That Lennon Harrison photo is spectacular fun. It speaks to the heart of every baby boomer. My condolences to the people on this thread who are saying snarky things about the Beatles and these photos. I guess you had to be there. The fact the photographer faked his press-pass makes it priceless.
We are all so ridiculously spoiled with the newest generation of cameras from the leading manufacturers. They all deliver amazing results, and now you can cherry-pick the unique features you want, and wait a few months for the prices to come down. I remember being amazed when SLRs first offered through-the lens metering! The first time I heard about autofocus, I thought they were taking away my favorite thing to do with a camera.
What an amazing line of cameras. Look at the images. Right up there with a blad, leica for nikon 800 for a tiny fraction of the price...and it fits in your pocket! Who wouldn't want all three, after reading reviews and comparing photos! Thanks Sigma for re-defining the price/quality matrix.
Check out the review on Luminous Landscape which says it all. While I dearly love the Leica brand, and have owned my share since 1969, this little camera produces superior images for a twentieth of the price. Yikes. (Yes these lenses, especially the one on the DP2, rival the holy of the holy Summicrons!)
It is a world economy, and great products come from every country. The pause for thought is in regard to branding. The Kodak name was one the ten great icons in the world, but it is not American anymore. Kodachrome is dead, long live Kodachrome! Kodachrome in a Retina III. Instamatic 104 even.
Sigma is pushing the ball forward, more than most.
The 800 is too big, too heavy, too expensive and the files are too large! I tested the 600 which took the most incredible digital photos I have ever seen.
This camera is awesome, an embarrassment of riches, as are the offerings from Nikon and Canon. You have to admit Sony has been putting out more innovative products. To me, the big surprise this season was the pricing of the Nikon 600. If the 600 was the same price as the 99, then the discussion would be different, but Nikon changed the landscape with a very capable $2,000 ff.
I still tell friends to buy Sony, just because of the Minolta glass on craigslist, and the in-body vibration reduction.
Shamael: try to compare what is comparable, thus equal. Take on all this the NEX-7, D3X and Sony A900, and then you compare. Set the first point in the box with the rolls and see what yous see, then place the point on the face of the queen of hearts and see, take the dime with the number "1200", the batteries, the head of Mykey and so on. Now, on the end my conclusion is that all those cameras focused on a different item on the setup, that all bring me the same resolution, that D3X, D600 and NEX-7 have the same good sharpness and detail, that NEX-7 is the best investment when it come to IQ and that your setup needs a serious dusting. NEX-7 shows me all dust on Myckey's head while D600 reveals all the dust on top of the globe. All the rest is talks and illusion only. The queen of hearts is my point to see how DOF acts and all 3 FF cameras show this in a clear way, too much DOF for a landscaper, excellent DOF for studio and portrait. On the end, is choose NEX. All i see in those FF cameras is $$$
There are so many great cameras with amazing IQ that your point is valid that for price alone, the NEX7 has a niche for value. Also the Sigma Merrill compacts with Foveon Sensors. But in the world of dslrs, hats off to Nikon for the 600's quality/price ratio, as they presently offer a more compelling product than Sony or Canon at a better price.
There is a loose analogy to high end stereo equipment in terms of the law of diminishing returns. The quality has gotten so good in general that to get a small percent improvement, you need to spend a significant amount of money.
The consumer is the winner overall. Cell phone cameras are so great that point and shoots will need 1" sensors like the Nikon and Sony offerings to produce a substantial improvement. Next year there will probably be cameras like the Sony RX100 for $250!
Fantastic job, and what an effort! I was a copywriter for eight years for a leading camera company, and your work on this is monumental. Your thought process makes great sense.
My problem (like everyone else) is I want too many cameras with specific functions.
Take the sensor from the Nikon 800 and put it in the Sony R1, only the sensor should be upgraded to a 36 megapixel Merrill Foven. Take the glass from the new Panasonic mega zoom that offers a 28-600 lens with constant 2.8 aperture and I would be most happy. Of course I realize the lens would be a challenge to adapt to full-frame, and would require a collaboration that would result in a new company...Carl Leitz! On second thought, the lens needs to be at least 24-600.
Jeez, I got an A33 and Nex-3 when they first came out. Now they are discontinued and they don't even rate the software update! Maybe I'll duct tape a piece of plastic over the movie record buttons.
So the headline here should be Nat Geo photographers cause penguin deaths for fun and proffit?
No penguins were injured in the making of this video. Those are trained stunt penguins.
Lugging an 8x10 around Yosemite will keep you in shape! One can only image what Ansel would think of the Sigma D2 Merrill, with high res in a pocket camera? Would he auto bracket? Why not.
The Luminous Landscape review says it all. Nothing even remotely near the image quality for the price. Very few with better image quality period. High praise for Sigma.
I was an ad copywriter for a leading camera company in the seventies and eighties, and Mr. Butler's last line is a stroke of branding genius. The Lunar has the potential to be the "new coke" of the camera marketing world. The Hasseblad RX-1, with Zeiss lens and possibly the highest IQ in the universe (well at least the Earth and the Moon), would have made imminent sense. Finish it with chrome and the leather from the iconic Hasseblad 500, raise the price by a few thousand, and it would still cost half as much as an offering from Leitz!
peevee1: "To put these differences into perspective, before the release of the iPhone 5, we asked 50 non-photographers to compare 15" prints of a similar image from each of these cameras, to work out which were the cheap ones and which the expensive ones and which was the iPhone 4s. 15" prints aren't a stringent photographic test, but they're bigger than most iPhone photos will ever be printed. Over half of people placed the iPhone 4s above the Nikon D3. The picture quality from the iPhones is 'good enough' for most people."
This is the important finding. When light is good and your subject is not moving fast, don't fool yourself that you need an expensive equipment.
Hasselbald should just put their logo on an iPhone and charge $4,000 for it.
Specs with the NEX7 being equal, the only reason for this camera's existence is cosmetic appearance. The "endangered specie line" of grip covering is especially stunning. Scandinavians are capable of decent design--the Danish company B&O could create a camera sleeker than a Porsche TT.
Hasseblad and Leica have become jewelery for the Republican one percent. To photography Mitt Romney's fantastical dancing horse with anything less than a Lunar would be despicable.
Leica and Hasselblad jewelery. Hasseblad will launch this for six grand, and the next day Sony will introduce the NEX-8 with 40 meg sensor and 20 fps for 800 bucks. Presently Sony makes the "Kodachrome" and Zeiss still makes the glass.
Hani7up: Ugly as sin, but we'll wait for the full review
Personal taste: while this is an incredible camera, I did like the design of the Sony 900 and 850, which was reminiscent of the Minolta XD-11.
This camera is drool worthy, and the lens is probably worth the price. The comparison has to be with the thousand dollar Sigma Merrill. I need to find a camera store that has both, and bring two sd cards.
The Luminous Landscape review was dead-on. A Nikon 800, which is five times both the size and price, has an edge, but this is the leading value in image quality by a long shot. Look at the images on the Sigma page--the lens alone is worth a grand.
For thirty years I carried a Leica CL with a 35mm Summicron, shooting Kodachrome 25--arguably the top image quality of its day. The Sigma is its spiritual reincarnation.