Sigma SD1

My Canon 5D mk I is beginning to show its age, so my thoughts turn to buying a replacement sometime in the next year or more. The mk II doesn’t give enough benefit to upgrade for me so obvious choice would be to wait for the 5D mk III and I’d be happy to do so. Then along comes Photokina and out of the blue Sigma announce the SD1.

I’ve been following the trials and tribulations of the Sigma cameras for a couple of years now, and although I’ve been tempted they never hit the nail on the head, especially as I already had the 5D. But the SD1 is a game changer, if its as good as it could be, and Sigma pull their fingers out and deliver a camera that works well (as they look to have done with the SD15) this will be an amazing camera.

The 15mp x 3 layer Foveon sensor should equate to the resolution of a 30mp bayer sensor used everywhere else. That would put it in the ballpark of the 5D mk III when it eventually comes. Even so, the SD1 is an APS-C camera and Sigma signalled that they might price it to match the Canon 7D, so even if the 5D eventually out pixels it no bayer APS-C camera is likely too for a long long time.

Part of the SD1 conumdrum is that will almost certainly be available only with Sigma SA mount limiting the choice of lense to only those produced by Sigma. Sigma are perhaps best known for producing good value lenses for other manufacturers’ systems. If you compare these to those say of Canon or Nikon many fall short in terms of image quality and construction, but do represent good value.

There are though a few gems in there. The Sigma 120-300mm is considered one of the top of the range comparable to the Canon and Nikon equivilants, and Sigma have just introduced a new version with weather sealing, FLD lens elements, and stabilisation. The 50mm 1.4 is a fine lens especially with the APCS-C cropping the edges, and I’d expect the new 85mm 1.4 to follow suit. And then there is the 8-16mm ultra wide angle which is reported to be very good, fun at 8mm and distortion free at 14-15 which is pretty impressive. Now if they upgraded their 24-70mm 2.8 to the latest spec of the 120-300 how many lenses does a person need 🙂

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~ by Alan Humphris on October 21, 2010.

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