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Thread: Sigma SD1

  1. #1
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Sigma SD1

    Since the Sigma SD1 was first shown some time ago I am really intrigued by this camera.

    http://www.sigma-sd.com/SD1/message.html

    Just talked to a Sigma rep and he told me that it should be available sometimes this year (yes he could not be more precise) and the price would be between 4k - 5k - lot of money but for 45MP it seems not too much.

    I wonder if this camera can hold up to (at least my) expectations.

    Anyone more informations?

    Thanks

    Peter

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

    Incidentally, had a talk yesterday with a Sigma rep who said "availability in the summer" and more importantly "retail less than 2K".

    One of these guys is seriously wrong

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    If it's under 2K and the resolution is as great as the promise (I don't believe in real 45MP resolution, but maybe somewhere in D3X land), it's a very interesting option. Hopefully, it's as easy to change mount on this one as it has been on the previous models. My OM lenses are waiting

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlan F. View Post
    Incidentally, had a talk yesterday with a Sigma rep who said "availability in the summer" and more importantly "retail less than 2K".

    One of these guys is seriously wrong
    So I hope for the 2k !!!!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    If it's under 2K and the resolution is as great as the promise (I don't believe in real 45MP resolution, but maybe somewhere in D3X land), it's a very interesting option. Hopefully, it's as easy to change mount on this one as it has been on the previous models. My OM lenses are waiting
    It's a 15Mp native file. Rest is software related as in the rest of the SD line.
    Cropped sensor, cropped viewfinder, limited software, slow AF, less advanced firmware options, poor choice of top quality optics in the SA mount compared to Canon / Nikon / Pentax... esp. primes, dedicated WA and even standard focal lenses already tested with curvature issues on existing SD bodies etc. + somehow limited use of third party lenses via adapter and automation is lost and visibility in the viewfinder is stopped down -which is reportedly an issue.

    Not a competitor to the big guys per se, more of a different / complementary proposition.

    Personally i can easily see a 150mm Macro screwed on the SD1 as a second system



    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    So I hope for the 2k€ !!!!
    No idea Peter. We'll see

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    If it's under 2K and the resolution is as great as the promise (I don't believe in real 45MP resolution, but maybe somewhere in D3X land), it's a very interesting option. Hopefully, it's as easy to change mount on this one as it has been on the previous models. My OM lenses are waiting
    Well, the current Foveon chips with roughly 5MP produce something serious around larger than 14MP. So the calculation is approximately right that you would get out of 15MP basic chip something like a 45MP result.

    I must say that I would be happy if it would deliver reasonable 30MP

    What is more interesting that the SD1 will not use any AA filter and thus be at least as good in details as the E5, I even think it should be much better!

    And finally Oly lenses - I would love to see a 43 to Sigma adapter which preserves all automatic functions between lens and body. That would really rock!

    Hope dyes last

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Hi

    People squabble all the time over the Foveon sensor resolution relative to conventional sensors, not helped by Sigma's marketing approach. As an owner of a SD9, SD14 and a DP1 as well a number of cameras from the traditional makers, I've been able to make my own mind up.

    And the answer is.....

    .... Foveon sensors compare very reasonably for resolution with Bayer sensors of around twice the pixel count. The absence of both the OLPF AA filter and the need for colour demosaicing means a Foveon is pixel-for-pixel a lot sharper. They take up-ressing very well.

    - In practice, I cannot see any resolution difference even with the most extreme pixel peeping, between my 3.4MP X3 SD9 and 8MP Canon 350D.

    - I sometimes think I see a tiny difference between the resolution of the 4.6MP X3 DP1 and SD14 and my 12MP 450D and GF1. But we are really talking tiny differences and it might be imagination or just differences in the rendering of different parts of the subject.

    Info about the SD1 is rather incomplete at the moment but there have been some snippets from people close to the product. The upcoming SD1 sensor is completely different from previous Foveons, a whole new chip architecture built on lessons they learned from years of research trying to build tiny phone sensors. The word is Sigma seem pleased with the sensor and think they have made a breakthrough, a couple of stops better on noise. Likely still behind the best Bayers but an improvement over the early Foveons.

