SD1 camera ships in early June!

Update #2. On the Sigma USA SD1 page it now says “check back for pricing” – before it said $9600 – Interesting! (Thanks’ Chebb for the heads up!)

The price mentioned is $970 (Sorry folks, it says $9700 but I wonder if that’s correct).. I’ll get back to this in a while.

Update: I tried to get a comment from Sigma Japan but at this point it’s been silence. Also noticed (Thanks’ BobNL) that the pricing on the Sigma USA page is somewhat strange – Get the SD1 together with a lens and you suddenly pay around $2000 less. Makes sense?

There are likely some good reasons for Sigma to do as they’ve done that I fail to see. It’s  a great camera – and those who can afford it will likely love it, but it’s truly going to be a rare sight. Not as I imagine things since the 7D pricing talk. (Been good promotion for Canon though!).

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
This entry was posted in All. Bookmark the permalink.

340 Responses to SD1 camera ships in early June!

  1. Dennis says:

    If DPReview got the decimal point in the wrong place and the UK price is £620 not $6,200 I’ll be very happy indeed?

  2. Pierre says:

    It seems that unfortunately Karl is the one with the wrong decimal, it’s 9700$ on the sigma website.

    • Dennis says:

      I bought my DP1S new from a UK Sigma main dealer for £229 after the price dropped from a list of over £600. At that price it was a wonderful buy and I’ve really come to appreciate the special nature of the camera, and to enjoy its simplicity.

      I guess that the Sigma SD1 will follow a similar price pattern over time, but even if it drops by 50% in a year it will still be way overpriced against the wonderful DSLRs already on the market and the offerings that will be here this year at much lower prices (think Nikon D400 and probably D800).

      I for one am not waiting another year for the prices to drop to a realistic level. Sigma is leaving us high and dry if they think they want to and are positioned to go after medium format users.

      I was so looking forward to this camera but now I’ll keep my DP1s until and if aDP3 comes out with a higher resolution sensor hoping the price will be more reasonable. I’ll upgrade my existing Nikon DSLR now and forget moving to Sigma DSLR’s.

      I’m sure the images from the SD1 will be wonderful, but £6,200 is so disappointing …. I still can’t believe the price?

  3. cerement says:

    Yep, Carl’s missing a decimal point: DPR is quoting the press release with $9700 in US and £6200 in UK

    • I noticed my mistake – which I hope isn’t a mistake.

      • Richard Box says:

        With the sd15 more than that I don’t think $970 is practical for a camera that blows it out of the water.
        The DPR article says that sigma is marketing this to the medium format crowd (probably because of the 46mp sensor?) which makes $9700 fairly comparable, but way out of reach for me and everyone I know :(

      • cerement says:

        Yeah, the Sigma forum at DPR is … um … a “little” upset right now :p

      • Preben says:

        It is a mistake. The retail price in Norway is ~ 50.000 NOK which is some $8900

        SD1 is also going to be marketed against MF cameras it seems.

        So for us mortals, the real question is what will SD16 and DP3 cost and what will the sensor be like ;)

  4. Richard Box says:

    God I wish you were right Karl, I almost choked when I saw the price of $9700 :( I really wanted it too T_T

  5. Erich says:

    In the reference-link to sigma the price for the body is $ 9.700! No one will buy this. Seems the decimal point mistake was made by Carl, sorry.

    • Mauersegler says:

      I just don´t get it. Why is SIGMA leaving the few exisiting customers with no other choice then looking into a new system when they want a new camera? – There must be a medium budget SD16 around the corner, or?

  6. Erich says:

    I’m with you Carl – we all hope it’s a mistake by Sigma. As i wrote – no one will buy this for $9.700!

  7. Frank says:

    I doubt even Carl would consider buying the cam at $9700. Carl?

    • Frank, frankly, it’s a great camera with an enormous amount of info, much greater speed etc than it’s siblings – but it’s a lot more $ than I think people are willing to pay.

      • Erich says:

        The sensor offers a much better 15MP output, but finally you get 15MP, not 46MP as advertised everywhere. And you can use Sigma-Lenses only. I had a look to most of the pictures in the sample gallery – heavy CA at the Vegas-shot (585r) – not aceptable for $9.700!
        I’m looking for a Foveon-camera for a long time, but for this butget i’d better buy something else with Bayer-Chip.

      • peterlp0 says:


        I hope Sigma realise that by pricing the SD1 so highly they are in effect abandoning their camera customer base and most of us will feel very, very let down. A camera priced at $9700 is no replacement for the SD15 which costs a tenth of the price. Will there ever be an SD16? If so why isn’t being released at the same time?

        This is, in my opinion, a serious mistake by Sigma and one which they will come to regret.

  8. StepFSC says:

    I am so disappointed that SD1 is @ USD9,700.
    At that price I may buy a Pentax 645D instead =.=

  9. Person says:


    I think the killer problem is the Sigma Mount.

    If they really want to go after to Pro Medium Format crowd, they CANNOT use their own mount. Pros have their own lenses and are not going to buy a new collection of Sigma lenses just for the SD1, even if the Sigma lenses are great.

    There is also no tethering software.

    Goddamn, Sigma. This is a grave error.

    With a Canon EF mount though, pros who shoot canon 5D/7D/1D can buy a second camera that will take them into quasi-medium-format territory.

    Besides, Sigma makes all their lenses in EF mount too. People can still buy them, and if they are so great users would buy them without being FORCED to do so by the Sigma mount.


    • Anonymous says:

      Dang the 4/3, no wait. Dang the Sony, ummm…. Hang on I’ll get there. Dang the people who design proprietary mounts.

  10. Anders Bjørn says:

    If the announced prices are correct (£6,199.99 via, I must admit that buying a SD1 is out of my leauge…!
    Aiming this camera at the medium-format price range, might be a big mistake by Sigma, considering the stir it caused when it was announced. Honestly I might even consider to switch to another camera system…
    For now, we all have to wait and see how this develops – Which seems to be the usual thing with Sigma … :(

  11. Hulyss says:

    OMG Carl … I know how much u can feel disappointed actually.
    Even the better Sigma Evangelist can’t cope with this pricing. This is beyond every words. Its absolutely not what they have said at photokina, absolutely not.

    And OFC we cant really compare that with a real medium format.

    I personally don’t understand.

    Wanted to make a Sigma Life style but it seems its now completely impossible.

  12. Dennis says:

    I wonder why Sigma thinks the SD1 can be a player against established medium format competitors?

    In reality the sensor is some 15mp with the 3 layers that gives the great colour rendition and sharpness and qualities us enthusiasts want, but that’s not enough resolution for the professionals working in medium format to change systems. And the price is too high to allow Sigma enthusiasts to trade up.

    Sigma must have a cost / volume problem with the new sensor because the only driver of this pricing decision I can think of is that if they can’t make them in enough volume they may as well try for low volume sales at a high price.

    I’m sure we’ll all look forward to Carl’s more informed comments once he has recovered from the shock. He’s probably sitting in a darkened room with his head in his hands right now!

  13. Anders Bjørn says:

    The disappointment spreads across the internet like wildfire!

    I really hope that someone inside Sigma reads along, this is a slap in the face of us who really loved the idea of a different camera.

    I wrote it in past tense, because I stopped believing today!!

  14. Filip U. says:

    In the interview they did mention that the price will be in range of Canon 7D so this listed price surely has to be a mistake. I would guess that the price should be closer to $2 000. Otherwise someone got the radiation poisoning and went bonkers…

  15. fiatlux says:

    > they may as well try for low volume sales at a high price.

    I think they pushed that reasoning a bit too far… when I first saw the price I laughed and thought it could not possibly be right…

    I know there is currently no APS-C DSLR with such resolution (Bayer-sensor DSLRs would probably need around 24Mp-30Mp to match the SD1), but there are FF alternatives such as the D3x, 1DsMkIII, 5DMkII or Sony alpha 900, some of which are much cheaper than the announced SD1…

    Even a camera like the Leica M9 (still cheaper than the SD1), that has a Bayer sensor but no AA filter, could be competitive in terms of final resolution, especially thanks to top Leica optics (I know rangefinders and DSLRs are not competing directly).

    Frankly, I don’t think they should aim higer than the current price of the 5DMkII or alpha 900, which is still much higher than most current Sigma SD/DP customers paid for their current cameras…

  16. LionelB says:

    I think we should wait for clarification. This is obviously a crazy mistake. No doubt the real price will become clear soon. A camera with no customers at all ? I hardly think so.

  17. flyingrooster says:

    Wow, unbelievable. They really did it…
    Just yesterday, I had to smile at the rumors about a price tag of about $ 10,000 for the SD1. And now it’s official.

    I really had the feeling that the SD1 could push Sigma a huge step forward in terms of market share. Nowhere near the leaders, but at least quite a bit out of no man’s land where they have been since ever. Priced at a reasonable level of a 7D or the “cheaper” full frames like 5DII, Sony 850 or Nikon D700, I guess a lot of people, amateurs and pros alike would have been very tempted.
    And now Sigma wants to target the professional only medium format crowd? How many pros with medium format cameras are out there? How many will pay that much and be restricted to SA lenses?

    Looking at the new sample pics, well they are wonderful, but the SD1 will have to face very tough already established competition in the elusive and tiny medium format sector. And let’s be honest – Sigma isn’t known for building great cameras, basically all that makes it special is the sensor and some very good lenses.
    Definitely not all the samples have that “wow-effect” like the actual Sigma cameras do when being compared to Bayer cameras of similar level. Comparing with samples from medium format models, I don’t have the impression that the Foveon stands out like we’re used to. Some do, some don’t, restricted by the lenses I guess.

    And by the way, why are there again only samples at base ISO? Why not show the improvements? Well anyway, if it’s meant for typical medium format uses, base ISO is all you need. ;)

    Well, I will wait until release and see by how much the price will drop, or not drop. I will definitely not pay more than $ 3,500 for the SD1, so I guess I might be able to get it for that price quite some years in the future when a whole lot of other newer models are being released.
    But that’s not an option, I need a stellar performer in the next months for my work and definitely need higher resolution for that than my good old SD14 delivers.
    Very sorry to say, but I guess I will buy a much cheaper full frame in june/july whose picture quality completely satisfies my needs and wave goodbye to my Sigma stuff.

    Darn it, the SD1 could have become such a formidable full format challenger…

  18. Hulyss says:

    With that pricing , I REALLY believe that no more than 8 or 10 cameras will be sold on the whole planet, and I’m REALLY enthusiast.

    Whats the point ??? I’m really disillusioned.

  19. Boris says:

    What a joke. I would have accepted a price on the levels of a 5D MkII or D700. But at TEN THOUSAND $ this is just a slap into the face of the Sigma users who have been waiting for this camera so long.

    I dont think Sigma did themselves a favor here… Very disappointing.

  20. Could actually pretty much copy and paste most of the comments already posted… I too had to laugh out loud when I saw that prize.

    I currently have a Nikon DSLR and DP1s and DP2. Was hoping to merge my gear to one brand (one workflow/…) at some point. Looks like it’s not going to go the Sigma way for the time being.
    I think they should have at least included an announcement of their plans in regards to the so-called “prosumer” level… (Which is probably most of us.) Instead of leaving many of their current customers standing in the rain…
    What a shame. :(

  21. Matthias says:

    German site updated:

    7499 EURO

    Good bye Sigma.

  22. Dennis says:

    I rather think that had the pricing been a mistake Carl would by now have been back to us with a correction, and Sigma would have already asked DPReview to correct their announcement.

    So the announced pricing is probably intentional even though it’s a clear miscalculation of market value perception. We’ll have to wait until Japan wakes up for Sigma’s reaction to the disappointment and disaffection we’re all feeling, and the real damage that’s already been done.

    DPReview posters are as incredulous as we are here. Sigma had better communicate quickly and clearly or they’ll have wasted the loyalty of their customer base.

    • I totally agree with Dennis.
      It’s very dangerous to play with the expectations of fans, and not have a good communication on their marked audience or the pricing.
      The change in MSPR with in 3 days is also a sign of poor PR management. If anything this is a very shaky start for the top model that’s going to stay on the marked in the line of the other SD* models for quite some years.
      The american site has of yet not put up a price

  23. alan says:

    Looks like a GREAT time to buy a discounted SD15 …

  24. Back in the photokina announcement it was something like 2000usd and that too seemed a bit iffy

    Somewhere else it was stated to be a 64mp camera soooooo….

    I would just sit tight until the smoke clears.

    IF 45-50.000dkr is actually the price tag for this it’s in competition with the Tipa winner Pentax 645D …

    Lot’s of speculation been going on.

  25. rtrski says:

    Guess I’ll re-ebay the lenses I’d started picking up in anticipation of the SD1. That price is just insane. I could justify the $2k or even $2500 street. Not $10k (even if that means “only” $8k street).


  26. LionelB says:

    The market consists of quirky enthusiasts – us. The price point which that market will bear is a maximum of around 2300 euros. If the pricing is correct, an ‘SD1 lite’ sold as SD16 needs to be just around the corner. A massive public relations disaster by Sigma nonetheless. Alienating core customers (of the camera range) is incomprehensibly unwise.

    • Alex says:

      While we may be quirky, I doubt that too many of us are stupid. I am not sure of the “logic” that made Sigma think this would fly. Sigma may be a company that has always done marketing on their own terms, but there are limits. Even for the owners of Sigma. It’s a good thing they are giving one away free. Otherwise there might never have been an SD-1 in the US at those prices.

      Sorry Sigma, I love my SD-14. I’m not interested in an SD-1 any longer.

  27. Dennis says:

    What to say…. I`m currently using a Mamiya 645 AFD II with a PhaseOne P45+ Back, and 6 nice lenses for that combination. As a Sigma user and Foveon Fan from the beginning I was always looking for nice spare system for the Medium Format. Lighter, more portable, faster, better high ISO performance- but with a really nice image quality and a good print size / resolution. I was soooo happy when I saw the SD1 and the related information on the last Photokina. I was like: Yeah, this is the perfect complementary system to my Medium Format Gear.
    And now?
    The SD1 is an experiment, not based on something that has already been proving to meet the high demands of a professional. Sigma has no reputation in making Pro-Cameras. Out of my 5 SD14 I bought in 2007 / 2008, now 3 have been giving up and can only be fixed in Japan, if fixing them is possible at all. Sigma expects me, the Pro, to invest 15.000€ for 2 bodies- without a Pro-Service (I doubt that any Sigma dealer will have a body for demo / testing over the weekend in stock). I would have to buy the cam and just trust Sigma that my 15.000€ investment works right away. A camera that is definitely NOT Medium Format, with a low-res back display, and a shutter that has a life of only 100.000 shots- while every Pro-Cam lasts at least 300.000 shots. I can`t even be sure that there are lenses that match the SD1`s resolution. And when I take a look on the prices of a Pentax 645 AFD or the latest Phase One 645 DF + 30MP Medium Format Backs… And here I have access to Schneider-Kreuznach leaf shutter lenses…
    Nikon will release the D800 this year, and Sony will come out with the Alpha 770 with translucient mirror, and APS-C size sensor with probably more than 40 MP resolution as my buddy from Sony JP tells me- and they will all come out for less than 4000$… Sorry Sigma, I`m a Pro and I have the money, but I rather invest it in something that has already proven to be Pro-Ready and still costs 30% less… I can not express how disappointed I am right now. That is Good Bye from me to Sigma. My new lenses will be sold as soon as my last SD14 gives up service, and I assume that day won`t far away…

  28. Bill C says:

    Wow, I’m with everyone else totally confused about Sigma’s direction here. At anything less than $3K list it would have been a viable alternative to the big-gun Canon, Nikon, and Sony FF pro bodies. But why try to enter the MF market in price and product placement? MF has consolidated enormously amongst the established players, all with 40+ MP backs (and notably with no AA filters so the SD1 has no real resolution advantage here). And there is no comparison to the existing MF lenses and Sigmas catalog today. I was considering going back to SD14 or SD15 but now I more likely to explore the newer Nikon bodies and just keep the glass I already have. Sadness though over the huge misstep from Sigma.

  29. gene hack says:

    the start of the ending….
    Fukushima Syndrome


  30. richy says:

    Wow, sigma must have balls the size of Saturn! This is one balsy move. I wass considering switching from canon as the foveon sensor impresses me, however putting the sd1 up against mfd offerings from mamiya, pentax and even blad is perhaps a step too far for me. Putting it above the top flight full frame dslrs is brave but not entirely nonsensical, but damn this had better be one hell of a camera!
    When you earn your money and feed your kids with your camera you need to rely on it, and you buy more than one. I know mamiya treat me well, i know phase one rush replacement backs out if yours breaks, if sigma want to play in that league they have to ensure they can deliver the full experience. A full frame foveon for 6k usd I could live with, a medium format foveon for 20k would be awesome, but this is a very very brave move. I hope it works out for them.

  31. guy says:

    per pixel resolution? rather interpolation from the very beginning

    The 46 effective megapixel (4,800×3,200×3 layers) and 44 recording megapixel (4,704×3,136×3 layers)

    Total Pixels 48MP, Effective Pixels 46MP (4,800×3,200×3 layers)

    (source –

  32. I’ve been a fan of Foveon since the beginning and I’ve been shooting Sigma exclusively since the SD9. I started saving for the SD1 the day it was announced.

    Months ago, I remember seeing something about the SD1 being priced in the range of a Canon 5D mkII. ($2732 –

    Unfortunately spending close to $10,000 on a new camera is not justifiable at any time in the near future. If it were, I would consider a returned to medium format digital.

    I’ll continue to enjoy my current Sigma cameras and lenses. I might spend my savings on a used SD1 if the price is right. I doubt I’ll buy any more lenses. Shame because I was considering a fast telephoto.

  33. I think this price is a good marketing joke – everybody is now talking about this crazy company in almost every forum. That`s advertising ;-) Hopefully

  34. Dominick says:

    I hope they will change thier mind…

    I was about the sell all my nikon gear to switch to sigma, but luckily I did’nt !!!!

