on February 25, 2004
Perhaps the most annoying thing about using the SD10 is that there is no straightforward answer to the seemingly simple question, "How many megapixels?" Purists claim that it has only 3.4, and Sigma claims 10.2, counting all three colors at each of the 3.4M locations. When people ask (and when they see my prints, they DO ask), I sometimes just say 3.4, leaving them to wonder how I do it. The way I figure, when you save the file at double size, you're getting 13.7 megapixels with the same amount of interpolation on the red and blue channels as a normal camera, and more interpolation on the green channel. However you figure, the resolution is stunning, and with a little care you can make 12" by 18" prints that are as sharp as most eyes can tell.
1. The software, especially the "fill light" function will let you quickly massage even your badly exposed pictures.
2. The great resolution.
Cons (I'm spending more space on these because Sigma's text waxes eloquent on most the pros (and they're not lying)):
1. The software. The SD10's only format is a proprietary RAW format, so you need to run everything through their raw converter before you do anything else with it.
2. The kit lenses are OK, but not great. The 18-50 in particular is vulnerable to a lot of chromatic aberration. If you're going to shoot with EX-series lenses (and you really should), you might as well just buy the body.
3. Low light performance is not stellar. ISO 800 is practically unusable, and ISO 400 is dicey.
4. The buffer is not huge, and the write speed is slow. The camera will take only 6 high-resolution shots in burst mode, and after that it can take more than a minute for the camera to recover.
All in all, however, this is a great camera, and if you get it you're likely to one-up all those folks buying digital rebels.
on January 27, 2004
First off I want to say this is an Amazing Digital SLR.. the picture quality is outstanding.. if your in the market for a pro level digital slr you can't go wrong especially with the 2 lenses that were designed for this camera..
On another note.. amazon's features list is wrong.. the camera doesn't accept xd memory and it doesn't come with a 32 meg card.. its a compact flash format camera.. i'd recommend a 512 meg or higher CF card as it fills up quickly at its highest resolution.. my old 64 meg CF card can take about 6 pictures on its highest resolution.. i've ordered a 1 gig card i'm just waiting for it to ship now..
on December 24, 2004
I first read about Foveon X3 two years ago. Long before reading about the X3, I always wondered why we had to be content with 25% Red, 25% Blue and 50% Green on an Image Sensor -- why not 100% of all colours? However, business was booming for all Digital Camera companies despite the fact that there wasn't really a CCD that could be seriously taken till the X3 arrived on the market. I knew instantly, the SIGMA-Foveon joint venture would break through a newer kind of Digital Photography, so I decided to wait. I skipped SD9 when I realized Foveon was working on a combined 10MP X3 Chip.
The wait was worth every second! I ordered the SIGMA SD10 with the standard twin Lens Kits (18-50mm F3.5-5.6 and 55-200mm F4-5.6) and separately ordered a 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Lens. I wish SIGMA had packaged the kit with at least one F2.8 large aperture Lens. Anyway, I will give my 18-50mm F3.5-5.6 to a friend who just bought a NIKON D70 with a NIKOR 18-70mm Lens.
I have not yet received my shipment from AMAZON, but have had the chance of using my friend's SD10, including the SIGMA Photo Pro software and some sample X3Fs and some of my own. The RAW format of SIGMA has some outstanding advantages over the JPEG type of files. With a RAW file, you will feel like as if you're truly dealing with a "Negative", whereas the JPEGs will feel like "Polaroid" shots -- equivalent to getting prints from a Camera. SIGMA should never revert to traditional file formats and stick to this great RAW format which allows the best possible artistry with digital negatives.
I know why NIKONs, CANONs and other brands won't want to use X3 -- they want to maximize their profits by using their proprietory CCDs no matter how badly they compare to a superior product. I think they are also complacent that their "devoted" customers will not change sides because of their famous names. But I can tell you, there would be a lot of migrations now towards the X3 and SIGMA -- those popular brands have already compromised their quality by not developing something equivalent to X3.
Well, I have used NIKON, CANON, Fuji and the rest --- but to tell you the truth, SIGMA is like a Rolls Royce of a Camera. They have only two Models, but they speak volume of quality and they are also the only sellers of X3 sensors at the moment.
So, if you want to experience something quite special and differnt than the rest, then SIGMA is the only option currently available --- I suggest, you give it a try to judge for yourself.
on March 6, 2004
Sigma has a winner with the Foveon chip. Excellent images and far superior to ordinary chip cameras. The best feature of the camera itself, in my opinion, is the ease to which to operate the controls. The controls are very intuitive compared to the other 4 or 5 digitals I have owned or operated. Simplicity is the secret, not a lot of "junk" that will never or rarely be used. I was a professional photographer in the 80's and 90's and always found other digitals too complex even for someone with a comfortable knowledge of photography. The only negative I have found in the month and half I have owned the SD-10 is battery usage. You have the option of using rechargable AA or the CRV-3 batteries. With the AA, I get intermittent operation, something Sigma stated was characteristic of Metal Hydride batteries, especially if new. I'm a little skeptical of that assessment. I did just purchase the CRV batteries to try them. The only other issue I have is that I try to use the camera in a professional setting and there is not a way to get the flash off the camera. I purchase the Sigma DG 500 Super, which is a great flash if you don't need it off the camera. I bought the pc adapter and use it with a Metz 60ct2 flash. It would be nice if they (or someone) would produce a TTL cable or compatable flash. Overall I'm very happy with the camera and hope that more compatable accessories follow.
