Previous news story    Next news story

Just Posted: Sigma SD1 / SD1 Merrill review

By dpreview staff on Apr 10, 2012 at 17:07 GMT

Just posted: our review of Sigma's SD1 Merrill, the company's flagship 15MPx3 DSLR. The SD1 is the first camera to use the latest APS-C Foveon sensor, which detects three-color data at each location, giving what Sigma says is resolution equivalent to a 30MP conventional Bayer design. We've used both an original SD1 and SD1 Merrill, which are identical in terms of function and output, and the review reflects the behavior of the latest firmware for each. So does the no live view, no video SD1 deliver enough to carve out its own niche?

Comments

Total comments: 388
123
odl
By odl (Apr 10, 2012)

really very beautiful images as base ISO, crisp and clean with effortless colour... Once I downres my a850 to see how it looks I may even get one...

Ab

3 upvotes
cxsparc
By cxsparc (Apr 10, 2012)

Am missing something?
I compared IQ with the 5N and the Nex is as sharp, colors look better , it has higher DR, lower noise at high ISO and is much cheaper.

?

2 upvotes
StephenSPhotog
By StephenSPhotog (Apr 10, 2012)

I'm very surprised by the colors in RAW. I expected the color reproduction to be better that a normal DSLR.

And what's up with JPEG @ ISO 6400??

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 10, 2012)

Why should the color reproduction be better than a normal DSLR? A normal DSLR has a tuned RGB filter just for color reproduction. Foveon uses color dependent attenuation in silicon. They shall be glad that they can make acceptable color images at all. It needs some serious color tweaking to do.

4 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (Apr 10, 2012)

If they'd put expcomp on the second control wheel, I'd be very interested. I do seascapes at base ISO in RAW. Perfect!

But no expcomp wheel would drive me nuts.

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 10, 2012)

about sony..... i know this is about sigma but anyway.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/10/us-sony-idUSBRE83907220120410

6.4 billion net loss…. and they have still money to do R&D?

it´s not to far fetched to think they will drop out of the pro and prosumer camera business and only produce the NEX system in the future.

lens development is expensive... and they will never match canon or nikon.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (Apr 10, 2012)

That's why they leave lens development to Zeiss who surpass Canikon.

4 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 10, 2012)

well .. obviously they don´t succeed with that strategy either.

im not sure sony will have the muscles to compete on the "DSLR" sector.... i guess they will drop it and focus on CSC.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Apr 10, 2012)

The loss has nothing to do with digital imaging business. It's due to,

1) additional (unexpected) tax expense
2) heavy losses in its television business
3) strong yen
4) natural disasters in Japan and overseas.

In fact, recently Sony made digital imaging as one of the core of their business,

http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2012/03/27/major-changes-for-sony-as-company-focuses-on-digital-imaging

So unlike what you are claiming, Sony will invest more now on cameras and camcorders, as this is now one of their three core pillars.

3 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 10, 2012)

well your guess is as good as mine.

i don´t say they drop the camera business.. if you read carefully you will notice i speak about the HIGH END camera business.

the NEX systems does not count for me as HIGH END.

and for what they told in the past.. a few weeks ago they thought they would make only half the loss. lol......

if they can not make the ALPHA series really profitable they will drop it.
and competition is not becoming easyer.

i don´t see them going the kodak way yet... but i don´t expect much new stuff in the FF area over the next years.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Apr 10, 2012)

I can't say anything about Alpha future, but Nex-7 is the best selling CSC cameras right now on Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/3109924011

If anything, the message from that should be that high end cameras are more profitable than cheaper Nex-C3.

Sony is now using the E-mount on camcorders too. However all A-mount lenses work (and focus) with SLT adapter on FS100/F700 ... so there is link there between the two. Both would merge into one system someday (via Alpha cameras that have removable mounts).

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 10, 2012)

but sale numbers say nothing about profit.
i can sell 10000000 cameras and still make no profit. ;)

i don´t know many serious photographer who are willing to invest into a sony alpha system.
the support is not nearly as good as nikons or canons.... and lenses... well i don´t even start.

it will be interesting to see what sony will do in the future.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Apr 10, 2012)

You might not know any, but there are many of them who are using Sony cameras, as google search will show, including wedding and landscape photographers.

