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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
janwstrawn
By janwstrawn (Sep 24, 2012)

I found a website where I saved a little $1,700 on the SD1! Here's a link! http://straughnj.gps5.com/shop.php?c=3806&n=3017941&i=B0051MS4FA&x=Sigma_SD1_SLR

1 upvote
Cili
By Cili (May 12, 2012)

You all be sure to check into the Sigma SD1 Points Rebate Program which ends on May 31, 2012.

Everyone who purchased a Sigma SD1 for the original purchase price can apply. Sigma will grant 40 points whose value equals the difference between the price THEN and the Sigma SD1 Merrill price NOW.

Points can be redeemed until the end of 2012, and Sigma provides a list of products and their point values when they certify the validity of the application.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Apr 19, 2012)

I think it is THE most expensive APS-C camera right now but at least now it's priced to be sold down on planet Earth. The difference in the sale price is huge IMO and makes one wonder about the profit margins manufacturers want to achieve. Just how much this camera (or any camera) is really worth? 300 $?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 19, 2012)

Also the cheapest 15 mega pixel (aka 45MP) Foveon sensored camera.

Get real with your $300 suggestion.

2 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 22, 2012)

They went record as having changed the manufacturing process, which took a year.

What the cost of manufacturing the SD1 was a year ago is NOT the same as the SD1m.

1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 17, 2012)

I agree with you in principle, but the actual results seem to be the opposite.

Foveon looks more film-like than Bayer does in a number of ways. Strangely enough, to me the images from the X-Pro 1 look the least film-like of all. Fantastic images in their own way, but not film-like.

Of course, the layout of Bayer is not really like film either. No system based on a pixel grid can ever be quite like it. Film grain varies in size and is truly random in structure.

If I had to hazard a guess, it's the lack of interpolation that gives Foveon the film-like look. It would probably look even more film-like if the pixels were randomised in a manner similar to the X-Pro 1, only without interpolation.

I don't think Foveon will ever go mainstream, but it will continue to build a special niche in the particular areas at which it excels.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Apr 17, 2012)

The complement most often paid and the thing most often claimed to be sought with digital seems to be "looks like film".

When you frame it in terms of film, a Bayer pattern is in fact closer to film. One does not ever get exposed grains (dye blooms really) lining up perfectly in each color layer. So the design principle of the Foveon chip here is at odds with the roots of color photography.

This is the primary reason that these Foveon images don't scale the way the numbers imply. (tain't 40mp, but it is a solid 14-15mp)

It's an interesting concept, but it is highly unlikely to be the way of the future. The Fuji XPro is conceptually on to something though, when comparing to film. Seems to actually work too, unlike the Foveon. (higher ISOs work like we expect)

1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 17, 2012)

Try downloading the RAWs.

As a studio/location strobe camera I think it is fully deserving of the score. Anything else and it would be much lower.

It's not designed to be an all-rounder.

1 upvote
danniii
By danniii (Apr 18, 2012)

I don't know about that - It's doing pretty well for me as a macro camera. but yeah like you said not an allrounder.

1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 18, 2012)

Yeah, I think the idea of a DPR 'score' is pretty silly. At best it's like rating a camera as an all-rounder.

I would give the SD1 a 90% for some applications, and 20% for others!

1 upvote
JayJackson
By JayJackson (Apr 17, 2012)

I think your review was very kind to Sigma, this seems to be a camera with a lot serious flaws and quirks. Surely many better options available, 8 years ago! How did it achieve a score of 71?

1 upvote
Kummik
By Kummik (Apr 15, 2012)

Image quality might be awesome, but small sensor still has it's limitations. Achieveing a shallow DoF with the SD1 is much more difficult and it can't really be compared to 645D or even a FF sensor in that respect. I'm not familiar with the Foveon technology, but I haven't seen any examples how it performs with higher ISO, so not sure how it compares in terms of noise.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Apr 15, 2012)

If you want a shallow depth of field in low light, the SD1 is not for you. It's been known for years, and written everywhere, that the Sigma cameras are not the best for available light. But in daylight or under controlled lighting, they are fantastic, the more so if you DON'T want a shallow depth of field.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 15, 2012)

Exactly. For some applications deep DOF is actually better.

Fashion, macro, landscape, art reproduction, product photography.

Foveon is only good at base ISO though, so it's for studio or tripod use.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 16, 2012)

Shallow DOF is not a problem on APS-C. Fast lenses, and getting a bit closer to your subject.

3 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 16, 2012)

True.

The DOF disadvantage is only a stop or so. Can be overcome pretty easily if need be in most cases.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Apr 17, 2012)

marike6 is right. I believe this camera with the Sigma 85mm/f1.4 prime will produce a depth of field as shallow as you'll ever need.

2 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Apr 15, 2012)

I understood now what is is the camera of my dream. It is Leica with Foveon sensor. They match each other perfectly.
Who thinks so too?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Jan 24, 2013)

It's not a Leica.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 14, 2012)

Exactly.

I think it's an excellent NICHE pro camera. A lot of the comments here are from amateurs who want a camera that is the best all-purpose machine.

For fashion (in particular clothes more than beauty), product photography, bracket/stitch landscape, macro and art reproduction, this is the camera to beat.

Aside from true MF backs that are far more expensive.

Sigma should be congratulated for making a unique and special camera. I hope it will find its niche.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Apr 14, 2012)

Αn excellent yet idiosyncratic tool.
Suitable for all fine detail eager photo works in a pro level while keeping low investment cost.
The true pixel peeper amateur holly grail.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 13, 2012)

Stop the press.

The SD1 is actually MUCH closer to the 645D than I realised. This comparison is amazing:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&message=41207341

I really think DPR should update their review to reflect this.

Wow.

The SD1 doesn't show any hint of Moire either, which you can see in both labels on the 645D shot.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (Apr 13, 2012)

Why not test SIGMA against M9 / Leica M glass first? :)

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 13, 2012)

Because the 645D is better than the M9?

And the lenses on the DPm series will be as good as pretty much any lens out there, if the older DP cameras are anything to go by. Also some people want the deepest possible DOF for macro, landscape or fashion, not the shallowness of FF or MF cameras.

Hard to deny that this SD1 vs 645D comparison image is impressive.

