Sigma SD1 Merrill DSLR Camera (Body Only)

Sigma SD1 Merrill DSLR Camera (Body Only)

Sigma SD1 Merrill DSLR Camera (Body Only)

B&H # SISD1M MFR # C26900
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Expected availability: 7-10 business days

Product Highlights

  • 46MP Foveon X3 APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • Dual TRUE II Image Processor
  • 3.0" 460k-Dot LCD Monitor
  • 11-Point Twin Cross Sensor AF System
  • ISO 100-6400, Up to 6 fps Shooting
  • 77-Segment AE Sensor
  • 12-Bit Lossless Compressed Raw Files
  • 0.95x Mag. Optical Pentaprism Viewfinder
  • Magnesium-Alloy Body Construction
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Configuration: Body Only

Body Only With 18-200mm Lens

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Sigma SD1 Merrill overview

  • 1Description

Sigma's SD1 Merrill DSLR is the company's SD1 DSLR, renamed to honor the great Richard "Dick" Merrill, the co-creator of Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor technology. The most outstanding feature of the SD1 Merrill is this APS-C sized X3 CMOS sensor, which uses three layers of 4800 x 3200 pixels to produce a 46MP full color sensor.

Using the True II image processing software, the SD1 Merrill delivers high-resolution images processed quickly with high definition and a smooth and subtle graduation of color. RAW file sizes range up to 45MB. These impressive features are housed in a lightweight weather-resistant solid magnesium-alloy body built to take the bumps and shocks of the real world. A pentaprism viewfinder and a high-resolution (460,000 dots) LCD monitor give you options for composing, focusing and reviewing your images.

A panoply of features include shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec., seven different color modes, continuous shooting at up to 6 fps, a built-in pop-up flash, and sensitivity up to 6400 ISO. The SD1 Merrill has a 1.5x crop factor (compared to 35 mm or full-frame cameras). Sigma SA mount lenses are compatible with the SD1 Merrill.

In Honor of the Late Richard "Dick" Merrill
The SD1 Merrill is a renamed version of Sigma's SD1 DSLR. Mr. Merrill was the co-creator of Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor technology. The Sigma SD1 Merrill keeps the best image quality of the Sigma SD1, which has a unique identity, but comes with a substantially revised price. Although some of the manufacturing methods have been enhanced, the performance and characteristics of the sensor itself have not changed
46-Megapixel 24 x 16mm APS-C X3 Full-Color Image Sensor
The 46-megapixel (4800 x 3200 x 3 layers) 24 x 16mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor featured in the Sigma SD1 Merrill captures all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location, ensuring the capture of full and complete color. Using three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon's ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths, it efficiently reproduces color more accurately, and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and color, generated by the 46 megapixel sensor is captured with a three-dimensional feel.
Dual TRUE II Image Processing Engine
The SD1 Merrill incorporates a dual "TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II" image processing engine which improves the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. The unique image-processing algorithm provides high-resolution power and reproduces high definition images with richly graduated tones.
CF Card
The SD1 Merrill accepts the TYPE I CF card. This camera is compatible with the UDMA, enabling fast processing of large amounts of data.
It is not possible to use Microdrives and TYPE II CF cards
11-Point Twin Cross Sensor
The autofocus system features an 11-point twin cross sensor. The shifted twin cross type sensor improves AF accuracy.
Magnesium Body
The Sigma SD1 Merrill adopts a lightweight yet solid magnesium-alloy body designed to withstand rough use and shocks in harsh conditions.
Weather-Resistant Design
Buttons and connections benefit from O-ring sealing connections to prevent dust and water getting inside the camera body.
3.0" TFT Color LCD Monitor
The SD1 Merrill camera features a 3.0" TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition.
Dust Protector/IR Filter
The installed dust protector guards the sensor from dust or other particles, and sits just behind the lens mount in front of the reflex mirror. Beyond a dust protector, this is also an infrared-blocking filter, and can be removed in order to increase the camera's sensitivity to IR light for creative, scientific, and astrophotography applications.
Optional Lenses
The SD1 Merrill can be used with over 40 Sigma lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheyes which adopt the latest technology such as the FLD ("F" Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have the performance equal to fluorite glass, SLD glass, Aspherical lenses, Sigma's own unique Optical Stabilizer function, Hyper Sonic Motor and Sigma's Super Multi Layer Coating. They meet the various and demanding requirements of all types of photographers.
UPC: 085126928766
In the Box
Sigma SD1 Merrill DSLR Camera (Body Only)
  • BP-21 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery xqttuzydsrcsxdrvrsbweqsatwcreeawvtuesq
  • BC-21 Battery Charger
  • USB Cable
  • Video Cable
  • Neck Strap
  • Eye Cap
  • Body Cap
  • Eyepiece Cap
  • SIGMA Photo Pro Disc
  • SD1 Instruction Manual
  • Limited 1-Year North and South America Warranty Against Manufacturing and Workmanship Defects.
  • Limited 3-Year U.S.A. Extended Warranty Extension Against Manufacturing and Workmanship Defects.
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Sigma SD1 Merrill specs

