Sigma SD1 price and availability *updated*

Update: you can see some new sample images from the Sigma SD1 here (the site takes forever to load).

Yes, today Sigma did release the price an availability info on the 46MP SD1 camera: $9,700, starts shipping in early June. Don't bother with pre-orders, I think there will be plenty of SD1 cameras lying around. Seriously, does anyone think that this price is reasonable?

Full press release with detailed specs and a 100% crop sample after the break:

Here is a 100% crop form one of the jpg samples published today by Sigma (click on image for larger view):

Sigma Corporation of America to ship SD1 camera in early June

Ronkonkoma, NY, May 20, 2011 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, is pleased to announce that its flagship DSLR, the Sigma SD1, will be available for purchase for the MSRP of $9,700 in early June.

This 46-megapixel DSLR is delivered in a splash-proof, easy-to-handle build that is similar to that of a classic 35mm camera. Professional and high-end enthusiast photographers will utilize the SD1’s exclusive Foveon 23.5x15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor to capture exceptionally rich and detailed images that have a film-like quality. Users will also benefit from Sigma’s wide selection of interchangeable lenses that are compatible with the SD1.

“The SD1 will carve out a new category in the marketplaceby providing high-end photographers with an alternative to very expensive medium-format cameras and digital backs, while offering unrivaled image quality,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “By embracing the SD1, serious photographers will also be able to take advantage of Sigma’s extensive lineup of affordable lenses, which are compatible with this new camera. The selections of lenses for medium-format cameras on the market are somewhat limited, so this will be a huge advantage for SD1 users. This is undoubtedly a very special camera, and we’re thrilled to share it with the photo community.”

In addition to the 23.5x15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor, the Sigma SD1 features dual “Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine (TRUE) II” image processing engines, which improves processing speed, provides high resolution power and produces high-definition images with richly graduated tones. It also allows simultaneous RAW and JPEG recording, which is a first for Sigma cameras. Additionally, the photographer has the option to select full-size, half-size or quarter-size RAW files making it a more versatile camera for a wide range of photographers. The Foveon sensor uses three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. This technology efficiently reproduces color more accurately and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required.

The optical format of the Foveon sensor has been upgraded from that which was used in previous SD cameras, and has increased from 1.7x focal length to the 1.5x focal length multiplier. The SD1 also benefits from improved image processing and noise reduction algorithms, with an ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 6400. This is two full stops more sensitivity than the SD15, which has a maximum 1600 ISO. An intuitive user interface and an impressive lightweight, yet solid magnesium alloy body and O-ring sealing connections that make the camera durable and splash proof are also key feature upgrades of the flagship SD1.

The SD1 adopts the TYPE 1 Compact Flash Card, and is UDMA-compatible enabling fast processing of large amounts of data. The autofocus system features an 11-point shifted twin cross type sensor, which improves AF accuracy. The SD1 features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition. The SD1 can be used with more than 40 Sigma SA mount lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheye.

Sigma’s image processing software, Photo Pro 5.0, comes bundled with the camera and its simple operation allows quick and easy capture of the desired imaged. Additional functions such as Loupe, Slideshow, Print, Convert to JPEG file and Batch White Balance settings are also incorporated into this software.

The Sigma SD1 will be available for the MSRP of $9,700 through select authorized Sigma dealers. For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit For more information about the Sigma SD1 DSLR, visit or view the camera’s special page at

Sigma SD1 specs and info

46 megapixel 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 Full-color image sensor
The 46 effective megapixel (4,800×3,200×3 layers) and 44 recording megapixel (4,704×3,136×3 layers) 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor featured in the Sigma SD1 captures all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location, ensuring the capture of full and complete color. Using three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths, it efficiently reproduces color more accurately, and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and color, generated by the 46 megapixel APS-C X3 direct image sensor is captured with a three-dimensional feel.

Dual TRUE II image processing engine

The SD1 incorporates a dual “TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II” image processing engine which improves the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. The unique image-processing algorithm provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images with richly graduated tones. In addition, the SD1 is Sigma’s first camera to allow simultanous RAW and JPEG recording.