    I have 2 choices:

    -Keep my Nikon lens and upgrade to the D800 when it’s out
    -Sell all my Nikon lens and cameras and switch to the SD1 with new lenses – That was my plan up to this morning, I even bought a sd-9 yesterday on ebay for fun ! Now I need a lens… but I wont buy an expensive lens anymore… since I won’t be using it on the SD1. Very very disappointing…

    I really wanted to change for sigma (I still hope) but I guess I’ll have to go for my first option…

    I wrote this post hoping Sigma will read it cause I’m shure I’m not the only Nikonist who, for a moment, almost changed to sigma…


  35. Robert says:

    Well. This is a real disappointment and a real bone-headed move by Sigma.

    Someone in sigma marketing really is dreaming.

    The only fans sigma has are the foveon-enthusiasts who looked past the “foven vs. bayer” fighting and just fell in love with the images foveon creates.

    Without foveon, there is no compelling reason to buy a sigma camera(not that they are particularly bad from a controls stand point, but from frame rate, autofocus, speedlite automation, lens choice point of view, you really need to love foveon to go sigma.)

    So, I can understand being excited by the achievement (but really guys, don’t pat yourself on the back too hard, there should have been more foveon upgrades before now…) but to blow off your core users with an out of reach price point is stupid.

    What’s the plan? Medium format back users are going to break down the door to switch over to an SD1. I don’t see it.

    First of all if you need that kind of camera and can afford $9700, you probably already have a Phase-One or Lief back.

    Second, at $2-$3K USD, you have a compelling reason to jump ship from Phase-One or Lief. $10K, well, not really.

    Nikon and Canon have units in the $5K-$8k range. I think that they exist mostly to justify that $2700 enthusiast camera is a bargain. They don’t sell a lot of D3x units.

    So, I guess I’ll say thanks for making the SD15 affordable and good luck not bankrupting Foveon.

  36. Danny Chatham says:

    Sigma just preached its own funeral!

    • I still hope that marketing somehow made a mistake or very smart move.. Smart move would be to lower the price now so that people can actually buy it. (but thinking of it as the truly awesome / expensive camera that it is – within).

  37. Dennis says:

    When think about… When anything happens to my Mamiya or to my Phase One Back, in almost every country they will send someone with a spare body or spare back on short notice. This combo served well for me in Saudi Arabian desert and in Iceland and in China. And when I want to upgrade, they will send someone to my office or studio with the new gear to explain and show it to me and to leave it over the weekend.
    How would it be with Sigma?
    If I asked someone with Sigma Germany or Switzerland if I can have a body for testing, they would probably start laughing at me- or expect me to pay the complete price in advance. A 7500€ investment without a test ride? No way. And when something happens to the cam on my job in Ecuador? If I called Sigma for help, they would probably tell me: Boy, you should have considered this before you bought Sigma. You being a Pro- you should have stayed with a Pro supplier, not Sigma.
    I can not count how many collegues I have confinced to give Sigma a shot, and many actually bought Sigma gear, SD14 and SD15. But today…. Nikon got a lot of former customers back. So sad…

    • Person says:

      I know. It’s like they have no idea what pros actually need.

      Incredible how they will kill their company overnight.

  38. sgts says:

    This isn’t a camera, it’s a suicide note.
    Somebody’s either had a word with them behind the scenes, or they are completely inept.

    I have one idea on how to make the sd1 affordable:

    1. Fly Ryanair to Sweden.

    2. Break into Karls House.

    3. Steal Camera.

  39. Dennis says:

    If it was intentional or clever marketing the joke would be out within an hour. Once you’ve rung a bell you can’t unring it, and Sigma has well and truly rung the bell for the demise of it’s chances in camera manufacturing! The damage is done.

    Yes they made a very big mistake …

    No, it was not a very smart move …

    They must be in trouble with the technicalities / production / cost of the new sensor, didn’t want to lose face by not launching, so flew the kite that they could pitch it at MF at a high price … and worse, they then believed their own distortion …

    I guess we can enjoy the Sigma cameras we already have, but all Sigma has shown today is that they are not a serious player in the enthusiast or top end DSLR market. Nikon and Canon must be laughing their socks off?

  40. Billy Chan says:

    According to the japanese website.

    which i always believe to be the most reliable, there is no price tag yet. I believe the guys in sigma are not crazy, i can go for any medium format at $9700 nowadays. :)

    I guess the price will be around $970

  41. Jeff says:

    I agree with Peter. Hopefully this just gets people talking, then they’ll drop the price to $2-3k and everyone will be watching. Still, that’s a bit backhanded and will likely irk people as well.

    Bah, 50 year anniversary…photography “revolution”…this does not bode well. :(

  42. Billy Chan says:

    If every folks here think clearly, the build, functions, LCD, everything is nothing more than a 7D, it’s build should be slightly worser than 5DMkII too.

    If you think in this logical sense, and compare the price with SD15, you will know the price is not possible. A slightly larger X3 sensor will not lead to such a dramatic increase in cost, which i belive :)

  43. Richy says:

    You have to wonder if it wasn’t a mistake but they’re seeing how many people will actually pay $9700 for it.
    The sigma mount thing is not a huge issue. Sigma make some great glass.
    Aftercare, reliability etc, now that is a huge concern.

    Carl what did it feel like to be using a $10k camera ;)

  44. flyingrooster says:

    >> A massive public relations disaster by Sigma nonetheless. <<

    Indeed. If they wanted to step up in MF territory, they should have said so in the beginning. Nobody would have had a problem with a super high end Sigma camera. I have severe doubts an APS-C camera with lenses built for max. full frame will make it in the MF-playground, however that's another question.

    But making the small fanbase for almost a year believe in a ~ $ 2,000 camera that will easily compete with about same or somewhat higher priced full frame models and then making a camera out of it that is targeted at – ehhm, well actually I don't know what target group they are aiming at right now – completely destroys the trust and believe of the fanbase. If there's one company in camera business that can't afford losing their loyal enthusiast followers, than it's Sigma.

    So where are we now?
    We have a SD1 that no professional MF-shooter will buy because it can't really compete with MF for several reasons, no full frame shooter will buy because of the price tag and (let me take a wild guess) sub-par camera performance as usual (except for picture quality) and no APS-C user will be willing to sell his car for taking breathtaking pictures of his empty garage.

    Sigma absolutely should have developed a SD16 together with the SD1 the day they decided going MF, that allows most existing Sigma users getting a worthy upgrade. But they just disappointed 99% of their existing costumers that will have to wait quite a long time until an assumed SD16 will be developed.

    What a shame turning the high potential of the SD1 completely upside down. Even if planed you hardly could have made worse marketing…

    Anyway, Carl's efforts are getting completely lost in this turmoil. Thank you Carl for the pictures and all your work involved.
    And please don't stop posting more of your great photographs from whatever SD or DP. Even after I got rid of my Sigma stuff on Ebay for financing a high end camera from a company with less lousy costumer policy, I will definitely stop by once in a while enjoying your work.

    Greetings from Austria

    • Ricky says:

      serious quote:
      “Sigma absolutely should have developed a SD16 together with the SD1 the day they decided going MF, that allows most existing Sigma users getting a worthy upgrade. But they just disappointed 99% of their existing costumers that will have to wait quite a long time until an assumed SD16 will be developed.”

      smiling quote:
      “no APS-C user will be willing to sell his car for taking breathtaking pictures of his empty garage”

  45. Mike says:

    Was ready to buy tomorrow. Sorry Sigma. Lost a customer for good. If this is the way it will be in the future. Look forward to a serious boycott by myself and other loyal Sigma fans. All my Canon mount Sigma lenses will go for sale ASAP and I will never purchase another Sigma product again. This is the dumbest thing ever. I can’t believe I recommended a company like this to my photography students and friends. Good bye for good

  46. android says:

    very sad and annoyed by the price, guess im gonna be selling all my sigma gear now and just buying canon.. that price is just nuts… 7D it is then…

  47. Christian Hass says:

    I was seriously considering selling my Nikon stuff and moving to Sigma with one of the SD15 deals on Ebay and then eventually to an SD1.
    But with this price the SD1 won’t ever be affordable, not until it’s compeltely obsolete compared to Nikon and Canon offerings anyway.

    It really seems like Sigma totally missed the mark with this one, if the sensor cost is driving up the price so much they should have made a 6 or 8 mp Foveon instead and kept the price at a reasonable and competitive level.

  48. guy says:

    was ready to buy tomorrow ? ROTFL bankruptcy ? ROTFL

    stop whining – those that whine the most don’t even own a sigma cam !

    sigma made a GREAT marketing step (the stirr is tremendous, much more people will be aware of the X3 technology existence (and people will connect it with high end photo solutions), let’s hope for sony and fuji three layered solutions to emerge asap as competition is always good !) – people will always find a cause not to enter a niche system

    FOVEON is about non conformism in attitude towards image capturing – NOT ANYTHING ELSE

    it doesn’t have to compete with anyone as it’s in its own league

    looking at the price of 645d and its NOT THAT MUCH LARGER THAN FF sensor SD1 pricing seems right, especially with sigmas cheaper than 645d lenses, IQ of SD1 in good light should be better

    let me remind you that once sd cams didn’t cost 500 usd! yet there were customers happy with the purchase! (sd9 for ~2 k usd etc.)

    • Person says:

      Man, in a way I agree with you.

      But the marketplace won’t. They would sell so many more units at a lower price it’s not even funny.

      They should have priced against 5D Mark II at the most.

      • guy says:

        i’m guessing 3-5k usd within a year is possible

        on larger sensors – better rendition of OOF areas at wide angles and more area to collect light (DR) – BUT at the cost of much more expensive lenses !

        look for used 645 lenses skyrocketing in the near future!

  49. konradmaciej says:

    SD1 is not even a full frame camera so forget about a medium format. Larger size sensor has some advantages beyond IQ. BTW i wonder who won the SD1 camera from the sigma site ?

    • Person says:

      If the SD1 had a Canon EF mount it might still tempt users that don’t need to buy a whole new range of lenses.

  50. Billy Chan says:

    the last sentence of the SD1 release announcement on the sigma japanese website.

    “「SIGMA SD1」は、ポートレートや風景、スタジオ撮影など、厳しい目を持つプロやハイアマチュアの要求に高次元で応える最新のデジタル一眼レフカメラです。”

    It mentioned about the camera is for both “amateur” and “professional” photographers. I dun think the writer will logically think that $9700 will be a good price for “amateur” people and would put his word down.

    So the $9700 price should be a mistake.

  51. Thomas Mottl says:

    Hi Carl,
    well the price is surprising, but Sigma will have it’s reason. Definetly not affordable for me and I am happy to have also a 5DMKII, so the way to invest the money is now clear. Especially that there is no real future anymore for forthcoming consumer DSLR like the SD15 in the next years.
    In my opinion that is the sad developement. The system lost it’s perspective. There is an old outdated consumer cam and a high price “professional” camera.

  52. LionelB says:

    Our thoughts should be with Carl. He has had a horrible day but none of this is his fault. Thanks to him for a great blog, which clearly has a lot of readers !

    Stupid though the Sigma decision is, the references to radiation, Fukushima etc by some writers are very distasteful and insensitive. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Dennis says:

      Yes, we must be sympathetic to Carl’s position, he’ll be as upset as the rest of us but unable to openly vent without checking and clarifying what’s going on, and that will take some doing.

      Thanks for a great blog which we’ll continue to read despite and not because of Sigma.

      BTW, there are two Dennis’s on here, I’m the amateur one with a great respect for anyone who manages to earn a living from photography :-)

  53. Jeff says:

    Indeed LionelB…Carl as always your work and blog is top-class! :)

    If nothing else I’ll be happy to continue following the blog and seeing your amazing captures! :)

    • :´) Thanks Jeff and others for encouragement. I will soon recover and get back to what the SD1 is all about. Picture taking.

      Also to all others – Sigma does read. And at least in the past they’ve listened. It’s hard not to get emotional when reading all comments from all of you – it’s frustrating especially when the future looked so bright just a couple of days ago.

      And lets not forget that there are still some truly nice cameras out there for MUCH less.. DP’s and SD’s.

  54. Dennis says:

    Dear friends with the Sigma community!

    Below you find a copy of an Email I have just sent to Sigma Japan.

    Best wishes from
    Dennis, Company Fotopizza

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen with my former most favorite camera brand!

    My name is Dennis Beyer.

    I`m the owner and “Chef de Cuisine” of company “fotopizza”.

    Fotopizza is a Swiss / German / British company for photography and film making for advertising and image / pr / marketing campaigns, mostly for industrial companies- worldwide.

    I`m not only the owner of the company, I`m also the head photographer.

    From the beginning, I have been a fan of Sigma cameras. I always loved the typical Foveon look- and I loved it to surprise my clients with pictures in a 3-dimensional look they have never seen before.

    That look was, that let me put up with all the short comings of your products throughout these many years.

    On the last Photokina, you introduced the stunning all new Sigma SD1.

    I don`t know how many professional photographers I have convinced over the years to have a closer look on Sigma cameras, and many of my collegues have changed from Nikon to Sigma due to it`s image quality.

    What a surprise was the SD1- it was a promise. The promise, that Sigma finally comes up with a real pro-camera.

    Sigma has absolutely no reputation amongst my professional collegues in the entire world when it comes to cameras. Many use Sigma lenses- but cameras?

    So Photokina came- and with the SD1 there was a promise: A perfect complementary camera system to Medium Format.

    I usually use Medium Format cameras.

    Mostly a Mamiya 645 DF or a Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II D – both combined with Mamiya and Schneider-Kreuznach lenses and with a Phase One P45+ Back.

    It`s large sensor and the great Mamiya / Schneider-Kreuznach lenses give superb image quality, amazing print size, shallow depth of field. It`s truely Medium Format.

    When anything happens to my Medium Format camera or the Back, I simply call Mamiya or Phase One- even from the Saudi Arabian desert or from some tiny Chinese Village (I did mention that I work for industrial companies worldwide)- and 24h later, some guy from Mamiya or Phase One turns up with a replacement body or a new Back.

    That also belongs to a Medium Format system.

    What was Sigma`s promise on the Photokina?

    A perfect complementary system.

    Priced against Nikon D700 for 3000$ or maybe a D3s for 5000$. (Both Nikons come with professional Nikon Service).

    Foveon like amazing image quality, with less print size than true Medium Format.

    Cheaper, lighter and faster than Medium Format cameras, and more portable.

    Slightly better low light capabilities than Medium Format.

    Not that nice shallow depth of field.

    The perfect complementary system for every pro.

    But now comes the price….

    I can not believe that this is serious. That all seems like a bad dream. Many pro-collegues have considered the SD1, we have waited for it. And now this?

    I don`t know anyone who would still be willing to pay that price and to invest further in Sigma,

    Even worse- people like me- we feel betrayed.

    I have put up with all the Sigma short comings in the past years.

    What is the pro about your cameras? From my 5 Sigma SD14`s I bought between 2007-2008, only 2 are still working. The rest is is broken in a way, that I would have to send them to Japan. No one in Europe can fix them.

    What is pro about a SD1 that has a shutter made for only 100.000 shots? All Pro-Nikons or my Mamiya or Phase One DF have 300.000 shots shutters.

    A Medium Format competitor with a APS-C size sensor?? ( three layers or no three layers)

    The SD1 one is a complementary system to existing Medium Format systems, it can never substitute it. It`s not Medium Format.

    What is pro about Sigma Service and Support? When I pay 30.000€ for my Mamiya / Phase One system, I get the perfect Pro-Support I need. as I said before- even in the Saudi Arabian desert or on an glacier on Iceland I get support and replacement if needed.

    If I like an upgrade, I call Phase One and a day later a nice competent lady shows up, showing me the new Back, explains it to me, and leaves it there over the weekend for testing.

    And Sigma? If I ask my Swiss or German dealer. if it will be possible to test the SD1, they just laugh at me. They tell me, if I ever want to see that camera and hold it in my hands, I need to pay the entire price up front because the risk is too high that the SD1 is yet another imperfect camera that I`m not going to buy after a test. Or they say: you touch it, you buy it!

    And when something happens to the camera when I do the photo-documentary in Ecuador in August I got booked for by National Geographic Magazin? I could call Sigma back home- but they simply tell me: “Sorry, there is nothing we can do. There is no pro-service from Sigma. You being a pro, you should have considered this before you decided buying Sigma instead of Nikon or Canon.”

    Even big Sigma dealers in Germany or Switzerland are now tired of these games you play, and actually advise for buying Sigma lenses, but advise AGAINST buying Sigma DSLR`s!

    I have always been a Sigma fan from the start. I have bought new expensive lenses in expectation of the SD1. My trip to Ecuador should have been the big test ride before I start advertising me using that amazing new camera!

    But this package you offer is simply not worth it. I already have a Medium Format system, state of the art. The SD1 can never substitute, but complement it.

    But not for this price. It`s about money- it`s about trust and fairness, and about the being truthful! About not betraying the few pro`s that actually use your cameras though Sigma has no reputation amongst pro`s in cameras.

    And I have to say: If you do not make people like me a reasonable offer- we will just dump our Sigma gear and invest in a more reputable brand, in gear and service and support, that has been proving for years that it is good for pro`s- like NIKON.

    You will loose your last loyal customers and fans amongst pro`s with that behavior.

    With that insane pricing.

    I`m sorry, but my patience with Sigma has come to an end now.

    With kind regards from Switzerland

    Dennis Beyer
    Fotopizza`s Chef de Cuisine

  55. konradmaciej says:

    Well i not troling or anything but its kind of funny the hole situation. If i remember right it was stated that the estimated price would be around the cost of the canon 7d. Everyone was concerned would the Sigma make it with the release of SD1 in spring time as promised. Well they made it !! ta da – you get the joke. It kind of reminds me some of the jokes of Gregory House on dr. House.

    Sigma SD1 – the funniest priced crop camera EVER

  56. Ed says:

    it’s a tease…
    see: a dog tease

    “you’re kiddin’s me…”

    seriously, a Sigma “insider” told me via BHPhoto, that the $9700 includes: 120-300 2.8 . 70-200 2.8 , 24-70 2.8, 17-70 2.8 OS, 85 1.4, 4.5 & 8mm fish, the latest grip/remote/extra batts- add it all up (ohh a bonus gadget bag)..

