Interesting read..

Michael Reichman from Luminous landscape wrote an article yesterday trying to somehow bring clearness into the pricing of the SD1. It’s well worth a read.

btw, somewhere in some post there must have been a <strong> or <b> without an end </b> because now I have lots of bold text everywhere. :/ Trying to fix.. Also as some of you noticed, my site went down yesterday due to heavy traffic. Thanks for all emails reminding me. :)

Btw #2. Don’t pixel peek those jpeg’s posted on Sigmas site too much – They’re developed from RAW and saved as pretty low compressed JPEG’s – White balance is definitely not perfect in some of the samples it seams so wait for my RAW pack before judging too much.

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. :)
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112 Responses to Interesting read..

  1. Kenneth says:

    After waiting for months, finally have the SD1 launch. Now, seems the waiting game continue. Either wait for SIGMA to change her mind or wait for picking up a SD1 few years later at clearance sale (just like my SD14). Wish that the 1st batch quantity is large enough to stay a float in the market. Really not sure there’s any sales order for them to build the 2nd batch under this situation.

    At least the machine is built and release to the wild. There is still hope to get one. Just not sure … how long on this waiting game..

  2. Christian Hass says:

    It just seems odd if Sigma really planned to go into the professional market with the SD1.

    There’s a lot more to it than just a camera body. They don’t have a lot of lenses that would be considered worthy of a high price camera It’s a crop sensor which would probably make people worry right off the bat, and Sigma’s reputation for camera bodies and firmwares definetely isn’t up to the same standard as the competition.

    Competing with Leicas and high end Nikons and Canons is going to be rough.

    Then there is support and servicing, they’re not going to sell millions of SD1s so what about spare parts and trained personel? I don’t imagine a lot of professionals would appreciate having to wait for their camera to be shipped off for repairs in Japan.

    It really feels like either a concept camera, “See what we can do, we’ll make an affordable version in a couple of years”, or a choice they were forced into when they realized that the camera would end up being too expensive for their existing customer base.

  3. designdef says:

    Got to say, Michael Reichman’s ‘summing up of the situation’ article is absolutely brilliant, really well thought out and logically considered, it even has positive suggestions for the Sigma management of what to do to save the situation. I’d like to think they would act on Michael’s suggestions but…. from past experience they’re far more likely just to delay the release of press sample cameras until it’s forgotten about.
    Aren’t Japanese executives supposed to appear on television and have a good cry when they have made a mistake? :)
    Carl, sorry if all this has cost you dearly with your bandwidth etc. Please bill Sigma monthly until it’s all sorted!

  4. marc says:

    Great news for the raw package looking forward to that.

    Otherwise it’s all about waiting I guess, either they just produce minute amounts and it’s gonna stay at that price range, or they’ll have trouble selling it at this price point in which case the price will come down. And there’s also some new stuff that’s going to come out from the other guys, maybe there’s something exciting, Sony could be fiddling with some interesting concepts … I don’t care that much about resolution, 20 MP works for most, the only thing which bugs me is that I like the density of the Foveon, it’s very film like and less flimsy than Bayer, theres’s a density and coherence in the gradations from grey’s to highlight that is really difficult to have with other makes, you can get close to it but it takes a lot of ‘curve work’ in post-prod, multiple raw-developments at different exposures, all that jazz. In my opinion the SD1 is what would finally be a decent digital equivalent to 35mm film. A pity that Sigma is obsessed by the MF idea. The market will prove that they’re wrong but yeah, it’s gonna take one or two years before all this normalizes.

  5. marc says:

    I might honestly switch for film … have you seen this juicy density

    or look at these colors, interesting article too btw.

    I was really hoping to get that kind of density with the SD1, the film-look is post-prodable (and optional depending on your tastes, but the density is there) … damn, it’s really a bummer.

    BTW included my website with my ‘hobby shots’ for the first time not sure if it’s you’re style, it’s a lot of attempts to create film-looks and not so sure if it always panned out, and you never get away from the digital look ; ) Oh well … it’s only a hobby, won’t let myself grow grey hair over this.

  6. Person says:

    Carl dearest,

    When can we expect a raw pack, and how will we be able to look at it without SPP5?

    Or can we download SPP5?

    • Carl Rytterfalk says:

      Hi Paul, :)

      Well, I have a kind of dead line which is sometimes in the first half of June – and I’m expecting the SD1 to arrive in time for me to do some real shooting with the real deal so to speak. From the time I have the real camera you can expect lots of images and some nice RAW’s to download. I will leave for China the 26th of June and stay there for a little more than a month. I’ll use it a lot over there and also try to post some as well.

      PS. It sometimes says I’m Paul Pedersen – which I’m not. I had to use his name once to move his comment from one thread to another (on his request) And now his name is following me as a ghost when I reply. :). I hope this was the last time. grrr

  7. Dome says:

    Those are kinds of reading that make me wonder how much free is certain press…..

    Clearly the photos on the sigma site show the lenses limits, btw the center resolution of your horse shot and the rock wall shot speak for themselves.

    • Person says:

      Actually, Dpreview will be posting sample images – one of their staff (Andy Westlake) posted on their Sigma forum saying that they are waiting for the finished release camera before posting images.

      Sigma insisted they don’t show pictures from firmware 0.9.

      of course, the hilarious thing is that Sigma themselves did on their own site, even older firmware! not a well-run marketing division.

  8. Filip U. says:

    You need SPP 5 in order to view the RAW files since no 3rd party software don’t have the new algorythms.
    Once SD1 starts to ship, SPP 5 will be available shortly after on Sigmas site. That’s pretty much how it has been since SD9/SD10 times.

    As for RAW packs availability, I guess that will happen when Carl recieves his SD1 and I think even Carl doesn’t know when that will be.

