Guest post: Sigma SD1 update

Sigma SD1

Sigma SD1

This guest post is written by Bob van Ooik from X3magazine. You can visit also the original article "A wealth of Sigma SD1 info".

As a long time user of Sigma cameras the introduction of the SD1 is something I look forward to very much. Recently the CP+ fair was held in Japan and there Sigma released more info into the world through a new microsite and several formal and informal sources. Most of the info below is confirmed by one or more sources but as they are still developing nothing is set in stone.

One big rumor I would like to squash immediately. There is a lot of talk of Sigma wanting to release the SD1 end of February. As far as I know they never made this promise but they do aim for a (late) spring release. The body is basically done and could go into production soon but the firmware (on the bodies at the show) is still at version 0.5 and still needs a bit of work.

Sigma had 11 big sized prints on display in their booth. And they were according to several reports on the web, simply amazing. They also had the images on display on an iMac. According to Maro they were tremendous. He tried increasing the saturation in Photoshop and there was no chroma noise appearing. Kazuto Yamaki said that the Sd1 will be totally usable at iso400 and will be even quite good at iso1600, comparable to iso400 on the current cameras! The new recommended iso seems to be iso200 with iso100 taking over the place of the old iso50. Extended mode will go to iso6400.

The RAW files of the SD1 will quite big, around 50MB for a iso100 high resolution file. New is a RAW+JPEG mode where the JPEG will be around 7MB. Fast UDMA 6 cards are supported and probably needed for acceptable write times. The SD1 will see a return of HI (4800x3200), MED (3264x2176) and LOW (2400x1600) setting for RAW. To achieve that VPS (see www.foveon.com) will be used. Frame rate will be between 3.5 fps for HI to ca. 5fps for LOW.

A few other noteworthy points:

  • AF system has 11 points with twin-cross sensors and each sensor is equally sensitive.
  • The focus aid squares have been made much smaller.
  • Micro-adjustment of the AF will be available on a per lens basis.
  • Sigma does not and will not apply and lens corrections to the files in-camera.
  • In the viewfinder you can now see the number of pictures left before the buffer is filled.
  • The shutter is still very quiet, some say even quieter than the SD15.
  • The batteries used are the same as for the SD14/15.
  • A new enhanced version of the battery pack annex vertical grip is said to be in development.
  • Sigma might be considering developing tethering software for the SD1.
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