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Sigma SD1 becomes SD1 Merrill and gains (much) keener price tag

By dpreview staff on Feb 8, 2012 at 07:00 GMT
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Sigma's new CEO, Kazuto Yamaki has announced the re-branding and re-pricing of the company's flagship camera. The SD1 DSLR will now be know as the SD1 Merrill, in honor of Dick Merrill, inventor of the Foveon sensor technology on which it is based. The price will also be revised, falling to what should be a street price of around $2,299, which Yamaki attributes to work conducted to reduce production costs of the sensor. Despite these changes, his letter promises the performance and characteristics of the sensor have not changed. To avoid disappointing existing SD1 customers, Sigma will offer a support program with 'points' that can be exchanged for Sigma products.

($2,299 is the Minimum Advertised Price quoted by the Sigma Corporation of America - the price that suppliers agree not to publicly advertise the camera below - and can be expected to be the street price shortly after cameras become available)

Jump to:


Press release:

Sigma Corporation of America announces new name, pricing for flagship SD1 camera

Ronkonkoma, NY, Feb. 8, 2012 – In a personal letter to the company’s loyal customers, Sigma Corporation CEO Kazuto Yamaki today announced that, starting next month, Sigma’s 46-megapixel SD1 DSLR will be renamed the SD1 Merrill in honor of Richard “Dick” Merrill, the late co-creator of the Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor technology. The otherwise unchanged DSLR will also be sold at a lower price that reflects new efficiencies in the camera’s production. 

The SD1 Merrill will be sold for approximately $3,300 MSRP in the United States.

Today Yamaki wrote:

To our valued customers,

We would like to express our appreciation for your loyal patronage of Sigma products.

Today, we announced our new digital single lens reflex camera, the Sigma SD1 Merrill. This product has the same features, performance, and specifications as the Sigma SD1, however, the price is substantially revised. We are gearing up for its release in March 2012, and the market price is expected to be approximately $3,300 MSRP.

At the time of its introduction, the Sigma SD1 was a revolutionary product incorporating a 46MP* direct image sensor which provided the highest resolution in a digital SLR camera. As the world’s only full-color sensor capturing all three primary color components (R, G, and B) within each pixel location, the Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor made it possible for the image quality of SD1 to not only demonstrate improved resolution, but also to obtain richer expressions of gradation, as well as to enhance the three-dimensional impression which is specific to Foveon sensors. *Resolution equivalent to 30MP on a color filter array sensor

However, even with this revolutionary image sensor, we could not solve issues related to some of the manufacturing methods before the start of mass production, and the production cost ended up substantially exceeding our originally expected price. As a result, we had no choice but to set the price of the SigmaSD1 high. This caused great discouragement to all of you who looked forward to its release, and wished to experience the very unique image quality of the Sigma SD1 in person; this has become our biggest disappointment and pain.

Since then, overcoming this situation has become the first priority for us and Foveon, and we have together made improvements to reduce production cost substantially. Even though this effort took nearly a year, at last, we achieved a reduction target close to the price we originally planned. Therefore, we decided to release Sigma SD1 as a new product, and were able to make our recent announcement.

The Sigma SD1 Merrill keeps the best image quality of the Sigma SD1, which has a unique identity, but comes with a substantially revised price. Although some of the manufacturing methods have been enhanced, the performance and characteristics of the sensor itself have not changed. There is nothing more pleasurable for us than enabling our valued customers to experience the Sigma SD1 Merrill in person, as a digital SLR camera of a new era which inspires photographers’ inner artistic sensitivity, providing “high image quality” and changing current perceptions of what is possible.

On the other hand, we fully understand that it is not acceptable to current Sigma SD1 users that a new product with exactly the same specifications as their camera is being released with a substantially revised price a year later. After all, those customers committed to purchasing the Sigma SD1 with great expectations.

During this period, we have seriously considered how we can express our appreciation for our Sigma SD1 customers. Currently, we have a plan to offer a support program for current Sigma SD1 owners. This support program will provide points that can be exchanged for our products. This program is expected to be valid after the release of Sigma SD1 Merrill and it will last until the end of this year, 2012. It will be applicable for all Sigma products including both current and new products to be released this year. More details will be available soon; we appreciate your kind understanding as we finalize this program.

