Compared to...

Studio scene comparison

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Crops magnified 200%.

Sigma SD10 vs. Canon EOS 10D

On this and the next two pages you will find three comparisons between the Sigma SD10 and Canon EOS 10D. We chose the EOS 10D as the 'current best' six megapixel digital SLR (with a traditional Bayer pattern sensor). Because of the large difference in output image size between the two cameras and the way they capture data we are providing these different comparison sets:

  • Sigma SD10 vs. Canon EOS 10D - native output sizes
  • Sigma SD10 vs. Canon EOS 10D (2286 x 1512) - downsampled EOS 10D image
  • Sigma SD10 (3072 x 2048) vs. Canon EOS 10D - upsampled SD10 image

Native output sizes

Camera settings:

  • Sigma SD10: Sigma 50 mm F2.8, Aperture Priority, ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine,
    Manual WB, Default Photo Pro 2.0 settings
  • Canon EOS 10D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority, ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine,
    Manual WB, Default Parameters
Sigma SD10 (2268 x 1512) Canon EOS 10D (3072 x 2048)
ISO 100, 1 sec, F10 ISO 100, 1 sec, F10
2,427 KB JPEG 2,138 KB JPEG

What's clear to see from these comparisons is that the X3 sensor technology achieves amazing levels of detail and resolution pixel per pixel compared to the six megapixel sensor of the EOS 10D. Indeed it's fair to say that the EOS 10D doesn't truly exhibit any more visible detail than the SD10 (just a larger image, which we'll examine more on the next pages). Tone and color wise I preferred the EOS 10D's output, although it's worth remembering that the EOS 10D's internal processing systems have tweaked the tone, color and sharpness of the image, the SD10 image is 'Default'. We managed to produce a much better SD10 image with some subtle parameter changes in Photo Pro 2.0 (see below).

Producing a better image

As most SD9 (and SD10) owners will know the beauty of the camera system is the combination of capturing RAW and the excellent Photo Pro software which allows you to get the most from your images. Obviously many other digital SLR's also have RAW output but few have RAW conversion software as good as Photo Pro supplied with the camera (indeed in my opinion only Phase One's Capture One gets close to Photo Pro for speed and flexibility). It's realtively easy to work through a batch of images subtly tweaking each one to deliver the best possible image. For comparison purposes we did not tweak the Photo Pro settings of the image above however we have provided our 'optimized' version of that image by using the following Photo Pro 2.0 settings:

  • Exposure +0.2
  • Shadow -0.9
  • Saturation +0.2
  • Sharpness +0.5

It's worth downloading and comparing this optimized image (which took literally a few seconds to tweak) and comparing it to the default output: