Excerpt: The Sigma SD9 ($1,400 street) is the only camera to use the innovative new Foveon X3 chip, the first chip that is sensitive to all three primary colors. Conventional CMOS and CCD image sensors are monochromatic, so they use a mask of colored dots (called a Bayer mask) overlaid on the sensor. Electronics in the camera read information from the sensor at the instant of exposure and generate a three-color RGB value for each pixel using a process called interpolation.
Excerpt: This is the first SD9 shot that is now
a portfolio candidate. We converted the file in the Sigma raw converter
at 2x (== 400% pixels) as I plan to print all photos large. The photos
was then mainly processed through our latest sharpening action (read
here) and some little Photoshop tweaks.
Conclusion: Foveon (a previously not-so-well-known technology company) and Sigma (never before produced a digital camera) have had the guts and innovation to come to a very aggressive and critical market with a totally new concept in digital image capture. They have made the first step in what must be seen as a revolution in digital photography.
Pros: The best resolution per output pixel we've ever seen, X3 lives up to the hype, The first digital camera to offer true single pixel resolution, goes beyond Nyquist frequency, Resolution of enlarged images virtually indistinguishable from six megapixel Bayer D-SLR, Relatively good tonal balance although default curve can be a little contrasty, Color accurate if a little under-saturated, especially foliage greens, Good automatic white balance, pre-programmed WB settings ...
Cons: No in-camera JPEG, storage implications of shooting RAW, Color clipping / gray halos - not clear if a sensor or Photo Pro issue, Unnatural blue skies / chromatic aberration sensitivity - linked problems?, Disappointing long exposure performance, Limited sensitivity, some softness at higher ISO, noise higher in red hues, Long exposures limited to one second at ISO 200 and 400, Half-stop exposure compensation / adjustment can feel limiting, Awkward power solution (two d...
Excerpt: Go to Page Two Sigma SD9 Specifications Camera type Interchangeable Lens SLR Type Digital Camera Storage media CompactFlash TM (CF) (Type I/II), MicroDrive Image sensor size 13.8 x 20.7mm Usable lenses Sigma SA Series Angle of view Equivalent to 1.7x the focal length of a lens when used on a 35mm SLR camera.
Excerpt: Capturing razor-sharp and colour-accurate photos can be a challenge, even with today’s multimillion-pixel digital cameras. But Foveon, an image-sensor company, promises to change all that with ...
Summary: Despite the negative issues we found with the SD9, Sigma have done a great job with their first Digital SLR. In some ways, this is a groundbreaking camera that puts many cameras to shame. Yet at the same time it can be embarrassed by its inadequacies in other important areas.
Pros: Excellent resolution from new Foveon technology, Capable of producing very high quality images, Solid build quality and easy to use interface, Competitively priced and backed up by Sigma's lens range, Well designed and powerful RAW editing software, Firewire and USB connectivity, Compatible with IBM Microdrives, Comprehensive range of accessories
Cons: ISO range limited to 100,200,400, Shutter speeds limited to 15sec at ISO 100, Sharpness levels decrease at long exposures/higher ISOs, No option to save in JPEG, RAW processing software requires a fast processor on your computer or a lot of patience, No internal flash, Relies on two types of batteries for operation (minor point)
Excerpt: Questa nuova fotocamera Sigma SD9 promette tanta risoluzione e una riproduzione dei colori superiore rispetto alle macchine con sensore CCD o CMOS questa reflex dall'aria solida che adotta una nuova versione del sensore Foveon X3. Sigma SD9 è pronta per affrontare il mercato e il giudizio degli appassionati, reflex a se stante nel panorama mondiale perché equipaggiata con un sensore Foveon X3 da 3.5 megapixel. Cosa promette la macchina?
Excerpt: Pour son premier appareil photo numérique, Sigma joue la carte de l'originalité. D'une part, il propose un reflex numérique à objectifs interchangeables et entre ainsi dans un cercle très fermé ne l'opposant qu'à trois autres concurrents: Nikon D100, et (en fin de carrière). D'autre part, il inaugure un nouveau capteur révolutionnaire, le X3 de Foveon.