0 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (Apr 13, 2012)

Then I am glad I let my M-system go. Interesting test images

http://sergeevs.eu/?p=558

Nikon D800 looks as good as Hassy :)

BTW in order to test Leica M glass (it has to be new not 50 years old fungus improved) set it at f0.9-f2 and place nice lady/child face in focus and some bright spot lights out of focus. You may not waist your time trying out other brand's lenses to compare in similar real for a Leica M instrument light-subject snapping occasion.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 13, 2012)

http://sergeevs.eu/?p=558 does not have good processing settings for the SD1 at all.

The real potential is this:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&message=41207341

0 upvotes
candido dessanti
By candido dessanti (Apr 13, 2012)

even with dpreview processing the sd1 is more detailed than 645D

1 upvote
RedValley
By RedValley (Apr 13, 2012)

One advantage of SD1 mentioned plenty of times is "smaller and lighter". Really?
D800: 146 x 123 x 82 mm; 900g
SD1: 146 × 114 × 80 mm; 790g
I see they have the same width (which is the biggest of the 3 dimensions) and basically the same height.
The weight factor is true considering the lens.
SD1+ 17-50 = 1355g
D800 + 24-70 = 1800g

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 13, 2012)

I like normals.

SD1+30mm f1.4 = 1190g
D800+50mm f1.4 = 1180g

But don't forget, any if you're using an f2.8 lens on an APS camera, at the same field of view, a FF sensor camera achieves the same DOF with a lens a full stop slower. (With equivalent sensor technology, it also takes the same shot at an ISO a stop faster). So...

SD1+30mm f1.4 = 1190g
D800+50mm f1.8 = 1085g

Or...

SD1+ 17-50 = 1355g
D800 + 28-85/3.5-4.5 = 1440g

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 13, 2012)

But I wonder whether the D800 can do this:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&message=41207341

0 upvotes
candido dessanti
By candido dessanti (Apr 13, 2012)

what a shame the 36mpix of d800 show a lot less detail than sd1...maybe nikon would try with 60 mpix the next time

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Apr 13, 2012)

The pixel resolution and spatial transfer (MTF) are great, no one argues, but that is way too little to compete with similarly prices cameras. Colors are bad, noise is bad, handling is bad ... Foveon sensor technology is interesting, but Sigma has never achieved anything outstanding with that and unlikely will.

2 upvotes
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Apr 15, 2012)

So you handled one?

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Apr 17, 2012)

Colours are not bad. They are neutral. Other manufacturers saturate colours - especially Canon and Olympus -, so we've become familiar with over-rich colours, but Sigma's colours are the real thing. It takes a little while to adjust, because colours seem dull at first glance, but this is more accurate than any other camera bar MF ones. That's one of the things that make this camera so special, despite high ISO noise, no video (who cares?) and no live view.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 18, 2012)

Precisely.

If you want more saturated colors, try downloading the raws and boosting it up. Looks great, so much info in the color channels.

If you don't like the white balance, you can change it to your taste. This cam has great colors.

1 upvote
bborowski000
By bborowski000 (Apr 13, 2012)

There you go .......the reason this camera was cloaked in so much secrecy was because it was and still is a dud. Obviously they couldn't sell enough of them so they rebadged and repriced it. I wouldn't take one for free!!

3 upvotes
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Apr 13, 2012)

Reading the previous post and most of the following, I realize how many people use forums as a kind of psychotherapy. This is perhaps more obvious in photographic forums, due to the lack of technical and scientific knowledge of most posters.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
11 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (Apr 13, 2012)

>This is perhaps more obvious in photographic forums, due to the lack of technical and scientific knowledge of most posters.

Yes nowadays a average person without PHD or special photographer license can buy a camera for daily use. That is what the camera market discussed here on the forum is exists for just us real people. Surprised?

>Reading the previous post and most of the following, I realize how many people use forums as a kind of psychotherapy.

I believe it is Nikon D800 that is the right psychotherapy treatment for greedy marketing guys from Sigma :)

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 12, 2012)

Will be amazing to have one of these in your pocket with the upcoming DPm series!!

Same thing, but better lens, leaf shutter and super high flash sync speed. CDAF will give sharper critical focus, which is a godsend for infinity shots with this kind of sensor especially.

Ultra high quality lens optimised for the sensor, if the old DP series are anything to go by.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Apr 13, 2012)

I thought the same.
Not so long ago, to get this resolution, you would have to go medium format. To think you can have this in the pocket now (well, soon) !
You mention the lens, and that will be the big question, if Sigma can match the resolution of the sensor.
I am thinking that for landscape and arcitecture, a dp1m or dp2m with a light tripod over the shoulder or in a rucksack wil be fantastic.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Apr 13, 2012)

To add to the previous post.

The lenses on the dp1m and dp2m are already available as interchangable lenses for m43 and nex. The reviews are generally positive, but they mostly say that the lenses are "good for the price", and works quite well on Nex-7 for example. The resolution on the new foveon sensor is so high that a respectable result on Nex-7 will not be good enough for dp1m or dp2m. Hopefully Sigma can achieve the required sharpness by quality control.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 13, 2012)

NO. the DP Merrill lenses are NOT the same as the m43/Nex sigmas.

They have a different number of elements. Look it up!

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
1 upvote
diforbes
By diforbes (Apr 12, 2012)

All in all, I'd rather read a review of the Canon 5D Mk III, Nikon D800, Fuji X-1 Pro, Olympus OM-D EM-5 . . . .

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 12, 2012)

Um it's not as if the Sigma SD1 only arrived in stores within the last month as is the case with 5D III, the D800, and the Fuji.

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Apr 12, 2012)

why you write this Bullsh **

1 upvote
convert
By convert (Apr 12, 2012)

So???
The only camera on the market with a totally different sensor?
where is your curiosity?
Just responding to market 'wants' leads to monopolisation by the popular brands and is either a marketing dream or nightmare depending upon where you stand.

1 upvote
diforbes
By diforbes (Apr 13, 2012)

I must have opened a wound here. Cool.

0 upvotes
Adam Filipowicz
By Adam Filipowicz (Apr 12, 2012)

Common Canon time to buy Sigma and bring Foveon mainstream

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 12, 2012)

it´s time the chinese enter the DSLR market and produce cheap copys.
and cheap does not mean bad... i have recently bought some china made strobes and they are great.

if the chinese produce FF cameras that would stir up some s h i t....

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 12, 2012)

Henry M. Hertz:

See Olympus.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 12, 2012)

olympus? what do you mean?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 12, 2012)

Henry M. Hertz:

Most Olympus dslrs are already made in China.

