An update..

Hi everyone! You might wonder why I’ve been so silent lately and the reasons are a few – first because my job does take lots of energy – and the second being that I’m not very satisfied with how SPP5 works – not very satisfied being the kind way to put it. No other player have shown up having good support (or any support) either so here I am with half a tool.

Linn took about a thousand full RAW’s on her trip to Paris (which by the way went perfectly fine!) but dealing with those raw’s and with others has been painful. Both because of speed but also because of how colors and noise are handled by SPP. But Speed being my biggest concern. SPP as it is, gives me RLS.

Anyways. I’ll be back when things changes.
Btw, SD1 isn’t bad. SPP is.

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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102 Responses to An update..

  1. Pingback: Spp 5.0 - Sigma - Seite 6 -

  2. Nice to hear you are still hanging around. After trying to work with some of your SD1 samples with SPP5 I would be at the end of my rope also. Luckily it is still useable (some what) with my SD14 files.
    Having to push the full res button every time and wait soooo long to check sharpness and details is such a drag I can understand your mood.
    BTW it does help to run on my new 13″ MBPro with 8GB ram and 7200rpm HD. The new i5 Sandy Bridge is awesome. Except my Eye One Display 2 won’t work with Lion. Luckily the screen on the current MBP is wayyy better than my old one.

    • Yeah. I think RAM is the key. My current machine can only hold 6GB which isn’t enough. (I think). Sandy Bridge is awesome as well.. :)

      • Scott Greiff says:

        I really wonder if the issue is RAM, tho. I have 12GB in my iMac and SPP 5 (even after the update) was extremely painful! Now that I’m back to the SD15, things are fine, but working with my SD1 files is a constant source of pain.

        I do hear that you have to limit the number of RAW files in a single directory to 70, but how can you do that when you come home with a huge card full of images?

        • Carl Rytterfalk says:

          I now have a 64GB CF card – which contains about 1200 RAW at it’s largest size. Much work only to get those photos in folders ready to get worked with.. meh!

  3. So at this point they should fix SPP. After that, do you think they should continue to build on the current program Carl, or do you think they should start from scratch and make a new and more efficient SPP from a new platform/base (faster, better multi-core support, better functionality, more control, more stable, etc)?

    Or even go further and create a base/platform and then open source it to allow others to develop programs, they would just have to worry about updating the base/platform (enough to let others interact with X3F files and eventually a line to communicate with SD/DP cameras for tethering) only from now on? We could eventually see more output files types (png, bmp, jpeg2000, dng, etc), more choices (more software, including homebrew software from the community), better support for the X3F format from other providers (more easily and quickly integrated to ACR, Silkypix, possible plugins for Aperture, etc). Lots of potential with this option if could be drummed up and Sigma would be willing to let go of their way of communicating with the X3F and SD cameras (DP for that matter too). They would still make a very basic SPP, but more focus would be on the base/platform, SPP then would improve from developed homebrew solutions. This is probably just a dream though.

    • I would like Sigma to open up their code, yes. Making it controlled open source if that makes any sense. A bit like OS X. Lots of people can try, making it faster, better, adding functions – perhaps even allow plugins for HDR with RAW photos etc..

      But speed (memory and core efficiency) being the number one priority and making it native on each platform. Right now it really feels like it’s a crappy port from some old Windows version on my mac, instead of truly Cocoa native code – which also would make porting to iOS devices possible in the future.

      It’s 2011! :)

  4. Mark Alan Thomas says:

    I think Sigma needs to work closely with Adobe to change the Foveon file format to .dng. I don’t mean convert .x3fs to linear dng, but actually get Adobe to support the three-layer data natively in dng so that Foveon support in third party raw software ceases to be an issue.

    • I thought .DNG always was somewhat pre-developed by nature using ACR decoding.. If that’s the case then I don’t want to go there. It’s not true raw to my understanding – more a advanced TIFF. I might be wrong though.

