Peeking at Foveon sensor in the Sigma SD9 digital camera at Photokina tradeshow 2002.

Foveon Sigma SD9
Picture took with the Foveon Sigma SD9 Camera in Malta

At Photokina Foveon kindly offered Nicholas Hellmuth a Sigma SD9 to try out for a day at the tradeshow.

Would have been a nice opportunity, but we felt that an in-depth review would have more impact. One day could not do the camera's innovative technology justice.

Besides, our reviews are best known for being comprehensive in the sense of actually using the cameras in real-life situations. This is a polite way of saying these are not PR reviews by magazine authors who try out a product for a few days.

Our readers want to know whether a camera lasts more than 30 days.

However, frankly, our impression is that the Sigma SD9 offers better quality than the Nikon D-100, Nikon D1H, or any of the Canon, Minolta, Olympus, Sony or other digital cameras on the market today.

Problem is that Sony, Fuji, Nikon, and Canon own the digital photography market. Leica, Panasonic, Pentax and Contax don't really have a serious chance. Agfa already got creamed in the digital camera market.

Foveon Sigma SD9 Sample
Another sample took with the Foveon Digital Camera.

So the question is whether consumers will pay any attention to the Sigma. It was a dead issue from the massive hype of February (at PMA 2002). The web sites had zero information and no updates. Camera release was delayed. These problems are what killed the Contax N digital.

FLAAR is strong in the museum, art conservation, archaeology, architectural history, university art department, university photo department, as well as landscape, wildlife, flower, and product photography markets.

Indeed FLAAR has been selected by Europe's leading center for art restoration to head up their innovative program to set the standards for selection of digital camera equipment for the rest of the pan-Mediterranean region (Europe, North Africa, Middle East). We intend to also set the "what to buy lists" for museums and universities of Latin America, and naturally across the USA and Canada.

As soon as we have any practical experience with the Foveon Sigma SD9 we will report back.

In the meantime, we are fully satisfied with the Kodak ProBack Plus for medium format digital photography and the BetterLight for large format digital photography.

In 35mm SLR digital cameras, we ourselves use all Nikon equipment, currently the Nikon D-100.

More information on results of Foveon sensor technology in the Sigma SD9 can be found here:

First posted: January 2002.