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 13, 2012)

yeah well but that is not what i mean.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Apr 17, 2012)

Cameras made in China? Now that's a surprise...
Canon DSLRs are made in Thailand, yet no one complains.

0 upvotes
Adam Filipowicz
By Adam Filipowicz (Apr 12, 2012)

If you upsize the Sd1 photos to Nikon D800 size. its very close in detail. surprising actually

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 12, 2012)

Not that surprising, actually. One of the things that most rational folk, whether or not they qualify as "Foveon fans" agree on is that the Foveon sensors resolve about the same as a "conventionally set up" Bayer with about twice the pixel count. So, it's very hard to tell the difference between a 15mp Foveon and a 36mp Bayer: the D800 only looks like it resolves about 10% higher, and that's near impossible to see in a print.

D800e will do closer to 25% better, and that's quite visible.

Basically, the game isn't about resolution, it's that the D800 is pretty much in the same price range as the SD1, but it has:
* a full frame sensor
* liveview
* a lot more speed
* a more robust case
* better low light ability
* liveview
* a wider range of lenses

2 upvotes
FritsThomsen
By FritsThomsen (Apr 12, 2012)

and the manual for the D800 be will something like 800 pages thick..the SD-1 manual will be about 60 pages....

4 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 12, 2012)

To Joseph:

It's not quite as simple as that, though.

The D800 is a much more versatile camera, true, but the SD1 has a few advantages you haven't mentioned:

* not susceptible to moire (very important for fashion work)
* foveon image feel (better edge rendering and texture)
* smaller and lighter camera with smaller and lighter lenses

The foveon advantage is not only about resolution. Look at the older Sigmas and compare to other cameras- in many cases people will prefer to use their SD14/SD15 it even if they have a 5D2. Foveon has a special look to it when processed well that no other camera has. Subtle, but it's definitely there, especially viewed at 300dpi.

The real reason to by any Sigma camera is because you want the foveon look, and are willing to sacrifice other things to get it. Everything else is beside the point- Sigma is about unique low ISO IQ in controlled lighting, and it always has been.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
BitFarmer
By BitFarmer (Apr 13, 2012)

FritsThomsen: A stone has a zero pages manual, and it doesn't make it better camera than a sigma or nikon.

Sigma has just a better color definition with no moire, etc., thats impresive, but the rest of the specs are very dissapointing:

Having to wait 2 min. after a burst or 30 sec. after a jpeg shoot, come on, even for fashion it is not usable, the model will die of hunger while waitting.

And this doesn't take away any page in the manuals, you just change "wait for 2 minutes after a burst" in the sigma manual where in the nikon D800 one would just say "inmediately".

Ofcourse not having video, for instance, will save you some manual pages, but thinking it is a blesing... I would say!

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 13, 2012)

@Frits, it's not like you to do something tacky like cutting the Sigma manual size in half and doubling the Nikon one. Leave the wild exaggeration to people like rawmeister and cinefeel.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 13, 2012)

@cinefeel,

* not susceptible to moire (very important for fashion work)

The Sigmas are not susceptible to COLOR moire. They are susceptible to LUMINANCE moire, and that's a problem in fashion.

They are also susceptible to failures of observer metamerism, and that's a problem in fashion that the competitors don't have.

* foveon image feel (better edge rendering and texture)

The edge rendering is only "better" pixel peeping at 1:1. Printed at the same size, the edges are no better than a D800,and probably a bit worse. As far as "texture", define it so we can discuss it.

* smaller and lighter camera with smaller and lighter lenses

Yes, that is a big D800 advantage. Why did you bring it up if you're advocating Sigma?

I like Sigmas, and there are situations where I recommend them. Fashion is not one of those, because of the color issues, the lens lineup, and the handling speed.

0 upvotes
FritsThomsen
By FritsThomsen (Apr 13, 2012)

Cant I exaggerate just a little bit ??? :)

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 13, 2012)

I haven't seen any example of an SD1 shot with objectionable luminance moire, even after shooting extensive fashion work with it.

I also have not had any metamerism issues.

I also own a D800 and have done print tests- I prefer the SD1 unless printing bigger than A2. I do find the edge rendering better, and I think that is one of the best features of Foveon.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

I am surprised.

Turns out that with sensible processing and upscaling to 45MP the SD1 almost borders on 645D territory:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&message=41192043

4 upvotes
stanic042
By stanic042 (Apr 12, 2012)

apart from DOF, the resolution is truly amazing, details like artifacts from screen-print are visible, which is comparable to the 645D
very nice sensor Sigma!

2 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Apr 11, 2012)

Would be great if camera keeps not 45Mpx RAW, but convert them by processor to OpenEXR 16bit half float point. What for to keep 45Mpx? No Demosaic needed.
FF would be great in future. I''m really impressed by perfect resolution. Thanks Foveon for their perfectionism.

2 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Apr 11, 2012)

I'd think the low 3-in-1 pixel density would allow this cam to go to, say, 40 Mpix and overpower the latest cams. Instead, we are left to argue about marginal improvements. Also, make it a MIL cam and put the fatsos on the defensive.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

A full frame version is being developed most likely with 105MP+ (35x3):

http://photorumors.com/2011/07/19/sigma-sd1-can-do-liveview-full-frame-foveon-sensor-in-development/

1 upvote
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (Apr 11, 2012)

Wonder how much that will cost.

0 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Apr 11, 2012)

I love how the original article says "there are some rumors" about FF and that gets transmuted to a definite "is" complete with specs.

1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

There was a more recent interview in Japanese confirming it though.

0 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Apr 11, 2012)

Confirming what, that Sigma "is developing" a FF sensor? What does that mean? It's on a drawing board somewhere or it's being prototyped or even being tested? Big differences that are all consistent with imprecise translations of vague questions.

1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Given that Sigma basically only have one product track and one sensor at any given time, it's pretty clear that the FF will be coming at some point.

When, who knows... but it's clearly an ambition of theirs. Long way to go, but it's a logical progression.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

PROBLEM with DPR comparison for SD1... here are much better results from the same raws:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&message=41189452&refresh=1162

6 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

Ah yes, refreshing.
The truth will set u free.
Thanks for the heads up.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Please fix it DPR!

Also, I think their studio shot is underexposed. Or rather, I think the sensor rating/metering that Sigma provides is incorrect.

