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CP+ Sigma interview - 'We survived because we make unique products'

By Barney Britton on Feb 16, 2014 at 09:04 GMT

We're at the CP+ show in Japan this week and one of the busiest stands belongs to Sigma.

Best known for manufacturing lenses, Sigma is showing off its latest camera, the dp2 Quattro. Editor Barnaby Britton sat down with Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma, for a chat about the Quattro, as well as the challenges of the modern photography industry and what it's like being the head of a family business.

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Comments

Total comments: 153
12
Daisaku Watanabe
By Daisaku Watanabe (1 week ago)

Yamaki-san made a lecture about Quattro sensor in CP+ 2014 February.
Here I made (unofficial) English translation for it.
http://hikari-and-kage.blogspot.jp/2014/04/introduction-to-quattro-sensor-lecture.html

Check it, then You will see Yamaki-san's passion.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
gbdz
By gbdz (1 month ago)

An interesting thought: Will there be an "ART" camera body out soon?
A total re-think, an antigadgetarian fotographer's camera that looks, feels and functions like a real thing while remaining within the reach of people who live off their salary.

Like the red dot stuff but without the costly logo.
They just might...

0 upvotes
mufflon
By mufflon (2 months ago)

great interview & the new lenses are great!

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

"Also, an interchangeable lens system relies on the mechanical accuracy of the mount between the camera and lens, and the alignment can never be perfect."

I like the Sigma company. I like that they make their stuff in Japan, in a family company that does not have to bow to pressure from stock holders to make a profit every quarter or even every year. I don't buy what he says about the alignment of lenses though. That is a cop-out or an excuse of some type. Really, think about it. There is so little play in lens mounts that the fact that there is 1/4 of a millimeter of difference from one lens to another or the fact that there is one degree of twist is basically meaningless. Sure, the focal plane is going to be slightly different, but there is going to be more change from a slight movement of the camera than the fact that the lens is "perfectly" aligned. With micro-adjust in the camera, for making sure focusing is right, there is no problem. I don't know why he said this.

1 upvote
Fat69
By Fat69 (2 months ago)

1% real photographers??

0 upvotes
Paul Doe
By Paul Doe (2 months ago)

Seeing how Mr. Yamaki holds the camera I have only one question: Why is there no aperture ring under the fingers of his left hand?

1 upvote
LFLee
By LFLee (2 months ago)

“My first priority is to make sure that the business continues to develop as a going concern, to protect our employees. We don’t need to grow enormously, we just need a slight growth to continue the business. Assuming we're doing OK, I’d like to do something amazing. Something to make customers say ‘wow’. That’s my real motivation. I’d rather do that than make our company bigger. ”

I'm impressed with this statement.

I want to buy the 18-35, but still not available in Pentax K-mount. This will be my first non-Pentax lens.

7 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (2 months ago)

"So conventional DSLR users buy more lenses. Mirrorless camera users are more likely to purchase the camera with a kit lens and not many people purchase any additional lenses. Some high-end mirrorless users with Sony NEX-7 or Olympus OM-D buy more but the majority of mirrorless users are the entry-class users."

This explains exactly why Canikon hesitates to move boldly into the mirrorless market, and why e.g. Canon comes up so slowly with new lenses for the M system. For most users their mirrorless cameras are a sort of new compact with better IQ. Interestingly even entry DLSR users obviously tend more to get at least one second lens. Obviously most customers are conservative, and only SLR type cameras represent for them a real system camera.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (2 months ago)

Doesn't that also mean that Canon and Nikon (and Pentax) should have aimed higher with their mirrorless bodies? Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Samsung certainly have as of late.

Most $500 DSLR customers only have one or two cheapo lenses, too. Someone willing to drop $1000 on a body is going to spend at least that much on lenses, normally.

1 upvote
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Canon and Nikon see that only customers who want something very compact are going to buy a Canon or Nikon mirrorless camera instead of a small DSLR. THAT is why they have not done what Sony is doing. Sony does not have a huge investment in lenses yet. Canon and Nikon are probably afraid to canibalize their current business. If they don't though, they will allow Sony to take a huge bite of their market. They may realize this, but be afraid or be getting ready. I'm sure that they know that the market will change. So far they have not indicated that it will change in a huge way any time soon though, and maybe they are right. They are very smart, afterall. It could be that they are getting ready, designing and experimenting like crazy in their laboratories. We may see a line of full-frame mirrorless cameras and lenses come on the market later this year or some time next year, made by Canon or Nikon. Only time will tell.

0 upvotes
R Thornton
By R Thornton (2 months ago)

I wonder if this was the brilliant man who thought it would be swell to market a crop-sensor camera at $10,000 several years ago. That great man sure did show the way to the likes of Hasselblad into lunacy. The thing is, if he pulled it off once, he may strike again...

0 upvotes
triplejaydee
By triplejaydee (2 months ago)

You're thinking about his father, who was in charge back then when the SD-1 fiasco happened.

2 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

The fact is that camera only came down in price, because the Nikon D800 showed up. It was indeed a competitor to medium format cameras, as the Nikon D800 is too. Some people saw that the SD1 was a miracle and worth the high price. It was less expensive than the Nikon D3x within a few weeks of its introduction, but it produced superior image quality. Nobody thinks of the high price of the Leica S2 as outrageous, and they should not have seen the high price of the SD1 as outrageous either . . . except that Sigma had already indicated that they were going to price the SD1 at a price competitive with the traditional competition (Nikon D300 and Canon 7 D). THAT was the real mistake. They should have never indicated that the camera would be anything less than very expensive. Still, the SD1 Merrill is now inexpensive, compared to the only competition that it has . . . the Nikon D800/D800E. I hope to see it come down to $1,500 when the SD1 Quattro comes out at around $2,000.

0 upvotes
Ayoh
By Ayoh (2 months ago)

Nikon has just won a case of patent infringement against sigma. Sigma is to pay nikon ~15 million USD in damages.

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20140217_635556.html

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

Ouch.

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (2 months ago)

I am very interested to see some files from the Quattro and compare them with the equivalent Merrill camera. It may be that Sigma is aiming for full frame eventually, which I would think would blow Phase One, Hasselblad, et al out of the water.

I have liked every Sigma product that I have bought so far.

4 upvotes
Manfred Bachmann
By Manfred Bachmann (2 months ago)

Now we know Sigma can produce excellent lenses, the next logical step must be an excellent dslr too! Photokina would be perfect for a presentation, and so we have not to be afraid of possible future incompatible lens/mounts combinations with canon and Nikon bodys!

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

Sigma should be able to make better cheeseburgers.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (2 months ago)

What I would really like to know (but don't expect to find out) is how Sigma moved from making inexpensive and poorly quality controlled lenses to some of the best lenses on the market.

Most DPR readers don't go back this far but Sigma always made unique lenses. The difference now is that they are not just unique but also good, and that's an amazing turnaround. Somebody within Sigma decided that sticky diaphragms, wobbly mounts, loose screws and decentering would no longer be acceptable. This is huge achievement but they did it. I suppose nobody wants to take credit for fixing something that most people don't remember.

3 upvotes
Astrotripper
By Astrotripper (2 months ago)

I don't know how they did it, but it looks like Kazuto Yamaki is the one who made it happen. It was after he took over after I believe his father's death in the beginning of 2012. Few months later Sigma announces new quality control system, the usb dock and new lines of high quality lenses.

It seems to me that this guy has a clear idea of the future of Sigma. And he does not want his company to be 'that cheap brand', as it was not so long ago. It takes years of hard work to change people's perception, so there's plenty of work ahead of them.

