Compared to the Canon EOS-D30 and EOS-D60
It's difficult to choose a camera with which to compare the SD9. There aren't any other X3 sensor cameras out there yet and the promise of X3 is more resolution than the same 'pixel count' Bayer sensor. Thus I have chosen to use the EOS-D30 as a Bayer sensor camera with similar resolution and the EOS-D60 which is fairly well accepted as the best current six megapixel digital SLR.
Features compared to the Canon EOS-D60
|Kit price (street)||US: $1799 [check]||US: $2199 [check]|
|Sensor||Foveon X3||Canon CMOS|
|Photodetectors||10.3 million (3 photo detectors per pixel)||6.3 million (1 photo detector per pixel)|
|Total pixel locations||3.4 million||6.3 million|
|Final image size||2268 x 1512||3072 x 2048|
|Image formats||RAW (X3F)||JPEG, RAW (CRW)|
|FOV crop (approx.)||1.7x||1.6x|
|Lens mount||Sigma SA mount||Canon EF mount|
|Sensitivity||ISO 100 - 400||ISO 100 - 1000|
|Exposure modes||Program AE
|Metering||8 Segment evaluative
|8 Segment evaluative
|Shutter max||15 sec (1 sec at ISO 200,400)||30 sec|
|Shutter min||1/6000 sec||1/4000 sec|
|Exposure steps||0.5 EV||0.3 or 0.5 EV|
|Flash X-Sync||1/180 sec||1/200 sec|
|Exp. compen||+/- 3EV in 0.5 EV steps||+/-2 EV in 0.3, 0.5 EV steps|
|Auto Focus||TTL, 1 AF area||TTL, 3 AF areas (selectable)|
|AF assist lamp||No||Yes|
|Self-timer||2, or 10 secs||10 secs|
|Continuous||2.4 fps, max 6 images||3 fps, max 8 images|
|White balance||Auto, 6 settings, manual||Auto, 5 settings, manual|
|Built-in Flash||No||Yes, Pop-up|
|Mirror lockup||Yes, 'UP' mode||Yes, 'Mirror lockup'|
|PC Sync terminal||No (only via adapter)||Yes|
|LCD monitor||1.8" 130,000 pixel||1.8" 114,000 pixel|
|LCD cover||Yes, supplied||No|
|Status panel||Yes, not illuminated||Yes, illuminated|
|Viewfinder||Sports finder (98% coverage)||95% coverage|
|User memories||No (not required)||1 (up to 3 image param. sets)|
|Storage||CF Type I/II (Microdrive compatible)||CF Type I/II (Microdrive compatible)|
Firewire (IEEE 1394)
|Custom functions||None||Yes, 14|
|PC Remote control||No||Yes, supplied software|
|Power||2 x Lithium CR-123A
4 x AA or 2 x Lithium CR-V3
|Supplied Lithium-Ion 1100 mAh|
|Body dimensions||152 x 120 x 79 mm (6.0 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)||150 x 107 x 75 mm (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)|
|Weight (no lens)||918 g (2.0 lb)||855 g (1.9 lb)|
|RAW conversion||Yes, Sigma Photo Pro||Yes, Canon File Viewer Utility|
|JPEG (12 quality levels)
TIFF (8 or 16 bit)
Same, Half, Double size
|JPEG (4 quality levels)
TIFF (8 or 16 bit)
|White Balance (7
Exposure (+/- 2.0 in 0.1 steps)
Contrast (+/- 2.0 in 0.1 steps)
Shadow (+/- 2.0 in 0.1 steps)
Highlight (+/- 2.0 in 0.1 steps)
Saturation (+/- 2.0 in 0.1 steps)
Sharpness (+/- 2.0 in 0.1 steps)
Color Adjustment (CMY + eyedropper)
|White Balance (6 settings
Exposure (+/- 2.0 in 0.1 steps)
Contrast (3 levels)
Sharpness (4 levels)
Saturation (3 levels)
Color Tone (3 settings)
As you can see on paper the EOS-D60 offers a lot more for the money, it's more flexible and easier to use, smaller and slightly lighter. There's also the issue of lens mount, while we understand completely that a Sigma digital SLR will have a Sigma mount that reason alone may be enough to steer some people away from this camera, there is a lot of brand loyalty among Nikon and Canon shooters. The SD9 does of course have the groundbreaking X3 sensor and a far superior RAW conversion application (Sigma Photo Pro).
Color compared to the Canon EOS-D60
Below is a standard shot of a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart shot by the Sigma SD9. If you place your mouse cursor over the image it will change to the same shot taken by a Canon EOS-D60. These two exposures were taken within a minute or so of each other, both cameras set to ISO 100, manual exposure, manual white balance. Both cameras were fitted with a Sigma 50 mm F2.8 lens.
As you can see the SD9 has a very similar grayscale response to the EOS-D60 but that the D60's color appears to be richer (and warmer), especially noticeable in the darker foliage green (fourth from the left, top row) which is important for the proper reproduction of greens in landscape shots.
|Place your mouse cursor over the image above
to see a
comparison of color reproduction with the Canon EOS-D60
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