I always 'pull' my exposures by at least a stop. I think they should have ISO-rated the new sensor same as the old one. Still, you can do this yourself with exposure compensation!

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 11, 2012)

We're trying to find out exactly how our shots were processed (they are almost certainly Sharpening -2, but we're not sure which version of SPP). We're looking into it and will update the samples if appropriate.

Our JPEG exposures are exposed to give a set brightness and the Raws are processed from the accompanying Raw file. While a small minority of people do like to venture off-piste and ignore/tweak the camera's metering, it would create an impossible number of avenues for us to explore and ultimately would result in even more arguments about us treating one camera more or less favourably. Slowing the review process down and adding additional things to argue about is not part of the current review strategy.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Thanks for the feedback.

The exposure for comparison purposes is fine, but not the sharpness. You have lost a lot of micro detail with the 0.6 radius. That's an additional issue even if you did export at -2.0

Check out my process comparison:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&message=41189452&refresh=1162

Also, did you use mirror lockup?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

Thank you R Butler for your attention.
I have found that converting to "normal" size tiffs in SPP with sharpening at -2 and careful colour balance adjustments, followed by upsizing to 6720 pixels across in an editor, and then applying noise reduction, colour saturation adjustment, contrast etc., and then a final sharpen with a small radius to extract the best and very amazing results. Downsize if needed with Lancoz method.
It's easy to over use the fill light slider during conversion which can seriously damage the IQ. Maximum setting used here should be no more than 1.0.
More regularly 0.2 or 0.3 or 0.4
Been processing Sigma raws for over 3 years now. My 2.5 cents.
The latest SPP software 5.2.1 does noise correction automatically now, and it can't be turned off. Not so bad cause it works well and avoids a pass through my Noiseware software unless the chroma noise is apparent which wont happen at 400 IS0 and under.

Ya SPP software is slow. But you can't have everything! Yet.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

It CAN be turned off, but only with SD1.

And it should be.

0 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Apr 11, 2012)

According to the EXIF of sdim6084.spp.jpg, it's SPP 5.2.0.0004 and Sharpening is +0. (SPP sets the Makernote values to reflect the raw processing, not the in-camera values.)

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Ok, well this definitely needs to be changed then!

0 upvotes
brittonx
By brittonx (Apr 13, 2012)

Erik, it is possible they were not writing SPP settings back to the x3f file. You can't judge what they did just by looking at the raw file

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Apr 11, 2012)

Question to experts: If you looked at the Kodak gray scale board, it seems that the SD1 is producing true gray and less noise (probable color noise reduction).

Regardless, why is that the case? Is it because that Bayer sensors are tweaked to operate better at higher ISO at the expense of low ISOs?

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (Apr 11, 2012)

Cameras like this are for people who simply want them and have the money. Technology is leapfrogging over old fashioned image acquisition paradigms like sensor size and high quality glass with new interpolation methods, algorithms, smart filters, light folding lens technology, and 41 megapixel camera phones like the Nokia 808. Spending thousands of dollars and lugging massive equipment like this around is starting to be a pure status symbol and an attempt to impose some perception of competence and authority. Of course I am going to get a better image with my 8x10 Linhof. But how many shots am I going to miss because it wasn’t in my shirt pocket at “that” moment? Buy it if you want but stop pretending that it won’t be surpassed by some sort of P&S camera in a couple of years.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 11, 2012)

Right because cramming 46MP into a phone is likely to best a Leica S2, not.

1 upvote
rusticus
By rusticus (Apr 11, 2012)

>Technologie wird über altmodische Bildaufnahme Paradigmen wie Sensorgröße und hochwertige Glas mit Interpolation neue Methoden, Algorithmen, Smart-Filter, leichte Falten Objektiv-Technologie und 41-Megapixel-Kamera-Handys wie dem Nokia 808 übersprang<

Bullsh** - sorry

>Natürlich werde ich ein besseres Bild mit meinem Linhof 8x10 bekommen<

ha, ha, ha

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (Apr 11, 2012)

Nurse Nurse another one got out :-)

4 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Actually, you can have the DP2m in your pocket- and it's the same camera, only with a better lens, leaf shutter + live view!

Either way, SD1 is not an action cam, it's a studio and fashion cam for use with strobes and continuous lighting. Either that or landscapes, where you can also use bracketing and stitching.

SD1 is a tripod camera for specialised use first and foremost.

1 upvote
lxstorm
By lxstorm (Apr 11, 2012)

>Of course I am going to get a better image with my 8x10 Linhof. But how many shots am I going to miss because it wasn’t in my shirt pocket...

Or boy! Your gonna miss nothing not an image that is what field camera with movements is intended to be used for unless you do not own Linhof or have no idea about large format photography at all :)

0 upvotes
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
By Gary Dean Mercer Clark (Apr 12, 2012)

History is repeating.

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Apr 12, 2012)

Exactly, in Japan I see more and more older gentlemen with the latest hardware to take pictures of their grandchildren and hiking trails. I even saw one go straight to Sigma's camera booth at a shop and buy an SD1 with no hesitation, didn't look like a wealthy gent either, just livin life off of pension money. I get the impression that they're part of clubs or little groups and want to one up others with how nice their equipment is. So, expensive stuff sells if you let people know it's good and pricey.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Apr 11, 2012)

As with all Foveon cameras (so far) this will give spectacular results under ideal conditions. But you'll still need a general purpose camera for everything else.

4 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Precisely.

I agree. These foveon cameras are not intended as all-use cameras though.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

What lens was used and was mirror lockup used?

The shutter speed was certainly slow enough that you really need mirror lockup.

0 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Apr 11, 2012)

EXIF sez: Drive mode UP. Lens was 50mm with max aperture of 1.4.

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Apr 11, 2012)

Massive CA on some of these. Colors look off. The detail on these samples is good, but nothing to write home about. The D800e clobbers it bigtime.

0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (Apr 11, 2012)

That is what is holding me back. I have a couple of Sigma lenses and they have very bad CA. I think the D800 falls behind the Sigma, bigger images from the Nikon but anything feathery or fluffy looks a bit mushy next to the Sigma.

0 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

There have been some very good lenses just released by Sigma that use higher refractive index glass than before and they are excellent.
Namely
24-70 OS HSM
8-16
The 105 and 150 OS Macros - fantastic.
Of course the 70 macro.
The upcoming (next month) 50-150 OS with 6 ELD elements - with three big ones in the front group. This will be the best lens Sigma ever produced.
17-50 The kit lens is Good in not superb for general use.

