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Sigma announces the SD1 ...

Discussion in 'News and Rumors' started by bilzmale, May 20, 2011.

  1. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    ... and at 46MP and $9700 it's no compact but clearly serious.

    The new SD1 is a very different beast to the DP line.

    Press release at DPR.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Will

    Will All-Pro

    Aug 30, 2010
    Now we want a DP line with that sensor. It's APS-C so it would almost fit now!
  3. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Top Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
    Is this a joke! Is it a mistake? More expensive than a Leica M9, body only. This is complete nonsense. Just who on earth do they think they are going to sell them too. I used a SD14 and used to shoot multi-image panoramas with it, getting very large file sizes. They were good but they weren't that good. Add in the fact that this thing has to use Sigma lenses, which while being great value aren't exactly the worlds greatest optics and you have a ridiculous situation.

    This is after all a 15MP camera, because thats the size of files it produces. It will be interesting to see some results from the 3 people who actually buy it!

    I'm also concerned that Sigma have put this in their press release

    46-megapixel DSLR creates new market for medium-format photographers

    This is a con and to be blunt, a lie. This is not a medium-format digital camera, neither is it a genuine 46MP camera.
  4. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Top Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
    As a follow up on this I've just looked at the Sigma forum on Dpreview. I've never seen so many dispirited, negative and angry posts.

    Still it makes the Leica M9 look like a bargain now!
  5. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Too expensive ! Thanks Bill for the news and link.
  6. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    OK it seems the $9700 was just rumour - there are four body + single lens kits in the $7000+ range.

    Sigma Link:
  7. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Top Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
  8. Grant

    Grant Veteran

    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    The Sigma SDi with a 85 mm f/1.4 at $7,819 is a very expensive piece of equipment, it is a flagship camera and it is fully in that status price range. You can find similarly price cameras among other companies. The Nikon D3x with a 85 mm f/1.4 is priced at $9,339.90. The Canon EOS - 1DS with a 85 mm f/1.2 is priced at $9,198. The Leica M9 with a 90 mm f/1.2 sells for $10,894. Lets not even consider the obscenely priced Leica Titanium in this group.

    In the group I hang with we call anything in this price range "Doctor's Cameras". Before you get upset two in our group are doctors and they don't spend that much money on their equipment,

    So what do you get when you spend this kind of money. Now for the upside of your purchase. The first thing you get is a limited edition niche camera. Next, you have bought membership a very small club. Finally, you don't have to explain "Yes, I am seriously into cameras!" anymore. For every upside there is a down side. You have greatly limited your ability to move up in cameras, as once you have climbed Everest what is next. You have limited your photographic excuses. "Boy, if only I had a better camera I could ... " doesn't cut it any more. At these prices it lessens your ability to have three cameras hung around your neck to show the world, "I'm really into photography!" Finally, to get one of these cameras you have probably had to buy and equally expensive gift for you significant other.

    These cameras scream our, "I have money and you don't!" For me I try to make pictures that scream out, "I can make picture, I hope you can to."
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ajramirez

    ajramirez Hall of Famer

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    I fully agree. I would love to see the market research done to justify producing this camera as a business proposition.


  10. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 3, 2010
    It's tough for Sigma to know how many MP to call it. Imagine if all sensors were 15MP Foveon, and then someone were to bring out the first Bayer sensor at 21MP. People would say it wasn't a "real" 21MP camera because each sensor pixel could only detect one color. The Sigma 15MP sensor will probably record as much detail as a 25MP Bayer sensor, so should they call it 15MP?

    I'm looking at the sample images, and overall I'm impressed, but then I've always been a fan of the Foveon output. I think their problem is going to lie with pros being unwilling to trust in the Sigma lens lineup for such a heavy investment.

    In terms of how detailed and clean the files look, I think the Sigma may well be an alternative to medium format digital in the same way that the Leica M9 and Sony A900 have been, and I expect this camera to be in the $3-4K price range before long.
  11. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 3, 2010
    To illustrate the point, let's look at an SD1 photo sample provided by Carl Rytterfalk. Here is the resized full image:


    I upres'd the file to 8251px x 5501px, which is 45.4 megapixels.