    Based on the 3x and a bit hike in pixel count, and my previous experience, as well as the comments of those who have seen sample prints at shows, resolution will be roughly around that of a 30-35MP Bayer camera (not the 45MP Sigma claim which is really the photosite count, not pixel count). The SD1 should be the highest resolving 35mm style DSLR, for a little while at least.

    We shall see, hopefully fairly soon (June maybe?). My advice would still be to take all this with a pinch of salt for now, let's wait and see what the experts think when the camera arrives.

    Things to consider beyond resolution:

    The Foveon sensor uses the natural filtering properties of the silicon rather than organic dye filters to separate colour. This gives it an unusual colour response that varies model to model and raw converter to raw converter (and even camera to camera) as Sigma try and find the balance that suits people. I have found with my cameras, it is best to use trial and error to find the set of adjustments that suits me and save them as a preset.

    The Foveon doesn't use an AA filter. This contributes to its unusual pixel level sharpness at the cost of occasional luminance aliasing artifacts in the form of jaggies mainly. Soft lenses, diffraction, slight camera shake etc will all reduce or remove these in much the same way as they do with medium format backs but it is something to be aware of (occasionally). The extra resolution of the SD1 should help a great deal.

    Noise has been a problem in the past. The new sensor is reportedly dramatically improved. I'll wait and see on that.

    Past Sigma bodies have been interesting. The SD1 looks like a big step up market but a big price hike that goes with it. For the sort of money they have been hinting (7D pricing), you will probably get the best Sigma body yet but no where near normal feature sets (no dust shaker, no live view, no video, no in body anti shake, modest AF, no top plate LCD, low FPS, slowish buffering and modest buffer size). You will get a metal body, AF micro adjustment, weather seals and two new style command wheels and a somewhat better rear LCD than the older bodies . The bodies have always had good grips and feel reasonable to hold.

    Sigma pricing has always been optimistically high at intro as they milk the Foveon fundies but then drops catastrophically after a few months. Things might be different with the SD1, who can say.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    davemillier, that's an excellent post from someone with experience. Thanks. I have never even touched a Foveon camera, but find the different sensor technology very interesting.

    BTW, if somebody isn't familiar with the Foveon vs. Bayer sensor difference (like I was just recently), here's a nice explanation:

    http://www.digiphoto.org.uk/sensors.htm

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    I'm also a big fan of the X3 sensor.
    I tried it twice (DP1 and DP1s), but didn't keep them.

    Definitely not because of the IQ, but they are just too slow.

    Hope that Sigma comes through with a fast DP-camera sometimes in the near future.

    The SD1 sounds great so far and I'm looking forward how it stacks up, when it becomes available.
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    +100 @ what DaveMiller said.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Sigma just announced prices : USD 9700 for the US market. Some serious money. And I had hoped the SD1 sensor would find its way into a super compact DP3 or so. Ok, time to wake up from my dream

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Oh well... one camera less to worry about

    I guess it's sensationally good then.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Price in UK 6200, what it hits the street at could well be another thing.
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1105/11052010sigmasd1.asp

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    This was about 5X was I was expecting (and I have a SD10, SD14, and SD15). A whole lot of people are going to be really disappointed. Me included. I wasn't buying until it hit $2000.

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    Member roanjoh's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    LOL! Not laughing so much about the price - but the reaction on other forums/blogs dedicated to the Sigma company.

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

    Nice price

    I'm on the phone with the Sigma rep while typing this, they did not receive the info but he went trough the rough when i told him to look today's web news. He says "wait"...

    If it's confirmed it's simply a crazy move from Sigma, for an APS-C with rudimentary functionnalities and no other bodies in sight for the line.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    JMO re pricing.....they sure missed the mark on this one, by a wide margin. I think Pentax has a much more competitve pricing strategy with their $10k 645D.

    I was hoping to use the SD1 with my Leica R lenses.....not at this price.

    Gary

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    So they DID come in at the price of a Canon 7D! (ummm, plus the price of a Nikon D3x....)