0 upvotes
3DSimmon
By 3DSimmon (Apr 11, 2012)

there is also an adaptor which fits M42 to sigma's SA

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Apr 11, 2012)

I just don't see the deatil some of you are so excited about. The D800 samples are absolutely great for color, contrast and sharpness, as are the D800e, which are like looking into an almost bottomless well of resolution:
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fpcfoto.biz%2Fna-prvi-pogled-nikon-d800e

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Really wish DPR would reprocess the SD1 comparison shots.

They used 0.6 sharpening plus the SPP default, which is hiding a lot of the detail. Even if DPR doesn't fix this, try downloading the RAWs yourself:

- export from SPP with sharpness off (-2.0 on slider) and NR off, color mode Neutral
- import into photoshop and sharpen with USM at 0.2 radius and 400%

Now you can see a much higher level of detail, and without any artifacts.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

Yes - this is all correct info.
And dont upsize in SPP to double - lol.
Upsize to 30MP in Tiff format later in your editor, prefferably to 48 bit colour.
Somebody should tell the camera reviwer that they are selling the IQ short. Oh well.

0 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (Apr 11, 2012)

Nice images from Linday Adler and SD1

http://blog.lindsayadlerphotography.com/my-photos-featured-at-photo-plus-expo/

1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Apr 11, 2012)

To my eyes, at base ISO SD1 has a resolution that is somewhere between D800 and Pentax 645D. And no moiré in sight. That is pretty fine achievement.
But the price is a smidgen higher than D800, and Nikon has the lenses, LV, write speed, AF, hi-res LCD etc. It will be a tough sell for Sigma.

1 upvote
brittonx
By brittonx (Apr 11, 2012)

The "Amazon" $3,000 price listed here is well over what the SD1 really costs. You can buy the SD1 directly from Sigma or several other vendors for $2,299.

2 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Apr 11, 2012)

I see. I went by the $3300 price from Sigma when the merrill version was announced. 1000 down is indeed a significant saving.

Not sure if it is a good sign though, that an official price is so much discounted after such a short time.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

No, the MSRP price is always higher. Street price is much lower.

All Sigma products especially. The SD1m is a $2k camera at launch, pretty much.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

I agree with Jesper.

SD1 detail rendering is somewhere between D800 and 645D, amazingly close especially in print.

Look at this:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&message=41192043

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
1 upvote
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (Apr 11, 2012)

I agree the price is high but this looks like a very special tool. The resolution and detail at low ISO is impressive. I have a K5 and original 5D and the SD1 blows them away in detail. Check out the feathers next to the Volkswagen Beetle. It's also a heck of l lot cleaner than the A77.

Like the review states, this is not an all-rounder by any stretch. But if I were into landscapes and the new 800 didn't exist, I think this would be a compelling choice.

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Apr 11, 2012)

It seems good for detail peeping on big prints... but I'm not sure about the way it treats color. Maybe something can be done about it over PP.

While it may be slow as hell and has no LV, and all the technical drawbacks it has as a camera, thinking about the SD1's output from a commercial perspective- it might be good for studio-based product and model photography that may require all that detail... at low ISO of course.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

I use it for studio work and find it works great:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&thread=41183193

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
h0tsauce
By h0tsauce (Apr 11, 2012)

At $2300 this thing is $100 more than a 5D Mark II and D700. I suspect another round of crazy discount is coming. Heck If you're going to buy a dslr that is not one of the big 2, the pentax K5 would be first on my list, that camera would eat this SD1 lunch.

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 11, 2012)

The SD1 does have much better low-iso resolution than the K5 tho

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 11, 2012)

I find it very ironic that the review emphasizes the lack of liveview, referring to it with the definite article "the missing feature".

I cannot fathom why, after a decade and five generations of Sigma DSLRs, there is no liveview. I've designed Foveon based industrial cameras: the on-chip "VPS" binning makes liveview easier to implement than any other sensor. They've been building Foveon P&S cameras for six years, and those have liveview. Why not the DSLRs?

2 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Good question. I wonder the same thing.

I think the main weakness of the SD1 is that it needs faster and better electronics to keep up with the sensor data.

Maybe it has to do with the readout speed of the sensor. The old DP series has live view but a very low resolution screen, perhaps that was the max resolution the old sensor could output for live view.

Still, I'm sure there is a way. Might even still happen on the SD1 by firmware update:

http://photorumors.com/2011/07/19/sigma-sd1-can-do-liveview-full-frame-foveon-sensor-in-development/

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
eNo
By eNo (Apr 11, 2012)

Yes, it is a very odd... choice.

0 upvotes
toughluck
By toughluck (Apr 11, 2012)

Three words: shutter opening time. Entirely plausible that Sigma has not developed a method for keeping the shutter opened for indefinite amounts of time.

That's the only reasonable cause I can find.

I guess Sigma has their work cut out for them in terms of camera mechanicals.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Interesting.

Shame if true since the shutter is excellent otherwise. Minimal vibration and very silent.

But come to think of it, how could that be true- the camera allows 2 minute exposures!

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 11, 2012)

What is this obsession with live view on a DSLR? It's not like the live view on say Nikon D3s is so great.

People buy SLRs because they're SLRs and that fact inherently limits the usefulness of live view. (Yes, I'm aware that both Sony and Olympus did systems with a work around, and I believe the Nikon D4 has a secondary contrast AF system for when the mirror is up and the shutter is open.)

Buy a mirrorless camera if you want live view, or the Sony SLT system if you don't want to shoot over ISO600.

Sigma needs to work on the buffer speed and capacity, higher ISOs and better raw extraction software, not live view on the SD series SLRs. The live view on the DP series will do just fine.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 11, 2012)

@How, the "obsession with live view on a DSLR" is by the folks who shoot macro, landscape, architecture, and product (and some more "off the wall" stuff like astrophotography and microscopy). Any place where you've got time to focus and the inclination to really nail it.

1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

I use the SD1 for tethered studio work and I don't miss live view.

I check focus on the immediate JPEGs with my laptop.

But they really need to work on faster electronics for the camera and better raw processing. I think the potential of their cameras has not even been fully tapped yet.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 11, 2012)

The main reason for LiveView for me is that then the camera can focus on the sensor, thereby remove most potential focussing errors.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 11, 2012)

Roland Karlsson:

Right, but I wasn't really asking why live view is useful, though what you describe can be done on a pure dslr by taking the time to vary the focus slightly and doing multiple shots. Then there's the whole problem of how sharp the lens is to begin with.