  9. Dan says:

    You have the most animated photography site on the web at the moment. Google places you on top of searches on this topic. Thanks for hosting it and offering your insight into the SD1.

    • Carl Rytterfalk says:

      Hi Dan, thanks. I feel like I’m not offering anything at the moment, but most of you are – and I’m grateful for that!

  10. rtrski says:

    Has anyone else seen the relatively new posts by “KAF18500″ on dpreview? Might be a red herring, but almost sounds like someone internal to Sigma with some of the implied knowledge, e.g. “internal discussions are going on” later in this thread:

    I guess I’m still a little bit in denial and hoping they’ll change their mind, but I’m already researching a Sony A55 and considering waiting for the A77 before any purchase. If Sigma drops the street price back down to sub-$3k (and there’s enough units I can actually get one), they could still win my business. Even though the A77 is rumored to be coming out at about $1k!

    Please think bout it Sigma. Business – including all the followon lenses I need to buy – is yours to lose.

  11. Alberto says:

    Hi Carl,

    congratulations, great traffic here from the SD1 release,

    I am one that don´t will do pixel peeping on Sigma samples or on your RAW pack, at that price I can´t afford it :-)

    • Person says:

      Carl, you should inform Sigma of how much traffic your site is getting.

      This will give them an idea of how many SD1’s they could (SHOULD) be selling, and how many customers they are driving away instead!

  12. marc says:

    @ rtrski, thanks for info.

    I think it’s all about waiting and drinking tea. Can’t imagine that Sigma will not register the feedback, inevitably the SD1 will land somewhere in a softer price range, short or long term. Either Sigma smartly navigating their way out of this, or market forces will act on the pricing dynamic of this product, either way is fine for me.

  13. marc says:

    If you come to think about it Canon’s 5D Mark II (and upcoming 30MP Mark III) is the contender in this game, people can roughly do the same with both SD1 and 5DMKII.


    46MP resolution is rarely needed in client/budget situations which do not allow for MF. So we’re talking catalogue, editorial, work for companies who don’t advertise on Billboards, all the ‘below the line’ stuff’ … for all the big ‘above the line’ stuff it’s going to be MF anyhow.

    So if SD1 wants to stand a chance it needs to challenge 5D MKII price-point, and if I say challenge, even a little bit below would be a good incentive.

    What would even be better would be to offer people a ‘buy-back’ program of their used Canon/Nikon kits in exchange of a good price for SD1 and pro-lens lineup, that would really take the market by storm. I’d actually be willing to trade in my 5D MKII and 50 1.2, 100 2.8, 24-70 2.8 and pay like 2500-3000 Eur for a new SD1 kit, lenses to be determined.

    • Don Cox says:

      46MP may not be needed, but a clean genuine 15 or 20MP is definitely needed if we are to have digital cameras equal to the best in 35mm.

      20MP with a Bayer mosaic is not of this standard.

  14. Florian says:

    AF confirm Nikon G to Canon. (livraison le 19)
    2x95mm shade hood, customs le 19.

    Roksen : Eyepiece + items (tjrs au customs depuis le 15 !)

    What really amazes me is that, after 12 years of DSLR cameras, we are still fighting to produce high dynamic range film like pictures & willing to pay an extremely high price for it. With film cameras, consumer and pros were just depending on the glass & the film, but we now still keep waiting for film-like results to happen & camera brands like sony, nikon or canon are not playing a fair game by not comming out with a similar solution than Sigma’s foveon sensor.

    Yes, this is all about marketing and Ca-Nikon try to keep consumers buying & buying dslr cams each 2 new years to avoid the market collapse (which has been defined to happen in 2010-2014) but I am not willing to play the MP or tech race anymore.

    I invested 2-4K last 2 years in pro Nikon lenses but kind of regret it each time I shoot a back-light photograph, even while bracketing, the photos just look flat & lifeless regarding 6×7 film shots. In other situations (well controlled light) those “bayer sensored” cams behave just fine, but nothing really appealing compared to film. Besides, every raw file needs a huge amount of post-production, which brings me to think > is shooting digital really faster than film? No. As a landscape or portrait photographer, definitively, no. As a consumer photog, even less. (but as an action or wedding shooter, DSLR may be the best solution)
    If you can take the time to think about your framing, subject, lighting, film is the easiest way for sure. Just put the right film roll with a preset curve (pro 400H, velvia, neopan etc…), think about your compositions & number of frames and just shoot right. Then, let it print. This is the way Henri Cartier Bresson was shooting; he just enjoyed the shooting part & the results.

    That beeing said, I am not waiting for a Nikon mount SD1, or Nikon style Foveon & video Foveon abilities to produce film like 50-400 ISO digital shots. Now I am back into my darkroom printing b&w directly from t-max negs; No hassle on the computer, just the magic of true photography without any overdone post prod.


  15. Bernard says:

    Waving that wand again and… and… Yay the price has dropped:

  16. marc says:

    @Don, MP3s aren’t vinyl or CD standard either, from a commercial point of view it’s not as if the world would care, people listen to it. Photographers working with 20MP Bayer sell their stuff … that’s why, commercialy and in terms of marketplace evaluation the Foveon look can only be quantified as a ‘added value’, it’s a plus, but not a definitive sales argument. We love it, but there’s many people who don’t really think the differences are that dramatic.
    I also agree with Florian … the whole idea of progress through digital is more or less an invention of marketing people, and we’re being put through the paces to buy every two years for things than don’t equal quality as was standard 30 years ago. The Sigma SD1 seemed to right that, but then at this pricepoint it wrongs it again.

  17. Is this as close I’ll ever get to actually see one ???

    The locale shop had a Pentax 645D in the case a mere 78K Dkr + lens of cause.

