Quattro marketing screwed up already?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
JL Salvignol
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Re: So what?
In reply to FDecker, 5 months ago

"The posts I see in this forum would keep me from buying a DP2Q"

FDecker, I was in the same state of mind there is a year and a half; So I left the forum, I watched DP2M's prices ... and voila! Thanks to all the  naysayers,  their impact on prices is super efficient  

I rarely use the so good Sigma, much more often the funny Nikon 1 and each has found its territory. The poor Pentaxes sleep in their drawers, that's life.

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Scottelly
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Laurence Matson, 5 months ago

Thanks Laurence!

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to PrebenR, 5 months ago

PrebenR wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

PrebenR wrote:

Do we really need to debate the same topic 10 times?\

Do we really need to complain by adding to the topic? If you ignore threads you have no interest in (and or ignore the user who started it). it falls out of the top page quicker.

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Erik

No it doesn't as everybody else seem to have to reiterate the topics.

But if "everybody else" is posting to a topic, then it needs to be discussed again -- by THEM. You can still skip it.

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Scottelly
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Re: comparing foveon to cfa is the problem
In reply to JohnLindroth, 5 months ago

JohnLindroth wrote:

I started reading threads in this forum 6 years ago, and it's always in the technical comparison of a foveon sensor to a bayer cfa sensor that causes issues, and what are now long and extended, and rather unhelpful discussions.

If you count pixels as light measuring elements, then a bayer sensor equals the base output resolution. They use interpolation to fill in RGB elements to create a 3 level output image, so most people think that one RGB is a pixel. If you measure the same in a foveon sensor, then in most it is 3x the base output count, or in the Quattro 1.5 times, which is equivalent if you count pixels as light measuring elements, not output RGB elements. Most people base their concept of digital resolution back to the cfa, so having more pixels collected that output is foreign, and therefore people say Sigma is cheating or misrepresenting their cameras.

I read about the concept of the Foveon sensor prior to the first camera release, and decided from a totally geek-oriented personality, that when I purchased a DSLR, it would have to use a 3 level sensor, because it was such a novel idea, and I appreciated due to my film photography start. And I did in 2008, a little late to the party.

But there is no need to claim that Sigma is messing up in trying to find a way to describe something that most people never even think about in the digital cameras.

And if I understand the words of Sigma's CEO, Mr. Kazuto Yamaki, correctly, continuing with the line of cameras is an honor to family in continuing his father's dream. I have no worries about them stopping because people don't understand.

-John

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John, my worry is not that they will stop because people do not understand. My worry is that they will stop because people do not buy enough. Confusion is a reason to NOT BUY. This is why I worry. I don't want people to be confused, and it concerns/disturbs me a little, when I see the marketing done badly.

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Johan Borg
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Scottelly, 5 months ago

Scottelly wrote:

Sorry . . . the standard 4K screen resolution.

4K would have been plenty for my use, but the max JPEG output is as high as 8K standard width (and a bit taller).

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xpatUSA
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Scottelly, 5 months ago

Scottelly wrote:

In the description of the DP2 Quattro at B&H the resolution already looks very confusing.

Maximum resolution is stated as "5424 x 3616" under "Specifications" . . . but in the "Overview" there is this statement:

"The Sigma dp2 Quattro Digital Camera combines the 29MP Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor with the TRUE III image processing engine to create high quality images with an equivalent resolution of 39 megapixels due to the unique sensor design. This method uses layers of pixels to capture the color data of the red, green, and blue spectrums vertically, requiring no interpolation. This results in a sharper image with better color gradations."

This would imply that the camera doesn't use interpolation . . . yet to make a 39 megapixel image from 29 . . . or 19.6 . . . or whatever the camera is doing . . . interpolation is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Anyone got any thoughts about this?

Sorry, Scott, can't agree with that "ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY" at all. Nobody knows for sure how the sensor data will be processed.

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Ted

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Truman Prevatt
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Scottelly, 5 months ago

Scottelly wrote:

In the description of the DP2 Quattro at B&H the resolution already looks very confusing.

