THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS | A PRO PHOTO & VIDEO BLOG

Sigma SD1 Gets Huge Price Plunge

Posted in Adorama Rentals by Nathan Lee Bush on February 8, 2012

One of the more surreal moments in recent memory for the camera world came last year, with the announcement of Sigma’s Flagship DSLR, the SD1. Rumored to be a 7D or D300s competitor with a pricepoint in line with that class of camera, Sigma shocked fans and pundits alike when it announced in May a June launch at a suggested retail price of nearly $10,000, similar to the bottom-end digital medium format systems, and well beyond the flagship full-frame cameras from Canon or Nikon or even the venerable Nikon. With an APS-C sized sensor, no matter how miraculous the supposed color rendition of the Foveon technology, it would no doubt be a tough sell. Sigma was not a Leica-like prestige brand which could add an extra zero at will, without being laughed off the block.

The unique sensor technology, which adherents swear adds a more film-like, organic quality to photos, was nevertheless not, samples showed, in medium format territory. And the rather pedestrian specs beyond the sensor had no hope of capturing adherents to the well-oiled machines of the high-end DSLR market or the niche devotees of Leica.

And so it was, that the blogosphere exploded into one loud derisive slam session as the SD1 was announced, followed by equally derisive silence as the SD1 made its way into the market. Sigma, following the untimely death of its founder last week, seems to have gotten the message. Today, it announced a rebranded ‘SD1 Merrill’ (after the inventor of the Foveon sensor) at a much more down-to-earth price point, which should run at $2,299 street.

This is a wise move from Sigma. Suddenly this camera, which was a flop yesterday, could have legs, as it competes in the much larger market segment in the upper prosumer/pro category. Time will tell if its too late for this camera, or whether the dramatic price plunge will jump start sales, especially among Sigma lovers, who didn’t have $10k lying around last May. Hopefully they held off on a second mortgage in anticipation of this day.

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  1. […] with the Micro Four Thirds flagship, the OM-D E-M5; Sigma lops the price tag many times on its SD1 flagship, putting it on par with more prosumer models, and perhaps enticing a broader audience; two […]


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