Sigma SD10 Digital SLRs

SD10

  • Sensor: Foveon X3 direct image sensor
  • Max resolution: 2268 x 1512 pixels
  • File format: RAW only
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100-1600
  • White balance: Auto, Sunlight, Shade, Overcast, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, and Custom
  • Exposure: Program AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority , Manual, w. exposure compensation and auto bracketing
  • Lens mount: Sigma SA Bayonet Mount
  • Digital crop: 1.7x
  • Mirror lock-up
  • Flash synch: 1/180 sec
  • Wireless flash w. Sigma EF-500 DG SUPER flash
  • Max frame rate: 1.9 frames per second for 6 frames in high-quality mode
  • IEEE 1394 (FireWire) and USB Interfaces
  • Storage media: CompactFlash Type I and II, MicroDrive
  • SIGMA Photo Pro 2.0 Software

  • User Reviews (14)

    Showing 1-10 of 14  
    SigmaSD10   Professional [Oct 18, 2005]
    Strength:

    Image sharpness, colour depth, colour accuracy, ease of use, ability to use cheap non-Sigma lenses.

    Weakness:

    Noisy mirror slap, no in-camera jpegs option, no built in flash

    The Sigma SD10 is unique in having a Foveon X3 sensor that works differently from the Bayer type sensors used in almost all other digital cameras, wether they be prosumers or DSLR's. The Foveon X3 sensor is the only digital sensor in the world that can capture detail down to a single pixel, and as a result it produces the sharpest photographic images currently possible with digital camera technology. In its current 3.4mp x3 form its been shown to be equivalent to a 8mp Bayer sensor. The SD10 uses Sigma's own "SA" lens mount which is similar but slightly larger in diamter than the Pentax K mount (often refered to as the PK mount or sometimes as the KPR mount) but its probably more similar in layout to the Canon EF mount only its somewhat smaller in diameter. Several lens adapters are easily available to allow various non-Sigma manual focus/manual stop down lenses to be used on the SD10. The adapter options currently available are: M42 screw mount to SA mount, Mamiya-Sekor 645 (medium-format) mount to SA mount and Nikon F mount to SA mount. Pentax K mount lenses require a small modification first but afterwards they fit straight on the SA mount without requiring an adapter. P6 mount lenses can fit via an P6 mount to M42 mount adapter in conjuction with an M42 mount to SA mount adapter. However if you prefer to use Sigma lenses so you have the benefit of AF and AA then never fear, you will have a large and impressive array to choose from. Sigma's best lenses are signiified as "EX" lenses and many of these can match any of the best Nikon or Canon lenses yet they typically retail for about half the price. The SD10 has a very robust black plastic body over a strong but light metal chassis, however it does not have the enviromental seals like some of its far more expensive professional competitors so its not a camera that should be used outdoors in the rain without providing some sort of protection. The controls are well placed, easy to use and most of the most needed functions are accessable externally so you dont need to keep browsing through the menus on the LCD screen. The SD10 can use cheap and easily available AA batteries. The camera can take four batteries interally or 8 in the optional "battery-grip/tray". However the best batteries to use are either 2-4 CR-V3 disposable Lithium batteries or 2-4 of the new RCR-V3 rechargable Li-ion batteries. The SD10 comes supplied with 4xAA Ni-MH batteries plus a slow charger and kudos to Sigma for also providing a mains adapter too for no extra cost, very handy for long studio sessions. The SD10 only shoots RAW files, so you cannot take jpegs with it, but you can easily convert the RAW files to jpegs (or tiffs) later via the supplied RAW processing software called "Sigma Photo Pro", often abbreviated to "SPP". The SD10 takes a single CF card and as Sigma RAW files can be anywhere from 3mp to 11mp in size its best to use at least 512mb cards but preferably 1gb or more. There is no built in flash but there is a hotshoe on top of the SD10 that is wired for Sigma S-TTL flashguns. Metz flashguns also work if you set them manually and for studio work any cheap universal PC-sinc adapter can be used to run a multi studio flash setup. The SD10 has a mirror-lock-up function or "MLU" which prevents vibration from mirror-slap causing movement blur during long exposures. A bracketing mode is also included on the same dial. There are the usual modes on the mode selector dial such as: "P" mode(fully automatic), "AP" mode(aperture priority), "SP" mode(shutter priority) and "M" (fully manual) mode. Shooting at night requires some practice to get good results and once mastered it can give excellent results but the SD10 is not really a low light camera and its best used in normal to well lit conditions and thats where it really shines. Thanks to its Foveon X3 sensor the SD10 can print to astonishing sizes whilst retating very high print detail and quality. A0 or even 2A0 is no problem for the SD10.

    Customer Service

    First rate, Sigma will fall over backwards to help you!

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Jeff Warrington   Intermediate [May 23, 2005]
    Strength:

    Quality of image, stunningly sharp with superb colour rendition. Build quality. Friendly helpful U.K. Sigma head office staff.