I really hope they can stand their ground. But it looks like the likes of Nikon make it easy for them, releasing overpriced garbage like the Nikkor AF-S 58 mm f/1.4G :)

8 upvotes
Mark Banas
By Mark Banas (2 months ago)

I'm pretty sure there is a photo of that person at the top of this article. He became CEO when his father, the founder of Sigma, died. He's probably been making major decisions for quite a while, even without the title of CEO, given that its a family business in Japan (a founder and father would never be replaced as head of his own company while alive). Of course, this is just my own conjecture...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (2 months ago)

Sigma have always made good lenses. Their quality control was poor which gave them a bad reputation.
When you got a good copy of their lenses they were optically very good and better than most similarly priced equivalents.

3 upvotes
Chuck Lantz
By Chuck Lantz (2 months ago)

Olymore: You make a very good point. I've owned about a dozen Sigma lenses over the years, beginning back when the founder was alive, prior to the new push for improved quality control, and I've only had a couple of problems, both of which were handled quickly by Sigma.

While I'm sure others have had QC issues with their early Sigma lenses, I guess I'm just very lucky?

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

I bought a new Sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 years ago, with my Canon 20 D. It worked great . . . for years. Later on I used it on a Rebel T2i. As far as I know it still works great. It doesn't have image stabilization, but I used it at the beach many many times. It got rain drops on it more than two or three times too. That lens and my recent Sigma lens purchases have given me every confidence in the older Sigma lenses. I have even more confidence that any new Sigma lens that I buy will be a very good and lasting performer. MADE IN JAPAN.

0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (2 months ago)

Although I use Sigma lenses and cameras I must admit, I got no specific idea on the Company. I was amazed that this is a family business. With a lot of fascination I followed their video and the interview.

I have certain reservations against big conglomerates. I don’t like greed, huge CEO compensations and the milking of consumers with low value/high profit camera gadgets. Therefore, Sigma for me does excel.

They proof excellent price/quality relations and true innovations. I will strongly support them as consumer buying their products.

We need more “Sigma”s in our world to stay sustainable and to assume responsibility for the customer as they do.

11 upvotes
Astrotripper
By Astrotripper (2 months ago)

Nice, informative interview. I think that the new dp2 is a good move. Love it or hate it, it created quite a lot of buzz and raised some eyebrows. For a company with limited marketing resources, that's a blessing.

And I'm still torn on Quattro. It does not look like it's an ergonomic design, but at the same time I refuse to think that Sigma would throw ergonomics out of the window just to make some buzz with fancy design. Also, it's huge, if you think of it in terms of compact cameras. But there's something in me that really wants to love this camera. And I didn't even own (nor cared about) any of the earlier DPs.

So I think Sigma might be on to something with this one. We'll see if I'm right once it hits the streets.

3 upvotes
lester11
By lester11 (2 months ago)

Intelligent questions, intelligent answers... Great!

"Low contrast, low contrast, low frequency, high frequency, everything is in its place." Should that have been, "Low contrast, high contrast..."?

"With a DSLR it would be different to get this kind of image". Not so sure about this one, but should that have been, "With a DSLR it would be more difficult to get this kind of image"?

2 upvotes
Earthlight
By Earthlight (2 months ago)

I really like Sigma these days. Not necessarily for their quirky cameras but the real spirit of innovation and the FABULOUS lenses they do.

For years my Sigma fish eyes have given me great shots when Canon did not offer a circular fish eye at all. The new Art lenses seem like real winners and I will likely invest into them as soon as I need to update or replace my lenses.

4 upvotes
Earthlight
By Earthlight (2 months ago)

How about full frame 12-24 mm f2.8 and 400 mm f4 ART series lenses?

0 upvotes
Scottelly
By Scottelly (2 months ago)

I would like to see more S series lenses . . . including a 70-200mm f2.8 OS HSM S and a 24-70mm f2.8 OS HSM S. A full-frame 24-50mm f1.8 HSM A would be cool too.