And as for video, Nikon has 0% market share there. Canon is a lot smaller than Sony in professional video camera market.

1 upvote
AnHund
By AnHund (Apr 10, 2012)

It's too late baby. Much too late.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 10, 2012)

If Foveon is going to try to excel only at low ISO, non action, they need to get a BIG sensor. The quantities they sell in, and the photographers they appeal to, suggest they ought to go medium format. They don't have the lenses for it, but Sigma does do great lenses, so that shouldn't be too hard.

10 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 10, 2012)

You are right. Foveon could probably compete at medium format. But ... they have to do the sensor first. Then the best thing is probably to sell the sensor to Hasselblad or Phase one or whatever is willing to pay. Making a medium format system - thats not easy. Making a fixed lens medium format camera. can that be taken seriously?

3 upvotes
BobNL
By BobNL (Apr 10, 2012)

yes it is hard. but boy, would I love to see it :)

2 upvotes
Deleted1929
By Deleted1929 (Apr 10, 2012)

The enormous drop RAW quality from 1600 to 3200 is hard to believe. I have to wonder if it's a software issue ( Sigma software ). I hope DPR will update their RAW test when either Adobe or dcraw supports the SD1 Merrill.

If Sigma are reading it is in your interests to give Adobe ( and Dave Coffin - dcraw ) support in developing conversion code for your cameras.

1 upvote
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Apr 10, 2012)

For me it also looks like there is no good NR software for RAW files os Sigma. The noise IS there, but it is not that bad.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Apr 10, 2012)

At all ISOs, these raw files look undercooked. I suspect it's just that DPP is lacking in processing muscle, or doesn't know how to manage colors correctly. (and for reference, I'm on a calibrated monitor)

0 upvotes
kapanak
By kapanak (Apr 10, 2012)

Foveon sensor tech is constantly evolving. I expect Sigma to introduce a FF Foveon sensor in the 30-something X3 range, giving a resolution of 100 MP in a few years, at which point, if the Low ISO performance stays the same or improves on what it can do already, it would make a camera with such sensor a perfect, and, most likely, much cheaper alternative to the likes of PhaseOne high megapixel backs.

3 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (Apr 10, 2012)

But so is /other/ sensor tech — the goalposts keep moving here.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 10, 2012)

The goalposts do keep moving but the Foveon technology seems to be the ace in the hole. The total absence of artifacts that we see from the Bayer sensor (the resolution test in this review are unbelievable) that if Sigma does offer a higher MP sensor in the future, it would get the attention of a lot of studio photographers.

4 upvotes
kapanak
By kapanak (Apr 11, 2012)

Exactly. Bayer sensors are dependent not only on the quality of the sensor, but on the processing power and algorithms involved. Clearly, the lack of artifacts that even the most advanced Bayer sensors show, as well as the total lack of need for a anti-aliasing filter, the absolute colour accuracy and lack of any moire or false colours of the Foveon sensor is highly appealing to many professionals and studios. If and when Sigma introduces a high resolution, larger sensor as I hypothesized above, and if Sigma can keep the costs below a certain astronomical number, accompanied by worthy lenses, many will be interested.

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Apr 10, 2012)

High quality at low ISO is pretty much what all contemporary cameras can provide. Is higher resolution meaningful either? Some say that we already have more megapixels than the eye can see on screen, unless it is a huge 8k screen at theater distance. If detection of the difference requires blowing up the image for pixel peeping, that's like saying we should value clothing by how it looks at the fiber level: fashion shows with a microscope.

It's sort of like candy being rated by its chocolatey taste. Yes, there might be deluxe sweets, but a mere $1 Hershey bar is pretty good too. Ditto for beer.

In exactly which cases has the Foveon sensor been a commercial or functional success? Or must go beyond questions of utlity and learn, like an eccentric millionaie or artist, to appreciate the quirky or deviant?

Perhaps the Foveon is, like a Tesla auto or a pet hippo, the sort of curiousity that gives great thrills precisely twice: 1) the day you buy it, and 2) the day you sell it.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 10, 2012)

Or instead, the SD1 could be seen as a great choice for a studio photographer working with controlled lighting or a landscape photographer who never shoots above ISO 400. Certainly images look sharper and cleaner than those from Bayer sensor. I don't know why the color is so poor in this review however, as I've never before seen such poor colors from a Foveon sensor.
No the camera for me may be the DP2 Merrill (provided that I can get normal saturated images like those we are used to from previous DP2 cameras), to use when my D800 is not practical to bring because of it's size and weight.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 10, 2012)

really thats what the studio photographer is looking for a hyper expensive aps-c camera

2 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 10, 2012)

Actually yes, I use the SD1 for pro studio fashion work- and I like the deeper DOF. I use Kino Flos, not strobes.

I have never seen a camera render fabrics and textures as well as the SD1. Some cameras never need to go above base ISO- the SD1 is a specialised tool for particular needs.

Also, I use the Neutral color mode. I find Standard mode unpleasant.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 10, 2012)

APS-C or FF, if the IQ is there is doesn't matter, nor does the price for many photographers. Images seem to have something extra, clean, sharp and detail, as in the first image on this link. Impressive.

http://www.sigma-sd.com/SD1/sample-photo/index.html

2 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Apr 10, 2012)

Good thoughts. I think the better comparison is to the belated Fuji S series of dSLRS, Swam a different current and for certain users was a great one. With all the great things digital has brought, we have lost interest in unique lens or sensor (film) quality because it can all be simulated in processing. Doesn't one company thrive on a set of filters that emulate all our favorite black and white films.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 10, 2012)

image qaulity is weaker than the new generation of pro cameras that dont suffer these limitations

0 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (Apr 10, 2012)

At the pro level, it's about competitive advantage. It's about distinguishing your business from the other pros and from uncle Bob's new full frame camera.

The SD1 quality at 100% is the most life-like that I've seen outside of medium formats and scan backs. Some of us don't mind going through a lot of pain to get something truly spectacular. Using view cameras are quite painful but didn't deter professional landscapers and studio photographers from using them.

I've seen a wall-size print of a simple tree using scan back that looked so real, I wanted to step into the photo and touch the tree bark. Today's best DSLRs even with their massive megapixel still have that "digital" look when printed out to a poster size.

ISO100 is the only place that's worth using on the SD1. Don't change the ISO to work with your ambiance. Change the ambiance to work with your ISO. This means tripod, strobes, or find a place/time that works.

It's not about convenience. It's about the final result.

18 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Apr 10, 2012)

This comment I like: no justification and bla bla for things it can't do, simply use it for what it can do best! Hey, it's your money, your thing, have fun with it, respect! Yesterday I was in an old castle and had to use ISO 1600 on a 7D and monopod in incredible low light (1/10 second, 100 mm f2.8) and still got some amazing pics I'm very happy with. To me it means a lot, it's like your tree you want to step into. Ha, ha, what an incredible thing, I love my hobby!

4 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Apr 10, 2012)

Then your business model is flawed if you're willing to put in extra time for the same price, even if you think the results are better.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Apr 10, 2012)

Then why not a MF film camera?

2 upvotes
increments
By increments (Apr 10, 2012)

or indeed a medium format with a digital back?

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 10, 2012)

by and large pros dont define themselves by there camera. and at our level pro s want a toos that helps create our vision so that we can make the best product for our client. we want the tool that limits us the least. 5d mk 3 and d800 both well exceed the image quality at all iso's of the sd1 and are able to shoot in low light and many other things a professional may find himself not wanting but needing to be able to do. it will also continues the constant frustration of the digital age of being small censored. most pros dont like to use small censors they force us to shoot shorter lenses that dont provide characteristics we like. remeber before digital most of us shot medium format and even 4x5. aps-c has its strengths but is by no menas the first choice of pros

2 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (Apr 10, 2012)

@Rubenski. "No justification and bla bla for things it can't do, simply use it for what it can do best!" You phrased it perfectly. Ansel Adams isn't judged by his sport photos, nor wedding photos, or color photos. He's judged by what his does best: B&W landscape photos.

