Sigma SD9 SLR Review
Full review posted 11/29/02
Sample photos updated 6/2003
Click to take a QuickTime tour of the SD9
Conventional CCD and CMOS image sensors use only one layer of photo detectors, with just one photo detector per pixel. To capture color, pixels are organized in a grid, or mosaic, resembling a three-color checkerboard. Each pixel captures just one color-red, green or blue. Filters let only one wavelength of light (red, green or blue) pass through to any given pixel, allowing it to record only one color. As a result, mosaic sensors capture only 25% of the red and blue light, and just 50% of the green.
That approach has inherent drawbacks, no matter how many pixels a mosaic-based image sensor might contain. Since they only capture one third of the color, mosaic-based image sensors must rely on complex processing to interpolate the two-thirds they miss. Interpolation leads to color artifacts and a loss of image detail. In fact, some digital cameras intentionally blur pictures to reduce color artifacts. That's why the SIGMA SD9 powered by Foveon X3 technology delivers better color detail, sharpness and greater resistance to unpredictable color artifacts.
To further insure the best possible image quality the SD9 stores its image data in
Lossless compressed RAW format. In addition to preserving the image quality, this RAW
format also helps minimize storage requirements because of its compact file size. The
RAW data is easily converted into high-quality TIFF and JPEG format with the supplied Sigma Photo Pro software. According to the requirements of the
photographer, the characteristics of the image (white balance, color, brightness,
contrast, sharpness, etc.) are highly modifiable before the conversion process. And
there's no loss of image quality because the adjustments are performed on the RAW data.
Sigma SD9 Features:
The Sigma SD9 SLR will be available by the end of November 2002. At the time of this review it is the lowest cost, interchangeable lens digital SLR camera with an MSRP of just $1799.
Compare the Sigma SD9 and Nikon D100
Sigma SD9 Specifications
*The appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.
Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.
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