Advanced DDR III buffer

To handle large volumes of color data at high speed, the SD1 uses DDR III buffer memory technology, which delivers class-leading performance. The SD1 features a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second and can capture up to 7 RAW images per sequence in continuous shooting mode.

CF card

The SD1 adopts the TYPE I CF Card. This camera is compatible with the UDMA enabling fast processing of large amounts of data.
* It is not possible to use Microdrives and TYPE II CF cards.

Intuitive user interface

The improved user interface provides faster and more convenient operation. Aperture and shutter speed can be set by their own dials. The exposure compensation button and exposure mode button are on top of the body for quick access. A Quick Set (QS) menu lets you easily change commonly used functions. To display the QS menu, simply press the QS button. QS menu 1 is for ISO setting, flash mode, metering mode and AF mode; QS menu 2 offers white balance, image quality, image size and color mode.

Magnesium body

The Sigma SD1 adopts a lightweight yet solid magnesium alloy body designed to withstand rough use and shocks in harsh conditions.

Splash proof design

Buttons and connections benefit from O-ring sealing connections to prevent dust and water getting inside the camera body.

Bright, wide-coverage viewfinder with integral pentaprism

The SD1 features a pentaprism viewfinder with 98% (vertical and horizontal)coverage, 0.95x magnification and an 18mm eye point. Diopter adjustment is provided over a range of -3 to +1.5 dpt.

Four metering modes

The SD1 features 77-segment Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering, Center Area Metering and Spot Metering.Exposure can be manually adjusted to suit your needs. When difficult lighting conditions make appropriate exposure unclear, auto bracketing lets you take a sequence of shots of the same subject at three or five different exposure levels. Bracketing can be set in 1/3EV increments up to ±3EV(3levels) or ±1.7EV(5 levels).

11 point twin cross sensor

The autofocus system features an 11 point twin cross sensor. The shifted twin cross type sensor improves AF accuracy. Selecting the AF point can be done manually or automatically.

77-segment AE sensor

The SD1 features a new 77-segment AE sensor using advanced AE algorithms to improve exposure accuracy. Exact control coordinated with the 11 AF points achieves accurate exposure even in difficult lightning conditions.

Dust Protector

Most digital SLR cameras are vulnerable to dust entering the body. If dust and dirt adhere to the image sensor, it may appear in the photos. The lens mount of the SD1 is equipped with a dust protector and the area around it is sealed to prevent dust from entering the body. Even in the unlikely event of dust adhering to the image sensor, the dust protector can be removed easily for sensor cleaning.

Focal Plane shutter

The durable focal plane shutter mechanism has a life cycle of over 100,000 exposures and dramatically reduces generation of dust. The photographer can enjoy taking pictures with confidence that the image sensor is clean and protected from dust or dirt originating inside or outside the camera.

Two-motor system

Using a two-motor system with dedicated motors for mirror-drive and shutter charge reduces the vibration of mirror movement, thereby preventing camera shake. A mirror lock-up mechanism prevents further vibration when the shutter is released. Preventing camera shake is especially important for macro photography and when using ultra-telephoto lenses.

Noiseless image processing

ISO sensitivity can be selected from 100 to 6400. The SD1 captures light effectively and ensures noiseless image processing. The image sensor provides high definition with rich, graduated tones.

Large, highly visible 3.0” TFT color LCD Monitor

The SD1 camera features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition.

Built-in flash with 17mm angle of coverage

The Sigma SD1 camera’s built-in flash has a guide number of 11 to cover a 17mm lens angle (equivalent to 25.5mm with a 35mm camera). The built-in flash can be synchronized to a shutter speed of up to 1/180 sec. The S-TTL automatic exposure system enables control of advanced flash photography.

SIGMA Photo Pro5.0 (Supplied)

The supplied image processing software, SIGMA Photo Pro 5, converts RAW data quickly and easily and describes full data of 46 megapixel resolution. A renewed interface design provides functional and convenient operation. Sigma PhotoPro allows easy operation, simply by moving a slider from left to right while looking at the particular image you took, you can get a photographic expression just as you like. In addition, other functions such as Loupe, Slideshow, Print, Covert to JPEG file and Batch White Balance settings are incorporated into this software.