@snake_b - Correct. You explained why I'm so poor :-(

@Cy Cheze - I'm not saying SD1 can replace MF just yet. Actually there are many things about an MF view camera that are still better than the SD1, namely high quality lenses and the large sensor that's more realistic. That's why I'm not buying the SD1, I just see the reason why it makes sense for certain photographers.

@Kodakchrome200 - It's about the market you're going after. For some markets, the buyers value realism over technique/creativity/post processing. And just like you, I would take a 4x5 over the small sensor of the SD1 too. I'm just saying the SD1 has more realism over any small Bayer sensor.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Apr 10, 2012)

well i wouldnt sayi prefer it. but just like shooting a view camera has pitfall so does digital. The number one for me and a lot of people is 35mm isnt big enough optically so aps-c is way to small. not to do with IQ just the type of lens i am gonna use. 35mm sensors are a big improvement aps-c though. I dont think there are many pros that want to go backward on this. plus image quality is inferior to the latest gen canon and nikon high res cameras. it just have to be better to be worth dealing with this cameras many pitfalls

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
whawha
By whawha (Apr 10, 2012)

I find it astounding that in 2012 a £2000 camera can perform so atrociously above ISO 400.
Is that worth the extra resolution it might, perhaps, give when pixel peeping at base ISO?
ISO 1600 and up actually look like some cheesy noise plugin has been applied to the image.The Sigma team must be on crack.

5 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 10, 2012)

You cannot choose high ISO capability just because you need it for market reasons. The high ISO quality for Foveon is what it is. If it is important to you, look elsewhere. If you can live with it - look at low ISO quality and decide.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 10, 2012)

The Pentax 645D only goes up to ISO 1600. Do you think Pentax is on drugs?

Many may find it astounding that in 2012 images from traditional Bayer sensors have such ugly artifacts that the Foveon sensors don't have. Not every photographer shoots handheld, low-light. They have these things called studios where photographers can go to make images. Some even have lights.

9 upvotes
jkokich
By jkokich (Apr 11, 2012)

And they have better cameras to choose from. Why are so many people making excuses for a camera that only produces good pictures a fraction of the time? There are many superior cameras, less expensive ones, and older models. It seems the Sigma produces mediocre stuff that photographers have to fix. I'm all for post-processing - we did it with film - but this sounds like far too much work that the camera should have taken care of in the first place.

1 upvote
whawha
By whawha (Apr 11, 2012)

In any case it would have been more honest if they would not have included higher ISO than 100 and marketed at those photographers interested in a £2000 camera (originally £8000, beyond belief) that only gives results at base ISO and with terrible writing times. All five of them and their dogs.
BTW the Pentax is a medium format camera, a studio and landscape camera sold as such. You wouldn't expect ISO higher than 1600 on such a tool - and gives very good results should you choose to shoot at 1600.

1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 10, 2012)

ERROR IN TESTING METHODOLOGY:

The comparison tool uses files processed with sharpness set to zero- but it should be switched OFF.

You would think that zero = off, but in Sigma's raw developer the 'off' setting is in fact -2.0.

Sharpening off with the SD1 reveals more fine detail, because the default sharpening is not optimal at all. The same goes for the noise reduction, which needs to be switched off and done in another program if you want finer detail.

I think DPR should redo their comparison tool shots, otherwise the SD1 is being shown at a considerable disadvantage IMHO.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Apr 10, 2012)

This is why the raw image files are available: if you don't like the processing used, then you can process them yourself to your preferences.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 10, 2012)

Yes, but the DPR comparison tool should remain consistent.

I think they intended to turn the sharpening off.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 11, 2012)

I think it's far more likely that 'Sharpening 0' is a typo, rather than the actual setting applied. We're looking into it, though.

0 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Apr 10, 2012)

Isn't the so called 'elegant solution to solve the initial pricing strategy' in fact an almost succeeded hell of a rip off?

