Will the Sigma SD1’s Price Be $2,000?

It’s hard to get any photo manufacturer to go on (or even off) the record at a trade show when it comes to future announcements so it was with some surprise when a Sigma representative told us at PhotoPlus Expo that pricing for the upcoming SD1 digital SLR would be around $2,000. If you haven’t heard of the SD1, it’s Sigma’s soon-to-be flagship DSLR which made its American debut at PhotoPlus Expo in New York last week.

Sigma, somewhat controversially, is claiming the SD1 will have 46 megapixels of resolution because it uses a Foveon X3 imaging sensor which has three layers with 15.3MP on each. Some blogging pixel counters have taken umbrage with that claim. (Yeah, good times.)

Sigma has said the SD1 will ship in February 2011 but, as far as we know, it has not been priced. After we asked this Sigma rep if that $2,000 price tag was “official,” we were told it’s based on an interview a Sigma official from Japan gave during photokina.

PDNPulse and its crack team of Google-based investigators has scoured the Internet looking for said interview but so far we’ve come up dry. So let’s take that $2,000 pricetag for the SD1 as a “definite maybe.”

9 Responses to “Will the Sigma SD1’s Price Be $2,000?”

  1. Rob Says:

    CNET reported the estimated price after an interview with Mark Amir-Hamzeh, general manager of Sigma Corporation of America at the 2010 Photokina show in Cologne, Germany.

    The quote:
    “Sigma didn’t announce prices, but Amir-Hamzeh said it would be “very competitive” and in the neighborhood of Canon’s higher-end EOS 7D, which costs about $1,500 with no lens and $1,700 with a 28-135mm kit lens.”


    There is also a video floating around somewhere that mentions this…I don’t remember if it was in English.

  2. AA Says:

    I think the SD1 first showed up here:


  3. Jasa Says:

    Here is a link to an interview with Chief Operating Officer Kazuto Yamaki, Foveon Vice President for Technology explaining the Foveon sensor technology and pixel array. Seems that they count their pixels using the Bayer pattern method merely for marketing purposes.


  4. Sigma SD1 to be priced at $2000? on Doobybrain.com Says:

    […] is hard to believe, but if PDN is correct, Sigma is set to announce the price of the upcoming SD1 at only $2000. Depending on who you believe (or what you read), the camera will have a maximum resolution of 46MP […]

  5. Sigma SD1 to be priced at $2000? « Bare Your Soul Says:

    […] is hard to believe, but if PDN is correct, Sigma is set to announce the price of the upcoming SD1 at only $2000. Depending on who you believe (or what you read), the camera will have a maximum resolution of 46MP […]

  6. honeycomb Says:

    Jasa – Sigma does NOT count pixels using the ‘Bayer pattern method,” (a supposedly condescending term that only shows ignorance). Otherwise they’d state the correct number, 15.3 megapixels. Instead, they count each layer as a separate pixel in order to get a bigger number, which is a crock.

    The SD1 is a 15 megapixel camera, period. It’s also one which is expected to cost three times as much as Canon’s 15 megapixel camera, the 500D, ($565 at BH), a camera that is already outdated. Always playing catch-up.

    And just like the SD14 and SD15 that preceded it, whatever price it comes out at, the price will soon plummet to basement prices. The SD14 went from $1600 to $350 in a little over a year.

  7. T. Says:

    It is cheaper than I expected, however I still need to spend 1k extra for upgrading my computer to handle 46mp raw file 😛

  8. Øyvind Strøm Says:


    The SD1 will have 15 million sensels to capture green, 15 million to capture blue and 15 million to capture red.
    A 15 mp Bayer camera has 7,5 million pixels for green, 3,75 million for each of blue and red.
    In both technologies, a lot of processing is taking place for producing the sensor output.
    In Foveon case, there are color overflow between the silikon layers, so extraneous information must be identified and delat with.
    In Bayer case, color info of EVERY pixel is estimated, based on NEIGHBOURING pixels.
    In addition, most Bayers need Anti Aliasing filters, while Foveon does not.
    All in all this results in so much “crisper” images for the Foveon, given the same resolution.
    The 4,5 Mp sensor of SD14/15 equalled 10-12Mp Bayer. The 15Mp sensor of the SD1 will equal approximately 30Mp bayer.

  9. Charle Fischer Says:

    To add a bit to Øyvind Strøm’s post. An almost fair way to compare Sigma-Foveon sensors vs Bayer sensors is to count the number of green pixels. Øyvind Strøm is correct that the 15MP Foveon sensor will equal approximately 30MP Bayer. I just wanted to add a bit of justification to the 30MP number.

    To compare the SD1 to a 15 MP Canon is just wrong and shows a complete lack of understanding of Foveon and/or Bayer sensors.