Previous page Next page

Sigma SD1 specifications

Format Interchangeable lens SLR camera
Image Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7mm (1.5x APS-C)
Lens Mount SIGMA SA bayonet mount
Compatible Lenses SIGMA SA mount interchangeable lenses
Image Sensor Foveon X3 direct image sensor (CMOS)
Colour photo detectors  • Total Pixels: 48MP
 • Effective Pixels: 46MP (4800 x 3200 x 3 layers)
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Still Image Format Exif 2.3, DCF 2.0
Image recording format  • Lossless compression RAW, 12 bit
File Size RAW
 • High
 • Medium
 • Low
 • High
 • Medium
 • Low
Approx 45 MB (4704 x 3136 x 3)
Approx 24 MB (3264 x 2176 x 3)
Approx 12 MB (2336 x 1568 x 3)

Approx 10 MB (4704 x 3136)
Approx 5.6 MB (4704 x 3136)
Approx 4.2 MB (4704 x 3136)

Approx 5 MB (3264 x 2176)
Approx 2.7 MB (3264 x 2176)
Approx 2 MB (3264 x 2176)

Approx 2.5 MB (2336 x 1568)
Approx 1.4 MB (2336 x 1568)
Approx 1 MB (2336 x 1568)
Continuous shooting speed  • 5 frames/sec (Image size High)
 • 6 frames/sec (Image size Medium, Low)
Continuous buffer  • Max 7 frames (Image size High)
 • Max 14 frames (Image size Medium, Low)
White Balance  • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Shade
 • Overcast
 • Incandescent
 • Fluorescent
 • Flash
 • Custom
Color Mode  • Standard
 • Vivid
 • Neutral
 • Portrait
 • Landscape
 • B&W
 • Sepia
ISO Range  • Auto (100-800)
 • 100
 • 200
 • 400
 • 800
 • 1600
 • 3200
 • 6400
Viewfinder Type Pentaprism SLR viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame Coverage 98% vertical, 98% horizontal
Viewfinder Magnification 0.95x (with 50mm lens at infinity)
Eye point 18mm
Diopter Adjustment Range -3.0 dpt - +1.5 dpt
Mirror Quick return
Depth of Field Preview Yes
Metering Modes  • 77-segment Evaluative
 • Spot
 • Center Area
 • Center-Weighted Average
Metering Range EV 1 to 20 (50mm F1.4 : ISO 100)
Shutter Type Electronically controlled focal plane shutter
Shutter Speed  • 1/8000th – 30 sec
 • Bulb (up to 30 sec, or 2 min in extended mode)
 • Flash sync speed 1/180 sec
Exposure compensation ± 3EV (in 1/3 stop increments)
Auto Bracketing  • 3 frames up to 3 EV interval (in 1/3 EV steps)
 • 5 frames up to 1.7 EV interval (in 1/3 EV steps)
Auto Focus Type TTL phase difference detection system
AF Point 11 points twin cross sensor
AF Operating Range EV -1 to +18 (ISO100)
Focus Mode  • Single AF
 • Continuous AF (with AF motion prediction function)
 • Manual
Focusing Screen Fixed, all matt screen
AF Point Selection  • Automatic Selection
 • Manual Selection
Active AF point indicator Superimposed in viewfinder
Focus Lock AF button is pressed or shutter release pressed halfway
AF Assist Light Yes (orange LED)
Built-in Flash  • Manual Pop-up Built-in flash
 • GN11
 • 17mm lens angle covered
Flash Metering System S-TTL Auto Flash
Flash Compensation ± 3 EV (1/3 stop increments)
Flash Sync Terminal Available
Flash Connectivity Hot shoe (contact X, with dedicated flash linking contact)
LCD Monitor  • 3.0" TFT colour LCD monitor
 • 3:2 aspect ratio
 • Approx. 460,000 dots
Storage Media Compact Flash (Type I, UDMA compatible)
Power  • Li-ion Battery Pack BP-21
 • Battery charger BC-21
 • AC Adapter SAC-4 (Optional)
Connectivity  • USB 2.0
 • Video out (NTSC/PAL)
Dimensions  • 146 mm (W) × 114 mm (H) × 80 mm (D)
 • 5.7" (W) × 4.4"(H) × 3.1" (D)
Weight  • 700g/24.7oz (without battery and card)
 • 790g/27.9oz (including battery and card)
Optional accessories  • AC Adapter SAC-4
 • Remote Controller RS-31
 • Cable Release Switch CR-21
 • Electronic Flash EF-610 DG SUPER, EF-610 DG ST, EM-140 DG
Previous page Next page
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 9

