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Monday, 12 March 2012


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I so want that Sigma. Love the way their cameras draw a scene.

Memo to Sigma:

Want to sell lots and lots of the SD1?
Give it a Nikon or Canon lens mount option!
It's really that simple.

I'd ditch my Nikon dslrs for the SD1 in a flash - no pun! - if it had a Nikon F mount. Electronic or not is immaterial.

Why do you think folks like the micro 4/3rds format so much? Because it can use just about ANY lens ever made!

And Sigma has no excuse: they make lenses for those two mounts, so presumably they *know* how the mount works.


Yes, DSLRs are more and more affordable, but they are more and more illogical. The SLR was invented so that you could see in the viewfinder exactly the image that would hit the film, before exposing the film. It required incredibly precise mechanical alignment of a mirror, that also had to be able to move out of the way very fast, and come back to exactly the same position. And it had to do all that without making too much noise or causing vibrations. All this is very hard to do well, and is only possible now because the technology has evolved over decades of painstaking refinement.
But this is no longer necessary. Digital sensors are not like film. First, they are much less tolerant of the slightest misalignment. But more importantly, they are perfectly capable of showing you exactly what image they are receiving, without being dependent on a mechanical apparatus that must be adjusted to a fraction of a second of angle to try and guess which photons will land where.
The reason for the R in DSLR is gone. Let's take advantage of the new freedom and create something new and better rather than apply digital technology to a design that was dictated by film constraints.

I am very happy user of a Sigma DP2s. It has a incredibly good lens, and the output of this camera can be fantastic. And it is still the lightest and most pocketable large sensor camera around (280g).
I always wondered about the negative reviews...

Btw, its designated successor, the DP2 Merrill has the same sensor as the SD1M inside - see http://sigma-dp.com/DP-Merrill/

If Sigma made a Maitani- version with a native Four Thirds (not micro) mount I would so be all over that camera. I deeply covet a Foveon sensor. *sigh*

And I may add...

1. The Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (for m4/3) is BACK IN STOCK at B&H! I just ordered mine after waiting like forever. Don't walk... run!

2. Adorama is selling used E-P3's in "D" condition (their highest rating for used gear) for $699 (w/lens). Waitin' for that too.


And boy did Nikon blow it with the V1/J1: this will be the first time in 6 years that I will not have 2 Nikon DSLR's anymore... my kit is now one Nikon DSLR (+lenses) and one m4/3 (+ lenses).

I would love to try the Sigma DP with the APS-C Foveon sensor too... wonder how they will price it? And for sure its RAW files won't be supported in LR? I think.

I like dslr's, even though I own a GH2 as well. The electronic viewfinder is still a few years away (at least) from letting us see the way a good optical one can. I feel like I'm making blind guesses with the GH2 shooting outside. Not with my dslr.

"Blueprinting an engine" entails making all the parts match the "blueprint" dimensions and finishes. The bulk of the work was grinding material away of the cast iron parts so that there were no obstructions (casting flash) in the intake manifold and the ports in the heads, and making sure the ports lined up between the heads and manifolds.

An engine is an air pump and works better when it can "breath" easily.

Hey! As an early purchaser of both the original iPhone *and* the original Aperture, I will point out that Apple gave me credit back when they did lower the prices.

Apple finds a price point, and sticks to it once they figure out that it's the right one. If they decide that they got it wrong, they'll change it.

And at least they weren't off by $4600.

There is a "real deal" on a refurbished 5D MkII at Canon Direct ~ $1750.20

...and it was in stock at the time I posted this!

Here is the link:


Cheers! Jay

I wouldn't call SLR cameras illogical yet. I would rather see a reflection of the world as my lens sees it than use an electronic view finder. I'd also rather not revert to a rangefinder--although I'd make exceptions for certain unnamed models.

Call me old fashioned: I like SLR cameras, books made of paper and cars with a stick shift and clutch pedal. I might be part of dying breed, but I think I'll be around for a while yet: I'm only 38.

Did they call the SD1 the Merrill because you need to call Merrill Lynch for financing options?

I agree with MJ. What he calls the 'sweet spot DSLR cameras' (just above the entry level line but below the pro or wannabee models) are still the kings at balancing price and performance for keen amateurs. When I went shopping for my first digital system camera I found the MSC's (mirrorless system cameras) make me pay in terms of performance AND price for their compactness. Frankly, the MSC models that can compete with sweet-spot DSLRs are premium-priced.

The OM-D costs a grand, but two of my three DSLR cost twice that, and the middle one cost only 1.6 times that. The OM-D claims to be a pro-level camera, and while that's probably exaggerated, it does likely mean it shouldn't be compared to entry-level DSLRs.

I agree with the earlier comment re lens mounts on the Sigma. It is rather ironic that a company that makes lenses to fit other company's cameras, can't make a camera to fit other company's lenses. The potential market they could access is huge ... and they ignore it. Baffling.

