Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photographic world

Started Sep 6, 2012 | Discussions
flektogon
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Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photographic world
Sep 6, 2012

Just imagine for example Sony having the Foveon sensor. This idea doesn’t need more words…

WyldRage
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to flektogon, Sep 7, 2012

Sigma took a major risk in pushing Foveon sensors and, if any of the major players had any interests in the sensor, they could easily have bought it insead of Sigma. I know at least some of the major sensor manufacturers (Sony, Canon, Panasonic and Samsung) have patents for such stacked sensors. If they have not released them yet, it's either because they believe the quality is not there yet (ISO being the main battlefiled nowadays) or that the cost is too high for the,.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Existence vs. nonexistence - Sigma saved Foveon
In reply to flektogon, Sep 7, 2012

flektogon wrote:

Just imagine for example Sony having the Foveon sensor.

I can easily imagine it.

Had Sony bought Foveon, why would they hamper or shelve the designs they have been worked on for so long and sell to so many? So much work.

The Foveon technology would then go to the same warehouse with the Arc and the designs for the flying car, never to be seen again by man.

There would be no DP-2M, no SD-1, no merrill sensor.

But the A-77? Yes that would exist. Just as it is.

Perhaps in twenty years some small part of Foveon tech might peek through sensor designs...

Would the world really be a better place without the Merrill sensor? I don't think so. Look at all the beauty that has come from it already. Even as SOMEWHAT flawed as the Sigma cameras may be, they work plenty well enough to capture beautiful images, and honestly I cannot say that had Sony built the DP-2M they would have put as good a lens in it.

Do not curse Sigma, for they are the ONLY large photographic company who were willing to take a gamble with Foveon. Every other company had YEARS to make use of Foveon tech when Foveon was independent, and never did. In the end only Sigma was there to save Foveon from utter dissolution.

This idea doesn’t need more words…

It certainly doesn't, at least not until you realize the depth of your mistake and what you are really asking for, the sadly lacking alternate reality you would have us live though.

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SigmaChrome
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to flektogon, Sep 7, 2012

flektogon wrote:

Just imagine for example Sony having the Foveon sensor. This idea doesn’t need more words…

No, it needs more thought though - and some understanding of history. No Sigma = No Foveon camera.

I guess you just can't help this level of bone-headed ignorance.

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Charles2
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Sigma Corp. does many things wrong, rightfully noted and criticized. But...
In reply to flektogon, Sep 7, 2012

Sigma Corp. does many things wrong, rightfully noted and criticized here. But I see no evidence that a bigger, more oligopolistic corporation (Sony, Canon, Nikon) would have given the world a similar sensor if Sigma Corp. had never existed.

The DP2 was my first serious camera. Didn't know what I was doing, set it aside, and used several other cameras one after another; hope I figured out something about photography while using each one. The Web examples of DP2 Merrill photos spurred me to get the DP2 out of the drawer. Either this user learned a bit about photography, or the camera aged in the drawer like a bottle of wine.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41790885@N08/7933219668/sizes/l/in/photostream/

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stevielee
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to flektogon, Sep 7, 2012

flektogon wrote:

Just imagine for example Sony having the Foveon sensor. This idea doesn’t need more words....

Or, Canon, or Nikon, or FujiFilm, or Olympus..etc, etc. But most of the above passed on the Foveon sensor technology when it was first developed and stuck with either the earlier digital CCD sensors, or now mostly CMOS sensors - as they were, and probably still are cheaper and to produce and more reliable in their final imaging output.

So, for good, or bad, or inbetween, anyone who really wants to maybe try out a Foveon sensor'ed camera is ultimately stuck with Sigma Corp's particular brand of mis-implementing this very promising, and (IMO) woefully under-developed (supported) technology.

In fairness, I actually do give Sigma some credit for sticking with the technology and eventually acquiring it outright, even if they have been relatively unable to properly develop and bring to market (at least up until the present) a serious, technologically advanced camera body that can comfortably contend with all of the rest in the big guns in the industry on more or less an equal footing.

This type of technological handicapping of the Foveon sensor abilities is what I believe ihas been primarily the reason why Sigma hasn't managed to carve out more than a very tiny sliver of the overall digital camera market thus far. And we see that so clearly once more with the newest DP(M) models - sporting outstanding optics (something that Sigma can, and frequently does excel at), paired with the best Foveon sensor yet produced, but once again, needlessly encumbered by one of Sigma Corp's versions of their perennially neolithic, almost embarrassingly hobbled black blocked "bodies" that excruciatingly struggles to just try and process a single, simply capture, let alone more technologically sophisticated tasks like multiple exposers in a modern manner, or allowing for a circa 2012 type of higher resolution LCD for basic reviewing, since Sigma seems to have never heard of either an EVF, or short of that, at least include a OVF for more detailed and accurate composing/focusing.