I was saying that dslrs aren't really built for live view, and that's not likely to change. (The are however some improvements which show promise, like expending a few sensor pixels as dedicated AF sensors.)

There are plenty of mirrorless camera which can readily do what you describe.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 13, 2012)

There are no mirrorless cameras ("no" is different from "plenty") that have resolution comparable to a Sigma SD1. Cameras with such high resolution require perfect focusing technique to achieve that resolution.

In this rarefied territory, SD1, D800, 645D, the Nikon is the only one with liveview.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 13, 2012)

Joseph S Wisniewsk:

So the Sony Nex 7 and the Samsung NX200 don't have resolution high enough for your purposes?

Back to the mega pixel cramming idiocy.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 14, 2012)

Depends on how big you print!

But as we all know DPR is the land of pixel-peeping junkies, not people who print large.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 15, 2012)

cinefeel:

Well then print from that Nokia 46MP phone camera, oh wait.

I don't have any problem printing Nikon D3s 12800ISO pictures at 12" by 18", and that's only a 12MP camera. Sure the Leica S2 will best that at ISO 400, but the point remains that this MP cramming is silly. And I've even printed ISO50 Canon G2 pictures at 20" by 30"; that's only a 4MP camera. The results were good from that G2.

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Apr 11, 2012)

This camera is made by perfectionists for perfectionists

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 11, 2012)

Perfectionists like imperfect camera operation and imperfect processing software and far from perfect high iso performance?

I'd say it is for people willing to jump through a whole series of flaming hoops to get a little bit better color and sharpness at ISO 100.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

IQ perfectionists, yes.

1 upvote
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

I am a pro architectural photographer.
Been using Sigma cameras for many years and now use an SD1.
Most of the people leaving comments here have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
They are just making uninformed deductions from stuff in the review.
And - if the guys who did the review had any idea how to process the raw files properly and knew how to upsize them properly (ie: not in SPP) and knew how to use 3rd party noise reduction software, then they would see what I see and make money from.
Again - 95% of comments here have wrong ideas about this camera and about Sigma as a company.
Same old fake play that so many do after reading a few paragrahs.
Take it from guys (me) with experience and many hours using the excellent software that has lately been improved.

You can continue shooting using the buffer, so 15 seconds write time is no problem at all.
So unless you are doing shotgun sports there is no problem
unless you need interpolated colour data and AA filters.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 11, 2012)

You can judge his experience in two ways.

By "Crawford's rule", that people with pretentious sounding aliases seldom have anything useful to say.

And by the general lack of technical knowledge in most of his posts.

4 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

There is a third way:

I know of quite a few (very good) pros who, by tech-nerd standards, have very limited technical knowledge. But they are excellent photographers.

It's only on DPR that technical knowledge is held up as the holy grail because this is a site for gearheads only.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 11, 2012)

@cinefeel, that is true. However, if someone makes mostly technical comments, that's pretty much what we have to judge him by. But when he does make posts about shooting advice or procedures, I find those to be just as flawed. I've pretty much filed him into the "anonymous troll" bin.

1 upvote
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

Henry - there are some Sigma shots in my gallery.
Two shots from a paid shoot and several results of lens tests on the SD1M that I've done.
Does Joseph have any Sigma work that he has done in his gallery? uh no.
Oh, and Joseph's "Crawford's rule" sound like a "no real life experience" maxim. Just more unsubstantiated obnoxiousness as usual from him. Enough said.

3 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 11, 2012)

You're projecting, I think.

I've never seen you be other than confrontational. I first encountered you in this thread.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=40949895

Everyone was getting along fine, even Kendal and I were having a pleasant discussion and mending some fences, and it was you who charged in and told multiple people that they were doing things all wrong.

Even in this discussion, it wasn't a case that you "provided valuable information". You charged in, as usual, and insulted both "most of the people leaving comments" and "the guys who did the review".

The "guys who did the review" caught stuff that blew right by you. You commented "You can continue shooting using the buffer, so 15 seconds write time is no problem at all."

But not in the face of this: "Extremely slow file write speeds, with erratic control behaviour while writing". 15 seconds of "erratic control behavior" sort of defines "problem", at least here in the real world.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 11, 2012)

Just because you make money from the camera does not mean it is superior to other cameras in its class. Are you trying to tell us that you would make less money if you switched to a 5Dmk2 or a D7000?

0 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

Joseph. All the controls that one would realistically expect to need to use during the writing process are available and fully functional. How do I know? I use the camera in the field in real world working conditions. In the real world there is no problem with the write times unless you need to do shotgun stuff for sports and the like. The real world usage info Joseph. If you don't see that as valuable info them you have a problem. When I read that they were doing double size conversions in SPP I knew that all the rest of the IQ info would be dubious. I guess you din't pick up on that then because u lack first hand knowledge.
As to insulting people...
Unlike you I don't see this forum as a place to dabble at politics.
I like the truth and I call it as I see it. You who can't accept that - please don't intrude on my comments.
Oh and you may notice that your posts here have a distant lack of "like" votes. Maybe just give up on your politicing and go home. Thanks

2 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

tkblsk - I have a 5D2 that I make money from too.
I prefer the SD1 for critical shoots that need fine details and good overall IQ. The AA filter and still there are ocassional moire issues are not becoming of the 5D2 sadly.

2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Apr 11, 2012)

Rawmeister. I usually dont comment in threads like this. But you have hinted at you are a good pro. So - why do you refer to your gallery then? I see nothing of value there.

And OK - maybe thats the case in my gallery also. But I have never said there is something of value there.

1 upvote
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

Roland - it's because "tkbslc" asked me above to show that I had done some Sigma shots. That's all. I was refering him to my gallery to see what I have posted there long ago. Two of them do have value because I got paid for them. That is not a metter of opinion I think. Anyways - As you know Roland - the camera is for those that are willing to do the extra work to get the great results. Ya so - 1 to 2 % of blokes I figure, leaving the other 98 per cent to post here negatively. That was my main message to those that are seriously interested in this special equipment. Not for the mainstream crowd.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

Did I say tkbslc?
Sorry - I meant "Henry M Hertz"

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Apr 11, 2012)

I want one in Canon mount!!!! Just do it you @#$#@$#@ Sigma!

