cgarrard: Does sound decent afterall. I'll be honest, my first thought was "sheesh, really Sigma, yet another redeux of this lens???", but after reading the specs etc. it seems like a legit replacement/update and a decent performer.
I'd need to see its optical improvements (if any) and AF speed, build, before coming to a final conclusion, but on paper it seems pretty legit. Bit slow on the long end though, especially with Nikons recently announced 18-300mm f/3.5-f/5.6.
You'll first notice sharpness issues as an ever so slight softening of the fine details. At small photo sizes, not a problem. The bigger the photo size, and/or the tighter the crap, the more you'll notice that. But, make no mistake, I have the older version of this Sigma, and it is a fabulous walking around Lens with which to polish your craft. Have fun, and happy shooting!
YES! They will be better. I've shot SLRs since 198mumble. Only now am I investing in pro-level glass, because I'm finally at a point where I can. Invest in your knowledge and creativity first, they are THE most important pieces of your kit. Learning to see creatively and understanding light and composition will help more than fancy glass.
That said, of all the "stuff" people are discussing here (oh, the joy of being a lens snob), what you'll notice first when you do start to see these details are sharpness, contrast, and focusing issues. Especially if you take any action shots, invest first in lenses with HSM, USM, or equivalent fast, nearly silent focus motors. None of the rest matters if you can't get a properly focused shot. You can fix, or at least improve, most things (CA, distortion, etc.) in post-processing. You can even increase apparent sharpness by increasing contrast (sharpen tools in software). You can't fix focus after the fact.
For me personally that would be unusable.
Jack of all trades lens.
Perhaps I don't understand the technical limitations, because I've used the older version of this lens for two years now and never had a problem. The focus is a little slower, especially at the long end and in poor light, but rarely does it fail entirely. And then I can manual focus...
IcyVeins: That is the most compact superzoom lens I have ever seen...AND it has macro!
Min. Focus distance just over 13", I think. Compared to almost 18" for current model. Not a "true" macro, but those extra 4-5 inches will be handy.
theoschela: The Tamron 18-270 VC II gets some real competition now
admittedly does sound like a good compact vacation lens
but f/6.3.... hmmm...
Compact vacation lens is exactly what this is. And for that, it's great. According to some reviews, the Tamron had slightly better optical quality then the old version of this lens, but I found it to be slow and inexact when autofocusing compared to the Sigma. Potential quality mattered little to me when 9/10 shots were unusable. With the Sigma, 9/10 are usable. Not pro-quality, perhaps, but usable. Just ordered the new 50-150 F2.8 - can't wait to compare. Different lens for different reasons.
D1N0: you might as well get a point and shoot, when you are going to use lenses like this one
Not to mention the MUCH larger sensor, even the APS-C, which is what results in the exceptional low-light performance, higher dynamic range, higher ISO options, RAW, stellar autofocus performance, functionally zero shutter lag, burst frame rates...need I go on? There will be shooters and situations where a P&S is the better or easier choice, but to say they are identical to DSLRs is puzzling at best. I've used many of both. Loved this lens, use it all the time for a casual "walking-around" lens. The large apertures on the P&S cams are only possible because of the tiny sensors - and coincidentally, are necessary because of the tiny sensors' poor lowlight performance.
36hike: Do us all a favor: If you don't know what the pricing is going to be, hold the press release.
B&H photo has it in stock for 499. Just ordered it.
doctorxring: This thing sure looks a lot like my Sony SAL 18-250. Has an HSM motor though.
I can't speak to Sony's offering, but I have the older version of this lens for my Canon. Focusing seems to be fast and accurate, and I taken some great shots with this. I purchased this after having originally tried the Tamron 18 - 270 lens. Without the HSM motor, the Tamron lens was slow to focus and often did not focus accurately. I decided that it doesn't matter how good the optical quality might be, if you can't get properly focused shots. If the Sony does not have a similar motor and follows this pattern, you would likely be much happier with the Sigma offering. I just ordered this new version of the Sigma lens. Spec-wise, this should be an upgrade. They've added a special low dispersion element and a few other improvements, and shaved nearly half a pound off the weight. For a basic walking around lens, especially if you are just beginning to branch out in your shooting, it's really hard to beat this for the price.
Of course, having all Canon glass impacts my decision just a bit. I began as a Minolta shooter, but switched to Canon when Minolta dropped the ball on digital SLR's. By the time Sony announced its purchase of Minolta, it was too late for me. I admit I've been impressed with Sony's technical achievements, but in the end, we all know it's the person behind the camera that matters most. The glass attached to the front is a close second. As the reviewer notes, all of these cameras are likely capable of taking excellent shots.
However, I will admit to a personal bias toward optical viewfinders, apparently a bias not shared by the reviewer. I'm also looking forward to trying out the touchscreen capability on my brand-new t4i...