Sigma Musings (Long) - Where Goeth Thou?

Started Oct 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
MOD Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Forum Pro • Posts: 20,044
Other mounts don't matter, Sigma has already addressed

OvinceZ wrote:


Things changed when the SD1 was announced. Instead of penetrating the market it was seen as overpriced. Way overpriced. So they did not sell well. A year or so ago the SD1Merrill was introduced and at a fair price. Still limited by the Sigma lens mount.

Over time the "limitation" of the Sigma lens mount has dropped significantly. At this point for 99% of shooters there is no "limitation" because at any given focal length the Sigma lens is the one you'd be buying for any system anyways. Sigma has, through innovation in lenses, created more value in the SA mount too.

We wondered why this model wasn't released with all the mounts available.

"We" did not, because most people already knew of the fate of Kodak and Fuji that tried such a strategy. It's a dead end, and results in camera systems that try it dying. For many reasons, it's not practical.

But Sigma has addressed this issue - you can now convert SA mount lenses to another mount if you need to, so buying really good glass for a Sigma camera makes a ton of sense even if you are not sure about the camera itself (and that means for Canon and Nikon bodies too!). Building CAMERAS with other mounts doesn't work. Making the mount on the lens not matter is a far more realistic and useful approach to the problem, because it lets people move between camera bodies as they once could with film.

Heaps of enthusiasts might have bought one if they could have used their own lenses.

Doubtful, because Canon and Nikon would always undercut them on price and features unrelated to image quality (See: Fuji & Kodak). The Foveon chip is about subtle improvements of results, not something that means much to the mass market.

Along comes the little DPM series and what a series it is. A real Foveon enthusiast might acquire all 3 models. Great value which includes the C sized sensor. Results have been mixed but I wonder if this has more to do with the quantity of photographers owning Sigma Merrills than anything else. If you have more people using a product some of them will deliver excellent results both in IQ and photographic quality.

If you see excellent results from all cameras at times, even if irregular, that means they are capable of excellence period. Of course any given camera is going to take shots that are bad because the photographer messed up. I have a ton of said shots myself. Or perhaps you simply don't like the style in which a given person photographs, always possible.

So where to, Sigma? Those of us who have DPM cameras know the strengths and limitations. A quality zoom model is a must to compete in the market.

Compact zooms are being eaten alive by cell phones with digital zoom. People don't want compact cameras these days any more than than they demand portable MP3 players.

The only way compact systems can survive cell phone advancements is to maintain quality significantly above any cell phone - which the DP series does. The DP series is among a handful of cameras that can actually still do well against the advancements in cell phone cameras.

A mirrorless would be even better. Having the DP3M is frustrating because it is great at some things but almost useless at others. Sometimes I can do panoramas but many times it is not practical. A model with something like 24-70 or 24-105 equivalents would be much more useful. The macro mode needs to be improved, too, so you can focus closer.

All of these things mean you need an SLR with more traditional lenses. An SLR (as we know it) does not have to have a mirror. But all of your wishes are not as well served by a small compact camera with a zoom, as they would be with a camera roughly the size of the SD-1.

The processor is not good enough and it takes too much time to review photos. I simply do not review many because it uses up the battery.

Reviewing photos does't really consume much battery. What consumes battery is having the camera on and sensor active. Make sure you have auto-power off set to a very small timeframe, and turn off the camera after shots if you do not plan to review.

I agree that the delay to review a photo is pretty long. That is the one area of the DP cameras I'd love to see improvement in.

Sigma need to not being seen as cheap and include lens hoods with kits.

I think instead they need to move away from "kits" and more into lens bundles with serious lenses (all of which come with lens hoods).  (although it's notable they do not include a lens hood with the DP cameras, I'm not really sure how many people find them important - mostly I do not use them myself).


If Sigma come out with a full frame Foveon sensor then it is a new ball game. If they offer other mounts then it will be a winner and have a future. Those of us who have seen what the Merrills can do are impressed and put up with querks, etc. The next two years will reveal what is going to happen.

I don't think either of those things needs to happen, because they already have in other ways. Sigma is introducing lenses that let you shoot on a crop factor camera just as you would a full frame. Sigma is letting you change the mount of the lens, not the camera. Sigma is giving you everything you ask for, just in a different way than you expected.

What Sigma needs to do is iterate on the cameras it has, and bring the SD camera up to the level of quality the DP cameras enjoy (and a round of processing/writing boosts all around). Then they just wait for cell phones to gnaw away at competitors and absorb profits from other companies through brisk lens sales.

 Kendall Helmstetter Gelner's gear list:Kendall Helmstetter Gelner's gear list
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +4 more
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