Dedicated BP-21 lithium-ion battery

The dedicated BP-21 lithium-ion battery is supplied as standard with the SD1. It takes about 150 minutes to fully charge with the supplied BC-21 battery charger. The optional SAC-4 AC adapter lets the Sigma SD1 run on AC power from a wall socket.

Optional lenses

The SD1 can be used with over 40 Sigma lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheyes which adopt the latest technology such as the FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have the performance equal to fluorite glass, SLD glass, Aspherical lenses, Sigma’s own unique Optical Stabilizer function, Hyper Sonic Motor and Sigma’s Super Multi Layer Coating. They meet the various and demanding requirements of all types of photographers.

Interchangeable lens SLR camera
Storage Media
Compact Flash (Type I, UDMA compatible)
Image Sensor Size
Lens Mount
SIGMA SA bayonet mount
Compatible Lenses
SIGMA SA mount interchangeable lenses
Angle of View
Equivalent to approx. 1.5 times the focal length of the lens (for 35mm cameras)
Image Sensor
X3 direct image sensor (CMOS)
Total Pixels 48MP, Effective Pixels 46MP (4,800×3,200×3 layers)
Aspect Ratio
3 : 2
Still Image Format
Exif 2.3, DCF 2.0
Recording Mode
Lossless compression RAW data(12-bit, High, Medium, Low), JPEG(High, Medium, Low)
File Size
45 MB
24 MB
12 MB
10 MB
5.6 MB
4.2 MB
5 MB
2.7 MB
2 MB
2.5 MB
1.4 MB
1 MB
Continuous shooting speed
High:5 frame/sec., Medium:6 frame/sec., Low:6 frame/sec.
Continuous buffer
High:Max. 7 frames, Medium:Max. 14 frames, Low:Max. 14 frames
USB(USB2.0), Video Out (NTSC/PAL)
White Balance
8 types (Auto, Daylight, Shade, Overcast, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash and Custom)
Color Mode
7 types (Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Portrait, Landscape, B&W, Sepia)
Viewfinder Typ
Pentaprism SLR viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame Coverage
98% vertical, 98% horizontal
Viewfinder Magnification
0.95x (50mmF1.4 - ∞)
Eye point
Diopter Adjustment Range
-3.0 dpt - +1.5 dpt
Auto Focus Type
TTL phase difference detection system
AF Point
11 points twin cross sensor
AF Operating Range
EV -1 to +18 (ISO100)
Focus Mode
Single AF, Continuous AF (with AF motion prediction function), Manual
AF Point Selection
Automatic Selection, Manual Selection
Metering Systems
77 segment Evaluative Metering, Spot Metering, Center Area Metering, Center-Weighted Average Metering
Metering Range
EV 1 to 20 (50mm F1.4 : ISO100)
Exposure Control System
[P] Program AE (Program Shift is possible),[S] Shutter Speed Priority AE,[A] Aperture Priority AE, [M] Manual
ISO Sensitivity
Exposure Compensation
±3 EV (in 1/3 stop increments)
Auto Bracketing
Three or Five frames (in 1/3 steps, Appropriate Exposure-Under Exposure-Over Exposure)
Shutter Type
Electronically Controlled Focal Plane Shutter
Shutter Speed
1/8000 – 30 sec.,Bulb (up to 30 sec. With Extended Mode: 2 min.)
Flash Connectivity
Hot shoe (contact X synchronization at 1/180 sec. or less, with dedicated flash linking contact)
Built-in Flash
Manual Pop-up Built-in flash, GN11 (17mm lens angle covered)
LCD Monitor
Type : TFT color LCD monitor, Monitor Size : 3.0", LCD Pixels : Approx. 460,000
Reviewing Images
Single frame display, Multi display [9 frames],Zoom, Slide Show
LCD Monitor Language
English / Japanese / German / French / Spanish /Italian / Chinese (Simplified) / Korean / Russian
Li-ion Battery Pack BP-21, Batterry Chager BC-21,AC Adapter SAC-4 (optional)
145.5 mm/5.7" (W) × 113.5 mm/4.4"(H) × 80.0 mm/3.1
700g/24.7oz. (without battery and card)
• Li-ion Battery BP-21, • Battery Charger BC-21, • USB Cable, • Video Cable,• Neck Strap • Eye Cap, • Body Cap, • Eyepiece Cap,• SIGMA Photo Pro Disc,   • SD1 Instruction Manual
* The appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.