    Lens Mount Sigma SA
    Camera Format APS-C / (1.5x Crop Factor)
    Pixels 46 Megapixel
    Max Resolution 46 MP: 4800 x 3200
    Aspect Ratio 4:3
    Sensor Type / Size CMOS, 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    File Formats Still Images: JPEG, RAW
    Bit Depth 12-Bit
    Memory Card Type CompactFlash
    Focus Control
    Focus Type Autofocus
    Focus Mode Continuous-Servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M), Single-servo AF (S)
    Viewfinder Type Pentaprism
    Viewfinder Coverage 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.95x
    Diopter Adjustment -3 to +1.5 m
    Display Screen 3" Rear Screen LCD (460,000)
    Screen Coverage 100%
    Exposure Control
    ISO Sensitivity 100-6400
    Shutter 30 - 1/8000 Second 
    Metering Method Center-Weighted Average Metering, Multi-Zone Metering, Spot Metering
    Exposure Modes Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
    Compensation: -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 EV Steps)
    White Balance Modes Auto, Flash, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Manual, Overcast, Shade
    Flash Modes Flash On
    Built-in Flash Yes
    Max Sync Speed 1 / 180 Second
    External Flash Connection Hot Shoe
    Connectivity AV Output
    USB 2.0
    Battery 1 x BP-21 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
    AC Power Adapter SAC-4 (Optional)
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 5.7 x 4.4 x 3.1" / 14.5 x 11.2 x 7.9 cm
    Weight 24.7 oz / 700.2 g Without batteries and memory card
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 3.55 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 7.6 x 7.0 x 5.6"

