Sigma's SD15 DSLR gets spec'd

Sigma seems to be releasing cameras the way Google releases software: put out something that’s blatantly incomplete and then revise it until it’s competitive (or more than competitive) with the rest of the market. The DP1 is approaching its third revision, the DP2 its second, and the SD15 DSLR is just about to make its debut — and I’ll give you three guesses which is the most attractive to yours truly. If can’t get it, I’ll be very disappointed.

The three cameras share the same sensor and image processor, but the DP1 has a much faster and wider lens — it’d be my choice in a heartbeat. But the SD15 might be interesting once they’ve brought it up to speed.

It’s got 14 megapixels on the famous Foveon stacked silicon sensor, a 3-inch LCD, and an extremely durable shutter — 100,000 exposures anybody? I think my Canon is rated at 10,000. Its ISO ranges from 100-1600, and can be extended to 50 or 3200, but I’m guessing that has an adverse effect on image quality. It’s got a real pentaprism viewfinder, too, which makes what you see much closer to what you get.

Unfortunately, not all its specs are impressive. 3FPS in RAW is nothing to crow about, though a big buffer means you can keep that up for 21 shots. And it’s only got 5-point autofocus, which is weak as hell. I mean, personally I only use the center AF point, but for any kind of active photography where you can’t be bothered to compose your shots carefully, a robust AF system is highly useful.

Who knows, maybe its image quality, given some good glass, might make up for its lack of features. We’ll soon see, but in the meantime I still have a soft spot for the DP1x.

[SD15 microsite, via DPReview]