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  • I think this price is a good marketing joke – everybody is now talking about this crazy company in almost every forum. That`s advertising 😉

    • CRB


    • bordsteinschwalbe

      i also cannot belive the price!
      sigma was talking about a price like the canon 7d on photokina.
      the 9700 $ must be an error or a marketing gag.

      the sample photos on the sd1 mini site are beautiful,also for pixelpeepers.

      if the price is real, sigma will not sell more than hundred worldwide.
      two like m9 oder one sigma sd1…

    • Just A Thought

      Maybe the price is in Yen or Chinese Yuan, not US$????

  • Only if it comes in a Kit with a 300-800mm f5.6 lens….!!!

    I hope so…I would have paid 2K for it…but the boss will not go for 10K…I’d rather go medium format…!!


  • I was guessing $1800. Sigma should sell Foveon to a “better” camera company. Better R&D and higher volume in production would be better for Foveon tech. #talkingoutofmyasslol

  • CRB

    Too much pot………

  • For that money any sane person would by Pentax 645D, which is tones better!

  • Camaman

    I think they can’t produce them in volume, so they have given up on SD1. To save their face priced it high that only die hard fanbois and tech freaks will get it.
    This way they save face in mass population, model hasn’t realy “failed”, proved sensor can be made to market, and increase their value when they sell it to someone that can bring it in volume!
    I think sony might bite the bait. They will be the only brand that will increase its market share in 2011. Others are ti kmpacted by the quake, or just poor in general with no facilities.

    • DP

      die hard fanbois…

      Sigma has die hard fanbois?

  • phaboman

    Damn… Damn Damn Damn…. I was ready to plop down $2k for this camera, and budgeted another $4k to build a kit around it… Today is a sad day =(

  • preston

    First of all, Sigma’s lenses typically sell new at about 70% of the amount listed as their MSRP. So that alone should bring the cost down to less than the D3x. Secondly, if they offered it in 3 different versions (Nikon, Canon, Sony mount) rather than their silly proprietary mount then I’m sure there would actually be a market for it – although still a small one of probably only working professionals.

    By the way, does using a Sigma mount body with Sigma lens actually offer any benefits over using a Sigma lens with F mount on a Nikon body?

    • Preston….there is a person that has created mounts for Leica-R/Nikon-F/OM for the SD14 and SD15….to answer your question…I don’t have any issues with MF on the SD14 plus it produces some spectaular images with Zeiss ZF glass and Leica-R glass….

      The mount replacement is $200 to $400….look-up Sigma Cumlaude in google…


      • preston

        Thank you for the info, but this is definitely meant for Leica and other glass that is meant for manual focus. They say on their website they don’t recommend using with Nikon G series because you have no control over aperture!

        So my statement stands. If somebody wanted to use their top quality Nikon glass – say they had $7,000 in the 3 primary G series f/2.8 zooms – with a top quality APS-C sensor then Sigma would not get their business unless they offered the SD-1 with an F-mount.

  • Joaquim prado

    For this kind of money I would buy a Pentax 645D but if the budget goes around 6k I would prefer a D3s or it’s replacement, for sure. This price is a joke.

  • vaporware_detector

    APS-C! This must be their hail mary, maybe they will close down soon.

  • AP

    Those specs leave lot’s to be improved for SD-2. And yes the price is not right.

    Superb sensor tech needs superb lenses. That is how it is. Sigmas lenses are more or less only OK not superb.

  • John Bowen

    The sooner Sigma sells off Foveon and gets out of the camera business entirely, the better. I wouldn’t pay $1,800 for the SD-1, I’m damn sure not going to pay $9,700.

    What a bunch of crackheads!

  • sgts

    hi there sigma plz don’t sell your sd1 in high volume as it will affect our camera sales, we’ll give you a nice bit of money in return when we take you over.