We would like to once again express our appreciation to current Sigma SD1 owners, and other customers who are looking forward to our next DSLR camera, for your loyal patronage to Sigma. We will continue doing our best with the aim to design and manufacture ideal photographic equipment that inspires the artistic hearts of photographers everywhere. We sincerely value your continued support.

Kazuto Yamaki

Chief Executive Officer

SIGMA CORPORATION

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Comments

Total comments: 174
12
audijam
By audijam (Jun 6, 2012)

WHOLE LOT MORE! i will be one of them...this camera is really amazing (at low ISO) LOL! but i love the details!

0 upvotes
MPA1
By MPA1 (Mar 11, 2012)

If it had Nikon or Canon mount options they'd be selling many more!

0 upvotes
bborowski000
By bborowski000 (Mar 10, 2012)

who cares sigma..................nobody wants your over rated camera that you hyped up for months with strategically timed dropped " hints", lies and blatant BS. I seriously considered buying one til you started playing headgames. You have seriously infuriated me so that I will never ever ever buy any camera from you for that kind of business strategy!

1 upvote
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Feb 18, 2012)

This isn't nearly as funny as Sigma's original SD1 announcement and pricing. It seems that during the difficult times they have been facing, Sigma have also lost their sense of humour.

It would have been epic if they had come out and increased the price instead!

0 upvotes
fuxicek
By fuxicek (Feb 16, 2012)

sigma manager nr 1: nobody buys our cameras with 600 percent margin
sigma manager nr 2: ok, lets sell it just with 200 percent margin
sigma manager nr 1: what about those idiots, who already bought SD1?
sigma manager nr 2: whatever, we just shut them up with some free lens

3 upvotes
jocair
By jocair (Feb 13, 2012)

It's simple: Not enough shells than expected equal looking for a good pretext to down the purchase price…

0 upvotes
Pavel Sokolov
By Pavel Sokolov (Feb 12, 2012)

I pity the people that bought sd1 for $7000...

3 upvotes
brittonx
By brittonx (Feb 12, 2012)

Why? We are getting reimbursed with sigma "points" that we can use to acquire additional Sigma gear. Considering that they did not have to do it, I am delighted that they are trying to take care of those of us who purchased one early.

2 upvotes
Pavel Sokolov
By Pavel Sokolov (Feb 14, 2012)

My bad! I didn't read the entire pr :(

1 upvote
Peter A Sellar
By Peter A Sellar (Feb 10, 2012)

You nailed it jacketpotato!!!

0 upvotes
alfaflash
By alfaflash (Feb 10, 2012)

I plan to buy an SD-1 when it becomes available on the market at the new lower price. However, the frustrations with the old SD-14 are still a vivid memory, and I want to learn from the experience of others as to the weak points and idiosyncracies of the SD-1. I believe that the IQ problems reported by some people relate directly to the Sigma lenses not having the performance necessary to use the capabilities of the sensor, and I plan to convert the lens mount to take Leica R glass. Any info concerning problems with the processing engine, camera lock-up, or any other similar problems would be much appreciated.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
webmiser
By webmiser (Nov 9, 2012)

The best Sigma lenses are as good as Canon L and Nikon high-end. I have taken lovely pictures with SD15 and SD1 using very old Sigma lenses that are as sharp and responsive as they were six years ago. The new 85mm F1.4 and 35mm F1.4, whilst not wiping the floor with their Canon and Nikon equivalents, certainly make you question the wisdom of spending twice as much money for the same result. Unless you want weather-proofing, I suppose.
A camera is only as good as the lens attached to it. Sigma made budget priced lenses to get a toe-hold in the market. They weren't necessarily poor-quality, but they had to be stopped down for halfway decent results. This meant that, to get the shutter speed up you had to up the ISO. Canon and Nikor are fine with this, but the Foveon sensor is not so you need the best glass you can get for these cameras. And Sigma does make good glass, but it's expensive, so people who see Sigma as a cheap lens maker balk at paying high prices for them.

0 upvotes
webmiser
By webmiser (Nov 9, 2012)

...continued
They don't mind paying four times as much for Can or Nikon, though. Go figure. Canon and Nikon also make budget lenses and many people say they are crap too. But they're not crap, you have to stop them down and up the ISO ... oh yeah, like cheap Sigma lenses
I am very pleased with my SD15 and SD1, but they are not cameras to take family snaps with. They are for serious photographers who want ultimate quality. And that costs. Sigma are the only ones with a Foveon sensor though, so you won't know what quality is till you try them. With good Sigma glass, of course.

0 upvotes
jacketpotato
By jacketpotato (Feb 10, 2012)

Dear Mr Yamaki Jnr

You can have a clear mission statement please.

"To bring SD1 sensor to as many photographers as possible."

So photographers can see for themselves the quality of SD1 sensor from photos they have taken.
The only way to do this is to make SD1 mount modular (Canon, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony).
Once photographers have seen the quality of SD1 sensor on their favorite lenses Mr Yamaki Jnr it will be as a Sigma genesis.

4 upvotes
Peter A Sellar
By Peter A Sellar (Feb 10, 2012)

Canon/Nikon mount would be fantastic!

5 upvotes
Rriley
By Rriley (Feb 11, 2012)

it is possible to fit an EOS mount and rewire the body to lens connection pins. As I recall it you dont get fully functional AF, I think it lacks provision for OIS or something. You could check this out in more detail over at the Sigma forum.

you can compare the Sigma mount here
http://a.img-dpreview.com/previews/sigmasd1/images/dust.jpg;

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 10, 2012)

Would it be physically possible for an aftermarket company to make adaptors to fit the SD-1 body at one end and Canon or Nikon lenses at the other?

Would it be legal?

2 upvotes
Rriley
By Rriley (Feb 11, 2012)

this isnt possible as an adapter would increase the lens register, the distance between the mount and the sensor which is identical to EOS mount.

But it is possible to use an EOS mount off a Canon camera and rewire the connections, this has already been done before.

0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 11, 2012)

That's exactly what I feared. The short mount to sensor plane distance of my 4/3 Oly meant that all sorts of adaptors were, at least for a while, available aftermarket for it. But if the Sigma lens mount distance is too long, the game is over. This makes it even more urgent for Sigma to convert the DP series to interchangable lenses. They will have a short register distance because there is no mirror.

0 upvotes
Pavel Sokolov
By Pavel Sokolov (Feb 12, 2012)

There is few body adapters for sigma sd14/sd15/sd1.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/250739703513

0 upvotes
psn
By psn (Feb 9, 2012)

Well, now I can add this as a camera to consider when I get a new one later this year. Problem is none of my existing lenses will work with it.

1 upvote
Lillrobert
By Lillrobert (Feb 9, 2012)

A tip to those of you who thinks sensor size should set the price.
Look at the picture quality instead. ;)

3 upvotes
sorinx
By sorinx (Feb 9, 2012)

Now it only needs a Nikon/Canon mount

4 upvotes
BBnose
By BBnose (Feb 9, 2012)

Hope to see the sundries comparison sample photos by dpreview soon.
I'm gonna compare the photo quality of SD1 vs D800.

3 upvotes
BobYIL
By BobYIL (Feb 9, 2012)

If it could be marketed for $2,299 why did they stick to a price of $6,899 since months?!? I find it not only opportunistic, shameful but also unwise for they have missed a great chance to sell not only as much cameras in the meantime suffice to amortize their investment but also to sell thousands of their own lenses for the SD1. Additionally, no matter how many MPixels they claim, this camera did not impress the users anymore than what the APS-C size 24MP cameras did.. (Just another case study for business management schools..)

2 upvotes
fenceSitter
By fenceSitter (Feb 9, 2012)

It's a great offer for anyone who has already invested in lenses with Sigma mount.

For anyone else, it's not really tempting, I guess. 17 months ago, the SD1's resolution was peerless among DSLRs, and would have been an interesting proposition for 3300ish Dollars.

