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Online Editor's Blog: December 15, 2006

Today, I'll talk about class and responsibility as it relates to companies.

Sigma Corp. announced that they'd be coming out with a new DSLR just in time for the holidays. But in a very public statement released on the company's Web site on Dec. 7, the product release was pushed back until spring. The delay was blamed on hardware issues.

The postponement unleashed an outcry of delay-related criticism on Web sites and blogs in the days following the announcement. People who were expecting it for Christmas called this second delay “tormenting.” Others say they won't wait around for the release; they'll just buy one of the more high-profile Canon or Nikon models and forget about the Sigma's magic sensor, the Foveon X3, for now.

What really perplexes me is how this international company with offices around the world, handled a situation of near disastrous proportion. Yes, they have an interesting new product. We all know by now that the Foveon direct image sensor in this proposed model is supposed to capture all RGB colors at each and every pixel. The three layers of pixel sensors are stacked to take advantage of silicon's ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different depths. If the camera's other parts can compete with those in other quality lines, they may have something.

The problem is they may have angered too many people at this point. Promises have been made and they have been broken. We thought we were only being teased playfully when Sigma announced that the camera shipping date would be released at Photokina, when everyone else announced their dates before the show. There, it was delayed from November to mid-December. Only a few weeks then. Now. Ditto. But for months. Three months after Christmas to be exact.

And that is bad enough. But the company goes through a long and wordy apology letter without actually stating what the problem is. It only identifies the hold up this way: “We found one issue that occurred occasionally and only under certain circumstances. Initially, we felt that this could be solved with a programming or processing solution. However, after careful investigation and many attempts at a solution, we have come to the conclusion that we need to make a hardware change to fix this issue completely.”

I mean come on. Some people have been waiting for this model for years. Why don't they have the decency to explain what the problem actually is and what they actually have to fix and why they made promises they couldn't keep? I think that is really what is making people mad in the blogs. Everyone wants a good product. Just be honest with us, so we know to expect another delay come March 07.

And for goodness sake take down that sexy Web site made exclusively for the camera. The one they posted to tease people before Photokina. I counted three times the company equated the SD14 with the word “truth.”

• Are you ready to take another look at the truth

• The only camera that tells the whole truth

• True colors: capturing colors as they really are

Why should we believe you? Are these your true colors?