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APS-C sensor in new compact - trend?

Ian Lloyd-Graham , Feb 07, 2007; 07:50 a.m.

In view of the imminent (tongue in cheek) arrival of the Sigma compact (DP1?) with the same APS-C sensor as fitted in the SD 14 - 14 meg.

Should we expect this camera to set new trends for compacts, will it sell in sufficient volume to make the "Big ones" sit up and pay attention, or will it only be purchased by a limited audience who need a compact that produces DSLR quality images?

It will be interesting to see if this will be a trend setter, or a touch of white elephant.

Either Sigma will price it out of range for most of us requiring a high quality compact, and sales will be very limited resulting in a market "own goal", or they will market it well at a reasonable price and sell millions, thus pushing the big boys into reacting and producing APS-C sensor compacts for sensible prices.

All of the above depend of course on the camera/lens combination living up to expectations, and being capable of delivering the goods!

Thoughts, or are these just my inane ramblings scattered with an element of hope and desire?

Responses


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Ivaylo Iordanov , Feb 07, 2007; 08:33 a.m.

I think the purpose of DP1 is (1) the maximize returns for the development costs as it, most likely, share with SD14 the sensor integration, the focus system and the in-camera/ PC software; and (2) to sell the sensor in larger quantities and thus make it's implementation more cost effective or, perhaps, even possible.

The big guns of the industry are unlikely to notice it in my opinion. They are big enough to dictate the market and to annihilate any independent development. Am I too cynical?

I for one am eagerly awaiting the entrance of the SD14/ DP1 and hope the cameras to be a commercial success.

Mars C , Feb 07, 2007; 08:34 a.m.

sell millions?

I dont think sigma will become a household name because of the aps sized sensor (not so ) compact, even if sigma sells it for $300-,

Why? because it doesnt even look cool, sexy or something similar. The market trend is going toward smaller size with higher capability( or gadget factor).

IMO, the design of the sigma aps P&S looks ugly and odd.

Jon Hill , Feb 07, 2007; 10:24 a.m.

Should we expect this camera to set new trends for compacts, will it sell in sufficient volume to make the "Big ones" sit up and pay attention, or will it only be purchased by a limited audience who need a compact that produces DSLR quality images

Most likely the latter. Even then the DP1 isn't likely to be that popular as a 28mm f4.0 lens is a compromise lens. Yes it is relatively wide but it is also relatively slow.

Maybe the Foveon will have excelent high ISO performance but you still wont have the depth of field control of a FujiFilm Natura [24mm f1.9] or even a Fujifilm Klasse W [28mm f/2.8]. Even the little Fuji compact zooms Natura Classica and Silvi F2.8 are more flexible cameras.

The catch is all four are film cameras so not as convenient as a digital compact, and compared to digital compacts they are a little bulky.

If Sigma had the sense to provide a digital equivalent to the Natura [24mm f1.9] or the Silvi F2.8 [24mm-50mm f2.8], that looked at least as good as the Fujis (consumers care about appearances) and maybe a tad smaller than the Fujis then they would sell like hotcakes and they wouldn't know what to do with all the money they would make.

Maybe Sigma ahould have Fuji build the bodies for them and use their own sensor, then they would have a fine little compact.

And before anyone asks
1. I don't work for (or own any shares in) Fujifilm.
2. I don't own any of the cameras listed above (but will accept any as a donation :))
3. I think that the Foveon sensor is an innovative design.
4. I own a few Sigma lenses that I think are lovely.

Well enough rambling, final thoughts:

I don't think that there will be a new trend for APS-C compacts (although I'd like to see to one) until there is a company out there that offers a really good camera with a decent wide angle lens (as the first consideration), with a decent APS-C sensor (as a secondary consideration), at a price that engages the mass market.

I don't think that the DP1 is that camera, but then again I'm just making a decision based on the published information (which may be all that is ever produced at this rate).

JC Uknz , Feb 07, 2007; 01:16 p.m.

I'm waiting for an APS pro-sumer which isn't reputed to be as slow as a carthorse.

Dave Redmann , Feb 07, 2007; 06:06 p.m.