  5. DennisBeyer says:

    Hello Friends!
    I played around with a SD1 last Thursday (my first SD1 test), and shot around 70 pics with 4 different lenses. The good part was: all of those lenses were able to resolve great details. But the pain started after shooting… I mean, I`ve been using SD and DP cameras for 5 years now, and SPP was never a great tool to use- but it always made the best out of the Foveon files. But now, the latest version of SPP (Mac) is constantly crashing, it is extremely slow, and the way it handles noise is just, let`s say: strange. And by the way, I include a crop of one the pictures- so the question goes out to the experts: is that strange noise pattern in the blue sky (especially those vertical, parallel lines / stripes) normal for the SD1 or is this another SPP issue? My other SD`s and my DP1 produce a totally clean output here! Even after running the files through Nik Dfine, those noise patterns are still visible, even in print size. Is this normal SD1 output quality or is this just SPP unable to handle files correctly?
    Regards, Dennis

    • That’s one of many “bugs” in SPP5 and it only occurs in files containing strong contrasty elements combined with a clear sky or clear color. Such as you just showed. It’s never there in the in-camera or in-rawfile JPEG but only after processing. Houses here in sweden are often made of wood and those are often in a vertical position – which is about the worst kind of situation as they’re long and often contrasty if there is some sun – making the sky pretty stripy. I’m sure Sigma is working hard to fix issues like this one but it’s – hard – to wait.

      This is a SD1 only issue.

      • DennisBeyer says:

        Hello Carl!

        Thank you very much for that reply- that really explains a lot.
        I found that the lenses I tested (105 + 70 Makro, 50mm 1.4 HSM and 17-50mm 2.8 OS HSM) are resolving great detail- even the zoom lens! And the focus shift issues I had with the 50mm 1.4 (between f 1.4-3.2) on my SD14 is just gone on the SD1- focus is perfect with that lens too! I was just shocked by those stripes in the sky. And of course- the latest SPP is a nightmare- it`s constantly crashing on my Mac now. But now that I know that it`s a SPP issue, I can lean back and wait for an SPP update, and test the SD1 again.
        And by the way- as I told you, I spent 6 weeks in Umea for the works on my latest film. I even have friends there now- so I really know what you mean when you talk about the wooden houses- mostly red, some yellow, some blue and even green… And I know about the magic of the light around midsummer up there… May I say here: I`M HELPLESSLY IN LOVE WITH SWEDEN- and a good moose BBQ! Smile! Thanks again Carl!

        • hehe, Dennis, Well.. don’t forget this part of Sweden where I live, it’s really nice as well – and you’re kind of passing by everytime you’re on your way up there.. My home is always open. And I’d love to find out more about what it is that you do. :)

          • DennisBeyer says:

            Message received and understood! Smile. Can`t wait to visit Sweden again, but I`m extremely busy at the moment. Photo projects, and our film project in Ecuador is already waiting.
            To be honest- it`s probably more like to run into you in China, since I do a lot of work in Shanghai and the province of Shandong.
            So, to celebrate the first sunny morning here in Switzerland with no rain for days, here comes a DP1 picture (with no stripes and lines, smile) shot over the Shangai rooftops from the 30th floor of the “Ever Sunshine” Hotel, South Pudong Road, SH.
            Although I like my Fuji X100 very much- I`m still in love with my DP1, and I prefer it over the Fuji whenever the sun comes out…
            To all- I wish you a nice day- and Carl, once again, thanks for helping me with your reply regarding that lines and stripes SD1 issue!

          • Fabricio says:

            I just love this shot of Shanghai. Do you know what these blue rooftops are made of?

  6. adrian says:

    I agree with you Carl. I tried SPP5 at the day of this post and found some problems with chroma noise at ISO 400 using a DP2 in good light.
    What good I found though is less tweaking with shadow and saturation and somehow no changes on some pictures. I’ll be going to Singapore this weekend and see how this new software of Sigma fares compared to the last.

  7. Ricky says:

    the release candidate of the future ACR 6.5 still doesn’t support the SD1, that’s bad. I hope that is because Adobe is finally doing the X3F thing right this time.
    PS: what is RLS?

    • RLS is restless legs. It’s a medical, physical issue that makes your legs restless. :) And it’s often trigged by having to wait for something you don’t want to wait for – such as a computer working on a picture for 50s before you’re able to continue.

      It’s pretty common. Not sure if you have the same name in your countries. The Swedish name for it is actually in English so I guess it’s the same everywhere.

  8. Hulyss says:

    Nice to see you are alive Carl :)

    I think you should store the SD1 for now. Its a far to big engine for common shoot as we are all used to see on your blog.

    My guess is that you need to continue to be creative and fun, as usual, and continue shooting our beloved SD15.

    • Dennis says:

      I second that, and more please for the DP devotees as well :-)

      Having today watched a video of Charlie Waite advocating travelling light and enjoying using compact cameras I hope that Sigma will not give up on the DP series in the face of tremendous APS-C competition now coming to come to market?