0 upvotes
Alphoid
By Alphoid (2 months ago)

I do wish they'd either stabilize or discount their Sony lenses. If the former, they could work on NEX. If the latter, they'd be cheaper.

0 upvotes
CUBE OVER
By CUBE OVER (2 months ago)

Pleased to hear the battery life has been doubled.
Pleased to hear tonality has been improved.
The new design is to be field-proven, though. IMO Fujifilm X-A1 body is ideal.
My RAW files are already 55MB on Merrill, they should only become smaller because of two 5MP layers vs all 15.4MP layers in Merrill, unless there was a trick in Merrill they did not tell us about!..
Something don't add up... proprietary closed Merrill X3F format may have been closed for a reason... unlike previous gen DP2s/DP2x which is all fair 5MPx3.
Show us your RAWs already! And why not a word about the release date?
Unpredictability reduces potential buyers to enthusiasts like myself ;)

1 upvote
amdme127
By amdme127 (2 months ago)

14 bit raw vs 12 bit causes the Quattro Raw files to be bigger

1 upvote
Prognathous
By Prognathous (2 months ago)

Very interesting interview, but I wish he was asked about the aspect of compatibility of Sigma lenses with new bodies. Unlike Tamron and Tokina lenses which are practically always compatible with newer bodies (same as lenses from the camera brands), Sigma lenses frequently have compatibility issues, requiring them to be "re-chipped" or updated if the lens is recent enough. If the lens is old, then no such luck. Either use it with an old body, or try selling it to someone who does.

Is the reason for these issues the use of reverse engineering instead of getting the specs from the camera brands and paying royalties? This is the most common assumption, but it would have been interesting to hear the CEO take on this.

BTW, fitting lenses with a common micro-USB socket could have made updating lenses easier, more accessible and less costly than having to buy a dedicated USB Mount Dock. Hopefully they add it in future lenses.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (2 months ago)

That question was answered, albeit indirectly in the response about communication between Sigma and camera manufacturers...

2 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (2 months ago)

That's a good point. Do you happen to know if Tamron and Tokina have communication with camera manufacturers? If they don't, then we can only assume that the quality of reverse engineering done by Sigma is lower than the other lens brands, otherwise they won't be such a difference in compatibility. If these brands do get the specs and pay royalties, then this is a solid reason to pay more for their lenses (compared to Sigma).

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (2 months ago)

Interesting, because presumably Canon and Nikon could figre out how to block 3rd party lenses?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

it doesn't have to necessarily mean higher or low level. Concorde used to be an advanced supersonic airliner that had bad luck.

0 upvotes
VirtualMirage
By VirtualMirage (2 months ago)

In regards to Tamron communicating with camera manufacturers, I would think they at least communicate with Sony. Sony is their second largest shareholder, plus Tamron has been known to have made/designed some of Sony's lenses.

0 upvotes
AngusCNH
By AngusCNH (2 months ago)

another thing is ..... while i see the name quattro...... i just remember the man below.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Char_Aznable

1 upvote
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (2 months ago)

Excellent interview. A honest, humble and straightforward person too, this CEO. Like father like son. Sigma is on a roll!

12 upvotes
AngusCNH
By AngusCNH (2 months ago)

yes.... but you will be dead if any of the company introduce a new sensor tech which is on par / better then X3.....

also , X3 having so many flaw which still need to improve...

0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (2 months ago)

They won't. Everyone else will always prioritize ISO 3 billion and resolution of 79 gigapixels so the result will be mush.

Sigma always knew what they were doing. Well, until the Quattro design that is.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

I think the founders of Foveon, Inc. are lucky guys they sold a piece of rubbish at a good price.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (2 months ago)

Yabokkie I would not call the foveon crap.

It is very difficult to work with. But when used on an sturdy tripod at base ISO it can create mind blowing details.