    Sigma SD1 Merrill reviews

    SD1 Merrill DSLR Camera (Body Only) is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 20.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Greater resolution not greater colors I really want to love this camera for its superb sharpness and 3d image quality. Its definitely got the Sigma look to it. Much improved over the SD15 except in one area; Color. The colors don't pop like they did on the older models, including the DP series. Maybe its all those pixels. Colors can always be fixed but that's not what I bought this camera for. Other than the off greens and blown highlights if you dont stop down the EV its spectacular, especially under studio lighting and it really shines when you get an adapter and get those Sigma lenses off it. I have a Mamiya adapter and a Zeiss adapter and I find these lenses to be superior and not only give me better color results but really bring out the sharpness especially with the Mamiya 645 120 F4 Macro, this lens really shows the full potential of this almost great camera. A few more steps (maybe a purchase of Foveon by Sony) and this would be the ultimate in low iso shooting. I recomend it for people who are willing to experiment and take their time.
    Date published: 2012-07-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Specialised, but great at what it does I bought this camera to get ultimate image quality. It annoys me when people criticise it because it is only really usable up to 400 ASA (Anyone old enough to remember when we used Fuji Veliva - 50 ASA - without IS and still got sharp shots), or because it does not shoot video, or because it is slow to write to the memory card.When I want to shoot a bit of video I use my little G12. If I want to shoot fast action then I use my Canon DSLR outfit.In the SD1 you get a very tough, well built, weather-resistant body with an excellently thought out and well-placed set of controls, and a bright viewfinder with 98% coverage and very little reduction in image size.But the main advantage is the unique sensor that imitates the way that film works. As a result we get accurate colour in each of the delivered 15Mp (rather than the approximation that a Bayer-Sensor has to make) , freedom from processing artifacts like Moire patterns, and as there is no anti-aliasing filter, can make full use of the resolving power of the lenses. And those 15Mp are higher quality pixels than those from most other DSLRs. The finished images are (in my opinion) better overall than those from such high-MP-count cameras as Nikons D800 and are more comparable to those from Medium Format digital cameras.The launch price of the original SD1 ($9000 MRRP) was absurd. Now (late 2014) at $$it is a bargain. And second hand, for as little as 600 or even $600, it is an even better bargain.I toyed with the idea of getting the DP1, DP2 and DP3 Merrills for their lightness, but chose the SD1 for its superior handling and flexibility. With Sigma's 17mm-70mm lens I can cover the same range as the little DPn's (it is equivalent to 24mm-110mm in 35mm format). I have just the one lens, it stays on the camera all the time, and it is all I need for all the book and magazine illustrations that I make. And on the rare occasion when I really needed a 200mm or longer lens the results from a shorter focal length are so detailed that I can crop out part of it and still have a beautiful final image.As for the poor battery life, I get just under 300 shots from a fully charged battery - about the same number as I can store on a 16Gb CF. With a spare battery and a second 16Gb card I can make IRO 600 images in an outing. In the old days that would be 17 rolls of film ... which would cost IRO $300 in purchase and processing costs ... not something you can do every day if you are not a successful professional (or independently rich).But if you need to make more than 600 shots in a day to get enough keepers perhaps you are in the wrong profession, or have the wrong hobby!One final point. There is a myth that to process Foveon RAW files (.xf3) you have to use Sigmas own slow, clunky, and limited Sigma Photo Pro, or buy yet another third party converter. It is not true. I have Lightroom 4, with no updates or plug-ins, and it process .x3f files perfectly well - at least as well as SPP.
    Date published: 2014-10-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Foveon Quality Up until the SD1 I primarily shot medium format film cameras for my personal work, and used a Sony A900 for commercial work. I do photography to make images, not to use cameras, so the image quality is my most important concern. The current crop of DSLRs and MF digital backs really don't cut it for me, and until recently I had resigned to sticking with film. The Sony A900 is good for what it is (I use it for advertising photography), but it doesn't interest me when it comes to making serious work. It seems a lot of digital cameras are built to look good as a list of specs and not with image quality as the primary concern. The Sigma SD1 does the opposite: it doesn't look amazing in spec yet it produces fantastic images. The Foveon sensor is a breath of fresh air in a market clouded by generic, lifeless images produced by Bayer sensors. There is more to image quality than noise and resolution: the most important aspect for my work is how light is rendered. When I make an image, I want it to look greater than what I originally saw, like on film, not less, like the images other DSLRs yield. The magic is in the transformation. In this respect the SD1 creates a slide film-like rendering, and this effect is amplified in the right conditions, like when shooting at dusk. At full resolution it is completely sharp and film-like as well, which allows the prints to be ultra-detailed and 3D looking. In a Bayer sensor DSLR, green is very limited in hue. That's why grass in sunlight always turns