To update a three and a half year old review a little, as a recent convert to the Foveon sensor in this Sigma (albeit in the DP2 Merrill iteration) I can testify that the latest Sigma Raw processing software, Photopro 6.3, which is used for the SD1 Merrill as well ithe DP2, does not leave much to be desired, at least to a relative newcomer to Raw processing. And this running on Windows 7 on an ancient Core 2 Duo at 2.66Ghz with 4 Gb of memory. There may be frustrations for those who wish to devote more time to arcane debate than taking shots, but on the whole Photpro6.3 hits the spot. Hats off to Sigma....


Is this the 24-70 ART lens that you are using ? I have the 28-80 HF and 18-50DC's but the Chromatic Aberration is shocking with these and I cannot achieve a constant colour, without discoloration around the edges. I was thinking of buying an adapter and looking for a better lens, possibly a Nikon one.


Use a full frame lens like the 24-70 F2.8 EX DG HSM. You will get fantastic results. Use it properly - on a tripod at 100 ISO and F8. Have good light. Shoot raw. Convert to 48bit tiff. Edit with the appropriate skill. If the results don't blow you away, your doing something wrong.


I photograph textiles for a living and I have a love hate relationship with this camera. Some of the results are stunning, then at other times it is infuriating. The fact that I cannot Wifi the camera drives me mad,a friend is trying to solder up a device, so I can attach a ribbon cable to compact flash type 1 holder, then have a type 2 WIFI one mounted externally. I am envious of my colleague that works with a Nikon and uses her iPad to control and tether her camera, with an instant review of the post and final image .


If you shoot at 400ISO or less, use the best lenses, shoot raw and use the latest version of the much improved Sigma raw conversion software, you will be able to upsize your clean artifact free files to around 6700 pixels across giving you an equivilant resolution of a 30MP Bayer sensor. I do this all the time and the results are fantastic. Using a full frame lens on this sensor gives you images that are sharp to the corners and almost distortion free. The 24-70mm F2.8 HSM on this sensor enables image quality way beyond anything I ever shot on a 5D2 or 5D3 with L lenses.. When you get to know the tool and develop skill to use it well, the results will blow you away. Most people want it easier than that. You reap what you sew!

1 upvote

I purchased an SD1 for my business of photographing textiles in a studio situation and I feel totally deflated. The actual image quality is excellent, but the tethering capabilities are pathetic. I expected to be able to click from my PC to launch a shot, then instantly see what I had taken, before moving on to the next item, which sadly is not the case. Their software application known as Sigma Capture Pro should be reported to the trading standards council, as there is nothing 'Pro' about it as it is just a glorified remote shutter release program. Furthermore in order to have access to your images on a PC, you need to go into the menu function on the camera and disable the 'remote capture program' then select mass storage to view your images. Going through this process with every shot, may be good for you cardiovascular system, but for someone who relies on seamless throughput to make a living, this camera is junk.


Tethering capabilities? lol. You are more interested in showing off in front of clients than achieving great results. Re-align your priorities. You do realize that 90% of the time the images are used at 400 pixels wide on a web site - do you? you don't need to check each shot at 100% mag on a full size screen before you know you got it. Give us a break with your grandstanding.


I was looking at the photo comparison today, comparing the SD1 against the new Canon 5 D Mk III, the Nikon D800E, and the Pentax 645 D . . . at ISO 800 . . . and I just can not believe my eyes. Take a look at this:

The SD1 never ceases to amaze me.

Scott Greiff

Why won't the comparisons load?

Total comments: 9