It´s in my hands again…….

Started Nov 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
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yvind Strm Veteran Member • Posts: 4,130
It´s in my hands again…….

Ok, we need some activity here. The DF has caused 120 threads with over 3500 posts over at the Nikon FX forum.

Today I found my SD14 on the shelf. I thought: if the DF is retro, what about the SD14?

I took it in my hands again.

About a month since last time, where I thought it could save me on a problematic job where I did get moire with my D800E. Some tiny engravements on some jewelry. Turned out it didn´t really helped, so I solved it with my D800E.

But today, I took it in my hands again and thought: "What does it take for me to go back to Sigma? What camera do they have to "give" me, to give me a feeling that I can take any assignment, and trust the camera to not fail, and not disturb me when I photograph? Not to have to apply workarounds?

I took it in my hands again, and thought about what was good about the SD14.

  • IQ was good.
  • Quite silent shutter

I took it in my hands again, and thought about what was bad with the SD14.

  • After 6 seconds of non-activity, the camera shuts down metering, and you need to half press to wake it. Not possible to change. Terrible.
  • The "blinkey" error. When shooting before buffer had cleared, risks where high that the camera would go into a forever processing/writing loop, causing lost images. It effectively reduced fps to 1 shot every 6th second, so buffer was cleared. Annoyance in landscapes and product shots, impossible to use for people shots. (Fixed with the SD15)
  • The rear LCD. Tiny, low res, color cast and close to useless.
  • The color inconsistency between units. (Better with SD15?)
  • Green/magenta blotches in dark areas - never really black black.
  • No WB adjustment apart from presets and one CWB position.
  • The way WB/ISO was adjusted, with the 4-way wheel (one directional adjustment)
  • The function key.
  • Mirror up and timer on same wheel.
  • The small viewfinder.
  • No viewfinder/diopter block (other than a included piece of plastic)
  • Slow playback
  • When changing PASM, remembering last exposure for that mode, instead of continuing with current values from other mode. (preference)
  • Only 96% viewfinder coverage.
  • No live view
  • No tethering
  • Lots of dust/debris build up over time. (I know Laurence claims the shutter is an anti debris innovation, but my unit had lots over debris)
  • Sensor misalignment. (Probably unit dependent. I had to slightly tilt it to get a straight horizon.
  • No AF microadjustment.

More and more Bayer cameras are made with weaker - or without - AA filter. This will reduce Foveon advantage.

So, what does Sigma have to give me? As I have a D800E, it has to be better. And I can tell you, that is a capable camera.

  • Above all, Full Frame. Not only because of the resolution, but mainly because of the larger viewfinder image.
  • Deeper buffer. Either processing speed/writing time needs to be drastically reduced, or buffer must be much deeper. (On the D800E, with much larger files, process/write takes about a second. (SD1M is what - 15 secs?)
  • Current fps is fine for me.
  • Camera must not shut down after 6 seconds if I choose otherwise.
  • Black black on ISOs below 1600. No green/magenta blotches
  • Live view
  • Tethering (SD1M has)
  • Large hi-rez LCD
  • Customizable WB. K and preset adjust. More than one CWB. (SD1M only has presets and one CWB)
  • 100% viewfinder coverage. (SD1M is 96%)
  • Want to see both ISO and WB in the viewfinder (configurable if I want to see them or not)
  • Support for non-Sigma lenses (SD1M gives color cast)
  • Video. (SD1M has none)
  • User interchangeable viewfinder and focusing screens. Split screen delivered from Sigma. (Canon has this)
  • CF or preferable Dual CF. No SD card.
  • Built in, or support for WiFi
  • Good quality control, including better beta testing
  • No new pricing disaster
  • And soon

If so, Sigma will be in my hands again. Then I will sell my D800E.

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Kind regards

Nikon D800E Sigma SD1 Merrill Sigma SD14 Sigma SD15
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