4 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Apr 10, 2012)

Thanks for reviewing. Would be interesting to see what would happen if that sensor were put in the Nikon, Pentax and Sony comparable cameras you cite.

"The missing feature - Live View" Yes, I agree. In fact, if SLRs are to thrive in the days ahead, I would like Live View on the back and both optical with heads-up display and EVF through the eye piece. Fuji is to be applauded. Eye-level viewing and composing still have many advantages. Interesting, in earlier days of dpreview, the reviews keep saying "Can't imagine anyone would need live-view"! Times have changed.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Apr 10, 2012)

Why would anyone buy this over a D800 or 5D3?

6 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (Apr 10, 2012)

IQ

14 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Apr 10, 2012)

Its a studio camera. I can see this being the fashion standard and also medical applications.

3 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Apr 10, 2012)

Why? Because it costs less than 2/3 the price of those bodies and you like it's output for your use (screen or prints) over other cameras. In other words, the same reason you'd buy any camera you actually use rather than just hang around your neck.

0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (Apr 10, 2012)

I wonder what the long exposure is like, could this do a minute well?

0 upvotes
HBowman
By HBowman (Apr 10, 2012)

Of course :)

0 upvotes
FritsThomsen
By FritsThomsen (Apr 10, 2012)

I am not so sure about that ... my DP2s is fine up to maybe 15 seconds-----

1 upvote
SETI
By SETI (Apr 10, 2012)

I can forgive everything to Sigma when looking at the results =) But seriously wish they cross Pentax K-5 with Foveon!

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Apr 10, 2012)

This camera performs promisingly. It has the most natural colours of the bunch. I must say I was expecting it to be dismissed by most commentators because of its relatively poor high ISO performance, but fortunately it wasn't. And rightly so. In raw ando low ISO JPEGs, it shows real qualities in terms of colour accuracy and sharpness.
Of course, we can always wonder what they were thinking when they set the initial price, but they came up with an elegant solution to solve this issue re. first buyers who paid that exaggerated price.
Now Sigma must license this gem of a sensor. I can see some manufacturers who'd benefit from Foveon technology. Would I buy this camera? No. On the other hand, I'd welcome a line of Foveon-equipped Olympus DSLRs. 4/3 is OK with mirrorless cameras, but doesn't do their DSLRs any favours.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 10, 2012)

Look like Sigma Photo Pro is not doing a good job with SD1 RAW files. The color looks terrible, the file is extremely desaturated.

That said, the SD1 has an incredibly clean , artifact-free image at base ISO with zero noise. The other 3 cameras, in comparison show some noise, bayer artifacts, even at ISO 100 (with the possible exception of the D7000).

0 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Apr 10, 2012)

That color is for default settings and "Standard" color mode; there are other choices.

0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (Apr 10, 2012)

Niche is an understatement, but I would quite like one. I think it out resolves that Nikon 800 thingy-me-bob.
I could see me using it on special jobs.
Quirky is an understatement, but I reckon some will make their living with the "Look" this camera can give.
Different is an understatement, I'm all for different. I still use a Rolleiflex in a helicopter when I get the time. I think this could do a good job with aerial images, 200 iso the detail would zing! Anyone want to lend me one to try?
Kevin.
www.kevinallenphotography.co.uk

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Apr 10, 2012)

Not an allround DSLR but great iq at low iso's. Not being able to process the the raw files with photoshop/lightroom is the real show stopper. It will make this camera even more niche than it would otherwise be.

0 upvotes
Alejandro del Pielago
By Alejandro del Pielago (Apr 10, 2012)

Sorry, but the price is still a little high... after checking these lab results...

1 upvote
Ruy Penalva
By Ruy Penalva (Apr 10, 2012)

From the conclusion we can say: Sigma has an excelent sensor but a poor software in the days where software counts even more than sensor.

1 upvote
calxn
By calxn (Apr 10, 2012)

The software issue is the biggest problem for Sigma. They will never gain mass market appeal because of post processing difficulties. It's too bad.

