Sigma Photo, Seven Rules for Legal Advertising, FTC Consumer Complaint Link, and Suggested Text for

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Steven M. Scharf, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Interesting article at Nolo Press, entitled, "Seven Rules for Legal
    Advertising," on how to "comply with laws against deceptive or misleading
    advertising." First on the list is "Be Accurate." See:

    The FTC does occasionally take action against manufacturers that engage in
    extremely misleading advertising. You can file a complaint with the Federal
    Trade Commission at:$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01 .

    I would like to see the FTC set some standards for specifications of digital
    cameras. They should require manufacturers to state the number of pixels, as
    well as the number of photodetectors. This would not give an unfair
    advantage to either Bayer type sensors, or to layered sensors such as the
    Foveon X3.

    Suggested Text for FTC Complaint
    There is a problem with some digital camera manufacturers engaging in
    misleading advertising regarding the megapixel resolution of their products.

    For example, in its initial marketing collateral for its digital SLR
    cameras, Sigma Photo Corporation correctly stated the resolution of their
    cameras as 3.43 megapixels. They then went on to explain, "...for every
    pixel on a Foveon X3 image sensor, there's actually a stack of three

    The distinction between pixels and photodetectors was necessary because the
    photosensor that Sigma uses in their products, is a 3.43 megapixel/10.2
    photodetector sensor (it has three photodetectors stacked at each pixel
    location). Having multiple photodetectors for each pixel is, in theory,
    supposed to increase color accuracy, but it does not increase the pixel
    resolution, a 3.43 megapixel sensor is still a 3.43 megapixel sensor, no
    matter how many photodetectors comprise each pixel.

    Recently, Sigma Photo has dropped the distinction between pixels and
    photodetectors, and has begun advertising their 3.4 megapixel/10.2
    Mphotodetector, SD10 camera, as having 10.2 megapixel resolution. This is
    extremely misleading. Sigma Photo is taking advantage of consumers that are
    unfamiliar with the technology of digital camera sensors. They are inflating
    the pixel resolution of their digital cameras by a factor of three, in an
    effort to mislead consumers. Sigma Photo is free to state the number of
    photodectectors (as they did in their earlier advertising and marketing
    collateral), and explain the advantages of having three photodetectors per
    pixel (as they also did in their earlier advertising and marketing
    collateral). They should not be permitted to claim that a pixel is the same
    as a photodector--it's not.

    This problem is only going to get worse. Already, World Wide Licenses is
    touting its upcoming Polaroid X530 digital camera as a 4.5 megapixel camera,
    when in reality it is a 1.5 megapixel/4.5 Mphotodetector camera. Since the
    Polaroid X530 is aimed at a market segment that is less savvy about the
    differences between pixels and photodetectors, the potential for harm is
    higher than it is with Sigma Photo Corporation's digital SLR cameras.

    To protect consumers, the FTC should set standards for the specifications of
    digital cameras. The manufacturers should be required to state,
    unambiguously, the megapixels (spatial resolution) of the sensor, the
    photodetectors per pixel, and the total number of photodetectors. Requiring
    that they specify both megapixels and photodetectors would be fair to all
    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 9, 2004
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  2. Steven M. Scharf

    ArtKramr Guest

    Subject: Sigma Photo, Seven Rules for Legal Advertising, FTC Consumer

    Wheb I was in advertising (35 years creative director Senior VP) the FTC was a
    powerful watchdog group that checked everything that ran. They were tough and
    uncompromising on false claims and were every effective. They lost all thier
    power when the "pro business" Republicans took office and today have very litle
    impact compared to years ago.

    Arthur Kramer
    344th BG 494th BS
    England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
    Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
    ArtKramr, Jun 9, 2004
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  3. Steven M. Scharf

    BG250 Guest

    They are saying 10.2 megapixel resolution, not that it is a 10.2 mp camera.
    I can see how this is misleading, but not necessarily illegal. Throwing the
    word resolution in the mix clouds the water.

    dpreview clearly shows the SD10 is in the same ball park in resolution as
    the other 6mp Bayer SLRs. 10.2 mp "resolution" is not really defined.
    Comparing it to a Bayer 10.2mp SLR is a stretch, however.

    I'm not sticking up for Sigma. There are some image quality issues the SD10
    has why I would recommend 6mp Canon or Nikon over the SD10. I have the
    BG250, Jun 9, 2004
  4. Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sony, and Kodak (and all who market Bayer-based
    sensors in digital cameras) list monochrome Megapixels (MPs) but
    clearly advertising them as full color MPs. This is miseading and

    In reality, each and every discrete full color pixel must be
    interpolated from 4 of the monochrome pixels of the MP rating, this is
    done by placing a color filter mosiac over the monochrome digital
    sensor. After combining every set of 4 pixels, the camera can
    interpolate 1, single, discrete, full color pixel. This means that
    all of these manufactures are intentionally deceiving customers by a
    factor of at least 400% when they intentionally list their strictly
    monochrome MP ratings as "full color" MP ratings.

