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Sigma SD9

alaTest has collected and analyzed 118 reviews from magazines and websites. People really like the value for money and usability. The lens and software are also mentioned favorably. Comments about the focus and color are different, and many are negative about the sensor and portability.

image quality, software, lens, usability, value for money

battery, performance, low-light, portability, sensor

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital SLR Cameras the Sigma SD9 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 86/100 = Very good quality.

Review analysis

(Based on 118 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 83 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 83 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (31)

Expert review by:

Sigma SD9


Expert review by:

Sigma SD9


Foveon caused quite a stir back on the 11th February this year when they announced their revolutionary new X3 sensor. On the same day Sigma announced that the SD9 would be the first digital camera to utilize this sensor, of course it would also be the...

The best resolution per output pixel we've ever seen, X3 lives up to the hype ; The first digital camera to offer true single pixel resolution, goes beyond Nyquist frequency ; Resolution of enlarged images virtually indistinguishable from six megapixel...

No in-camera JPEG, storage implications of shooting RAW ; Color clipping / gray halos - not clear if a sensor or Photo Pro issue ; Unnatural blue skies / chromatic aberration sensitivity - linked problems ; Disappointing long exposure performance ;...

Foveon (a previously not-so-well-known technology company) and Sigma (never before produced a digital camera) have had the guts and innovation to come to a very aggressive and critical market with a totally new concept in digital image capture. They...

Expert review by:

Sigma SD9 SLR


The Sigma SD9 is the first digital camera to use Foveon's revolutionary new X3 image sensor that features three layers of embedded photo detectors. They take advantage of the fact that red, green and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths and th


Expert review by:

Sigma SD9 Digital Camera Review: Intro and Highlights


Sigma is a company with a long history in the photo industry, although they're better known for their broad line of lenses than their cameras. Sigma's lenses for 35mm cameras have developed a reputation for delivering sharp images at affordable prices,...

Shadow = 201 Highlight = 252 As above, but adjusted with Photoshop's "Levels" control to show point at which highight detail stops

Expert review by:

Sigma SD-9 SD9 Test Review © 2005


I'm not a fan of Sigma. Buy the Canon Digital Rebel for $900 ($999 with a good lens thrown in) or the Nikon D100 for $1,699 instead, since they have none of the problems I mention above.I'm astounded how the people who write reviews for a living just...

Expert review by:

Sigma SD9 Experience Report


Expert review by:

Sigma SD9 Digital Camera Preview and Foveon Discussion


Consumer review by:

Sigma SD9


The SD9 was my first encounter with Foveon-based cameras, and it got me hooked! Even today, the image quality of the SD9 is stunningly good íf you use the camera in apropriate conditions, with good light and without the need for using high ISO values....

The most serious issue that plagued the SD9 was the unreliability of the dual-battery system. You could never be certain about how long our batteries would last. The only certainty was the fact that it would always surprise you, in a positive or...

Consumer review by:

Owners Opinion: Sigma SD9 (SouthernCharm, 12 Feb 08)


60% of the images that come from this camera are unnatural and unusable. If you pay over $200 for this camera, consider yourself an amateur, who's getting ripped off. On the flip side, I hear the sd14 is quite acceptable.

Consumer review by:

Owners Opinion: Sigma SD9 (TinMan_SD9, 12 Jan 08)


I purchased this camera from Willoughby's Camera on Ebay for $800 in 12/2003 and I have shot about 5500+ shots. This was my first camera of any type so I was and still am a real beginner even after 5500+ with my SD9. It's not the camera fault that I'm...

No problem except for my technical difficulties or lack of technique

Product Specifications

The breakthrough Sigma SD9 camera with FOVEON X3 image sensor is the world's first image-sensor that features three layers of photo detectors. The layers are embedded in silicon to take advantage of the fact that red, green and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths allowing full-color to be measured at every pixel. The layers are positioned to take advantage of the fact that silicon absorbs different colors of light at different depths, so one layer records red, another layer records green and the other layer records blue, This means that for every pixel on a FOVEON X3 image sensor, there's actually a stack of three photo detectors, forming the first and only full-color capture system. With the RAW data recording system of the SIGMA SD9 it is possible to obtain high picture definition and compact file size. Lossless compression system of RAW data, eliminates image deterioration, provides superior pictures without sacrificing original image quality, RAW data is convertible into high TIFF and JPEG formats by dedicated image processing software "SIGMA Photo Pro". Depending on the intention of the photographer, the SIGMA SD9 allows photographers to select the resolutions of RAW data images in one of three resolutions, HI mode delivers highest resolution image performance with (2263x1512 pixels) x 3. MED mode (1134x756 pixels) x 3 has high definition and recording capacity. LOW mode (756x504 pixels) x3 allows consecutive shooting. The SIGMA SD9 is equipped with a large 1.8' 130, 000 dot low temperature polysilicon TFT-LCD monitor with white LED on the back panel, which displays images, menus and histogram, The coverage area of the LCD monitor is 100%, and it will have similar coverage to that seen from the viewfinder and thanks to the LCD-monitor, the composition can also be seen easily. The SIGMA SD9 can transmit the images from camera to computer with high-speed IEEE1394 (S400) and widely available USB interfaces. SIGMA SD9 employs CF card as Image Storage Media. Since the SIGMA SD9 is compatible with the Compact Flash Type II card, use of IBM Microdrive is also possible. The outstanding storage capacity of IBM Microdrive enables photographers to use the camera even more effectively. Two CR123A batteries, which are located in the grip part of a camera, are used as a power supply for the camera drive part. In addition, two CR-V3 lithium batteries located in the lower part of the camera, are used as a power supply for the digital parts, such as a display of LCD, and image processing lithium batteries enable photographers to shoot many images.

Audio Input

Type: None

Camera Flash

Type: None

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:SLR
Supported Flash Memory:CompactFlash

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:1.8in
Diagonal Size (metric):4.6cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sigma SD

Lens System

Lens for SD:Body only
Type: None



Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:13.8 x 20.7mm
Optical Sensor Size (metric):13.8 x 20.7 mm
Optical Sensor Type:X3 CMOS
Sensor Resolution:3.4Megapixel

Optical Viewfinder

Type:Fixed eye-level pentaprism

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

ISO (Max):400
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 200 / ISO 400
Still Image Format:JPEG / RAW
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Optical