2 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (Apr 10, 2012)

Decent lenses. I own a couple. But, why in the world is this company still manufacturing DSLR cameras? Perhaps turning a profit just isn't important to them.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 10, 2012)

At least they fixed the pricing issue. One could justify this camera for landscape and studio work at current pricing.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Apr 10, 2012)

They need to license this sensor to a company who can do something with it.

7 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 10, 2012)

You would think being in Japan that Sigma could steal enough engineers or product managers from one of the big 5 camera brands to release a camera with more mass appeal.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 10, 2012)

So JackM --- what company would that be?

Hmmmmm .. the problem is that only Sigma wanted to take care of the ugly duckling.

Maybe, just maybe, some of the greater ones will take a look at the ducling and say - it looks like this one might grow up to something interesting.

But - then its needed that both Sigma and the greater one agree on something. Not easy.

1 upvote
Dianoda
By Dianoda (Apr 10, 2012)

Roland, I think it's pretty safe to say that company would be either Nikon, Canon, or even Sony (who makes a fair number of the sensors in Nikon's cameras).

Nikon/Canon both have better glass to put in front of the sensor and generally release ergonomically-sound, responsive cameras with fast image processors that are much more capable when it comes to AF, card write speeds, and have useful features like live view. This sensor doesn't need to be surrounded by a body that is a sport pro's dream, but it deserves one that gets the little things right.

Just imagine if the D800 had a full-frame foveon sensor... sure, it'd be a studio/landscape cam all the way, but it'd be one heck of a camera for it's intended purpose.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (Apr 11, 2012)

I think Canon is least likely, as they seem to prefer to use their own sensors. Nikon, maybe, they outsource sensors... FM-D? Pentax/Ricoh seems to like doing things differently, they could pick it up, and they have good lenses. I think there is still a market for a small DSLR the size and style of a Pentax MX. (Think Olympus OMD but APS-C Foveon)

Whoever. I agree with Dianoda, imagine a FF Foveon in a small backpackable body for the hiking landscapers that could really compete with MF.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Felix E Klee
By Felix E Klee (Apr 10, 2012)

Why is the resolution tested with black and white charts? Especially with this type of sensor, wouldn't it be more appropriate to evaluate and compare resolution using colored charts?

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
GSD_ZA
By GSD_ZA (Apr 10, 2012)

Because they're testing optical resolution rather than colour resolution. Optical resolution is the ability of an optical system to resolve or separate distinct features from one another. Having colour in the test image would only confuse the test.

Colour resolution, or colour separation, is related, in a digital system, to bit depth.

1 upvote
Felix E Klee
By Felix E Klee (Apr 10, 2012)

There's a misunderstanding here. I am not talking about bit depth. What I'd like to see is a chart with converging colored lines. For example a red line, then next to it a green line, then a blue line, a red one, a green one, etc.

High resolution in colored structures is ‒ from my experience with a Sigma DP1x ‒ a major strength of the Foveon sensor. Look for example at pictures of foliage.

6 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 10, 2012)

You have images to look at and resolution tests made. The usual stuff.

What evidence do you have that color chart tests shows any useful measure for the camera?

0 upvotes
Felix E Klee
By Felix E Klee (Apr 10, 2012)

The thing is that a Bayer type sensor binds neighboring pixels, and then interpolates to full resolution. Therefore, I would expect such a sensor to create color artifacts that the Foveon sensor doesn't. Therefore my proposal for a test / comparison.

4 upvotes
carpediem007
By carpediem007 (Apr 10, 2012)

I wish Ricoh could / would make a "lensor" with this fabulous sensor for its GXR...

1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Apr 10, 2012)

It is so amazing but only in well lit situation. Also not much better than SONY's 16/24 mp. 800E is still the high-res king until Canon's 39/42mp 1DsX came out.

2 upvotes
Ruy Penalva
By Ruy Penalva (Apr 10, 2012)

But Nokia smartphone already did a camera at this resolution showing that it means nothing. Not forgetting that the troubled Kodak was the first to launch a sensor in that range.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 10, 2012)

"800E is still the high-res king until Canon's 39/42mp 1DsX came out."

