Admit it. You’ve been looking at those Foveon cameras coming from Sigma with a growing sense that whilst the 3-layer process has benefits, and delivers real differences in image quality, the 4.5Mp output file is somewhat lacking. As consumer and prosumer DSLRs head ever higher, with a typical sample of products currently on the market under £1500 ranging from 12.1 to 21Mp; cameras like Canon’s excellent 550D and the bargain Nikon D3100 are so highly specified and versatile that the unique Foveon image quality really has to mean a lot to you to make sense. Well… Sigma’s taking the professionals’ needs more seriously, and here’s how they’re going to answer the question – “How are you going to compete?”.
The phrase “long-awaited” is overused, but sometimes repeatedly appropriate. Sigma Japan’s tendency to preview cameras before launch often leaves the consumer feeling more than a bit confused; when DID the camera actually launch? The SD15, a substantially redesigned digital SLR that replaces the 2007 SD14, comes in on a fairly predictable 3-year product cycle that exemplifies Sigma’s careful approach to evolving their Foveon-based cameras. With a few headline changes, but the same sensorsize and pixel-count as the previous model, will the SD15 tempt anyone but the most hardcore enthusiast to hand over £899?
Continue reading Sigma’s SD15 hits UK shores
Shanzai gets it right sometimes, and Tablet Store UK’s Windows 7 tablet is one such case. Coming in at £449, with the 3G-equipped model tested at £499 with 160GB HD, HSUPA wireless from a Sierra Wireless 8781 and Bluetooth and WiFi via a combined module, this tablet is also known as the TESO J-10 and iiView M1Touch; it identifies itself as a THD PX1. Whilst many sites have opted to view this as an “iPad Killer”, such a concept is laughable – it’s an evolution of the Ultra-Mobile PC concept. So where has the concept been taken, and has it matured sufficiently to be worthwhile – and have the Chinese OEMs cracked something that few startup firms have managed…
Continue reading Tablet Store 10.1″ iPhone-styled Windows 7 3G Tablet
Sigma’s camera evolution continues with the latest version of the DP series, the DP2s. Unlike the progression from DP1s to DP1x, the DP2s is essentially a refinement of the previous design, though Sigma remain coy about internal changes. Reading between the lines, the sensor may well be a new “version” of the 4.5 x 3 Mp Foveon chip first seen in the SD14, and there’s definitely some adjustment to the base firmware, but it’s less likely that the physical hardware of the camera has actually changed.
Continue reading Sigma DP2s
Following yesterday’s preview, today I got the opportunity to take the Sigma DP-1 out for a “test drive” around Focus. The camera I had access to was not a finished production model, but is very close – UK availability should be around the beginning of April, and if these preliminary results are anything to go by, the DP-1 is going to be heavily in demand. Quite often when looking at pre-production cameras there is no question of reproducing files produced by the product, Sigma’s DP-1 need have no fear.
It’s the end of February, and once again time for the annual photographic industry trade show, Focus On Imaging. Whilst I will be covering this professionally for our print titles, I’ve been particularly looking forward to this one – as it marks the arrival in the UK (and worldwide) of Sigma’s new DP-1 28mm compact camera with Foveon sensor. I only had a short trip today, so here are the first pictures of the hardware, and a roundup of the specification.