  18. Barrie Grieve says:

    Body only price $9700
    Body and lens (30mm 1.4) “Kit” $7359
    REAL Body only price @$6900
    If the IQ was outstanding I think I would go up to $4000, but it would have to be SCARY GOOD. If they priced it at $2000-2500 I think there would be a waiting list ;-p
    btw I am NOT a pro, just really keen amateur and somebody who has just recently”discovered” the magic of Foveon sensors (SD14) and loves the idea of film like digital imaging.

    P.S. Imagine a 30″x20″ metallic print of a pristine landscape then the niggles about the price might just be softened a little, now imagine it was a 60″x40″ print…

  19. I think he hit the nail on the head with the analogy of a 1000 dollar camera body with 8700 dollars sensor in it. As much as I love my Foveon its not possible to deliver that much premium value.

  20. Preben says:

    The interesting questions now are:

    1) Will there be a SD16 for normal people with a better sensor than in SD15?

    2) Will there be a DP3 or equivalent camera with exchangeable lenses

    I’m still wondering about getting a DP1 (I have a DP2 which I like a lot (sensor-wise))

    • rtbox says:

      pull the trigger on that one Preben, if you enjoyed the DP2 you’ll no doubt love the wider DP1 as well. Sensor-wise it’s just as good.

  21. Tom Schum says:

    The street price of the SD15 is US$989 and the Sigma USA website price used to be US$2500. This means the street price was 40% of the website price. Now the Sigma USA website price is newly changed to US$1500 and the street price is about 66% of the website price.
    So I guess that means the SD1 street price will be 66% of US$9700 = US$6400. Much too expensive for me, ever…too bad.
    Interesting to see the price of the 85mm F1.4 is US$1400 on the website and the street price is US$899. This is 64%. So it looks like Sigma is pricing its cameras like it prices its lenses. This makes perfect sense, but I still can’t afford the SD1. Maybe in a year or so it will be down to US$4000. I can still hope for this.

  22. Mike says:

    I think Sigma might have done this because they wouldn’t be able to meet demand for the camera. Not for any other technical reason other than they are Sigma. I think Sigma is trying to save itself from another SD15 debacle and is pricing the camera out of reach so no one in their right mind will buy one because really there is no camera to buy, but as long as it is for sale at any price people are not waiting for it to come to market any more. Now they are just waiting for the price to drop.

    There is no reason this camera costs this much. Sigma sadly must have some dumb logic behind it, but honestly I have no time for a company like this and there is no reason they deserve my money. No SD1 for me, never, no more Sigma lenses in any mount for me ever again.

    In the past I had been able to stomach the quirks and qualms of buying Sigma products. Things like focus issues, poor quality control and paint that can’t stay on lenses because of the image quality I could get was at a price that was reasonable and therefor worth enduring. Not anymore for me. Never again.

    I’m still in shock. This should have been Sigma’s big moment, where everyone would have finally started to take them seriously and where they could have gained a larger market share, but obviously that’s not what they want. They just want to be dumb.

    Sorry Sigma it is obvious you’re a bunch of dumbasses that like to lead your customers on for months at a time only to deliver poorly executed halfassed products. In my book you suck and will never get any of my money again.

  23. richy says:

    Another interesting read :)

    I’m impressed, better than I expected.

    • Filip U. says:

      Considering that I’ve held on of those in my hands, that is why I am getting one myself… OS really is stable enough to warrant that 4-stop claim. Oh and sharpness… Oh and Carl has one…

  24. Emaad says:


    This abnormal price for SD1 looks like a marketing gimmick. It looks SD1 will be sold around 1000$. It seems marketing monkeys have delibrately priced it as 10000$ :))

    Okay but why?

    Just see people here and on websites, blogs, websites are really discussing about SD1 Pricing :)) everyone annoyed and discussing about SD1. If it is a 1000$ camera than certainly sigma marketing is a hit. :))

  25. richy says:

    Emaad, I understand what you are saying, but if that is the case it has backfired. They will upset the few who actually buy it at that and the many who waited for it at ~1700 and are now going to bail to another system not to return. Yes it has generated much comment, but the majority of it has been along the lines of “what berkshire hunts”.

    It would seem the real price is dropping, and I am waiting to see some real shots from a production model released by somebody independent before making any serious decisions, but it would seem they are playing a very risky game. 3-5k is about the max they can look at for this camera, not really because of the camera itself (although everything bar the sensor is midrange as others have said) but because of the support.

    There is also a lot to be said for the lack of lenses capable of living up to the sensor. Having said that it would seem that sigma have started to release some very high quality glass of late, their 50 1.4, 85 1.4 and 120-300 seem to be stunning (other than the usual QC issues). I think now is time to watch rather than buy or switch systems (as the tsunami has made everything very expensive of late, sorry if that comes across as inhuman but it is also a reality).

    Adding a canon or nikon mount would be a boon in some ways but sigma won’t do it. It would kill sales of sigma mount lenses. It would make it easier to migrate.

  26. Dennis says:

    Yes, they’ve created a lot of publicity, but it’s all bad and damaging publicity which will destroy the customers faith in the brand not enhance it whatever they do next?

    I’m really looking forward to Carl’s take on this once the dust settles.

  27. Emaad says:

    Richy if the price is real than we should forget about SD1. This price suits medium format DSLRs. One can buy a whole photographic system in this price. Full frame body with plenty of sexy lenses :)

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  29. ka_tate says:

    Nikon sues Sigma…, is this the reason for the SD1 price?

    • Person says:

      no, that can’t be the reason.

      a bad business move is always bad. if they are losing money from this lawsuit, why would they price the SD1 higher to lose even more money from lost sales??

      • Dennis says:

        Agreed a bad business move is always a bad business move.