Unless there is some king of a dramatic technological turnaround (via deeper investing in R&D, and/or Sigma Corps willingness to perhaps at least license third party features for inclusion in any new Foveon sensor cameras), then there will continue to be little in the way of these types of necessary, and much belated advancement on all Sigma branded cameras in the foreseeable future.

The DP1/2M could have easily been one of the great, compact digital imaging tools of the year (2012-2013), had Sigma been able and willing to go the extra mile and bring at least one of their digital camera models up to a modern technological snuff.

What they have decidedly done (released) instead: is one of the most interesting digital sensors in around, and put some of their very best glass in front of it - and essentially then called it a day...or a DP1/2M. Paying $1000 buck for basically just the sensor and the lens in front of it (no matter how good either of them are individually, or together) won't ultimately cut it with what the best of the rest in compact digital imaging have to offer..

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KM Legacy
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to stevielee, Sep 7, 2012

Paying $1000 buck for basically just the sensor and the lens in front of it (no matter how good either of them are individually, or together) won't ultimately cut it with what the best of the rest in compact digital imaging have to offer..

Did you look at the Luminous Landscape review of the DP2M? That lens+sensor just happens to beat any other APS-C camera, including the 24 MP Sony NEX-7, for low-ISO IQ. (I suspect it would embarrass most FF cameras also.) When I was lugging around bulky medium film cameras only about a decade ago, the prospect of having a tiny camera which could give similar IQ at lower cost, with instant review and all the other advantages of digital, would have seemed like heaven. A lot of the greatest pictures ever made were taken with cameras far slower than a Sigma. But if you just want a generic camera with all kinds of gimmicky "special effects" and the ability to shoot lots of inferior images quickly, and you want to be able to boast that your camera has the latest & greatest specs, then the Sigma DP is not for you.

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stevielee
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to KM Legacy, Sep 7, 2012

KM Legacy wrote:

Paying $1000 buck for basically just the sensor and the lens in front of it (no matter how good either of them are individually, or together) won't ultimately cut it with what the best of the rest in compact digital imaging have to offer..

Did you look at the Luminous Landscape review of the DP2M? That lens+sensor just happens to beat any other APS-C camera, including the 24 MP Sony NEX-7, for low-ISO IQ. (I suspect it would embarrass most FF cameras also.) When I was lugging around bulky medium film cameras only about a decade ago, the prospect of having a tiny camera which could give similar IQ at lower cost, with instant review and all the other advantages of digital, would have seemed like heaven. A lot of the greatest pictures ever made were taken with cameras far slower than a Sigma. But if you just want a generic camera with all kinds of gimmicky "special effects" and the ability to shoot lots of inferior images quickly, and you want to be able to boast that your camera has the latest & greatest specs, then the Sigma DP is not for you.

Having decent shot-to-shot processing and respectable (usable) AF performance, along with consistent, reliable, and also state-of-the art imaging output across a wider (usable) ISO spectrum - as well as the ability to compose pictures via an onboard OVF is hardly "gimmicky" and "special effects". They are rightly considered by the vast majority of enthusiast and advanced photographers who want and/or require higher IQ imaging performance as pretty basic and essential elements of working with a more fully integrated digital camera experience and consistent output.

MR over at LL can rave on and on about this and that (I remember the time he actually compared what I believe was a Canon P&S G10 as competing quite favorably with a large sensor, high MP medium format DSLR, and posted examples of it doing just that to boot) -- but even he concedes that these new DPM Sigma's are fairly crude technologically operating devices -- outside of it's sensor and the lens mounted in front.. And if that's all you, and others really and truly "care" about when it comes to your utilizing photography in the everyday, then by all means figure out how you can shoehorn some bare MF sensor inside a empty black box with some decent glass affixed to the front of the box at an appropriate distance to the sensor and you're all good to go.

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katate
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to flektogon, Sep 7, 2012

If SIGMA didn't use Foveon in 2002, Foveon sensor never became a reality.
If SIGMA didn't buy Foveon in 2008, Foveon might go bankrupt.