    I’m keeping my SD9…

  57. hape says:


    Stop moaning, some make it to rediculious post that only shine in the world of fairytales.
    Yes, the camera is stupidious expensive, so… if picture quality is not in the same league, it won’t be sold to a decent number and then prices will collapse. Or not.

  58. Erik VC says:

    BENELUX adviced price: € 6950
    Only one remarkable fact: for the first time we’re cheaper than our German neighbours….
    But what is is cheapers, when being unaffordable?

  59. db says:

    Good by Sigma. Was a great time with you. Now it is time to move on and i preached Sigma.
    Fair well

  60. designdef says:

    There’s nothing wrong with the price tag, they just have to sell the SD1 to professional photographers who can justify the outlay. Problem being, Sigma’s reputation on lenses, or more specifically, focus issues on some lenses, will now work against them. It’s hard enough to sell the Foveon concept to anyone (having so ‘few’ pixels) but now the company needs credibility too! Good Luck Sigma.

    • Dennis says:

      The price tag is important for us Pro`s too. With clients wanting to spend less and less money for our service, we need to think about return of investment. If I spend that much money, for a experimental camera with no Pro-service and support, and I enter a dry phase afterwards, things could get dangerous… I can justify spending much money, if there is a low risk that this will blow back into my face and will come back to bite me in my a… It`s not like pro`s have tons of cash lying around only waiting for a good reason to shell it out. Here, the risk is high that I yet again buy a camera that is not properly working for a high price with no proper service and support. How do I explain my client: Sorry, couldn`t do the documentary in Ecuador, because, well, yes, I claimed using professional gear,yes, but with body no1 the mirror froze and body no2 produced only corrupted files, and body no3 three…. well, let`s say, the exposure meter had a couple of bad days, yet again… But with the 2 good shots I actually got, the image quality is almost as good as you are used from my medium format files… I doubt that will work….

  61. Dennis says:

    For me it`s not even a matter of the camera being not affordable.
    It is affordable for me.
    But it would have been the same if Sima had announced a 18-50mm 3.5-6.3 DC lens for 1000€. Basically, it`s affordable- but it`s not near worth it.
    Without customers, the technology dies. And no reputable company has the chance to use and develop it.
    I remember a technician from Phase One in Denmark telling me about 2 years ago, that after lot`s of testing for over 8 months, Phase One technicians came to the conclusion that it would not be possible to mass-produce a Foveon style sensor larger than crop 1.69 sensor with more photosites at the current state of technology. Which is why I was so surprised that Sigma came up with that large sensor. Seems like they can`t pull it off in the end- and besides of few prototypes…
    For me, the fuzz is not about the SD1 being not affordable.
    It`s about reputation. It`s about trust. It`s about Pro`s like me being expected to shell out 10.000$- and I have to rely on Sigma`s word that the camera will work, that it will be reliable, that there will be Pro-Service provided if anything goes wrong? Without the possibility of testing the camera over a larger period, I should rely on their word that there will be no corrupted files anymore, that the mirror won`t lock up and freeze which can only be fixed in Japan, or the light meter gives up, like it happened at some point with almost all of my SD14`s…
    A Pro has to make a living with the camera. I only buy from suppliers, that understand my work, that respect my needs, that offer a service I can rely on- that are reputable and don`t lie in my face.
    For me it`s about being open, it`s about honesty and fairness between partners.
    If they had said from the start: We are going to attack medium format cameras from the lower end, then it would have been clear. Since I do have a medium format camera, I wouldn`t have waited for months and months after the photokina and I would have bought a D3s system as a fast, noise free low light bad weather complementary system to the medium format- and I wouldn`t have waited for this “joke”….
    Sad. Hope some company will continue working on this great technology after Sigma quits making cameras…

    • hape says:

      I still don’t understand… if you can get more bang for the bucks somewhere else then go for it.

      • Dennis says:

        It`s about how much bang I get for my bucks.
        It`s about that Sigma announced yet again one thing, and then yet again brings out something else.
        I built up a stock of new Sigma lenses, waiting for the use with the SD1. Since my SD14`s gave up (not pro ready) pretty soon, I consider selling all those lenses again- which means I will loose money.
        You- If Nikon (or Canon for that matter) came out with a medium format solution, the community would say: Wow, cool, if that thing is going the like all the pro-cams have been in the past decade, then I`ll go for it- even for 10.000$.
        Nikon (or Canon) has a reputation and creditbility.
        With Sigma it`s the other way around:
        Oh, if that thing is going to be like all the cams have been in the past, I wouldn`t even consider touching it for that price, it`s a dead investment…
        Reputation und creditbility must be EARNED. It doesn`t come over night- and further more- you can`t buy it. You need to build up trust, before you can do experiments that requires customers that trust you for the experiment to be successfull.
        I had 3 bodies on pre-order with my local dealer- who told me that he had now 5 bodies on pre-order for entire Switzerland. All based on the estimated price tag stated by Sigma during photokina. I have cancelled my pre-orders today, and my dealer told me that he cancelled the other 2 pre-orders as well, as he is sure that none of hie customers would actually buy that cam for that price.
        This is not about bucks. This is about believing in a great technology. This is about getting ripped-off (not financially) by Sigma yet again. For me- for the last time, since I say good bye to that wonderfull technology and a company I believed in and I supported because I thought they are worth it. This is about reputation, creditbility and trust- which is now destroyed.

  62. designdef says:

    Oh yes, one of the worst aspects of this launch has definitely been the price, Amateur Photographer UK has it at £6,199.99, Photography Blog says around £1,800-2,000, at $9,700, and most others seem to agree on £6,199.99 but Ed, above says that price may include a load of lenses, how strange. Another great mess up by the Sigma Press Department!

  63. Robert says:

    Dennis is making great points.

    From the enthusiast’s perspective, I think the we are all feeling betrayed.

    Especially those of us who started to stock up on the SA mount lenses we thought the SD1 would need…

    I feel for Carl here because he is public about his enthusiasm, while the rest of us just sort of lurk behind the scenes of the site, nodding our heads yes, while getting some relief from all of the “4.7 mp doesn’t equal 15 Mp, blah blah so is your Mom!” stupid arguments about the Foveon claim floating around the net.

    If I were Carl, I’d delete all of the SD1 content and act like it never happened. But that’s me, I’m not as positive as Carl.

    I’m in shock that 99% of the existing avid fans of this technology are going to be excluded from buying it due to price. That is a big slap in the face to everyone who is loyal to the Foveon sensor.

    Very “let them eat cake”….

    Want a foveon camera? There’s a better one…. but…. na-ne-na-ne-na-na, you can’t have one. For every existing Foveon owner.

    Lucy and the football.

    That’s just plain stupid.

  64. I’m reading everyones thoughts and I’m sure Sigma is as well..

    I’m a bit sad that I believed the earlier rumors that the price would be around the Canon 7D – no one tried to stop that rumor. I think someone at Sigma should had.

    It’s a great camera but I truly would like a much wider audience being able to use it. I’m signing off now, big day tomorrow for my parents who celebrate their 60s birthdays together. Much to do.

    • Ricardo Hernandez says:

      Wasn’t that something Sigma said themselves? That wasn’t a rumor. I remember it was them who said this, that they expected the price to be Canon 7D class.

  65. James says:

    Wow. I was gonna move from Canon to Sigma. I have 5D’s + most of the L lenses. Now I’m appreciating Canon and Nikon ALOT more. Thank you Sigma for leading us to the right path.

    Can’t wait for the 5DM3 or D800. I’m quite positive they’re aiming for more D-range like the D7000 and Pentax K5 (and this one has in-body stabilization too for only US$1100) not to mention their top-quality lens selections.

    Not even a price drop of $2000 or below is going to sway me anymore after this self-enlightening experience. Don’t ever take your current system for granted again guys. We already belong to the best. Bye2 Sigma.

  66. Nick Crow says:

    If their formula holds then MSRP of $9700.00 USD will result in an actual price tag of $6500.00 USD or about 33% under MSRP. Oh and if I win the contest then I’ll get to use my $199.00 18-50 f/3.5-5.6 DC OS HSM on a $9700.00 body! SHARP AS A TACK! Reality check none of their lenses match up to a body with a price tag like that. Oh and is a 15MP APS-C sensor thats 45MP thick. Not a medium format alternative.

  67. Hi Carl,
    I hope your parents have a great birthday! On the Sigma front hopefully they will come around.

  68. Richy says:

    Carl- Enjoy the day and thank you for all your hard work :) Well al; respect everything you have done here and I am sure nobody has any ill will towards yourself. I guess we are just a little shocked ! Enjoy the birthdays.

  69. Dan says:

    Keep in mind that it is not the camera that makes a picture great but the talent of the photographer.

  70. Øyvind Strøm says:

    Hej Carl

    Please congratulate your parents. They are such nice persons.

    I also fail to understand why Sigma did nothing to correct the statements from CEO Yamaki, stating that the SD-1 was for entusiasts and in the 7D price range.
    This “lie” will destroy a lot for Sigma, lot of disappointed people. Disappointed people do not promote Sigma stuff. It may even make people jump ship. I am seriously considering if Sigma is the way to go now. I wanted the SD-1 for pro work.

    The price is just too high – they will not sell many units.

  71. Mike says:

    I’m a pro shooter and lately I’ve been very impressed with Sigma’s recent lenses and I was willing to give the SD1 a try with the full intention of a complete switch if the SD1 lived up to the hype Sigma promised. I have to say I was very excited with the original price vs performance promises Sigma made and thought they were in a great position to pull myself and other pros like me out of Canon’s or Nikon’s pocket. I really this would have been one of those market changing products that would shake up the camera world for years.

    I was so excited I was checking daily for all and any information about the SD1 hoping to hear when it would be released so I could purchase one as soon as possible.

    My twin 5d IIs and 1D Mk IV were on the chopping block along with my mountain of Canon Lenses. I was ready to be a convert.

    However, after seeing Sigmas press release I feel angry, almost like I had been lied to for the past 10 months. Always expecting and waiting for a product that was in reality never to come. Judging by the sentiments found here and on other forums I am not the only one who feels this way. Sigma fans seem like one of the most die hard and loyal groups of people in the world, but today this is not echoed in what they have been posting.

    What a plain old dumb ass move by Sigma. Even if they had to sell the camera at a loss to keep it at the indicated price it would have benefited Sigma’s over all business and build a larger customer base on which they could have used to expand their business.

    Hey Sigma you know the more Sigma cameras you sell, the more Sigma lenses you will sell and the more your reputation for being an innovating company grows, the more customers you will get.

    Sigma had the opportunity to do something amazing with this product. Something that could have made them a major player in the DSLR market. Now they just continue to be a laughing stock that has completely lost touch with reality and in doing so have alienated many of their die hard fans.

    Good job Sigma… Dumbest decision ever. Good luck winning back the respect and loyalty of your once dedicated and passionate fan base.

  72. Jeff says:

    Just noticed the kit prices on

    SD1 + 30/1.4 = $7359 MSRP

    Considering the Sigma 30/1.4 is listed at $650 MSRP by itself, and that street price is about 2/3rds of MSRP typically, I’d say the SD1 alone should sell at around $4500. Still 2x more than I expected, but at least it’s not $10k.

  73. Greg says:

    So what happens to all of the people that donated money to the website in order to get a review on the SD1, but now can’t afford it?

  74. Billy Chan says:

    Can’t have a good sleep last night here in Hong Kong.

    I hope this is not true until i see the price tag on ($7359 MSRP).

    Someone should come up and explain the cost and margin of this SD1 and what make it dramatically different from SD15???

    I have sent email to Vuslat Tatar, manager in Sigma for clarification, anyways.

    My dad pickup photography again after his retirement which he has given up for around 50 years. He know nothing about technology and was just keep complaining the “colorness” of digital photos.

    I could not explain to him why it is so coz he dun understand what a CCD or CMOS is doing. Until this foveon technology came out, i could proudly tell my dad there is sth in digital world that can roughly simulate a film…..he can take the photos with the feel and effect he used to be. It’s just a simple hope of an elderly person, afterall.

    I was thinking to gift this to him for father’s day, but now, i won’t. He will keep using his EOS50e happily on film, he would get mad if i sell my car and buy this toy to him.

    Sigma is really ruining foveon. They should learn from apple. the 1st iphone was just selling as low as $199, now it’s selling at $599

    Carl, Congratulations for your parent’s 60th anniversary.

  75. Dan says:

    I agree with Billy. Foveon most likely had this larger sensor in the works in Siliconthe Valley even before Sigma acquired them. If the technology is really that good they could’ve got interest from the other players. Now it’s sort of a monopoly. If this camera doesn’t sell because of price and other drawbacks, I wouldn’t be surprised if the price dropped by 75% a year from now.

  76. Stephen - Canuck-One says:

    Think of this as a “halo” product. A model that places a halo over the whole product line. Tesla, for example, created the $100K roadster with 3 second 0-60 supercar acceleration to dispel perceptions and illustrate what their technology could do. Their real objective is to sell tons of 4-door family sedans at an affordable price point. Sigma wants to sell lenses. Think of the SD1 as a demonstration platform for their technology that places a halo over the whole product line (including future products).

    • Vlad says:

      I really doubt it will work that way. Roadsters can easily be around the 100 000 mark anyway. Also, the Tesla performs quite well, as you stated.
      The SD1 has only the sensor going for it. Pretty much everything else is subpar, even the sensor size. Who would buy the Sigma over the 645D, for example?

    • Interesting conceptual word: “Halo”

      It’s still questionable if this holds tight, as it has a very limited group and time to use this gasping shock effect in.

    • Bob van Ooik says:

      I somehow feel it is some sort of negative “halo” effect. They essentially killed all “halo” effect that they achieved with the DP series. That camera brought a lot of new users as the price was interesting enough to try it out. I think/heard a lot of user who did this were not considering to step up and give the SD1 a serious look. They all now dropped that idea.

  77. Tony Do says:

    I think Sigma playing the marketing trick again because of production problem at their factory. First strategy to maket SD1 comparable to MF to attract the super rich with lot $$$ to try out the small sample of their products until they figure out to mass produce this camera at cheaper price at sub $2000 later. With all the non sense compare to maket trend I don’t think they aim for the later but rather show the potential of Foven chip to hope for Big Boy will buy it instead of consumer like us :-)

  78. Ian Syme says:

    Michael Reichmann is eagerly awaiting delivery of an SD1 to run comparisons tests against a Leica M9 and Pentax 645D but he too quotes the enormously inflated price……….Sigma have either got things seriously wrong in the pricing department or monumental cock up in arithmetic. I was eagerly awaiting delivery of new SD1 but not at these prices!!

  79. LionelB says:

    In house jpegs are for holiday snaps. We always shoot RAW and create jpegs in a RAW developer. So rip out all the half-baked processing nonsense from the Sigma cameras and give us a pure RAWshooter range. Save money on the pointless electronics, cut the price and make the body a little more compact.

  80. LionelB says:

    ‘In camera’ :-)

    • SD9? It was pretty much like that. It had a totally separate electronics for shooting and digital (two different battery types as well) and no jpeg. It’s still pretty speedy in comparison to today’s cameras in the control departement. ISO etc had it’s own buttons. SD1 takes one step closer to the original with some buttons but.. even the price is closer to that first released model that I bought back in 2002.. I remember paying more than €2000 for body only.. Still that’s at least €4000 to go for the SD1.

      • LionelB says:

        Bring back some ‘dirtiness’ by using less fussy filters and licence the Kodachrome name from Kodak to market a film-like development in SPP 6.0

  81. Mauersegler says:

    Good news!
    It looks like Sigma just has a special marketing trick. Take just the body pay 10.000$. Take a lens with it pay 7.500$ . In that case I get the 120-300mmHSM OS and a couple of primes with it, so the price must be now under 2000$ , or?
    On the other hand given a pricereduction in 24 hours of 25% I will just wait a week before I get a SD1 hehehe.
    Seriously that will be an intersting couple of weeks coming seeing SIGMA trying to get out of the mess.

    • rtrski says:

      That two-lens kit isn’t with the 120-300 *OS*, it’s with the old 120-300. $1k difference in lens price. By my math, you’re still paying $4k-ish for the body with that kit.

      • Filip U. says:

        SD1 + 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM & 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG HSM Kit

        Two lens kit is with the 70-200 and not 120-300

        • rtrski says:

          Yes, sorry, got the focal length wrong. It’s still the non-OS version as well.

          When I did the math on the kits, if I took the kit MSRP less the lens MSRP, then ratioed the leftover by the typical lens MSRP to street markdown, I got about $4200 – 4600 body prices. Better than $9700….but still too high, unfortunately.

  82. Mauersegler says:

    ups, just saw Carl had it already updated.

  83. Dennis says:

    But look at the lenses Sigma USA is packing into these kits.
    Either older, obsolete and meanwhile replaced lens models, or lenses made for (focal-length!) full-frame cameras! They try to sell the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm lens in those kits, even the older 18-50mm f2.8 lens- instead of the 17-50mm f2.8 OS and the 50-150mm f2.8 OS. With these 2 lenses in a kit, things would be different. Or with a 120-300mm f2.8 OS lens… But these kits offered by Sigma USA are just… well….. strange. Or a ripp-off. Pick one.

  84. designdef says:

    Sigma. If you’re not reading all this well you **** well should be. Over the years, Carl has done more to promote Sigma cameras than your entire promotions departments added together. I’m afraid it’s typical for Sigma to remain silent on ‘issues’ it’s also typical for Sigma to launch new versions of cameras at trade shows, which don’t materialize for years, it’s still almost impossible to get a SD15 in the UK! I will always remain a Foveon / Rytterfalk fan, but Sigma…. well it’s crunch time for them I’m afraid.
    Have a great weekend Carl, and be happy with your SD15 as that’s where it will stop for most of us!

  85. Bernard says:

    Wow this has been a strange time for sure….
    How about this for a camera price:

  86. Bob van Ooik says:

    On the day after I’m finally able to start collecting my thoughts. I was just too surprised.

    Although I normally am of the opinion that a company owes me nothing. The decision is simply if I find something worth buying or not. But the situation is a bit different now. In 10 months time we got hints and promises that something will land that finally fulfills the promise this technology holds. Several Sigma officials (from at least USA, France and Germany) made no secret that they were targeting the prosumer DSLR market. That the price could turn out to be higher than expected by many was of course a possibility. But this price hike and different target market is nowhere hinted at. There might be valid reason for setting the price as it is. But I cannot believe this something they just came up last week. Sigma never tried to debunk any of the stories going around about the target price or brought in a story that price and market have changed.