Maximum resolution is stated as "5424 x 3616" under "Specifications" . . . but in the "Overview" there is this statement:

"The Sigma dp2 Quattro Digital Camera combines the 29MP Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor with the TRUE III image processing engine to create high quality images with an equivalent resolution of 39 megapixels due to the unique sensor design. This method uses layers of pixels to capture the color data of the red, green, and blue spectrums vertically, requiring no interpolation. This results in a sharper image with better color gradations."

5424*3616=19,613,148 pixels - that defines the resolution since that defines the spatial sampling.  Of course the Q is not a 29 MP sensor when it comes to resolution since that is defined by 5424x3616 - the spatial sampling - nor does it have an "equivalent (equivalent to what?)" resolution of 39 MP.

B&H is in business to sell cameras.  Look at all of their descriptions of all their products - there is a lot of marketing going on.  However the Q camera has does 29 million detectors.  They have picked up on the market line that Sigma used when advertising the DPXM and SD1M as 45 MP sensors when in reality the sensor resolution is defined by the 15 MP locations counting each of the three detectors at each location.

It's probably best to give it a rest - since this marketing has been going on a long time.  If it sells more cameras - B&H will be happy.

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Scottelly
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Johan Borg, 5 months ago

Johan Borg wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

Sorry . . . the standard 4K screen resolution.

4K would have been plenty for my use, but the max JPEG output is as high as 8K standard width (and a bit taller).

Oh, that's right! With 50% reduction it fits the 4K screen resolution perfectly.

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Scottelly
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to xpatUSA, 5 months ago

xpatUSA wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

In the description of the DP2 Quattro at B&H the resolution already looks very confusing.

Maximum resolution is stated as "5424 x 3616" under "Specifications" . . . but in the "Overview" there is this statement:

"The Sigma dp2 Quattro Digital Camera combines the 29MP Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor with the TRUE III image processing engine to create high quality images with an equivalent resolution of 39 megapixels due to the unique sensor design. This method uses layers of pixels to capture the color data of the red, green, and blue spectrums vertically, requiring no interpolation. This results in a sharper image with better color gradations."

This would imply that the camera doesn't use interpolation . . . yet to make a 39 megapixel image from 29 . . . or 19.6 . . . or whatever the camera is doing . . . interpolation is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Anyone got any thoughts about this?

Sorry, Scott, can't agree with that "ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY" at all. Nobody knows for sure how the sensor data will be processed.

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Ted

Huh? There is a maximum of 19.6 million full-color pixels without interpolation Ted, right? So wouldn't that mean that to get a 39 megapixel JPEG the image would have to be interpolated? (Keep in mind I acknowledge that the typical CFA sensor images are ALL interpolated.)

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xpatUSA
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Scottelly, 5 months ago

Scottelly wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

This would imply that the camera doesn't use interpolation . . . yet to make a 39 megapixel image from 29 . . . or 19.6 . . . or whatever the camera is doing . . . interpolation is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Anyone got any thoughts about this?

Sorry, Scott, can't agree with that "ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY" at all. Nobody knows for sure how the sensor data will be processed.

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Cheers,
Ted

Huh? There is a maximum of 19.6 million full-color pixels without interpolation Ted, right? So wouldn't that mean that to get a 39 megapixel JPEG the image would have to be interpolated? (Keep in mind I acknowledge that the typical CFA sensor images are ALL interpolated.)

Oops!

Note to self: must read people's posts much more carefully in future . . .

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Apologies,
Ted

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Scottelly
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Truman Prevatt, 5 months ago

Truman Prevatt wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

In the description of the DP2 Quattro at B&H the resolution already looks very confusing.

Maximum resolution is stated as "5424 x 3616" under "Specifications" . . . but in the "Overview" there is this statement:

"The Sigma dp2 Quattro Digital Camera combines the 29MP Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor with the TRUE III image processing engine to create high quality images with an equivalent resolution of 39 megapixels due to the unique sensor design. This method uses layers of pixels to capture the color data of the red, green, and blue spectrums vertically, requiring no interpolation. This results in a sharper image with better color gradations."

