- Brilliant manual controls, wonderful pictures
- Few automatic settings, no built in flash
A brilliant camera for advanced photographers, but new users should look elsewhere.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
The Sigma SD10 is definitely for the serious camera user. Except for the ability to select Auto focus, all the functions require some sort of manual tweaking. Consumers used to automatic functions on compact cameras or SLR cameras such as the Canon 300D or Nikon D70, will find the Sigma takes a bit of adjusting to. Because every shot needs to be set, unless in Program mode, it makes it a tad harder to be as spontaneous as is possible with an automatic camera; but the upshot is that correctly configured settings make for stand-out shots. Adding to this manual structure, the lack of a built-in flash means taking shots indoors: at say, a party or restaurant, is pretty much off limits - unless you brought your own flash or tripod.
The SD10 has one distinguishing feature: the sensor. Sigma uses a Foveon X3 image sensor which is produced using a 0.18-micron CMOS process. This differs from the more common and widely used Bayer-mosaic image sensors. So what does this mean? Most digital cameras use one layer of pixels and, thanks to filters, each captures, in a mosaic pattern, 25 per cent red and blue light and 50 per cent green light. Thus, according to Foveon, they only detect one colour per pixel location. Foveon X3 technology has three physical layers of pixels and each pixel captures a primary colour range - much the same way a film camera does. What this means in theory is a greater richness and saturation in colour.
It also means a slight twist in nomenclature. So rather than say the SD10 is a 3.43 megapixel camera, Foveon uses the term megasensors. In this case the same 3.43Mp Sigma camera is actually a 10.29 million pixel sensors (megasensor) camera. In other words, the picture area is calculated as 2268 columns by 1512 rows (3.43 megapixels) by three primary colour filters/layers (red, green and blue). Because of this sensor technology, the Sigma only captures raw images and saves them in the X3F file format with the .X3F name extension. These files are large. In Hi-mode they are approximately 8MB; Med, approx 4MB; and Low, approx 2MB. A large memory card is a must.
The lack of auto functions means users may take some time getting used to the camera. Once they get more familiar with selecting correct aperture and shutter settings, images come out sharp and crisp. Sigma includes two lenses with the SD10 camera body: an 18-50mm and a 55 to 200mm lens. Any Sigma branded lens, whether digital or from a film camera, will work on the mount, but unfortunately the camera is limited to Sigma lenses only.
The camera is shipped with Sigma Photo Pro software, which needs to be installed in order to upload images because of the unique .X3F file extension. Images can be converted to JPEG or TIFF with the Photo Pro software. The software is not just useful for that, it also allows for handy touch-ups of images. Users can highlight, improve contrast and add colour to images that need attention, plus much more. To upload images, the camera features FireWire and USB 1.1. Unfortunately there is no USB 2.0 connectivity. As a result, uploading images with USB is slower.
The SD10 is weighty, coming in at 1130 grams (with lens and batteries). This is great on windy days as it is easier to control the camera which sits nicely in your hands and has less shake, but the downside is it is heavier to carry. It is a well built camera with solid casing.
Sigma has provided a good range of shutter speeds, as any good SLR requires. When the ISO is set to 100/200 you get speeds of 1/6000 down to 15 seconds; at ISO 400/800 it is 1/6000 to four seconds, and bulb setting on ISO 100/200 up to 15 seconds.
In shooting mode there are no glaring omissions from this camera. It has exposure compensation that can be set in 1/3EV increments from +3.0 to -3.0 stops; auto bracketing at three different exposure levels: appropriate exposure, under exposure and over exposure; mirror lock; a depth of field preview button, AE lock and a 10-second timer.
All up, the SD-10 is a camera which takes some time to get familiar with. Consumers may find the lack of automatic functions, and hefty price tag a barrier. Those that look beyond this will be suitably impressed.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Blackberry KEYone phone: Full, in-depth review
- Alienware 13 full, in-depth review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTLAMP Stack Developer/ PHP DeveloperOther
- FTNetwork Engineer - IP routing & switchingOther
- FTMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- FTProject SchedulerOther
- TPProject CoordinatorVIC
- CCJunior Security AnalystNSW
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperWA
- FTTest AnalystSA
- FTOffice & Operations AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperOther
- FTFront End Developer (AEM / Java)Other
- FTVoice Solution Engineer - Telecommunications (Unified Comms)Other
- FTPeopleSoft Business Analyst - PageUp implementationOther
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- FTAutomation SpecialistOther
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperOther
- FTSenior PHP Developer/Team LeaderNSW
- FTLevel 2 and 3 Server EngineerOther
- CCDevOps LeadVIC
- FTSenior Agile ConsultantOther
- FTChange ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Automation Test Analyst - BrisbaneVIC
- TPNetwork EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Agile ConsultantOther