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AP test of the Sigma SD14

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by huwevans, May 5, 2007.

  1. aquatarkus

    aquatarkus Member

    would beinterested to know what the fault was that you found tha made Sigma add another firmware update so quickly.

    Also interested in your comment about " fundamentally intended to shoot raw files, PLEASE don't tell me that the whole review was based on jpeg output are the images in the review raws or jpegs.
  2. DSG

    DSG New Member

    So what your saying is you gave it a bad review entirely on the results of the SD14's jpeg performance?
    As a long time Sigma SD10 user I only work in RAW and ever since the first SD14 jpeg samples came out it was pretty obvious that it could'nt do jpegs for toffee...So like any Foveon X3 sensor based DSLR, RAW is the ONLY mode to use if you want the best results.
    Oh and as for your comments on the Sigma lens that you used...I never use Sigma lenses on my SD10 as they are too expensive for my budget, most are too slow and many simply cant match the quality of my non-Sigma lenses.
    If you had tested the SD14 with a Carl Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Planar T*, one of the lenses I use on my SD10, then perhaps you would have got far better results...
  3. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    If you read the review you'll see that that's not the case.
  4. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Details are in the review - page 23, inset box, bottom right.
  5. PhilBT

    PhilBT New Member

    " As a long time Sigma SD10 user I only work in RAW and ever since the first SD14 jpeg samples came out it was pretty obvious that it could'nt do jpegs for toffee "

    Personally, I find that a pretty damning statement on an £1100 camera. I would expect a more versatile tool at this price capable of producing jpegs as well as RAW.

    The SD14 does produce some wonderful images, but at the moment I could not depend on the camera to always produce the results.

    In my mind if you have an SD10 it doesn't justify the upgrade yet...(maybe if it dropped to 400-600 pounds...but then what would that mean for pricing of the DP1!!) I think Sigma have been let down at the testing stage. Their testers appear to have missed so many problems with this camera. Sigma should review their evaluation processes, and probably who they use to test their cameras prior to launch . These problems SHOULD have been picked up long ago, along with the flash and the adobe colourspace issues.

    I've seen on several forums users of the SD14 who have pointed out these issues are mocked by others for their inability to use the camera, or that they don't know what they're talking about...all I can finish with is..this is an £1100 camera that appears to be still in its beta testing phase and was released far too soon.
  6. Angela_Nicholson

    Angela_Nicholson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for filling in for me Huw. The test images were a mixture of raw and JPEG, but predominantly raw. I think Sigma added the JPEG format mode because it is expected of a modern DSLR, but the amount of colour adjustement etc that is required with these files means you may as well shoot raw images and have the benefit of data rich files for adjustment.

    I found that with V 1.01 of the firmware, if you turned the SD14 off and on again it reset itself to sRGB even though the menu said it was on Adobe RGB. As Huw says, it's all in the test!

  7. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I didn't know that the Sigma DSLRs could use any other mount than their own - do you use an adapter, and what does this do to focal length?
  8. aquatarkus

    aquatarkus Member

    That bug had been talked about by a few people on the Sigma Forum on DPreview one person who was really annoyed about it was Mike Chaney (the owner/writer of the Qimage printing program). There have now been 3 other reviews of the SD14 by respected UK magazines all coming to similar conclusions that the SD14 is great at anything under ISO 400 but just to expensive for what it offers, have to say that some of the images produced by long time Sigma users bare no resemblence to the findings of these reviews but then they are experienced in the use of Sigma Photo Pro software and how to get the best from the SD line of cameras.
    Did you process the images in SPP or did you use Adobe CS2 / 3 camera raw as this will again make a big difference to the final output as only SPP V3 (as supplied with the SD14) can correctly process SD14 raw files, Adobe are supposed to be working on an update to ACR to allow Sigma SD14 files to be processed correctly. The reason i say this is that ACR uses the decoding software for the Sigma SD9 and 10 cameras and does not correctly process SD14 files yet, thats why Sigma users on DRpreview only use SPP V3 to process the SD14 raw files.
    Your review along with the others has really caused a hornets nest on the Sigma forum on DPreview.
  9. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member

    Things are getting worse:

    Angela says image quality not better than an 8MP DSLR, but for the samples on the article, I'd say she is overrating the camera and that my 20D definitely produces much better results. :(

    BJP seems to think that the Image quality is not bad.

    Last, Practical Photography says in their review about the image quality of the SD14 (direct quote from the magazine) "The simple answer was excellent, you'll be plesently surprised when you first open up the images on screen and even more surprising is when you open an identical shot from a Nikon D200, the Sigma virtually blows it out of the water with the level of clariy and highlight and shadow detail and of course punchy colours. At low ISO settings the image quality is superb - great colours and a minimum of noise." :)
    They did not like the noise at ISO 800+ but this is a well known limitation of the foveon technology.

    Such different results from three quite reputable magazines.

    Definitely I am terribly confused now, I am not, nor I plan to become a Sigma DSLR user, but I am keeping an eye on the DP1 as a digital replacement fro my Minolta TC-1, if the image quality can get close to scanned Kodachrome 200 I'd get une straight away, but at this point the quality from that camera could be anywhere between a cheap digital P&S and a high end DSLR. :D
  10. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Ian, simple question - which mag is right more often than the others? (Clue: this is its website.... :D)
  11. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member

    While I am a subscriber to AP, and not to the other two, they are both quite reputable publications, so I wouldn't discard their findings only because AP differs, expecially since the old SD9 did give 6MP DSLRs a good run for their money, I find difficult to accept that SIGMA actually went backwards with the SD14.

    Also considering that samples taken by members of the SIGMA forum with the SD14 show an image quality definitely superior to the one I can achieve with my 20D, while the samples shown in AP review are not just bad, they are worse than what a digital compact like my Panny LX1 can do, and that from an APS sized sensor.

    At this stage I am more inclined to blame SIGMA quality control.
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    All I would say is I know which reviewers I trust, and which I don't, and I don't really trust any of the user forums I've ever been to. Still, entirely up to you who you choose to believe.
  13. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath

    Magazines are only `right` if you get the same opinion as the reviewer in the magazine, as the review in the magazine is the opinion of ONLY one person
  14. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member

    It is not a matter of believing, more of seeing, unless you think that the images taken by the SIGMS user were actually taken with much high quality cameras, and then faked to appear as bein made by an SD14, the quality is there to be seen, you don't need to believe anything.
  15. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member

    Exactly, that's why I prefer not to believe, but rather to see with my own eyes and form an opinion myself, the problem however is that in the case of the SD14 samples taken by different people differ so much in quality that I find the whole thing extremely puzzling.
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    No, Gordon true with some of 'em, but some are objective.
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    So - comes down to if you trust 'em or not. On just about any online resource, I don't.
  18. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member

    Well I guess we differ on this one, considering the amount of work required to take a picture with one camera, and then convert it in a proprietary (and unusual given the technology) raw format like the one from the SD14, the idea that people are doing it just to make their cameras look better sounds as improbable as a flying donkey to me.

    But of course everyone is free to believe in whatever he wants. ;)
  19. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It's as much testing methods as anything I simply don't trust with online resources - it's exceptionally rare you find one that isn't fundamentally flawed.
  20. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member

    It is indeed true that most of the reviews on online resources are flawed, but here we have two reputable british photography magazines as well, and while I have a very high opinion of AP (I wouldn't be a subscriber otherwise) I can't help thinking that something beyond the control of Angela somehow affected the results.

    It is not a matter of trusting one reviewer or another, the only thing I have doubts about at the moment is SIGMA/Foveon quality control.

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