    Lots of people stayed loyal to Sigma for the promise the SD1 held, Image Quality for a reasonable price. All those people got burned. Me too. At this moment I am very happy I did not sell yet the gear I was planning to sell. I can’t afford the SD1. And I feel I lost 10 months as I put all future purchases on hold in anticipation of the SD1. But that’s part of the business. I hope Sigma will be able to give a plausible explanation for this direction or, even better, reconsider their decision. Sigma might gain a few high end users but they just lost more or less all artists, enthusiasts and passionate people. And that’s a dead end IMHO.

    To be clear once more. Sigma owes me nothing. They can do as they please business wise. But I sincerely think the photography world as a whole just became a lot poorer.

    • what says:

      just made an interesting discovery:

      some of the image samples on the website seem to have been re-processed just now!

      i haven’t looked at them all, but for sure Carl’s portrait of the boy has changed. it no longer has a magenta cast and it appears sharper…


      What’s going on here?

  87. what says:

    Seems that Laurence Matson’s grass looks a bit better too…

    Either that or I’m really starting to lose my mind over this whole thing!

    • Filip U. says:

      Marketing of Sigma probably gave the samples to someone who actually knows how to process photos correctly.

  88. Foveonic says:

    Well…..I guess I have an extra $2500 laying around. IMHO Sigma glass and cameras do not carry a reputation that will support this price point. Rich pros that do support Sigma will likely have this camera. Lucky them…but, I gotta say that lately some Bayer Sensor cameras are striking closer and closer to the Foveon look. Remember what Microsoft’s DOS eventually evolved into. Given enough time Bayer will arrive…….Still, I love the Foveon look so much, it is a sad day. Could I justify this price as an enthusiast? A resounding no…..This absolutely sucks. Who started the Canon 7d price point rumor?

    Problems I see:
    ISO is limited at 6400? WTF…if that is their top end it is likely noisy. This ISO level is beaten hands down on multiple models of cameras available at lesser prices. What about the AF speed? Better be fast to compete…What I am saying is this…If this camera has the same problems that earlier cameras have had in the Sigma line-up it will not be tolerated by the pros that are the only likely customers at this price point. A Nikon D3X will eat this camera on every front except resolution. 30 to 35 megapixels is a more likely estimate of acutal resolution based on earlier version comparisons of the Foveon Sensor. Thats not much over the 24MP 7K$ units out there…I really cannot fathom what the hell is going on here…

    They have to overcome some things here:
    Low top ISO
    No video (which I couldn’t care less about)
    Sub-par lcd (is there liveview?)
    Buffer speeds on prior models not good
    AF speed on prior models not good

    At this price point none of the prior maladies of Sigma’s sub-par camera design will be tolerated when lesser priced cameras like Canon and Nikons flagships are out there…

    Sigma is pricing this unit as the best camera in its class. If it is found to be less than the best it will flop. The “Foveon Look” that the pictures have at the end of the day will not be enough to sustain the brisk sales levels needed to pay for R&D and compete against other pro level cameras. Which once again will slow development of the Foveon technology. God, why didn’t Canon buy Foveon?

    If DPreview and other review sites tear this camera up like they did every other sigma offering this camera will end up the “Edsel” of the camera industry. Then the price will come down and maybe I will be fortunate enough to own one…..


  89. Thomas Mottl says:

    yeah Bob you nailed it. I also hold of investements in my Canon System, was even thinking of selling it.
    Now the direction is totally the opposite. I will buy more Canon glass and try to sell some Sigma SA glass.(I doubt I will find buyers)
    I feel sad that the road with Sigma after 8 years is coming to an End. But in the System is no perspective anymore, with such prices and no Roadmap for the SD15 succesor.

  90. Dennis says:

    Bob’s post is absolutely spot on. Sigma can and will do as they like without reference to us. They are perfectly free to make and implement whatever decisions and policy they choose.

    Bob identifies the only thing we can take really them to task for. That was initiating and propagating the perception that the SD1 would be reasonably affordable to the enthusiast market.

    That very misleading and inaccurate communication, which they did nothing to correct or amend in recent months, has cost us 10 months of our lives waiting for the new camera that we now find is ridiculously expensive. Worse still, they have sadly diminished our enthusiasm for the brand (but not perhaps the technology were it to be adopted by other manufacturers in niche products).

    I think the only way Sigma can now support and retain their so far loyal and enthusiastic customer base without loosing too much face is to offer past purchasers of Foveon sensor camera’s a very large loyalty discount on the posted prices of SD1. And they need to do this without delay, otherwise they may as well pack up the DSLR lines because the customers just won’t stay with Sigma and the pent up demand will quickly benefit Nikon and Canon. And that will have a harmful effect on Sigma’s lens sales too!

  91. marc says:

    Something must have gone very horribly wrong with the mass-production of the new Sensors, like they’re loosing 50-70% (80?) of the production which :

    – dramatically increases the production price.
    – only allows for the production of a limited number of cameras.

    So they needed to reformulate the marketing completely (sell few, very expensive), just to ‘save the ship’, get at least some return on investments. Maybe they’re praying that it’ll bring enough cash to keep things somewhat going and to optimize the production process, catching up on a later stage.

    But as for now I wouldn’t like to be in their socks, they’re really in trouble.

    Also, which pro-photographer would go for a company that exhibits such problems, it’s not really inspiring trust. As for the investment side of things … what if Sigma is forced out of the camera game? I doubt that discontinued camera models with weak tech support will be able to command high prices on the second hand market.

    Sigma, best would be to let us know what is really going down and how you see your future.

  92. marc says:

    Maybe there’s a lesson to be learnt … small, niche producers just can’t cope reliably with the enormous amount and cost of R&D that goes into this very evolved technology. Maybe it’s best to stick with the big players in the market who have the firepower pull through. After all the CPU market is dominated by Intel, because it takes such enormous ressources, because you need to build a completely new plant for every new generation of CPUs … this requires enormous financial stamina, rigorous planning and very effective distribution which channels product to market quickly and in large numbers to bring in returns. This is a very tough playing field, very hard to cope with if you don’t absolutely have the level of maturity and scale required, and failing to measure up to any requirements can quickly turn out to be fatal because investments are so colossal. Somebody in the SD1 development team screwed up, somebody promised things that couldn’t be kept up with … or their bank just cut their loan for this project.

  93. LionelB says:

    Sigma can never be a Canon or a Nikon but maybe a merger with Olympus could secure them a viable niche. There are some obvious synergies.

  94. sgts says:

    sigma have produced the worst marketing campaign of the 21st century.

    For sure you will be seeing a merger, 100 % – they’re deliberately stopping their own sales as a favor to whoever is taking over.

  95. marc says:

    And while they’re at it to ‘save the ship’ … open that darn thing to Canon EF mount, easy to do and at least giving some incentive to people to consider the SD1 as a secondary/backup or ‘special purpose’ body.

  96. Dennis says:

    I don`t really care what the reason for this pricing is. Maybe they really can`t pull off mass production of this sensor at reasonable costs, as the Phase One technicians predicted. Maybe they got threatened with super expensive highly risky law suits for the reverse engineering of their mounts by Canon, Nikon and Sony and other makers- because they are afraid of an affordable SD1 coming before Nikon releases the D800 or Sony releases it`s own 40 Megapixel APS-C monster, the A770. One must think of things like this, way in advance.
    But… Why don`t we show Sigma a way out of this situation?
    I could live with that SD1 price, if Sigma made me an offer that every serious medium format maker would make me…
    Let`s take Mamiya / Phase One.
    If think of buying a Mamiya / Phase One 645 DF camera with a P45+ digital back, I pay the normal price (which includes a great worldwide professional service!)- and I get to choose 2 lenses for free.
    If I like to have the P65 Back, then I get 3 lenses for free. I can choose any 3 lenses- even the brand new, expensive but world class Schneider-Kreuznach leaf shutter lenses for this type of camera.
    The SD1 is no medium format camera. Resolution alone makes no professional medium format cam. It has an APS-C size sensor, no tethered shooting, no leaf shutter lenses, no worldwide professional service.
    But the price is in the medium format class.
    So, dear Sigma sales team.
    I kindly ask you to make me the same offer.
    I would buy the SD1 for the price stated- if you let my choose 2 or 3 lenses with the camera for free. And please, don`t make restrictions like those stupid kit offers from Sigma USA.
    Just offer me 2 options: I can choose 3 lenses, given the value of each lens doesn`t exceed let`s say 1200€, or I can choose 2 lenses when the value of each lens exceeds 1200€, and set an upper limit for this offer of a maximum lens value of 4500€.
    Something like that would be nice. I leave it for the sales team to do the math. As a pro, aware of the lack of reliability of Sigma cams from the past, I would have to buy 2 or even 3 bodies anyway- so that I can still get the job done in case one camera freezes entirely and another body suffers from sudden AF or exposure meter death, like it was the case with my other Sigma SDx`s in professional use…
    I already have this great 17-50mm f2.8 OS lens, the 70mm makro, the 105mm makro. I like to have the 8-16mm, the new 50-150mm f2.8 OS and the new 120-300 f2.8 OS, plus the 4.5mm fisheye and maybe a 50mm lens (without those severe focus shift problems like the 50mm 1.4 HSM suffers from, which makes that lens basically unusable wide open, sorry Sigma, that`s true and even confirmed by Sigma technicians) that actually works, or a 30mm prime. Throw in a EF 610 DG Super flash, free with each body (you do know that Metz refuses to make adapters or flash units for Sigma cameras (after SD10) since they so tired of that Sigma-games you play), you got me back on the Sigma table again…
    So, what do you say Sigma sales team?

    • John Day says:

      ….., and Phase One give fantastic “trade-up” deals on the next purchase you make….

      • Dennis says:

        Exactly. I`m currently enjoying my P45+. But I want to upgrade to a IQ180 in about 18 months, since I need a back with a better rear display to check focus when I use the back with my Silvestri Bicam view camera.
        And I`m going to pay the upgrade price of 6000$…
        That`s what I call: an offer for pro`s!

  97. pierre says:

    God they’re so dead … better off buying a film camera if you know what you’re doing and you’re craving that ‘film look’. Heck, the samples don’t even have the Foveon colors, that one got lost in the process as well, and it becomes very obvious that the optics do not follow through, there’s nothing in these files that triggers any emotionality. Utter failure … good luck marketing that turd.

  98. Dan says:

    Sigma SD1 could compete in the medium format world in terms of image quality at base ISO. However I can just see Reichmann complain about color shifting and poor noise performance at higher ISO. He’ll probably be right.

  99. pierre says:

    ‘Sigma SD1 could compete in the medium format world’

    Just looking at the sample images, folks, this IS NOT medium format quality output.

    Not sure about the optics in any of these, images look smudgy, mediocre microcontrast, lifeless colors. Basically the whole ‘Foveon proposition’ is absent. OK this is not the final version but I have serious doubts how this can be ‘fixable’ to the level we all expected.

    I think it’s best to wake up, the dreaming is over. If you want MF go out and buy one or rent them when you deem the occasion appropriate.

  100. elliot says:

    There are likely some good reasons for Sigma to do as they’ve done that I fail to see.

    Just what I expected you’d say.

  101. manu says:

    Hi, Carl. I`ve seen the SD1 oficial pictures and I like to know if dynamic range seems improved to you. I have a DP2 and resolution never be a problem unlike clipping. Thanks!

  102. Gary Mercer says:

    Even I’m astounded at this price announcement. I spoke with other professionals using Sigma DSLRs in their work and the consensus is that something is very very wrong at Sigma Corporation.
    They slipped out in interviews that the price would be competitive with the 7D in that price range, then clobber us with that price?
    This has to be the biggest bait and switch in modern camera history!

  103. Henry says:

    More specifically we were all waiting for the 15MP Foveon cam, nobody cares about all that 46MP gibberish, the sample images prove that the stuff LOOKS INTERPOLATED, this isn’t real foveon per-pixel sharpness, it’s not what we are looking for. So marketing department @ Sigma why don’t you get off your megalomaniac delirium. What you have is a 15MP camera with all the benefits of the Foveon sensor. If you would market it as such and at a appropriate price-point for a 15MP cam + added value of Foveon IQ, so ideally a camera around the same price point than Canon 5D Mark II … that would be very much appreciated.

  104. designdef says:

    Mamiya 645 AFDIII +80mm f2.8 D lens & 120/220 RFH Kit: Now £5,495.00
    Medium Format users will stick with film. A ‘tried and tested’ technology from a reliable and trustworthy manufacturer… and you get a lens in the bargain! End of story?:)

    • Dennis says:

      Chris Ireland, this super competent and cool guy from Phase One UK, currently offers Mamiya 645 DF plus a Mamiya Sektor D lens of your choice plus a large sensor P30+ Phase One Back from £ 8990 £ on.
      Medium format quality, access to leaf shutter lenses, pro-service, upgradable…

      • designdef says:

        Thanks Dennis, it’s a no brainer, who in their right mind would go for a SD1 with that kind of competition. One wonders, assuming the SD1 sensor ‘does deliver’ why Sigma didn’t just produce Foveon backs for existing medium format systems, to ease their way into the Pro. market?

  105. Sigma still preserves the quaint notion of a “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price” that is set so that a full-service store with a lush showroom can make a healthy profit. The current market is too competitive for 99% of the shops to actually sell at this price, hence the term “street price”. Sigma USA seems to be suggesting with the kit prices that the street price in the US will be about $7000. (I think most of the other makers have abandoned the idea of MSRP and just mention a “street price” that is actually something called “Minimum Advertised Price.” This is the only price a store can publish and still get ad subsidies and other perks. Ever wonder why some internet sites have “add to cart” before you see a lower price?)

  106. Mike says:

    I too feel bad for Carl. Sigma has placed him in an awkward situation. I just hope a mass exodus from Sigma Cameras and loss of interest in Sigma products does not harm his great website and the great amount of information he has shared with us.

    As for Sigma… wow… how can we say “Bunch of stupid dumbasses” in Japanese.

    My Canon gear stays. My Sigma gear goes. It’s as easy as that. Sigma has no interest in my business or helping me build my business around their unique system.

    The images I have seen on the sample website leave a lot to be desired. I don’t see much that warrants this kind of price and as Sigma can see the amount of nit picking and negative fall out from this $9700 decision is going to do nothing to help their business.

    I vote with my money. If Sigma can not explain why they want to sell a Yugo for the price of a Ferrari with in the next 2 weeks all of my Sigma gear will be sent off to the sellers. One can only worry that this is an indication of Sigma’s future business plans, plans where the customer is not a factor.

  107. Lucien says:

    Can’t we sign a petition or something?? This is awfull in every aspect, for us … but also for Sigma, this is going to be a phenomenal commercial failure.

    SIGMA COME TO YOUR SENSES and realize this is a 15Mp cam, you won’t be able to tackle the MF market, this is commercial suicide.

  108. Dennis says:

    Perhaps the crux of the debate is this: We now have 3 times the pixel density on effectively the same size sensor as before, but it seems the resulting smaller pixel size has lost the Foveon “look and feel” at the cost of increased resolution? Perhaps that “look and feel” depended on the larger individual pixel size?

    We can already buy increased resolution at lower cost from theDSLR market leaders, packaged up in far more refined cameras than the SD1.

    If the SD1 has lost the Foveon “look and feel” that came from the large individual pixel size, then the surely the SD1 is irrelevant at any price. Why would any of us buy an SD1 at all if it doesn’t deliver on the one thing that attracts us to Foveon, the special look?

    Carl, I know you are as surprised as the rest of us about price, but please can you help us out with our thinking on the images because you’ve actually used the camera. Can you reassure us that the unique Foveon look and feel are not diminished?

    If the “look and feel” has been lost (as many posters here seem to think it has), then there is absolutely no reason to buy the SD1 and the price becomes totally irrelevant and the whole proposition is a dead duck!

    (PS: Just a horrible thought …. are there really 15mp x 3 on the new sensor? Sigma hasn’t just used in camera processing to interpolate and output a high pixel count have they?)

  109. Dennis says:

    It would be nice if Sigma at least explained that behaviour.
    So many people feel ripped off because of the opposing statements they make.
    And please, honourable gentlemen with the Sigma sales and marketing department- please stop using this senselenss argument that unlike other medium format makers (Sigma, you are not medium format, and a competitor in that class) Sigma offers that enormous range of lenses…
    Yes, you do offer an enormous range of lenses- of which roughly 90% are not usable with the SD1 since they just don`t have the optical resolution. You claim the SD1 being a 46MP camera, but 90% of your lenses show softness on a 18MP 7D already…
    My medium format maker Mamiya offers lenses that go well with my P45+ 39MP Back- even my old 55-110mm Zoom lens produces a quality between f7.1-f11 most Canon primes could only dream of.
    And, when we talk medium format, we talk leaf shutter lenses with fast flash-sync!
    Let aside the budget lenses and the lenses with severe focus shift problems, what is left that produces a nice quality on the SD1? Your makro lenses are superb- that makes 4 lenses. The new 120-300 f2.8 OS, probably the new 50-150mm f2.8 OS and maybe my 17-50mm f2.8 OS. Anything else? Thats 7, or lets be generous, maybe 8 or 9 out of 56 lenses you make, that are real-life usable with the SD1 if I need true IQ!

  110. LionelB says:

    The bark has the texture of baked clay. Magnified, there is an odd crystalline pixellation – in one area it looks like scoring of the surface by three parallel lines. One of the wonderful things about the DP2 (and DP1) is the rendering of wood and bark. It comes alive as fabrics do. Increasing detector density by around 250% in one go does sound like it is stretching the physics.
    If it were just the size of the chip that was increasing, with the density of the array remaining the same, the maths is easy. A 29% increase in data per output file.
    I would very happily settle for 70-80%.

  111. Pingback: Sigma SD1 to ship in early June | X3 magazine

  112. Disappointment resentment and disbelief is written all over this blog right now. I guess we are seeing the entire potential buying crowd of Europe right here.