on January 22, 2007
Typical digital cameras have what is called a Bayer sensor. The Sigma has a Foveon sensor. Here is an explanation that may help. With my Sigma SD10 I am able to print crystal clear 11 x 14 prints..can't do that with a 3 mega pixel camera. That is what some want to say the SD10 is because of the 3 layered Foveon Sensor! The pictures and color clarity of the prints are gorgeous.
8mps (Bayer) sensors only have 2m Red and 2m Blue sensors, (and even only 4m Green).
Compared to 4.5 Red and 4.5 Blue sensors and 4.5m Green sensors in the Foveon. So a Foveon exceeds the conventional 8mps even in green, and more than doubles the resolution in Red / Blue.
Even a 10mps Bayer only has 2.5m Red and 2.5 Blue sensors.
It is interesting to observe that it would actually take a 18mps Bayer to have the same number of Red & Blue sensors as the 4.5 (x3) Foveon.
So the FACT is that every time you hear someone say that Foveon is "lying" .... remember that Bayer also have been lying all the time since 2/3 of their output is (educated) GUESSES from various interpolation schemes.
Foveon does no "interpolation", no "guesses".
This is why the SD10 still rates so highly even compared to 10 mega pixel sensor camera which are really no higher than 5 mega pixel green and are still lower in red and blue mega pixels than the foveon. Go Figure.
As soon as the Sigma SD14 is released I am going to purchase it.
on June 21, 2006
A few things about this camera: I have been using it in pro work for almost two years, and it is just that, a pro camera. It is bare bones. No toys that you will find on many larger names. I, personaly, don't miss those toys (maybe I would like a small popup fill flash every now and then...) so long as you don't mind or are already hauling a full bag of toys along with you. I have the TTL flash made for the camera by Sigma, and its 'ok' with some post editing. Good reach and power, but will sometimes not talk to camera and need to restarted.
Because of it being a stripped down body, I have had better battery life and easy use of the few functions that the camera does have. I shoot this camera on location and in the studio with an IR strobe setup on all manual with great results.
I am still using the kit lenses and for my work, they cover 95% of my shots, and I have other cameras with specialty lenses if needed. Then lenses are not great quality, and I do have a spot or two that seems to be on the CCD. Clone tool.
The files that come out of the camera need work. As do all digital cameras, but this more then others I use. Now, again, I don't mind, because the results you get after the editing and the power you have with the x3f files is great. This is the first time I have ever used any software other then PS to edit my work, the Sigma PhotoPro that ships with the camera is a great piece of software.
There has been talk of it, and I cant wait for the new camera in this line, I will buy the frist one into my camera shop and still shoot the SD10.
on December 27, 2005
I WANT TO WRITE A REVIEW ABOUT THIS CAMERA BECAUSE I BUY IT A FEW DAYS AGO AND I WANT TO TELL YOU THE REASONS OF THIS PURCASE.
FIRST OF ALL I WENT TO THE MARKETS AND I SEE ALL THE D-SLRS WITH THE PRICE BETWEEN 900-1500EUROS,AND I SAW AT FIRST, THE MOST CAMERAS WHERE MADE IN (THAILAND,CHINA BUT NOT JAPAN)AND ITS VERY IMPORTAND TO BE MADE IN JAPAN BECAUSE SIGMA SD 10 IS.BECAUSE WHEN I GIVE 1400EUROS TO BUY A SERIOUS CAMERA AN SLR I DEMANT TO BE MADE IN JAPAN.SECOND, ALL THE SLRS IN THIS PRICE ARE SMALLER AND LIGHTER MAYBE THE MOST EXPENSIVE MODELS OF NIKON AND CANON ARE BIGGER AND HEAVYER BUT I DONT HAVE 4000 AND UP EUROS TO GIVE!THE PICTURES IN SUNLIGHT ARE GREAT WITH FOVEON SENSOR AND THE CAMERA IT SELF VERY EASY TO USE.TAKE TO YOUR HANDS FOR EXABLE A NIKON D-70 AND SIGMA SD 10 AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE DIFERENCE!SORRY MY ENGLISH ARE NOT TO GOOD!
on August 9, 2007
Great Camera with kit lenses that far surpass Nikon Kit lenses. The Foveon censor should not be compared to standard CMOS ccd's This is a whole new way to get quality Photos. The camera shoots in raw but can also be saved using SIGMA PRO at double the file size .You would have to buy genuine fractals software to accomplish what you get out of the box.
Another huge plus for me is the several hundred dollars I saved not converting my Nikon digital to a dedicated infared camera. Because with the sd10 you can easily remocve the hot mirror and take some infared shots put it back and continue with regular shots.Try this with any other camera and you will void your warranty . This can not be done with the SD9