What are really the problems with the SD-1

Started Feb 10, 2012 | Discussions
alfaflash Junior Member • Posts: 34
What are really the problems with the SD-1

Probably like some other Sigma users, I got mad when the SD-1 was priced so outrageously, and I have not kept up on the threads concerning the camera. Now, I plan to buy an SD-1 when it becomes available on the market at the new lower price. However, the frustrations with the old SD-14 are still a vivid memory, and I want to learn from the experience of others about the weak points and idiosyncracies of the SD-1.

I believe that the IQ problems reported by some people relate directly to the Sigma lenses not having the performance necessary to use the capabilities of the sensor, and I plan to convert the lens mount to take Leica R glass. If this perception bout the IQ is incorrect, I woiuld appreciate hearing aboui it. Any info concerning problems with the processing engine, odd color rendition, camera lock-up, or any other similar problems would be much appreciated.

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DaSonyGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 12,352
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

Where do you want me to start?

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BobNL Veteran Member • Posts: 5,196
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

DaSigmaGuy wrote:

Where do you want me to start?

How many times did you shoot with it?

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BobNL Veteran Member • Posts: 5,196
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

Real problems depend on your style of shooting. I have trouble using it for any sport like photography, the AF is just not fast enough, especially if the light is a bit low. Battery life is not too great. And finally files are huge so clearing the buffer can take long.
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alex_virt Senior Member • Posts: 2,946
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

I've never used it and can't comment on the camera itself. Image quality problems I noticed:

1. Blurry corners on all wide angle shots. Probably Sigma doesn't have a good enough wide lens.

2. Atrocious chromatic aberrations, much worse than previous SD cameras and Bayer cameras. Probably has something to do with the thicker (deeper) sensor design.
3. Green corners.
4. Same blue & green noise in shadows.
5. Magenta cast.
6. Noise and banding on blue skies.

mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 9,353
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

So far I've processed about 30 different raws from about six people (Carl, Bob, Laurence, Rick, and a few random raws I've found) and the IQ problems I've noticed so far have been a lot of banding in underexposed shadow areas and noise in the sky at any iso above 100. IMHO, based on what I've seen, if I owned the camera (and it's now on my list) it will be a 100 iso camera only. But what I have not seen , despite others complaining about it, is a DR problem.

I think the perceived DR problem stems from the fact that when you first open up the files SPP initially renders many parts of the image completely blown out, giving the impression there's no data there, but there is and can be brought out with proper processing technique, which I've succeded in doing many times. But it's not easy and is an area Sigma needs to work on.

The other SPP area I'm irritated with is that the Highlight slider doesn't really work with SD1 files. It merely lightens the overall image.

The above problems I can work around but two things on the SD1 need to be improved for me to be really happy with it, a much larger buffer, like the 21 shot one on the SD15, and much faster processing time. I believe it's about 75 sec? Much too long for anything except still life.

But if these limitations don't bother you (at least too much) then the SD1 might be for you.

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SandyF Forum Pro • Posts: 15,069
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

I haven't shot with one, but I have the impression most issues deal with processing, ie color space, pulling full advantage from the files. And that file size, a plus and minus. Plus side = detail. Minus = loading time.

FWIW I still see the cameras (SD1M and even the DP1M/DP2M) appealing to a specialized audience... those who want BIG resolution but don't care so much about shooting speed for example.
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Alex Mylnikov Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

You know, some times it is better be silent

stanislaw stitchanow Senior Member • Posts: 1,956
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

I am thinking of buying one
but what me really scares is:

The camera is very slow, it will not be really usable for massive Panorama work, not really usable for HDR Panoramas, not really usable for macro stacking outdoor (I mean in the 1:1 range)

It demands the best glass Sigma can deliver and even a Lens like the 150mm OS Macro is showing CA with this camera as Bob has once shown us, with his glacier crops.

The camera brutally shows any lens defect like decentering (Which the new Nikon 800 seems also to show)

So for me this camera is nice for studio work, singe landscape and Macro shots and everything where speed or constant average writing times are not needed.

