Cameras have taken modern consumers on a bit of a crazy ride in the past few years. After all, a lot of people were born into a world in which there were a few kinds of instant film cameras, color film, black and white, and even high quality plates and professional film cameras. Cameras used proprietary lenses, and did not have a lot of automatic functions apart from a battery operated light meter.
Then came digital, and the whole world of photography has seemed to change in the blink of an eye.
Fortunately, many of the major camera manufacturers have taken on the transition from film to digital, and this includes the firms known for making many camera components. Sigma, for example, is one of these firms, and it is keeping up with the demand for contemporary lenses, flashes, and cameras as well as other accessories.
Started only in 1961, Sigma was founded by Michihiro Yamaki, who remained at the helm until his death in 2012. Little could have known about the many changes on the photographic horizon, but he was very innovative in deciding to produce products that worked with a long list of specific brands.
Today, the firm still produces accessories that work with Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, Pentax, and Nikon cameras. They also make their own cameras and gear, as well, and continue production under the name Quantaray that is marketed strictly through a single retailer - Ritz Camera.
Today, Sigma has subsidiaries in America, Germany, France, Hong Kong, UK, China, and Benelux. It remains in Japan and is committed to creating only the finest quality camera equipment. A list of its products would include:
* Digital SLR cameras - this includes their SD1 Merrill and DP2 Quattro,
* Compact digital cameras - DP3 Merrill, DP2 Merrill, and DP1 Merrill
* Lenses for all cameras produced by the firm - this includes wide, standard, telephoto, and macro lenses. The company also produces the Sigma DN Lens for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras
* Optical equipment and accessories - this includes filters, tele converters, and even some USB devices and docs that allow a long list of lenses to be updated and then workable with their specific camera bodies.
* Electronic flash units for all cameras produced by the firm
Something of interest to those exploring their options for Sigma cameras is the company's decision to use the Foveon X3 sensors in some of their camera bodies. This is known for its use of vertical photo diodes and for being the "world's only direct image sensor". This is beyond innovative as it is capable of documenting the colors in front of the sensor without translation through filters. Both the compact and digital SLR units have Foveon sensor options.
Clearly, the firm likes to innovate and to integrate the latest and best technologies. This leads many to wonder why a Japanese firm would choose the name of a Greek letter for its name. After all, what does the English equivalent of "S" really mean?
Essentially, the founder of Sigma felt that there was a lot to be seen in this choice. The letter is used as a "sum total" in mathematical equations. This is then translated into the company vision of being the sum total of its use of technology, wisdom, and experience to create remarkable results.
A look at the latest array of products would indicate that Sigma is the sum total of its goals. That it is a high tech producer of camera equipment, but that it is also the embodiment of wise application of the technology available.
For a few decades Sigma has been creating some of the finest cameras, lenses, flashes, and accessories available. It continues to subtly innovate and apply the best technologies of the age. Those in the market for a proven brand should consider Sigma. Whether it is for a lens for a compatible camera body or to explore the latest innovations in sensors and color management, Sigma is a wise choice.