        But just a thought, and pure speculation … Maybe they are just wanting to sell off a few tens of pre-production units and haven’t the money to commit to full production / minimum production runs / tooling / stock build, etc.

        Committing to full production must be an expensive move when their resources may be needed to repel borders in court?

        I think Carl is doing the right thing by only commenting on the product and performance aspects and leaving the price and marketing speculation to the rest of us (we all seem to be rather good at speculation :-)

        $igma will have had reasons for their actions and we’ll find out these reasons in the fullness of time. Carl’s web site will still be relevant to us Foveon enthusiasts whatever now happens at $igma so he’s making a good move for the future of his site by staying above the speculation till the truth’s out.

    • Preben says:

      No. Have a look at what Thom Hogan has to say about it. I think it is bang on…

      • Dennis says:

        See what you mean. If Cannon and Nikon co-exist reasonably happily together and their real competition is m4/3 then they’d want to stop VR lens technology spreading to that market. Thom H insightful as always …

  30. Person says:

    agreed, although i’m not sure your theory makes sense.

    they would not hike the price just to sell a limited production run. there is no business advantage to this and it’s terrible PR.

    doesn’t do anybody any favours.

  31. marc says:

    Here are some other business ideas that Sigma can work on:

    1) A $700 mobile phone that won’t make calls unless it’s plugged in

    2) A small $1,300 personal audio player that only plays 8-bit WAV files

    3) A $7,000 crop rangefinde… wait… Leica already did that. Nevermind

    Great sense of humour/sarcasm though … almost peed my pants. Comic relief …

  32. Joshua says:

    This is another interesting thing, ( but not about SD1)

    This guy in China modifies DPx series to fit ZM and Leica lens.
    The name list are those who want to send their DPx to the guy for modifying.

    • THIS is interesting – And I want to send mine. :D I should have a page made for him here on my site. Not sure if that qualifies as advertisement – but it’s just SO cool what he does! (I don’t like ads)

      • LionelB says:

        The ceramic surface of the bowls gives the sensation of touching it; the little splinters in the bamboo wood too … It is more like holding the things in your hands than seeing them. That is the look. What we all take delight in. Lovely Zeiss lenses too :-)

        • Person says:

          100% agree!!!

          …but Carl, why haven’t we seen any examples like this from the SD1? So far it seems like a step backward in terms of image quality. Why?

      • Joshua says:

        I don’t really know how he controls the shutter. The guy said he has some methods to control shutter speed by adding an extra shutter module ( which ordered from japan), but there is no detail revealed.

        And, how much and how to pay is not mentioned also.
        But the result is still very amazing, here is the link which shows he using the contax-G body+Sigma DP1 sensor to take a photo: (an early prototype in 2008)

  33. David Davies says:

    I use a SD14 (not enough as I should) – best thing to get all the angst out is to grab your Sigma and go take pictures. Ok so I won’t now own an SD1 but it does not stop me from using my SD14. Disappointed? You bet yes – but thats life I guess. I’m looking forward to the first in depth tests of the SD1 to see what I will now be missing but I think, for me its time to move on and get snapping(if you can do such a thing with an SD14!). I’ve lurked and read many fascinating posts here(thank you all) but I need to get over it – keep calm and carry on!

    • Or – come here! :D Have a ride using mine – I will have it, no matter the price. And my gear is always playable for friends.

      But going out taking pictures with the current gear might be the best solution so far – they delivered before and they will deliver again even if there is something better to be had.

  34. David Davies says:

    Carl – you are too kind. Your offer may be the only way I’d get to handle an SD1!

  35. Canon EOS 5D Mk II says:

    Hahaha , really stupid joke that price for the SD1 .
    Even the image quality of my old 5D with the 90€ 50mm 1,8 II lens on , looks better than the SD1 samples with expensive lenses .
    I guess that Sigma thinks that starting sky high might prevent it from selling it at 500€ after a few months like the SD14 lol .
    I have noticed that dark shadows still look dam awful even at ISO100 ….as disappoiting as my old and long gone SD9 and SD10 .
    I sometimes think that the Sigma followers act like a sect …they cannot see even with their eyes open . Canon’s pixel guessing with their Bayer technology still outperforms Sigma’s true but bad looking pixels …this I can tell you by experience …and I am not going into length about the broad range of lenses available for Canon for small and big cash and the excellent handling of a Canon body . Sometimes really pathetic the stuff I read from the Sigma community .

    • Paul, you have seen nothing yet. :) The 5D Mark II is a really nice camera but it’s no SD1. There are times when the SD1 produces mind blowing images for sure. Just saying.

      • Person says:

        This makes me think there must be something wrong with the samples on the SD1 site. I hope so… you’re getting my hopes up Carl!

    • Karuso says:

      How glad I am actually owning and working with 5 different systems from 5 different companies and enjoying all of them – for different reasons.
      The last thing I want to become is some blindfolded fanboy (be it Canon, Sigma or whatever) as you obviously are… ;)

  36. marc says:

    Wohoo Mr. Mighty Canon shooter, a truly interesting contribution. Many people here ALSO own Canon 5D MK IIs and still interested in the Foveon so your commentary is kind of a non-starter.

  37. My gawd… What kind of stuff the Sigma’s marketing guys are smoking ? You know me, I’m a very passionate SD15 and DP2 user but… Who the hell on earth will pay more than $2K in this camera ? The fact is that Sigma has just a very few really outstanding lenses, and we all know about the dubious quality control that haunts all Sigma’s products. The ONLY Sigma lenses I have that has an impressive quality is the 70/2.8 EX DC Macro and the 100mm. I don’t like the 30mm, poor borders and a LOT of back focus problems.

    For this price tag, take an used Hasselblad, Mamyia or Pentax medium format cameras. At least they have world class optics available.