  9. LionelB says:

    Like all the others, glad to see you back and well Carl. Realistically, since hardly anybody has an SD1 there is no market for third party developers to respond to. Development will either come from Sigma or not at all. Maybe the software is not just poorly written but the SD1 engine itself is too complicated for presently available mathematics ? The virtual engineering has to match the mechanical and electronic engineering, for the whole thing to work.
    Is the general view to ditch SPP5 and return to SPP4 for other than SD1 ?

    • I guess the medicine goes two ways. 1. lower the price of the SD1. 2. Open up code, getting people involved. (Even better, open source firmware!). :D

      The SPP5 handles my files good from older cameras. I haven’t tried enough shots from older cameras to really have a say but those that I did develop worked great with the latest SPP5.

  10. spalbird says:

    Out of 12 processor in your machine, SPP will only use one.

    Give Sigma a convinient shortcut and introduce them to this technology:

    Just make use of any processor in your system, not only processor but also and especially the graphic engine of the video card which is specialised for handling graphic data!

    OpenCL had been developped by Apple, it is an open standard, why doing slow and complicated if there is a better world, just happening?

    The lens, the camera and the processing software is chained up. Any weak inbetween is a pain, what you have learned by using SD1 ;)


  11. Tom Schum says:

    I tried SPP on one of your raw files and it seems to process adequately fast, considering it is at least 3X bigger than an image from my SD15.
    I agree it would be hard to suffer through a large number of raw photos with this sort of processing time.
    I loaded your shangerilaraw and tried it with SPP 501 2. SPP took almost half an hour to download from Sigma over a very slow link.
    Bringing up the SDIM4396 raw image in the first place took about 15 seconds. Changes to the raw image went well and did not take a lot of time. The slowest part was saving as a double size jpg which took about 30 seconds ( I unchecked the “save changes to X3F” box). I tried it again and a second process took place after the jpg save, to save changes to X3F. The second process took about 10 seconds. So, it is a little faster if you don’t save changes to X3F.
    I tried similar things with a SD15 photo I had taken, and SPP5 felt slower than SPP4.
    I have an Apple MacBook Pro with 4g ram.
    I wish SPP5 had an option to run with the SPP4 GUI.

    • Carl Rytterfalk says:

      Hi Tom!

      Well, bringing the shot up so that you can start playing with those sliders is OK for most part – 15s you can live with even if I’d like it to be faster – the slow part comes when you press the full size button, or if you didn’t and try to save – That’s when the sloooow part begins. I’m sure that my cores isn’t used as well as they could have been. :)

  12. Bob van Ooik says:

    Already was starting to worry… And yes I do agree fully that SPP5 needs work, a lot of work to work correctly with SD1 files. It helps already a lot that my machine has 12GB of RAM and an i7 processor. But still SPP can’t really handle folders with over 50 photos or so. The viewer within SPP really slows everything down if the folders are filled with over 100 photos. Noise is indeed handled very strange. With very unreliable results. Interface wise SPP is pretty unusable, for instance no shortcut to go to next photo in the develop window? …. But most of all it simply is incredibly hard to process SD1 files in SPP. The color modes give odd colors sauces, and neutral is way too bland. The base curve for the SD1 files is also wrong IMHO. It is set so contrasty that you completely loose good mid tones. Especially in the darker parts there is no detail. I have found several ways to get them back but they are all work arounds. I would like to have a good file out of SPP to start working with. I hope changes will come soon… It is so frustrating to hold in hand a camera that has so much potential but is so limited by it’s software.

    • Dan says:

      That’s quite a machine. I don’t think even sigma develops their app on such a high spec machine. Your feedback to then may be quite valuable.

    • Carl Rytterfalk says:

      Bob, good to hear your view as well.. At work I’m on a MacPro with the latest 8 core version and it’s still slow. 6GB of ram could perhaps be the main blame in that case – but it’s much faster than my Core2Duo at home. :D

  13. DennisBeyer says:

    I`m running SPP on my MacPro, Twin-8Core CPU`s and 32GB of RAM- and it`s still slow and crashing… I could cry….

    • Dan says:

      You should try running Rawtherapee 4 on your machine to get an idea how much faster this open source app is compared to SPP. The only problem is that ufraw doesnt handle foveon, so you may have to try it on other formats.

      • Yeah, that’s a bummer. Why don’t someone at Sigma use RawTherapee 4 as it’s open source and just make it SD1 combatible. I would have if I could.

        • Ricky says:

          “Official X3F File Format Specification is not complete. Because main image format is not specified.”