5424*3616=19,613,148 pixels - that defines the resolution since that defines the spatial sampling. Of course the Q is not a 29 MP sensor when it comes to resolution since that is defined by 5424x3616 - the spatial sampling - nor does it have an "equivalent (equivalent to what?)" resolution of 39 MP.

B&H is in business to sell cameras. Look at all of their descriptions of all their products - there is a lot of marketing going on. However the Q camera has does 29 million detectors. They have picked up on the market line that Sigma used when advertising the DPXM and SD1M as 45 MP sensors when in reality the sensor resolution is defined by the 15 MP locations counting each of the three detectors at each location.

It's probably best to give it a rest - since this marketing has been going on a long time. If it sells more cameras - B&H will be happy.

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Truman
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What I'm saying is that Sigma should be advertising the camera as a 39 MP camera, like the sharp JPEG images out of it are, and though I do think they should disclose that the sensor is a 29 MP sensor, I think they should stress the 39 MP images and the 39 MP equivalence. You ask, "equivalent to what?" It is equivalent to a 39 MP Bayer pattern CFA sensor camera. That's the idea anyway. The SD1 and other Merrill cameras have become accepted as equivalent to twice their "spatial sampling" resolution, when compared with typical CFA sensor cameras (meaning most reasonable people admit that it's at least equivalent to about 30 MP), so it makes sense that a Foveon sensor camera with 19.6 MP "spatial sampling" resolution would be equivalent to a typical 39 MP camera, right?

Of course the proof will be in the final results, but if the camera makes 39 MP images that look sharp, and not all blurry, then I think they should concentrate on marketing the camera with that 39 MP number, rather than confusing things by throwing in a whole bunch of numbers right in the beginning. Sure . . . talk about the 19.6 MP native raw resolution, even though the sensor technically captures 29 MP of data . . . but those numbers are not the most important ones here. The 39 MP definitely IS.

Of course, this is just my OH SO HUMBLE opinion.

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Truman Prevatt
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Re: comparing foveon to cfa is the problem
In reply to JohnLindroth, 5 months ago

JohnLindroth wrote:

I started reading threads in this forum 6 years ago, and it's always in the technical comparison of a foveon sensor to a bayer cfa sensor that causes issues, and what are now long and extended, and rather unhelpful discussions.

If you count pixels as light measuring elements, then a bayer sensor equals the base output resolution. They use interpolation to fill in RGB elements to create a 3 level output image, so most people think that one RGB is a pixel. If you measure the same in a foveon sensor, then in most it is 3x the base output count, or in the Quattro 1.5 times, which is equivalent if you count pixels as light measuring elements, not output RGB elements. Most people base their concept of digital resolution back to the cfa, so having more pixels collected that output is foreign, and therefore people say Sigma is cheating or misrepresenting their cameras.

That's not quite right - to add to the confusion.  For example lets take the Leica M9.  It is an 18 MP CFA.  The spatial sampling matrix is 18 MP so the spatial frequency response is defined by 18 MP.  The CFA consists of a overlay of three color filters.  Like the Foveon, these aren't brick wall filters.  Some red & green photons get through the blue filters to the detectors and some green & blue photons get through the red filters to the detectors and some red and blue photons get through the green filters. That is each color filter has a unique spectral response and the raw processing uses this spectral response to calculate three colors per pixel.  If you would remove the CFA you get a pure 18 MP monochrome - oh yes they have done that it's called the Leica M9 Monochrome.

If you compared a B&W conversion of an M9 image to the same image taken by the M9 Mono you would find very little degradation.  Steve Huff has done some side by sides and found the results are very similar.  Of course the M9 Mono is better at monochrome since you do get a little degradation in going to color through the CFA to RGB processing then to B&W.  His take is the M9 Mono and the converted M240 images produce very similar results so resolution and sharpness wise the 24 MP M240 is about equivalent to the 18 MP (true resolution) M9 Mono.

