A review and photo example of SIGMA SD10 digital cameras.


The SD9 and SD10 were Sigma digital cameras released in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
Sigma SLRs were SA-7/SA-9/SA-7n in the file-less era, and SD9/SD10, SD14/SD15, and SD1 in the digital camera era, marking their demise. SD Quattro/SD Quattro H is a mirrorless camera and the last model with a Foveon sensor as of 2023, fp/fpL are mirrorless cameras with Bayer sensors.
Sigma was the first SLR digital camera in the world to incorporate a three-layer sensor from Foveon (which was later acquired by Sigma and became a subsidiary), a technology that no other company had been able to match.
The unique images produced by the three-layer sensor created a SIGMA mania, and even today, the image quality of the SD9/SD10 is still quite good. In particular, the blur-free images of landscapes and birds with clear borders that required color separation were a world apart from the low-pass filter-equipped 6-megapixel images of the time.
Later, as higher pixel counts and low-pass filter-less Bayer sensors came out, I began to think that I did not need to be so particular about Foveon, but I have used all the Foveon sensor cameras in the past.
Anyway, this camera has been a bundle of patience in terms of response time, and SIGMA PhotoPro is also a software that requires patience in developing images after shooting.
I got the SD10 on its release date through a camera shop in Osaka where I had purchased Sigma SA lenses. It was a store in Osaka, which has a culture of haggling, so I remember that I haggled until the very last minute. Now I think I must have made a profit, but I also feel a little sorry.
The Sigma SA mount has a different flange back but the shape is compatible with the Pentax-K mount, so M42 mount lenses could be used via the Pentax K-M42 adapter. Although there is a 1.5mm difference in flange back (SA mount = 44mm, K mount = 45.5mm), many older M42 mount lenses were over-infrared, so there were few practical problems with focusing.
Also, Penta-K mount lenses could be used with SD9/SD10 as long as there was no interference such as an aperture lever.
A little after the release of the SD9, a hobbyist released the SA-M42 mount adapter, which allowed the use of M42 lenses with the correct flange back.
There were also people releasing SA-NikonF mount adapters.
There was also a plan to convert the SA mount of this camera to a CANON-EF mount, and I made a small investment, but the plan was abandoned and the investment was returned. These were idyllic times, unthinkable today.

Digital camera with first generation Foveon sensor.
The actual pixel count was 3.0 megapixels x3, but a higher pixel output was also possible by compositing with SIGMA PhotoPro.
The viewfinder was a 35mm full-size viewfinder with the periphery masked, called a sports viewfinder, which seems to have been adapted from the SA-7 film camera. I have heard some people complain about this viewfinder, but personally, I found it useful to be able to see what was not in the picture.
However, since the pure CR-V3 battery and charger were released at the end of the SD10’s life, they were rarely seen in the market. In addition, several companies released CR-V3 compatible rechargeable batteries, but all of them could damage the camera when used because the voltage was higher than that required by SD9/SD10. When we obtained rechargeable CR-V3 compatible batteries from several companies and measured them with a tester, we found that the voltage varied greatly from battery to battery, with some exceeding the specified voltage and others falling short, making us uneasy about using them in the camera at all times.
When a 4GB microdrive came out, the product was expensive but the capacity was attractive, so I tried it, but it was not as good as Compact Flash (3.3V operation: 66mW on average, 5V operation: 110mW on average; source: Buffalo Compact Flash introduction page): However, the power consumption is higher than that of Compact Flash (3.3V/5V, 221mW at 3.3V, 360mW at 5V (both at low power idle), source: Web-ASCII 2003 article), so it was a bit difficult to use it with SD9/SD10, which have unstable power supply. It was a bit unreasonable to use the camera with SD9/SD10, which have an unstable power supply. I remember that the power consumption made the camera unstable (this may have been due to the fact that nickel-metal hydride batteries were mainly used at that time for cost-effectiveness). The camera is now powered by a battery from Koizumi Seiki Co.
Currently, I use Energizer batteries, which are distributed by Koizumi Seiki Co. As of 2023, we are using lithium batteries manufactured by Panasonic, which have the same level of performance. There are concerns about how long the supply of these batteries will last.

Camera Effective PixelsApprox. 10.29 million pixels
(2,268 x 1,512 x 3 layers)
Camera mountSIGMA-SA baynet mount
Image sensorFOVEON X3®(CMOS)
Back LCD1.8-inch
Low-temperature polysilicon TFT color LCD monitor
Approx. 130,000 pixels
View FinderPentaprism type single-lens reflex viewfinder
Battery3V lithium battery (CR123A type 2 pcs.)
2 x 3V lithium batteries (CR-V3)
4 x AA Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries
4 AA nickel batteries
2 x 3V lithium batteries (CR-V3)
4 x AA Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries
4 AA nickel batteries
Record mediaCompact flashSD-CARD(SDHC)
SizeW x H x D 152mm × 120mm × 79mm
Weight(g)805g (Ext battery)785g (Ext battery)
Release dateYear 2002Year 2003


  • vertical grip
  • Release Cable

Reference links


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