          “SIGMA has encrypted data that is required to process RAW image. Only two digital camera manufacturers use encryption, SIGMA and NIKON ( later ). SIGMA protects all data, NIKON only white balance settings. The only thing that I can imagine about encryption usage in SIGMA RAW files is marketing.”

          The official (old: 2004, only informations on how to read metadata) x3f specifications are no more on foveon or sigma site.

          Sigma openness. Good to know.
          This is also stupid.

          • Niels Kristian Bech Jensen says:

            Roland Karlsson has made a small program that can open X3F files from all cameras except the SD1. You can find it here (including source code):

            Currently the program does not do color correction, but if somebody could work on that and add the code to DCRaw og Libraw we could have several open source programs to choose from.

            Greetings from Denmark.
            Niels Kristian

          • Ricky says:

            Roland Karlsson on dpreview forums said “thanks to Keith M. that helped me” or something like that. KeithM (the creator of monoveon) said “The code to find and read the data blocks within the X3F files was made possible by the documentation made available at“. So, the informations are there for all because of reverse engineering; but I suppose not the SD1 ones. One have to contact Foveon to ask them and maybe have them.

        • Dan says:

          Talks about converting x3f to dng and then being able to read the raw data in RT.
          I am tempted to try it out.

  14. Andre says:

    Carl, welcome back. Looking forward (when you have some time!) to see some more of your great work.

  15. Person says:

    Has anyone contacted Sigma about these problems??

    I certainly hope they know about them and are working on fixes!!

  16. Dan says:

    I developed one of your photos from the DP2 rawpack using Rawtherapee 3.0 (stable). First I converted the X3F to DNG / non-linear and uncompressed. The output file increased from 11MB (X3F size) to 27MB (DNG). Then I loaded it in RT3 and noticed that no demosaicing operations took place for any operations (status bar in lower right corner). This confirms the raw file is not bayern-flat.
    I selected the punchy post-processing profile, SRGB for color output and applied Sharpening / RL Decolvolution – which seems to work much nicer on this foveon-style file than from my Kodak raw. I’m including the 8-bit jpeg output here for reference. To me the outcome has more volume and is indeed more color-punchy than what I get in SPP which looked more flat.
    Since you now have an SD1, we need to push Adobe to release support for it in DNG converter. Then you can use this method which opens up a whole new world of photographic & creative options not available in SPP.

  17. I’m not sure if this is insulting or something, but I would just shoot in RAW+JPEG mode, put the JPEG images in Aperture or Lightroom, and when I want to create a “final image” I would get the X3F and convert to TIFF with SPP. That would make the digital work flow just fine, right? I mean for the most part, I don’t manipulate images (except for initial exposure compensation, where needed), when I review them in Aperture. I only rate them. THEN, after they are rated, I might work on a few. Generally these are preliminary edits, and really not what I would want for a final image anyway. I only do true editing (the kind that would require a raw file) on about 1% of my files (I shoot a lot of photos). Selecting those manually would take but a minute or two from each shoot, so I don’t see the slow processing in SPP as a big issue. The fact that it makes vertical lines in photos is a WHOLE OTHER ISSUE!

    When I first bought my Sony R1, this is the way I worked, because the raw converter from Sony worked very slowly too. The camera would just create a JPEG image with every raw photo, so I just used those to select the “good ones” and that made things quite simple. I expect to do the same with my SD1 (when I finally get one).

    Am I the only person who is just fine with the way JPEG images look, when “previewing” photos from a shoot? (Sorry to the people who don’t have an SD1, because you don’t have this option, but if shooting with an SD1, this seems like a good solution to me.)

    Or am I smoking crack?

    • Christian Hass says:

      Do you mean others don’t have that option because the older SD cameras can’t shoot RAW+JPEG?

      Faststone Image Viewer is very fast at showing the embedded JPEG from .XF3 files, even SD1 files! I just downloaded one to test and it’s pretty much instant to see a full screen image.

      That’s what I do with my DP1, I shoot RAW and do a rough sorting in Faststone before I start playing with them in SPP.

      That’s just for Windows though, you Mac people are on your own :)

  18. Andre says:

    Scott, I don’t see how being practical would be insulting. I like to work the same way – hardly any editing, using Raw+JPEG’s as well. JPEG’s often look great right out of the camera, certainly good enough for reviewing, at least from my Nikons. For critical work and/or comprehensive edits, I work on the RAW file. Saves me a ton of work and time.