    I was planning to buy the SD and convert it to Leica-R mount, but at this price I would go for… A LEICA !

    All this thing will be an EPIC FAIL, unless they fing a niche of very-rich-and-dumb people to buy the SD1 at this price.

    I’m very very disapointed with Sigma.

  38. marc says:

    The Canon 5D MKII is a neat camera … Annie Leibovitz did the official shots of the Queen of England with it, it’s good, great performance, great lenses. I own one, I like it very much, a great deal at that price-point.

    Foveon I’m not at all after the sharpness, I can only think of some textile or jewelry shots where it’s great not to have AA, for the other stuff it’s not really that crazy important, I actually dislike overly sharp stuff, it’s nerdy and looks digital and uninteresting.

    What I love about the Foveon is that there’s a certain density to the colors which is just richer. And then also the tonal gradations, which, from a shadow zone to a bright area are WAY more coherent and continous than with Bayern where you just feel the ‘pixel guessing’, the gradients just have a tendency to break up in a ugly way, there’s ‘holes’ in the information. That’s also why Foveon does beautifull BW pics, what matters in BW is the continuity and coherence of the gradients, and Foveon just has the better info in that field. In Fashion photography the retouching guys are often forced to develop multiple exposures of the RAW just to composite some nice densities into the gradients of the image (in all the skin parts). Nuff said.

  39. Klaus says:

    …SD1 Kits starting from 7359 $ to 8649$

  40. marc says:

    It’s a dilemma, I am attracted by the camera, I have a big budget coming up which would easily absorb the cost, BUT what if the price of this camera tumbles due to weak demand? At least the MF manufacturers offer trade-in deals, here you’re just left out in the wild. If I pay 8000$ now how much will I be able to sell it one year from now on ? So Sigma, OK for the price, but incentivize early adopters by offering trade-in schemes.

    • Dennis says:

      The old advice that “if you’re not sure what to do, do nothing” probably holds?

      Or spend a much smaller part of your budget on a DP2x to keep the Foveon bug at bay and to give your clients a counterpoint to the output from your existing kit, while you wait and see :-)

  41. Person says:

    I say wait for the high-standard reviews/samples.

    They will probably be the biggest factor on determining what happens to the price.

    • Ricky says:

      yeah… it’s a pity that dpreview uses adobe camera raw and not proprietary converters… image processing is important

  42. Paul Paris says:

    Just printed the picture (09) of Kendall: the Hoover dam on A3+ size.
    The detail and sharpness is just amazing, it’s really great to see this excellent difintion all over the print. No jaggies, no noise.
    Quality lies clearly above FF, but to say that it’s MF quality: no.
    All in all it’s an excellent sensor in a basic camera: no LV and a buffer 0f just 8 pictures, come on Sigma we are living in 2011…

  43. marc says:

    Yes liveview … if your camera is suspended 2 meters above the ground for studio work dunno how you’re gonna do without it, it’s totally in contradiction with Sigma’s stated ‘MF ambition’ … this lack of certain key features will also oblige you to keep your current 5DMKII or MF to cope with certain situations, I mean even standard repro work will very quickly put your camera well above 2 meters.

  44. Dennis says:

    Thom Hogan has just written a 2nd and more in depth commentary on the $D1 ….

    “..if your only real selling point for a product is image quality, you don’t post sub-par image samples, even from prototypes”.

    “That illustrates the real risk to Sigma. They risk another perception of failure. Each time you over promise and under deliver, the hurdle you have to jump next time to be successful gets higher. Until eventually it’s an unclearable barrier. Some people were already dismissing Sigma as a camera maker. The pricing just announced gives them more reason to do so”.

  45. Peter says:

    The present pricing farce should not come as a suprise and I suspect the next stage, “the launch” of the SD1 will be equally disappointing.

    Michael Reichman is being far to intelligent in his analysis and crediting Sigma with just making a mistake.

    I like the rich colours and the depth of shadows and reflections that the sensor technology imparts to a photograph. But that initial excitement for the technology has been sapped out of me as Sigma has watered down the Foveon effect from DP1 to DP2 and finally the insult of SD15.

    Sigma doesn’t appear to understand what it is selling and it is clearly an organisation with no clear strategy. I think they may have just imploded.

    I am sure I am not alone in saying that I will not give them another chance and that I am afraid will be their down fall.

    It’s gone way beyond a pricing slip up in my opinion.

  46. Paul Paris says:

    It’s clear that the SD1 isn’t ripe for the market at this moment.
    Let Sigma make its homework over, and keep silent for a while. Come back next year at Photokina 2012 with a more up to date camera:

    – LifeView
    – buffer at least 15 pictures
    – option for GPS
    – battery (or pack) with enough capacity
    – price not more than 2000 bucks

  47. Person says:

    Found this on Dpreview…

    From Yamaki’s twitter feed today, posted in english by the man himself:

    “Sorry. We tried our best, but could not implement the price range that we had targeted.”


    “I know the responses from our loyal customers. SD1 price is solely due to my lack of capability, but the camera is really great.”

    Everyone, please get on twitter and speak to the man himself!!!

    • Dan says:

      sounds like it costs too much to manufacture it. they should have known it a year ago when it was first announced.

    • LionelB says:

      Obviously a mis-translation. He would hardly admit to a lack of ‘capability’ (or would he !) The correct translation must be ‘capacity’. Not “I am not very able” but “We are not able to produce very many of them”.
      Read that way, it starts to explain a lot.