  • lorenzino

    I wonder if they think to use this super-price as a way to launch something else. Maybe a Dp with the same sensor, with interchangeable lenses? They should have done it years ago, right after the dp1.
    But, alas, I think this is only my personal dream (plus Sigma camera = a camera that does not allow you to take advantage of the excellent sensor…)

  • M!!

    the foveon sensor is promising but at this price, no.
    when professional photographers buy a camera, they don’t just buy a camera, they buy a system. sigma cannot convince me to switch to their system.

  • photonut

    Totally lost touch with reality!

  • From the pricing, they thought it was a 645D. They believed their own 46MP hype (or they believed that we believed it). I think anyone who buys this is and is unable to return it is going to have a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach.

  • My bet is that they haven’t even finished developing the camera yet; that price tag is just to make people avoid it like the plague whilst allowing Sigma to circumvent having to release another statement about how it’ll only be a little while longer….

  • Ray

    my friend told me… my 24-70 2.8 is as good if not better than the nikon 24-70. I laughed real hard. then i purchased a 24 1.4, to which my friend said, for the money u could have gotten the 24 1.8 from sigma, which is as good as the 24 1.4, and get the 24-70 2.8… again i laughed real hard.

    now with the sigma sd-1… and 9700 price mark. I am laughing harder than ever… maybe if its a FULL frame with FULL 1080p 30 fps, and 10 fps…in a nikon or canon mount. it wont be a bad idea. even if its that price. seriously… nikon and canon lens blows sigma out of the water by a pretty huge margin, there may be exceptions, but for the stuff I use and most people use.. I dont think sigma is a real competitor.. they are aiming towards mostly amateurs that are on a tight budget that needs a lens ALMOST as good as professional quality material. Even so this presents a huge problem, 9700, isnt a price that amateurs are looking to pay for something “decent.”

    • AP

      50mm Sigma 1.4 Is much better than the Canon equivalent. So it’s not as black and white as you make it sound it is.

      • benjamin

        my 20 year old 50 1.2 AIS outperforms that hunk of glass by a very very comfortable margin wide open. the sigma has purple fringing, some fuzzyness and overall low contrast..

      • Ray

        Uhm, I guess you just completely did a selective reading session.

        “nikon and canon lens blows sigma out of the water by a pretty huge margin, there may be exceptions”

        JUST INCASE you miss it again…

        “there may be exceptions”

        got it?

  • MK

    half of the people crying about $9.7K sigma will happily buy $1.2K fuji even though the x100 makes absolutely no sense except as a gimmick

    • I am impressed by the X100 every day I use it. I often get better images than from my 5D2. Do you even have an X100? I’ve owned and used Sigma DSLRs.

      • TaoTeJared


        Fuji X100 is not a gimmick. People shouldn’t speak unless they own one. The IQ is the same as my D300 and comes close to the D700.

        • I agree, the Fuji X100 is worth the money IMHO.

        • Tony

          Shouldn’t X100 IQ be a lot better than D300? That Nikon sensor was released half decade ago…..

          • TaoTeJared

            4 years old actually. It matches the IQ on every iso and performs better at 2000+. You can not sat that from any M4/3 cameras as they do not come close to the IQ above 400. Digi cams can’t even get to the line.

            Just because a sensor is newer doesn’t mean it is better.

    • Yeah, this comment is a lame as the ones dogging every sigma lens just based on principal. My Fuji X100 has the best lens on it of almost any I own.

      • benjamin

        fujinon lenses are fantastic! i ve got the 50 1.6 and 50 1.9 converted to nikon mount. beautiful contrast!

  • Anon

    Wow, I’m surprised people aren’t jumping on this. Everyone seems to talk about wanting higher MP’s but seeing these comments have restored my faith in humanity. The amount of work needed to cram that many megapixels into an APS-C sensor and still walk away with decent image quality, for a lot less money than a 50-MP phase one. I mean, I shoot all medium and large format and scan my images, and could care less about MP – a reasonable scan of just 4×5 allows me to print 75×100, what more could I need?

    • TaoTeJared

      Read the specs – it is a 15mp x 3 layers. At best it will resolve around a 18mp sensor.

      • Tony

        I would give them a lot more than that. Maybe 25-30 MP.

    • Anonymus Maximus

      The sample pictures posted are 4704×3136.

      Take out your calculator and make the math!
      Tada !!!!!