Now the Foveon does not operate in a true RGB color space.  There is a detector at each pixel location for each of the three color elements of the color space.  The spatial resolution is defined by not the number of detectors but the number of detector triples. That is 15 MP of the SD1M is the spatial sampling lattice and the other 30 MP add to the color response. The two 15 MP lattices in the second and third levels do not alter the resolution - they are for color only.   There is a conversion process that takes place that turns the three layers with slightly different spectral responses into the RGB color space for follow on processing.  The Foveon does not require processing like the CFA to combine the spectral responses of the neighboring pixels to estimate color.  I expect some of the issues with noise and color shifts, etc., especially in not white light reported on this site and others of the Foveon has to do with the fact these spectral responses of the Foveon layers are fairly close.

The Sigma engineers seem to believe that by defining the resolution by the top level and the color by the sub sampled lower they can match the resolution of the SD1M while getting better color performance.  The Q sensor seems to have taken a page out of Dr. Bayer's play book in using subsampling of two of the spectral responses to estimate color at all the locations of the top sensor. This is not exactly the same approach as the CFA but it is similar.  The one thing about the SD1M and DPXM is that independent of color - the resolution was the same.  How it will work in the "real world" remains to be seen.  I am looking forward to seeing the real world samples.

I read about the concept of the Foveon sensor prior to the first camera release, and decided from a totally geek-oriented personality, that when I purchased a DSLR, it would have to use a 3 level sensor, because it was such a novel idea, and I appreciated due to my film photography start. And I did in 2008, a little late to the party.

But there is no need to claim that Sigma is messing up in trying to find a way to describe something that most people never even think about in the digital cameras.

And if I understand the words of Sigma's CEO, Mr. Kazuto Yamaki, correctly, continuing with the line of cameras is an honor to family in continuing his father's dream. I have no worries about them stopping because people don't understand.

-John

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JohnLindroth
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Re: comparing foveon to cfa is the problem
In reply to Truman Prevatt, 5 months ago

Truman Prevatt wrote:

How it will work in the "real world" remains to be seen. I am looking forward to seeing the real world samples.

Me too!

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Never that straightforward with Bayer
In reply to Truman Prevatt, 5 months ago

Truman Prevatt wrote:

JohnLindroth wrote:

I started reading threads in this forum 6 years ago, and it's always in the technical comparison of a foveon sensor to a bayer cfa sensor that causes issues, and what are now long and extended, and rather unhelpful discussions.

If you count pixels as light measuring elements, then a bayer sensor equals the base output resolution. They use interpolation to fill in RGB elements to create a 3 level output image, so most people think that one RGB is a pixel. If you measure the same in a foveon sensor, then in most it is 3x the base output count, or in the Quattro 1.5 times, which is equivalent if you count pixels as light measuring elements, not output RGB elements. Most people base their concept of digital resolution back to the cfa, so having more pixels collected that output is foreign, and therefore people say Sigma is cheating or misrepresenting their cameras.

That's not quite right - to add to the confusion. For example lets take the Leica M9. It is an 18 MP CFA. The spatial sampling matrix is 18 MP

No, it i not.  It almost never is.  That is the maximum possible, rarely achieved.

If there's any area with pure red/green/blue tones, the spatial frequency is much less.  If it's a mixed color that excites just two of the RGB triad, the spatial frequency is less.

That's the whole problem with CFA and the thing Foveon solves.  The fundamental fact that nothing about the CFA is consistent, including spatial frequency.

<...>

The Sigma engineers seem to believe that by defining the resolution by the top level and the color by the sub sampled lower

The Bayer system does not subsample - at any pixel that has collected Green wavelength data, there is no sub data to collect.  That data is gone.  That's why the Quattro is nothing like bayer - bayer samples with subtraction, the Quattro samples by addition.

In te Foveon system there is a true sub-sampling for the upper level data collected.

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TRIODEROB
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Re: Never that straightforward with Bayer
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, 5 months ago

until some real images come out non of this means "Jack Squat"

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3dreal
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Scottelly, 5 months ago

I dont care marketing but results.

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L Tippett
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Re: Never that straightforward with Bayer
In reply to TRIODEROB, 5 months ago

until some real images come out non of this means "Jack Squat"

I couldn't agree more.
It's the IQ that sells the cameras not facts and figures.
Decent images is all I want to see for the moment.
Sorry if I sound negative, I just don't get why folks get hung up about specs.
Sorry.

