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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
Note: Most of the material in this review was prepared using the 'original' SD1 rather than the 'Merrill' model. Sigma assures us that the two cameras are identical in all practical respects, and we've verified this in key areas of image quality, speed and operability using an SD1 Merrill. Because of this, we consider this review to apply equally to both models. In the text we've used 'SD1' to refer to both cameras for the sake of brevity.
The SD1 created a huge amount of interest when it was announced at Photokina 2010. Having used Foveon's original 4.7x3MP sensor in its SD and DP series of cameras, Sigma bought the sensor company in 2008 and instructed it to focus its efforts on high quality stills photography. The result was a 15x3MP sensor of the standard APS-C size (approx. 24 x 16mm, slightly larger than Foveon's previous designs), and it's around this that the SD1 is built.
The SD1's original pricing caused a great deal of dismay; at an RRP close to that of the professional full-frame Nikon D3X and Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III SLRs, it was placed at a level most Sigma users found entirely unattainable. However almost a year on, after what we'd assume must have been disappointing sales, Sigma relaunched the camera as the 'SD1 Merrill' with a dramatically-reduced price tag.
The SD1 Merrill still isn't cheap, though, in fact it's one of the most expensive APS-C SLRs on the market. But at a price of around £1800 / € 2100 / $2300, at least it's now in the same ball park as top end models like the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D300s. As such, it's graduated from being a distinctly niche product to one that many more professional and enthusiast photographers might plausibly consider buying.
The SD1 is a camera with a solid specification, though not one that particularly stands out in the enthusiast-grade DSLR sector. In terms of size and body design, metering and autofocus systems, and external controls, it's most comparable to the likes of the Canon EOS 7D, Pentax K-5, Nikon D7000 and Sony SLT-A77. What it doesn't offer, though, are two features that have become standard over the past few years - movie mode and live view. We suspect that the omission of video capability may not lose it too many buyers amongst its target market, but for a high-resolution camera that would seem particularly suited to studio work, the lack of live view (and the critical focusing and composition it allows) could be a deal-breaker.
The other potential hurdle for the SD1 is its use of Sigma's own SA lens mount. The company builds a wide range of lenses for the mount, and many of them are very good indeed. But we ask ourselves how many people will be willing to risk spending money building up a collection of lenses for a non-mainstream mount. It's also worth noting that few of Sigma's lenses offer any form of weather sealing to match the camera body.
Obviously the Sigma's defining feature is its 15x3MP Foveon sensor. For those of you who haven't come across the technology before, it uses a fundamentally different method for detecting color than any other camera sensor. Almost all other cameras place a pattern of colored filters in front of their sensors so that each individual photo site is only receives either red, green or blue light. To create a full-color pixel in the final image, clever mathematics is applied to estimate the values of the two unmeasured colors, based on the amount of those colors captured by adjacent photos sites.
Foveon's technology doesn't use filters - instead it uses the fact that different colors of light can penetrate silicon to differing extents. Foveon's chip measures the number of photons captured at three different depths corresponding to how well Red, Green and Blue can penetrate the chip. The main advantage of this is that, unlike other digital cameras, the Sigma measures all three colors at every one of its 15 million photo sites, capturing three times as much color data per-pixel as a conventional sensor. (Hence the company's reference to it being a 46MP camera.)
Because the Foveon sensor captures full color data at each pixel location, it's not susceptible to color moiré - false color patterns that are the result of those clever calculations occasionally getting things wrong, for example with finely-woven fabrics. Traditional Bayer-pattern sensors suppress this by using an optical low pass (or anti-aliasing) filter that slightly blurs the image at the pixel level, reducing the camera's resolution. The Foveon sensor doesn't use an AA filter, and is therefore able to resolve substantially more detail than its pixel count alone might suggest - in principle the SD1 has the potential to produce resolution similar to a 30MP Bayer-type sensor.
Sigma says the SD1 Merrill is functionally identical to the SD1, and our experience with the two cameras supports this entirely. The only visible differences between them are that the new model has 'Merrill' written on the back of the camera and on the baseplate serial number sticker. They also require different firmware files with different version numbers, but we suspect that this is purely to accommodate the change in model name within the EXIF data.
|The SD1 Merrill sports its revised moniker as a discreet badge below the LCD display.||The revised model name also appears in the camera's EXIF data.|
Sigma's new CEO, Kazuto Yamaki has announced the re-branding and re-pricing of the company's flagship camera. The SD1 DSLR will now be know as the SD1 Merrill, in honor of Dick Merrill, inventor of the Foveon sensor technology on which it is based. The price will also be revised, falling to what should be a street price of around $2,299, which Yamaki attributes to work conducted to reduce production costs of the sensor. Despite these changes, his letter promises the performance and characteristics of the sensor have not changed. To avoid disappointing existing SD1 customers, Sigma will offer a support program with 'points' that can be exchanged for Sigma products.
The Canon EOS R is the first full frame mirrorless camera to use the new RF mount. We're well underway putting it through our range of standard tests – take a look at how it compares to the competition and our thoughts on using it so far.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than a minor refresh: it's a major leap forwards.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|Dubai by Nilesh Trivedi|
|Hummingbird Tight by Dennis Bayer|
from -Vivid Purple- (in Full Colours Only)
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