Sigma DP Camera Lightroom Workflow

SigmaDP2mThe Sigma DP series of cameras have absolutely phenomenal image quality, but they output a proprietary RAW file (*.x3f) from the Foveon® system that makes them awkward to work with. Here’s how I get great photos out of this camera:

The Workflow

  1. Transfer the files from the camera to computer. I put them into a folder marked by year and a sub-folder with the date. I drag and drop the files from camera to computer.
  2. Use the Sigma Photo Pro software to decode the X3F files. I make lens and chromatic aberration adjustments with default settings, and save the photos as 16-bit TIFF files. The Sigma software is needed because it reads the X3F files and none of the other programs like Lightroom or DxO Optics Pro do.
  3. I then import the files into Adobe Lightroom and adjust them with some special settings I developed.
  4. Last, I export as JPEG files from Lightroom as I do with my regular workflow.

This is a simple and quick workflow that allows me to get the most out of my Sigma DP2 Merrill camera and the spectacular photos it produces. By far the largest hazard in post-processing these photos is over-processing them. They are so good right out of the camera that they don’t need much post-processing.


If you don’t have a Sigma DP camera, they are definitely worth checking out as they have the best and sharpest image quality I have seen in any camera short of a medium format. And, the Sigma DP is a compact camera. It is hard to believe the quality of image that comes out of this small, hand-held camera!

(In a future post, I’ll put up some images so you can see the quality in the Sigma DP camera, and I’ll include some of my presets for processing these images if you’re interested.)

Thank you for reading what I wrote – I hope you enjoyed it!