    Here’s a suggestion: For all of you doubters that what to dump your equipment. Start a trading site here, where the forum exists.

    An Ebay subsidiary A Tradera A DBA what ever it may be called locally.

    I bought the SD14 not in hope of seeing mind boggling specs come to life, but as a learning tool for a very cool look and technology. Now looking for lenses I have to scavenge ebay and wait until I agree with the price point, seems to me that the lenses are a bit overpriced, even when used, compared to comparable brands.

    So if you want to trade dump or chunk make an announcement here first.


    Great site Carl this is most enjoyable.

  113. Dennis says:

    Please can anyone with deeper knowledge than I say whether the current 4.6mp x 3 generation Foveon image character fundamentally stems from the very large photon buckets/pixels or more correctly receptors as Lionel calls them? 4.7mp on an APS size sensor area must give larger buckets than any other brand,

    If the current image character (which after all is the fundamental incentive to buy a Sigma camera) is produced only by the current large bucket/receptor size then Sigma would have to maintain this current receptor size and increase the area of the sensor to get better resolution without sacrificing the image quality.

    If that’s true then it seems they have made an unrecoverable error in not moving to at least a full frame sensor size for the SD1 because the current sensor area at 15mp x 3 layers won’t compete with MF without excessive in camera or post production processing?

    And perhaps what we are seeing in the images is excessive processing to compensate for smaller individual receptors than we are used to?

    This seems to make sense to me at a simple level but maybe there is more to it?

    • Person says:

      The SD1 definitely seems to have lost some ‘feel’ at the pixel level…

      BUT!! there is a partial solution:

      Shooting in ‘LOW mode’ will use 2×2 analog binning. This will quadruple the pixel size in effect, treating four pixels as one BEFORE the lossy analog to digital conversion stage. Signal to noise ratio will be doubled, and it will be less taxing on the lens too!

      I am certain these images will look much better than what we are seeing. The only issue then is that we no longer have the huge megapixel count… which is FINE BY ME, but it’s on that basis that Sigma has jacked up the price to ridiculous levels!

      If LOW mode is too much of a tradeoff, there’s always MED too…


  114. Ole says:

    Hi Carl + a lot of other people here. Sigma really has made a lot of frustrations, haven’t they. A little sad. This ought to be a day of triumph for them and now most of their loyal customers just turn their back on the company in frustration and contempt. Sigma is just like it’s cameras I say: clumsy, akward, no consideration for nicities and prone to sudden unexplainable lock-ups. They are probably all men at the factory with weak social skills :-) I would hope the SD1 sells, but I don’t expect so. It’s probably a good camera, but the other SDs have some virtues too, some but not that many besides IQ. I have my Sigmas and I don’t see much of interest with Sigma now. And that’s the thought of many other Sigma fans. After the initial shock of the ‘betrayal’ I think people will shrug their shoulders and move on to other companies. I think Sigma just doomed themselves, and I don’t really particularly care. It happens all the time. Just like I’ve moved on from Apple because of their crazy capitalistic model renewal schemes. From now on it’s open source for me – I’m writing on an old iBook turned ubunty 10.10. Works very well, easy to use and has x3f facilities too :-) Sigma RIP from now on…

  115. Dennis says:

    Thanks Person.

    I know that most compact cameras seem to give a nicer (if smaller) image when set to Medium rather than large, so what you say rings true with me (even if I don’t really understand binning).

    Seems Sigma decision to stay with an APS size sensor but with a much higher high pixel count is technically flawed and kills the raison d’etre of the Brand.

    Look on the bright side … They have saved many of us a lot of money, and given the MF brigade a few laughs for good measure :-)

    I guess what this tells me is to continue to enjoy the special qualities of the current 4.6mp x 3 Sigma camera’s which have come down to very realistic prices now, and forget higher pixel count APS foveon sensor cameras. I’ll stick with my DP1s or maybe even p/ex it for a DP1x and I’ll give my DSLR upgrade money to Nikon when the D800 comes through. I know I’ll have to wait till the end of the year for it, but I’m confident it will be wonderful and I can be sure the pricing will be in line with it’s semi pro target market, and there will be no nonsense about chasing MF.

    Good … I’ve got over my disappointment now that I can see the best way forward at real World money. I’ll never wait again for a Sigma product.

    Please keep up the good work on the site Carl (we’ll still all be Foveon current sensor enthusiasts) but maybe relegate the SD1 to the “what might have been” archive.

    Kind regards

  116. Stigma says:

    >> The SD1 definitely seems to have lost some ‘feel’ at the pixel level…
    BUT!! there is a partial solution:
    Shooting in ‘LOW mode’ will use 2×2 analog binning. <<

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this procedure leave us with effectively less than 5 MP again?
    That makes the whole thing even more ridiculous. Then where is the $ 10.000 reason for upgrading a SD15? Or a medium format contender with 5 MP? Funny, if it weren't so sad…

    Anyway, the SD1 is about to become the worst possible disaster in the history of Sigma's camera department as not only itself is a failure, but also has a massive negative effect regarding future developments of SDxx models in terms of feasibility and time involved.

    • Person says:

      That’s my point. The problem is the price.

      But note that analog binning (as far as I know) is something only foveon does.

      • guy says:

        VPS is nothing to get excited about in SD14

        I thought about it before sd1 price announcement – as a way to shoot low light situations / reduce cpu/storage requirements for such photos

        but I won’t be happy buying even a 5-6 k USD camera and get a bit better (hopefully) output than what my current cam does !

  117. Dennis says:

    I don`t really see who Sigma is trying to convince of that camera.
    The average Sigma user, in my opinion mostly very skillful and talented good photographers with an “arty-touch” like Carl, can`t afford the SD1. But these are the people who have already experienced the magic that can happen when using a Foveon cam in the right light… Sigma would not have had to convince us Sigma users- but most of us are out of the game now.
    Photographers who already use medium format cameras, like I do, would never give up a nice and working Mamiya / Phase One system for the SD1. I would never give up that great camera, perfect (leaf shutter-) lenses, tethered shooting option, perfect world wide pro-service that actually cares if I`m in trouble, or the nice trade-in / upgrade options they offer me (I`m relatively sure the SD1 will be Sigma`s last DSLR, so no trade-in / upgrade options possible). And most of the view camera / medium format users have a complementary DSLR system they have been relying on for years- mostly Nikon or Canon,or in my case, Sigma (at least until now). I see the SD1 as a complementary system to the medium format, not a substitution. But CaNikon users would never change- mostly they just look at me in a “are you from mars?” – kind of way when I talk about using Sigma as a complementary system.
    So who is left? DSLR shooters who did not upgrade to medium format or don`t want to upgrade. The first group will probably never shell out a medium format budget for a system that is in no way medium format like. The second group has it`s reasons why medium format is no option- like my honourable collegues of the sports or press photography scene. And those great collegues that have to travel a lot and do let`s say wild life or other photo documentary stuff in exotic places- they will probably go with a camera maker that can guarantee service and support if anything happens somewhere in the gobi desert or in the artic…
    So who is left?
    In my opinion… Only the young, aspiring dentist (with photography as a hobby) who just started private practice and hasn`t made enough money yet for a Leica S2… But even those honourable gentlemen will realize that SIGMA doesn`t make for a good status symbol…

  118. Robert says:

    Dennis is so spot on.

    My first calm and logical reaction (after the smelling salts kicked in…) was that this is the death of the Foveon sensor.

    Why? Well Sigma has proven they can’t make it work.

    We don’t know why they’ve done what they’ve done (this will make a fascinating story some day), but we do know that they have broken the first rule of public relations with their camera customers:

    Don’t piXX of all of your existing customers in a single day.

    Dennis is right. The place they’ve positioned the SD1 has no customers. Which means they are going to lose whatever has been spent on SD1 R&D.

    Most companies do not follow a massive financial disaster with the same game plan.

    Therefore, the future of Foveon is dead.

  119. Eirik says:

    In my opinion as a person with photograpy as a hobby. I think it is a disaster . Sigma need to cut the crap about SD1 being a medium format camera . Focus on quality as a high-end crop-sensor camera, and cut the insane price.

    I have SD14, SD15, DP1 and 5 sigma sa mount lenses , also canon 5D markII , but now i think i leave sigma. I had plans to buy SD1 , new sigma 150mm , and 50-500mm

  120. Dennis says:

    I don`t know if it`s dead.
    If they can`t make the SD1 work at a reasonable price right now, then they should not have introduced it.
    Nobody expected Sigma to show a new camera on the photokina- nobody forced them to.
    If we are honest, then we were all happy to see that the SD15 is not just a fairy tale, but actually reality (after 2 years of waiting and introduction / re-introduction / re-re introduction).
    So, who forced Sigma to come forward with the next model?
    Work on the camera secretly and making it work, then talk about it. That would have been great. Take every time you need to get it right this time. Sigma users are used to waiting, and you could have tried our patience even a little bit longer. We could have survided in the meantime with the SD15 as a “snack” for the waiting time…
    If you had told from the start: We try to make a larger Foveon, but that thing will cost a little bit more- than ok, we could have been prepared. And besides, nobody called for a 15 MP foveon. If I recall all the statements in this and other forums right, than people always said: A Foveon cam with the typical Foveon IQ and 6-8 MP would be much appreciated…

    And what`s left? Customers like me. I made my investment plan for my company for 2011 a few months ago. Trusting the word from Sigma officials regarding the future pricing of the SD1, I reserved 10.000$ in my companies budget for a system of 2 bodies and 4 new lenses. And now? One body only for almost 10k. I usually buy in Switzerland or Germany or the UK where no kit offers are available- and even those US kit offers (if I decided to buy in the US )are not really helpful either- the lenses they offer are not the lenses I need, and even if they were, including shipping and customs fees- plus no valid warrenty for Europe… No way.

    Well, the problem is: Sad but true- it`s THE CUSTOMER who is the only being willing to spend money for a product. If it was the plan to get rid of those damn customers- well that plan has worked out perfectly. But who is going to shell out money now for the product??
    I remember what even big Sigma dealers in Germany / Switzerland / UK told me when the SD15 was announced: Oh dear, we won`t even consider placing that thing in our shop window, it will end up as a dust trap anyway. If you want one, order it, and please pay in advance… Or even better, buy somewhere else- because that thing will most likely be more often broken than running and that will give the dealer a lot of work and trouble, so please buy somewhere else…
    My SD14`s have survided professional use for an average of 3 years, before they quit- more or less unfixable. And don`t get me started on that constantly corrupted files when the cam hits the buffer limit… All those crap we were willing to put up with, in the hope of something better…
    Maybe Sigma announced on a Friday to check reactions over the weekend, and will come up with some good offers / deals in the coming week (week, noun, singular!). I have been waiting since the photokina with the decision, which system would be a nice complementary system to my medium format and view camera. If they don`t come up with something good (better be real good), then my 10.000$ go into 2 bodies D700 and 3 (Nikon!)-lenses for the start- and for the rest of the money, I going on a nice trip to my favorite restaurant Mr & Mrs Bund in Shanghai for a huge pot of that great mashed potatoes they make there… So delicious, you could die for and forget about all the (Sigma) trouble…

  121. Dennis says:

    …and some beef cheek that goes so perfectly with those mashed potatoes…

  122. Robert says:

    I set aside $4,000 this year for an SD1 and maybe two lenses.

    I’ll probably spend it on Nikon D3s.

    Or a girl friend… :)

  123. Dennis says:

    My honourable collegues and fellow Sigma users, you see, my frustration and disappointment is slowly shifting towards gallows humour…
    Seems like we have just opened a new chapter in the VHS vs Beta, MiniDisc vs CD book….

  124. Ryan says:

    As I ex-owner of DP1, I always miss the look of the images i took with DP1. I’m currently using Olympus E-PL2. I have been waiting to get a Sigma DSLR. Then SD 15 was announced, I was tempted, but I decided to pass this model. I don’t want to use many year old sensor.
    Then SD1 was announced! Following Carl’s blogs and sigma forum on DPreview, I’m so excited to see that dog picture. After learning the price could be as same as Canon 7D(or more). I’m ready to be non Canon/Nikon shooter, and willing to be the strange photo enthusiastic guy in Hong Kong.
    And now I got the bomb from sigma! It totally blew my dream away!! In my opinion, the development of Sigma DSLR/ Foveon has been very slow. Finally, Sigma shows that they might have good improvement to compete with the big guys . SD1 is still using ASP-C format, it’s still not in 5D Mark II league. People from Sigma might think so, but many people won’t pay it for more than 5D Mark II. After all, it’s ASP-C!!! No one will be convinced to pay more than USD 2000 for SD1! They should sell it cheaply to let more people to “try” foveon!
    Sigma could do whatever they want, but I would vote for my money.
    Thank you Carl, you’ve done a great job to share the power of Foveon. I wish you got a free SD1 from them. :)

  125. Greg says:

    What if we look at the other side. What if the Foveon quality in this new sensor gets a great review, and is able to compete in the medium format realm. The price of the camera would be a steal, for the medium format community. Would be nice if Carl would give us his take on the new sensor.

    • Dennis says:

      If you buy medium format- you are buying more than just a camera- you buy something that Sigma just can`t deliver.
      Medium format is more than just IQ.

      1. It`s good IQ with all available lenses
      2. It`s having the option for tethered shooting
      3. It`s having access to leaf-shutter lenses
      4. It`s having the option to trade-in / upgrade after 24 month of purchase for just a few bucks /quid
      5. It`s receiving a professional service that I can rely on. A service and support that never let me down, no matter where I am and where I work- if my camera / back gives up, Mamiya / Phase One / Leaf / Hasselblad (really doesn`t matter which company) they will always find a way to get my system up and running again.

      Especially considering point 5: IQ is not everything. A client my settle for a less than perfect IQ, as long as he gets some images at all from me.
      If I stand in the middle of the desert and my Sigma SD1 gives up for some reason (pick one- my SD14`s have almost all been giving up on some point during the last 3 years), and I can`t continue working- I can`t call Sigma for help. Well, to be fair, of course I could call the Sigma support hotline. And when I tell them: “Guys, I`m here near Quito / Riyadh / Jinan / Capetown, and my SD1 just gave up, could you come and help please?” I will hear a nice and warm laughter from the other end of the line- and then silence. Or maybe they tell me: “Well Boy, you being a pro you should have thought of that before you bought Sigma. Maybe you consider Nikon or Mamiya next time. Good bye!”

      Sorry, but coming back from a job without pictures is far worse than coming back with pictures that show only 99% IQ instead of 101%!

      So, the pure price for a body is not everything when we are talking medium format. It`s a tool for Pro`s- so the price I pay must include much more than just a camera body…

    • Vlad says:

      Greg, what other side?You are talking about the quality of the sensor, but what about everything else? DoF? Lenses? 2 min exposure time max? And I can keep on…
      It really doesn’t matter how good the sensor will be at this point.

  126. Lucien says:

    @Greg, could you please read through analysis in the previous posts :


    I’ll let you get to it.

    • Dennis says:

      Which brings me back to my thoughts from the start. All those points I state and all those thoughts of you, my distinguished fellow Sigma users, point clearly in one direction:
      This camera would have been the perfect COMPLEMENTARY camera sytem to a already existing medium format system- for a photographer that is more into pure IQ than maximum flexibility. But it can never be a substitution.

  127. gene hack says:

    The silence of the usual 10 suspects says more than the harakiri effort from the old Yamaki.

    All I wished would´ve been a beefed up SD9 with a bigger sensor, more MP and a better display.

    Instead they made a f****ed up Bayer sensor.

  128. Dennis says:

    What makes it sad for me is, that I`m going to loose a selling point.
    Ocassionally, my clients say: Well, we do not plan on printing the images larger than A3 or A2- and especially if there is Sigma-weather outside (you guys know what I`m talking about- bright sunshine, blue skye, and some nice clouds, that will look so three-dimensional after post-processing as if they want to fall out of the display) where I can make use of the almost scary DR and sharpness of my SD14 / DP1 combo. I do a lot of on-location work for industrial companies of the machine- and plant construction industry world wide. When I then come back with my carefully processed Sigma files, they always can`t believe that almost 3D magic that comes alive in front of them.
    Picture with the beloved “wow-effect”.
    I`m going to loose that. My last SD14 will give up soon I guess, the SD15 lacks the DR as Carl reports, besides is no step forward regarding print size / resolution. And with the SD1 being most probably the end of the Foveon story… I really don`t want to think about it…

    • Person says:

      Me either.

      All I can say is let’s wait until the reviews and photos from production cameras with firmware 1.0.

      According to Maro’s blog analysis of each image, if you look at the EXIF the photos are all from various stages of development with different firmware- some quite old- and not the final product.

      There is some improvement one can see even as the firmware improves in those samples, if you look at the EXIF.

      Reviews please!!! Let’s not be too hasty in judging the IQ. The price, on the other hand…

  129. Idan says:

    $970?!?! – How can it be true if the KIT are priced around $7000?

  130. Lucien says:

    @Idan, could you please read previous post and get answers from there so we don’t need to start discussion over and over again.

  131. marc says:

    I think that, for the sake and love of the foveon look, I’m just gonna order a Sd14 from ebay … 500 USD, I’ll only be able to use this for a very limited scope of work and rep sizes, or just as fun camera, but seems as if this was ‘the best of foveon’ in its history.

  132. Someone better start damage control fast.

    This is spinning totally out of control.

  133. Nico says:

    Carl hope you are well – it would be so good to hear what you really think about all this or are have you signed a confidentiality agreement?
    It is evident that the SD1 launch has been a PR disaster – Sigma have become a laughing stock not because the SD1 is such a bad camera but because of their GREED and dishonestly claiming that the camera would have a reasonable price.
    Sigma need to realise that marketing in 2011 is a lot different to what it was in 1990.
    I am sure that you have a lot better things to do with your life but it would be good to at least hear your honest opinion of this as a lot of people here really used to like your site and value your opinion (even though you may be getting a free camera out of this from Sigma so are very envious LOL)

    • I’m very very frustrated at this point, as I think you can imagine. The price had us all taken by surprise and the people I know within Sigma says that they were taken by surprise as well (and silent anger as well). It’s likely been a one mans show even if I can’t say for sure, it seams that way.

