Sigma SD1

Released September, 2010
  • 15.4 MP
  • APS-C 23.5 x 15.7 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
The result is a very conventional camera (in the best possible sense) with twin control dials and direct access buttons for all of the key photographic settings, making it quick and easy to operate with the camera to your eye.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)
8 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Sigma SD1

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Sigma SD1
Nikon D90
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth, DxOMark Dynamic range and 1 more


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Sigma SD1
Nikon D90
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Sigma SD1
Nikon D90
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay


What do the experts think?

Sigma SD1
Nikon D90
Reviews from,,, and 1 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Sigma SD1
Nikon D90

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Sigma SD1

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Sigma SD1
2,100 LPH
Nikon D600
2,900 LPH
2,800 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Sigma SD1
382 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Sigma SD1
88 ms
53 ms
Nikon D600
54 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Sigma SD1
4,500 ms
Nikon D90
300 ms
Nikon D600
300 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Sigma SD1
5 fps
12 fps
Sigma SD15
3 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Sigma SD1

Detail resolution and rendition is remarkable, thanks to the lack of an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, and the default colour output is subtle and natural-looking.

It features a huge 46 megapixel APS-C X3 sensor, dual TRUE II processors, 11 AF cross points, magnesium body with O-ring weather sealing, ISO 100-6400 and a 3 inch screen on the back.

s .X3F raw files do fare a little better, but currently you can't process these in mainstream software such as Adobe Camera Raw.


7.0 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


This figure applies across the board for high resolution files, whether you're shooting JPEG, raw or raw+JPEG files.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2012)
We have converted the Raw files using Sigma's Photo Pro 5.0 software 'to taste', and performed some minor tweaking of the resultant TIFF files in Adobe Camera Raw.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)
We're using Sigma Photo Pro to develop the SD1's RAW files with noise reduction controls set to a minimum, then comparing this to our usual ACR conversions from other cameras.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)


All pictures were taken in RAW & JPEG at the finest quality unless stated.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2011)
Normally we like to compare the supplied Raw conversion software with commonly-used third party Raw converters, most notably Adobe Camera Raw.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)
If you want to get the best out of the camera, you really need to shoot Raw, and to process Raw you really have to use SPP - there's not really another sensible option.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)


In this example, at ISO 100 overexposure by a stop results in clipping of the lightest tones in the chart on the camera's JPEGs, but this data can be recovered accurately from the RAW file.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)
Image quality quickly deteriorates at higher ISOs though, with unpleasant green and purple colour blotching in the shadows that spoils files at ISO 1600 and higher.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)
In contrast, at ISO 200 and 2 stops overexposure, the results are essentially identical to overexposing ISO 100 by one stop.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)


For almost all of its use the SD1 is a simple photographic tool - perhaps elegantly so, from some shooters' perspectives.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)
There's also no means of correcting for lens aberrations, despite the camera only accepting Sigma's own lenses (for which the company even supplies correction profiles to Adobe).
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)
The front of the camera is home to a depth-of-field preview button, plus a flash exposure compensation button that needs to be held down as you spin a control dial.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)

Image quality

Instead the modes differ based mainly on saturation and colour tone, with Landscape being warm and saturated, for example.
by DPReview (Apr, 2012)
Primary colours are punchy but retain realism.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2011)
More subtle colours are dealt with sympathetically.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 15.4 MP
Resolution 4800 x 3200
Size APS-C
Area 23.5 x 15.7 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 24.0 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Tested vertical resolution 2,100 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,100 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 11
Cross type focus points 2
Supports continuous No


Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentaprism
Coverage 98%
Magnification 0.95x
Viewfinder size 0.62x


Max continuous shooting 5 fps
Continuous shooting 5 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 382 ms
Shutter lag 88 ms
Startup delay 4,500 ms


Video None


Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 460 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view No


Min 30 s
Max 1/8000 s

form factor

Size 146 x 113 x 80 mm
Thickness 80 mm
Weight 706 g
Is weather sealed Yes


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None
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