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Archive 2011 · Where is SD1
  
 
nugeny
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p.1 #1 · Where is SD1


No one seems to talk about this camera any more. No review. No nothing. Can some one have an open mind and give it a decent review?


Nov 26, 2011 at 03:49 PM
mawz
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p.1 #2 · Where is SD1


nugeny wrote:
No one seems to talk about this camera any more. No review. No nothing. Can some one have an open mind and give it a decent review?


Who's going to pay that much money for an APS-C camera with very significant limitations? I'd expect there's be people here shooting it if it was $2-3K but at its current cost it's very unlikely to ever be purchased by anybody other than a hardcore SA mount fanatic and those aren't exactly thick on the ground. I suspect Pentax is selling more 645D's than Sigma is selling SD1's.



Nov 26, 2011 at 03:51 PM
nugeny
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p.1 #3 · Where is SD1


The issue here is: if it is all about the IQ, why can't some one really check it out and do some comp studies before the final verdict.

mawz wrote:
Who's going to pay that much money for an APS-C camera with very significant limitations? I'd expect there's be people here shooting it if it was $2-3K but at its current cost it's very unlikely to ever be purchased by anybody other than a hardcore SA mount fanatic and those aren't exactly thick on the ground. I suspect Pentax is selling more 645D's than Sigma is selling SD1's.




Nov 26, 2011 at 04:18 PM
kwalsh
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p.1 #4 · Where is SD1


nugeny wrote:
The issue here is: if it is all about the IQ, why can't some one really check it out and do some comp studies before the final verdict.


Both Luminous Landscape and PDN have, and the conclusion was that it was not even remotely close to MF cameras of similar cost. As far as resolution goes it did better than most APS-C cameras that cost only $1000 and about the same as a few FF cameras that cost $2500. As far as noise/high-ISO goes it did significantly worse than all the APS-C and FF cameras.

Bottom line, it is about $1500 to $2000 of IQ at most being sold at four times the cost with a crippled user interface. If it was all about the (base-ISO) IQ and it cost $2000 people would be talking about it a lot (despite its other various short comings). At the current price it is silly and few sites are wasting their time on a product that is irrelevant to almost the entire community. It is sad, if they had priced it sensibly we'd probably see a lot of reviews and interest. As it is there is no compelling reason for anyone to purchase or review it other than out of morbid curiosity.

Ken



Nov 26, 2011 at 05:03 PM
mawz
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p.1 #5 · Where is SD1


kwalsh wrote:
Both Luminous Landscape and PDN have, and the conclusion was that it was not even remotely close to MF cameras of similar cost. As far as resolution goes it did better than most APS-C cameras that cost only $1000 and about the same as a few FF cameras that cost $2500. As far as noise/high-ISO goes it did significantly worse than all the APS-C and FF cameras.

Bottom line, it is about $1500 to $2000 of IQ at most being sold at four times the cost with a crippled user interface. If it was all about the (base-ISO) IQ and it
...Show more

Exactly, and with the arrival of Sony's 24MP APS-C cameras it's even less likely, since they deliver base ISO resolution close to the 20+MP FF bodies for $1000-$1500 and struggle less with noise & DR than the SD1.



Nov 26, 2011 at 05:34 PM
pingflood
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p.1 #6 · Where is SD1


mawz wrote:
Exactly, and with the arrival of Sony's 24MP APS-C cameras it's even less likely, since they deliver base ISO resolution close to the 20+MP FF bodies for $1000-$1500 and struggle less with noise & DR than the SD1.



Yeah, but where are you going to get a NEX with wood burl exterior?



Nov 26, 2011 at 05:54 PM
nugeny
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p.1 #7 · Where is SD1


Ken,
thanks for the info.
I read most of the report and came home with an slightly different understanding than yours.
First: the camera body: nothing to compare with D3x, 1Ds, or even the Sony 900...
The sensor: the IQ is comparable or even better---imageDetail-- than 24 MP of S900 and D3x. But for sure it can't compare with 40MP of Pentax.

So it is way over priced. Fair price for me: $3000.00. I value the IQ.
If Sigma makes the camera that can use CanNikon lenses, it may be worth more.


kwalsh wrote:
Both Luminous Landscape and PDN have, and the conclusion was that it was not even remotely close to MF cameras of similar cost. As far as resolution goes it did better than most APS-C cameras that cost only $1000 and about the same as a few FF cameras that cost $2500. As far as noise/high-ISO goes it did significantly worse than all the APS-C and FF cameras.

Bottom line, it is about $1500 to $2000 of IQ at most being sold at four times the cost with a crippled user interface. If it was all about the (base-ISO) IQ and it
...Show more



Nov 26, 2011 at 06:08 PM
mawz
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p.1 #8 · Where is SD1


nugeny wrote:
Ken,
thanks for the info.
I read most of the report and came home with an slightly different understanding than yours.
First: the camera body: nothing to compare with D3x, 1Ds, or even the Sony 900...
The sensor: the IQ is comparable or even better---imageDetail-- than 24 MP of S900 and D3x. But for sure it can't compare with 40MP of Pentax.