      The decisions maker at this point is the man who ones created and formed the Sigma company 50 years ago and he is of course in his full right to do what he pleases but – I still hope that somehow things will change and that he cuts the price to the level that people like you and me can afford.

      It’s been a couple of really sad days and I so much hope that things will change.

  134. Ricky says:

    Carl your non-disclosure was so perfect that I really believed this time you hadn’t got your SD1 sample

  135. Richard W says:

    9k for Sigma SD1 is rich for my blood, I’m giving up my dream of owning it. i have a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM converted to SA mount for sale. Sigma lens will never match the same performance of a Canon USM AF and lens quality of this walk around lens. I had this lens converted by a russian engineer. The lens itself goes for 455.00$ alone nowadays, Make me an offer no less than $550 as this is one of a kind, you can’t just buy it. email:

  136. pawel says:

    10k for APS small sensor? LOL. Pentax 643 costs as much. If this is a real price time to ditch Sigma and move on.

  137. Foveonic says:

    There is no way a crop camera is going to compete with MF. It is still spatially only 15MP. Period….. If the DPx sensors at near 5MP resolve at 8 to 10 as most agree, this sensor will resolve at 28 to 30. Great….but other lesser priced cameras are near this now. What are they thinking? I am still thinking this is some sort of cosmic mistake. If it doesn’t doesn’t handle well and gets hammered in the review process this thing is gonna be the laughing stock of the camera world…..


  138. marc says:

    Otherwise for my personal work, I’m honestly considering one of these babies for these shots where ‘you know what you’re doing’ and you want the best possible IQ. I just went over a photographers book who still shoots a lot of film and it blew me away.

    … And for commercial assignments a quick call to rental and hop! a nice fat top of the line Phase One P65+ with absolutely stellar Schneider Kreuznach lenses delivered right to my studio.

  139. Maxx says:

    The dealer that carries Sigma in my country has been every bit as greedy and deranged as this SD1 affair all along (never sold a single Foveon camera – you should have seen those prices!), so no wonder for me as far as Sigma is concerned. Now, I am even happier with my Nikon – kiss! kiss!

  140. marc says:

    Oh they changed the branding too … at least that one is appropriate …

  141. marc says:

    Ok that was useless, just venting my frustration, we all hung in there for months and months … I googled up the name of the camera almost every day to see if some news on the radar … Carl if if you’d like to delete previous post no prob. Salt in our wounds is probably not what’s needed.

  142. alan says:

    Does anyone know how to convert SA mount lenses to EOS ? Will Sigma do it ( I’m in the UK ) ? Both are very recent OS lenses.

    • Filip U. says:

      I am not 100% sure but I think that it’s just a matter of exchanging the mount plate between those two? I’ll look into it since I will convert one of my lenses from SA to EF mount…

  143. Mason Lin says:

    I am a SD14 owner. The problem of SD1 is not the price, is the marketing strategy. If they want to build a product that is medium frame camera like Pentax 645, they should just release a press years ago, and letting people to know that they were planning to focus on this market. In this way, even with this crazy price, people would understand. Instead of doing that, they choose to make fun of their supporters, and listed a price that none of their usual supporters could afford it.

    That is mean!

  144. drei says:

    Carl, you are one of the (currently) few people in the world that can comment on lens quality and rcommended lenses that match the high resolution potential of the SD1.

    I have some specific questions and I would like to hear your comments:

    SD1-013 was taken with the 17-50 2.8 lens. The focal range of this lens might qualify for a “walk around” lens. The picture however shows some significant CAs and weak resolution at the edges.

    I do not see these artifacts in the pictures taken with the 24-70, at least not to the same degree.

    Did you compare these lenses yourself, did you possibly also compare the 17-70/2.8-4 lens?

    • Person says:

      hard to compare because i think (according to maro’s exif analysis) the 17-50 shot was taken with much older firmware. Doesn’t seem to be a lens issue so far as i can tell.

      • drei says:

        I doubt that the firmware revision will influence picture sharpness and CAs (as long as they do not publish ooc JPGs, which they did not). In any case Carl Rytterfalk could compare his results with Rick Decker’s, since both used cameras with the same firmware revision.
        Just to clarify: I do not ask for camera specific information which might be confidential. I only ask for lens capabilities.

        • Person says:

          they did publish some in-camera jpegs!! they didn’t specify which ones, but it is clearly stated at the top of the page.

          • drei says:

            Is Sigma Photo Pro used for processing JPG files? If no, Rick Decker used a RAW file.

  145. Pingback: Anonymous

  146. Not really much to be said that hasn’t been said already. I have the SD10 which I like, but I am eager to upgrade. The SD15 seemed the obvious choice, but with the SD1 on the horizon, it seemed logical to wait. The the price is so far out of my league, I am not sure what to do. Stick with the SD10 or ‘upgrade’ to the SD15?

    If the SD-line is now at an end (i.e. priced out of the reach of most consumers), I may consider selling my SD10 and the various lenses I have, pick up a DP2, and move over to m4/3 or an alternative system for my dSLR needs.

  147. jean pierre says:

    karl dear, dear fans sigma
    Our frustration must not take over.
    We all should write to Sigma and point out the facts.

    1. The SD1 is built on the SD15. See the Specifications.
    2. The difference is only on the software used in the interior of the camera.
    SD 1:
    SD15: EXIF 2.21, SD1: EXIF 2.3
    3. The sensor is not a full-sensor but remains an APS-C.
    4. The SD1 in this version is NEVER a medium-format camera!
    5. It is a customer deception. Neither Nikon, Canon or Pentax would praise an APS-C digital camera as medium format! Legally dangerous.

    The marketing department of the Sigma seems to be a little confused. A very good image quality is not only the thing that matters on a digital camera.

    The Bayer sensor is evolving rapidly and will next year launch a new type that comes close to the Foveon.

    If Sigma want to drive the development of the Sigma Foveon (Fullrange) sensor ahead, they have to sell much digital camera and lenses.

    It is a pity that Sigma Marketing let the customers stand in the rain. They believe profesionnelle buy an SD1 because of image quality. Oh, they do not have had a Hasselblad, Pentax and others digicam in their hands. Then, they would see the different. Sorry, that’s naive.

    SD1 ist not a high-range digicam. It is a further development of the SD15!!!! And the price has to be max. 2000 dollar (two tousend).

    So, dear friends not time to waste, write e-mail to Sigma.

    Carl, enjoy the party with your parents and skol.

  148. DennisBeyer says:

    This entire thing does great damage to Sigma as a brand.
    When I now give up my Sigma gear and switch to Nikon, I will probably never even consider buying something with the name Sigma on it. It`s not even the price issue- it`s the way the company shows disrespect to their once loyal customers, supporters, fans…
    By the way, I finally registerd here. I`m the guy with those long postings here under the name “Dennis”.
    I can imagine how you and Carl feel right now. Even insiders did not expect this. It`s especially hard for people like Carl, who have promoted Sigma in the past years in an honest, fair and competent way.
    I honestly do not really believe that Sigma will continue making DSLR`s if the SD1 now doesn`t sell at all. I`m relatively sure that the SD15 production will soon be cancelled as well then. Maybe they continue making DP models, but to be honest, since there is also not that much progress here in terms of resolution and speed, I`m afraid that fewer and fewer people will be willing to put up with all those Sigma inherent problems, especially when every new model seems to loose the typical Foveon look bit by bit, and when there are so many great other cameras (for example the Fuji X100) come out… I have been promoting Sigma for so long, even got some UK collegues to switch to Sigma- but everyone says that it`s now time to send a clear message to Sigma that this company can try our patience and understanding only for so much… Maybe it`s really time to open the eyes and leave the Sigma train now. It`s been a cool experience to work with Sigma files, and it`s been nice to suprise my clients with that unique Sigma look the photographs had. But I just can`t justify spending Swiss Francs ( Swiss Francs converts to $ almost 1:1) for 2 bodies only, and I`m not even talking about lenses- when the supplier is Sigma.

  149. marc says:

    Back to the markets, I think if you look at MF :

    – Obviously the rental companies are very important clients. On fashion shootings in NY and Paris there is not one photographer who comes to the shoot with his own camera. Why should they bother? The rental companies provide continously updated and serviced gear, you can adapt your setup freely according to the needs of the shoot, there’s the budget to pay for rental, again why bother? Heck the really big guys like Mario Testino and Patrick Demarchelier don’t even adjust their cameras themselves it’s their assistants who do that, they honestly don’t give a rats ass about photo gear, it’s almost considered ‘unprestigious’ it’s an assistants job, you won’t be seeing any of these people browsing through a glossy Sigma catalogue and wondering wether they should or not buy one. So back to the rental companies … I doubt that any of the rental companies will even consider the SD1 as there is no real pro-level service and no trade-ins, after sales is not adapted to their needs at all. So the fashion / luxury industry already is out, and I think it’s the rental companies who are absolutely crucial to the survival of the MF industry.

    – Then if we consider In-house departments of companies who are in charge to provide packshots of products, or more industrial photo-studios who just provide the average packshot (for instance the piece of meat in your supermarket catalogue). Those guys left the MF planet ages ago and are very happy with their 20MP Bayer setup because they rarely need that stellar MF quality, specially now in a more and more ‘screen resolution’ based context.

    – I know that in germany and/or more northern countries more photographers tend to have their own studio and gear, I don’t know why that is it’s maybe a cultural thing or maybe it has to do with the budgets/type of jobs. Anyhow the guys who already have the means to build up a complete studio will usually be professional enough to ‘walk the mile’ … they won’t reason in a couple of thousand more or less, they will target quality, reliability, service and resale dynamics and also they will always have a tendency to go with the ‘established and professional’ brands … it’s already a question of prestige and status, but also the service behind those brands really is top-notch, they have a established track record of providing top of the line quality and reliability. As Dennis points out it is NOT a context which invites for a lot of experimentation. At the end of the day that shot better be nailed or it is a drama, there can be no missed shots because of buffer/corrupted files issues or system freezes.

    – Still life photographers (for instance watches, jewelry) will tend to own their own camera to be able to experiment without time constraint (on fashion shootings anyhow the model leaves at the end of the day so it’s over, but still-life guys are more the kind of people who work into the night) … Ok but again, the really established ones will NEVER EVER sell their lineup of Hassy or Phase ones or Sinars to trade it in for a SD1. Yes maybe there will be people starting out in the industry who will be tempted to get rid of the AA filter for Jewelry shots … but then the SD1 offers not that a substantial price advantage over second-hand systems … If the guy needs to take out a loan anyhow, I guess he’ll take out five-thousand Euro more and go with one of the ‘real brands’, systems with high reliability and also high resale value.

    – People who are into reportage most of the time don’t need that resolution anyhow (for newsprint and web) and they will NEVER EVER give up the tank-like build quality and killer speed and low-light of the Canons and Nikons, plus Nikon has killer service.

    There might be nuances and maybe there might be an opening and interest from some in-house studios and so on but basically the SD1 will not penetrate the Pro market. Sigma has always been a brand for the ambitious photographer starting out, for enlightened hobbyist and passionates who do not have the financial returns from their photo work that would allow them to shell out mega bucks.

    So if taking this into consideration I can only be surprised how the guys at Sigma can have realistically considered that they could penetrate the MF Pro market at a financially relevant level. And then I am very surprised at how little consideration they seem to have for their core-market, their loyal followers, the passionate guys who dream about photography and painstakingly save up the budget to buy these optics or that camera (after having convinced their wifes for like three weeks).

    So what … they’re just gonna stick to their 45Mp claim, print out some glossy catalogues and hope that some rich ‘money no object’ will consider this as the top of the line thing?? I don’t think so, these guys will just go with Leica because a Leica LOOKS GREAT, it looks great on a Luxury Yacht and on private planes, it also complements very well with Hermès bags and Louis Vuitton travel luggage. Maybe if they do a diamond incrusted version of the SD1 they might sell it to one or two crazy russian billionaires.

    So Sigma what gives??

    • DennisBeyer says:

      I am a nuance. Smile. I do world-wide on location work for world wide operating industrial companies. I do own my medium format gear, since renting it is no option. Jobs often come on short notice. The clients often need huge print sizes / resolution, but they are not willing to spend money for equipment rental. They expect the photographer to have his gear ready and on stand-by. There is no point i asking the rental company: You guys have a PhaseOne 645DF + P45+ Back + 4 lenses ready for me in let`s say 1 hour, and I will need it for at least 10 days for my job in Saudi Arabia or Lebanon or China. The rental fee would be enormous, and even my great rental company here in Switzerland can not always act on such a request on short notice. I have to stay flexible, so I have to own my stuff. Which is why PhaseOne offers that great trade-in / upgrade deals after 24 months of purchase. They really care for the pro`s needs. But buying a pure complementary camera for the price of a real medium format system…. Without Pro-Service…. No way… I would have to spend mor than 20.000$ for a complete system- as we all know how reliable Sigma camera bodies are in professional use, you need at least 2 bodies, better 3. Plus all the very few Sigma lenses that are able to provide the optical resolution for the SD1…

    • Recale says:

      Wow. That was spot on.

  150. Evgeniy Korol says:

    Sigma SD1 – $9,700 ? Why so expensive? this is a bug?

  151. Person says:


    Look at the sample-image file sizes and compare them to full-size max-quality JPEGS out of SPP 4.0 with current cameras.

    Despite the bigger spatial size of the SD1 JPEGS, there is not a commensurate increase in file size. I can only take this to mean that the samples HAVE NOT BEEN EXPORTED at FULL JPEG QUALITY!!

    This would explain a lot of the per-pixel and colour gradation issues!!

    Am I missing something?

  152. marc says:

    Dennis, I work as art director on shoots where we burn through 60.000 Eur to 250.000 Eur/day so there’s budget for rental and the rental comps in NY an Paris can get you absolutely anything and anytime and as said very few of the big fashion photogs actually owns their own MF anymore. For editorials everyone is perfectly happy with top of the line Canon and Nikon stuff anyhow, and this gear they usually own to use as everyday tool, let alone for flexibility reasons and because it just works without a lot of hassle. You know there’s also that one that has to be said, if you shoot Kate Moss in a supermarket but with the right clothes/makeup and pose it is going to be a very strong image, even if you shoot it with a mobile phone. So those people are not that crazy much into image quality and pixel peeping, conceptually they’re really focused on the subject and how to make that exciting, that’s also why I doubt that they will salivate over a SD1 brochure.

    • DennisBeyer says:

      Hello Marc, I agree entirely!

      You see, me on the other hand I do not do fashion work, I work mostly for medium sized industrial companies. Since many of my clients don`t want to get ripped off by ad-agancies anymore, they do all the marketing stuff by themselves and book specialized photographers like me directly. But they can`t spend more than 2-3k€/day. My jobs often last 1 complete month without break- sometimes in the Arab Desert, sometimes in some Chinese Mining Facility- where it is really nothing like NYC or Paris- so no rental company around within a few thousend klicks! So ownership is mandatory. But to be clear, I agree with you absolutely! By the way, fashion sounds great- basically one of Foveons preferred playgrounds…

  153. designdef says:

    Now let’s talk product design. I bought my SD14 a few years ago and have been more than happy with its performance, I chose it because of the great results I was getting from my DP1, ‘sold on Foveon’. The SD14 is a functional looking machine, I prefer it to Canon’s ‘stuck in the 70’s’ styling and Nikon’s ‘it’s actually a racing car’ styling. In order interest photographers, the SD1 needs to be… VERY DESIRABLE, Sigma just don’t get it do they, a re-hash of earlier models with so-so looks … no chance at that price point!
    Resolution issues aside, this is what one would expect a new concept camera to look like…

  154. Foveonic says:

    Message to Sigma:
    I have an extra $3000 in my pocket, either you can have it or some other camera company can have it. All joking aside, you are about to make a huge mistake with your fan base. A mistake that could actually damage your company for years to come. I don’t even have to see the results this sensor can produce to know that you have screwed up here….your have priced your flagship as the best in its class. The spec sheet alreeady shows that it isn’t. Please reconsider what you are doing here, you are going to kill the future of the Foveon sensor. Please learn to walk a little faster before you learn to run. This was your chance to compete in a vastly larger market than MF. A market where picture quality alone could have made the difference and pro features are not quite as important. A much larger showcase for the magic only the Foveon sensor can provide…..IQ. I am begging you to reconsider this mind bogglingly stupid move you are about to make. Its a crop camera for Gods sake. Pit it against other crop cameras, where it belongs. Let this sensor be seen by the masses, don’t hide a few of them away in pro studios hidden from the light of day. Thats right, I love the Foveon Sensors enough to beg……



  155. n.h says:

    The cunning of Sigma might still shine through – can it be that the price first promised (in the Canon 7d range) was way too cheap for this new beast, presenting the marketing monkeys with a dilemma – loose face when doubling the price of the Sd1 (my price guess – around 3000 EUR body only) or go bananas in a desperate ploy to show that this is a true beast, worthy of even bigger bucks? Well, they went for the latter with, now, the opportunity to heroically go down in price due to popular demand etc etc.. saving face and ultimately show that the price of 3000-ish EUR is actually a very low one..

  156. Bernard says:

    ”Sigma SD1 hands-on preview”

    I will now wave a magic wand and the price will tumble…
    Hey presto…

    Dam it is still there… I am working on it guys … LOL

  157. marc says:

    “Check back for pricing” OMG … marketing fail of the century … what’s about to happen, is Mr.Sigma Junior finally gonna call up his venerable dad and energetically insist on lowering the price, thus finally confirming his role as the new leader in the company, this is epic … well maybe it’ll straighten out the ‘typo’ a little ; )

  158. Danny Chatham says:

    Once betrayed by a product you beleived in its difficult if not impossible to gain that trust back,in spite of all the absurd quirks found in their cameras many have been willing to tolerate them in order to use the foveon sensor.Now its time for Sigma to sell the technology to a company that accually know what they are doing.
    This time they went to far ,almost into the realm of insanity.

  159. Garrit says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve checked now the official german site of Sigma, for the price of the SD1 body, and they say it costs about 7499 EUR.

    Sad but true.