I would never consider buying or recommending one for general use. But under the right conditions it's damn hard to beat.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

okay, it's not a crap but a funny crap, and it does bring some value for the maker (saving of low pass and color filters), but small volume makes cost high, but Sigma doesn't want to use mass production sensors for they want to be funny (wow unknowledged users, Fujifilm found a cheaper way to do it), maybe that's the reason Sigma decided to buy the funny crap.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (2 months ago)

Great interview — very educational. I didn't realize Sigma was a family-owned company (which makes me like them more), that the narrowness of the Nikon lens mount makes designing fast lenses for them more challenging. It's also refreshing for a CEO to have such a strong grasp of engineering issues.

3 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (2 months ago)

8 people owned the DP2 Quattro already, amazing.

6 upvotes
JABB66
By JABB66 (2 months ago)

Even more amazing is that 9 people bought it and have already sold them ;)

0 upvotes
CUBE OVER
By CUBE OVER (2 months ago)

10 people owned Macs 10 years ago.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (2 months ago)

Considering how many western businesses are obsessed and driven to madness with CEOs drumbeating “double-digit growth, double-digit growth” mantras, I find this gentleman and his family business so refreshing and down to earth.

22 upvotes
Dimit
By Dimit (2 months ago)

I liked the guy,I liked the interview,I liked the camera design....

13 upvotes
dr.noise
By dr.noise (2 months ago)

I liked your comment

1 upvote
Luke Kaven
By Luke Kaven (2 months ago)

A typo in the interview.

Your copy has: "we developed our own MFT measurement tool which uses our Foveon sensor"

I'm pretty sure he is referring to "MTF" (modulation transfer function) rather than "MFT".

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (2 months ago)

Fixed, thanks for spotting that.

2 upvotes
focal
By focal (2 months ago)

I'd buy a DP1 Quattro with Canon mount.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (2 months ago)

Because we NOW make unique products.

6 upvotes
INzajeano
By INzajeano (2 months ago)

Really nice interview.

I am very excited about the new DP2 and look forward to testing/using it.
Coming from a medium and large form,at background I don't really go any higher than 800 iso and if you wanted to, there are many other systems out there for that.
I love the fact that the DP systems make you slow down and think about what you do. Allowing you to think about the overall image as opposed to technical things that can distract one from the art.
It's not a system for everyone and I think they realise that and are marketing it accordingly.
In my humble opinion this is the best digital system (including digital medium format which is really 6x45) out there when using it between 100 and 800 iso in the right conditions. I love its film look and feel hence this is now my main digital shooter or what I like to call my digital film camera :D

Makes my Nikon D800e look very shabby between 100 and 800 ISO.

9 upvotes
Chris Noble
By Chris Noble (2 months ago)

Interesting article! "When Sigma was founded there were over 50 lens manufacturers in Japan. Now there are only really three major ones - Tamron, Cosina and Sigma. We have survived because we make unique products. "

I wonder how many camera-branded lenses are actually made by these 3.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (2 months ago)

Tokina?

1 upvote
focal
By focal (2 months ago)

Why are the best Tokina so hard to get,
e.g. M35/2.8 or 50-135/2.8

0 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (2 months ago)

Focal, the two lenses you mentioned were co-designed with Pentax, and as such are still available on the Pentax mount (as Pentax lenses). Why Tokina dropped these two stunning lenses, and yes they are stunning, under their own name for the other mounts is beyond me. I certainly know a lot of APS-C CaNikon users who would love to have the 50-135 lens for their camera.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (2 months ago)

If Sigma wants to grow their camera business, they need to put some effort into designing at least one model that has a bit more all-around utility. I am amazed at the detail at ISO 100-200 from these cameras. However, the lack of ability to shoot in lower light, stray more than an hour from a charger, shoot video, or focus on anything moving, means Sigma cameras are not really an option for more than 1% of photographers.