a nasty neon green. The problem is that Bayer sensors contain many more green filters than red and blue color filters because the green channel is what enhances the appearance of sharpness. This leaves much fewer red and blue filters to tell the sensor what hue of green is actually being captured. This was one of the big reasons I have stuck with film. The SD1 by contrast renders many distinct hues of green (and more of other colors too) and the color appears much more realistic. Skin tones are greatly improved as well. The SD1 doesn't have great super high ISO performance (which is illusory on other DSLRs anyway, as it's just fancier algorithms that smudge detail) though it is usable up to ISO 800. One doesn't buy a camera that is focused on image quality to shoot high ISO anyway, and I don't exceed ISO 200 (that's what tripods are for), which is its native ISO. You need a steady hand or tripod when using the SD1 because its images are so sharply detailed that slight motion blur will be noticeable much sooner instead of being lost in smudgy details as it would on a Bayer sensor, even at speeds like 1/500 if one is not careful. Proper technique is important and a lens with stabilization doesn't hurt in getting ultra sharp images (I should mention that mild motion blur still yields usable images which are better than those made with a standard DSLR that just hides the blur, but I'm after the best image quality possible). RAW is the best way to shoot this camera. The LCD screen isn't great for checking images, but then the RAW images don't show their true potential until opened on a computer anyway. I shoot it like film and only check back on images if I want to see what was shot or check exposure/histograms. The provided software for converting RAW files, Sigma Photo Pro, is slow but easy to use and to get good results from. Turning the sharpening off (to -2.0) and sharpening in another program like Photoshop will yield the best and sharpest results. I still shoot with film and enjoy it, but that shooting is now augmented by the SD1. If you take pictures to get great images and not because you simply enjoy pressing buttons and playing with hardware, this is a camera you should strongly consider.
    Date published: 2012-04-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning Image Quality This camera is a typical love and hate situation. When used under the proper conditions and technique it's unsurpassed in terms of image quality. Serious. You need to spend some time learnig how to use it to be able to extract its full performance. Not for beginners neither for lazy people. Think about it like a technical equipment. It's slow when writting the files. But I don't care about this.
    Date published: 2016-07-24
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Studio Camera almost a 5 Star ... Great camera very high Quality built. It has great Dynamic Range due to its unique image Sensor processor design my only problem is that you can't use this camera as main camera in indoor/low light photography due to its LOW ISO range and even in above 1000 you see grain other than that its a great Studio Camera. Also the RAW images are very Large and they are not recognized in softwares other than the one comes with the Camera.
    Date published: 2015-02-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Sigma Ever I've had this camera for about 6 months now, and would like to make a few observations. As others have noted, the SD 1 Merrill is a specialized camera. It's too slow for sports, and the Foveon sensor doesn't do terribly well in very low light or high contrast situations. Because I shoot landscapes and architecture, neither of those limitations is a problem for me, and in anything like reasonable light, dawn through dusk, the Foveon sensor shines: terrific color, and at 45 MP, the resolution and detail are fantastic. This is the fourth Sigma camera I've owned, and while I've always liked the Foveon color, the major drawback has always been resolution. Images taken with the SD 15 (14 MP) and printed out (Epson P600) on 13 x 19 (A3+) paper lose detail and sharpness; under a magnifying glass the image looks more like a pointilist painting than a photograph. All that goes away with the SD 1; detail remains tack sharp, even under the magnifying glass. So I'm a happy camper. As far as I'm concerned, the only drawback isn't with the camera, but with PhotoPro, the RAW file converter from Sigma. Neither Lightroom, Photoshop, or Capture One can read SD 1 RAW files, so you're stuck with opening images in PhotoPro, at least as a first step. Because I find the editing interface in PhotoPro clunky, slow, and limited in what it can do (no tool for rotating the horizontal axis of an image, no keystoning tool) I immediately save the opened RAW files as 16-bit TIFFs in another folder, and then open the TIFFs in my favorite, Capture One, but you can also open them in Lightroom or Photoshop. In principle I have to believe that turning a RAW file into a much larger 16-bit TIFF introduces some changes, but as a practical matter I can't see them, and I've done side-by-side comparisons of prints from unedited RAW files in PhotoPro and their corresponding TIFF files in Capture One. Look the same to me. So although converting RAW files to TIFFs adds another step to your workflow, what you gain is the ability to edit your images in a full-function program with, as far as I can tell, no loss in quality.
    Date published: 2016-03-28