      Everything else is marketing crap.

      Honestly I looked close at the samples produced on the Sigma site and there is not really any difference to the D700 files I get.

      Wait untill he first independent comparison shots will appear with areal 20 or 40 MP Camera that the difference will be clear as day.

  • MB

    Recommended Prices are actually a bit lower but still too high I should say.

    • If you do the math the MSRP on the body is all over the place…then you take the normal 60% of MSRP and you get 3100 to 4200…this has got to be some sort of marketing gimick…!!

  • Michael Greene

    At one of the shows, a Sigma rep mentioned it would be priced at around the same price as the Canon 7D. Either, the camera is really vaporware or someone made a major typo.

  • Bonetti

    What are they Smoking???!!!!

  • Mark

    Insane price (insane in a bad way). Also, I will believe it is shipping when it ships. Sigma’s rep for getting a product out is terrible.

  • El Aura

    This ‘100% crop’ is a 100% crop of a 15 MP image upscaled to 45 MP, right?

    No, I am not saying you can not upscale Foveon images by a small factor and get comparable pixel-level acuity to a Bayer sensor image, you certainly can. I just want to make sure I understand what this refers to.

    My question would be, who would want to upscale to 45 MP for all their images constantly? Of course, if you crop seriously or print large, then you upscale (as you might do when printing a Bayer image large). But why invent information when you do not need them? You can always invent them later when you need them.

  • alx

    It is a joke right ? it’s no full frame, and it’s 12MP effective…

    +1 for buying a 645D for the same price

  • TaoTeJared

    $9700 is a joke. Even if this was $5,000k it would be too high since the glass & accessory change would be at least another $5,000.

    This is certainly primarily designed to be a studio camera with amazing IQ from the Foveon sensor but at this price it would be hard to justify a purchase and move to new glass etc.

    Sigma fails at production releases with every single camera for the last 8 years and as usual, they have shot themselves in the foot again.

  • Chris L

    WoW! that price is shocking….everyone has been talking about pricing between 1500 to 2000 and now sigma says $9700. that was way off. whoever said it was going to be that low anyway.
    FOveon sensor is great! i love my DP2s but $9700 is kinda outrageous!!!

    there are a lot of people here comlaining about the Megapixel count or its not a full frame but these people probably have not even used a Sigma. It’s all about image quality! but that price is just too much!

  • J Shin

    I don’t know, folks. It might be worth the price.

    Check out the sample photo titled “SD1-008”. View it at 100%, and check out the people on top of the gray concrete structure, in the middle of the picture. And then zoom out to full frame. Those people are hardly visible.

    Not too shabby. It might be competitive with medium-formats. I want to see how it works with an APO-Telyt-R 4/280.

    • J Shin

      And please remember that Bayer sensors are interpolated, too. So, arguably, that 40 Mp 645D is, theoretically, 10-20 Mp effective, depending on your math. The jury’s still out as to what’s comparable, and depends a lot on software. Only direct comparison shots will tell.

      • Anonymus Maximus


        In a way you are right, however the Bayer has the detail and interpolates color.
        The Foveon has beautiful color on each pixel but has to interpolate detail and color. I can do that with good software for any file.

  • Sixbysix

    I wouldn’t say the camera is bad, not at all. I would actually say the samples are, on an overall aesthetic level, pretty amazing. Bags of detail, none of the shadow noise I find so objectionable in Canon’s 18mp offerings, on the whole pretty damn good.

    What I do object to is the notion that cramming 46 million detectors into a pro-am body with a starter-model sync speed and a D90-level AF makes a camera which is going to convince the fashion magazine, fine art and architectural photography market to throw away their Phamiyablads. These markets require some or all of the following:

    – movements.
    – leaf shutter options.
    – tethering.
    – rental options.

    Essentially, regardless of how good the camera is, it cannot meet the mission statement that Sigma have come up with. I suppose the production costs rose significantly beyond Sigma’s control, and rather than scrap or alter the project significantly, they have simply stuck an unreasonable price tag on it under the pretence that they’re “going after medium format”.

    This camera will appeal only to the rich idiot market, which in the West in 2011 is a small market indeed (and even rich idiots have heard of Canon and Nikon, and possibly even Pentax). Not forgetting the bargain hunters, who in 18 months time will be able to pick one up for a song.