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    Sigma just announced prices : USD 9700 for the US market. Some serious money. And I had hoped the SD1 sensor would find its way into a super compact DP3 or so. Ok, time to wake up from my dream

  19. #19
    Member roanjoh's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Kphelan View Post
    So they DID come in at the price of a Canon 7D! (ummm, plus the price of a Nikon D3x....)
    .......no, they forgot to mention that its 7 x 7D!

    Although,

    .......... this could be a marketing ploy where you you get the base riled up and the forums talking - then you say, OOOPPSS, big mistake, it's actually $1900!

    ...........I can only wish.

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    Senior Member ecsh's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    This is called pricing suicide.
    Joe

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    I've downloaded most of the samples The largest jpeg file is 23MB. That's a lot of detail from a 14MP camera. No idea if there's more detail than with a D3X, but I enlarged some of the to around 40MP, and even when doing that from jpegs, there's a lot of detail.

    Some people might actually buy that camera. Samples are here:

    http://www.sigma-sd.com/SD1/sample-photo/index.html

    Oh, and colours look great to

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Here's a sample taken with the 24-70 zoom:

    The whole picture



    A 100% crop from the lower part in the middle after enlarging to 8000px longest side, slightly over 40MP


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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    One more. I've marked the area of the crop here. This one is taken with the 50mm at f/9.0.





    Not exactly MF quality, but I don't think I could do this with my D300
    Again, it would be interesting to see what can be done if the enlarging is done directly from the RAW files.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Well, it surely blows away my D700 WRT detail hehe.

    Pricing-wise, obviously Sigma wants it to be compared to for D3x and 1DmkIV (not to mention the Pentax 645D).

    Even if the camera can compare favorably to those top of the line fullframe DSLRs, it's going to be a hard sell until Sigma gets its lens act together to produce lenses of consistently high quality. And then there's the sensor size - my guess is at that price point most buyers want at least fullframe.

    Because of the above, I think price has to come down a lot for this camera to become anything but a commercial failure. Not down to Jorgen's 7D perhaps, but below the $5K mark at the very least.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Nice that this camera is finally hitting the market!

    Bad that the price is too high. I would guess that $5k would be the absolute maximum to ask for the SD1.

    Maybe we will price see coming down

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Nice that this camera is finally hitting the market!

    Bad that the price is too high. I would guess that $5k would be the absolute maximum to ask for the SD1.

    Maybe we will price see coming down
    Not maybe. MSRP on the 50-500mm OS is $2,400 according to Sigma's American website. Street price is $1,659, or 31% down. The difference is similar similar for most products. MSRP for the SD1 including the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8 is $8,649, also according to their website. Deduct 31% from that and you have around $6,000 including some $1,500 worth of lenses. That's a net camera price of $4,500.

    The 70-200 (non-OS) is an outgoing model and the 24-70 probably a slow seller due to negative reviews, so they represent more or less dead capital for Sigma, but for a new Sigma owner, they are good value, so it's probably a good deal for both parties.

    I wonder how the $9,700 price found its way into the press releases when not even their own website reflects that price. Maybe they simply wanted some feedback before settling for the final price

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Just to take it to the extremes, I enlarged one of the jpeg files to 16,000px longest side. That's more than 160MP, or around 330cm tall printed at 120ppi. Photo taken with the 120-300mm f/2.8 @ 120mm and f/4.5, ISO200.

    The whole photo


    The 100% crops












    This is at low ISO, but as far as I can judge, DR and shadow noise as well as detail hold up surprisingly well even at this extreme enlargement. I can't wait to get my hands on some RAW files.

  28. #28
    Member roanjoh's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1


  29. #29
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Just to take it to the extremes, I enlarged one of the jpeg files to 16,000px longest side. That's more than 160MP, or around 330cm tall printed at 120ppi. Photo taken with the 120-300mm f/2.8 @ 120mm and f/4.5, ISO200.