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great color rendition So, I have this camera, and a Nikon D800. The short review is that I love this camera for color rendition on still subjects, such as flowers or scenics... even if getting there requires jumping through the hoops of a slightly quirky camera, and Sigma's software. Outside of that niche, the D800 (or most of the other Nikon or Canon offerings) are better general purpose cameras. The longer review, there are things I like about this camera. It is simple, which does imply a lack of features, but there is a certain elegance in having the essential photo settings easily accessed, without needing a 400+ page manual to operate the camera. The images it produces -- especially of fine textures on bright colors is at times stunning. The even resolution across all color spaces gives images what some describe as a 3D appearance. A note on resolution -- this camera is not a 45MP camera on even footing with a 45MP bayer camera... it's also MUCH better than the 15MP spatial resolution would imply. Compared to a D800 -- well take a picture of a Zebra and the D800 will win easily, take a picture of a bottlebrush flower against a blue sky and the SD1 will win. In between, both cameras have so much resolution that it's like saying Warren Buffet has more money than Bill Gates -- both cameras have so much resolution that any difference in resolution is mostly moot. Of course if you're debating the D800 to the SD1, you should also consider that the SD1 produces very comparable images for significantly less cost, but more importantly you should look at the output of both cameras and decide which looks more pleasing... the cameras render color differently -- which is better is a matter of taste. The camera does have some drawbacks... it's best at ISO 100 -- above that, the SD1 does WAY better than the SD15 did... but it's still happiest at ISO 100. The AF in my D70 of yesteryear was better (the D70 could auto select focus point -- the SD1 is pick one focus point and like it). The camera is slow to process the huge 50MB RAW files and write them to the card, and some camera functions are blocked while this happens. Last, the in camera JPGs are not in the same playing field with the processed RAW -- some would argue this is true universally, but the D800 in camera JPGS look WAY better as a matter of comparison. The short of these drawbacks is that if you shoot moving action where shutter speeds (and thus high ISO), focus speed, and agility (ability to quickly change camera settings or immediately post results) is key, this is not your camera of choice. On the other hand, if your shooting is more deliberate in pace (studio, scenic/landscape), this camera can be a viable option. To close, one of the stock questions that is usually easily answered, is not in this case. Ultimately, I said I would recommend this to a friend because I would -- but in actual truth it would depend on the friend's level of photographic skill, what he intended to take pictures of, and possibly if this was going to be a primary or secondary camera. I want to be clear, that I actually am really liking this camera. I see what makes the Sigma fan base passionately love their brand. At the same time, I am not a fan boy. I will be honest -- as much as I am liking the camera, if I had to give up one of my cameras, I'd keep the D800 and lose this one. As gorgeous as the flower shots I'm getting are, the Nikon cameras are just much more versatile and rounded. Anyway, what that means to you, is that if you know why you want a Foveon camera, and understand that this is an artsy camera that is aimed at the deliberate and calculating photographer, I will give you a nod of affirmation that the images produced are always great, and at times awe inspiring. If you don't know why the Sigma is unique, and you're just trying to decide between this and the Nikon or Canon camera you've been researching, you probably would rather have the Nikon or Canon camera.
    Date published: 2012-08-13
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Best Sigma camera ever This is a first impressions report; got my SD1 for 2 weeks now, with firmware 1.03. I own Sigma SD14 and SD15 cameras, so this SD1 is my third Sigma camera. I use Sigma cameras since 2008 and can say than the SD1 is the best one I have used so far. I bought the SD15 last year, believing that the SD1 was just a SD15 with a bigger sensor, and I wasn't ready to spend the extra money for a camera I thought was in no way better. But B&H was selling it recently at a special price, so I decided to give it a try. After only 2 weeks owning this SD1, I now consider buying the SD15 was a mistake. The SD1 is easier to use, feels more strongly built in my hands and I believe is a big step ahead for Sigma, in terms of ergonomics and easiness of use. PROS - Shutter speed and aperture have now their own dial. Much easier to use than the former C-dial on the SD14/15, that was controlling both. - Thought I would miss the LCD panel on top of the SD14/15 cameras. But on the SD1, all the main information is now displayed in the viewfinder, which, IMHO, is a better place to have it. And the line of information at the bottom of the viewfinder doesn't feel overloaded. - The menu is now organized in a more logical way and you won't feel lost if you have used previous Sigma cameras. - Image quality is still there, with an incredible level of details and colors. With good glass in front of it, this camera can produce amazingly sharp photos. It gives Sigma the first place again in terms of IQ/price ratio, compare to Canon, Nikon or Sony. - Autofocus is now way more accurate. CONS The real drawback of this camera isn't related to the body itself. I shoot 100% RAW and files are just huge. So, in post-production, you'll need a computer with a lot of chip power, otherwise, you'll have to become patient. Mine has an Intel core 2 duo and working on a RAW file with Sigma Photo Pro is real slow. Newer and faster chips are required with this camera. That is the reason why I give 4 instead of 5 stars to the camera. Overall, I am very pleased with the SD1 and now believe I should have bought it instead of the SD15.
    Date published: 2012-10-07
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