Need advice on purchasing SD 14
I really want this camera. But first, I want to know if there are any Sigma owners here that would share their experience with me. Any owners of SD-9, SD-10, or even SD-14 (gasp!), please share your experience using Sigma cameras here, as well as some other info
- What about the image quality after post processing?
- What about Sigma SLR's build quality?
- Is it easy to use?
- Is it durable?
Thanks a lot!
What I like about SD-14 :
- Sigma have killer telephoto lens! (200-500 f/2.8)
What I don't care about SD-14 :
- 14 Megapixels! mean longer write time and need bigger CF when shooting RAW
- LCD screen only have 150K pixels (Why Sigma WHY??? No need to tout FOVEON if you cannot preview your fine details on that LCD IMO)
- Flashes have silly names
- Only two of their lenses have OS (optical stabilization)
Experience w/ SD10
Can't comment directly about the upgraded SD14, but have used the SD10 for nearly 2 yrs - w/ pleasant results. More features than easily imaginable. We like the boxier - ie, conventional 35mm - body style too; aesthetically and physically in the hand. Write times to CF can be slow, especially in low/night light situations. And the SD10 would not accept anything above 2gig on the storage device - rendering the 4gig microdrive we purchased while awaiting delivery of the camera a waste of $$, not to mention a huge frustration and a scramble for extra 1gig CF cards before leaving the country. It's claimed there is a workaround but haven't tried it yet.
The 80-400mm OS lens is astounding, especially at the eBay price we paid. Captured remarkable pix of rare Costa Rica jabaru storks in-flight.
Love my SD-10
I have had my SD-10 sense fall 2005. It has been as good as my film SLR and more. The only thing that bothers me with the SD14 is if the sensor is the same size as the SD10 and there are 30% more pixels...what happens in low light conditions. My SD10 does OK normally, but needs a lot of light and a strong flash.
Do not cheap-out on the CF cards. Make sure to buy 80x or faster. I only use Lexar 'Wa' cards because they allow the camera to talk to the card faster by 15-25%. I'm sure there are others just as fast, but Lexar has always done me right on the warranty when one has failed.
I have just purchased a new 135-400mm lens to add to the collection. Go here to see my most recent batch of picts for some samples. http://gallery.photographybymyron.com
Try www.sigmauserforum.com. There you find many Sd14 users. The more the better for you to get a not too biased view only from 1 or 2 opinions.
My own opinion: Buy it. It is really cheap now and an excellent camera. But it is NOT a P&S. You have to think when using it. Forget Jpeg. Shoot only in RAW. Postprocessing is important. Use SPP for best results.
I just bought a new SD14 body for $315 (Cameta). Others have done even better on price, but I did not want to wait any longer. Secret is to use Live.com cashback. I went ahead at 10% off. Others are waiting for the (rarer) times when it goes up to 14% or more off.
On the camera itself:
I am VERY well pleased. Build quality is great. Of course by now the cameras all are shipping with the latest 1.08 firmware. Early on there were problems. That was then. This is now.
I can only repeat what so many others have written about this camera body itself. There is good and bad, and it is all so well documented here on the net. But when you can get this for $315, plus another fifteen bucks for shipping, and no sales tax unless you live in NY . . . well . . . it seemed to me like a no-brainer and I bought the darn thing straightaway.
Now some people are raising the impending Sigma SD-15 as a reason to demur. I disagree because I never could afford circa $1500 for the newer body. The fifteen will use the same sensor. And they are not even expected out until summer.
I don't know how much longer Cameta's supply of SD-14s will last. I checked and they are selling very briskly, and that's just the eBay sales [you have to use eBay and pay via PayPal to obtain the Live.com cashback that saved me thirty-five bucks]. But $315 is a decent price for ANY DSLR, not to mention one with a Foveon sensor. I'm guessing even Bayer (RGBG) sensor DSLR owners are buying these at this price, just to experience Foveon.
The SA mount is rather a bear, and the better Sigma lenses cost a lot more than an SD-14 body. I am using a Tamron lens for now, with two adapters:
PK to M42 . . . and
M42 to Tamron Adaptall
The PK adapter will fit into the SD-14's SA mount if you are VERY careful. And they are more readily obtainable than the SA adapters.
But for individuals already having a large stable of non-Sigma glass, changing out the SA mount on the SD-14 has been undertaken by some. I don't know where that leaves the automatic lens adjustment features. I suspect many lenses are reduced to manual operation. The SD-14 is such a basic camera, though, it's not a big deal. Point and shoot the SD-14 is not, at least certainly not without a right and proper lens.
Thank you very much for writing that.
Originally Posted by fast1
I don't have a lot of money to put into photographic equipment. And I have wanted a DSLR for many years. I tried to compensate for lack of funds by doing as much research as I could, in order to find the best VALUE I could. It came down to the SD-14 body at $315 vs. the Samsung DIGIMAXGX1L DSLR camera at $238. The Samsung, which is a Pentax clone, includes a lens of course. They are most often OOS at that price, but not always:
Anyway, I did have the (albeit manual) Tamron lens on hand. The Sigma SD-14 body just seemed to be the best value as between the two.
Canon, Nikon, Sony DSLR camera bodies, even older ones, tend to be very feature rich compared with the Sigma SD-14. But they are all Bayer. The best among them has trouble, in certain settings, taking photographs as striking as those obtainable with an SD-14 using Foveon.
I will not be using my SD-14 for sports photography, I can tell you that!
For anyone with a technical background having even passing interest in the SD-14, I commend this article to your attention:
The article was written by a guy knowledgeable about Bayer interpolation algorithms. It pretty much illuminates key differences between Bayer and Foveon, and it explains the "Bayer blur" present with all RGBG cameras, including the very best and most expensive.
Even after reading that article a few times and looking at the striking photo of Jake, I still would not have bought an SD-14 body at the earlier prices of $500 and up. But for $315!! Come on, how much time does it take to make that decision!
Last edited by Tim Wilson; 04-16-2009 at 06:23 AM.