Sigma SD9 – The Best Camera for Professional Photographers

Learn about the Sigma SD9 camera – a renowned camera among professional photographers, packed with advanced technology, uncompromising image quality, and numerous features. This blog will dive into the technical details and specifics that make the Sigma SD9 stand out from its competitors.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Sigma SD9 article cover photo

Key Features

Nov 26 2002


3 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C
SensorCMOS (Foveon X3)

Other similar cameras

Overview of the SD9

Are you tired of your camera producing subpar images despite its high price tag? Look no further than the Sigma SD9. This camera is a favorite among professional photographers for its impressive technology and unsurpassed image quality. With advanced features such as a 3-layer image sensor and True II Image Processor, the SD9 offers unparalleled color reproduction and sharpness. In this blog, we will explore the technical aspects of the Sigma SD9, highlighting its top-notch features and capabilities. Whether you are looking to up your photography game or simply appreciate superior image quality, the Sigma SD9 is the camera for you.

Sigma SD9 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Sigma SD9 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!


10.2 megapixels
Foveon X3 sensor technology
High-quality color reproduction
Solid construction
Good value for money
Raw and JPEG format
Good dynamic range
Wide dynamic range


No video recording
Slow autofocus
Limited ISO range
Bulky design
No image stabilization
LCD screen is small
Battery life could be better
Limited lens options

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Sigma SD9

Weather sealed
Dimensions152 x 120 x 79mm

Weather Sealing

The Sigma SD9 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 Resolution130k dots
Body typeMid-size SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 1.80" screen, with a display resolution of 130k dots. This makes the Sigma SD9 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.


SD9 includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 98% and a magnification of 0.77x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Sigma SD9 has a 3MP sized CMOS (Foveon X3) sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 3 pixels. Sigma SD9 has a native ISO range of 100 - 400 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Nov 26 2002


100 - 400

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution2268 x 1512 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 SD9 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 SD9 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

StorageCompact Flash Type I or II
Battery Life
Battery Model
Wireless Connectivity


The Sigma SD9 supports Compact Flash Type I or II 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 SD9 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 SD9 does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Sigma SD9 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/6000s, 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 SD9 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), 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.

View on Amazon


What is the sensor size of the Sigma SD9?

The Sigma SD9 features a CMOS (Foveon X3) sensor

Is the Sigma SD9 weather sealed?

No the SD9 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Sigma SD9 announced?

The Sigma SD9 was announced on Nov 26 2002

Does the Sigma SD9 have in-body image stabilization?

No the SD9 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 SD9?

The SD9 has a native ISO range of 100-400, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

View on Amazon

Similar Camera Reviews