    I suggest a full refund be offered to each and every
    Bayer-sensor-based digital camera customer who was influenced by the
    advertised (monochrome) MP rating when buying a Bayer-sensor based
    digital camera. This intentionally deceptive business practice needs
    to be controlled, punitive sanctions on the order of 3 times total
    earnings, proportionately returned to the customer pool based on
    damages sustained, is within legal precedent and should also be

    [Message sent, thanks]
    George Preddy, Jun 10, 2004
  5. Then complain to dpreview, they say the Sigma SD10 = 13.72MPs...

    "The Foveon X3 sensor captures full color for each pixel location and
    thus requires no demosaic processing, a single individual pixel has
    its own distinct color without influence from neighbouring pixels.
    This leads me to the term 'Single Pixel Resolution', the X3 sensor's
    striking ability to capture image detail down to a single pixel level,
    such as a wire which in the image is just one pixel across.

    You can of course produce similar results from a Bayer sensor camera
    by downsampling an image by 50%, this is (approximately) the same as
    combining two green, one red and one blue pixel together. To achieve
    this and be left with an image of the same size as the SD10 you would
    need 4536 x 3024 (13.7 megapixel) input image."
    George Preddy, Jun 10, 2004
  6. Steven M. Scharf

    tekfull Guest

    Where are your pics gp

    tekfull, Jun 10, 2004
  7. Steven M. Scharf

    tekfull Guest

    Where are your pics gp

    tekfull, Jun 10, 2004
  8. Steven M. Scharf

    tekfull Guest

    Where are your pics gp

    tekfull, Jun 10, 2004
  9. The person posting under the name of George or Georgette Preddy (and
    other pseudonyms) has an ungrounded but zealous faith that current
    implementation of the Foveon chip is superior to all other chip
    technologies. He will cite portions of reviews to ostensibly support his
    claims, and will repeat, ad naseum, complete lines of out-of-context

    His claims may well be ignored, or at the very least verified since most
    of them are extreme distortions and some are out and out fabrications."

    Moreover, "Mr." "Preddy" has claimed to be a photographer (pro!), but
    cannot bring himself to post a single picture with EXIF info that he
    shot himself, in spite of repeated requests and challenges to do so.

    Apparently he loathes anything related to Canon and loves everything
    about Sigma cameras and lenses. His "claims" may be ignored, and he is
    doing Sigma, and anyone related to the Foveon chip, no good at all by
    arousing ire, increasing the N/S ratio, and generally spamming this
    John McWilliams, Jun 10, 2004
  10. Steven M. Scharf

    Lionel Guest

    If it's legal, it shouldn't be. Scanner makers used to pull exactly the
    same scam, but now they have to say "interpolated" for the output
    resolutions that are greater than the sensor resolution.
    Lionel, Jun 10, 2004
  11. I respectfully suggest you post your admonitions using a different e-mail
    address, because otherwise I (and possibly others) am about to killfile

    David J Taylor, Jun 10, 2004
  12. Do you know how to use google? I've posted a hundred or so over the
    last few months.
    George Preddy, Jun 10, 2004
  13. Are you sticking to this when Sigma files Chapter 13?

    Hope this helps...
    Randall Ainsworth, Jun 10, 2004
  14. Steven M. Scharf

    tekfull Guest

    You have posted links to other peoples work. Where are your pics.
    tekfull, Jun 10, 2004
  15. Sigma's business is mainly lenses. They are the largest independent producer
    of lenses for other manufacturer's cameras, and the third largest lens
    producer over all.

    The losses from their ill-advised foray into SLR cameras, both film and
    digital, are minimal, compared to their overall business.
    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 10, 2004
  16. Liar, liar, pants on fire...

    Hope this helps
    Randall Ainsworth, Jun 10, 2004
  17. Regardless if it captures 3 primary colours, or 36 million at each pixel
    location, it still ends up being a single pixel. You are still left with a
    3.43 pixel grid. Doesn't matter if you use SPP, or bat's blood at midnight
    it's still only 3.43 MP...
    Darrell Larose, Jun 10, 2004
  18. Steven M. Scharf

    Marc Guest

    plonk !

    annoying moron
    Marc, Jun 10, 2004
  19. David-

    It might be easier and more effective to killfile based on the above
    subject line.....

    John McWilliams, Jun 10, 2004
  20. Steven M. Scharf

    Big Bill Guest

    So, file a complaint, and tell us the results.
    Or will this be another case of a vast conspiracy on the part of the
    major camera makers to silence any such complaints, just like there's
    a vast conspiracy to keep reviewers from doing reviews uncomplimentary
    to their cameras?

    Bill Funk
    Change "g" to "a"
    Big Bill, Jun 10, 2004
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