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Tuesday, 11 November 2008


I certainly hope this portends great things from Sigma, but I can't help but think a large electronics company might be better suited to inject some R&D into Foveon's stagnating technology. If Sony, Samsung or Panasonic had purchased Foveon instead, I'd be more inclined to believe that three layer chips might actually deliver on the now dubious claim of revolutionizing image sensors.

Let's dream a little...
Someday Sigma will do a K-mount camera, with a tilt and shift Foveon sensor. A kind of digital view-camera in a DSLR body with an APS-C Foveon sensor.

It will sell like pancakes to the advertising, the landscape and the architectural photographers. It will have the best color rendition and natural crispness on the market, thanks to the full frame Pentax, Sigma and Zeiss K-mount prime lenses, and thanks to the Foveon sensor.

Then Sigma adds HD video functionnality, and gets something... unique : a view HD camera with magnificent image quality for stills.
Now let's wake up !


I see Andre's point, but offer an alternate opinion.
Electronics giants don't always (OK, never) have the soul of a photographer driving their efforts. I really know nothing of the Sigma corporate culture, but the DP-1 perhaps offers a glimpse into what they want to achieve. Is it not possible that Sigma, silently acknowledging the shortcomings of the DP-1, said "Screw it; we have to take our fate into our own hands."?

This purchase has the distinct possibility of sinking both companies.

Rather than harp on the real or imagined failures of various camera (or imaging-related) companies, I though I would point out a few of the more egregious errors in the article/post Mike linked to:

"Sigma's cameras have been using the innovative Foveon lenses..."

"...especially the for sharp..."

"We're thinking compact, fixed lens, Leica-beating rangefinders or cheap, big-chipped compacts." [And the difference between those would be...?]

Writing like this really highlights why T.O.P. is special and successful. Mike doesn't just spew words onto the virtual page, nor does he feel the need to comment on every vaguely photography-related non-development. He writes well and edits his own work.

In this case, however, a bit more editorial discretion could have been exercised in choosing which Sigma/Foveon article to link to...