"But at low ISO nothing can beat this camera." - CEO SIGMA

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Aaron801
Regular MemberPosts: 486
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My take... as if you need yet another opinion
In reply to TRIODEROB, 5 months ago

I see these Sigma cameras as being a pretty odd concept... and that's really OK as I think that it's great that we live in a world where there are so many choices for things like cameras. In this way everyone can find a tool that works best for their own individual style.

Thant being said though it seems to me that these cameras lack a lot of features/attributes that are what make cameras attractive for many/most of us. Fixed lens on a really large body, not too much in the way of features (like an articulating LCD), no viewfinder, low performance in higher ISO... and yet the images really are amazing. I get that it isn't just resolution that gives an image detail, otherwise there'd be serious photographers lined up to buy that cell phone that take 40 megapixel photos, right? Forget about the megapixel number, the photos displayed taken with these Sigma cameras really ARE incredibly sharp. There's a lot of detail that most other cameras are going to miss... I'm certainly not as knowledgeable about gear as lots of other folks on here, but yet this fact seems obvious to me. I've looked at images from enough other cameras to know that there are few that capture this level of detail.

As far as the limitations that this camera has in ISO performance... I guess that I can understand that if the design results in something that takes images with this level of detail, then you're limited to using a tripod for an awful lot of the work, understanding that this is the sort of working method for which this camera is designed for (like and old-school view camera, right?). Still, I don't exactly agree that the folks who like to shoot clear photographs with high ISO settings are somehow "inexperienced photographers who don't understand history and film." For a lot of us, photography is as much about capturing a moment and capturing a certain quality of light as it is about capturing lots of detail. Sure, lots of film photographers shot with very low speed film, but if they had access to much higher speed film that was still really capable of lots of detail, they might have used that stuff... and the work might have been different. Capturing a quality of light is much different than just brining you're own so that "learning how to properly use a flash" doesn't quite apply here. I'm old enough that I do remember an age where lots of photographers where shooting super-low ISO film, Ectachrome, Kodachrome and such... and for the most part I'm not really too nostalgic about that as I remember buying photo mags and seeing so much work that seemed to so much about detail and accurate color and so little about anything else... Give me grainy photos that have some verve to them rather than static ones that allow folks bragging rights on their gear and technique! That being said, I think that there's the possibility to do great work with all kids of different kids of emphasis and with that in mind I know that there's some really thoughtful work that has lots of detail (maybe partly BECAUSE of the detail), it's just that so much work in this category to my mind is pretty uninspired.

Finally, though I certainly realize that these Sigma cameras are niche items (the very definition of), the fact that they don't have interchangeable lenses is the oddest and most problematic aspect to my way of thinking... Sure they're, bulky, odd sized, not loaded with features that other cameras have, poor low light performance, have to use a tripod... but no interchangeable lenses? I read about how they felt like the fact that there's no lens mount gives an addition level of sharpness in that the lens lines up to the body that much more perfectly... but how much? Would there really enough of a difference to tell? Even if they made the system with only three lenses, the ones that they already offer fixed to the cameras, that would start to make the thing seem that much more useful. I do understand the appeal of fixed lens cameras like the X100 in that they are pretty versatile in every other way than multiple focal lengths not to mention that they're very, very portable. I see far less good reason for expecting this limitation on a camera like the Sigma.

Still... if you're looking for a camera with the max level of detail, shoot with a tripod and like to use the very same focal length for all of your shots (and there's nothing wrong with that in my book, limitations ca be OK) and aren't going to spend tens of thousands for a digital medium format camera, then I can certainly see the appeal of something like this. Too limiting for me to ever think about buying one (I'm not that obsessed with detail either), but it certainly is intriguing and if I could borrow one for a weekend trip I certainly would and I'd try to exploit all of that fabulous image quality...

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