Today, the SD1m will have to compete with Nikon's D800 and I don't see how.

1 upvote
abortabort
By abortabort (Feb 9, 2012)

I am genuinely considering this as I move more and more towards mirrorless cameras for 'everyday' shooting, the SD1 would be nice for studio and planned shooting. This plus 20mm 1.8, 30mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4 would do me very nicely. I was astonished by the price when they were first announced, but I think the SD1 is good value at $2300, actually scrap that these are incredibly good value at $2300.

2 upvotes
ms18
By ms18 (Feb 9, 2012)

Not a Fovern Fanboy.. But love the technology. Why this bloody interpolation let us carry the real resolution. Love you sigma

3 upvotes
john
By john (Feb 9, 2012)

isn't this camera more than 5 years old? do they still telling people their 2mp files is as good as a 1dsm4 or d800?

0 upvotes
jkokich
By jkokich (Feb 9, 2012)

I've seen shots from th SD and they're lousy! not worth $7000, not worth $2300! Any number of cameras, much cheaper, can do better.

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Feb 9, 2012)

I totally agree. Here's the Flickr link to SD1 photos. Entirely unimpressive. My $600 Fuji X10 does better.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=sigma+sd1&ss=2&m=tags

1 upvote
GraemeF
By GraemeF (Mar 4, 2012)

I wouldn't rely on Flickr for comparing picture quality - it uses a horrendously lossy compression algorithm during upload.....

0 upvotes
BBnose
By BBnose (Feb 9, 2012)

just wanna talk about the body design. I don't know. From DP to SD. The look of them are very European style, it seems not from the Japanese taste. I'm so curious who is the designer of them. Every time when I look at the design of SD1, I think of Leica S2. They have certain similarities of taste. I really love the look of SD1. The layout is so stylish, especially the design of the camera back.

1 upvote
the great fiction
By the great fiction (Feb 9, 2012)

Of course Sigma is "greedy." Like all businesses and people, they want to get the most money for their goods. If they could charge $1 billion for their cameras and make a handsome profit doing so, good for them! It's not like they're a monopoly or are forcing people to buy their products. There are plenty of other DSLR makers out there. So let's please stop feeling sad for people who got "ripped off." They didn't. If they wanted to keep their dollars more than they wanted the camera, they wouldn't have bought it. And let's stop accusing Sigma of somehow being greedier or more underhanded than the other guys.

1 upvote
adrian mctiernan
By adrian mctiernan (9 months ago)

I AM keeping my £, ENGLISH POUNDS, until the sensor makers come out with a 24megapixel version, (times 3 of course), so 72megapixel according to the Sigma method of counting. If a well-directed instruction from a new boss is able to change the camera pixel count to 15 megapixels, well, lets have another one to get a really significant improvement, and lets keep the price down to mass-market levels. I can't afford to waste my money, so use a standard 28 mm lens, used portrait format, not landscape, to take multishots pix of about 6feet by two feet, at native 300 dpi, which gives good quality and a panoramic picture, and it will sell at a good profit. I would like Sigma to press my button with the features I need, to get better shots than are now available, and only wait for their announcement. Does anyone know if they are working toward this sort of detail and quality? - they won't tell me, and I have no access to the inner workings of the company - I would appreciate any helpful info!

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Feb 9, 2012)

The cult sensor gets a name and a more realistic price. It's too bad the camera is such a dullard. Knowing the Foveon Cult member's mindset, the few folks who stuck themselves with the truly insanely-priced cameras will see subtle, but truly significant loss of image quality in photos from the lower-priced "Merrill".

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Feb 9, 2012)

This camera would be overpriced at $1,000.

The Foveon fans should be pretty upset about how they were ripped off by Sigma. And giving them "frequent flyer miles" might not be the best way to make up for this obvious price gouging.

Imagine how you would feel if you bought a car for $40,000 and nine months later the manufacturer decided to drop the price to $12,000? And then offered you some free floor mats to make you feel better....

