The Unspoken Topic about SD1

Started May 26, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Digital Coast Image
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The Unspoken Topic about SD1
May 26, 2011

I've been here quite often the following few days since the SD1 price bomb went off. And the one topic I have not seen discussed much (if at all) is the price wars amongst photograpers themselves.

I'm not talking about gear price wars.

I'm talking about how in the last decade and as each year goes by, that professionals (like myself) discuss how the influx of cheap DSLRs has increased the number of folks claiming they are a professional photographer who generally under price the market to get some kind of business. A race to the bottom in pricing.

Recon back to the original 5D launch. That was the cheapest way to get to full frame and it was still very expensive compared to the image quality that was coming out of a Canon Rebel.

Fast forward to current day and we now have low end DSLRs able to shoot at high ISO and produce prints as worthy as flagship models a decade ago and at a tenth of the price.

While I respect the idea that a photographer might buy a SD1 to differentiate themselves in this competitive market. It makes no sense from an ROI perspective.

I've shot weddings. There is simply NO time for shooting two brands in a high paced environment for 90%+ of shoots. You need to share lenses and move quickly with as little gear as needs to be dragged around as possible.

I'd usually have two 5Ds or in some cases one 5D and a 30D body as a backup with telephoto attached for extra reach. There are some folks that work well as a two unit shooting couple that could tackle this issue of shooting both Nikon/Canon and Sigma, but not solo. In most cases it makes no economic sense as well. An entire Nikon/Canon lens kit with flash(es) as well as an entire Sigma SA mount lens kit with flash(es) is a ton of gear to purchase, let alone haul around to each wedding.

This is the reason I don't see how the average Pentax / Nikon / Canon pro will adapt a Sigma SD1 with a bunch of lenses at current pricing. That and you always need a backup body. Well I don't see the SD14 or SD15 as a viable backup system to the IQ of a SD1 body. So it means if you are going to invest in SA mount glass, you need two SD1 bodies. This is a significant financial commitment.

I have taken a step back a few times trying to figure out where Sigma is coming from and where they think the demand will emerge. I have yet to figure out a viable ROI for them in the long run given those likely to actually fork out the BHphoto price tag.

God knows I don't want Sigma to fail here and now. I've bought a dozen sigma SA mount lenses, half are DC so only a crop factor SD body will help me in the future. I "need" them to succeed so my gear doesn't become the equivalent of Canon FD lenses. But as a loyal sigma enthusiast, I don't see how I can help them to find the demand and purchases they need at this price point.

I know I said in another thread that I was taking a break from the sigma forums, but I am completely and totally engaged with sigma gear and this is really hard for me to cope with and dissengage.

I lost nearly $30,000 last year from the BP oil spill and BP denied both of my claims. Don't believe their fancy TV commercials saying they are making things right. They have only paid out any money thus far to 16% of the businesses that have submitted claims. Many of my friends have moved out of the area because they got nothing from BP but denial letters. It's a crime. But the reason I mention it is that despite me taking massive losses personally...

I still managed to scraped together $4000 over the last six months to afford two SD1 bodies (at previously indicated prices) and so this has been a very difficult go for me watching this all play out in real time. Surreal. I can honestly say I have not felt this upset and depressed in about 20 years.

The last time I felt as sick to my stomach as when I got word of the SD1 pricing was when I missed making the cut to get my PGA tour card by a stroke in Q school when I was playing golf professionally. This feeling about the SD1 I wake with daily over the SD1 re-pricing has been worse. Crazy I know, but I honestly have lost sleep and have been bummed beyond belief over Sigma's pricing decision. I really wish they would change their minds.

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Michael James - http://www.digitalcoastimage.com - Destin, FL U.S.A.

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