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petr marek
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to flektogon, Sep 7, 2012

I would prefer Panasonic, GH2 was outstanding...:) But really, only Sigma took the risk with Foveon, it´s their child. There would be no Foveon today without Sigma.

But of course I hate everything typical about Sigma - never ending sloppiness, blind and deaf marketing/PR, laziness, unbelievable slowness... Sigma has one grace. Bravery. They are alone with one great invention - 3-layered sensor. No other company is brave enough, so for now - Good luck Sigma and work harder!

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Your ignorance propelled you way too far off course
In reply to stevielee, Sep 7, 2012

stevielee wrote:

..., but once again, needlessly encumbered by one of Sigma Corp's versions of their perennially neolithic, almost embarrassingly hobbled black blocked "bodies"

Which others have stated in reviews has an excellent build quality.

that excruciatingly struggles to just try and process a single, simply capture, let alone more technologically sophisticated tasks like multiple exposers in a modern manner

How is 4FPS until the buffer fills not modern? It doesn't "struggle" to process an image, it allows you to take another shot or adjust settings at any time you might like to do so.

, or allowing for a circa 2012 type of higher resolution LCD for basic reviewing, since Sigma seems to have never heard of either an EVF, or short of that, at least include a OVF for more detailed and accurate composing/focusing.

The DP-2M rear LCD is excellent and modern in every way.

They have heard of an EVF and opted not to burden users with gimmicks.

Unless there is some king of a dramatic technological turnaround (via deeper investing in R&D, and/or Sigma Corps willingness to perhaps at least license third party features for inclusion in any new Foveon sensor cameras), then there will continue to be little in the way of these types of necessary, and much belated advancement on all Sigma branded cameras in the foreseeable future.

Yeah we've heard that for years and now I have a pocket camera that bests a D800 with all but the best glass.

So now that you've QUITE displayed your exact level of ignorance, would you like to add more so as to remove all doubt?

The DP1/2M could have easily been one of the great, compact digital imaging tools of the year (2012-2013), had Sigma been able and willing to go the extra mile and bring at least one of their digital camera models up to a modern technological snuff.

Oh you DID wish to remove all doubt! Apparently you have forgot to read any DP-2M reviews whatsoever before espousing on a topic you know less than nothing about (willful ignorance taking such a effort to maintain and all).

What they have decidedly done (released) instead: is one of the most interesting digital sensors in around, and put some of their very best glass in front of it - and essentially then called it a day...or a DP1/2M.

Yeah because I and other people didn't care about having good images, so none of THAT matters! Even though all I have left after a shot is the image captured the body is SO much more important so you can dazzle your pals with it or whatever.

Paying $1000 buck for basically just the sensor and the lens in front of it (no matter how good either of them are individually, or together) won't ultimately cut it with what the best of the rest in compact digital imaging have to offer..

Many people seem to be disagreeing with you, all across the internet. For once you have firmly planted your foot on the most unstable of soil, the other just as firmly in your mouth.

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Gary Dean Mercer Clark
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to flektogon, Sep 7, 2012

Your statement couldn't be further from the truth. Foveon was offered for sale. Nikon, Canon, Sony and the rest of the industry didn't step up and purchase it. Sigma stepped in and rescued Foveon-purchased it and has kept Foveon sensor technology alive. If Sigma hadn't stepped in---Foveon would have either gone belly up or its patents snapped up and shelved as the big sensor companies already had too large investment in bayer sensor technology. Thats my take on it.
Sigma saved Foveon.

flektogon wrote:

Just imagine for example Sony having the Foveon sensor. This idea doesn’t need more words…

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Gary Mercer

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Digging deeper
In reply to stevielee, Sep 7, 2012

stevielee wrote:

KM Legacy wrote:

Having decent shot-to-shot processing and respectable (usable) AF performance,

Both of which it has. The AF is not fast but it's pretty good in decent light, or eve lowish light. Again, there is zero delay before you can take more images.

along with consistent, reliable, and also state-of-the art imaging output across a wider (usable) ISO spectrum

It is wider than previous cameras. ISO 800 is really good and 1600 usable but slightly flawed. Sigma advances slowly is this regard but they do advance.

  • as well as the ability to compose pictures via an onboard OVF is hardly "gimmicky" and "special effects".

Yes, it is - since you can do the same thing with the rear LCD. An EVF in addition is just a waste, they never look that good and give you little value over even a simple removable OVF. It would also make the camera considerably more expensive, when the primary goal should be to get as many people shooting them as possible.

