mount camera within reach. You won't really have a lot of lens mount options with the SD1 like you do with m43 or Nex.

    Right now I'll keep using my DP2 and wait for the "SD1 Saga" to settle out. If the price is not reachable then I'll play in other camps, perhaps wait for the rumored Sony A77. :sleep006:

    Maybe a DP3 will be announced and hopefully I'll be able to afford that?!

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well - I'm not so sure that the pricing is a mistake.

    It seems to me that there are two possibilities

    1. it doesn't offer better IQ than the D3x 5DII A900 etc.
    in which case it's dead in the water . . . . and it'd be dead in the water at $3000 as well.

    2. it Does offer better IQ than the D3x 5DII A900 etc.
    In which case those who want Foveon, and want that quality, and who aren't necessarily requiring all the bells and whistles of the Canikon big guns might see it as a considerable saving over a MF kit. (especially if you start thinking about lenses).

    When these pricing arguments come up nobody seems to remember about costs and production runs. If it costs $2500 to make, and you sell it for $7500 you only have to sell 1 camera for every 10 you would have to sell if it's $3000!
    I don't quite agree with your costing logic. Your example was true, if all costs were purely variable in nature. As they aren't costs on a per unit basis are lower the greater the volume output as fixed costs and overhead get absorbed by a greater number. Furthermore, if Sigma sold more cameras, demand for lenses would go up as well, thus selling more SD1s would benefit the economics of the lens division and the company as a whole.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    I don't quite agree with your costing logic. Your example was true, if all costs were purely variable in nature. As they aren't costs on a per unit basis are lower the greater the volume output as fixed costs and overhead get absorbed by a greater number. Furthermore, if Sigma sold more cameras, demand for lenses would go up as well, thus selling more SD1s would benefit the economics of the lens division and the company as a whole.
    Of course I understand about this, I also understand that my example was simplistic - it was meant to be. But it doesn't alter the fact that making up for a big profit margin with increased sales is very difficult to achieve.

    And . . Well - it's very unlikely that Sigma either would want to, or even could manage to buy enough components for any obvious economies of scale to be made. Added to which, for a new camera like this, support is obviously going to be an issue, and I doubt if they have the infrastructure to deal with that.

    Unfortunately Sigma don't have the same cachet as Leica. Personally I always thought (and argued) that the S2 would be a success, beautifully designed and made and very expensive niche products from luxury companies usually are.

    I'd be very surprised if this camera were a success, it depends really on how much of a niche it represents, and if serious photographers can see a real IQ advantage.

    But this doesn't alter my point that making it cheaper would be very unlikely to make it more of a success for Sigma!

    all the best

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Sigma is now in backtracking mode and has noted that SD1 street price is "only" about 7K. Guess they are now trying to compete at the M9 level. Watch out Leica!

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1105/11...treetprice.asp
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by davemillier View Post
    Sigma are not Leica though, are they.
    No they aren't, but since Leica survived the M8, there's a chance Sigma will survive the SD1, some way or another. But that price is not very likely to survive, and neither is the $7,000 price that has appeared later. The SD1 seems to offer a lot in the area of image quality, probably more than the likes of the D3X. But most of Sigma's potential customers have lots and lots of Nikkor, Sony or Canon lenses that won't fit this new camera.

    If they want people to change, or even buy the SD1 as an additional camera which is more likely for most, at least to start with, making the change easy would be the obvious thing to do. Sigma has done the opposite. Strange ways...

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Jorgen,
    i wanted to stay out of this debate for various reasons, but seriously and with all due respect, i hardly understand why you keep saying that about IQ, especially from the official samples available.

    Got all of them DLed, along with many 5DII and D3X files on my computer. The samples look a lot like the (good) 5D ones, but no way anyone with a D3X would ever be tempted to jump ship analysing these samples.

    As a second body for 3-4 K$ maybe.

    I don't have time now but will post a couple of similar shots in comparison. Or alternatively send a couple to you for what i can't post.



    .
    Last edited by Corlan F.; 26th May 2011 at 16:25.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlan F. View Post
    Jorgen,
    i wanted to stay out of this debate for various reasons, but seriously and with all due respect, i hardly understand why you keep saying that about IQ, especially from the official samples available.

    Got all of them DLed, along with many 5DII and D3X files on my computer. The samples look a lot like the (good) 5D ones, but no way anyone with a D3X would ever be tempted to jump ship analysing these samples.

    As a second body for 3-4 K$ maybe.

