Once in a while someone gets it right! And I believe Sigma just did.
For some time, I have been complaining about the general trend towards more and more technological cameras that give us great nocturnal capabilities, ultra fast focusing, GPS and what have you rather than focus on absolute image quality. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m the first to enjoy one of the most beautifully engineered cameras in that vein, the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
But here’s a modern company that dares to market a camera that thinks differently. No stabilizer. Lousy high ISO quality. Slow (but accurate) autofocus. Shaky white balance. No viewfinder. Worse fuel economy than a Ford GT. Uncomfortable RAW conversion. And wait for it : a fixed lens. But also a camera that more than compensates for these “shortcomings” by giving you a world-class lens on a world-class sensor for an (increasingly tiny) fraction of the price of a new Leica lens.
It’s a niche product for those photographers not in a hurry to catch a puppy licking the nephew’s cheek. It’s a niche product for those who do not absolutely need to film the amazing antics Schwartzpuss, the black cat jumping on a sac of coal at night. It’s niche product for IQ procrastinators. It’s not even about getting more prints on prestigious gallery walls. It’s about the sheer love of image quality.
Tonal smoothness, dynamic range and detail.
If you’ve ever been caught at night scrutinizing large format transparencies with a loupe for hours, this is for you. If you thoroughly get a kick out of not sharpening your images, this is for you. If you want to string the engineers that place low-pass filters in front of sensors, this is for you. It is all about purity.
Having bought two Sony NEX-5n and the Olympus OM-D in a year, nothing can justify the acquisition of a Sigma that will be technically inferior in almost every way. Except I want one. So bad!
Kudos Sigma! Ain’t it great when some people think out of the box. I’m curious to see how the promised FF fixed lens Sony NEX will compare. Chances are it’ll have a hard time beating the Sigma’s IQ at 3 times the price.
Want to read a much better article about the SD2 ? Here’s what Michael Reichmannhas to say about it 🙂
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