Archive for May, 2011
May 20, 2011 – Sigma Corporation of America to ship SD1 camera in early June
Ronkonkoma, NY, May 20, 2011 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, is pleased to announce that its flagship DSLR, the Sigma SD1, will be available for purchase for the MSRP of $9,700 in early June.
This 46-megapixel DSLR is delivered in a splash-proof, easy-to-handle build that is similar to that of a classic 35mm camera. Professional and high-end enthusiast photographers will utilize the SD1’s exclusive Foveon 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor to capture exceptionally rich and detailed images that have a film-like quality. Users will also benefit from Sigma’s wide selection of interchangeable lenses that are compatible with the SD1.
“The SD1 will carve out a new category in the market placeby providing high-end photographers with an alternative to very expensive medium-format cameras and digital backs, while offering unrivalled image quality,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “By embracing the SD1, serious photographers will also be able to take advantage of Sigma’s extensive line-up of affordable lenses, which are compatible with this new camera. The selections of lenses for medium-format cameras on the market are somewhat limited, so this will be a huge advantage for SD1 users. This is undoubtedly a very special camera, and we’re thrilled to share it with the photo community.”
In addition to the 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor, the Sigma SD1 features dual “Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine (TRUE) II” image processing engines, which improves processing speed, provides high resolution power and produces high-definition images with richly graduated tones. It also allows simultaneous RAW and JPEG recording, which is a first for Sigma cameras. Additionally, the photographer has the option to select full-size, half-size or quarter-size RAW files making it a more versatile camera for a wide range of photographers. The Foveon sensor uses three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. This technology efficiently reproduces color more accurately and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required.
The optical format of the Foveon sensor has been upgraded from that which was used in previous SD cameras, and has increased from 1.7x focal length to the 1.5x focal length multiplier. The SD1 also benefits from improved image processing and noise reduction algorithms, with an ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 6400. This is two full stops more sensitivity than the SD15, which has a maximum 1600 ISO. An intuitive user interface and an impressive lightweight, yet solid magnesium alloy body and O-ring sealing connections that make the camera durable and splash proof are also key feature upgrades of the flagship SD1.
The SD1 adopts the TYPE 1 Compact Flash Card, and is UDMA-compatible enabling fast processing of large amounts of data. The autofocus system features an 11-point shifted twin cross type sensor, which improves AF accuracy. The SD1 features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition. The SD1 can be used with more than 40 Sigma SA mount lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheye.
Sigma’s image processing software, Photo Pro 5.0, comes bundled with the camera and its simple operation allows quick and easy capture of the desired imaged. Additional functions such as Loupe, Slideshow, Print, Convert to JPEG file and Batch White Balance settings are also incorporated into this software.
The Sigma SD1 will be available for the MSRP of $9,700 through select authorized Sigma dealers. For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com. For more information about the Sigma SD1 DSLR, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/sd1-dslr-sigma or view the camera’s special page at www.sigma-sd.com/SD1.
SIGMA SD1 SPECS AND INFO
46 megapixel 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 Full-color image sensor
The 46 effective megapixel (4,800×3,200×3 layers) and 44 recording megapixel (4,704×3,136×3 layers) 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor featured in the Sigma SD1 captures all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location, ensuring the capture of full and complete color. Using three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths, it efficiently reproduces color more accurately, and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and color, generated by the 46 megapixel APS-C X3 direct image sensor is captured with a three-dimensional feel.
Dual TRUE II image processing engine
The SD1 incorporates a dual “TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II” image processing engine which improves the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. The unique image-processing algorithm provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images with richly graduated tones. In addition, the SD1 is Sigma’s first camera to allow simultanous RAW and JPEG recording.
Advanced DDR III buffer
To handle large volumes of color data at high speed, the SD1 uses DDR III buffer memory technology, which delivers class-leading performance. The SD1 features a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second and can capture up to 7 RAW images per sequence in continuous shooting mode.
The SD1 adopts the TYPE I CF Card. This camera is compatible with the UDMA enabling fast processing of large amounts of data.
* It is not possible to use Microdrives and TYPE II CF cards.
Intuitive user interface
The improved user interface provides faster and more convenient operation. Aperture and shutter speed can be set by their own dials. The exposure compensation button and exposure mode button are on top of the body for quick access. A Quick Set (QS) menu lets you easily change commonly used functions. To display the QS menu, simply press the QS button. QS menu 1 is for ISO setting, flash mode, metering mode and AF mode; QS menu 2 offers white balance, image quality, image size and color mode.