  160. Jürgen Krüger says:

    This is the bitter truth and it’s no more to say:

  161. David Evans says:

    The UK price seems to be £5999 as seen at

    If this is the case then i would never choose this over a leica m9 or the new Mamiya DM22 which are cheaper

    Also there are rumours of a full frame camera from sigma in the works, if they are charging this money for an APS-C ? how much will the full frame cost?

    very disappointed bout this , i have a sigma dp1s for sale if anyone wants it ?

  162. faith no more says:

    @ Jesper Hansen:

    As you mentioned that you are interested in buying some Sigma lenses, I want to tell you that I’m selling mine. I need a higher resolution camera than my SD14 and don’t see that coming in the near future from Sigma, at least no affordable model.
    Still left is the new 17-50 f/2.8 and 70 f/2.8 macro, both in excellent condition and I am the first and only owner. The SD14 body also.
    If you are interested, email me for details:

    Carl, I don’t want to abuse your site for selling stuff. But as the Sigma users are a rather small group, I know how tough it can be finding used good lenses for SA mount.
    If you feel disturbed by this, please just delete my posting.

  163. Ricky says:

    I can’t read all the comments on this post, but I’m quickly joining the information entropy because there are a lot of things I would say, some of these are:

    1) I especially love the photo of your wife, also because screams “I’M A FOVEOOOOON”. Like some others.
    2) At THAT price they could ever sell the “system switch package” putting together body, 17-50mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 30 mm, 85mm.
    3) I would have never uploaded that Rick Decker’s photo as sample of the IQ of a, what $…9700 (aAhaAh) (eehmm) camera
    4) The 120-300 is incredible
    5) The 120-300 is incredible
    6) The 120-300 is incredible
    7) Last, you, YOU… with the SD1 in the hand:

    “I might add ones more that I really want to see how the SD1 works using this lens. It’s really crisp. Rumors has it that the camera is soon to be released. Oh, how much I want that to be true!” “we ran out making sure that our beloved SD15″ “And I know what you’re thinking – this lens is like MADE for the SD1!”
    etc etc :P

  164. designdef says:

    Interesting to see how the press are now handling this issue. say: “Sigma’s SD1 SLR claims 46 megapixels, but really only has 15. It’s sort of distressing to see a respected camera company trying to push the megapixel myth to such an absurd extent. More megapixels do not result in better images; in fact, the more pixels stuffed on a sensor, the less sensitive to light they are, which is why higher megapixel counts at consumer-level prices are to be mistrusted. With Sigma saying the SD1 has 46 megapixels, it’s enough — in combination with a vague press release — to make you think they’re trying to cover up the dud they’ve got on their hands.” (It will get worse, believe me)

  165. Mike says:

    A $9700 Camera with a shutter that’s only rated for 100,000 pictures…. Sigma is nuts, they must know that this camera is well below the 7D in terms of all specs, except resolution and yet it is 5 times the price……

    Old Man Sigma wants his company to die with him….

  166. Webber says:

    I am also a lover of Foveon and Sigma, but the price is definitely out of range.
    price does not exceed $ 2,000 for the body only.
    It would be a wise and responsible ….. for that no price is customer service pro, 30 MP x3, 25600 6400 acceptable 12 fps HD video 60fps = Nikon D4x – – … Carl you are great .. friends to support Foveon technology we constitute indipendent pre order group list to make an offer to purchase a $ 2000 Sigma. I’m sure if we are so many of our proposal will be accepted.

  167. Maxx says:

    Ah, the just indignation of the (prospective) customers… Sigma most probably does not bother to think anything of it. It is a cultural thing. I lived in Japan for a while and learned the hard way how differently they see things. For example, if they screw you over, as they most certainly will do at some point, they think it is rather your problem, not theirs. And the more indignant you react, the funnier you look to them! Honest to God.

  168. Sebashi says:

    Just remember how long it took for the SD15 to be available … with just slight improvments in the exact same body .
    They just encouters troubles in massive production of the new sensor, maybe a lot of defect, and instead of delaying the distribution, they put a high ( strange … like a joke ) to avoid massive rush .

    That’s my thoughs

    • designdef says:

      Sebashi, you may have a point there, when the SD1 is finally dropped it will be the ‘marketplace’ to blame, not the technology, so maybe the SD16 is safe after all?

  169. Frode says:

    When I first heard roumors about the SD1, I started dreaming about a 10 mp fullframe. That would probably have kept the “Foveon look” and they could probably have gotten quite a bit better ISO performance out of such a sensor. The receptors would only be slightly smaller than they are today and advances in techology could be used too boost the ISO performance, in stead of pushing more receptors onto the chip (I’m guessing that there is a reason why no high ISO shots have been released). An added bonus would be that many more of Sigmas current lenses would be usable with such a sensor.
    The advantage of the Foveon sensor is that you capture much more detail than the mp count would imply. Why should they want to compete in the “mp race”? Don’t they know their own technology?

    I would have payed 5D MkII money for such a camera, maybe even a little bit more… But $9700 for a overcrowded cropsensor? That’s just rediculous…

    I have no financial investment in the SA mount, so I don’t feel angry or let down. I do feel sad, that a company that does so well with lenses, could make so many mistakes when it comes to cameras.

  170. Frits Thomsen says:

    Frode ……
    I have to disagree :)
    From what I have seen … the samples and the specs… Sigma made everything right this time … except one little detail … or rather 9700 little details :)
    Honestly SD1 looks like the perfect camera for me …and I know I am going to own one :)
    Only question is … how long will it take for the price to fall to a realistic level ? 1 yea ? 2 years ??

  171. Frode says:

    I hope you you will not have any reason to come to agree with me :-D

    I’m waiting for the high ISO shots, they will tell if I’m premature in my judgement. The least I would demand is totally clean ISO 1600 and usable ISO 3200 (Even my 5D MkI does this). Anything less than this will confirm my hopefully premature “judgment” for me.

    I also hope the dynamic range is worthy of a 2011 DSLR.

    BTW. I shoot fullframe today, so I have no wish to return to crops. I had hopes about the SD1, since Sigma has introduced a lot of good FF lenses lately.

  172. Foveonic says:

    $igma $D1

  173. DennisBeyer says:

    Good Morning Gang!

    Now it`s official here in Switzerland as well. Price just posted on the website of the official Swiss Sigma importer: 8500 Swiss Francs, which converts into 9670$.
    There are great people working with this Sigma import company here in Switzerland. They provide a great service and are highly competent- but can almost see them shakin`their heads- and I believe they will never order a single SD1 to put it for years in their show room. AS far as I know, I was the only one ever asking for a SD15 here- so the SD1 will be pretty much a non-existing camera in this country…

    • Olivier says:

      I also asked for the SD15 before it was released … they told me to buy a Nikon or go on with my SD14 … so i have both made ;-)

  174. Hulyss says:

    Nikon sues Sigma for patent infringement 12.6 billion yen. Something around 110.000.000 €.

    Now U know why.

    Have a nice day, drum roll, curtain.

  175. marc says:

    … that is NOT GOOD, even if they stand chances to win the case the costs associated with putting up a defense are horrendous. Weird coincidence that Nikon triggers that one just when they release the SD1 … thanks for that guys, I’ll definitely never buy one of your cameras.

  176. Dennis says:

    Not good at all for $igma.

    The lawsuit ‘seeks an injunction against Sigma’s manufacture and sale of infringing interchangeable lenses with vibration reduction for single lens reflex cameras, along with damages for past infringement’, according to Nikon in a statement posted on its website.

    If $igma can’t deflect the claim by proving prior art Nikon may stop them incorporating VR in the lenses, or make them pay a licensing fee. If Nikon plays hardball $igma would be faced with redesigning their lenses and that would leave them little resource for our SD16 and DP3?

    And I guess Nikon will play hardball …. why wouldn’t they if they can increase sales of their own lenses and get damages too?

    $igma’s core business is lenses, maybe they’ll have to retreat to that position. Or maybe they can do a deal with Nikon … let us use VR and you can have the Foveon rights … now there is a thought :-)

  177. Dennis says:

    …. and more to the point perhaps, who is going to invest in an $D1 with this threat to their future hanging over $igma?

    I don’t know whether they could financially withstand such a loss if the Nikon’s claim is proven? Anyone know anything about $igma’s financial strength?

  178. LionelB says:

    Even if another company did acquire the Foveon rights, they would likely do so to block others, not in order to exploit the technology themselves. Looks like the DP3 hope is finally dashed, as well as the SD1. All very sad, especially for the dedicated and imaginative people who work for Sigma and who are already struggling to pick themselves up after the earthquake.

    • Dennis says:

      Well said, it’s just annoyance and frustration to us, it’s their jobs and families futures to them, at an already difficult time …

  179. Person says:

    Oh god. Hope this lawsuit doesn’t mean Sigma dies.

  180. marc says:

    “Although Nikon attempted to resolve Sigma’s patent infringement through negotiation, a non-adversarial resolution could not be reached. Consequently, Nikon concluded that filing a lawsuit was the only way it could protect its intellectual property.”

    … wonder what ransom they asked for, must have been substantial, like ‘stop making lenses in Nikon mount’ … it’s a effin war out there.

  181. Dennis says:

    Canon CEO: Dude, It’s me Fujio. You see what sigma Did

    Nikon CEO: Haha. Yeah, wow. 776,143 yen!they must have eaten those brownies I sent them.

    Canon CEO: They say it’s going to compete with Medium format bodies – BWHAHAHAAA

    Nikon CEO: Oh, thank God. First we lose Aston Kutcher to 3 Men, I didn’t need Sigma to wake up and do something productive with that Foveon.

    Canon CEO: Winning! Now we get another 5 years without having to innovate with our sensors. Thanks, Sigma.

  182. Dennis says:

    On DPReview …

    Sigma highlights sub-$7000 street price of SD1 DSLR

    Sigma has stressed the differences between recommended selling prices (MSRPs) and the ‘street’ price that most consumers will be expected to pay. In the light of the dissatisfaction expressed about the SD1’s recommended price, the company has pointed out that the camera’s body-only street price will be around $6,899. The company also announced that its DP2x large-sensor compact is now available for a street price of $699.

  183. massimiliano amadori says:

    we’re all crazy? if this are real price for body $ 9700, anyone who can explain to me cost of the kit?
    i copy to SIGMA USA site this kit (that we can tell fun, but are fake):
    SD1 + 30mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Price:$7,359.00 MSRP
    SD1 + 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM KitPrice:$7,529.00
    SD1 + 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM KitPrice:$7,819.00
    SD1 + 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM & 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG HSM KitPrice:$8,649.00
    if you read, know immediatly that if i choose a kit with 30mm f.1.4 i’ll pay it $ 2341 minus.
    i think only that marketing staff of SIGMA are asshole, never other.

  184. Michael says:

    I recently have discovered the unique foveon image quality. I think that actually i don’t need the higher megapixel count of sd1 to enjoy , i do prefer to see pixel per pixel near whole 4,6 mp picture in my 27 imac than scanning its stunning detail(also delightful).
    I have also a nikon d7000 and it is a great camera specially in the low size pictures, may be due to some type of pixel binning, but ultimately lacks the tridimensionality of foveon, the pictures are rather flat and dead when compared to those of my sigma.
    This is the message they want to throw in first instance to all those
    bayer users , i think. i’m sure that we will se the sd1 for less than 3000 $ in a year.

  185. Anonymous says:

    B&H $6900.00….. now I feel better, its only competing with the D3x and the 1DS MKIII…I am sure that Nikon and Canon users will leave behind their high end glass and jump on this deal..


  186. David says:

    $9700 – hahahahaha

    $6700 – hahahahah

    What are they smoking at Sigma?

  187. hanpixxler says:

    I have a new “DP1s” bought for 190 Euro. A very cheap price for a camera with unbelievable clarity of the pictures. This price is the result of the completely incomprehensible price-policy by Sigma.

    They start at 10
    means 8
    wants 6
    get 4
    and ultimately sell it for 2 via ebay.

    And now they commit harakiri twice at the same time.
    They ruin the market for their other cameras. Who is willing
    to pay xxx Dollar for a SD15. Most people will wait what happens with the price. Including the angry people who have been waiting for the SD1.

    A selfmade nightmare with very, very few options for the future.

  188. Wolfgang says:


    You had a Body in the value from 7,500EUR to test ….. didn’t you suspect the value? because your first contribution proceeded still from a much smaller amount …..


  189. peterlp0 says:

    $igma $D1 $tupid price

    I am a professional photographer working in film and medium format (Mamiya) digital. I had considered the SD1 as a useful camera but that is no longer the case. It is an absolute non starter.

    Sigma should face reality and the reality is that the SD1 is not a 46mp camera. To achieve that sort of performance you would need to photograph a tailor made subject in a perfectly balanced spectrum of light. In normal circumstances I guess you can expect to achieve something in the region of 30mp, still fantastic for an APS sensor but this doesn’t make it an alternative to medium format, it falls way short of what professional photographers require in a system.

    Sadly, I think Sigma have created a major problem for themselves. Already I see the climate is beginning to change. What was eager anticipation is now changing to disbelief. People are now commenting on the negatives of the camera and not the positives. Instead of being launched into a welcoming market it will be released into a hostile one and for any new product launch this will be a disaster.

    My investment is to date modest and I am walking away from them. Good riddance if this is how they treat their customer base. You have my sympathy Carl, it was your enthusiasm and excellent website which attracted me to Sigma. I am sorry that, like other Sigma camera users, you have been slapped in the face.

    Hang your heads in shame Sigma.

  190. marc says:

    I think we need to stop to hate Sigma for this, my feeling is that they have issues. There was the earthquake, visibly they needed to absorb higher R+D, the Nikon trial … I think they are living through a dark hour for the moment and they don’t have a lot of choices. Mind you that it is not a mega corporation who can allocate cash reserves freely to go through ‘starvation periods’ or finance super-ambitious projects whose returns can only be expected years later, I think they just fell short on ressources and are trapped., In that sense they’ve been incredibly courageous to take up the challenge of developing their own sensor, it probably drove them to their limits. So although I’m sad that the SD1 won’t be for now, I express my sympathies to them, I think they’re probably just as devastated and disapointed by all this than us, it should have been their celebration and the whole thing just mutated into that nightmare.

    • Robin says:

      I second that. And even beside the natural disaster: I’ve no reason to complain or hate Sigma. I’d like to see a great and cheap Foveon as well, and I guess, even Sigma would also like to see this (and happy users). So if their new flagship is more expensive than any Foveon before, that’s the way things are!

      Don’t understand why so many people pretend to have insight to Sigma’s Interna so that they are able to say they must be kidding, doing wrong marketing, or whatever. I wonder if these people worked at Sigma themselves or have gotten more information about development, efficiency, costs, problems etc. than me.

      The only thing I’d like to see as well, agreeing with some others: Sigma should be more transparent. They should tell a little more what problems they are faced with, why a product costs a certain amount … and of course: always show whats the greatest benefit to the user. E. g. me: I don’t care about display, features, etc. Image quality is most important. =)

      What about being patient, being happy with upcoming great products, not being disappointed because of high prices and late market introduction. Sigma most probably doesn’t want to annoy anyone, quite the contrary I think! =)

  191. DisplayError says:

    Heck, Sigma might as well combine with Nikon… like what the different generations of Zeiss did or Konica-Minolta.
    Meanwhile, I’ll just keep shooting film… and some digital snap shots in between.

  192. marc says:

    YES, I want a Canon with Foveon pleeease!! ; ) I mean they already developed the technology … or maybe Sony would be interested, it’s kinda up their alley, and they already have Foveon similar patents. They also have Zeiss glass … not too shabby either.

  193. Karuso says:

    “I think we need to stop to hate Sigma for this, my feeling is that they have issues.”

    Yes, they have at least one huge issue, it’s called SD1.
    A catastrophic marketing strategy does not become any better under bad circumstances.

    If mentioned bad circumstances are responsible for the price tag, then I guess nobody will doubt Sigma will make a whole lot more money by selling at the expected price level.
    If higher R+D than expected is responsible for the price, well then they better should have done all the R+D BEFORE setting the price officially in the 7D range.
    Some only learn the hard way. Too bad, the Foveon technology has to suffer from their incompetence.

  194. marc says:

    Who knows maybe they’re really in deep sh** and are peeing their pants. Maybe the 2008-2009 recession left them weaker than expected at launch of program. Maybe they hoped they could stance the SD1 thing and R+D burned a unexpectedly huge hole in their finances, there were earthquakes, now there’s a trial, maybe their bank denied and/or cancelled a loan which would have allowed them to float the thing on the market at ‘Incentive’ price (with later returns from Lens sales bringing in profits) … who knows. It just seems unlikely that a company with robust financials and a A1 opportunity to acquire market share (if accepting to invest in a ‘Price incentive’ Strategy) would discard said opportunity just to make a quick buck in the short term.

  195. LionelB says:

    The merits or otherwise of the lawsuit will be decided by the courts. The question then is how the great camera (and lens) buying public will see the outcome. It is by no means a one way street.

  196. Dennis says:

    Ken Rockwell on the $D1 …

    “Simply by offering products at crazy prices, Sigma hopes that it gets some free publicity (as its getting here now) and that some people might make the mistake of presuming that it’s good just because it’s expensive”.

    Full article at

  197. richy says:

    Oh god, somebody woke Rockwell up :( I suppose he reckons it’s nowhere near as good as his d7000 which is so awesome he has to have a leica as well and somewhere along the line says sigma doesn’t make ‘professional’ products. Muppet.

    I don’t think we are hating sigma much, no more than they deserve for being misleading over the price (re 7d comments), mostly just disappointed. Such is life. I’m glad I found Carl’s site!

  198. PeteD says:

    It appears that there is now a “street price” for the SD1 which is some US$3000.00 less than the outrageous “release” price so that we now have an outrageous street price which squares a little better than the body camera plus kit lens price released a few days ago. The saga continues.

  199. PeteD says:

    Bit late answering your question as I’m in New Zeland and its early morning.
    Check out

    • Frankg says:

      I see, thank you.

      Let’s see what happens here (Germany).
      Actually it’s still about 7500€ (10700$)
      Hope it will change.

      By the way: great country you live in.