Until any other company can ship a GOOD EVF I hardly see why Sigma burden users with the added cost of development even to include it as an option.

They are rightly considered by the vast majority of enthusiast and advanced photographers who want and/or require higher IQ imaging performance as pretty basic and essential elements of working with a more fully integrated digital camera experience and consistent output.

By a small cadre of whiners more like it. Again, you have live view on the rear LCD, an EVF is a step beyond that not as many people as you think "require".

I have yet to see more than a handful of people in any response thread for any review even mention the lack.

Here's a thought - get a Hoodman loupe, stick it on the back. EVF, voila! You didn't say WHERE it had to be. And since nothing but an EVF will do for you you can superglue it on the back.

MR over at LL can rave on and on about this and that (I remember the time he actually compared what I believe was a Canon P&S G10 as competing quite favorably with a large sensor, high MP medium format DSLR, and posted examples of it doing just that to boot) -- but even he concedes that these new DPM Sigma's are fairly crude technologically operating devices -- outside of it's sensor and the lens mounted in front..

Yes, that is true. He gave an excellent list of shortcomings. But he, like so many others, realized that it has some good points also, some great ones in fact.

And if that's all you, and others really and truly "care" about when it comes to your utilizing photography in the everyday, then by all means figure out how you can shoehorn some bare MF sensor inside a empty black box with some decent glass affixed to the front of the box at an appropriate distance to the sensor and you're all good to go.

As long as I could take images with it that would be preferable to cameras that pile needless things atop it but ignore the image produced.

The sad thing is you care so little for photography you would refuse to use such a camera were it the last camera on earth. You appear to have no ability to take even the slightest bit of discomfort in the pursuit of better images. You speak of care, yet you display none yourself.

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stevielee
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And Your "Ignore" - ances are far Less than real Bliss
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Sep 7, 2012

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

stevielee wrote:

..., but once again, needlessly encumbered by one of Sigma Corp's versions of their perennially neolithic, almost embarrassingly hobbled black blocked "bodies"

Which others have stated in reviews has an excellent build quality.

that excruciatingly struggles to just try and process a single, simply capture, let alone more technologically sophisticated tasks like multiple exposers in a modern manner

How is 4FPS until the buffer fills not modern? It doesn't "struggle" to process an image, it allows you to take another shot or adjust settings at any time you might like to do so.

, or allowing for a circa 2012 type of higher resolution LCD for basic reviewing, since Sigma seems to have never heard of either an EVF, or short of that, at least include a OVF for more detailed and accurate composing/focusing.

The DP-2M rear LCD is excellent and modern in every way.

They have heard of an EVF and opted not to burden users with gimmicks.

Unless there is some king of a dramatic technological turnaround (via deeper investing in R&D, and/or Sigma Corps willingness to perhaps at least license third party features for inclusion in any new Foveon sensor cameras), then there will continue to be little in the way of these types of necessary, and much belated advancement on all Sigma branded cameras in the foreseeable future.

Yeah we've heard that for years and now I have a pocket camera that bests a D800 with all but the best glass.

So now that you've QUITE displayed your exact level of ignorance, would you like to add more so as to remove all doubt?

The DP1/2M could have easily been one of the great, compact digital imaging tools of the year (2012-2013), had Sigma been able and willing to go the extra mile and bring at least one of their digital camera models up to a modern technological snuff.

Oh you DID wish to remove all doubt! Apparently you have forgot to read any DP-2M reviews whatsoever before espousing on a topic you know less than nothing about (willful ignorance taking such a effort to maintain and all).

What they have decidedly done (released) instead: is one of the most interesting digital sensors in around, and put some of their very best glass in front of it - and essentially then called it a day...or a DP1/2M.

Yeah because I and other people didn't care about having good images, so none of THAT matters! Even though all I have left after a shot is the image captured the body is SO much more important so you can dazzle your pals with it or whatever.

Paying $1000 buck for basically just the sensor and the lens in front of it (no matter how good either of them are individually, or together) won't ultimately cut it with what the best of the rest in compact digital imaging have to offer..

Many people seem to be disagreeing with you, all across the internet. For once you have firmly planted your foot on the most unstable of soil, the other just as firmly in your mouth.

Ah yes!!!! Sigma's official ambassador on these forums does his usual point by point snip-pity schtick.

Ya gotta just keep on plugging (flack for) the little black brick with a decent sensor a bit more. Gosh! Maybe you can single-handedly fist pump-up the DP1/2M's sales to numbers that approach a days worth of OMD sales...

And the next time you go and take on your overly person umbrage at anything that's not exactly Sigma certified/ by your great Foveon'ed high-ness, perhaps it's also your own personal ignor -ance that is very much in play as well....

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adegroot
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RE: negative attitudes
In reply to stevielee, Sep 7, 2012

Another totally mute discussion rooted in negativity and lack of appreciation and gratitude: it is what it is.

I am grateful that Sigma made the commitment. They may very well have the last laugh eventually. The DP2M is a great leap further in the right direction.

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stevielee
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And It's all just "Attitude" from any position taken here...
In reply to adegroot, Sep 7, 2012

adegroot wrote:

Another totally mute discussion rooted in negativity and lack of appreciation and gratitude: it is what it is.

Even though what it "is" is essentially just little more that a barely supportive (technically speaking) black brick with a decent sensor entombed inside it and an excellent lens attached to the front of it?

I am grateful that Sigma made the commitment. They may very well have the last laugh eventually. The DP2M is a great leap further in the right direction.

No... ONLY the sensor, and the lens mounted (on this pretty much, same ol' same ol' standard DP-series body) is "a great leap forward". Everything else about the camera is decidedly status -- as in: Sigma innovating in-place/. About the only technological/operational body/performace "direction" the DP line is going is most assuredly sideways at best....

Check out Steve Huff's fairly accurate assessment of this new DP2M. He loved the IQ, but is giving the camera back to Sigma for many of the same operation no-go's that the DP series (and all other Sigma branded cameras for that matter) have always suffered from...VERY SUBSTANDARD TECHNOLOGICAL PERFORMANCE.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/tag/dp2/

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Jaelkay
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to katate, Sep 7, 2012

katate wrote:

If SIGMA didn't use Foveon in 2002, Foveon sensor never became a reality.

And?

If SIGMA didn't buy Foveon in 2008, Foveon might go bankrupt.

So?

The sensor still doesn't work properly. If it wasn't for the dozen or so shills posting here (with religious fervour) the Sigma/Foveon thingie would disappear.

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larryj
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Re: And It's all just "Attitude" from any position taken here...
In reply to stevielee, Sep 7, 2012

stevielee wrote:

adegroot wrote:

Another totally mute discussion rooted in negativity and lack of appreciation and gratitude: it is what it is.

Even though what it "is" is essentially just little more that a barely supportive (technically speaking) black brick with a decent sensor entombed inside it and an excellent lens attached to the front of it?

I am grateful that Sigma made the commitment. They may very well have the last laugh eventually. The DP2M is a great leap further in the right direction.

No... ONLY the sensor, and the lens mounted (on this pretty much, same ol' same ol' standard DP-series body) is "a great leap forward". Everything else about the camera is decidedly status -- as in: Sigma innovating in-place/. About the only technological/operational body/performace "direction" the DP line is going is most assuredly sideways at best....

Check out Steve Huff's fairly accurate assessment of this new DP2M. He loved the IQ, but is giving the camera back to Sigma for many of the same operation no-go's that the DP series (and all other Sigma branded cameras for that matter) have always suffered from...VERY SUBSTANDARD TECHNOLOGICAL PERFORMANCE.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/tag/dp2/

Hello Stevie: I have a question and then a quote for Ansel Adams:
question: What camera in not a box holding a sensor and a lens?

Adams said "The greatest photographer who ever lived could not use all the potential of a pinhole camera"
So what is all the fuss over bell and whistles?

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larryj

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Jaelkay
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Re: Sigma’s ownership of Foveon sensor – greatest loss for the photograph
In reply to Gary Dean Mercer Clark, Sep 7, 2012

gary mercer wrote:

Your statement couldn't be further from the truth. Foveon was offered for sale. Nikon, Canon, Sony and the rest of the industry didn't step up and purchase it. Sigma stepped in and rescued Foveon-purchased it and has kept Foveon sensor technology alive. If Sigma hadn't stepped in---Foveon would have either gone belly up or its patents snapped up and shelved as the big sensor companies already had too large investment in bayer sensor technology. Thats my take on it.
Sigma saved Foveon.

Yep!
Sigma/Foveon - the BetaMax of the digital imaging world.

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Jaelkay
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Re: And Your "Ignore" - ances are far Less than real Bliss
In reply to stevielee, Sep 7, 2012

stevielee wrote:

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Ah yes!!!! Sigma's official ambassador on these forums does his usual point by point snip-pity schtick.

I think he is George Preddy re-incarnated

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