The Sigma SD1 adopts a lightweight yet solid magnesium alloy body designed to withstand rough use and shocks in harsh conditions.
Splash proof design
Buttons and connections benefit from O-ring sealing connections to prevent dust and water getting inside the camera body.
Bright, wide-coverage viewfinder with integral pentaprism
The SD1 features a pentaprism viewfinder with 98% (vertical and horizontal)coverage, 0.95x magnification and an 18mm eye point. Diopter adjustment is provided over a range of -3 to +1.5 dpt.
Four metering modes
The SD1 features 77-segment Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering, Center Area Metering and Spot Metering.Exposure can be manually adjusted to suit your needs. When difficult lighting conditions make appropriate exposure unclear, auto bracketing lets you take a sequence of shots of the same subject at three or five different exposure levels. Bracketing can be set in 1/3EV increments up to ±3EV(3levels) or ±1.7EV(5 levels).
11 point twin cross sensor
The autofocus system features an 11 point twin cross sensor. The shifted twin cross type sensor improves AF accuracy. Selecting the AF point can be done manually or automatically.
77-segment AE sensor
The SD1 features a new 77-segment AE sensor using advanced AE algorithms to improve exposure accuracy. Exact control coordinated with the 11 AF points achieves accurate exposure even in difficult lightning conditions.
Most digital SLR cameras are vulnerable to dust entering the body. If dust and dirt adhere to the image sensor, it may appear in the photos. The lens mount of the SD1 is equipped with a dust protector and the area around it is sealed to prevent dust from entering the body. Even in the unlikely event of dust adhering to the image sensor, the dust protector can be removed easily for sensor cleaning.
Focal Plane shutter
The durable focal plane shutter mechanism has a life cycle of over 100,000 exposures and dramatically reduces generation of dust. The photographer can enjoy taking pictures with confidence that the image sensor is clean and protected from dust or dirt originating inside or outside the camera.
Using a two-motor system with dedicated motors for mirror-drive and shutter charge reduces the vibration of mirror movement, thereby preventing camera shake. A mirror lock-up mechanism prevents further vibration when the shutter is released. Preventing camera shake is especially important for macro photography and when using ultra-telephoto lenses.
Noiseless image processing
ISO sensitivity can be selected from 100 to 6400. The SD1 captures light effectively and ensures noiseless image processing. The image sensor provides high definition with rich, graduated tones.
Large, highly visible 3.0” TFT color LCD Monitor
The SD1 camera features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition.
Built-in flash with 17mm angle of coverage
The Sigma SD1 camera’s built-in flash has a guide number of 11 to cover a 17mm lens angle (equivalent to 25.5mm with a 35mm camera). The built-in flash can be synchronized to a shutter speed of up to 1/180 sec. The S-TTL automatic exposure system enables control of advanced flash photography.
SIGMA Photo Pro5.0 (Supplied)
The supplied image processing software, SIGMA Photo Pro 5, converts RAW data quickly and easily and describes full data of 46 megapixel resolution. A renewed interface design provides functional and convenient operation. Sigma PhotoPro allows easy operation, simply by moving a slider from left to right while looking at the particular image you took, you can get a photographic expression just as you like. In addition, other functions such as Loupe, Slideshow, Print, Covert to JPEG file and Batch White Balance settings are incorporated into this software.
Dedicated BP-21 lithium-ion battery
The dedicated BP-21 lithium-ion battery is supplied as standard with the SD1. It takes about 150 minutes to fully charge with the supplied BC-21 battery charger. The optional SAC-4 AC adapter lets the Sigma SD1 run on AC power from a wall socket.
The SD1 can be used with over 40 Sigma lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheyes which adopt the latest technology such as the FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have the performance equal to fluorite glass, SLD glass, Aspherical lenses, Sigma’s own unique Optical Stabilizer function, Hyper Sonic Motor and Sigma’s Super Multi Layer Coating. They meet the various and demanding requirements of all types of photographers.