I see this camera just a second system and would never use it as my main and only camera, but that depends on the shooting style.
Oh and it misses Live View which is so cool for Landscape and Macro shooting.

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This review is from: Nikon F6 Professional SLR 35mm Film Camera Body (Electronics)

Camera will not work with CompactFlash or other digital media cards. You must buy a cartridge of tape, which allows for just 24 shots. No LCD screen for image playback. Extremely frustrated and returned item.

MOD Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Forum Pro • Posts: 20,587
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

alfaflash wrote:

I believe that the IQ problems reported by some people relate directly to the Sigma lenses not having the performance necessary to use the capabilities of the sensor, and I plan to convert the lens mount to take Leica R glass. If this perception bout the IQ is incorrect, I woiuld appreciate hearing aboui it. Any info concerning problems with the processing engine, odd color rendition, camera lock-up, or any other similar problems would be much appreciated.

On lenses, there are some lenses that can still take full advantage - most of the primes (especially the 70mm). The 8-16 does fairly well but not as good as the primes. You can use a variety of zooms shooting to crop a bit as the edges will not be as sharp. The 70-200 OS is excellent, I like the 24-70 (though that is one where you have to watch the edges).

The main handling issue is that it's slower to store and process files, and like early DP cameras you cannot always adjust settings while it's processing (that is better with firmware updates but I think it still happens at times). The buffer is on the small side so you are not going to have a ton of shots before you have to wait for processing.

On a side note not many people seem to know, that while it has a more limited buffer the SD-1 can shoot faster continuously than previous cameras.

Some of those issues reduce considerably if you shoot in medium res, which halves all sorts of times and storage.

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ChromeLight Senior Member • Posts: 2,676
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

Just buy the camera. When you're on your death bed, wearing a diaper and hooked up to life support you're not going to think, 'Oh, thank God I never bought that SD1. My life is now so much happier.'

Buying a camera is an easily reversible decision. If you don't like it after a few months, just sell it. Sure you'll lose some money. But the money you lose will turn out to be the world's cheapest rental fee.

stanislaw stitchanow wrote:

I am thinking of buying one
but what me really scares is:

The camera is very slow, it will not be really usable for massive Panorama work, not really usable for HDR Panoramas, not really usable for macro stacking outdoor (I mean in the 1:1 range)

It demands the best glass Sigma can deliver and even a Lens like the 150mm OS Macro is showing CA with this camera as Bob has once shown us, with his glacier crops.

The camera brutally shows any lens defect like decentering (Which the new Nikon 800 seems also to show)

So for me this camera is nice for studio work, singe landscape and Macro shots and everything where speed or constant average writing times are not needed.

I see this camera just a second system and would never use it as my main and only camera, but that depends on the shooting style.
Oh and it misses Live View which is so cool for Landscape and Macro shooting.

rick decker
MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 18,923
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

I told Sigma about the highlight slider problem some time ago. I will check into it again. I know it works on the MAC and am curious to see what it does and how well it works.

R
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Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,702
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

+ 1

BobNL wrote:

DaSigmaGuy wrote:

Where do you want me to start?

How many times did you shoot with it?

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Richard Franiec
Richard Franiec Senior Member • Posts: 2,544
Re: Problem - only SA mount offering

Now, when SD1 price is at much more acceptable level, interest in the camera is definitely on the raise. Sigma's decision was the right one, regardless of reasons.

It should be a no brainer for Sigma SA mount users that the upgrade from older camera models is within sensible reach now. However, for others, who collected many excellent, professional grade lenses in different than SA mounts, the decision to venture into Sigma system is not so straight forward.

For one, only some of the newer SA lenses are up to the task to take full advantage of SD1 sensor and they are not a cheapo alternative to older, sometimes mediocre SA equivalents. If someone already own long telephoto primes, EF70-200 F2.8L MKII, Canon or Nikon Macro lens, wide zoom from Nikon or planning to purchase new EF 24-70 F2.8 MkII, the decision to replicate the collection with SA lenses, some of them underperforming in comparison is just unthinkable.