1 upvote
brittonx
By brittonx (Feb 9, 2012)

As one of the SD1 early adopters ( bought mine last July), I'm happy that Sigma has decided to lower the price of the SD1 and also provide some compensation back to those of us who took the early leap of faith. I have been enjoying the SD1 for the last few months and am happy I purchased it.

4 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 10, 2012)

"Price Gouging" is only an applicable concept within a monopoly or emergency shortage situation (war, natural disaster)- hardly the case for digital cameras.

As for the $40,000 car, I believe Ford actually cut the price of the Model T year after year, espeicially the first years they made them, and for exacty the same reason Sigma gave for cutting the price of the SD-1. It may have been foolish for Sigma to price the SD-1 so high at first, but it wasn't "price gouging".

I fully agree that the frequent flyer program is probelmatical. It will only work if Sigma gives something of real value at a real discount. However, Sigma does not have to compensate for "price gouging". It is doing this to keep on the good side of people who have to be its most loyal cusromers.

0 upvotes
Rriley
By Rriley (Feb 11, 2012)

what kind of floormats are they 8)

0 upvotes
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Feb 9, 2012)

Still much too expensive for such a thoroughly mediocre camera.

5 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 9, 2012)

"Today, we announced our new digital single lens reflex camera, the Sigma SD1 Merrill. This product has the same features, performance, and specifications as the Sigma SD1."

INTERPRETATION: It's the same old camera as the SD1 had always been, isn't it though? Let's all a spade a spade, folks.

Anyhow, US$2,300 for an APS-C sensor digital camera is still way, way out there in February 2012. Will there by many takers, I wonder?

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Feb 8, 2012)

Instead of Sigma keep making lenses for various montages only, why not build cameras to various assemblies of lenses too? Photographers who already have systems built, easily buy the Sigma body suitable for their existing lenses. a brand that makes this, win in the marketplace.

2 upvotes
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (Feb 8, 2012)

Many people seem to be accusing Sigma of being extremely greedy in their original pricing... While I certainly agree that the price was ridiculous and made it impossible to consider buying, I also tend to think the decision must have been carefully thought out. They MUST have known they would sell many thousands of units at $2500 and relatively few units at $9000. I imagine their R&D costs made it practically impossible to make a profit at anything significantly lower than they offered. When you consider the R&D, Production Costs, Wholesale margins, Marketing, and who knows what else, I suspect they may actually be losing money to sell these at $2300. They may have simply realized it's better to sell a bunch and get back a portion of the investment rather than hold out for full price and let Nikon's new beast gobble up all their potential customers.

0 upvotes
BobNL
By BobNL (Feb 8, 2012)

and maybe they were not sure yet that they would be able to put the sensor in a DP sized camera. Those cameras have been higher volume for Sigma than the DSLRs. This higher volume reduces the cost of sensor production enormously, not to mention spreading the R&D costs.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 9, 2012)

Why do you make Sigma's problems your problems, I wonder?

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 9, 2012)

The guy just love how these things work and I do too. The original price was a thoughtful decision they had to make, I believe it has something to do how fast they could produce a properly working new sensor while receiving money (loan from buyers) to ramp up production.
They had this all planned out. I think the points they're giving to the SD1 buyers are more than the buyers have lost. Then again, these loyal SD1 buyers may already have a large collection of Sigma lens and accessories already.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Feb 8, 2012)

3k for apsc ? ... nope ^^

2 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Feb 8, 2012)

This is so funny. I guess they tried what Nikon pulled with the D3X and didn't get away with it by the same extent.

Greed is good — until you get caught.

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (Feb 8, 2012)

See? The free market corrected the greed.

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Feb 8, 2012)

Greed, perhaps. But stupdity, absolutely.

2 upvotes
warpfoo
By warpfoo (Feb 8, 2012)

Build the SD1 with an EOS mount and I'm there. You listening, Sigma?

m

5 upvotes
webmiser
By webmiser (Nov 9, 2012)

Canon wouldn't grant and Sigma wouldn't buy the licences required to produce a Canon mount SD1.
Why do people bang on about this so much?
If you want to know what all the fuss is about, buy a SD15 and a decent Sigma lens and you'll understand. Is that so outrageous? You can pick them up for a song on ebay. I have a Canon 1D3, a 40D, Nikon D200, Sigma SD14,15 &SD1 cameras. I love my hobby and it's not so much more expensive than say, golf. I also have some good Canon 'L' glass, but my top lenses are Sigmas and three of the top five of my best images so far are from Sigma cameras.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Feb 8, 2012)

Pretty gutsy of them to admit to price gouging. They will get what they deserve.