    I don't have time now but will post a couple of similar shots in comparison. Or alternatively send a couple to you for what i can't post.



    .
    Corlan,
    It's a problem to find relevant, full resolution samples from D3X for comparison, so that would be interesting. At the moment, both cameras are well beyond my reach anyway, but I could hope for a full frame D7000 with the D3X sensor, somewhere south of $2,000, couldn't I. Or even better: a pro spec m4/3 camera with a smaller version of the SD1 sensor. Or is that called daydreaming

    The problem with me is that I would like to have a pocketable camera with MF resolution and pin sharp images with a series of f/0.9 lenses, preferably with a build quality that makes it usable as a chair and/or a hammer as well

  23. #73
    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Good luck with that, Jorgen!

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    The problem with me is that I would like to have a pocketable camera with MF resolution and pin sharp images with a series of f/0.9 lenses, preferably with a build quality that makes it usable as a chair and/or a hammer as well
    Isn't Leica currently working on a medium format pocket hammer? Don't even ask about the expected price.

  25. #75
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Of course I understand about this, I also understand that my example was simplistic - it was meant to be. But it doesn't alter the fact that making up for a big profit margin with increased sales is very difficult to achieve.

    And . . Well - it's very unlikely that Sigma either would want to, or even could manage to buy enough components for any obvious economies of scale to be made. Added to which, for a new camera like this, support is obviously going to be an issue, and I doubt if they have the infrastructure to deal with that.

    Unfortunately Sigma don't have the same cachet as Leica. Personally I always thought (and argued) that the S2 would be a success, beautifully designed and made and very expensive niche products from luxury companies usually are.

    I'd be very surprised if this camera were a success, it depends really on how much of a niche it represents, and if serious photographers can see a real IQ advantage.

    But this doesn't alter my point that making it cheaper would be very unlikely to make it more of a success for Sigma!

    all the best
    Reminds me a little of the old saw......."Lose a little on each sale but make up for it with volume!"

    We learn to relive our pasts every day

    Woody

  26. #76
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I would like to have a pocketable camera with MF resolution and pin sharp images with a series of f/0.9 lenses, preferably with a build quality
    Laugh as we may, in reality this is what we all want. Likely One day it will exist IMO. What I am Not sure is, if there will be an improvement in Photography.

  27. #77
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Good, but not the equivalent of a Bayer 45mp sensor, which it claims to be. Probably around 30mp equivalent, which is in line with my expectation of roughly 2x Bayer performance (subject dependent).

    Given we should soon see 35mp cameras from Canon, Nikon and maybe even Sony, with all the professional bells and whistles, in my opinion it is grossly overpriced and under-specced to compete against them. $2,000 and it is a different story.

    Quentin


    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    I won't go as extreme as Jorgen to 160MP, but here's one of the samples taken by Carl Rytterfalk which I upres'd to 45.4MP (8251px x 5501px).

    Whole image, resized:



    100% crops from the upsized, 45MP file:





    Full-res (45MP) file here: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3463/...c4cd0953_o.jpg
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

  28. #78
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Jorgen -my apologies for taking several days to post some samples... long days, short nights...

    Disclaimer: as said above, i didn't really want to get into the argument for various reasons. First because there's no point in (or being perceived as) placing any kind of pride in a piece of equipment, nor getting into a "mine's better" useless fight. I'm not. They are tools. Second, i might -extremely reluctantly- put up my D3X for sale soon, only for financial reasons needing to raise some extra cash for an upcoming, non photography related project. That said and clearly stated, let's get into the actual "details"


    All the info below is just intended as casual documentation, sustaining why repeatedly reading that "the SD1 samples show better fine details resolution than the top end DSLRs, namely the D3X" is in my eyes a bold statement. And why, as a D3X user, i do not feel that these available samples would be inciting to consider a platform switch. Especially not a relatively comparable price point (yes, that counts).
    Therefore, all the info below is absolutely not intended as a comparison or a demonstration, just a visual support for my previous dissenting remark.


    Quickly browsing the hard disks, i tried to find some elements of "comparison", at least a bit relevant with some of the SD1 samples.


    Technical notes:

    In order to stay fair, all crops were made from jpegs (not RAW or TIF).
    All of them are shot hanheld, and unless noted otherwise wide open or close, generally f2.8 or f4.
    All are 8bit sRGB, and for most no sharpening at all (USM or else) applied for the purpose of this posting.