0 upvotes
focal
By focal (Apr 11, 2012)

I'd buy one in Nikon and one in Canon mount.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Just use the JTAT adaptor with aperture control and you can use Nikon lenses.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Colors are NOT innacurate.

White balance not correctly set, and only Neutral color mode shows good color.

Standard color mode has red/purple cast.

This camera has excellent color if you look into the RAWs.

0 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (Apr 11, 2012)

Nice commercial, but in real life accurate colors and wide color space can be delivered only by specially designed color filters only. Place developed exposure of Fujichrome QuickLoad on a light-table to watch what am talking about.

Or use SonyNikon sensor equipped with Fuji-film color filters at least in case you do care about colors.

0 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (Apr 11, 2012)

tkblsk - I have a 5D2 that I make money from too.

0 upvotes
rich12
By rich12 (Apr 11, 2012)

One last thing. Looking at the results and the specific ratings, I can't see how this camera scored a 71% overall. It is only rated well on image quality and build quality. As such, I would have expected an overall rating significantly lower than 71%.

Also, I wouldn't rate the image quality so highly, given the color inaccuracy.

1 upvote
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Apr 11, 2012)

I can't see what can be more important than image quality and build quality. So I'm surprised that the rating be so low.

1 upvote
rich12
By rich12 (Apr 11, 2012)

In business, speed is often more important than quality, especially to the clients.

0 upvotes
brittonx
By brittonx (Apr 11, 2012)

RT:rich12
Itl depends on your clients, I guess...

0 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Apr 11, 2012)

I see a long and hard road ahead for Sigma. IMHO if they would of put the R&D money into the lens line up. They would be a force to deal with. It is like a train wreck now.

0 upvotes
rich12
By rich12 (Apr 11, 2012)

I forgot to add that color accuracy on the Sigma is still terrible. It's been that way for 10 years. I guess they can't get rid of all that excess purple.

And the camera is still slow as molasses. 15 seconds to save? What am I supposed to do, get coffee between exposures?

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 11, 2012)

yepp.... i would like to see what sensor makers like canon or sony could do with a foveon design.

sigma cameras .. just as with 90% of their lenses... lack in many aspects.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

The color accuracy is very good actually- just need to set the camera to Neutral color mode, rather an the awful Standard mode.

0 upvotes
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Apr 11, 2012)

1 picture every 15 seconds = 240 pictures an hour = 5760 pictures a day = 40320 pictures a week. Divide by 2 if you intend to sleep.

0 upvotes
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

You can shoot much faster than that.

It's only 15 seconds when the buffer is full.

0 upvotes
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Apr 11, 2012)

So you have to multiply by the capacity of the buffer.

0 upvotes
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
By Gary Dean Mercer Clark (Apr 11, 2012)

I think getting coffee and having a nice break between exposures is a great idea! LOL

0 upvotes
adegroot
By adegroot (Apr 11, 2012)

There is no perfection in ignorance, and there are a lot of ignorant people here masquerading as supposed experts, while it is mostly emotionally laden banter. This is problem number One.

The Second problem is that real life results, i.e. the prints we make from any camera is the way to tell if this camera is up to snuff. Not pixel peeping, not technical reports, not what you see on your (crappy?) monitor (mine is crappy). E.g., Michael Reichmann has this approach: the real strength of a camera lies in the prints we make from it, and how well versed we are in processing RAW files.

Thirdly, this camera's strength lies in its low ISO capacities. It is like a particular film, like Velvia, etc. It is exactly within its limitations that this camera apparently shines. It is not trying to be all and do all.

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 11, 2012)

well reichmann also compared a G10 to a 40MP medium format and guess what... most medium format shooter he asked could not tell what is what on A3 prints.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

so what is all the resolution of the sigma worth?
in the end a good allround camera is 1000x more worth then this camera.....

this camera is for people who like pixelpeeping studio shots at iso 100.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (Apr 11, 2012)

I agree with you.

0 upvotes
veroman
By veroman (Apr 11, 2012)

Nobody would ever argue that the very best way to evaluate any photographic tool ... and particularly a digital one! ... is via prints, and carefully produced prints at that. But much can also be determined by 100% views on a calibrated monitor. At times, a 100% view can be invaluable; to the trained, experienced eye they are a necessity for guiding and determining a particular outcome. In those instances, it's far from mere "pixel peeping."

But this has little or nothing to do with the simple fact of the SD1 being a very limited camera at a very high cost. It's a revamped, higher resolution version of the SD9/SD10/SD14/SD15 with most of the same problems of those earlier models. Its weaknesses do not override its strength (notice that I did not use the plural).

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

Depends what you need it for.

The purpose of this camera is that the prints it makes have a special 'foveon look' that is best appreciated at 300dpi+

'Resolution' is a multi-faceted thing.

0 upvotes
SulfurousBeast
By SulfurousBeast (Apr 11, 2012)

D3100 anyone with lot of spare change? or Sony A77 and still with lot of spare change? Sigma should stick to what they are okay doing....making thirdparty lenses. Wasted effort, money and time, not to mention the reputation of trying to sell it at such a high price and still is not worth after the reduction. My 5 year old XSI will beat the crap out of this anyday.

1 upvote
Superka
By Superka (Apr 11, 2012)

I never have seen such perfect resolution on digital.
On those color balls it better then Nikon D800! Wow!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Apr 11, 2012)

yeah well then i would look beyond the P&S cameras you normaly look at....

digital is more then aps-c or FF.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Apr 11, 2012)

You said, "color balls."

0 upvotes
SBoudreault
By SBoudreault (Apr 11, 2012)

I think he's talking about Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w24Xd8fVlTU
They look much better on a Foveon sensor, but do they taste as good ?
S.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
rich12
By rich12 (Apr 11, 2012)

Given the pricing history of this camera, this model is among the worst value cameras ever reviewed at DP Review. In addition, it seems to be basically the same camera that Sigma has been marketing for 10 years. Every time there's a supposed "new" camera, it's the same as the old one...with the same problems that never get fixed.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Michel Aristegui
By Michel Aristegui (Apr 11, 2012)

So I can take for granted that you owned one or several of those cameras. What were your problems?

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Apr 11, 2012)

Sigma, provide an OEM adaptor to accept Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony etc and watch the sales chart shoot up out of the picture frame...

.

1 upvote
cinefeel
By cinefeel (Apr 11, 2012)

That does exist.