      • Ricky says:

        I don’t think it’s a mistranslation, I know some japanese people and they often say “it’s all my fault…it’s all my fault…”. I don’t know if it’s culture or kindness. Further there he wrote “my” lack of capability.

        ps: I want to see beautiful SD15 shots

  48. Patrik Emmoth says:

    I like many other of us faithful sigma users that have been waiting for a real upgrade to the SD14, and out comes a SD1 for 9,700 dollars! Thats like getting spit in your face! I really hope that sigma has a Sd16 or a DP3 up in there sleeves! The SD 15, DP1x and DP2s is not upgrades, they work just as bad! I love the image quality, but 4.57 mb is not good enough! We need a 1.5X sensor with 12mb. I hope for a DP3 with built in EVF, interchangeable lenses, autofocus assistant and a 12mb sensor!

    • Mauersegler says:

      Thats what I just posted over at DP. Any comments on my SD16 idea?:

      So the hole SD1 turned out to be a disaster. Hardly anyone will be able to afford the camera, that means a dead end for the foveon line for most of us.
      What are the options if Sigma really can’t deliver for much less due a bad yield resulting in expensive sensor cost?

      I would see some option for them:

      1. Announce a SD16 NOW and get it into the shelfs lets say within 12 month.
      That would stop at least the people to buy into new systems.

      The SD16 with a SD1 body (can’t be that pricey as it is already there) and get the old sensor in, but instead the 1,74 crop with a 1,5 crop multi aspect sensor. Something like Panasonic, with the choice of 16:9 and 2:1 and 1:1 please. This would leave you with a good MP increase from 2640 x 1760=4,64MP to 3062×2042=6,25MP (hmm is that right?). I certainly would be a happy bunny as I don’t need MF IQ.
      Also all my wideangles would suddenly improve there possibilities. Great!

      2. What to do with this unlucky SD-1 sensor? Cut it into 4 pieces which leaves you with a nearly 4mp HQ (SD9) Image and built a decent compact with a 4xzoom for our casual holidays. You would certainly increase the yields a lot and the research costs are not lost.

      We would be all winners. I would buy both cameras and my investment in SIGMA glasses would be not lost, and SIGMA could close this pr-disaster with a double strike.

      • Karuso says:

        Sorry to say, but Sigma’s single strike with the SD1 already is a horrible disaster, so I prefer rather not seeing it’s double strike…

        Waiting 12 month (again) for a SD16? Only absolutely die-hard fans would do that. I mean we all were waiting 9 months for the SD1 and now there should be the next long waiting phase with an uncertain ending? The only viable solution is doing something useful (for themselves and the costumers) with the existing SD1 NOW.

        And a 4x zoom compact? Yes, would be nice. But again the market share would be very small since they would have to develop a usable up to date camera around their sensor+lens for convincing “normal” people into buying it. Since not a single Sigma camera fulfills this task, chances are slim again.

        • Person says:

          Guys, tell yamaki on twitter. The more the better.

          They are listening.

        • Mauersegler says:

          If you can`t design and built a decent compact. Then how about buy a company that can? There must be plenty of chinese companys around, doing just that. Common every week or so there is a new compact announced with zillions of (washed out) pixels.
          Or how about buying a company like Ricoh I would love a GXR plus foveon.

          • Karuso says:

            I agree. I was always of the opinion that Sigma should join some other company and just specialize in producing the sensor and maybe also the optics. Thats what they are actually good at. As it is (and always was) a lot of their efforts get lost due to mediocre cameras at best.
            Delivering the whole package in a competitive manner seems to be too much for their small camera division.
            For example a foveon sensor inside of a small Olympus camera (which are a joy to use due to high build quality and great handling), together with high quality glass from Olympus and Sigma would be quite something.

    • Sergey says:

      What for to you 12 MP? And why you don’t have not enough 4,6 MP? Utter as marketing the user of soap trays or as user Olympus Pen.

      At present there are much more important problems than megapixels: noise in shades, high ISO, stabilization (DP), optics.

      I would prefer old 4,6 MP at a rate of new or new in sizes old the same about 4,6 MP. Any variant from these variants would solve problem Sigma in SD16. Both with quality and with the price.

  49. Mike says:

    Sigma should take their ideas and designs for this new chip and produce one with lower pixel density. Let’s be honest, very few of us a need for this kind of resolution. 46mp, most people are happy with 12-20mp, why do we need more?

    If Sigma could use their ideas from this chip and make a full frame chip with lower pixel density in a simple to use and reliable Camera body they could win a large portion of the market. They also wouldn’t have to redesign their whole line of lenses as the sensor wouldn’t show all of the faults of all of their lenses.

    Sigma has a winner with the x3 concept, the only problem with the whole thing is the company it self. They seem to be lost in dream land with no interest in trying to understand what the market wants or needs. With this latest stunt, they have effectively ruined themselves as a camera manufacturer.

    The SD1 sensor might be good, but the body design, features and I’m sure user interface leave a lot to be desired. The shutter is good for 100,000 shots, the LCD on the back has less than half the resolution of almost every other camera LCD on the market now, no live view, the list just keeps getting bigger. This is defiantly not a camera that is worth 6700 USD.

    Coming out and saying you’re sorry is basically saying “it’s too bad we suck, but you’re stuck with it” and really means only a fool would stick with such an unreliable and untrustworthy company.

    Sorry Sigma.. I’ll apologize to you too. I’m sorry you suck

    Make a camera people want, price it right and you can capture a huge portion of the market. The response to the SD1 has been overwhelming. First good because people want an X3 style sensor, but then overly bad because of Sigma’s stupidity.

    How can a company keep doing this to it’s customers. I just hope Sony comes out with their 3 layered sensor soon.

  50. Patrik Emmoth says:

    First of, I rather buy a Leica M9 with a 50/2 lens for the same price as a Sigma SD1 with a lens! When it comes to resolution, 4.57 mp is not good enough! I would like to see a 8mp x3 at least! And yes the long wait for a SD16 is painful! But I still love the x3 sensor, and I still hope for a real upgrade! The SD1 could be a upgrade if the price would be reasonable, not much more than the Sd15! But as some mentioned, the best way to go would be buying in to a already existing camera brand, and only supply the sensor and lenses, that they are good at making! No matter how you put this, its a shame that sigma let down there major buyers!


