Sigma SD14

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The Sigma SD14 Digital SLR

Wow, I really like this camera. For some reason, last year you could find these in Amazon.com for just a little over $300 for the body.
That was a big surprise since the retail price at the time for the body only was $1400.
So I took a chance a purchased a package consisting of a Sigma SD14 and a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM lens for only $698.00

This is a guide, not a review, so I will not go into the pros and cons of the SD14 here, but I will post a review soon.

Powered by the 14 Megapixel Foveon X3 direct-image-sensor, the Sigma SD14 can reproduce high definition images rich in gradation and impressive three-dimensional detail. This camera features the following:

Four JPEG recording modes
A large and bright pentaprism viewfinder with 98% coverage
A built-in flash with a Guide Number of 11
5-point AF system,
A large 2.5-inch 150,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor
High resolution capture using raw format (Sigma provides free software to manipulate this format)
Durable shutter mechanism has over 100,000 cycle life
Auto, Program, Manual modes with full user control.

The camera has a solid feel and does not feel like a plastic toy, as some of the other recent offerings by Nikon and Canon.
This is an ideal for the demands of digital photography, specifically if you are doing studio product photography,
It is not the ideal camera if you are shooting events where you need speed, such as sporting or fashion work. This is mainly due to the slow processing times by the current installed hardware image processor. The SD15, which has been announced but not seen, supposedly takes care of that issue. Interesting note: While most manufactures have increased the megapixel capacity of their sensors, Sigma is going to keep the same sensor and features in their new SD15. This really speaks for the amazing capabilities of the Foveon X3 direct-image-sensor.

Out of the box. The camera is easy to set up, and even easier to use. One thing you might want to do is buy and extra battery pack.
This camera will burn juice like no other digital SLR. I own several Canon Pro and Semi-Pro bodies and the Sigma uses batteries at twice the rate. That aside, this is a solid and extremely easy camera to use, especially for macro, landscape, or any still work where you don't need speed in multiple image capture.

Another huge advantage of the camera is the user-removable infrared filter. While you can convert other brands to shoot infrared spectrum images, the conversion mostly involves some internal surgery that is not only complicated requiring disassembly, but is usually only a one way conversion with no going back. Not so with the Sigma. Even the user manual has a section devoted to this process.

All in all, this is a camera that I can recommend to artists, scientists, advanced amateurs and professionals alike. The only limitation being the capture speed, and it is not all that bad, just not anything like my Canon 40D. Maybe I am spoiled. The advantages in simplicity and spectacular imaging capabilities of this camera are not matched by anything else available in this price range, or even twice the cost.



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