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Sigma – a company in trouble?

In the past week two recent news events have come out specifically about Sigma that have many in the photography community wondering about the management and possible long term viability of this company.

Sigma SD1 Body

Let’s start with the discussion of their recently announced Sigma SD1 body .  This new body with their Fovean image chip reportedly has an image resolution of 46 megapixels.  Yes, you read that right, but you have to understand their technology.  The Fovean chip utilizes 3 layers each of 15 megapixels for each of the RGB color channels rather than a Bayer matrix for all the other DSLR bodies.  While Sigma markets this as a 46 megapixel camera, it’s true effective image quality is closer to something in the 30 megapixel camera.  There will be numerous reviews of this body when they are released we’ll be sure to share them with you.

But here is the kicker!  Sigma has this body listed at $9,700.00 on their site.  Now it would be foolhardy for me to think they added too many zeros because certainly this body is worth more than $970.00, perhaps it’s somewhere closer to the $2,000.00 mark competing with the likes of Canon’s 60D, Nikon’s D7000 or other similar bodies.  But it is not in the same league of the Canon 1DS Mark III or Nikon D3X both of which are below the $8,000.00.

So what market is Sigma thinking they are going to sell this body?  Pro’s, I don’t think so.  They simply do not have the quality lenses that Canon, Nikon & Sony have.  Features?  Nope, not yet!  Known brand recognition?  Perhaps, but worth the premium they are charging.

Score: Free Market 1 – Sigma 0

Nikon files patent suit against Japan’s Sigma Corp

Nikon has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Sigma.  Nikon claims Sigma has violated patent protection as it relates to its Vibration Reduction (VR) technology used in its lenses.  Sigma has its Optical Stabilization (OS) in many of its interchangeable lenses for Sigma, Canon and Nikon bodies.  Reuters reports Nikon is seeking $154 Million in damages.  Apparently Nikon attempted to negotiate with Sigma with no success.  Way to go Sigma management.

Score: Nikon 1 – Sigma 0

Scoring Summary

In summary, Sigma is in trouble!  Time for a change in management I would suggest.

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