Sigma compact (DP1?) with the same APS-C sensor as fitted in the SD 14 - 14 meg

This statement contains two misconceptions: (1) that the Sigma / Foveon sensor is APS-C size (it is not), and (2) that the SD 14 is a 14 megapixel camera (or whatever "14 meg" means--it is not really).

The Foveon sensor is 13.8 x 20.7 mm, just barely bigger than the 4/3 sensors in the Olympus E-500 and E-330, wich are 13.5 x 18.0 mm, and appreciably smaller than, e.g., the 15.8 x 23.6 mm sensor in the Nikon D80. Seen another way, the Sony has a 1.52x factor, the Sigma a 1.74x factor, and the Olympus has a 1.78x or 2.00x factor (depending on which side you want to look at, given the different aspect ratio). In terms of functional size for typical 8x10 and 11x14 inch prints, the Sigma / Foveon is much closer to 4/3 size than to APS-C.

As to the resolution, 14 million 'detector sites' or whatever Sigma calls them is not the same as 14 million pixels, because the sites are stacked three-deep in the same place. The specs I've seen give the top resolution of 1760 x 2640 pixels, which is 4.6 MP. However, because there is no loss of resolution due to Bayer sensor issues, a 4.6 MP Foveon-equipped camera should give about the same resolution as a 7.5 MP Bayer-sensor-equipped camera.

I wish Sigma luck--I actually like the Foveon sensor on a theoretical level. But there is a lot of misinformation on Sigma cameras, so much and of such character that one has to wonder whether it is to some extent (at least on Sigma's part) intentional.

Ivaylo Iordanov , Feb 07, 2007; 07:59 p.m.

I wouldn't like the thread to deteriorate into a pointless exchange of Foveon vs. Bayer but the whole issue of the MPs resolution is a complete nonsense perpertuated to a no end. First of all, a sensor has no PICture ELements but photo sensing sites. Second, it's absolutely misleading to represent the sensor linear resolution (or resolutions summary) as the true resolution. Correct me if wrong but as far as I am aware, in the typical Bayer filter array sensor half of the registered data from the monochrome photo sites is used for the luminance (those under the Green filter) and 50% of the data is used for the chrominance ( 25% under the Red and 25% under the Blue filter respectively). Sophisticated algorithms fill the gaps (pun intended). Nothing wrong indeed - in practice the end is important not the route to it - as long as it's described correctly as Interpolated Resolution. Do the maths to what really equal the common 6, 8 and 10 MPs sensors.... in reality only 1/3 of that (approximately) is based on registered at the photo sites data.

If there is something to blame Sigma/ Foveon it is the fact that they joined the rest of the manufacturers chanting the nonsensical oversimplification called Megapixels (Bayer) resolution. Hence the SD10 became 10MPs and the SD14, well, you guessed. In fact hey are 3.3/ 4.7 millions full colour (at the) photo sites sensors. I see nothing be ashamed about.

Momo Vuyisich , Feb 07, 2007; 08:14 p.m.

I think the main problem with this type of a camera is that you cannot make a compact camera with that size sensor, because the larger sensor demands a larger lens. Maybe I am wrong, but I think it's true. For example, Sony R1 is much larger than Nikon 8400, and their main difference is the sensor size.

Ivaylo Iordanov , Feb 07, 2007; 08:24 p.m.

"Momo Vuyisich , feb 07, 2007; 08:14 p.m. I think the main problem with this type of a camera is that you cannot make a compact camera with that size sensor, because the larger sensor demands a larger lens."

True. A brighter 28mm lens, f2.8 or more, for the DP1 sensor size would be considerably bigger. I suppose, one of the DP1 design briefs was to be pocket sized camera.

Wigwam Jones , Feb 07, 2007; 09:10 p.m.

I was under the impression that the Sony DSC-R1 has an APS-C sized sensor. I realize it isn't a pocket-cam, but neither is it a dSLR. I would guess that from time to time, we might see a digicam with a similar-sized sensor. Probably aimed at the enthusiast market rather than Joe Sixpack. Just my guess, though.


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