    IOW what is posted below is clearly on the low side of the possible resolution on the D3X.

    Using tripod / lens stopped down / MUP / Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB profiles / 16 bit / sharpening etc., one can expect to at least double the fine resolution showed here, and probably much more.

    No processing except when noted, all 200% enlargements are single-click bicubic in Photoshop (no fractals etc.).

    Most of them are definitely not demo material
    , but... let's start...


    (examples quoted from page 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    One more. I've marked the area of the crop here. This one is taken with the 50mm at f/9.0.




    No canyons here, but some water. Here's a file shot from across the river, in fact from across yet another elevated street on my side.
    Unfortunately this one was handheld at f/2.8, so it's really on the softer side of things.


    The final used crop was about 20MP, you can see it with the full original frame (dimmed areas).




    100% crops:






    200% crops:







    (one can easily make the the hidden car logo)

    Again, that's hanheld @f2.8.

    Please also take note that i don't fancy myself as a master when it comes to optimizing vibration or stability. Though i did shot a lot of natural light, dim lit portaits at 400 ot 800 ISO in the analog age, it's not paramount for me and there's a lot of great photogs out there with better MO in this regard. Among our friends here, Steen (Bondo) pops up in mind as a good point in case, on many shots the sheer details he gets from his D300 is amazing (e.g. the recent crushed (or is it crashed? ) cans) and i'd bet on par with or close enough to what many would achieve with a 5DII, SD1, D3X, and MF gear handheld. What you (Jorgen) do with panning is another example. Sure, in both instances crop sensor small mirror kinda helps, but still.

    Just saying, again, the examples here represent at best an average minus level of what can actually be achieved with a D3X.
    Certainly not the best resolution possible, and by far.


    Some more stuff below...


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  29. #79
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    (cont'd)

    Same day, a few minutes later. Strictly no processing, one-click standard camera profile RAW to JPEG then direct 200% crop in PS.
    As you see not only it's a candid with the boat moving. Not a speedboat mind you, but still advancing at a good pace. I was using AF-S as usual (not AF-C).


    General view:




    200% crops:

    lips and face expression:


    detail in the shadows:




    This next f2.8 handheld shot from another batch has strictly zero artistic value all the same, i stumbled upon this scene and wondering what these guys were doing so i just pointed and shot.
    No processing, just like the previous example.

    General view:




    100% crop with bright / shadowed area:




    200% crop same area:




    Two more 200% crops:






    The three files in the posts above in particular are certainly not demo material, but that's what i had off hand sharing similar traits with some of the SD1 samples, so why not...



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  30. #80
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    (cont'd)

    The photo below one is from another SD1 sample:

    General view:




    100% crops:

    in-focus area, lower right:


    random area:




    Here's a similar subject shot from the D3X (one that you (Jorgen) know well, but different since this file here followed the minimal process described above. Full image no crop, no processing, no NR, no USM etc.
    Adobe profile RAW to JPEG in ACR)

    This shot was then taken handheld at f3. there was some roadworks and i stepped out of the car to take it, traffic was resuming and the yellow jackets guys starting to yell at me, so it' was a one-shot deal at this distance.


    General view:




    100% crops:

    In and out of focus areas:








    Lower left corner (strictly uncorrected):




    400% crop lower left corner (strictly uncorrected):




    (a complete at 400% would result in a 24000 pix. long side and a 500MB+ file)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Corlan F.; 31st May 2011 at 09:18. Reason: added "400 crop" mention (same unchanged file)

  31. #81
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    (cont'd)

    Some more "nature" shots, one crop each:

    (all handheld)

    f2.8






    f2.8 again






    These two at f9:





    (see how smooth the revealed bokeh is at 100% crop level (works at 50%, too), with layers of intermediate sharpness when appropriate (depending on relative background distance).







    The last two ladybugs images were taken at a less than 2 minutes interval.
    Both were sold (and also "borrowed") several times, at various crop levels.



    f2 AIS type lens (Zeiss) -> manual focusing, handheld at f2:
    This one had some processing (IR treatment) and some sharpening.

    General view and framing, final image inside the white frame + 100% crop:







    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  32. #82
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    (cont'd)

    Couple of shots inside, static subjects...


    f2 AIS type lens (Zeiss) -> manual focusing, handheld, f2 :


    Final image inside full original 24MP frame (dimmed areas):




    200% crops:





    extra link to a larger 200% crop wiew too large for forum posting rules) : https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-I...65_crop200.jpg



    f2 AIS type lens (Zeiss) -> manual focusing, handheld, f5.6 :

    General view:




    100% crops:










    200% crop from the last crop:





    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  33. #83
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    (cont'd)


    Eventually, in the candid/portraits/details category... two shots from last week, a stranger in a crowd.