[SIGMA SD1 : Major Specifications]
Format- Interchangeable lens SLR camera
Storage Media – Compact Flash (Type I, UDMA compatible)
Image Sensor Size- 23.5×15.7mm
Lens Mount- SIGMA SA bayonet mount
Compatible Lenses- SIGMA SA mount interchangeable lenses
Angle of View- Equivalent to approx. 1.5 times the focal length of the lens (for 35mm cameras)
Image Sensor- X3 direct image sensor (CMOS)
Pixels- Total Pixels 48MP, Effective Pixels 46MP (4,800×3,200×3 layers)
Aspect Ratio- 3 : 2
Still Image Format- Exif 2.3, DCF 2.0
Recording Mode- Lossless compression RAW data(12-bit, High, Medium, Low), JPEG(High, Medium, Low)
RAW High Approx. 45 MB (4,704×3,136×3) Medium Approx. 24 MB (3,264×2,176×3) Low Approx. 12 MB (2,336×1,568×3)
JPEG High Fine Approx. 10 MB (4,704×3,136) Normal Approx. 5.6 MB (4,704×3,136) Basic Approx. 4.2 MB (4,704×3,136)
Medium Fine Approx. 5 MB (3,264×2,176) Normal Approx. 2.7 MB (3,264×2,176) Basic Approx. 2 MB (3,264×2,176)
Low Fine Approx. 2.5 MB (2,336×1,568) Normal Approx. 1.4 MB (2,336×1,568) Basic Approx. 1 MB (2,336×1,568)
Continuous shooting speed High:5 frame/sec., Medium:6 frame/sec., Low:6 frame/sec.
Continuous buffer High:Max. 7 frames, Medium:Max. 14 frames, Low:Max. 14 frames
Interface USB(USB2.0), Video Out (NTSC/PAL)
White Balance- 8 types (Auto, Daylight, Shade, Overcast, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash and Custom)
Color Mode- 7 types (Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Portrait, Landscape, B&W, Sepia)
Viewfinder Type- Pentaprism SLR viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame- Coverage 98% vertical, 98% horizontal
Viewfinder Magnification- 0.95x (50mmF1.4 – ∞)
Eye point- 18mm
Diopter Adjustment Range- -3.0 dpt – +1.5 dpt
Auto Focus Type- TTL phase difference detection system
AF Point- 11 points twin cross sensor
AF Operating Range- EV -1 to +18 (ISO100)
Focus Mode- Single AF, Continuous AF (with AF motion prediction function), Manual
AF Point Selection- Automatic Selection, Manual Selection
Metering Systems- 77 segment Evaluative Metering, Spot Metering, Center Area Metering, Center-Weighted Average Metering
Metering Range- EV 1 to 20 (50mm F1.4 : ISO100)
Exposure Control System- [P] Program AE (Program Shift is possible),[S] Shutter Speed Priority AE,[A] Aperture Priority AE, [M] Manual
ISO Sensitivity- ISO100,200,400,800,1600,3200,6400
Exposure Compensation- ±3 EV (in 1/3 stop increments)
Auto Bracketing- Three or Five frames (in 1/3 steps, Appropriate Exposure-Under Exposure-Over Exposure)
Shutter Type- Electronically Controlled Focal Plane Shutter
Shutter Speed- 1/8000 – 30 sec.,Bulb (up to 30 sec. With Extended Mode: 2 min.)
Flash Connectivity- Hot shoe (contact X synchronization at 1/180 sec. or less, with dedicated flash linking contact)
Built-in Flash Manual Pop-up Built-in flash, GN11 (17mm lens angle covered)
LCD Monitor Type- TFT color LCD monitor, Monitor Size : 3.0″, LCD Pixels : Approx. 460,000
Reviewing Images Single frame display, Multi display [9 frames],Zoom, Slide Show
LCD Monitor Language- English / Japanese / German / French / Spanish /Italian / Chinese (Simplified) / Korean / Russian
Power- Li-ion Battery Pack BP-21, Batterry Chager BC-21,AC Adapter SAC-4 (optional)
Dimensions- 145.5 mm/5.7″ (W) × 113.5 mm/4.4″(H) × 80.0 mm/3.1
Weight- 700g/24.7oz. (without battery and card)
• Li-ion Battery BP-21, • Battery Charger BC-21, • USB Cable, • Video Cable,• Neck Strap • Eye Cap, • Body Cap, • Eyepiece Cap,• SIGMA Photo Pro Disc, • SD1 Instruction Manual
* The appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.