What lens(es) would you recommend for the SD1?

JTW and Noons:
Nobody knows for sure (well, outside of the companies themselves), but I'm reasonably sure they don't make cameras in Nikon or Canon mount because Nikon and Canon won't let them. Even if they had a legal right to, doing so might jeopardize other "friendly agreements" between the various players.


As a guy that's movin' on to a mirrorless beauty (X-Pro 1) from a Nikon D5000, I can attest that it is indeed an over achiever! Coupling it with an 85mm F/1.4D lens, I have created stitched panoramas six feet wide (using very careful technique I'd say). It's a hell of a camera. My motives were for a few more pixels (not too many), less weight & size, and no AA filter.

Mike, that loyalty Sigma's showing to its "tight knit" band of fans is lot of horse radish. If they'd sold thousands of SD1s then they would not have had to eat humble pie and this whole "discount offer" would not have been necessary.

So much for a classic marketing stuff-up.

BTW, is this "points" system being used to off-set the retail price of their lenses, or are they offering cost prices?

Noons and JTW (and Mike)
It's certainly possible that Sigma may not be allowed to use Canon or Nikon mounts.
But another reason is that IF they did, they might sell more cameras, but the majority of lenses for those cameras would no longer be Sigma. And Sigma is primerily a lens company.
Sigma has an ambition of becoming a major player in DSLR, and this means having their own mount.

With that said, there are numerous options
for using non-Sigma lenses on the SD14/15/1.
@ Noons: Recently a Nikon-F/SA adaptor was released, from JTAT.
There is also a Nikon F mount replacement kit available. Mount replacement kits for Olympus and Leica R is also available.
A few people has also replaced the camera SA mount with Canon EF mount, so they can retain AF and AE. (But not IS)
Other options to retain AE and AF is to replace the rear mount of a EF mount lens with a SA mount, and resolder the connections.
This is also done commercially with some Zeiss/Contax N lenses.
A lot of other lenses can be converted/used with adaptors but with loss of AF/AE.

You can read more about this on my page:

kind regards

I hear you, Mike. It might make sense for Sigma marketeers. You know, "market position", "partners" and all the other newspeak for what you and I call "we got no clue".
But for those of us in the trenches, the solution is incredibly simple: put the SD1 sensor in an EVIL body and give it adaptors for ANY lens mount.
Ditch the mirror once and for all, it's not needed in this day and age!
Heck, it's not like the DP series cannot be made into an EVIL?
I'd kill anyone ahead of me in the queue to get such a camera!
And if it was a FF, I'd be using a rocket to get there first!
Maybe it's just me, but my dslrs see almost no use nowadays that I own a m4/3...

JTW and Noons,

With regards to other lens mounts, one can use the razor/razor blade corollary to explain this. Sigma makes money by selling lenses. Putting out a camera with a Nikon/Canon mount isn't going to sell them as many lenses as the SA mount. And noons, there is a Nikon F adapter for the Sigma camera (JTAT), so if you don't mind the loss of electronics, it's an option.

That was another argument for the DPx series of cameras. Foveon sensor, superb lens, and (relatively) affordable prices. It allowed people to give it a try, as well as have a compact camera with 'Foveon inside'.

Sigma did make a Canon mount DSLR: the Kodak SLR/c. I had one for a few months, but it was slow, and the LCD was barely usable. Worse of all, my 135mm f2 lens wouldn't work with it, as the mount was reverse-engineered and had compatibility issues. This is the same with all Sigma lenses for Canon mount, which Sigma never paid loyalty to Canon to license the communication protocol, hence older Sigma lenses for Canon mount wouldn't work on new Canon bodies.

I have MFT cameras and DSLRs. Each has its advantages. One of the advantages of the DSLRs is the bright, clear, sharp optical viewing path. I don't think they'll be "obsolete" until EVFs get much, much better.

Also, do the Sigma DSLRs have a unique, proprietary lens mount? Or do I remember that they use the Pentax mount? Or am I thinking of somebody else? Can't seem to find this on the interwebs.

I hate to say it but:

Put video on the SD1 and I'd be a lot more into it.

The E-M5 is the closest thing to a shooters camera to come from m4/3, at least to this shooter. There's really just one other recent camera to get my respect in this way and its the A900. I will see when I try it myself if it deserves this status, but actually, I really think such a large format as the A900 and especially the D800 has in this time, assumed the position of what was medium format, including the large and expensive part. Ctein may need 36mp, but not me. Anyway, the E-M5 really seems like a quality camera and so, $999 seems very fair as an initial price. But enough useless ramblings, on to my point: Do you really think anyone interested in the E-M5 would consider the Nikon? I mean the D5000 really, really isn't an E-M5, you know? Just sayin....

Paris, the Sigma mount is mechanically the Pentax K-mount but flange-to-sensor distance and electronically the same as the Canon EF mount.

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