I'm also suprised that with their poor high ISO, they continually affix slower lenses to their DP line. Give us an f1.4 lens and maybe I'm OK being stuck under ISO 1600. And with battery issues, an OVF tuned to the attached lens would be a good solution.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

I think Sigma better spin-off their camera/sensor business. Foveon is simply a wrong idea (we may come back to it some day in the future but probably not in the near future).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
RitterRunkel
By RitterRunkel (2 months ago)

You guys clearly missed his statements (Consistent detail, make people wow instead of make the company bigger). They have to become /stay stable and profitable. But they do not need to make a flexible point and shoot for everyone. And they don't want to.

7 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

my impression is that by saying that he might be estranging himself from his company. we wow when we see new Sigma 35/1.4 and 18-35/1.8 but Foveon is a wow in the negative direction.

1 upvote
mumintroll
By mumintroll (2 months ago)

@yabokkie Foveon wrong direction? Said who? You? Foveon has the best IQ and colors at low ISO from all APS-C cameras on the market.

6 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (2 months ago)

@RitterRunkel: I understood the point just fine. But if he wants to target a tiny niche with this kind of camera, his market share is going to be lucky to even stay at 1%. He mentioned he'd like to grow that. I'm not saying they need to copy Sony, but they could focus on making their cameras a bit less "quirky" and give them some features considered standard in 2010's like HD video and higher ISO.

0 upvotes
quiquae
By quiquae (2 months ago)

Sigma's cameras aren't quirky and feature-poor because Sigma thinks it's cool; it's because Sigma lacks the human and monetary resources to implement any feature except the minimal set that gives them differentiation. It's the only way a small company like Sigma can afford to stay in business against industry titans.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

like what quiquae said, "wow" or high profit in a small market footprint isn't the way to go. companies even as strong as Leica and Zeiss failed that way already.

0 upvotes
xue24
By xue24 (2 months ago)

leica and zeiss never manage to make the quality product at the price like sigma could, for now at least. it is understood that many can't stand the trouble of foveon, but it deliver something no match by others in the market, it is proven by facts! the way they try to improve foveon's performance in the new dp shows they think out of the box and is inspiring, to me. so leave this gentleman and his team alone. even sigma failed at the very end, they already done an extremely well job when all things consider. they certainly deserve much respects for what they have achieved.

4 upvotes
kodachromeguy
By kodachromeguy (2 months ago)

Where does this lack of ability top shoot at lower light come from? ISO 200 is not adequate? Maybe you forgot, generations of photographers used Kodachrome at ISO10 or 25 and Panatomic-X at 32? With a tripod of window ledge, the Sigma is fine at low light. I agree with you about an electronic viewfinder.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (2 months ago)

Sigma said they want to grow their business, not me. Look at the products that are most popular, they don't force you to shoot on a tripod.

Who cares what generations of photographers did? That has zero bearing on what customers buy or demand today.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

kodachromeguy:

Technology moves on.

This is something Kodak wouldn’t accept, and look what happened.

If digital cameras (full frame and APSC sensored) were only good through ISO 400, Kodak would still be selling a lot of film.

0 upvotes
PrebenR
By PrebenR (2 months ago)

This great interview sums up why I stick to Sigma products (cameras and lenses)

And yes, they have already made me said WOW several times. I cannot forget when I "developed" the first RAW files from my DP2 Merrill. Even if I was used to Sigma camera's RAW files, I was just taken aback by the stunning quality.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
15 upvotes
GPW
By GPW (2 months ago)

Great interview. At least he didn't try to push some low end BS DSLR cameras like Nikon and Canon. I just wish their lens IQ was on par with the big two. I think a lot of people are fed up with Nikon and Canon forcing their customers to buy cameras with minimum upgrades. Great job Sigma

2 upvotes
PrebenR
By PrebenR (2 months ago)

I believe you will find that some of the recent Sigma lenses are above the quality of the Canon and Nikon equivalents. At least according to reviews and tests. Not my claims. :-)

14 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (2 months ago)

@prebenR

Only the small in number recent "Art" series lenses are. Generally speaking Sigma lenses are still behind Nikon and Canon lenses optically.

