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.
|Body type||Mid-size SLR|
|Max resolution||4800 x 3200|
|Effective pixels||15.4 megapixels|
|Sensor size||APS-C (24 x 16 mm)|
|Sensor type||CMOS (Foveon X3)|
|Lens mount||Sigma SA Bayonet mount|
|Focal length mult.||1.5×|
|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″)|
The SD1 is a non-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