Home | Reviews | Cameras | Film Cameras | 35mm SLRs | Sigma

Sigma SA9 35mm SLRs

3.86 star rating
                      3.86 / 5 (7 Reviews)
MSRP : $0


  • Lens MountSigma SA
    Camera TypeSLR (Single Lens Reflex)
    Focus TypeAutofocus • Manual Focus
    Focus LockWith Focus Lock
    Shutter Speed30 - 1/8000 sec
    Depth2.7 in.
    Height3.8 in.
    Width5.6 in.
    Weight15.36 oz.
    MPNc16900k2
    Product ID44010

Product Description

Photographers can easily set the point of focus on any selected part of a subject while looking through the viewfinder. An AF internal lens motor drive provides the best performance for AF operation of a lens.

Other Features

  • 3 Metering Systems (8-Segment Evaluative Metering, Area Metering, Average Metering).
  • Preview Function to confirm depth of field
  • Guide Number 40ft (12m) ISO 100 for built-in flash
  • Multiple Exposure function, for up to nine exposures for special effects


  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by wren a Intermediate from Portland, OR

    Date Reviewed: October 2, 2003

    Strengths:    excellent ergonomics, straight forward controls, shiftable program, aperture and shutter priority and manual, no nonsense or modes; excellent 8 segment evaluative metering, spot and center weighted also, mirror lock-up; diopter adjustment; well finished and produced

    Weaknesses:    Nothing much comes to mind, perhaps a somewhat slower AF than other manufacturers' top-of-the-amateur cameras, due to just a single cross sensor, but I usually focus manually.

    A Sigma rep told me several yrs ago, just before I got my SA7 that the Japanese tend to be more inclined to share components than Americans; it made me wonder who really makes the shutters, exposure systems and lenses we tend to see as so different; it would be ironic if only a couple companies made them and then put different names on them wouldn't it; it's always instructive to read photo mags from other countries; in Britain, Sigma appears to have a reputation as good as any.


    Bottom Line:   
    I started taking photos again after almost 20yrs; I bought an SA9 after I had used an SA7 for almost two yrs, and the cameras have a lot in common, though the SA9 has a higher shutter speed of 1/8000 second, and flash sync of 1/180 second; I use both primarily as cameras for both landscape and macro shots, almost always on a lightweight Manfrotto tripod; the SA9 seems most like a Nikon N-80 or a Canon Elan II, same niche, but it has nice capabilities, such as mirror lock-up, and a 2 second self timer; ergonomically the SA7 and SA9 are second to none; the SA9 has a good heft and grip, very easy to use, with thoughtful positioning of controls; the remote shutter release makes crisp macro shots easy, and operates mirror lock-up; both SA7 and SA9 seem quite rugged and I've used mine in everything from cloud forests to deserts with no casualties.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   21+ years

    Price Paid:    $300.00

    Purchased At:   bhphoto

    Similar Products Used:   Olympus IS-30, Nikon EM, Zenit SLR

    Type of photography:   Outdoor


    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by khair42001 a Professional from Detroit

    Date Reviewed: July 1, 2003

    Strengths:    lightweight, mirror lock up, 180 flash sync speed, low price

    Weaknesses:    weak autofocus (just like the SA-5), no PC Terminal for studio lights, can't manually dial 180 sync speed

    Bottom Line:   
    This camera is a marked improvement over the SA-5, which, in my estimation, had a few weaknesses.

    I bought the SA-5 because of all the features crammed in that only much more pricey cameras would provide. Let's face it, if you really need a lot of these features (mirror lock-up, depth of field preview, etc.) and you really know photography, the only reason you would buy this camera (and the SA-9) is because of the low price. If you could afford to buy a Nikon, you would, plain and simple.

    I've taken many, many pictures with my SA-5 and it seemed to hold up well. The problems came with the sync speed (125) and the lack of a PC terminal jack. If you are like me and you want to handhold your camera while your subject is in strong backlighting, but you need a faster shutterspeed than 125 (for non-blurry pictures), then you were SOL with the SA-5. Same thing if you tried to hook up studio lights to your SA-5. First of all, if you tried to rig a setup with the hot shoe (like you can with every other brand of camera), you probably found that it didn't work with the Sigma hot shoe. You also found that if you tried to slave a flash from the built-in flash, that it would only work in near total darkness.

    The SA-9 corrected the sync speed problem by raising it to 180. However, you cannot manually dial the shutter speed to 180. If you want to take a flash picture (or any picture) at 180, you have to raise the built-in flash. However, if you have a hot shoe rigged light set up, you cannot have it synch up at 180 because a) you can only manually set it to 125 or below; or b) if you open the built-in flash to "trick" the camera into achieving 180 status, then the hot shoe rig won't fire.