    The whole photo


    The 100% crops












    This is at low ISO, but as far as I can judge, DR and shadow noise as well as detail hold up surprisingly well even at this extreme enlargement. I can't wait to get my hands on some RAW files.
    I see a lot of CA in all these images!

    Not too great ....

  30. #30
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by roanjoh View Post
    Still too high IMHO - at this price it is a NO GO for me!

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Still too high IMHO - at this price it is a NO GO for me!
    They usually sell at 2/3 of the list price in the US market. But even then, it is still too high. Priced in the usd 2500 range and changed to Leica R-mount, it could be interesting.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    They usually sell at 2/3 of the list price in the US market. But even then, it is still too high. Priced in the usd 2500 range and changed to Leica R-mount, it could be interesting.
    That was my thought also.....something priced along the lines of a Sony A900, Canon 5D2, etc and then I switch the lens mount to Leica R and voila....I've got a digital SLR for the R lenses and I can still use them on my R8. It's the only reason I was thinking of buying a SD1.

    Gary

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    Senior Member hot's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Still too high IMHO - at this price it is a NO GO for me!
    detto! My SD14 with 18-200 was 1/10 of this prices!

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I see a lot of CA in all these images!

    Not too great ....
    With this kind of sensor, this could be fixed in software without loss of quality. It is significantly harder to do that with a Bayer sensor, but advanced RAW-converters have nailed that by now.

    This assumes that CA is dominated by lateral CA, which it looks like to my eyes.

    Sigma just needs to bundle with a good RAW-converter, which should be possible at that price range.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Price the camera body at $3000 MSRP and you have a winner - until the D4 and the 5D3 come out. Anything higher than that and it's a dud. Yes, some may buy it, but only a very, very few.
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Price the camera body at $3000 MSRP and you have a winner - until the D4 and the 5D3 come out. Anything higher than that and it's a dud. Yes, some may buy it, but only a very, very few.
    It's not as simple as that. To me, the resolution seems to be higher even than the D3X, and I would be very surprised if the D4 surpasses that. The D3 is only 12MP. What the 5D3 will offer, we don't know, but Canon haven't performed any quantum leaps lately.

    Another side of this is the colours etc. Those who like the output of the Foveon sensor will probably prefer the Sigma even if the resolution is the same. It seems to me that the street price will end up around $5,000 body only. That's $2,000 more than the Canon, which will probably be the most relevant competition. In the consumer market, that's a lot, but the SD1 is definitely not a consumer camera.

  37. #37
    Senior Member hot's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by EsbenHR View Post
    Sigma just needs to bundle with a good RAW-converter, which should be possible at that price range.
    It's like a car with 10 slaves - they push your car ...
    If I need such a program, I'll forget the camera ... if $ 99 or $ 9.700 ...

  38. #38
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Just comparing camera body prices does not help. People who shell out that money care about a good lens selection. Not sure Sigma is up to it.
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    It's not as simple as that. To me, the resolution seems to be higher even than the D3X, and I would be very surprised if the D4 surpasses that. The D3 is only 12MP. What the 5D3 will offer, we don't know, but Canon haven't performed any quantum leaps lately.

    Another side of this is the colours etc. Those who like the output of the Foveon sensor will probably prefer the Sigma even if the resolution is the same. It seems to me that the street price will end up around $5,000 body only. That's $2,000 more than the Canon, which will probably be the most relevant competition. In the consumer market, that's a lot, but the SD1 is definitely not a consumer camera.
    Even if the sensor is capable of excellent output and color accuracy, the question of resolving power of and sample variation nuisance with Sigma lenses make it a tough sale north of 3k.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by hot View Post
    It's like a car with 10 slaves - they push your car ...
    If I need such a program, I'll forget the camera ... if $ 99 or $ 9.700 ...
    They could build it into the JPEG engine in the camera. I would suggest that it would be a huge mistake to market this camera heavily at JPEG shooters.

    Given the price tag, I'm assuming they want to compete in the medium format space. All medium format manufacturers relies on a RAW-processor with deep connection with the hardware to get the best results. Note that Hasselblad and Phase One both have lens correction built into their RAW converters. Alpa has released software to correct lenses used with their technical cameras. Etc.