1 upvote
Oldboy 1948
By Oldboy 1948 (Feb 8, 2012)

Dramatic price fall indead, could it be an effect of the D800 price?

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Feb 8, 2012)

Just the fact that they have the ability to drop the price so dramatically is pretty bizarre. But hey, it's Sigma.

1 upvote
Earthlight
By Earthlight (Feb 8, 2012)

Well, this saga keeps getting more and more interesting.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
OrangeMonster
By OrangeMonster (Feb 8, 2012)

Interesting news...now I'm torn.

I'm not a pro but a serious amateur photographer and occasionally shoot with my SD14. The SD14 is almost completely useless with kids and indoor (natural lighting) or lowlight situations which leaves the user frustrated. BUT every time I look at my butterfly shots shot with my macro 150mm I just cannot come to ditch the system...the colour and depth seems different/special and works to my preference. It's certainly not for everyone...and for those who didn't know already, some have been using the SD14/15 with a Leica mount and those make some remarkable pictures.

This price drop might just convince me to give Sigma another chance...

3 upvotes
BobNL
By BobNL (Feb 8, 2012)

I can confess that a SD1 coupled with a 150mm macro is incredible!

2 upvotes
OrangeMonster
By OrangeMonster (Feb 9, 2012)

:) I can feel your finger on my back helping me over the edge!

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 8, 2012)

Foveon sensors have been under development for a long time, yet remain an unusual niche. Is it fair to say that the advantages are apparent only to pixel peepers, but don't stand out much at ordinary viewing scales, and that the costs offsets the advantage, even for persistent peepers? Is it essentially like the Concorde that competed, to no avail, against Airbus and Boeing?

1 upvote
squared9
By squared9 (Feb 8, 2012)

That's a very interesting comparison! Some magazine named Foveon as one of the most disappointing technologies given the expectations that surrounded it while going public with X3. I think it is and will largely remain a niche sensor technology with many fans and opponents, which I find sad.

1 upvote
spalbird
By spalbird (Feb 8, 2012)

The more valid opinion is oneselfs, and there are also some magazines which like Foveon for what it is....

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 8, 2012)

Wow, I cannot believe how fast the market reacts to D800's $3000 MSRP. E-M5 announced $200 below rumored price. SD1 price dropped $5000.

D800 really sets a cap on consumer camera pricing.

5 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (Feb 8, 2012)

Well, I was at the Canadian Olympus press event (one-on-one session) and was specifically asked to estimate what I thought the OMD camera should sell for. Maybe they did that across North America and found that everyone came in lower than the planned price.

1 upvote
Oldboy 1948
By Oldboy 1948 (Feb 8, 2012)

And what will happen on the medium frame market when 800E is very close to Leica S2 (36Mp vs 37.5MP) in image but only 1/6 in price

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 8, 2012)

Oldboy 1948:

Nikon lenses are no where near Leica quality, then there's the whole flat sensor plane that S lenses cope with and Nikons don't.

1 upvote
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Feb 8, 2012)

@oldboy1948: comparing a leica s2 to a d800 is like compare the sd1 to an d800
it shows pretty clear that the average consumer still thinks resolution is everything, and doesnt get that its about sensor size^^

so now that the nikon 1 system is out, makes the d700 pretty sensless as it has more megapixels i guess hehe

0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (Feb 8, 2012)

The "average consumer" isn't spending $3,000 for a camera body, nor over $600 for a battery grip. The smarter avid and professional photographers have enough scruples to view prints side-by-side to see for themselves how much of a difference can be had by paying for a higher priced product.