So it is way over priced. Fair price for me: $3000.00. I value the IQ.
If Sigma makes the camera that can use CanNikon lenses, it may be worth more.



The problem is also that while the SD1 can match and maybe exceed the 24MP bodies in terms of resolution it trails in terms of Dynamic Range (Due to noise floor issues) and offers significantly inferior colour accuracy (a trait inherent to the Foveon sensors due to their design, despite avoiding interpolation). It's actually trailing the FF bodies in IQ as it prioritizes resolution above all else and there's a lot more than just resolution to IQ.



Nov 26, 2011 at 06:21 PM
mMontag
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p.1 #9 · Where is SD1


Just guessing - but, probably poor resale value? :-)


Nov 26, 2011 at 07:27 PM
kwalsh
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p.1 #10 · Where is SD1


nugeny wrote:
I read most of the report and came home with an slightly different understanding than yours.


Oh certainly, I didn't intend my conclusion/summary to be the be all end all of evaluation! A camera like the SD1 certainly has different value to different photographers, useless for sports and wildlife but compelling (at the right price) for studio or landscape. I think the only universal conclusion so far is that it is well over-priced and that somewhere in the $2K-$3K range there would be a fair number of interested people. I hope there will be more reviews, but I think sadly the price has probably made it a pretty low priority for most sites.

Ken



Nov 26, 2011 at 11:14 PM
 

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Sosua
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p.1 #11 · Where is SD1


Wow - can you imagine the depreciation of an SD1 - it would be insane.

It has another flaw, besides the price - a Sigma mount.

Sigma do some decent lenses, but it only seemed to look really good with the 70mm macro to be honest. Even the reasonably well regarded 8-16 really struggled on it.

From a detail perspective, it would be about as good as a bayer 24mp, certainly no better and certainly not 45mp.

From an overall image quality perspective, not so competitive. After a certain resolution threshold, dynamic range and noise become more important.

It would have had difficulty selling at $2000 to be honest.



Nov 26, 2011 at 11:40 PM
phuang3
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p.1 #12 · Where is SD1


I guess Sigma does not intend to push the sale on SD1, thst's why the MSRP is rocket high. I feel SD1 will be discontiuned very soon when current stock is out. $9700 for a 15MP APS-C is a bad joke, not to mention the idea of using Sigma lenses on Foveon sensor.


Nov 27, 2011 at 08:03 AM
contas
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p.1 #13 · Where is SD1


I am collecting money to buy it- SD1, while using SD9 right now - SDs is more than perfect solution for outside at daylight or in studio.But my opinion is that: it could be asked for less than 5K is more reasonable than double it.Further more using SDs along Sigma SA is a worse combo, Zeiss lenses is very suitable for Foveon.


Nov 28, 2011 at 03:39 AM
nugeny
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p.1 #14 · Where is SD1


phuang3 wrote:
I guess Sigma does not intend to push the sale on SD1, thst's why the MSRP is rocket high. I feel SD1 will be discontiuned very soon when current stock is out. $9700 for a 15MP APS-C is a bad joke, not to mention the idea of using Sigma lenses on Foveon sensor.



they just miSsed in a big way!!!!



Nov 28, 2011 at 03:56 AM
nugeny
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p.1 #15 · Where is SD1


contas wrote:
I am collecting money to buy it- SD1, while using SD9 right now - SDs is more than perfect solution for outside at daylight or in studio.But my opinion is that: it could be asked for less than 5K is more reasonable than double it.Further more using SDs along Sigma SA is a worse combo, Zeiss lenses is very suitable for Foveon.


I would wait just a bit. I will be close to $3000 soon.



Nov 28, 2011 at 03:59 AM
contas
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p.1 #16 · Where is SD1


nugeny wrote:
3K



Nov 28, 2011 at 04:06 AM
veroman
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p.1 #17 · Where is SD1


The Sigma SD1 is like all other Foveon cameras that preceded it: excellent IQ within a very narrow range of shooting conditions. Beyond that narrow range, the camera has poor noise control, noticeable and non-correctable color shifts as well as inaccurate color, serious loss of dynamic range and detail, etc.

The Sigma cameras have NEVER been competitive within their price range or even beyond, have NOT kept up with advancements in the digital domain and are almost always subject to poor quality control.

The SD1 is just more of the same. It's certainly not a $6,000+ camera, it's definitely not an MF camera, and it's absolutely, positively not a 46MP camera!

- Steve



Nov 28, 2011 at 04:11 AM
contas
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p.1 #18 · Where is SD1


@veroman : "excellent IQ within a very narrow range of shooting conditions".

I agreed- and that excellent level is higher than any others exisited nowaday D-sensors and worth that $$$$ investment, it totally depends what purpose are you on.Me and many for example IQ is the most.

