Pots vs Kettles

Sigma SD-1
I have been watching with a certain sadistic glee the reaction of Sigma users to the newly-introduced Sigma SD-1 for the shockingly high price of $9,700, body only.

I say shockingly because of what it contains. It contains a Foveon-based, APS-C size sensor. That's right, an APS-C sized sensor that is to be found in essentially every other DSLR manufactured by the likes of Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, and many others for $1,800 or less. Sometimes a good deal less.

To add insult to injury Sigma has had the stones to try and convince the world that the sensor isn't really 15MP, but is actually, based on how the color filters are built into the Foveon sensor, 3 x 15MP, or 45MP. And that's why it should cost nearly $10K.


They're claiming the SD-1's image quality is equivalent to a medium format digital camera such as the Pentax 645D, which is a cool $10K, body only, and worth every penny.


I could at this point spew forth a righteous diatribe about the apparent cluelessness of Sigma's management. Except, you see, I own camera equipment manufactured by another equally clueless camera company by the name of Olympus.

The same Olympus that created the FourThirds standard with a digital sensor ever so slightly smaller in size than your bog-standard APS-C sensor used by every other aforementioned DSLR manufacturer. The same Olympus that has, through it's mismanaged, muddled marketing blueprint [sic], pretty much killed off its regular FourThirds line of cameras whilst failing to successfully transition to its self-announced future µFourThirds cameras.

The only reason I'm even bothering to bring all this up is to illustrate the point that misery loves company. So I say to all my Sigma-using brothers and sisters, welcome. And believe me when I say I know exactly how you feel.

My advice? Buy Canon.


  1. I think a lot of people are confused about what Olympus have said about their plans for four thirds. In one interview they said that the E-5 might be the last four thirds dSLR, and this led a lot of people to the conclusion that Olympus were abandoning four thirds in favour of micro four thirds.

    Not so I think. In another interview they said there would always be, for the foreseeable future, 4/3 camera bodies. Both statements are consistent with a move away from mirrors and optical viewfinders, i.e. they will no longer be dSLRs but instead will feature electronic viewfinders. Olympus will take the technology of the VF2 they developed for the Pen cameras and build it into new four thirds bodies.

    The whole mirror and prism optical viewfinder is a marvel of mechanical design but it's time is nearing an end. There's so much more you can do with an electronic VF, such as overlaying live histograms (no need to check AFTER each shot), providing x10 magnification for critical focus, to name just a couple.

    The existing four thirds lenses represent the crown jewels of the Olympus camera systems and I'm sure they don't plan to throw that away just because the Pen system is a success. Expect to see 16MP cameras with electronic VFs to replace the E-30 and E-620 in the not too distant future.


  2. There has been so much pushback to the $9,700 price tag of the SD1, that even Sigma is now discounting the camera on their own website.

    Currently, Sigma will sell the SD1 plus a kit lens for around $7500.

    This must be some new kind ofrecord. A camera is discounted 25-30% BEFORE it is even available for sale!

    The Sigma faithful take this as proof that the SD1 really isn't that expensive, even though it would cost LESS than $7500 to buy a Canon 7D, Pentax K5, Nikon D7000 and Olympus E5 COMBINED.

    This steep discount will probably boost the SD1's first month sales figure from four cameras sold... to five.


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