JTAT makes a high quality Nikon adaptor for the SD1 that allows aperture control.

You can use Zeiss ZF with that if desired, or stack with other adaptors to use pretty much any lens you want.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (Apr 11, 2012)

If high iso is important then I would choose something that does that well.
100-200 iso is just fine for 90% of the time. I often shoot 160 and take a tripod.
I think the low iso look stunning, the raws are flat which is no bad thing to start with.
LV is in the bells and whistles category. If still life is your thing I can see it being very useful. As this camera is attracting most criticism for it's high iso and slow speeds, I can't see those that need high iso and high speed turning to live view much.
I used live view this morning to shoot antique clocks, but I would of done just as well with the viewfinder only.
It's a niche camera for sure and if it was to be your only camera, I would say look else where. I can see a place for it's abilities, what it does well it looks to do better than anything else. What it does badly there are a truck load of alternatives that do it better.A one trick pony yes, although it's one trick is not as limiting as people would have you believe.

3 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (Apr 11, 2012)

Great that Sigma gives you an alternative, most of the others are the same old thing, it's how they polish the bells and whistles that sets one apart from the other. Sigma and Leica do give you another approach. If you need, like or want what they do you are in luck.
I'm old enough to remember when 800 asa was dizzy heights for low light sensitivity.
When I shoot for fun, I shot 160iso and take a tripod, not a big deal. So a camera that does it's best work under 400iso is no real problem for me. Cranking up the iso is often just being lazy anyway.
I'm very tempted with the SD1, two or three good primes would cover the bases.
Question is do Sigma make two or three top notch primes?

3 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Apr 11, 2012)

But it's not just the high ISO noise; you're mislead. The colour accuracy is very average close to ISO 400 and downright poor above ISO 400; unless you are happy to shoot B/W on higher ISO. Furthermore, I would not consider 'bell and whistles' features such as LV and faster writing card speed. Regards,

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
dopravopat
By dopravopat (Apr 11, 2012)

The Sigma 50 and 85 f1.4 are both very decent lenses. The problem is that on a 1.5 crop body you need something wider. The Sigma 30 f1.4 is not that great, it delivers very good results wide open in the centre. But stopping down to f 5.6 or f8 does not really improve the corner sharpness that much. And there is no fast good WA, like a 20 f1.4 for APS-C or 15 f2 for APS-C yet.

0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (Apr 11, 2012)

I often shoot at 160 iso with afixed lens and a tripod. This Sigma would be great, providing it can handle long exposures ok.
Cheers

0 upvotes
danniii
By danniii (Apr 14, 2012)

I can Vouch for the 180mm and 70mm macros - If I were to get one lens for this camera it would be the former (I have had the SD1 for about 3 weeks and have been shooting with the 180mm f3.5 the 70mm 2.8 the 50mm 1.4 and the 10-20mm f3.5-5.6. So far I think I have used the 180mm for about 80% of the shots. The 10-20 is ok - apparantly the 8-16mm is better. So far the 50mm is the only lens I am disapointed with (seems to have more CA than the other lenses)

0 upvotes
Oldschooler
By Oldschooler (Nov 11, 2012)

Hi, new member here. I'm not a pro photographer, but a serious stop motion animation enthusiast. I have to create the things I photograph, in other words, you could say I "make" sequential photographs at 24 fps, rather than "taking" photos. I am a painter, sculptor, writer, etc., so I am certainly not a professional photographer. Nor do I consider pro photographers photo" takers", I understand the work and talent a pro photographer possesses and don't intend to belittle the incredible artistry involved with the plethora of disciplines involved. I just want to emphasize that I have even more things that I must concentrate on to produce a great result and all of the things that go into independent solo traditional motion picture production. IE, I study many disciplines, including photography, over a very long time, to produce a single work, any of which can be torpedoed by missing the mark on any one thing being done substandard, be it editing, music, puppet design, motion...(continued)

0 upvotes
Oldschooler
By Oldschooler (Nov 11, 2012)

With my wordy intro finished, I'll get to the point. I have been interested in sigma cameras since the intro of the sd9, but my 1st camera was a sound vision CMOS pro, and last year a T2i. I never bought a sigma. I love the idea of high dynamic range without doing HDR processing, and the possibility of perhaps less storage per frame to picture quality. "Corpse bride" tested the sd , but chose a different camera. Lack of live view is a problem because stop mo software (such as dragon frame) gains much benefit from it by enabling "step to live" allowing the animator to toggle through previous frames up to and including the live feed to gauge motion by. The sd1 is way overkill for resolution, but that could also be beneficial for allowing digital zooms, pans, and rolls within the shot. Manual lenses are essential to minimize "flicker" that occurs when a camera resets f stops to open up for live view when pictures are played back sequentially. I budget wisely on all aspects of production.

0 upvotes
Oldschooler
By Oldschooler (Nov 11, 2012)

So, before I go into production, I still have other things to complete, among them,a home built motion control rig for accurately moving a camera through space, repeatably for multiple passes so layers line up for each and every frame. Luckily I have a couple of brilliant friends working that up for me. So I seriously consider the sd1 for the camera of choice, and I am only dismayed by the lack of live view. Low light quality is not so much of an issue because it's all shot with artificial light. Does anyone know if any modern lenses still have aperture rings, or better yet a good source for old fungus free good but cheap "outdated" lenses? I don't, mind using adaptors, what lenses I
have are nikor, but nothing too special. A friend bought a sigma wide angle rectilinear lens, and to me, it seems fantastic. I just don't know much about the finer points, like color resolution or accuracy, or those things that ya'll use abbreviations for. And my budget won't allow me to use Zeiss glass.

0 upvotes
Oldschooler
By Oldschooler (Nov 11, 2012)

My previous camera, a sound vision CMOS pro, used a color filter wheel that Took 3 sequential pictures in R,G,B and then stitched them together to create a single picture. The res was only 960x800, but seemed liked 3 times that, so it took less memory to store. The foveon sensor seems to do this in a single shot, so I wouldn't have to wait 25 seconds before I could get in to move the puppet again. Also, I had to shoot through an anamorphic lens in front of my camera lens to achieve a wide aspect ratio. Does anyone know of another 3 shot camera that is higher res? With a wide aspect? The color from that CMOS pro blows away the color from my T2i, BAD. So, I'll shut up finally. No experience from the sigmas, but I sure love the concept.

0 upvotes
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