Coming in under £600 means the Sigma SD15 could be the perfect first DSLR, but how do its features stack up?
The Sigma SD15 is the more accessible of Sigma’s two DSLR offerings – the other being the colossal 46MP SD1 Merrill. The 14.06MP SD15 uses a True II image processor and produces a crop factor of 1.7x, so you get slightly more reach out of lenses. The ISO range extends from 50-3200. The LCD screen is a good size at 3in, but with only 460k dots images lack clarity and sharpness. An interesting and unique feature is the dust protector at the front of the camera flange. This stops any dust reaching the sensor or mirror, and provides a much easier surface to remove dust from. Surprisingly, there is no video mode on the SD15, making this a camera for stills photographers only.
Handling & performance
The SD15 is relatively large and heavy, but its weight isn’t an issue and it feels comfortable in the hand. Control layout is simple and easy to follow. With only program, aperture-priority, shutter-priority and manual on the mode dial there’s no way you can accidently use the wrong setting. The flipside of this, however, is that there are few features. The Sigma features only five focus points, but these are large and lock onto subjects effectively. The continuous shooting speed is 3fps, but this is balanced against a buffer that allows 21 RAW files to be captured in a single burst. However, with only five focus points and basic autofocus modes, this isn’t a DSLR that’s particularly well-suited to shooting action. This is a no-frills, to-the-point DSLR, with only manual and semi-automatic controls.
- Street price: £529 (As of July 2016)
- Resolution: 14.06MP
- Sensor type: 20.7x13.8mm CMOS
- Crop factor: 1.7x
- Autofocus: 5 points
- ISO range: 100-1600, expandable to 3200
- Metering: 77-segment evaluative
- LCD size: 3in 460k dots
- Shooting speed: 3fps
- Video: No
- Sensor cleaning: No, but has dust protector
- Card type: SD, SDHC, MMC
- Weight: 680g
- Size (WxHxD): 144x107x81mm
- Visit: www.sigma-imaging-uk.com
This review was first published in the July 2012 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.