  19. person says:

    SEPTEMBER 6th Yamaki Twitter from Sigma: NEW SPP version and SD1 firmware coming!!

    Thank goodness they are listening. Can hardly wait.

    • Carl Rytterfalk says:

      Ah, great news! There is hope! :D But I still would LOVE some open source version of SD1 conversion to be developed! I’m also waiting for Raw Developer to come out with it’s SD1 update!

      • Niels Kristian Bech Jensen says:

        Hi Carl.

        The best way to get support for the SD1 in open source programs is for someone with that camera to ask Dave Coffin ( to add support for it in DCRaw. Most (if not all) open source raw developers use DCRaw for reading raw files.

        Greetings from Denmark.
        Niels Kristian

  20. person says:

    Do we know if Raw Developer is planning to support SD1? Or is that just a fantasy?

  21. WTF says:

    This site starts to be artistically dead, all that talk about SD1 and SPP … but where’s the work ??? If you guys could let go of that darn pixel peeping and get your heads around some interesting photographic projects that might maybe be liberating and inspiring.

    • Pascal says:

      Good point… I understand the frustration, but does photography end if your equipment/software is not perfectly up to date? I’m a Nikon-shooter myself, but I like this site for its inspiring photography. Unfortunately, not much seems to have happened lately…

    • Garrit says:

      Yes it’s true, it should help if everybody would post some nice photos made with Foveon technology. So I start with one of my own that I like (Sigma SD 14 / Sigma 50mm 1.4 / F2.2 / ISO 100).

  22. The SD1 has been making some waves, but most people don’t seem to “get it” yet. Maybe most of them never will.

    As far as artistry here . . . I think I need to get a Sigma camera first. I wish I could add some photos already. So I’m relegated to talking tech, I guess.

    I just read a review of the SD1 at B&H from someone in Brisbane, Australia. It was a very positive review, and this is from a Leica shooter!

    “So far, I have been totally captivated by this camera.”

    Unfortunately, there were two negative reviews, from people who didn’t seem to know what they were buying, when they made their purchase. One was comparing it to the Nikon D7000! lol

    Some people seem to have absolutely no idea. Just from the photos I’ve seen at, I can’t wait to get my SD1. I wish I still had that Am-Ex card.

  23. K. Melland says:

    I’m dreaming of a SD1 while I shoot some with my DP2.

    A sundown lately (cropped) with Foveon feel:

  24. WTF says:

    This might help to turn your eyes away from those pixels : Amazing and lovely designed book by Taschen featuring a very exhaustive A-Z of history’s greatest photographers, a must-buy for anyone passionate about photography.

  25. DennisBeyer says:

    The blue rooftops in the Shanghai picture are made of roof tiles, like we have the red ones here in central europe. Why they are blue I can`t say. In the background you can see a big building with a curved roof- that`s the high speed train (Maglev) station downtown. I have a nice series of photos taken in the streets of Shanghai during my last stay there- all DP1. Gosh, I love that little camera…

  26. person says:

    Checked ‘SD1′ on Flickr … it’s still the same old boring photographs which come up (Laaaaaandscapes, butterflies, flowers … c’mon shoot me). What’s the use shooting 45MP? It’s the same (bad) photograph, only in higher resolution. Same shit, different resolution. I’m actually quite happy they put the price so high, I too would have been tempted to buy into the megapixel obsession and I’m really glad I didn’t. PLUS from all I see, and there’s no way denying this, there’s less ‘foveon magic’ to the files, or is it just me ??? Stuff looks pretty much like unretouched Canon/Nikon stuff, I don’t get the kick out of discovering Carl’s DP1 shots from back-in-the-days, that stuff really looked the Foveon part, whereas now it leaves me strangely indifferent.

    • Dan says:

      Sigma veteran Laurence Matson has a SD1 gallery on PBase.
      Feel free to check it out to get a better idea of this new sensor’s capabilities:
      Select the “Original” size link at the bottom for full 15MP.

    • Ricky says:

      I could saying too much for my very little competence, but only because of image processing the SD14-15/DP1-2 sensor with good light could still be a better “photographic” tool, producing very easily something very very good with infinitesimal retouching (still undefeated by bayer), while playing with SD1 raws it seems an ungovernable beast, tiresome and difficult. It has a much bigger resolution but photography is also beyond. With time Sigma will always better discover how to dominate correctly this sensor’s informations, and with other SPP and firmwares this also will be a trustworthy photographic companion.