They'll take a print from a D800 and measure it against MF bodies, the Leica, etc.. and see to what extent the performance increases with the more expensive product. THEN the smart photographer decides whether or not that amount of increased performance for the more expensive option(s) mean anything to THEIR clients. If that answer is no, then they go with the cheaper option. If the answer is yes, they go with the product priced at a premium.

Interestingly, there comes a point where a slightly discernible increase in IQ offers LESS *overall performance* compared to far more resolution to many customers, and many professional photographers making a living with a camera.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
lxstorm
By lxstorm (Feb 9, 2012)

"Nikon lenses are no where near Leica quality"

Nikon's fix-focal lenses are sharper than Leica's ones actually.
Moreover Nikon handles Hi ISO IQ better than Leica.

0 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (Feb 8, 2012)

Will offer a support program for the victims of their heartless pricing...

That's the way it should say...

7 upvotes
nemark
By nemark (Feb 8, 2012)

Hm...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (Feb 8, 2012)

That's a really good news. This sensor layout is better than the one used by all the other makers. It's a sensor that does not need extra processing or rearrangement of pixels to obtain true colors.

When you take exactly the same shot of something you clearly notice Foveon's colors are more substantial, you feel depth. I always believed Sigma would get a very good position in the camera market with this sensor. It's taking long and being hard, but that's good to know they didn't give up.

4 upvotes
nemark
By nemark (Feb 8, 2012)

Still I think it is too expensive camera body doomed only to Sigma lenses. I`ll rather go for another brand body (as good or better for less or so money) capable for that brand lenses AND Sigma, Tokina, Tamron.....

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 9, 2012)

Exactly right. Main (only?) purpose of this camera is to sell SIGMA brand lenses, let's face it.

0 upvotes
webmiser
By webmiser (Nov 9, 2012)

Sigma already sell Sigma brand lenses to Canon and Nikon users. How many more are they going to sell with this 'strategy'. There is nothinig wrong with the Sigma mount (it is based on Canon protocols, after all) other than it doesn't take other brands' lenses.
Sigma lenses are up to the task of giving good quality images on any body.

0 upvotes
Lillrobert
By Lillrobert (Feb 8, 2012)

To those of you who are complaining over noise @ ISO1600, low res LCD and no sound/video recording and so on... Try to understand: That is not why you buy Sigma! You buy the SD1 because the power of the X3 sensor! Not to take low light party images to upload on facebook!
I have been using both the SD14 and Nikon D700 and the X3 sensor gives (in my oppinion) unmatched colours (not low light), great sharpness and a "3D feeling", and thats why you buy the SD1!

6 upvotes
DanCart
By DanCart (Feb 8, 2012)

well said, besides there is more to photography than shooting at high ISO. The sharpness of images from the SD1 at the resolution of the sensor is better than what has been shown in sample images from other cameras. This SD1 news is absolutely fantastic and that sensor is fantastic !!!!

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 9, 2012)

Then why was the manufacturer forced to drop the price of the camera overnight by almost FIVE THOUSAND AMERICAN DOLLARS, hmmm? Anyone?

0 upvotes
webmiser
By webmiser (Nov 9, 2012)

They weren't forced to drop the price. It was sold at a high price due to Sigma internal politics. It may be significant that the price drop came soon after the death of Sigma's chairman.

0 upvotes
TheBees
By TheBees (Feb 8, 2012)

the (few) ones who really bought the camera at full prize are simply happy 'cause Sigma is offering them another lens for free...

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 8, 2012)

Can you imagine if you were one of the tens of people that bought it at full price? I can't even fathom how much you would hate Sigma right now for that several thousand dollar bath your SD-1 just took.

6 upvotes
nemark
By nemark (Feb 8, 2012)

You buy that expensive Sigma camera only if you are IN LOVE with Sigma. So no reason to hate Sigma. I have nothing against Sigma (I use a lot of their lenses), but would never buy a body - no matter how good, that is doomed to it`s brand lenses only. I use both EOS and Nikon cameras, but still think Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Samyang... have some lenses that suite my needs better (or ARE better). And vice versa.