    • Sergey says:

      You tell very strange things.

      Leica M9 Kit 10К 18 MP of the usual
      Sigma SD1 Kit 8К 30 MP usual, 1,5

      If so megapixels are necessary to you,

      That at SD1 is more than them :D

      Conversation goes that the new gage on 15 MP (30 MP usual) 1,5 has appeared the expensive and at such price it to very few people is necessary. Let Sigma will make smaller new or big old gage and will sell it more cheaply.

      • LionelB says:

        5 high quality megapixels easily beat 15 poor quality megapixels. Marketing propaganda tries to obscure that. Nevertheless, 8 high quality megapixels can give us more than the 5 high quality megapixels. So you are right. We should never forget though that Bert Hardy made some great photographs with a simple Kodak Box camera …

        • Patrik Emmoth says:

          yes I totally agree! And I dont think that 8mpx3 is impossible to manufacture! I mean, they have the 15mpx3! I dont know how high the cost is for the 15mpx3! But looking at the price it looks like its expensive. So maybe its easier and less expensive to manufacture a 8mpx3 sensor!!???

  51. Patrik Emmoth says:

    And one more thing! Yes there are more pressing issues concerning noise, shadow detail, dynamic range, high iso performance, fast autofocus and so on! I think that when it comes to body design and layout, there are much, much, much better camera makers out there that would be able to supply those needs! So sigma could focus on the development of the x3 sensor and lenses only!


  52. Patrik Emmoth says:

    I tell no strange things!! Its facts!! A large sensor with less, say 12mp, gives you larger pixels and therefore the chance of getting better dynamic range, shadow detail, less noise, and better high iso performance! Concerning the leica M9, its build quality and function layout is superior, as is the lenses! The cost for a SD1 + a17-50 is 9500 USD where I live, and the cost for a M9 + 50/2 is 11300 USD!
    But thats not the point, what I am trying to say is that the SD1 is to expensive compared to what you get in performance! The sensor alone can not justify a high price like that! I rather see a 8mpx3 sensor than a 15mpx3 in a modern camera body!

    • Sergey says:

      8 MP 1,5 will be on noise and optics it is better 15 MP 1,5, but can be same expensive – in it all problem.

      As to Leica M9 at it the gage is worse Sigma SD1. I don’t think that these gages can be compared.

  53. Dennis says:

    46mp is old hat :-)

    “Hasselblad has announced a camera capable of producing 200MP images based on shifting its 50MP sensor … It can also use the four-shot mode used by the H4D-50MS that shifts the sensor by one pixel in each direction to capture all colors at each position … The H4D-200MS is available for €32,000″

    Clever stuff. People will pay high $ if the perception of the value it brings them can justify the price. But in the case of the $D1 the price exceeds the perceived value ….

    • Patrik Emmoth says:

      I totally agree!!))

    • Karuso says:

      Wow, incredible stuff from the new Hasselblad. The performance of those lenses is what really impresses me… ;)

      And I think the next big challenge for Sigma is for sure to come in the near future. No, not 200 MP resolution, but other sensors capable of full color capture.
      The Hasselblad already can do that (ok, at a very high price and I guess only with static subjects yet), Sony is said to work on a full color sensor and who really knows what other companies spend their gazillions of R+D money on – not everyone comes yelling that next year they will have the best camera the world has ever seen, like Sigma does.
      And the moment that happens, Sigma loses it’s unique selling proposition in one swoop. Then they will still have some very good lenses (but which company doesn’t?) and subpar cameras together with some other Sigma’esque “specialities”.

      If they don’t work on solutions for this day now, they will be in severe trouble. Especially since new developments take Sigma five times longer than anyone else.
      Based on their “exceptional” marketing strategy for the SD1, I doubt they think about long term business plans. And once other full color alternatives are available not even the Foveon patent will be sold easily.

      Well, we’ll see…

      • Patrik Emmoth says:

        Well spoken!!))

      • With all due respect – have a closer look at those images, it’s only at 25% they look any good. (perhaps a lens thing) Especially the asphalt is poorly rendered, very bayernish and far away from the density that true three layers gives of “out of focus” objects. I was really hoping to see something amazing .. Is this just me?

        • Patrik Emmoth says:

          I had a closer look at the images, and yes they only look good at 25%! Not so amazing for that price range, and yes very bayernish! The asphalt looks very ugly rendered too me! Hmm!!))

        • Karuso says:

          What type of images do you mean, Carl? The 50MP single-shot, 50MP multi-shot or 200MP multi-shot?
          I too think that the 50MP single-shot and 200MP multi-shot look “bayernish”, but well we’re talking about a 200MP (!) shot. And the 50MP multi-shot isn’t too bad on a pixelbasis, isn’t it?
          When comparing these shots to some of the official SD1 shots, well then clearly most of the used Sigma lenses (except the primes) have a tough time delivering pixelperfect 15/46MP. And with the Hasselblad even those 200MP aren’t a big problem for this specific lens, at least compared at bayer-level.

          For the out of focus parts – well, yes I think that they should in general have chosen a different subject to shoot. This car has few details and much too many huge monotone surfaces. When there is one thing I want to look for in a 200MP image, than it’s details. ;)

          It also has to be considered, that the image gets updated within moments, so it’s a highly compressed file. Also nothing is known about the resizing algorithms, so anything except 100% view is hard to judge at all.

          And yes, 200MP Foveon with the right lens, will easily beat this. ;)

          • Carl Rytterfalk says:

            I hope to be able to provide some RAW when times right – in a pretty near future with some images that will show what I mean. I have so many RAW files from the SD1 here that would amaze anyone but I’m forbidden to share any of them at this point.