  27. WTF says:

    Looked at more material on the net, also full-size but honestly it’s to me just not that dp1/dp2 feel … It still looks foveonish in term of sharpness and certain aspects but I don’t see that ‘foveon 3D pop’ and liveliness I found with the dp1/2 cameras which makes you emotionaly relate to the image in that immediate way. Can’t see it, can’t feel it, nope.

    Maybe the Foveon magic is after all related to the size of those large photosites as were found in the previous sensor, was this maybe large sensel size part of Sigma’s ‘Secret Sauce’ recipe?

    Hey they should develop a nice large Medium Format Sensor and license that to Hasselblad or Phase One …. I bet that would be absolutely mind-blowing to see, plus then there would be the optics to match the Sensor’s resolution.

    In the meantime I don’t see any use for that camera, for reportage/reportage and so on a Canon 5DMKII is more than enough. For studio and professional/commercial assignments a Medium Format can easily be rented. For fun/private stuff you can still use any of the previous DPs/SDs if you crave that Foveon touch.

  28. Dennis says:


    And I’ve also found that the DPx/SPP5 combination has lost something of the Foveon magic compared to the earlier DP/DPs versions and earlier SPP releases. Maybe the AFE gives better colour accuracy at the expense of expressiveness?

    The danger for Sigma perhaps is that people have moved on from saying that the price is the reason not to have a SD1, and are now asking whether they want an SD1 at any price compared with more conventional alternatives?

    And I go along with Person above who said “I don’t get the kick out of discovering Carl’s DP1 shots from back-in-the-days, that stuff really looked the Foveon part, whereas now it leaves me strangely indifferent”.

    I wish Sigma had concentrated on lenses and DP type cameras, I don’t think they have what it takes in the DSLR marketplace?

  29. WTF says:

    Yes agree I don’t see a definitive/decisive edge over conventional 20MP shooters. Maybe a little sharper, maybe *slightly* more 3D, but nothing that makes me wanna run out and slam 6000USD on the counter. And from a more rational/business perspective even less, client-side nobody will notice the difference and as said I myself don’t see that much, so why bother? It’s better to hang in there and see what other companies are developing with their huge customer base and bigger R&D budgets, things are going to evolve fast, whereas Sigma I don’t think they’re gonna develop anything new in the next 2-3 or so years. Canon/Nikon and co. are reportedly working on fine-tuning their Bayer sensors with much improved dynamic range and so on, everybody seems focused on really optimizing IQ whilst abandoning the Megapixel race, so I think that’s a interesting shift in focus on behalf of the manufacturer’s, let’s see what happens!

    • Dan says:

      3 layer sensor should not cause flat looking images. I think Sigma is still working on getting the developer right for the new sensor. Remember color blotches issue or fill flash too a while to implement on the previous sensor.

  30. Garrit says:

    There is a new update SPP 5.1, for Sigma Photo Pro at:

    SIGMA Photo Pro 5.1 (Ver.5.1.0) for Windows
    Adds the Exposure Picker function.
    In processing X3F files from the SD1, Highlight processing is improved.
    Various bugs have been corrected to achieve more stable operation.
    Updated Italian Help menu.

  31. WTF says:

    @Dan: I’ll believe it when I see it … my feeling is that it runs a little deeper than a mere software issue.

  32. WTF says:

    Why couldn’t Sigma be a small, cool purist label? Imagine a offering where you’d have a Full-Frame Foveon sensor and a couple of choices between mounts: Sigma, Canon AND Leica (manual) to start with, coupled with a beautiful retro-styled body (like the Fuji X-100, or maybe like a large DP with a better grip) … geez, THAT thing would fly of the shelves. Instead of that we’re sitting here with a product ruined by clumsy, 80’s style marketing considerations (guess where the APS-C format is coming from). The big mistake in their heads is that they want to compete with the big guys, if they would consciously and devotedly cater to a niche market, they’d eventually gain a following. And who better than Leica fans to pay for the kind of price tag they’re asking for?