That's like saying the Bugatti Veyron is the fastest car in the world until the McLaren MP-5 hits the market in 2013.

0 upvotes
Schweikert
By Schweikert (Apr 10, 2012)

No raws will download on the comparison page. An error shows. Please fix! Raws for any other camera compared works fine.

As stated by others, superb image quality at low ISO. But with such a crappy camera and slow speed, just seems to be a waste of money.

That sensor should have gone to any one of the other camera companies who know hold to build cameras.

For low ISO studio work, this sensor would be wonderful. But buying a Sigma camera is never going to happen in my photo business.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Apr 10, 2012)

Sorry about that - should be fixed in a few minutes.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 10, 2012)

They are now working.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
By Gary Dean Mercer Clark (Apr 11, 2012)

I ordered an SD1M for my photography studio. It will work very nicely for my work.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
photoholiko
By photoholiko (Apr 10, 2012)

This camera isn't going anywhere for the reasons stated in the DPR.

1 upvote
Faintandfuzzy
By Faintandfuzzy (Apr 10, 2012)

It's 3x15mp....no 15x3mp

2 upvotes
unotisto
By unotisto (Apr 10, 2012)

It's (15x3)mp

0 upvotes
Faintandfuzzy
By Faintandfuzzy (Apr 10, 2012)

No. it's not. It is 3 layers of a 15mp sensor....not 15 layers of a 3mp sensor. The mp goes after the 15...not the 3.

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 10, 2012)

I think you're over-thinking this. Linguistically it would be (15x3)mp but, since that looks messy and is mathematically redundant, we're not going to change it.

We've used this convention for a long time and nobody else has been confused or concerned that others would.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Faintandfuzzy
By Faintandfuzzy (Apr 10, 2012)

Linguistically speaking, it doesn't work. The MP refers to the pixels, which are then multiplied by the layers. As layers are not megapixels, when you write 15x3mp, it is wrong. Brackets would help, but as you didn't use them, it still wrong. Stick with it if you like....that doesn't make it correct. By the way...my buddy who's an English prof says you're wrong as well.....so linguistically, it should be changed.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 10, 2012)

15 MP x 3 = 15x3 MP
The MP doesn't come after the 3, but after 15x3. The parentheses are implied.
But yeah, strictly speaking you're right, although I think few people are likely to be confused by writing 15x3 MP. Especially as this is how Sigma themselves choose to write it.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 10, 2012)

This camera is very interesting as IQ at low ISO is absolutely incredible. I won't be buying it because I'm invested in Nikon, but when the DP2 Merrill is released, I will definitely purchase one.

1 upvote
arno bothof
By arno bothof (Apr 10, 2012)

But it deserves a better lens I think.
Lots of CA in the sample files

0 upvotes
Johan Borg
By Johan Borg (Apr 10, 2012)

If the original DP2 is any indication, this sensor should get a really good lens in the DP2 Merrill. Time for me to upgrade, I guess...

2 upvotes
DrTebi
By DrTebi (Apr 12, 2012)

"This camera is very interesting as IQ at low ISO is absolutely incredible."

Yes, but not as incredible as the medium format slides from my Mamiya 7 camera projected on a 8x8 foot screen.

Irrelevant, I know, but I couldn't help myself throwing this into the discussion ;)

1 upvote
DADA MALER
By DADA MALER (Apr 12, 2012)

hALLO. I AM NEW HERE. I REMEMBER WHEN I SOLD MY 40D AND
KEEPED A SD10 BECAUSE OF THAT FOVEON - ESSENCE .
SLIDES - YES IT IS. THE ONLY SENSOR IN THE WORLD THAT IS LIKE DIAS FILM . THAT MEANS ALWAYS LOW ISO . NOBODY SHOOTS SPORTS WITH VELVIA 50 . BEFORE IT WAS SO EASY TO CHANGE YOUR STYLE WITH JUST CHAHGING FILM TYPE , NOW IT IS MORE COMPLICATED:)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
DADA MALER
By DADA MALER (Apr 12, 2012)

SORRY MY ENGLISH

0 upvotes
Total comments: 388
123