@veroman :"poor noise control, noticeable and non-correctable color shifts as well as inaccurate color, serious loss of dynamic range and detail"

It happens to every camera brands, the SD is the worse in noise controls but the sharpness, details, color saturation, DR and even 3D-ish no D-sensors can reach near the Foveon - that why people use it outside in sunshined days or in fully equipped studio.Here are my experiences with Canon 5D2, 500D and SD9: Sd9 wins outside: flowers, landscapes, portraits with higher percentage of excl. pics, Canon color is bleached, details are flat or losed and lag far behind from sharpness ( I use Zeiss lenses for both systems).Canons win inside , events, moving child or animals, dim or dark .So I use both systems and my gears are used alternatively to compensate each other.



Nov 29, 2011 at 02:36 AM
veroman
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p.1 #19 · Where is SD1


contas wrote:
.... Here are my experiences with Canon 5D2, 500D and SD9: Sd9 wins outside: flowers, landscapes, portraits with higher percentage of excl. pics, Canon color is bleached, details are flat or losed and lag far behind from sharpness ( I use Zeiss lenses for both systems).Canons win inside , events, moving child or animals, dim or dark .So I use both systems and my gears are used alternatively to compensate each other.


My experience with the Canon 5D and 1Ds II (I own and use both) is not at all the same as yours. Indoors or outside, bright days or dim, the images I get from my Canons do not at all suffer from "bleached color," loss of sharpness and detail, etc. The Canons provide far more accurate color than the Sigma/Foveon and my "keeper rate" is substantially higher ... no contest there.

The Canons, more so than any other camera brand I've used, are the best representation I've ever seen of "balanced compromises" in camera design, whereas the Sigma/Foveon shows compromises in some of the most critical and important areas of camera performance. Unlike the Canons, the compromises made by the Sigma designers end up as a lop-sided camera with a couple of strengths and a LOT of weaknesses.

Unless one simply prefers the particular "look" the Foveon files can deliver under ideal conditions ... and is willing to overlook the limitations of the Foveon sensor design in order to obtain that "look" ... I see no good reason whatsoever to shoot with a Sigma/Foveon camera over a pro-level Canon, Nikon or Olympus. Even the Pentax K-5 is a better choice. The Pentax 645 is DEFINITELY a better choice.

- Steve



Nov 29, 2011 at 01:08 PM
kwalsh
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p.1 #20 · Where is SD1


I've watched Foveon for a lot of years, even way back before the stacked pixel design when they were using three monochrome CMOS sensors and a dichroic prism in a studio camera that used a laptop as a viewfinder. It has been a compelling approach from the start and it has been frustrating to watch it never really reach prime time.

In my humble analysis there are four long present problems that stacked upon each other have culminated to make the SD1 as irrelevant a camera as it is.

- First, and probably the most minor on their own at this point, are the sensor limitations. Finally it appears the sensor has both VGA and CDS so the high-ISO performance while not spectacular is also not abysmal like the earlier sensors. That leaves the delta-E limitation which is a fundamental limit of the stacked design but is probably not relevant to a lot of photographers. On its own I think the sensor is now very compelling for some genres. I list it mostly because it dove-tails into the next point and historically it may have had a lot to do with why X3 wasn't adopted way back when by other manufacturers.

- Second, is SPP. Because of the stacked pixel design and its extremely challenging color processing most all of the normal RAW workflows are not an option. The spectral filters on Bayer make for relatively straight forward color, the broad diffusion profiles of the X3 require very specialized processing to get color even close to correct. Because of this you are forced into SPP and SPP is a piece of junk compared to what else is out there. I know SPP can output quality images, the problem is no other RAW processor really can. In order for the camera to be successful it has to be easy for people to migrate to and SPP is a huge barrier to this. But really, part of that barrier is the sensor itself - it is the sensor that prevents easy support in other converters. Bit of a chicken and egg problem - not relevant until better RAW support, no point in the significant investment of RAW support until relevant.

- Third, is Sigma camera design. The cameras themselves are awful. If they didn't have an X3 sensor in them no one would purchase them at any price. Without X3 I doubt the SD1 would sell for $500. Sigma designs horrific cameras and nothing is worse than their firmware. The SD1 time to write files and buffer management is insanely bad. Sure, part of the problem is that the sensor produces a lot of data, but that isn't the real issue - lots of cameras with higher frame rates and deep buffers both write faster and behave while writing. Many of their cameras actually crash - who else have ever used a camera where the firmware regularly crashes?

- Fourth is the management. It is easy to throw stones at management. Foveon got trapped in an awkward spot before their acquisition and ended up down a financially fruitless camera phone path. Sigma didn't move on a new sensor for a long time. Whatever, hard from the outside to really know what was up but the repeated schedule slips and announcements 18 months before product availability clearly point to something wrong at the top levels. The real problem though is the SD1 price. And this is clearly, confirmed by multiple sources, pure management idiocy. There was no reason it couldn't be a $2000 body, costs were very similar to previous bodies but an executive in Japan had a "brilliant" pricing idea.

Sigh. In summary, yes stacked pixel technology has some compromises but in some cases it might be worth the compromises. Unfortunately there are other forces that are far, far, far more detrimental than just the sensor that make the SD1 a non-starter. The various sensor quibbles are the very least of what is keeping the X3 as a fan-boy niche.

Ken



Nov 29, 2011 at 03:02 PM
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