  33. I don’t think you get it at all. Sigma DOES create cameras for a niche market. That is why I am buying. I just got my first Sigma camera . . . fianlly – an old SD14. I LOVE it! It was/is an experimental purchase. The SD1 convinced me to try it. I’m not going to buy a $7,000 camera without trying the less expensive version first! I am VERY pleased with the SD14, and from what I can see, the SD1 looks much like the SD14. I own a Canon 20 D, a Canon 5 D, a Sony R1, and I had a Nikon D5000, which was stolen after about 6 months. I’ve used a Nikon D3, my friend’s Nikon D700, and a few other cameras. I absolutely LOVE the SD14! The photos are so crisp and sharp! Now I’m ready to save the money to get the SD1. Now I am a TRUE believer. The SD1 offers something that nobody else offers – an amazing image in the APS-C format, a format where there is a vast array of good quality, light lenses available from the company that makes the camera. The APS-C format is also king of bird shooter land. I can’t believe that there aren’t hundreds – or maybe even thousands of bird shooters out there buying the SD1. Certainly, the SD1 is a perfect walk-around camera for the medium format shooter who is getting tired of lugging his heavy medium format camera with him, no?

    I want the SD1, because I believe wholeheartedly in the APS-C format, after my experiences with my 5 D and other full-frame cameras, comparing the images from those cameras to the images I have captured with my APS-C format cameras. It just doesn’t make sense to buy a full-frame camera, and then have to get a giant lens just to get the same picture you would, if you got a lens that is much smaller, and then if you had that giant lens, and used an APS-C camera instead of a full-frame camera, you could get a better image, because you are shooting the center of the image circle and getting a more “magnified view” of what the lens is projecting at the film plane.

    I will buy the SD1, because it costs about the same as the other truly professional options, while giving me the same speed and better image quality. I will be getting the APS-C format for free. I will have the advantage of being able to use ALL the lenses available – not just the full-frame lenses. I can pick from any of Sigma’s many lenses. That makes a HUGE difference, when considering what format you choose to shoot.

    What else is all that, if it isn’t the writings of a niche customer?

  34. WTF says:

    @ Scott. I just don’t think the SD1 files look actually as nice as the SD14 ones, this has been debated and acknowledged previously and was my whole point, maybe related to SPP … we’ll see. As for the rest, personally I’d prefer to see the Foveon technology adopted by some bigger company who can flex more muscle around the sensor’s unique properties. Sigma’s marketing decisions and capabilities into developing the platform just seem somewhat erratic and under-powered and it’s really a pity given the Foveon’s qualities.

  35. Mark Alan Thomas says:

    Eventually Canon and Nikon etc will have full color sensors, though I doubt they’ll use a three layer approach, and this Nikon patent suggests as much:

  36. Mark Alan Thomas says:

    It seems to me that this approach would circumvent the Foveon’s most nagging problem — color blotching — which apparently has to do with the three layer approach (that is, the deeper the light has to penetrate the sensor, the weaker it gets).

  37. WTF says:

    Yup I really hope that one of the other brands will eventually get it … we need to remember that consumer digital cameras have been around for barely 20 years, and the evolution is already unite amazing, so I’m confident that one of the bigger guys will eventually see the benefits of Foveon-like technology, or any other technology that gives a more 3d like rendering … the difficult part is that ‘more 3D-like images’ it is a pretty abstract notion in terms of marketing lingo, companies loved the simple megapixel terminology because it was a simple and crude way to trick people into believing that this or that camera was more ‘professional’ (because it has more megapixels). But eventually things evolved, also because photographers are exchanging increasingly via forums and blogs and companies can’t rely anymore on putting megapixel-stickers on their packaging … and this is also a trend we are witnessing … pretty much all the companies really fine-tune the quality of their sensors in more subtle and in-depth ways, not solely engaging into megapixel rhetoric. If only one is innovative enough to make the underlying sensor technology evolve than we might finally have some viable alternatives to the Foveon platform.

  38. Max says:


    i have troubles developing long exposured images (ISO 50) by the DP2x in SPP, see:

    These pink/green pinxels are sometimes a lot and huge, this not acceptable and maybe a mayor bug in SPP, because the camera-interal JPGs are ok (but JPGs).

    Sorry for posting this here, hope it helps to know…

  39. WTF, I agree that the SD1 and other Sigma cameras are “underpowered” in their processing capabilities. They write the files to the memory card too slowly, in my opinion. They don’t have big enough buffers for shooting RAW (they fixed that problem in the SD15, but then re-introduced it with the SD1, for some reason). I don’t like how sluggish they are, when viewing the images on the review screen either. My SD14 also takes way too long to start up. Apparently, the SD1 takes just as long. It’s as if nobody cares at Sigma. To me, it’s as if you have to leave the camera on all the time. Well . . . that’s my solution to that problem.

    As far as Mark Alan Thomas’ comment, “. . . the deeper the light has to penetrate the sensor, the weaker it gets” – man, you just don’t get it, do you?