0 upvotes
BayAreaWZ
By BayAreaWZ (2 months ago)

Great interview. It's rare executives speak without marketing spin. I wouldn't be surprised if this interview didn't just boost dp Quattro preorders or at least intent.

13 upvotes
Miron09
By Miron09 (2 months ago)

the MFT 2.8 60mm is excellent, optically & mechanically. If Sigma could produce a 150 or 180mm Macro...

2 upvotes
SigmaChrome
By SigmaChrome (2 months ago)

Sigma DO produce both a 150 and 180mm Macro. Check their website.

2 upvotes
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (2 months ago)

Strange cameras interest me. I'm strangely interested...

11 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (2 months ago)

A one stop increase in ISO performance is as modest as it gets and would not cause me to upgrade from my Merrill series Sigmas. The extra length over the Merrill series DPs is also not something I would prefer. I hate to say it but I don't see how this upgrade is going to attract new users or cause existing users to want to upgrade. That said, I love my DP Merrill series cameras.

2 upvotes
PrebenR
By PrebenR (2 months ago)

I have all DP Merrills, but I'll also get the dp2Q (at least) because of the improvements that it has. I'm particularly interested in 14bit RAW.

That said, I'll keep my Merrills as I have kept my original DPs. I even use the original DPs now.

Here is a every day shoot-out between the original DP2 and DP2 Merrill for those interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prebenr/sets/72157634524714567/

4 upvotes
exdeejjjaaaa
By exdeejjjaaaa (2 months ago)

nice dude

6 upvotes
Peter A. Stavrakoglou
By Peter A. Stavrakoglou (2 months ago)

I had the pleasure of meeting his father. Such a kind and humble person he was. His son seems to be just like him.

4 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (2 months ago)

And amazingly.... 4 people "already own" this camera that isn't yet available on the market, and 8 more "used to own it" but moved on to something better.

They probably got advance copies......or something....

6 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

M:

People lie on the internet, then there are people who just click things. Hope this isn't news.

3 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (2 months ago)

They are owners of prototypes and other very secret equipment :)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

Digitall:

It would also have to be secret and/or prototype raw extraction software.

So I'm far more inclined to think either outright lying or simply clicking "yes".

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (2 months ago)

Does anyone else notice how young these Japanese camera company executives are?

This is really good news for the industry. A very positive sign that they are not stuck in the past, but willing to fully embrace the future.

We old people might know a lot of stuff, but we are too comfortable with the status quo, and too reluctant to change things. So I see this as as boding well for the future of the industry.

10 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

I don't know what do you mean by young, but the guy is definitely 40+ probably closer to 50, Japanses and chinese people just look younger.

6 upvotes
exdeejjjaaaa
By exdeejjjaaaa (2 months ago)

> Does anyone else notice how young these Japanese camera company executives are?

he is a (co)owner, not hired executive... that's different.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

what's the age of the new head of Repubblica Italiana Mafia?

1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (2 months ago)

"40+ going on 50" is relatively young. At least to me. I suppose everything is relative.

And you're right. He's almost 46 now.

Name Kazuto Yamaki
Date of Birth March 22nd, 1968
April, 1993 joined Sigma Corporation
November, 2000; Manager of Corporate Planning Division
November, 2003; Vice-President
November, 2005 Chief Operating Officer
January, 2012 Chief Executive Officer

3 upvotes
Jim Salvas
By Jim Salvas (2 months ago)

Other top executives should study this interview. Mr. Yamaki makes himself and his company look better with his direct, non-evasive and self-effacing answers. He made me go "wow!"

36 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (2 months ago)

Maybe unusual for Japanese executives but I don't see how anything he said would be unusual for American executives, especially those that *own* their company.