    Weakness:

    1. Dirt on sensor from new 2. Dirt on sensor from new and 3. yes DIRT ON SENSOR from new.

    I have been looking to purchase a digital SLR but although I was impressed with the Sigma SD10 on paper, the price in the UK of about £1,000 was well out of my pocket. Having bought a Canon D30 and had the rug pulled from under my feet when they rapidly discontinued it with no offer of upgrade trade ins, I was concerned about buying any new camera. What a pleasant surprise to see the SD10 fall in price and I purchased it together with the Sigma 12-24 EX DG lens and have on order the new 50mm Macro lens. What a stunning camera, despite the U.K.Amateur Photographer comparison review's lowish test results (I believe only marked down because there is no flash and the pics have to be processed from 'raw') the results are almost unbelievable............. Stunning prints so sharp you can cut your finger on them...OK at higher ISO speeds they show 'noise' but so does 100asa film at 1600 asa. :-) BUT oh why, oh why, do they send out cameras with dirt on the sensor ?? I took my new 3 day old camera back to Sigma UK and the very kind people there cleaned it for me, alas and alac, it is only a little better than before but what the hell a few minutes with photoshop removes these unwanted doughnuts. This camera does in my opinion give the very best pics that can be taked with any digital SLR priced at under £1,500.00 in the U.K. today.

    Customer Service

    Sigma U.K. brilliant to date, helpful and willing to please their customers

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    xmattkx   Intermediate [Dec 01, 2004]
    Strength:

    The most crystal clear pictures of any DSLR I have seen under $2000. Sigma Photo Pro Software (v2.1 now available) AA batteries.

    Weakness:

    Dust, why is this such a problem?

    I bought the 18-50mm & 55-200mm package to complement this camera when I first bought it. I was attracted to this camera for a number of reasons, first and foremost, the Foveon sensor. I bought it form a shady internet company because I could not find a retailer that would allow me to buy it without harrassing me to buy a Canon or Nikon. As opposed to all other reviews of the SD10 on this site, I have mixed reviews regarding this camera. I love the pictures- they are absolutely magnificent. My photography cohort has the Digital Rebel, and there is simply no comparison. The Sigma Photo Pro software is AS VALUABLE AS THE CAMERA ITSELF. It is by far the most amazing processing software that I have EVER seen bundled for free with a camera. The X3F fill light feature can rescue almost any underexposed picture that you throw at it. I like the fact that it takes AA batteries, this came in handy when a solar panel failed in Africa. The ability to use disposable batteries is up there with the image quality as well. Finally, the perfectly simple interface on the LCD is great. This camera is not perfect- For one it is big, never too big as I have hiked through Africa for 6 weeks with it, but it is not petite. It also has a slow AF, I use AF often, and with the 50mm 1:1 macro & the 100mm 1:1 macro, it searches a lot. I also wish that there were a pop-up flash, what would possess Sigma to eliminate this? Finally, and most importantly is the issue of dust, I have gotten dust on my sensor and it shows up on each and every one of my pictures, I have tried cleaning it and it works a bit at a time. In summary, a camera is for taking pictures, and taking perfect pictures is what makes this camera so amazing. I would never use another camera, but don't be surprised by these couple weaknesses.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    ginman522   Intermediate [Apr 14, 2004]
    Strength:

    Easy to use great image quality Dust cover over sensor Software great macro!

    Weakness:

    none for my uses

    This is my First Digital SLR that I have bought so keep this in mind when reading. I have been using my friends Nikon D100 for the past 4 weeks and was very impressed, with the exception that the image quality wasn't as great as I thought it was going to be. So when it came for me to buy, I took the risk and bought the Sigma SD10. I went to 4 different stores, and every sales rep tried to talk me out of it for various reasons. The only thing was, there was no changing my mind. Honestly, they were trying to sell what they had in stock, and had no experience with the SD10. I gotta say I'm extremely happy with this camera. The image quality is better than D100, hands down! Also, I have no idea why people gripe about no Jpeg option? Why waste such a good camera and take take Jpegs? The conversion software they include is excellent, easy to use and feature rich. This camera will hold any Sigma SA lens, which is great considering they have wide variety, good quality and reasonably priced optics. I don't see any downside to this camera, and any photographer with normal expectations will enjoy the ownership. Great bang for the buck! It pisses me off, how these dealers push what they have in stock, thowing excuses from "Sigma is going to discontinue digital SLR's in 10 years" to Canon makes the best, why get anything else?". I'm happy I bought this, it's high quality. I ask all those considering buying this....please don't eliminate this camera just because it's a Sigma, you will be glad in the long run. Besides Sigma developed a new technology with this Camera, and anyone into Digital SLR's benefit from this, whether it be directly or indirectly....I don't see Nikon or Canon developeing new sensors. Sorry for the rant...I just love this camera, and so does every other photographer I let borrow it.

    Customer Service

    no issues so far

    Similar Products Used: Nikon D100
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    YKV   Expert [Mar 15, 2004]
    Strength:

    Superior image quality at ISO100/200. Cheaper lens.

    Weakness:

    Obvious image degradation past ISO400. Rough design (not a problem for me since I care about image quality only). Sensor dust issue. It appears that it is more succeptible to this kind of ailment than, at least 300D which I also have. SA mount only. Low resale value, so far.

    I bought it bundled with 18-50DC lens at 1590$. This camera is best used up to 400ISO. At ISO100/200 it is AWESOME with film like image rendition. IMHO, image quality clearly exceeds any of 6MP DSLR I tried prior to buying this one.

    Similar Products Used: Canon D30, 300D.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 14  

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