  200. PeteD says:

    typo: New Zealand

  201. r_jak says:

    The Titanic and a case of “Serious Ignorance of Market Alternatives” (SIGMA):
    The announcement of the sigma SD1 (Super Dollar 1st) has already registered in the history of the serious strategic errors of marketing.
    The exaggerated and unjustified price that SIGMA assigned to his flagship, caused strong indignation on the consumers and will make him, without doubts, lose many selling today and also in the future. It seems that the leaders of this project in the Company ignore that there are well defined segments on the DSLR’s market, and that the SD1 belongs to one of them (D300, 7D, E-5, K-5).
    A camera of conservative line and of very limited specifications, except for a new sensor of high definition but of doubtful efficacy as it was seen in the released samples, does not define a new segment.
    Regrettably the flagship of SIGMA woke up so much interest like in his time Titanic did, but it can lead to the division of cameras of the Company to the same destiny.

  202. GJM says:

    I suspect for Sigma to make a pricing decision of this magnitude it’s an indication of how superior they think the quality of the new sensor is. It may well be an industry leader but only once we start getting reliable reviews will we know just how revolutionary it is. I hope it will provide the impetus for other manufacturers to move into similar sensor technology and dump that image-degrading anti-aliasing filter. Ultimately though, at this price, the SD-1 is doomed to fail commercially. Too bad, they “.. could have been a contender.”

  203. Bill Lee says:

    Available in Hong Kong now.

    Selling at HKD63,500.

  204. Sebashi says:

    63500 Hong kong dollars means 5500 Euros … pfff
    Pricing are unstable …

  205. Foveonic says:

    Its not about hating Sigma, its about hating how poorly they manage their products. Lenses are announced and the take forever to show up…Cameras too.. Finally a camera shows up close to “as scheduled” and boom they price it in the pro range when it clearly does not have the chops to compete in the pro range. Except possibly in terms of IQ. Believe it or not…..just IQ is not enough. It is all up to the reviewers from here on out. They will have to review this camera at its street price against its peers. It clearly is lacking in some of the important areas. Focus points, High Iso, SA mount lens selection, Video, LCD, and its a crop sensor. These are just minor readily visible surface points so far. God forbid if the reviewers tear it up. Like they always do to sigma cameras. IMHO this camera should have been released into the wild with its peer group with the 7d, 60D, D300, K5 etc…..More bodies would be in the hands of Simga enthusiasts like me. I am pissed. I think that Sigma insiders truly love photography and want to build great cameras. But man do they suck at marketing……So, while I don’t hate Sigma and can’t begin to know the inside information that led to this decision I can still feel ripped off by this company. I am looking at other cameras at this point. The sorry thing is none of them provide the Sigma Foveon look that I so fell in love with…..Its a bummer. I will get over it eventually. I at least still have my beloved DP2.


  206. John says:

    anyway, one point to note, after looking at the sigma SD1 sample pics, I realised that there are no shots taken above ISO 200!! I really wonder what is the reason. And also, does anyone know what its high ISO performance looks like? :p

    • person says:

      firmware and image processing. wait for reviews.

      even among those awful samples, the ones shot with 0.9 firmware look noticeably better than the 0.6 firmware shots at pixel level.

  207. Dougbm says:

    I agree, the posted samples are underwhelming. Could have been shot on a SD15. Sigma can still rescue the situation if, as previously suggested they make the US$9,000+ release price inclusive of some quality lenses and then quickly drop the price to US$3000 for the body. I think Foveon enthusiasts would pay a 50% (even 100%) premium over an equivalent Canon/Nikon but not 500%!! Are they trying to put themselves out of business! What do you say Carl is the image quality so good that the camera is worth 5 x the price of a 7D etc?

  208. Robert Bride says:

    B&H has the SD1 listed for $6,899.00.

  209. Dennis says:

    Now, if Sigma could only make their cameras compatible (the same photo upload as iPhone) with Apple’s new iCloud then they would have something to shout about.

    Wonder if that will in any way be achievable with software apps and inbuilt wifi, or wifi memory cards???

    If not surely the whole digital camera industry has just been bowled a googly?

  210. Foveon DIE for it says:

    The SD 14 shipping at around 500£ from Germany
    The value of Sigma cameras are dropping faster than Lehman Brother shares .
    I guess that the SD1 will come down to 800£ very quickly taking into account the pretty awful true picture quality next to a superb 5D MKII guessed image .
    I sometimes wonder how Carl produces all these wonderful images taken with the awful Sigmas . ..well , he does own a lovely Canon , doesn’t he ?
    Hope I will not be censored from this side even though I am very critical .

    • Patrik Emmoth says:

      Because Carl knows how to work with his Sigmas, how to make a correct exposure at the right circumstances!))

      • Foveon DIE for it says:

        Come on . Do you really mean that ?
        This sounds like a slap into the face of thousands of Sigma users including me . The truth is that browsing sides Flickr etc. there are mostly mediocre photos from the Sigmas to be seen . Basically technical flaws originating from the Sigma sensor . The percentage of good pictures is very very low . Canon 5D is 99% top all the time .
        Carl’s pictures just stand out too much . They look very similar to Canon quality .
        The Sigma marketing comes down to something of a religious belief in a better future that will never come or has already been conquered by Canon or Nikon .

        • Patrik Emmoth says:

          Come on what? If any its your statement that is a slap in the face of sigma users!! I dont have any problem taking good pics with my DP1s under right conditions! Listen to Sergey, he has a point!!

    • Sergey says:

      The choice is illusion, the boundary between those at whom is the power and that at whom it isn’t present.

      Sigma it is a boundary between those who is able to photograph and that who presses buttons.

      • Karuso says:

        >> Sigma it is a boundary between those who is able to photograph and that who presses buttons. <<
        Oh my, could you please stop such comments? Sounds like from a fanatic sect leader about the one and only true way…
        Foveon already has enough accusations of gathering blindfolded fanboys. Even more so than Leica, who also have some users talking of the single proper equipment for true photography.

        Even Carl, for sure some of the best photographers using Foveon cameras, sometimes uses Canon or Nikon equipment.
        So does he only do that when he feels like "just pushing some buttons"? I doubt that.
        You should be ashame of such narrow minded brand loyalty.

        • Patrik Emmoth says:

          When it comes to Leica, there is a good reason why many pros choose a M9 and Leica lenses for many of there work! But they usually have also a Nikon or a Canon and some brand of MF format down the road! I wouldnt call Leica fans, users of all levels blindfolded fanboys!! Leica has superior build quality and superior optics, its that simple! It will last you a lifetime! You shouldnt jump to so harsh conclusions! No one here is a blindfolded fanboy, or fanatic sect leader! And there are no talks about the one true way! There are many ways to approaching a subject, and your choice of tools to capture that moment! People have right to have there opinions, and maybe sometimes the statement has to be taken with a pinch of salt! Dont read to much in, that isnt there in the first place! And dont say that someone should be ashamed, or narrow minded! Personal assault is not the way to go! And by the way, all people are narrow minded in one way or another, its in our nature! Your statement is a good example of that!))
          Within this culture, economics—not community well-being, not morals, not ethics, not justice, not life itself—drives social decisions. (Derreck Jensen)

          • Karuso says:

            Please read my comment again. I never criticized Leica equipment in any way, also not all of their users in general. Just the attitude of SOME users, mostly those just buying into the brand for posing reasons. Perhaps you have to frequent more Leica forums – except a lot of very good photographers there, you will also find some of those users I mentioned.

            If the sentences: >> Sigma it is a boundary between those who is able to photograph and that who presses buttons. […] the boundary between those at whom is the power and that at whom it isn’t present. << doesn't sound "fanboy'ish", then which comment ever could?

            I criticize Sergey for his choice of words and you criticize me for my choice of words, where's the difference?

            By the way, putting exclamation marks at the end of every single sentence, pretty much deprives the whole point of these punctuation marks.

            Have a nice day and don't get upset so easily. ;)

  211. Foveon DIE for it says:

    I meant the new SD15 .

  212. Foveonic says:

    Now thats another good point….if these SD1’s don’t sell at this crazy price point Sigma will have to endure the embarassment of the steadily falling price. That is if they aren’t to proud to lower the price. This camera is sunk at this price range if it turns out to have unacceptable noise levels at 3200……I am dreading the reviews..


  213. aurin says:

    i find it easy to make very good sigma photos, have used the dp1 and dp2, absolutely needing raw processing, and i find spp to be the best to bring out the special live feeling

    everyone seeing my photos find the colour and sharpness unique, and i am always surprised when i develop the raw files, as the camera lcd is so poor, and jpgs mostly boring

  214. odyseuss says:

    Yet another SD1 unboxing from Japan, plus some ISO tests:

    Japanese blogger ちぇり小屋:

    ISO 100 ~ 6400 test shots, compared with Canon EOS 7D:

  215. Person says:

    WOW… put this raw in SPP:
    Turn noise reductions off and set sharpness to -2. That’s the unadulterated quality of SD1!!

    I think I like this shot best in neutral color mode.
    It could have been even sharper if he shot at a lower f-stop.

  216. marc says:

    Thanks Person ! … finally some RAW files to play with without all the weird settings and interpolations.
    SOOOO … yes it looks ‘Foveon great’ at 100% and when exported with the ‘Same Size’ setting. GREAT, and I’m happy to finally see this !!! However not at all sure about the ‘Double Size’ thingy (which is I suppose the claimed 45+MP resolution).
    So … all in all a very lovely 15MP cam for 6500USD. Ok, files are stretchable till 30+MP; and probably much more (you know, Billboards were printed with 20MP Backs back in the early days, so from a certain resolution on it’s all relative). Still the whole 45+MP thing and justifying the price tag in regards to that … it’s a little bit made up by some of the marketing guys, it’s not exactly very transparent as a statement.

  217. Paul Paris says:

    this photo and also the one of the cups of tea has a reddish cast, can correct in postprocessing, no problem. Looking at 100% (and 200%), hmm.. same resolution as my K-5 , perhaps the color transitions are smoother, but not sure about that.
    Editing “double size” doesn’t work (become a stretched out picture, very strange).
    MF quality? become on Sigma it’s equal with the top of APS..

  218. marc says:

    I mean thinking in price-ranges : I’d favour a SD1 output over a Leica, I’m sure there will be people like the guys at SigmaCumLaude who will mod the mount to accept Leica glass. Hmm Sigma should license Foveon to Leica, at least you’d get a truly sexy looking camera for the excessive money… as price-point/pricing strategy are similarly irrational anyhow ; )

  219. Dennis says:

    Interesting read today on

    Acuity -v- pixel count

    “Be careful that you’re actually getting a meaningful benefit if you pursue the more pixel strategy. Foveon users, for instance, will be quick to point out that the acuity is higher for their cameras despite a lower pixel count. If acuity is what you seek, adding pixels isn’t necessarily the right solution”.

  220. Person says:

    Come on, much sharper than K-5. You just need to bring out the detail properly, with a careful two-pass unsharp mask after exporting with -2 sharpness. K-5 raw process is just nicer out of the box, doesn’t mean it’s actually better.

    The double size option in SPP isn’t good, but if you export as TIFF you can do your own upsizing much better in another program. You can upsize the files 200% no problem and they look great if you know what you are doing.

  221. marc says:

    @ Person, it still doesn’t make it a 45MP camera, the discussion is more about the justification of the price-tag. So it’s just to answer the question : Is this a true 45MP camera or not? In my opinion, and judging from the reactions of others to the interpolated image examples out there, it is not.

    So what we’re confronted here is a quite irrational price-tag as is typical for Leica or maybe the Nikon D3x.

    To give you another example : I can very easily upsample images to double the size with my 5DMKII, Capture One actually has a really good interpolation algorithm, it doesn’t however make it a 40MP camera and Canon does not advertise it as such. Yes Yes, the Foveon is three layers and blablabla and etc., but in the end of the day if you want that 45+MP resolution it all still boils down to crude upsampling. I just don’t wanna hear any of that 45MP marketing gibberish anymore.

    • Richard says:

      « Is this a true 45MP camera or not? In my opinion, […] it is not ».
      And yet, the SD1 really process 45Mp of information, when you take a shot…

  222. Person says:

    The price is total insanity, yes.

    However, I do think it can make images/prints that are competitive with a 645D.

    The main problem with the price is lack of pro support, lenses, quality control, tethering, and other top end features.

    It even has advantages such as FPS and ISO range, small and lighter body. Image quality is not the issue.

  223. Pingback: Sigma SD1 to ship in early June | Fotografie

  224. Paul Paris says:


    I didn’t say the K5 is much better, I – think – the resolution of K5 is the same as SD1, @ 80 iso and a top prime. That’s what I mean to see in the RAW files now floating on the internet.
    The problem at this moment is that the sensors (Bayer or Foveon) have such a big potential of resolution that you have to use top-optics. Resolution wise Bayer and Foveon are now perhaps matching each other (APS) it’s now more a matter of character of the picture, Foveon colors may have better transitions and the perception of sharpness over the whole picture is more balanced, although postprocessing of Bayer can minimalize this difference. And than other things come around the corner in choosing a camera: how is the buffer? how reliable is the AF?, is there LV for critical focusing ? a re there good primes up to the corners ? and so on…

    • Erich says:

      Paul i’m with you. My girlfriend uses a Sony Alpha 55V, mostly with the 16-80mm Zeiss-Zoom and some older Minolta fixfocus lenses (for example the 50mm f3,5 macro). Last Weekend we did a very straight portrait-test (only with sunlight some caches and reflectors) in our garden, just to look how sharp and how many details the sensor is able to generate. Comparing with the Portrait-raw-file from the link in here, there still is a difference. But the Alpha 55V (same sensor as the K-5) costs about 650,- Euro streetprice. Some older but very good Minolat lenses are offered under 1000,- Euro (for example the 85mm f1,4 G D) which can bring the best out of the sensor. In summary you spend less than a tenth for 85-90% image-quality of the SD1.
      The SD1 is to expensiv, even for foveon-fanboys, for what you get on the end of the day.
      (Once again – sry for the broken english)

  225. Person says:

    SD1 is definitely NOT a true 45mp camera.

    However, it CAN create images and prints that are competitive with (although not better than) 30+ MP bayer cameras.

    If the low-iso raws are processed correctly, with the over-sharpening and default noise reduction off (which has smeared so many samples), you will see that they are significantly sharper than a K5 + prime, or in most cases even a 5D mark ii. Per pixel especially, it’s no contest.

    The scientific reviews will back this up, wait and see. There’s also a lot of room for improvement on the SD1 raw processing software, which is sure to get better over time.

  226. Pingback: Sigma SD1 to ship in early June | X3 test

  227. Foveonic says:

    Well…my final message on the SD1. Sigma, you have offered me nothing in the last several years that is worth going for…same sensor and spatial resolution. I do love my DP2 and I will not part with it….because it may be the last shot I will ever get at the Foveon Sensor. You have done something so stupid that I cannot even fathom it. Unless you have some amazing technology hidden in the SD1 that is currently unknown, this camera is sunk. You have stunted the spread of this technology right at the time I thought you were going to open up the playing field. I have yet to see or pixel peep a single image from the SD1 as of yet that is worthy of the price you have set. I have yet to read about a single specification that warrants the bizzare price level. I can only conclude that someone is nuts at Sigma and has way to much power. Bad move….I must jump ship. I hope you straighten this mess out, I really, really do…….I love Foveon images. I have just ordered a Canon full-frame. It will not satisfy in some ways, but the resolution is present and it can make some very good pictures. You stole me from Canon several years ago, I now return. Best wishes to all…..

  228. says:

    Thanks to Sigma, I’ve just bought a Sony DSLR, 24MP, full frame (Alpha 850), with Carl Zeiss’ lenses … I do that for half the SD1 price!

  229. Michael says:

    I would wait the sd1 price drop, probably sooner than we think of, before make huge investment on new equipment, specially if you truly appreciate the 3D quality on Foveon, not only the resolution.
    Thanks, Carl for helping me to discover Sigma+Foveon.

  230. marc says:

    Just ordered a used Canon EOS 1N film camera for 170 bucks, compatible with all my L-lenses … film here I come, really looking forward to the beauty of the images !

  231. John Driggers says:

    Well, it appears that the SD1 that Sigma gave away in their US anniversary contest is now for sale on eBay. Hmmm. Can’t sell them and apparently can’t give them away.

    My guess is that Sigma had serious problems with the sensor production and had VERY low yields. So they really can’t supply a market that might want 5-10,000 SD1’s. Maybe they can only produce 2-300 bodies. Hence, the pricing is designed for you not to buy. It’s may have nothing to do with recouping costs and everything to do with being unable to produce the camera in sufficient quantities to actually bring it to market.

    This is, of course, just speculation–like virtually all of the other comments about why Sigma priced the camera as they did.

    The speculation about why (even mine) is really unimportant. Whether they had a good reason or were just incredibly greedy or stupid just doesn’t matter. Getting a true answer about why merely satisfies our curiosity about a bizarre event.

    What matters is that no matter how good the sensor, the camera will not sell in sufficient numbers at the current price to have any real impact on the professional or amateur camera market. The feature set is not professional, the lens mount is limiting, there’s no real “camera system” behind the camera, and there’s little guarantee that there will be any follow-on development and growth post SD-1.

    So, whether you are really pissed off or merely chagrined by these event, the history of the Foveon DSLR has probably come to an end for you–unless you have more money than judgment.

    Like most of you , I am saddened by this.

    Regards JD

    • Robin says:

      I agree with most of your writing. I’d also say it’s a legitimate pricing of the SD1 if Sigma isn’t able to produce an adequate stock. It’s the only possible way then. And I suggest hardly anyone is that much into the company to tell this for true. But there seem to be (too) many simply claiming things like Sigma is doing wrong by pricing, etc. … But I’d also say, there might be reasons why it’s not possible to make it cheaper and a lot of more units.

      I just hope Sigma is succeeding in making photographers trust in Foveon and in its future. I’m not happy myself because I can’t afford a SD1. Yet I’m not really pissed off. I don’t feel like Sigma turning away from me and concentrating on rich professional photographers now. I recently purchased a new DP2x, and comparing to my DP1 it’s obviously improved in AF and White Balance. It’s a great new cam and affordable to a lot of less rich but enthusiastic people. There was and is no alternative at this price. It’s worth the money! I hope Sigma will have a great financial income with this series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)