Sigma SD15 Review: A Comprehensive Guide to This Digital Camera

If you're in the market for a high-quality digital camera, the Sigma SD15 is a great option to consider. This camera boasts some impressive features, including a high-resolution sensor, intuitive controls, and versatile shooting modes. In this comprehensive review, we'll dive into the details of the SD15 and help you decide if it's the right choice for your photography needs.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Sigma SD15 article cover photo

Key Features

Feb 20 2010


5 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C
SensorCMOS (Foveon X3)

Other similar cameras

Overview of the SD15

As a photographer, having the right equipment is essential. And when it comes to finding the perfect digital camera, the options can be overwhelming. That's why we're here to give you an in-depth look at one of the best cameras on the market: the Sigma SD15. With its advanced sensor technology and user-friendly interface, the SD15 offers a truly immersive photography experience. So, whether you're a professional photographer or a hobbyist, join us as we explore everything the Sigma SD15 has to offer.

Sigma SD15 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Sigma SD15 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High resolution (14 megapixels)
Compact size
Sigma SA lens mount
77-segment metering system
Dual TRUE II processors for faster data processing


Limited ISO range (100-1600)
Limited video capabilities (no HD)
Slow autofocus
Battery life could be better
Some compatibility issues with lenses from other manufacturers.

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Sigma SD15

Weather sealed
Dimensions144 x 107 x 81mm

Weather Sealing

The Sigma SD15 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution460k dots
Body typeMid-size SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 460k dots. This makes the Sigma SD15 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


SD15 includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 96% and a magnification of 0.6x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Sigma SD15 has a 5MP sized CMOS (Foveon X3) sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 5 pixels. Sigma SD15 has a native ISO range of 100 - 1600 which can be boosted to 50 - 3200. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Feb 20 2010


100 - 1600

ISO Range

Extended ISO50 - 3200
Max resolution2640 x 1760 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Sigma SD15 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the SD15 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC card
Battery Life
Battery Model
Wireless Connectivity


The Sigma SD15 supports SD/SDHC card with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Sigma SD15 uses the undefined model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Sigma SD15 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Sigma SD15 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Sigma SD15 includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with null number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Sigma SD15?

The Sigma SD15 features a CMOS (Foveon X3) sensor

Is the Sigma SD15 weather sealed?

No the SD15 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Sigma SD15 announced?

The Sigma SD15 was announced on Feb 20 2010

Does the Sigma SD15 have in-body image stabilization?

No the SD15 does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Sigma SD15?

The SD15 has a native ISO range of 100-1600, which can be expanded to ISO 50-3200 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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