Sigma SD1 Merrill

Announced Feb 8, 2012 •
15 megapixels | 3 screen | APS-C sensor
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Sigma SD1 Merrill Digital Camera C26900
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Product description
Announced Feb 8, 2012
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The Sigma SD1 digital SLR is a significant departure from previous SD-series DSLRs in that rather than being limited to 4MP or less, it uses a brand new 15.3MPx3 1.5x crop Foveon X3 sensor (4800 x 3200 x 3 layers). Designed as the company's flagship camera, the SD1 has a weatherproof magnesium alloy body, 3" 460k dot LCD, and new 11-point twin-cross AF system. Image processing is in the hands of a 'Dual True II' engine that promises improved speed and image quality, and the camera is compatible with the full range of Sigma lenses.

In February 2012 the 46-megapixel SD1 DSLR was rebranded and re-priced as the SD1 Merrill, in honor of Dick Merrill, inventor of the Foveon sensor technology on which it is based.

Quick specs
Body type Mid-size SLR
Max resolution 4800 x 3200
Effective pixels 15 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (24 x 16 mm)
Sensor type CMOS (Foveon X3)
Lens mount Sigma SA Bayonet
Focal length mult. 1.5×
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 460,000
Storage types Compact Flash (Type I, UDMA compatible)
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Dimensions 146 x 113 x 80 mm (5.75 x 4.45 x 3.15)
GPS None

See full specifications

Our review

The SD1 is a no-frills SLR with a very basic feature set that offers exceptional image quality at low ISOs (100-400). However it's let down by slow file write times and erratic control behaviour during this process. High ISO image quality is unremarkable, and there's no live view for tripod shooting. It's a specialist tool, but if you can live with its limitations, it's capable of excellent results.

Good for: Photographers looking for exceptional low ISO image quality, and willing to spend the time processing RAW to achieve it.

Not so good for: Sports, action, or any kind or photography requiring high ISOs

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