Runcible Blog

Sigma SD14

I just got a Sigma SD14 because I've been looking for a different kind of image quality, and Sigma, with their unique Foveon sensor delivers the goods.

For reasons I can't quite pin down, the output from my 40D sometimes disappoints me. I think part of the reason is that the camera companies are cramming too many pixels onto such a small chip — when I zoom in, it's a mush of speckled noise and blurry details, even when using raw. Another annoyance is the plasticky look of people. It's as if the images from that camera are too perfect; too clean. Sometimes I think I prefer the images from the 20D. Even if that's just my imagination, the 40D still isn't a huge leap from the 20D.

The SD14, however, plays in another ballpark. It's a weird camera that usually feels intuitive to use but has some major flaws (like an almost totally useless LCD screen, and glacial speed when writing raw files). Where it seems to shine is in color detail and dynamic range. It captures color carefully, and at low ISOs, the images are razor sharp. Image noise isn't too bad, and when it does show up, it's smooth and grain-like instead of blotchy and inconsistent.

Tonight I wandered around MIT, getting lost in the infinite corridor looking for nice colors. I'll have some more photos up soon, including some in daylight, where the Sigma should really shine.

This odd little bugger might just help me renew some photographic motivation.


click images to enlarge with fancy lightbox effect