Kind regards Lea.

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richard stone
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Re: Quattro marketing screwed up already?
In reply to Scottelly, 5 months ago

Results matter the most.

But beyond that, what helps is a CAREFUL reading of the descriptive material presented by Sigma. In that material the idea presented is that the 20MP top layer contains about the same number of luminance detail "pixels" as would be present (meaning green pixels) in a 39MP CFA/Bayer sensor. That is the essential basis for the 39MP equivalent claim by Sigma, and it makes sense when considered in that light. It will be a reasonable claim IF the RESULTS bear it out. Simply saying "39MP" or putting it in writing does not make it true.

A secondary assumption is that saying "39MP Bayer" means something of roughly equivalent size to the APS-C sigma sensor. Will the APS-C Foveon be as good as  39MP Bayer FF sensor? Well, we don't know, but just being bigger does a lot to improve sensor performance, other things being equal. As they never are.

Finally, of course, we would hope, and assume, that Sigma has done some limited testing of the resolution/sharpness of the new sensor so that this 39MP claim isn't completely without foundation in terms of results. It is possible that in regard to these claims that Sigma is being conservative. Better if that is the case.

None of this seems to me a failure or even a mistake in marketing. Both the Bayer CFA and quattro approaches are complicated systems and require a complicated analysis, which is why people generally focus on a simple metric, the number of pixels, a metric that is not very good, perhaps, but at least it is simple.

It is possible that in this change of the sensor some important information is being lost, hopefully not very much, because the goal is to avoid creating, then having to process, and then discard, unnecessary information. Hence the term also used in Sigma's information,"file bloat." Personally I like that phrase, as it sounds uncomfortable, and certainly something to be avoided. Who would ever look forward to file bloat?

Richard

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Roland Karlsson
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What is most important ...
In reply to Scottelly, 5 months ago

What is most important is how the camera performs.

Other than that, it is of course a 20 MP camera.

Sigma, and some here in the forum, makes it too complicated. They are, referring to the CFA fud, prepared to juggle with figures without meaning. 29 MP or 39 MP or whatever can be motivated by counting transistors or comparing sharpness to other technologies or sometimes even taken out of thin air. The latter is today less common though, sign of some maturity.

The main reason of all this juggling is to have a number that is competitive to Bayer CFA numbers. I understand the need, but I surely do not like it. It is just confusing. And, it starts endless and fruitless discussions, between narrow minded people (like me that believe in correctness) and more open minded people (that believe that what is best for Sigma is what shall be used).

Just an example how wrong this arbitrary counting can be. Some think the number of detectors shall be equal to the number of pixels. Fortunately most have left this belief, but it was quite strong just some few years ago. With that view, the 45 MP Merrill is of course by far superior to the 30 MP Quattro. Or?

But, back to reality. In reality Foveon has a potential of being pixel sharp (whatever that means) and that can be seen in the new (inofficial?) sample images. They are VERY sharp, and it is 20 million of glorious pixels.

Bayer CFA will never achieve that, not even without AA filter and running advanced sharpening. The algorithms for doing Bayer demosaicing will always decrease accutance and will always have a problem to get full resolution for more fuzzy objects, like trees and grass. Mainly because Bayer CFA demosaicing needs a good model for what it shall demosaic to, e.g. a sharp edge or whatever. When it is fuzzy, algorithms are lost.

Foveon, on the other hand, do measure what it see. No need for algorithms that do interpretation.

But ... all this has nothing to do with pixel counting. It has all to do with image quality.

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webrunner5
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Re: What is most important ...
In reply to Roland Karlsson, 5 months ago

I don't pay any attention to the silly people that come on here and knock Sigma cameras. You are either into them or you are not. You have either bought one and got amazed and hooked or not.

You can go online and even the SD9 reviewers either hated them or loved them image quality wise. Heck, This site here has NEVER been a big fan of them. Phil always said sort of IF they got it right it would be unbelievable, but he never believed they did. But most reviewers just say well they are really not that close to MP as Sigma claims and that's life lol. We know better.

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