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Sigma SD15

Dennis Hissink
PMA 2010 Report
Monday 22nd, February 2010
Posted by: Dennis Hissink

PMA 2010 News - The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the new Sigma SD15 Digital SLR camera. This camera is the latest model in Sigma’s SD series. Powered by the 14 megapixel Foveon X3 direct image sensor it can capture all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location arranged in three layers. The new Sigma SD15 SLR camera incorporates the “TRUE II” image processing engine which processes the large amount of data from the 14 megapixel direct image sensor. It also provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images with impressive three-dimensional detail, rich in gradation. The Sigma camera adopts the SD card and incorporates a highly visible 3.0 inch LCD monitor, 77-Segment AE sensor and AFE (Analog Front End).

Sigma SD15

14 megapixel Sigma SD15 SLR camera
The Sigma SD15 SLR provides high image quality and user friendly design. In addition, the durable shutter mechanism, which has a life of over 100,000 actuations, is ideal for the demands of digital photography. Since October 2002, Sigma has introduced three digital SLR cameras, the SD9, SD10 and SD14. In March 2008 Sigma also introduced a high-end compact digital camera, the DP1, which uses the same large image sensor as featured in Sigma’s digital SLR cameras. The DP and SD series have established a strong following from a wide range of photographers, both amateur and professional. This new Sigma SD15 DSLR has been developed with the principle of producing superior image quality from the direct image sensor, as well as improved processing speed, operation and performance.

Sigma SD15 incorporates the Foveon X3 image sensor
The Foveon X3 direct image sensor featured in the Sigma SD15 digital SLR camera 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 needed because full information of light and color can be captured with a three-dimensional feeling.

Sigma SD15 DSLR image processor
The Sigma SD15 incorporates the “TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II” image processing engine which improves the processing speed and overall image quality. The unique image-processing algorithm provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images with richly graduated tones. The Sigma SD15 adopts the SD card (compatible with SDHC) which is also used with the DP series of Sigma cameras, improving convenience to users of both camera systems.

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Sigma SD15 produces high quality images
The Sigma SD15 is equipped with DDR II buffer memory which is twice as large in capacity as the SD14’s buffer. The camera's high-speed image processing circuits are capable of handling the large data files generated by the high-resolution 14 megapixel sensor. The Sigma SD15 DSLR features a continuous shooting speed of 3 frames per second with up to 21 RAW Images that can be captured in continuous shooting mode. AFE (Analog Front End) converts the color data, which full-color capture systems record, to a digital signal. This enables the camera to reproduce high definition and richly colored images. The Sigma SD15 SLR features a new 77-segment AE sensor which allows advanced AE algorithms, improving exposure accuracy. Exact control and collaboration with the AF point ensures the camera exposes accurately even in difficult lighting conditions.

Sigma SD15 SLR equipped with 3" LCD monitor
The Sigma SD15 camera features a 3.0 inch TFT color LCD monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition. It is possible to review the captured images with a Contact-Sheet View (nine thumbnail images), Single-Image View or Zoomed-In View (it is possible to select the magnified area by using the 4-way controller). While reviewing images, it is possible to display the detailed shooting information such as shutter speed and F-value by pressing the INFO button. The improved user interface provides faster and more convenient operation of the camera. The Quick Set button activates the display of the most commonly used camera functions such as Color Mode, White Balance, Image Quality and Image Size on one screen. The 4-Way Controller ensures faster operation of these features. The FUNC button enables functions such as Flash Mode and Synchro Mode.

Sigma SD15 camera supplied with Sigma Photo Pro software
The Sigma SD15 includes a RAW recording mode for retaining full image capture detail of the utmost quality plus a JPEG recording format for convenience. The RAW data format uses lossless compression for more compact, yet uncompromised, data files. The RAW data format of the SD15 keeps brightness and color data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. Each pixel location captures the full color RGB data which, when processed in Sigma Photo Pro, will preserve the balance of the natural data for the best photos with the best image quality. The supplied image processing software of “Sigma Photo Pro 4.0” converts RAW data quickly and easily. Incorporation of a new noise reduction algorithm reduces Chroma and Luminance noise when processing X3F files taken at ISO400 or more. It is possible to adjust the level of reduction for noise just by moving the slider in the control pallet. This software is compatible with multi core CPU’s, ensuring high speed image processing. It also incorporates functions such as Loupe, slideshow, Printing, JPEG conversion and batch white balance settings.

