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Why I use a Sigma SD14



A little background...I began serious shooting with a Minolta SRT-101 (1969) and have used many different 35mm and medium format cameras over the years (mostly portraits, model portfolios, and photo journalism for a California photography magazine). I started shooting with digital for product photography and when the first affordable DSLR came out, I bought the Canon Digital Rebel (which my son has now). For awhile, I was the General Manager of a local camera store chain, so I got to try most DSLR's and decided that no single camera does it all. As time progressed, I ended up with a Canon 5D and Olympus E3. The Canon 5D is full frame and is my low light/high ISO camera. The Olympus E3 is my birds in flight camera. For landscapes and city shoots, the 5D is my first choice. Recently, I needed a camera that was light and small, so I priced some potential single lens solutions - all were too expensive. I came across a new Sigma SD14 for under $600USD with the 18-200 OS lens, and decided that getting a camera and lens for the same price as a single 28-300mm lens was a better deal.

Now, after shooting with the SD14, I find it is a great landscape camera and has excellent color for outdoor subjects. With a very limited lens selection (a used 28-70 f/2.8 and a 300 f/4), I cover most of my outdoor shooting needs with the exception of adverse weather (the E3 does that), fast subjects (birds in flight) - again, the E3 does that and my night shots (city at night usually at ISO 800 or higher), which the 5D does well.

So, for my general day to day shooting in daylight, I grab the smaller and lighter SD14 kit, and have even shot birds using the 300mm (not easy). Within the limitations (keep ISO under 400, expose about 1/3 stop over to reduce noise - mine exposes 1/3 over anyway, and use a tripod - only my 18-200 is stabilized) the SD14 is what I grab.

One big plus - the simplistic controls make it easy to instantly check the settings - much like the old Minolta 7D, which is a big plus for those of us with 'older' eyes. The downsides are slow AF speed, low resolution LCD, and a very small top LCD.

For someone looking for a good outdoor camera (or controlled lighting portrait camera), I recommend the SD14. For someone coming from a manual 35mm SLR or rangefinder, they too will feel at home with the SD14. For those who are used to a Canon or Nikon, it will be hard to adjust to the SD14.

Although the 5D has better resolution and holds details better at all ISO settings, the SD14 images have a unique, smooth look to them. It will take time to get used to the camera and optimize the exposures, but it is worth the effort.

Hi Wayne,

welcome to the forum. ;)

Be assured, SIGMA is the right choice for those who like its unique colours, its icredible resolution, pixel sharpness and its three dimensional look. We call it the SIGMA LOOK!:D
Those who want an easy cam, should go for the other stuff. Those who want to make it, should have their SIGMAs. ;)

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I did a lot on SIGMA-HIGH ISO performance ... it works! Just have a look through the forum! :)

See you with nice pictures


P.S. "A man must do what a man must do" .......... John Wayne :D:D


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@ all: hello :z04_photos:

I just switched from digital Nikon to Sigma SD14, because I really love this Foveon-colors - look is like my former experiences with Kodachrome!

Hi, Wayne!

You're a man after my own heart! I started with an SRT-101 too and soon added an SRT-303b. Just like you, I feel quite at home with my SD10 & SD14 cameras these days.

BTW, did you know that most high ISO noise from the SD cameras is a thing of the past with Klaus's workflow?

Sincere regards, Jim Roelofs

Everyone's welcome to visit my humble gallery @ www.pbase.com/jrdigitalart
Klaus's workflow?

Hi Wayne

I'm the newbie here. Can you explain "Klaus's workflow" to me please? Or post a link.

Having shot a running race in poor light the day I got my SD14, and before I'd begun to learn the thing [I read the manual if intuition fails me], I got a lot of green speckles all over some shots, as well as other issues.

If anyone has solutions for these situations, I'm Grasshopper - before Bill and the wardrobe of course!


Hi Graham,

Well, I do not use a single overall workflow. It simply depends on what is to be done. :)

Just have a look through the forum! If there are questions, the whole community will help you getting along. :rolleyes:

See you with nice pictures

@ all: hello :z04_photos:

I just switched from digital Nikon to Sigma SD14, because I really love this Foveon-colors - look is like my former experiences with Kodachrome!


Hi Robert,

although we have known for a very long time at C-Info .. :z04_photos: ... welcome here to our SIGMA-community!

See you with nice SIGMA pictures