    So, if you want perfect glass that does not need any help from software, then you need to buy your gear from aliens.

    Disclosure: I wrote the lens correction algorithms in Capture One. I might be a tad biased

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    More resolution and better color won't make your photos more compelling...'nuff said.

    If you are relying on your camera to make your photos better than the other guy it is time for some serious self-examination.

  42. #42
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    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
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    It's not as simple as that. To me, the resolution seems to be higher even than the D3X, and I would be very surprised if the D4 surpasses that. The D3 is only 12MP. What the 5D3 will offer, we don't know, but Canon haven't performed any quantum leaps lately.
    Actually it is as simple as that IMO. Fact is, Sigma has a very small following to begin with, and as a system it's nowhere near as robust as anything Nikon or Canon have to offer. On top of that, Sigma products have been known to have issues, which makes it an even tougher sell. Even if they compete in the digital MF pro market, they have a huge uphill to climb to even make a small dent at that price.

    Sigma has (had...) a chance to make inroads into the mainstream up-scale market with a product that's unlike (maybe) anything they've produced before, but that still means they have to allow the market to try it out. $3000 would be a reasonable trade-off between quality and making a dent in the market - that's simple marketing basics. At that price point it still makes it high-end enough to where it maintains an aura of a flagship product, and it also allows a fair amount of early adopters to try it out. Anything higher than that and you lose most of your customer base to a Nikon D3X which comes with a much wider range of quality system products.

    I stand by my argument for a $3000 MSRP.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Should I buy 14 Pansaonic G-3's or one SD1? Despite the sharp blowup of the horse's eye, I'll buy 1 G3.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolce Moda View Post
    More resolution and better color won't make your photos more compelling...'nuff said.

    If you are relying on your camera to make your photos better than the other guy it is time for some serious self-examination.
    Say that to my clients. I shoot motor racing, and increasingly often, I get questions for wall size enlargements for the sponsors, not for a banner high up on the wall, but for decorating the office wall used like a wallpaper. Since the viewing distance can be rather close sometimes, resolution is the name of the game, whatever it does or doesn't do for my photography.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    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.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Well, having heard releases at Photokina---the expectation was that the camera would be released at the upper end of the APS-C market (Canon 7D). So one could imagine a $2500 MSRP at launch (or maybe $2999 and $2500 street). At that level, the IQ would dominate the stuff currently out from Canon, Pentax and Nikon (at APS-C), and one could envision Sigma actually beginning to build market share.

    There are 'issues' with competing in that market segment. No video, no live view, no unquenchable buffer to shoot 300 frames at once. But the IQ would trounce. And the IQ might give some of the higher end full frames a run for the money (optimistically, the SD1 might be better in that area). No ISO 128000, not nearly as 'robust' as a D3x or Canon 1D Mk 73 (or whatever they're up to). But low ISO IQ---solid.

    When you kick this up to a professional level, you need to have a professional customer support system. You should have tethering (the SD1 doesn't). There's a lot of stuff a pro is going to want that the SD1 isn't going to have. The IQ? That'll be there. I'll even hazard a guess that the lens selection is good enough for most now (50, 85, 70-200, 120-300, 50-500, maybe 8-16), and it's likely to get better. But there's not the infrastructure in place at Sigma to sell this as a pro camera.

    I hope that I get a chance to test the camera. From what I've heard from my friends who have had a hands on, the body feels very good, we're back to two wheels on the top for shutter/aperture, the LCD on the top isn't missed because the LCD on the back does the job, AF is better, and ISO 100 is exceptionally clean in later firmware/software builds. I think Sigma will have a winning camera, if they can price it 'reasonably'.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    I wonder if the sigma software released with the SD1 will allow any sort of tethered shooting.
    am

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Well written, Kofroni.

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    Re: Sigma SD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Kofronj View Post
    ....I think Sigma will have a winning camera, if they can price it 'reasonably'.
    Sigma will have to discount the SD1 substantially in order to reach that reasonable price level. I hope they do.....if not, count me out.

    Gary

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