About Sigma Corporation
For 50 years, Sigma Corporation’s expertise and innovation has driven the company’s core philosophy of “knowledge, plus experience, plus imagination,”with anemphasis on producing high-quality, high-performance photographic technology at moderate prices. This family-owned organization is the largest, independent SLR lens manufacturer in the world, producing more than 50 lenses that are compatible with most manufacturers, including Sigma, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Sigma Corporation also produces digital SLR cameras and high-definition digital compact cameras. The company is headquartered in Japan, with offices strategically located throughout Europe, Asia and North America. For information, please visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com.
The Canon EOS 1000D was launched in 10th June 2008 (also known as EOS Kiss F in Japan and the EOS Rebel XS in the rest of the world) – this entry level DSLR was designed and meant to cover the market meant for beginners with their “first DSLR” and those switching from compacts to DSLRs. Manufactured & marketed as the cheapest Canon DSLR money can buy, the EOS 1000D captured the market by surprise with its asking price and built quality. So after 34 months, we get an update.
April 2011, Canon surprised the world again. The Canon EOS 1100D (EOS Kiss X50 in Japan and the EOS Rebel T3 in the rest of the world) was launched with even more surprise! The higher spec-ed EOS 1100D now comes in Maroon Red, Gun Metal Silver, Outdoor Brown & Classic Black. I was lucky to get the Gun Metal Silver for a review from the local guys.
So what has changed? I shall not state all the technical specs here which might bored you out. Instead, I shall highlight its important changes here. For the full specs, google for yourself.
EOS1000D: Digic III/ 10.1mp/ 7 AF Points/ LCD 2.5″/ ISO100-1600/ LP-E5 Battery/ EFS18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS.
EOS1100D: Digic IV/ 12.1mp/ 9 AF Points/ LCD 2.7″/ ISO100-6400/ LP-E10 Battery/ EFS18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS II.
As a professional photographer based in Singapore, I find it strange to leave my 1D MkIV & 5D MkII at home while lugging both the EOS1000D & EOS1100D for a test trip to Kuching, Sarawak in East Malaysia. Since I’ve never tried this set up before, I went ahead and brought both cameras with me along with a Manfrotto Tripod Rig with 2 ballheads balancing on a tripod. :)
So how does the set up looks like? Here it is. (Ignore my tired face, we just got off the flight)
Test 1: Mountain Path at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia with lights from setting sun & partial shade.
Both cameras set to 1/100, F6.3, ISO 200, FR 18mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure.
I picked this scene because this is the perfect place to test to sensor’s light sensitivity & metering. As the setting sun cast the shadows on the mountain path, it gets a little tricky for the camera to read its surrounding. So from the test photos above, it is obvious that the EOS1100D has a “cleverer” metering on the shaded areas giving a more balanced exposure and the EOS1000D has a slightly under-exposed photo at the same setting. So my take is, EOS1000D: 0/ EOS1100D:1
Test 2: View from the Mountain at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia with lights from setting sun & slight haze.
Both cameras set to 1/100, F6.3, ISO 400, FR 55mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure.
This is one tricky scene for the camera. Light is getting dimmer by the minute when I was setting up for this scene. Using the previous setting, I decided to boost up the ISO to 400. The EOS 1000D exposed the vegetations correctly but over exposed the sky and the mountain in the far end. As for the EOS 1100D, it under exposed the vegetations nearer to the camera but still acceptable on overall especially the mountain at the far end can be seen and the sky remains blue. Looking at both photos, the EOS1100D had an advantage over the predecessor and a safer bet too. So my take is, EOS1000D: 0/ EOS1100D:1.
Test 3: View from the Mountain at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia with lights from setting sun & slight haze.
Both cameras set to 1/320, F9, ISO 200, FR 18mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure.
This is another excellent scene to test the camera. As the sky get darker, both the cameras are put through a comparative test again. The 2 photos above looks very much the same except for the vegetations on the lower left of the photo. The EOS 1100D had metered the vegetations correctly and the scene looks brighter. But it does not really matter as both camera had managed to captured what I had in mind. Looking at both photos, both cams are ok for this scene test. So my take is, EOS1000D: 1/ EOS1100D:1.
Test 4: A church courtyard at the peak of a mountain at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia with lights from setting sun.
Both cameras set to 1/1000, F9, ISO 800, FR 18mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure.