The only reasonable solution to move volume of SD1 or future bodies would be to offer them also with other than SA mounts. Curiosity about SD1is on the raise again and as many postings from users of other systems indicate, aplenty will give SD1 a shot if it is offered with other major mounts as addition to current SA offering.

This is a controversial topic with some of existing Sigma users but on the flipside it will be hard to build the camera future for Sigma, based only on handful of people who see SD1 as a replacement only or on the newcombers who after all have other choices.

Of course, there could be possible constrains with permission to use other mounts but no one seems to know this for sure.

Having said that, I hope, that this suggestion could be taken into consideration to make Foveon based cameras appealing to much broader audience.

Best

Richard

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Jaelkay Senior Member • Posts: 2,243
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

Kendall

The 70-200 OS might be "excellent" on a cropped sensor, but on the D700 or D3X full frame, it's not much good at all. Doesn't even come close to the older Nikon 70-200mm which has well documented problems with corner softness.

Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,702
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

But what relevance is that to the SD1? Lots of lenses which are very good on a less than a 36x24 mm sensor are unsuitable for larger sensor based dSLR's.

Lin

Jaelkay wrote:

Kendall

The 70-200 OS might be "excellent" on a cropped sensor, but on the D700 or D3X full frame, it's not much good at all. Doesn't even come close to the older Nikon 70-200mm which has well documented problems with corner softness.

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Jaelkay Senior Member • Posts: 2,243
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

Lin Evans wrote:

But what relevance is that to the SD1? Lots of lenses which are very good on a less than a 36x24 mm sensor are unsuitable for larger sensor based dSLR's.

Lin

Sorry. Forgot that Sigma lenses can't be bettered.

Jaelkay wrote:

Kendall

The 70-200 OS might be "excellent" on a cropped sensor, but on the D700 or D3X full frame, it's not much good at all. Doesn't even come close to the older Nikon 70-200mm which has well documented problems with corner softness.

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ToasterFlyer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,369
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

mike earussi wrote:

So far I've processed about 30 different raws from about six people (Carl, Bob, Laurence, Rick, and a few random raws I've found) and the IQ problems I've noticed so far have been a lot of banding in underexposed shadow areas and noise in the sky at any iso above 100. IMHO, based on what I've seen, if I owned the camera (and it's now on my list) it will be a 100 iso camera only. But what I have not seen , despite others complaining about it, is a DR problem.

I think the perceived DR problem stems from the fact that when you first open up the files SPP initially renders many parts of the image completely blown out, giving the impression there's no data there, but there is and can be brought out with proper processing technique, which I've succeded in doing many times. But it's not easy and is an area Sigma needs to work on.

The other SPP area I'm irritated with is that the Highlight slider doesn't really work with SD1 files. It merely lightens the overall image.

The above problems I can work around but two things on the SD1 need to be improved for me to be really happy with it, a much larger buffer, like the 21 shot one on the SD15, and much faster processing time. I believe it's about 75 sec? Much too long for anything except still life.

But if these limitations don't bother you (at least too much) then the SD1 might be for you.

Banding and noise in the sky ..is not cool :(. I take it the "new" SD1 will not address these traits??

Rich
ny

ToasterFlyer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,369
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

Alex Mylnikov wrote:

You know, some times it is better be silent

Is there an audio button on this forum?? ;)..

Rich

Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,702
Re: What are really the problems with the SD-1

If the "better" lens is only better in areas which are not germane to the sensor behind them, are they truly "better" for the intended purpose?

Lin

Jaelkay wrote:

Lin Evans wrote:

But what relevance is that to the SD1? Lots of lenses which are very good on a less than a 36x24 mm sensor are unsuitable for larger sensor based dSLR's.

Lin

Sorry. Forgot that Sigma lenses can't be bettered.

Jaelkay wrote:

Kendall

The 70-200 OS might be "excellent" on a cropped sensor, but on the D700 or D3X full frame, it's not much good at all. Doesn't even come close to the older Nikon 70-200mm which has well documented problems with corner softness.

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