Our take on the Sigma Photo SD1 Merrill (no lens included)
A whole different level of detail
At the heart of this innovative "purist's camera," the Sigma Photo SD1 Merrill, is a sensor that's radically different from the ones you've probably encountered to date. That's because the Foveon X3® Direct Image sensor used by the SD1 Merrill captures superior amounts of color and detail. Typical sensors can only capture one primary color (red, green, or blue) at each photo site. So Sigma developed the X3 with three stacked receptors to capture all three primary colors at each pixel. This effectively triples the camera's 15.4-megapixel resolution to what Sigma calls 46-megapixel resolution. Red, green and blue wavelengths of light travel different distances into the sensor's face and strike the layer that's dedicated to their primary color. The results? Incredibly rich and vibrant colors with subtle gradation, remarkable detail, and a sense of image fidelity few cameras in any class can convey.
The Sigma Photo SD1 Merrill offers an intuitive and easy-to-manipulate interface.
Easy to use and control
Looking past the sensor, you'll find the control interface of the SD1 Merrill reassuringly familiar. Dials and buttons are logically placed, easy to manipulate, and offer sophisticated yet straightforward camera control for shooters of all stripes. It should be noted that you won't find video capture anywhere on this camera. Sigma Photo made a conscious decision to create a camera that was all about maximizing the image quality of traditional still-shot photography — no serving two masters. Plus, you'll be able to capture these incredibly high-resolution images in bursts of up to 6 frames per second.
Accessorize in a flash
An on-board flash unit adds shooting flexibility when the lights are low, and it communicates with external flash units from Sigma for even more lighting flexibility in posed situations. Plus, this Sigma-mount camera is compatible with the amazingly deep line of Sigma Photo lenses — if there's a look you want to achieve or a photographic challenge you wish to meet, Sigma probably has a lens for it. This is a camera that loves light and low-ISO shooting, so the wide variety of large-aperture lenses available is a huge plus for the system as a whole.
The Sigma Photo SD1 Merrill features solid magnesium-alloy construction and water-resistance that's described as "splash-proof." And images are stored on convenient and rugged CompactFlash® cards (sold seperately. Included Sigma Photo Pro software will help you to get the most out of your raw photos.
- 46-megapixel effective recording (15.4-megapixels x 3)
- APS-C-size Foveon X3 image sensor (23.5 x 15.7 mm)
- 3" LCD (460,000 dots) offers 100% coverage of the sensor image
- bright pentaprism optical viewfinder with 98% coverage, viewfinder magnification of 0.95x, and easy diopter adjustment from -3 to +1.5
- dual TRUE II image processing engine and DDR III image buffer provides exceptional image quality and high-speed shooting
- 11-point autofocus system with twin cross-type sensors for rapid, precise autofocusing
- newly designed 77-segment metering system for highly accurate image exposure
- built-in flash (guide number: 11) with flash exposure compensation
- on-board flash allows wireless control of off-camera flashes for more creative lighting
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- compatible with all Sigma-mount lenses
Exposure Modes and Controls:
- continuous shooting mode: up to 6 frames per second (maximum 14 frames total in buffer)
- shutter speed range: 30-1/8,000 seconds, bulb
- sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 100-6,400
- shooting modes: program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual
File Formats and Storage:
- still image storage modes: RAW, JPEG, or RAW+JPEG
- top JPEG resolution (pixels): 4,704 x 3,136
- top RAW resolution: 4,704 x 3,136 (x3)
- accepts optional CompactFlash® memory cards (supports Type-1,UDMA-compatible cards)
Connections and Dimensions:
- high-speed USB interface
- composite video out (NTSC/PAL)
- PC sync flash terminal
- DC power input
- 5-3/4"W x 4-7/16"H x 3-1/8"D (body only)
- weight (without battery and media): 24.7 oz.
- rechargeable Sigma BP-21 lithium ion battery
- BC-21 battery charger
- adjustable neck strap
- USB and video cable
- body cap and eye cap
- software CD-ROM (PC and Mac)