    Here are 100% crops from that upsized, 45MP file:



    You can view the full-res file here: https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3463/5745152282_5cc4cd0953_o.jpg
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    The Luminous Landscape people pointed out that the effective resolution of the SD1 is likely to be somewhere around 30mp. Sigma themselves were always calling it a pro-level body with weather sealing and medium format image quality.

    The bottleneck of image quality will be the lenses. Sigma lenses have never been known to have the best quality control, and their zooms are often noted as being less than the best.

    I think that Sigma are aiming this camera at the medium-format/pro market, into Pentax medium format territory. As much as I love Sigma's compacts, I won't be buying a SD1. The lenses would need to be at least as good as Canon's L or Nikon's pro line to warrant that kind of expenditure on a body, IMO. In an ideal scenario the body would be between $2000 and $3000, and the lenses would be uniformly at Zeiss quality.
  13. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Top Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
    I was a fan too. Had an SD14. I think its pretty much a convention that the MP figure relates to resolution, and virtually anyone who's in the market for a Sigma camera knows what they are getting, and its not 45MP. To me the real advantage has been the lack of an Anti-Aliasing filter. I've used several AA-less cameras, Kodaks, Sigma and now M9. To me it makes far more difference than anything to do with Foveon technology. Thats what makes the images look sharp. I remember seeing some images from a Nikon D3 with its AA filter removed, and it was a different camera.

    I've had a look at all of the Sigma samples, and while they did look initially attractive, on close examination I got the impression that there is a lot of luminance smoothing and edge sharpening going on, which gives a very odd look. I don't find that particularly a problem, but others might.

    With the improvements in Bayer sensors over the years since Sigma first started with this, I believe much of the perceived Foveon advantage has been eroded. The Leica M9 uses a Kodak Bayer sensor with no AA filter and the results from that are sharper and have better colour to my eyes. This in a camera that has a RRP lower than the Sigma!

    As I say I like the look from the Foveon sensor. However I don't think its "better" than a Bayer sensor, and I don't think it can be in any way compared to genuine medium-format because it just doesn't have the resolution. Yes you can upsize the files, but then you can upsize files from an M9, S2 or Hassleblad just the same. I bought my M9 because I interpolated some sample raw files up to the same size as those from my D3X and felt they looked sharper. Cameras like the D3X and Sony a900 etc. do use fairly strong AA filters, because of what they will get used for. No one who shoots fashion for example is prepared to tolerate any moire at all. Interpolating these Sigma samples up to 24MP gave me results somewhat inferior to those from my M9. So it doesn't look like medium Format quality to me.

    I'd have loved to try an SD1, and at £1000-1500 I would have. Anything over that and I'll pass. What has possessed Sigma to price it as they have is a mystery to me. Most users of SD14's and 15's simply can't afford it, so thats destroying their primary market. I can't see "Pro's" rushing out to buy it either. Firstly they are concerned about price as well, and Secondly its an untried system. Sure M9's and D3X's are expensive, but Leica and Nikon have a reputation and the cameras are re-sellable at decent prices. Look at what S/H Sigma DSLR's go for.

    I think we all probably realise that the 3-layer sensor is going to be more difficult to produce and more expensive, and those of us who were interested in the camera would be prepared to pay a little more. However it seems Sigma are attempting to pass on all the costs to us. They have now put themselves in an almost impossible situation. If they reduce the price then nobody is going to trust them anymore. This on top of the fact that they announced some time ago that it would be priced the same as a Canon 7D, which has really angered current Sigma owners who feel cheated, and who can blame them. If they keep it at its current price, or something similar then I think its pretty certain that they will sell very few cameras.

    There's a story here and at some point in the future we may get some idea of what's gone on. To me, and virtually the whole on-line photographic community, it looks like some huge self-destruct and the beginning of the end for Sigma as a camera manufacturer. I can't see any other alternative. If they think that somehow this camera is going to turn them into a small volume, high quality specialist camera manufacturer, then I think they are wrong. I must be pretty much in their target market. I'm professional, I shoot mainly landscape for stock and I make a good enough living to be able to afford it (Though this would probably require selling my M9) However I think the results I've seen so far don't justify it, the lack of a good enough reputation for re-selling the camera doesn't justify it, my previous experiences with Sigma and the Foveon sensor does't justify it and finally my lack of trust in the company because of how they have misled people doesn't justify it.


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