0 upvotes
Thoughts
By Thoughts (2 months ago)

I could be wrong, but Canon or Nikon bosses may refuse to be interviewed by DPR.

It is really interesting to read these interviews lately (Sony, Fujifilm and Sigma), hopefully, these companies will stay and do well.

13 upvotes
venancio
By venancio (2 months ago)

Still waiting for more comprehensive reviews on the Sigma 24-105mm for Nikon as compared to the Nikkor 24-120mm... Sigma's ART lenses have earned my respects, and a price war that Nikon or Canon will wage on ART lenses is a way of recognizing Sigma's quality and the rapid awareness of consumers on this aspect... I'm sure Sigma will come up with a hit camera in a couple of years but a battery life of 200 shots per charge still triggers that knee jerk reaction of "what?"...

1 upvote
quiquae
By quiquae (2 months ago)

I don't know what this "price war" to which you refer is about, but I do know EF 24-105mm F4L's street price was already less than Sigma's 24-105mm before the latter was announced....

As for 200 shots per charge, I suspect it may not be as bad as it sounds since DP Quattro is poorly suited for the "machine gun" shooting model anyway. Ask yourself: if you never shoot any moving object, do you really need more than 200 shots a day?

1 upvote
Fat69
By Fat69 (2 months ago)

Buy 3 batteries, problem solved

0 upvotes
Markintosh
By Markintosh (2 months ago)

Very interesting interview, thanks! Good luck to Sigma:)
Sigma new "Art" lenses are amazing, I'm really enjoying new 30mm f/1.4 lens.

6 upvotes
abluesky
By abluesky (2 months ago)

For me the, a very important issue is the hight ISO performance. Does that mean that now the max ISO is 800? I'm not familiar with the Foveon upper ISO limit.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (2 months ago)

Yes, since anything above ISO 400 in the current series is not very good, especially so in color.

0 upvotes
PrebenR
By PrebenR (2 months ago)

Hi

Depend on what you mean. The foveon sensor excels at normal ISO, not at high ISO. For colour photos you cannot go very high up in ISO, but if you do B&W then you can go much higher. I try to limit colour photos to ISO 320 in low light, but one can do up to ISO 640 and get good results with the Merrill cameras. For B&W ISO 1600 is not a problem and it gives nice grainy noise. You can even go to 6400 if you are careful when you do the shots.

So to sum up Foveon cameras do not have the high ISO capabilities like the Bayer cameras, but Bayer cameras do not have the image quality as the Foveon has at ISO 100-200. For me it is the latter which is important.

3 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

There are unique products that noone buys AND there are unique products that become a pivotal point in tech evolution.

I think their ones fall within the first category.

1 upvote
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (2 months ago)

Unfortunately

1 upvote
michael19843
By michael19843 (2 months ago)

Interesting camera. I suspect it will give far better images than the Fuji X100 and X100S.

1 upvote
mumintroll
By mumintroll (2 months ago)

You can bet on it. Even Old Merrills give far better results on low iso, than all FUJI cameras.

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (2 months ago)

That's a real nice pose of him (real nice pose) with the Quattro. Good interview.

I have to give it to Sigma. A few years back I remember several of their lenses were just optically sub par to the OEM respective big brands (Nikon, Olympus, etc.) but they have dramatically improved their quality overall and it has shown.

That's great. Looking forward for the Quattro Foveon to solve several issues I saw with the Merrill.

12 upvotes
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (2 months ago)

Used to have an old 28-70 f2.8 for EF mount. Never got used to it because all the rings were the opposite to all the Canon lenses I had. Eventually bought the Canon version.

0 upvotes
Nanospeed1
By Nanospeed1 (2 months ago)

"Kazuto Yamaki strikes me as new kind of businessman." --- Yes, precisely SigmaChrome. I do salute (..with my money for his lenses, too ;-) this man and this kind of attitude as well !

7 upvotes
Total comments: 153
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