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SD14 Digital SLR Camera


Sigma

Categories: Reviews: Equipment : Cameras : Digital Cameras : Digital SLR Cameras

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The SD14 Digital SLR Camera

Features:

  • Sigma SD14, 4.7 Megapixel, SLR, Digital Camera (Foveon X3 CMOS Sensor: 4.7M Red + 4.7M Green + 4.7M Blue = 14.1 Megapixel Total Resolution)
  • Sigma Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro Autofocus Lens
  • Minimum focusing distance of 7.9" (20 cm) at all focal lengths
  • Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor
  • In-camera JPEG Mode Offers Added Convenience

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1 Review  

Average Rating: 4 out of 5

4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/18/2005
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4 out of 5
The new 4.3 MP (x3) Sigma SD14 is the latest in the Foveon-equipped Sigma dSLR family. Unfortunately, because Sigma is regarded mostly as a manufacturer of high-quality third-party lenses, and also because many reviewers don't fully understand how to best utilize it, the SD14 either gets overlooked or gets an unfairly bad rap. It really deserves a closer look by avid photographers. It's specs include a new Foveon 4.3 MP x 3 layer sensor, 14 MP JPEG in-camera (interpolated), plus 4.3 MP RAW output. The camera's autofocusing is much faster than its SD9 and SD10 predecessors, and its ergonomics are also much improved. The new shutter mechanism is VERY quiet and hardly disturbs the camera... handy with longer hand-held exposures. And, the new Li-Ion battery included with a charger in the camera's packaging provides for several hundred images per charge. In short, most of the annoyances of the SD9 and SD10 are gone. Best of all, the new sensor is 'dense' enough so that even though a 4.3 MP camera doesn't seem that exciting, the ability to capture fine detail is all out of proportion to what you'd expect from a 'mere' 4.3 megapixels. Maybe Foveon and Sigma are right... maybe there IS more to image quality than sheer number of pixels. I considered the Nikon D200, a good camera that will handily beat the SD14 in terms of checklist features and camera systems (AF, TTL flash exposure, etc.) performance. After comparing images between the new 10 MP Nikon and Canon cameras and the SD14, however, I went with the Sigma. The difference in image quality is noticeable, and while the D200 has more features per se, those features may result in a higher percentage of decent images yet when it comes to image quality the D200 at its best is outshown by the SD14 at its best. I think the choice reflects Sigma's advertising in that they admit their design goal was to have stellar image quality in a fundamentally sound but less-advanced camera body. The SD14 really is a photographer's camera. The SD14's main claim to fame is image quality. My experiences with the camera reinforce my experiences with my SD10; the camera is capable of impressive image quality... as good or better than competitive 10 MP cameras IF the photographer/user understands the mechanics of exposure. I've shot informal Little League games with my SD14, and its performance for sports and action should satisfy all but the most avid sports photographer. The SD14 is at its best when image quality is paramount, and is especially well-suited for fine art, landscape, nature, and portrait photography. The sheer quality of a nicely-exposed SD14 image is something that really does grab your attention. If you like making beautiful photographs and are willing to work for them, if you don't need to fire the shutter like a machine gun, and if you are into deliberative photography, it's hard to go wrong with the SD14. On the other hand, if you are mainly into low-light, fast action photography, and are willing to sacrifice fine detail for better AF, you'll probably be happier with a Canon or Nikon.
7/31/2007 2:01:22 AM
 

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