            But I can also see that those (hasselblad) images are highly compressed and if I had their RAW I would most likely have a different opinion. I hope. :)

        • candido dessanti says:

          not impressed at all from monocrome and not so detailed images taken with that tank (do you define that thing a photocamera?)

          maybe they should hire better photographers, to shot sample images

  54. Patrik Emmoth says:

    I have seen the specs of the DP2x, its not a upgrade! If they cant implement a higher then 4,7mp, lets say a 6mpx3 sensor and increase the dynamic range under low light, better noise and shadow detail, then at least they should implement a better autofocus, autofocus assistant, OS(image stabilisation) in the optics for low light situations, so you dont have to crank up the ISO too much! And plz Sigma, sell a DP kit with all accessories included for a nice price!

  55. Erik says:

    Slowly getting over my disappointment. Caring, admiring (I know, it must be love) my DP1S, I was prepared to pay the price first anounced, though it was/is way over my budget. Several times a day surfing internet looking for news, but the day they published the price, my dream exploded (its like Ana Ivanovic telling me I can’t afford her, said so, it must be love…). A bit like Minolta announcing they sold their camerabranche to Sony. But then, Sony made me forgive them… and perhaps they might surprise us again, looking at the patents they took. So I keep on dreaming, and why not, of a GXR or X100 (after some shelf-life pulling the price down) and even a SD15 (a little price-compensation, Sigma, please).
    But first of all, I’ll go out there, take some pictures, ’cause isn’t it all about that: gear is just a tool to achieve our goal, not the goal. Whatever we are, pro, semi or just a man or woman in love with photography.

    • I’m with you. It’s been some really tough weeks for many of us. I just wanted to add that a used SD14 might be a truly fun companion and I’m sure you can get one very cheap these days. Until price settles and all. :)

      • Sebashi says:

        Yes, I had bought my SD14 for the SD1 … but, until the price drop significantly, I just get back another SD14 héhé ! ( 400 € still rare in france )
        The SD15 is not interesting at that price ( Yes they should lower it now ;-p )

        And finally thinking of a great 120-300 f2.8 with the saving … with the SD14 it will be wonderfull !
        Think different, think Lenses ;-)

  56. Dennis says:

    I know what you mean.

    As Carl pointed out a few days ago and shows today our existing Foveon cameras can still give us nice results and a lot of pleasure.

    However disappointed we are with Sigma over the $D1 fiasco we do have to thank them for the pioneering effort that brought the current Foveon sensor to market (even if their cameras are a bit clunky in other respects). I’ll continue to enjoy my DP1s too ….

    • Patrik Emmoth says:

      The SD1 topic is dead now, nothing to do about the price for now! So I took my lovely DP1s for a long strole and shot some nice pics! As of now I am waiting for the SD15 to drop in price like the DP2s did! I will probably buy both of them!! Kudos to sigma for there fantastic work with the Foveon sensor!! I will never stop using my Dps, and keep waiting for future products!

  57. Person says:

    Carl, I’m curious to see those RAWs and how they compare to the SD1 with firmware 1.0! Which firmware version were they taken with? I notice that the Sigma sample images taken with firmware 0.9 come off looking better than those with version 0.6 on the pixel level.

  58. Richard says:


    Considering the prohibitive and quite disappointing price of the SD1, I guess many owners of a SD9/10/14 camera will now have to reconsider the SD15.

    In a next post, I think it would be beneficial for many of them if you would do an in depth comparison of the SD15 vs SD9/10/14, not only based on the technical differences between them, but also based on your experience, as you have now extensively used many of them, including the SD15.

    In short, the question I would like you to answer is: does it worth the money switching from the SD14 to the SD15? I believe the question is relevant, all the more so since many of the SD9/10/14 owners that were impatiently waiting for the SD1, may now think about definitely leaving Sigma.

    Sigma, what a bad, bad move…


  59. Sebashi says:

    Here in France, since SD1 pricing, there is more and more SD9 / 10 / 14 and 15 for sale with complete set of lenses .
    I get again my SD14 ( 400 € with another 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro ) from one who have upgraded to an SD15 .
    For me, I was comfortable with my previous SD14, and pay more than the double to have an SD15 was too much .

    With the SD15 you get :
    – better JPG directly from the TRUE II ( I work Raw only )
    – Red channel is much more controlled from clipping ( vs SD14 )
    – Color accuracy more neutral ….
    – Bigger buffer and faster wrinting to card This is what I miss …
    – Maybe a better autofocus and Metering ?? metering never disapointed me on SD14

    But I can’t pay 800 € for a body offering only that .

    • Dan says:

      You are better off with the sd14 which has higher dynamic range, which is the one thing you can’t get back in post processing.

  60. Karl says:

    In my not so humble opinion the best thing that could happen to the Foveon concept would be for Sigma to go bankrupt(small sales volume, bad management and a lawsuit is a good start) and the camera division sold off to a company who knows how to build and market cameras( just about any of them would do ) and then let the original Sigma Corp. diddle around with their wonderfully goofball management team and continue making secondary lenses which they seem to do reasonably well

  61. barrie grieve says:

    All the anger over the price (£5999 body only) has just been brought into perspective by this – a Lubitel 166 medium format camera that 5-10 years ago could be bought for @£20 new is now being sold for £250 new by holga WTH.

    I think that if in the near future i could scrape together £6500 for a SD1 and say a 17-50 2.8, although i will probably get the latter to go with my newly aquired SD14, i think i could probably make it pay for itself after a few years selling prints through Whitewall.

    I may be slightly mad, but the price doesn’t scare me that much when i think of it as an investment.


    barrie grieve

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