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AP test of the Sigma SD14

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

  1. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I would like to refer you all to www.dpreview.com for USERS opinions of this camera. Although there are only about 6 reviews at present, the average Image Quality score is 4.93 out of 5.00. Dpreview are a "trusted" web resource, and one to which I and many of my associates constantly refer.

    I tend to think that maybe AP had a couple of duff cameras, otherwise how could their review be so much different from all the others?
  2. Angela_Nicholson

    Angela_Nicholson Well-Known Member

    I agree that the SD14 is capable of producing some very nice images, but it doesn't appear to do it as consistently as I would hope. I took a lot of shots with the SD14 in a wide range of conditions – ‘real World’, as well as in more controlled circumstances to test specific aspects.

    When I called Sigma about the ColourSpace issue I was told that it had not been identified by anyone else who had received a test sample and it must be a fault with the camera, so another was sent. However, the information was relayed to Japan and the problem was found to be the result of a glitch in the firmware.

    As I said in the test, I enjoyed using the SD14, however you have to be happy to spend time processing images. Most serious enthusiasts will expect to spend time working on raw files to get things just right. However, there are many who like the convenience of the JPEG format and unfortunately these files require more work than most to make them acceptable. Noise is an issue over ISO 400, but I could also see it raw files taken at lower sensitivity settings.

    Remember, as well as looking at images at ‘print size’ we look at images at much lower resolution (ie 100% on screen) to find differences between cameras and identify potential issues. While some images look acceptable at print size, the resolution images shown in the magazine are at around 72ppi to reveal the differences between the cameras.

    I primarily used SPP3 to process the raw images, but also ran a few through CameraRaw too.

  3. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member


    Thank you for your prompt reply, please be assured that I never doubted the professionality of your review.
    For what I have seen it looks that the camera is not a good general purpose DSLR, and probably the average amateur would be much better off looking elsewhere.

    What still confuses me, about the image quality shooting RAW, are the different reports that vary from barely average to stellar.
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    That is without a shadow of a doubt the funniest thing I've read this year! :D

    Seriously, these are precisely the sort of "reviews" that need to be taken with a humongous pinch of salt.
  5. giacomelli

    giacomelli Active Member

    LOL :D

    thank you
  6. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer


    Oh that's brilliant.

    The reviews done by DPR themselves are good, but whatever you do DON'T read the forums expecting a sensible comment about gear.

    There are so many people there with their heads up their own ar$es. I've even read comments from people saying how bad a piece of equipment is when they've never owned or used that piece of equipment.
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    To be absolutely clear, I agree that Phil Askey is one of the better web reviewers - but the users over there are unbelievable in every sense of the word, IMHO.
  8. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    WhooHoo! Sigma fanboys in da house!! :cool:
  9. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected!

    I think I will go back to being a cynic!
  10. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Safest thing to be! :D
  11. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    Funny that Angela mentioned SPP3, as I was just now thinking about that and came across the post, I just recently bought a second hand Sigma SD10 and I have downloaded SPP3 as they say if you rerun your images through, you get better results. Well, I found that I get a glitch more often than not, with the reds and sometimes with WB too. The reds get this neon kind of pink look a lot of the times and WB changes makes some pictures look like cross-process. Running the very same images in SPP2.1 they look just fine. In fact, I have a whole new section in my photography blog dedicated to all things Foveon, there are some ISO 800 low light samples there which I was very pleased with (they didn't take any noise correction at all apart from not being heavy handed on the X3 fill feature), and I am much happier using v2.1 .

    Having re-read Angela's test and her post here kinda made me fell that the best choice of the Sigmas in what concerns image quality consistency, remains the SD10...and I'm glad I have waited 4 years to buy one :D .

    I am very much enjoying the SD10, when I am out with it, I seem to bring back more than with my other cameras (or I tend to press the shutter more often). My only regret was not saving for EX lenses. EX lenses on this camera really make the Foveon sensor shine.
  12. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath

  13. Angela_Nicholson

    Angela_Nicholson Well-Known Member

    No offence taken Journeyman. It’s true not all tests are equal, but some are more equal than others!

    I think the variation comes down to the inconsistency of the camera’s performance. If you don’t take many shots you could think it was brilliant. If you take a lot and in a variety of conditions (as I did), the problems are revealed. The lack of consistency is itself a significant issue.

  14. Nod

    Nod Well-Known Member

    Hi, Angela, I have a question about how the cameras for review are sourced...

    Do you get them direct from the press offices of the manufacturers or are they sourced from friendly retailers who let you borrow a display model for a few days?

    If it's the former, we can expect that they checked the cameras fairly well before letting them out to be reviewed by a top photography magazine, so any faults YOU found with them could well be worse in samples as sold to the general public.
  15. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    Sigma Photo Pro 3, the new version that came with the SD14.
  16. Angela_Nicholson

    Angela_Nicholson Well-Known Member

    It tends to be a mixture, we get some cameras from the PR representatives and some direct from the manufacturer. Very occasionally, for a variety of reasons, we get cameras from dealers.

    As AP is usually the first to get a new camera model these generally, but not always, come direct from the manufacturer….as was the case with the SD14.
  17. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member

    Very good point Angela, do you mind me asking if during your test, you have you found any conditions under which the camera performed consistently bad or good?

    I am asking this because all the pictures I have seen where the camera seems to outperform equivalent bayer based cameras seem to have been taken under carefully checked lighting conditions, if this is true then the camera could be an excellent studio shooter, but a bad walk around camera.

    Should this be the case then the DP1 (which until recently I was planning to get as a replacement for my Minolta TC-1) is probably going to be a huge disappointment since no one is going to buy it as a studio camera!

  18. Angela_Nicholson

    Angela_Nicholson Well-Known Member

    It was both in the studio and outside I'm afraid.

  19. Ian_Gianni

    Ian_Gianni Well-Known Member


    I saw your posts on the Sigma DPReview forum, well done for standing up to your test in the lion's den (some of the SIGMA fans there can be quite "irritating" at times).

    Also please discuss with the rest of the staff at AP the possibolity of making AP test methodology public, unfortunately the days when people believed a source just for their reputation are gone, nowadays if you publish a result, you'd better publish all the details on how you got it to avoid drawing criticism.
  20. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Not a regular reader, then, Ian?

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