Pros The SD14 is a one-of-a-kind, specialized photography tool.
Cons The SD14 is not for beginners, or (apparently) unskilled reviewers
Summary This entire review is 100%, dead wrong. Instead of picking it apart, one nonsensical statement at a time, here's a prime example from the review:
"Most shooting-related settings that aren't in the four-way menu are accessed by repeatedly pressing the Func button. That means that if you want to activate the extended ISO range so you can shoot at ISO 1,600, you have to press the Func button seven times, remembering to hold it down the seventh time, and then turn the selector dial that surrounds the shutter button to change the setting"
Uh, no, you do NOT have to "press the Function button seven times." The 1600 ISO setting isn't even controlled by the function button! It's controlled by the Menu button. One click to the Menu, where the ISO is displayed. Click for 200, again for 400, again for 800 and again for 1600. Is that so difficult? No "pressing and remembering to hold it down", no "turning the selector dial".
If this reviewer doesn't even know which button is which, how is he going to know how to operate, or even describe, a camera DESIGNED to shoot RAW files? The ability to shoot JPG is an add-on. Shovelware. I don't know even one Sigma user who shoots in JPG.
Cripes, at least find someone who understands digital photography and can read a manual before tossing out junk reviews like this one.
So, why did I give it a rating of 10? Because no other digital camera, at any price, can match the image quality produced
by the Sigma/Foveon. And I've tried them all.
Finally, for what it's worth, the author of this rant has been shooting professionally for 37 years. I'm just tired of reading half-baked reviews of good cameras by bad reviewers.
Pros Exceptional per-pixel sharpness, better saturated colors-very film like-, High Dynamic Range, ISO from 100-400
Cons Camera features outside the IQ are below average, ISO 800 and 1,600 aren't good
Summary The CMOS Foveon X3 it's a far superior technology, it beats easily any other CMOS/CCD sensor out there, even when it's output image is just 2640 x 1760 is far more sharper than what you'll find in a regular 5 MP camera, it can easily match 10 MP DSLR, even 12, and could possible compete with a 14 MP, this is because the per pixel sharpness is outstanding every pixel retain a high amount of detail.
100% crop from the DP1 (which shares the same sensor):
Same shot with Canon XSi with kit lens (12 MP):
Those shot are from the center of the image at the sweet spot of the lenses (f/8 and ISO 100)
Did you just see? It clearly has a detail far bigger per-pixel, now let's see the SD14 interpolated resolution output at 13.9 MP (trough Sigma bundled software):
Now go on ahead and compare them again, quite surprising, isn't it?
It's amazing how a "famous" place like CNET has reviews from certain kind of products that are so pitiful and full of ignorance.
Please, if you're going to make reviews like this one (and like the A200 review (and thanks god I didn't read any other), you better stop with them or find someone that makes relevant tests like the IQ, instead of measuring the start-up time...
I mean, come on, A CAMERA REVIEW WITHOUT A DAMN SAMPLE IMAGE, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
It's so sad that Sigma is such a small company, if it had Sony/Canon/Nikon resources we may be already seeing 8-12 MP Foveon sensors, if even 5 MP sensor can fight head to head with a 12 MP normal CMOS, how a X3 10 MP would look like!Updated
Here are all three images shown side by side for a clear view of the amazing detail Foveon X3 can deliver:
Pros A faithful reproduction of the eye... better?
Cons dust on sensor!!!!!!!!!!!! omg brand new --- tech support! tech support!
Summary I could not believe how quickly my new SD14 arrived! Ordered Monday from Amityville New York (Cameta Cameras) $959 w/18/50mm lens, Shipped Tuesday and arrived same day about 4:30PM here in Canada on an island off the west coast... wow!
It took me till today to get comfortable with it, as I have been using normal digital cameras so long, I forgot a lot about how Single Lens Reflex cameras work, like, duh, you have to look through a view finder to frame a shot and pick F stops and lighting and depth of field --- it is really a wonderful challenge to have such control back in my picture taking.
It is every bit as amazing as I thought it would be from all my research, very crisp and 'true' colours with incredible RAW software options to refine to perfection the exposure and detail.
One of the problems I see with the current digital camera megapixel race is that they are all shooting for image size over substance, just because an image has lots of pixel resolution does not mean the pixels are necessarily any good or even needed (but if you must have them there is a super hi-res jpg mode that shoots a huge pretty nice jpg 4608 X 3062)
One of the amazing things about the images this camera takes is that when you look at the image at 100% it does not look fuzzy except where you want soft focus depth of field and then it is soooo nice and pillowy soft, off-setting the clarity of what you are focused on so sharply, almost 3D.
After a many thousands of photos with the excellent Canon G Series, I am thrilled to know that I can capture even closer to what my eye actually sees and am pleased with my early results. So it is not so much a point and shoot camera but it is incredible for studied shots and artwork as you will see from some examples I took of paintings.... wow!
Anyway I have posted full-sized images with no compression so you can see them as close to the original shots as is possible in a jpg format. It will take a while for all of them to load, so be patient, for those curious about this camera I think it will be worth it worth it.
As far as this CNET review goes... it is like well as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder... along with everything else... hmmmm?
"FOVEON IS AWESOME"on by 7four7
Pros The best digital images ever.
Cons No Instant review, No LCD Viewing option.
Summary The accuracy and clarity of a foveon image will blow you out of the water. My father purchase a SD10 (usb 1.1 bad bad)for Christmas last year. We started to compare images of the same subjects and could not believe the difference. We were at it for hours. The capabilities are amazing and accurate to the Nth degree. I would even go as far to say that a foveon image is equal to or better than film. They are that impressive. Take look at their web site for samples and you will see. I am glad to see that Sigma is sticking with the Foveon technology. If you want to get rid of the grainy images of your regular digital don't even give it a second thought. The Sigma Foveon cameras will take care of you. I am saving my allowance for the next SD or a SD 14 to go with my Epson Stylus Pro 3800. Yeah!
Pros This camera is mainly for pros or advanced photographers who have actually studied photography. If you can pick up a manual (nothing automatic) film camera with no exposure meter and get a decent shot from a roll of film, then you're good to go!
Cons If you've never read about sunny 11's or had a glance at the instruction leaflet a pack of film, or if you're scared or "not mechanical" or "not technical", "just creative" around cameras, then stay away from cameras like this.
Summary Again the reviewer focuses on the marketing of equipment as a consumer item. This is a specialized camera for a very few people, much like a race car is only for a few drivers. Anyone, reviewer included, who just expects to climb into one and expect to win a race, well, they can expect what they want to. Sigma and Foveon are not for everybody. But for the people who are specialists, and who are looking for an instrument, however slow and blunt, to be able to deliver the goods, this instrument delivers, end of story.
Now it's up to you to figure out which kind of user you are. Nobody ever sold anyone a Leica M saying it's a point and shoot camera for anybody with the money to buy pro quality photos. 'Cos pro quality shots are taken by the pros, not the cameras, as many manufacturers (and, sadly, reviewers) would have you believe.