    As the light penetrates the material, it is absorbed at different depths. It is the most sensible design I can imagine. It’s the closest thing to film we could ever get. It acts JUST LIKE FILM!

    The light does not get “weaker” as it goes deeper. Different colors are absorbed at different depths. The light in one layer ALL gets to that layer, with the same energy. No, it’s not “getting weaker” – jeeeez!

    You need to read some more . . .

    I believe that in the SD1, Sigma has basically “fixed” the issues that the smaller sensor in the SD14 and SD15 have with the color blotching. Certainly, the SD1 performs better than ANY other camera with an APS-C size sensor – even the Canon 7 D, which was king of high ISO in the APS-C format, until the SD1.

    Still . . . I do not have an SD1, so I can not speak from experience. I am just commenting based on my experience with RAW files I’ve downloaded and worked with in SPP. I am a pixel peeper. I use a lot . . . to compare images from different cameras and lenses. I also check the “Comparator” at often (or at least I have lately).

    The image files I get from my SD14 are excellent. I don’t shoot it above 100 ISO, but from what I’ve seen, it seems to have major problems at higher ISO. Supposedly the SD15 was greatly improved in that respect. I may end up getting one of those too. Then I will see myself.

    I didn’t shoot above 100 ISO with my Canon 5 D very often either. I have grown to HATE noise.

  40. BTW, here is a link to my gallery of a few images I’ve shot recently, since I just got my SD14 –

  41. Ricky says:

    SD1 Wood Edition is the ugliest thing ever.

  42. Mason says:

    I guess they are trying to use the wood handle to make this camera looks more valuable. And this message may tell us that the distributors have trouble to sell this product, and they are trying the new strategy (adding the wood) to boost their sales

    Good thing to see them do some change, but… it is still ugly, expansive and stupid…

  43. WTF says:

    OMG it’s the ugliest thing ever … SUCH HELPLESNESS is just mind-blowing, in a day and time when even the dumbest, biggest corporations manage to get product design right. Sigma just feels like one of those looser 80’s brands. I just hope they go bankrupt and that the foveon technology gets bought up by a capable company.

  44. LionelB says:

    So it has come to this. A kitsch toy for Russian oligarchs who don’t know their shoulder strap from their aperture.
    Speaking of Aperture, version 3.2 is just released :-)

  45. Dennis says:

    The new DP3?

    Available from at a good price

  46. Dennis says:

    Nearly forgot, the new version of SPP is also available …

  47. John Driggers says:

    It’s official. Carl has left the planet.

  48. Robin says:

    Downloaded some SD1-RAWs from here. Just to find out how SPP 5.1 is performing (Wine, Ubuntu 11.10, Athlon 64 X2 4800+, Vertex 2 SSD) and it’s ok to me. But I’m curious: Did you experience missing scalable preview as well? I’m only allowed to change window-size, but I can’t switch zoom factor of preview. Something wrong with my system? Adjusting RAW with preview in window size was fluent, exporting 16 Bit Tiff took about a minute. Quite ok. But I’d wish to watch 100% closely while adjusting …

    Thx for anybodys answer.

    Have fun on your planet, Carl!

    • Lolek says:

      Yeah, I’ve been testing spp with ubuntu Too, and was pretty satisfied too.
      The weather is changing – everybody’s busy with getting ready for winter to strike! :-)

      Take care everybody! :-)

      • Robin says:


        Meanwhile found out, what was unusual to me: There’s a “full rez” button to make scalable preview available … don’t really know why it is not just activated when clicking on “larger”, but you have to enable it. So everything is working ….

  49. Just thought I’d put in my 2 cents here . . . SPP 5.0.0 works great for me on this old 24″ iMac with 2.1 Ghz dual-core Intel processor and 3 GB of RAM. I’m running Snow Leopard 10.6.7, and I have quite a lot of software installed. I have multiple external hard drives – 1 USB (3 TB Western Digital), 2 fire-wire 800 (1 TB and 2 TB Western Digital Studio drives) and one fire-wire 400 (1 TB Maxtor). Maybe I should upgrade to 5.1, but I think I might just wait another month or two, until 5.2 or 5.3 comes out, because 5.0 runs fine. Is there something really different about 5.1? (I’m shooting with a Sigma SD14.)

  50. LionelB says:

    With my SD14 using 5.1 seems no different than using 5.0. The implementation must be pretty settled by now. All the fuss is over the SD1 fixes …
    The only thing I would like now is mapping to DNG raw files, for use in Aperture.

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