    Quite harsh zenithal sun, shot handheld @ f5.6.
    No processing except one-click Adobe profile RAW conversion to JPEG in ACR.


    Final image crop inside full original 24MP frame (dimmed areas):




    100% crops:






    (note details on skin / fingers + smooth natural transitions)




    Next shot, subject slightly in motion:




    100% crops:

    (note fine skin lines, watch in the shadows)


    (OOF area)


    (belt & label, extreme bottom edge)


    (belt & label, extreme bottom edge) @ 200% crop:



    Please again bear in mind that all this is 8 bit jpeg direct processing from RAW, crops and enlargements from jpeg.
    (+ forum automatic sharpening? Certainly look less "natural" and precise once posted...)


    Anyway, all look much better in PS here, and even better as TIF or in print.



    Other notes / Conclusion:

    There seems to be a tad less noise on the SD1 samples than on my D3X shots (or 5D or D700), but 1/ it's quite probable (and visible) that NR was applied on most of the Sigma the samples 2/ IMHO noise is very convincing on the D3X and is the most analog-like noise seen on a FF DSLR. 800ISO portraits look perfect on print.

    There's significant amount of CA showing on the SD1 samples (quite nasty if you ask me) which is basically absent from the D3X.
    Maybe related to processing, but still a matter of concern.

    We have no clue about exposure and WB corrections applied on the SD1 samples. One of the great strengths of the D3X is an incredible AWB (most of my shots' WB are straight from camera - all shots posted in this thread are uncorrected AWB) and an excellent exposure metering.

    Some of the SD1 samples published till now seem to have undergone serious to severe oversharpening -in order to impress as far as detail is concerned? Personally, i find most of these details somehow artificial and unconvincing.

    That said, and also thinking of the first two samples available last year, it looks like it's a good tool for portraits in studio controlled conditions. Not unlike the 5D MkII In this regard, and maybe a step higher in terms of enlargement capability.

    Otherwise and for now, color rendition, micro contrast and DR are questionnable all the same. A SD1 body in hands will be needed to get a more comprehensive vew.

    Reliability wise, operating a D3X is super smotth, mine quite simply never missed a single shot. I sure did on occasions, but not the body.
    Re the SD1, only time will tell.


    Finally, let me stress out that AFAIC uprezzed resolution details is just part of the equation in modern photography, and for most needs a relatively marginal criteria in systems choice.

    Using best practice routine (tripod etc.), D700 shots are regularly printed on 1m+ (40"+) long size posters with great professional results. Lately we printed D3X crops on a 4*3m (approx. 13*10 ft.) banner, and it was from a 15MP file after cropping the original shot. Meaning a 5 cm (2") long with 13 millimeter (1/20th inch) diameter piece of equipment is blown up to more than 2 meter (7 ft.) long. Needless to say, these are not designed to be scrutinized at pixel level, but in a reasonnably large office or even a standard 800 sp. ft. showroom, it looks pretty good. And i mean by that: "happy client".

    Of course, for such specific tasks MultiShot MF backs are ideal (though today i wouldn't trade the true versatility and ease of the top DSLR, if not for owning both systems -but that's me and for another discussion).
    Just saying, nowadays resolution is not always a major issue for the mere mortal photogs among us who cannot justify investing in a 50K$++ dedicated kit.

    That's it for my 0.02...



    (had to type all this pretty fast, and posting a large number of images is not exactly ergonomic... sorry for the typos etc...)

  34. #84
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Thank you for all the work you invested in this, Corlan. To me, it shows that in capable hands and in real life, the SD1 doesn't show any significant advantage of the D3X, at least based on what we know now. As a Nikon user, that's very reassuring, even though I can afford neither of the two (particularly after I ordered an Epson printer yesterday, and have a new Mac on my shopping list as well...).

    There are other things that make the D3X superior to the Sigma, like ergonomics and features, so what's left for the SD1 seems to be a smaller/lighter form factor and a special Foveon image quality that one may or may not subscribe to. I'll be following Carl Rytterfalk the next few months (He has, unsurprisingly, already stated that he will have one), to see what comes out of this. That will at least be interesting and it's absolutely free

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