Sigma SD15

Reliable and durable Sigma SD15 digital SLR camera
The durable focal plane shutter mechanism has a life cycle of over 100,000 exposures and dramatically reduces the amount of dust and dirt from the shutter mechanism. The photographer can enjoy taking pictures without worrying about dust and dirt adhering to the image sensor either from inside or outside the camera. Most digital SLR cameras are vulnerable to dust entering the body. If the dust and dirt adhere to the image sensor, it may appear in the pictures. The mount of the Sigma SD 15 is equipped with a dust protector and the sealing parts are incorporated around the mount, preventing dust from entering the body. Even if dust adheres to the image sensor, the dust protector can be removed easily for sensor cleaning.

Sigma SD15 camera features
The Sigma SD15 SLR camera features a pentaprism viewfinder with 98% (vertical and horizontal) coverage, 0.9x magnification and an 18mm eye point. A diopter adjustment is also equipped which can be adjusted from -3 to +1.5 dpt. It is possible to select ISO sensitivity value from 100 to 1600. When the camera is in the extended mode, ISO 50 and ISO 3200 can be selected. The auto focus sensor features 5 focusing points (center, left, right, up and down) ensuring consistently fast and precise focusing. The AF metering features a cross type sensor in the center of the screen. Selecting the AF point can be done manually or automatically.

Sigma SD15 metering modes
The Sigma SD15 is equipped with four metering modes: 77-segment Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering, Center Area Metering and Spot Metering. When it is difficult to determine the exposure setting due to variable light conditions, the Auto Bracketing function enables the photographer to take a sequence of pictures of the same subject at three or five different exposure levels. The shift value can be set in 1/3EV increments up to ±3EV(3 stops)/±1.7EV(5 stops).

Sigma SD15 shake reduction system
In addition to the usual three frame bracketing, five frame bracketing has now been added to the Auto Bracketing function. It allows users to get a more detailed and accurate exposure. Two motor systems are driven by the mirror-drive and shutter charge which lowers the vibration of the mirror movement, preventing camera shake. The mirror lock-up mechanism raises the mirror, preventing vibration when the shutter is released. This prevents camera shake and is especially effective for macro photography or when using extremely long telephoto lenses. Use of the dedicated Remote Controller RS-31 (optional) also reduces the possibility of camera shake. The Sigma SD15 camera’s built-in flash offers an angle of coverage of 17mm (equivalent to 28mm with a 35mm camera) lens with a guide number of 11. The Built-in flash can be synchronized to a shutter speed up to 1/180 sec. Incorporation of S-TTL automatic exposure ensures the control of advanced flash photography.

Sigma SD15 battery
The top LCD panel allows the photographer to quickly check camera information such as resolution setting, metering mode, battery status and the number of images that can be recorded on the SD card. It also incorporates an orange backlight, which enables the camera to be easily controlled in low light conditions. The dedicated BP-21 Lithium-ion battery is supplied as standard with the SD15. It is possible to shoot approximately 500 images on one full charge. The battery takes about 120 minutes to fully charge with the supplied BC-21 Battery Charger. The optional AC Adapter SAC-4 enables the Sigma SD15 to obtain power from the main supply.

Sigma SD15 accessories
The Sigma SD15 camera can be used with over 45 Sigma lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheye. In addition, other accessories include dedicated flashguns (EF-530 DG SUPER, EF-530 DG ST and EM-140 DG) which offer fully automatic S-TTL flash dedication, a Power Grip (PG-21), Cable Release (CR-21) and Remote Controller (RS-31). These many optional accessories are available for the SD15 to complement the user’s style of photography. They ensure ease of use and comfortable shooting.

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The PMA show, or Photo Marketing Association, continues its yearly tradition of maintaining a network of photo imaging as well as the experience and know-how of the industry. The PMA represents 20,000 members from over 100 countries, who are all active within the imaging industry. As a reflection of the changes in the market, the PMA organization has also changed and has become more diverse. Nowadays, the member group consists of representatives coming from photo retail, manufacturers, commercial photo labs, professional sports and news photography, in addition to small album print suppliers and photo processing centers. The PMA 2012 Trade show focuses on an industry which is heavily affected by the unstable situation of the global financial economy. However, whether the latter will also stand in the way of the innovation and product introductions, remains to be revealed by the PMA International Convention & Trade Show in Anaheim Convention Center (California, US).