2 upvotes
spalbird
By spalbird (Feb 8, 2012)

It is childish to hate Sigma if you bought the SD1 because of its worth. If you hate Sigma you are either a must-have-the-greatest-toy-at-a-pirice-i-don't-care guy or speculating. That the price has dropped now does not have to do anything with ones fate...

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 9, 2012)

You just took a $5,000 bath. A mighty cold one, too.

0 upvotes
brittonx
By brittonx (Feb 9, 2012)

I bought my SD1 in July last year. I was happy with it then and I'm still happy with it now. I'm also happy that more people will be able to own an SD1 for themselves. That Sigma has decided to compensate those of us who paid the higher price for it, is a great addition.

0 upvotes
Faintandfuzzy
By Faintandfuzzy (Feb 8, 2012)

Still priced more than a D800. Doesn't have lens support for Canon or Nikon glass. Horrible noise at even 1600 iso with color starting to shift above 400 iso. Lousy low rez LCD.

To be fair, at base iso with good glass, this camera can match even the D3X. It can't however match the D800 no matter what proclamations of a few are posted.

4 upvotes
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
By Gary Dean Mercer Clark (Feb 8, 2012)

I'm shooting with an SD1 on loan from Sigma USA right now. I can produce enlargements up to 45x60 using photozoom pro and looking at the images at 100 percent--there are no sharpening or interpolation enlargement artifacts.

The nature of the foveon image lends itself to easy enlargements without artifacts seen from Bayer sensored cameras. I shoot professionally with a Canon 5D MK II and have to be extremely careful with my enlargements to prevent enlargement artifacts/ problems.
The soft image detail is incredible---something that I can't reproduce with a Bayer sensored camera. With Sigma's very best glass and some patience, I can produce stellar images that I can't produce with any other camera system out there. I've seen the preproduction samples posted from the Nikon D800 and they suck. However, I applaud the development of the D800. Competition is good! :)

8 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 8, 2012)

Tell me, how do you like that Sigma RAW extraction software? And how high an ISO do yo work in with the Sigma SD1?

0 upvotes
DanCart
By DanCart (Feb 8, 2012)

You are right is really capable and to be honest Sigma does produce some excellent lenses. For the resolution of thew SD1 sensor it does produce some superbly sharp images and this price reduction is what we all have been for !! Bravo Sigma !!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 upvote
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Feb 8, 2012)

"With Sigma's very best glass and some patience, I can produce stellar images..."

Perhaps you could try posting some of these images to your website - at the moment it seems to just have a lot of placeholders.

2 upvotes
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
By Gary Dean Mercer Clark (Apr 6, 2012)

http://www.pbase.com/garydmercer/image/141835493

0 upvotes
xpanded
By xpanded (Feb 8, 2012)

Too late for me, but I wish Sigma success with these three cameras.

3 upvotes
jc52e53
By jc52e53 (Feb 8, 2012)

The 46mp is said to be the same as a 15mp. Sigma says 30, however I believe it is
closer to 25 or so. It is slow and the screen has low dpi's for today. I feel when it came out it was worth $2,500. I believe Sony is coming out with a Foveon-like sensor with 100mp by the end of the year.This style sensor is great for color accuracy. I believe the Foveon does not need an AA filter. If I had a lot of money and could afford new lenses I would buy one. I have Nikon lenses and accessories. Right now my interest is in the D800E.
I still love the Foveon sensor and believe that Sigma should have done what Sony did.They should sell sensors to competitors. I am quite interested what will happen when Sony uses their Foveo-like sensor which will be more than twice the mp.If I were Sigma I would up the ante and develop one that high in mp and sell sensors to Pentax and Leica. neither make their own sensors.That would help finance their next camera.

3 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 8, 2012)

The time frame for "100mp" sensor is 2013~2014 according to SAR. A combination of Foveon-like sensor and organic material.

0 upvotes
Dan4321
By Dan4321 (Feb 8, 2012)

I agree. They ought to be trying to license the sensor to other manufacturers rather than trying to compete with them. They're never going to sell that many cameras to pros because they're sigma. People aren't going to buy a camera for the sensor alone, they want a good selection of quality lenses that work.

1 upvote
Total comments: 174
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