Summary: So far as I can tell, anyone that has actually used this camera loves it. The knockers seem to base their opinions on other people's reviews, or on sub-standard images that have been posted on the web and do not do justice to the camera's abilities. Unlike some reviewers that have only read about this camera I actualy own one and use it. I have been taking photographs for 50 years and this is the camera I have been waiting for.
Excerpt: I bought this camera to get ultimate image quality. It annoys me when people criticise it because it is only really usable up to 400 ASA (Anyone old enough to remember when we used Fuji Veliva - 50 ASA - without IS and still got sharp shots), or because it does not shoot video, or because it is slow to write to the memory card.When I want to shoot a bit of video I use my little G12.
Pros: Amazing Iq, Easy to Use, Fast Shutter Speed, Great Resolution, Large Clear LCD, Tough Professional Body, Weather sealing, Well Thought Out Controls
Excerpt: figured with the layer three colored system I could hopefully convert to black and white with better contrast and quality over the bayer system;shutter hesitation, even with 3 batteries I could not get more than 60 shots on each battery.Sigma service was no help. Said camera and battery was o'k. 3k investment was wasted. No Sigma ever again. Donated camera, flash, lense & 3 batteries.
Cons: Complicated Controls, Lag / Shutter Delay, Short Battery Life
Excerpt: SD 1 Merrill is difficult to use. There are no words on the body to tell you what to do. The worst thing is, the color it produces. The color of images is horrible. Green is recorded as grey. Pastel pink records as white. There are a lot of underexposed areas and shadows, exposures are just not right. I paid a lot of money for this camera and two lens and my previous, cheeper cameras did 100% better. I am ready to throw this camera in the trash.
Pros: Small / Compact
Cons: Complicated Controls, Poor Image Quality, Poor Image Stabilization, Poor in Low Light, Short Battery Life, Un-real Colors
Summary: I really wanted to like this camera. I find the idea behind the Foveon sensor appealing. Most cameras use a Bayer sensor, with the individual pixels laid out like a checkerboard - every alternate one green, with the remainder divided equally between red and blue. Since each pixel detects only one color, the software interpolates the other colors from adjacent pixels. The Foveon, on the other hand, has all three colors at each pixel location.
I thought my D800E files were sharp, they are but pale versions of the files from the SD1 Merrill
6 June 2014
Summary: The Sigma SD1 Merrill is something else entirely: This is a machine that cannot conceivably be used as an all-around imaging device, a product that lacks many of the basic features we've come to expect from modern digital cameras. Need usable high-ISO images? Too bad.. How about quick autofocus and decent write speeds? Nah, you don't need that. What we have here is a camera that can only be useful to someone who already owns another, more well-rounded camera.
Summary: The Sigma SD1 can give out-of-this-world results in terms of resolution & Clarity...but you have to accept some shortcomings. The operation and write times are from a bygone era...and users of modern super fast cameras will be frustrated. The high ISO performance is nothing to write home about with noise getting really ugly at and after ISO 1600.
Great Photos, but NOT a 'Snapshot Camera' by any means!
William Wilgus, Amazon
18 March 2014
Summary: Disclosure: I own and use four Sigma DSLR camera models and lenses exlusively. No 'casual' photographer should consider Sigma cameras unless they're willing to take the time and effort to learn how to use them. Like many things, you can't just pick up Sigmas, start taking pictures, and get great results. Once you've learned, you'll be able to get wonderful pictures, but those shots will require some post-processing skill.
Half Frame for this price ? try dp1 merrill instead...
kay bhee, Amazon
10 October 2013
Summary: good stuff maybe but no Raison d' etre...bec of dp1 merrill which is ALSO half size foveon sensor... ( or did i get the spec wrong !?!?! ) if sigma was going for spacious SLR body like this sd1 merrill, would have been MUCH BETTER engineering and common sense MARKETING to make it FULL SENSOR or even BIGGER than full sensor at this price, so it makes no sense, and no wonder it aint selling so hot... idiotic decision on sigma....shame, tsk tsk.
Summary: As a photographer and retoucher who has had to retouch the raw files from this camera I've developed a few points I would love to discuss with sigma. First of all I'm a huge fan of this camera, but working with the files from it I quickly decided I will never buy it due to some glaring issues.... I hope sigma reads these reviews because this is what I want them to see. Dear Sigma, I want to buy your camera.