    • Anonymus Maximus


      I love the rich idiot market.
      That is to be more precise the nouveau rich idiot market.
      As an idiot normally does not stay rich for a long time.

      Which explains why it is shrinking in tough times.

  • broxibear

    Does anyone know who makes the sensor…is it made by Sigma themselves ?
    Considering the cost I’d have expected a 100% viewfinder and a better than 460,000 pixel resolution LCD.
    It’s difficult looking past the price tag though…It’s over £1000 more than a D3x.

    • Chris L

      its Foveon which is now owned by Sigma

      • broxibear

        Hi Chris L,
        Thanks…I wasn’t sure if Foveon was just the name of the technology, or if other sensor makers could use the technology to make their own.

  • Jim

    If you could use Nikon Lenses Maybe, but why when you can get a D3x. What do you need 46 Pixels for anyway?

    • Just A Thought

      “What do you need 46 Pixels for anyway?”

      I assume that you meant 46 mega-pixels.

      Why bother with getting a D3X in that case. Why do you need more than the 12 MP in the D3S? Reminds me of days past, when marketing folks would say why would you need more than 6mp when the competition was up at 8mp.

      My answer is: Why do we need the automobile when we could still be riding via horse and buggy??

  • little too late for an april fool joke, at this price go for the top line nikon, pentax even hasselblad or canon bodies, they have to be kidding, 9700 bucks maybe in europe, i guess i will stick to my canon and wait for their new models, goo dluck sigma, i got their fisheye lens which i will use this weekend in nyc

  • The photographer miss focus.

  • Camaman

    Seeing the SD1 kit prices are way lower than 9700$, one can ask themselves if maybe the 9700$ price is supposed to be for the entire Sigma system?
    Maybe they plan on selling the entire lineup of usual fixed aperture zooms and fast primes together with a SD1 body for 9700$…:-)

  • First, this is not 46MP it’s 15
    Second, the sample look good but no where near any medium format camera.
    I think Sigma is totally off their rockers.

  • Jean

    I’m as surprised as everyone else at the price but they must have a market in mind or it would be suicidal to put out a camera at this price. So I started thinking, is there anything that this camera does better than anything at the market today?

    I can find one thing; assuming that the image-quality is close to the mediumformat it is priced against then what it has to compete with is reach. To take telephoto with a medium format means enormous lenses if they even exist. Sigma make ‘affordable’ lenses up to an equivalent 1200mm. If those lenses +the sensor give imagequality up and above what you get with fullframe canikon then you have your niche market. They might sell enough to wildlife entusiasts and proffesionals. It probably don’t have the speed to compete for sports photographer though.

  • MB

    What medium format? It is a APS-C 15 Mpix camera. I actually prefer Nikon D7000 sample images to this Sigma SD1 baby:

  • paf

    Well, i find the 9700 price bit strange since the body itself does not show any prices on the sigma site while kits are priced from $7300 to $8600 USD.

    After doing some simple subtractions I think this is a typo or a marketing ploy. The body will be offered at probably at $6999 MSRP (at least 2x too high to even dream of being competitive).

    As to sample images — as impressive as they are, I will wait for “independent” shots to litter the web before going “oooh-aaaahh”

    (shame shame – I was hoping to make this my new camera instead of the D700 replacement. Well have it your way Sigma.)

  • Big Al

    I counted minute hair between lips and nose in a Sigma SD1 image, can’t see that detail with Nikon D7000 image. When comparing images you need to compare prints. SD14 prints outperformed D3 prints. SD14 had effective 10-12 mp images when printing, not 4.6 mp. I suspect SD1 will have equivalent of 35mp images or higher. There are only so many megapixels that your printer can print, therefore color accuracy becomes much more important. Personally I hate Bayer sensors, there are just so many things wrong with them. I’d rather shoot slides or Foveon sensor.

  • Richard W

    Now if it was going to a good cause like rebuilding japan people might actually cough up $3000 for it. but for $2400 i can get a 5D mark II with HD video and better lens selection thats the deal breaker for me.

  • cant wait i will take two one for each hand this will put me in the poor house

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