I picked this scene because I want to see if both the cameras can “read” the scene correctly and how it reacts to a partial shaded and partial well lighted surrounding. From the photos above, both cams “reacted” in the same manner, but if you notice, the area near the top left (under the zinc roof) area, the EOS1100D has a better exposure as compared to the one shot with the EOS1000D while the rest of the photo from both camera looks largely the same. I can live with this slight difference, can you? My take will be , EOS1000D: 1/ EOS1100D:1.
Test 5: A church at the peak of a mountain at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia with back lights from setting sun.
Both cameras set to 1/200, F10, ISO 400, FR 18mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure.
This is an interesting scene bacause the sun is setting from the back (right side) of the church building and the front of the church (scene as above) is getting darker by the minute. The result was surprising in this case because if you look at the the 2 smaller roof right below the Cross at the top, the under-side of these 2 small roofs, the shot by the EOS 1000D was able to accentuate the darker area in this scene but the the shot from the EOS1100D turned out slightly darker. On the other hand, look at the foreground, the EOS1000D was not able to illuminate the scene as good as the EOS 1100D. So putting to commercial sense, what’s more important to me are the photo must look balanced and properly exposed while I can do away with neglegible details. So my take is EOS1000D: 0/ EOS1100D:1.
Test 6: A flower the size of a 20 cents coin at a house garden at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia with direct lights from a 10am sun.
Both cameras set to 1/160, F9, ISO 400, FR 55mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure + Flash.
It is now apparent that the photo shot with the EOS1000D with the old kit lens has a limit when I comes to sharpness and magnification ration. Though spec-ed as equivalent with “mild” improvement, the EOS1100D with the new mark II kit lens out performs with its sharpness and details. Megapixel could be at play here as I only managed to magnify the EOS1000D photo to a limit so it looks slightly smaller above. Look at the centre of the flower. The new EOS1100D + new kit lens combo is the clear winner here. EOS1000D: 0/ EOS1100D:1.
Test 7: Long exposure at night at a river park facing the Astana Palace at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia.
Both cameras set to 30 seconds, F18, ISO 100, FR 18mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure.
OK, both the photo looks the same right? Read on.
I decided to zoom in. Both cameras set to 30 seconds, F18, ISO 100, FR 55mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure.
Still look the same at 55mm? OK, let’s blow things up a little.
The cut section photo above shows a distinctive difference at 100% when both photos are magnified. The EOS1000D combo is not as sharp as the EOS1100D combo. Noise is apparent for the EOS1000D shot, which I conveniently blamed the Digic III processor as opposed to the EOS 1100D’s Digic IV. New is better, it is very true here. 0:1.
Test 8: Multi-Shot Burst at High speed at night by a river park facing the Astana Palace at Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia.
Both cameras set to 1/200 seconds, F3.5, ISO 100, FR 18mm, Evaluative Metering, AWB, Spot Focus on Centre AF, Manual Exposure+flash, set to burst mode. (set to AI Servo)
Well you must be thinking why only 5 shots from the EOS1000D and 10 shots from the EOS1100D. Well, both cameras were actuated at the same time but the EOS1000D only managed to snap 5 shots while the EOS1100D shot 10, both camera started and ended at the same time. (Thanks Shela for lending your finger.) And out of the 5 shots from the EOS1000D, only 3 are sharp when viewed at 100% and the EOS1100D gave me 10 sharp photos. Oh Wow!
So, EOS1000D: 0/ EOS1100D:1.
The test shots above had the EOS1100D beating the EOS1000D 8:2. Let’s see how both cameras fared in other areas.
Based on the score sheet that I brought along to Kuching to test the cameras with my set of test criterias, the EOS 1000D scored 25/50 while the EOS 1100D scored an impressive 47/50.
My personal view is, the EOS1100D is closer to the slightly “higher classed” XXXD series now. It feels good on my hand (which is more used to 1D-Series cameras) and it does not feels out of place. The finishing for the EOS1100D is of superb quality, the handgrip feels larger and purposeful and well sorted. So the EOS also scores on the ergonomic stats for this. With a little visual orientation of the dials and buttons, I can find all my familar icons and so EOS1100D is not a pain to use even for professional photographers who may wish to have a lighter casual camera when not on commercial jobs. The specs are built to lure and asking price is priced to sell.
If you considering to move from prosumer compact to a DSLR camera, the EOS 1100D is an excellent choice – to start.
Below are some “Behind the Scene” photos – Courtesy of Ling Tan (Shutter Journey)