    Believe it or not, Sigma actually makes a PC Terminal Adapter that is advertised for their digital SD-9 camera, but from what Sigma parts service has told me will actually work with the SA-9 (price $40). You have to order it from their parts department. When I asked them why they didn't have this information on their web site, or why any of their sales reps didn't know this information, they had no answer. They told me they would forward the info to the marketing department.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Price Paid:    $357.00

    Purchased At:   Adray Camera

    Similar Products Used:   Sigma SA-5

    Type of photography:   People


    Overall Rating:2
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by derek a Intermediate from wy

    Date Reviewed: January 4, 2003

    Strengths:    price

    Weaknesses:    comletely useless in low light situations

    Bottom Line:   
    good photos in daylight

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   21+ years

    Price Paid:    $299.00

    Purchased At:   b&h

    Similar Products Used:   minolta

    Type of photography:   Outdoor


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Roger jo a Professional from Pacfic Northwest

    Date Reviewed: November 4, 2002

    Strengths:    Love the feel and size. It has mirror lock up! and DOF preview, wireless remote flash and can run up to 3 flashes, motor drive that I'd rate at 3.5-4 fps faster than what is stated. Easy to learn and change setting without removing eye from the view finder. It has built in diopters! Lots of lenses and flash system. Excellent buy for the money.

    Weaknesses:    No battery pack, AF a little slow but it the same speed as Canon's Elan 7 by all test no IF beam which would help in low light, but the external flash has a IF which work great when when flash is attached.

    Bottom Line:   
    Great camera, EXCELLENT value for the money. Feels good in the hand, excellent spot metering, and overall metering. Lens removal botton in great location. Easy to work with in all modes, easy to learn. Steel lens mount. Light weight but well made and strong.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   21+ years

    Price Paid:    $289.00

    Purchased At:   Knight Camera

    Similar Products Used:   Elan 7, Minolta 9xi, Nikon N90,

    Type of photography:   People


    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:3
    Submitted by cwills a Intermediate

    Date Reviewed: May 12, 2002

    Strengths:    *MLU

    *1/8000sec top shutter speed

    *1/180sec top sync speed

    *Dateback

    *Good battery life

    *DOFP


    Weaknesses:    *No real release priority-read above

    *Poor AF performance

    *No vertical grip available

    *Sigma has no fast 50mm primes

    *Low resale value

    *No AF assist light

    *No real spotmetering

    *Penta-mirror instead of pentaprism

    *Auto-film rewind-read above

    *Doesn't leave film tag out


    Bottom Line:   
    Good camera to give tons of features at an attractive price. It offers a nice grip, not too small like Rebel 2000, Maxxum 5, Nikon N55. The button placement and layout is very logical and allows you to concentrate on taking pictures, not fiddling with program modes and multi-button presses to select what you would like.

    The mirror lock up is a nice feature, and the high 1/8000sec top shutter speed, along with the 1/180sec sync speed are very handy. It has built in diopter correction, a 3 frame autoexposure bracketing mode, exp. compensation & a dateback. The 3fps continuous speed is good for a camera in this price range and it also includes an electronic DOFP button, which I learned also doubles as a secondary exposure lock button, didn't see that in the manual. The battery life is also very good.

    While this camera has many pro features, it does fall short of a pro body in quite a few areas. I would prefer it had a real pentaprism over the penta-mirror, and the center area metering mode is a bit wide for spotmetering. I found myself really missing a tight spotmeter. The camera does offer mid-roll rewind, which is nice for changing film, but doesn't offer an option to leave the film tag out. I also wish you had the option to turn off auto-rewind. The camera doesn't auto-rewind at the end of a roll of film, it always rewinds after the pre-determined number of shots the roll is designed for, ie - if it's a 36exp roll of film, you will always get 36 pictures. On cameras I've used where you don't use auto-rewind, you can sometimes squeak out an extra 2 or 3 exposures per roll. I was sorely dissapointed with this cameras low-light autofocus. The autofocus speed with a non-HSM lens is adequate, about as good as other cameras in this price range, but probably not as fast as a Canon with a USM lens. The camera only has a single autofocus cross sensor, and it almost never seemed sensitive enough to lock onto a subject in low light, and even moderately low light, such as average indoor lighting. Outdoors, the thing would lock on very fast. I would highly recommend immediately purchasing an external flash, such as the Sigma EF-500 Super which includes a much needed near-red AF assist beam. My biggest irritation with the camera is its release priority, or should I say lack there of. Popular Photography's review, along with Sigma's website bo

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Price Paid:    $299.00

    Purchased At:   B&H

    Similar Products Used:   Minolta Maxxum, Canon Rebel 2000, Nikon N70, Nikon N80, Nikon N90s

    Type of photography:   Outdoor



    Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


    Sigma SA7 vs SA9

    I am comparing the differences between the Sigma SA7 and the Sigma SA9 and I am trying to find out what the Quartz Date back option gets you? Is it simply a date function or is there something I'm missing here? :confused: Thanks for any help.Read More »

    Read More »



    Holiday Gift Guide 2013

    Check out our holiday gift suggestions for these categories!



    See All Holiday Gift Guide coverage - Click Here »

     

    PhotographyReview Videos