Sigma SD14: It’s out in the wild!

Here it comes! Sigma finally made its new camera public. The SD14 is the serious successor of the SD10 digital SLR camera. The Sigma web site tells us much more than the teaser it was presenting in the recent weeks.

Sigma SD14 SLR cameraAs could be expected, the center spot of the show is the Foveon X3 sensor bringing 2652 x 1769 pixels of 3 colours (where the competiton is taking only 1 colour per pixel and has to interpolate missing data, Sigma Foveon literally piles up 3 pixels of different colours in a single pixel), leading to a total of 14 million pixels. This is not only more than the current competiton (Rather in the 10 M-pixel ballpark), but it makes without additional calculations and interpolations that always produce some little more or less visible coloured effects. Hurrah for fine colours!

Moreover, the SD14 – at long last – brings JPEG format images to ease life of most amateur photographers. In this context, Sigma is specially proud of its new supporting software Photo Pro 3.0.

Another feature where Sigma heard the same call than its competition: Dust management. This time, there is no cleaning of the sensor but a protection located far enough from the sensor to avoid any dust left to be visible.

But the two big advantages – to my eyes – come from the shutter and the viewfinder. The first is protecting well the sensor and bring a very long life time of 100,000 exposures (let’s not forget that today’s digital photographers are shooting infintely more than their analog predecessors). The viewfinder is served by a superb pentaprism (certainly bringing a very clear view), with 0.9x magnification, an 18mm eye point and –3 to +1.5 dpt dioptric adjustment for those of us with less than perfect eye-sight.

What is left for scrutiny in the upcoming test models: The autofocus with only 5 measuring zones may prove limited compared to richer offerings from Canon or Nikon; 3 image/second continuous shooting is only capable of 6 images at the highest quality.

All in all, Sigma is certainly participating in the race for the best digital single lens reflex camera of Year 2007.