Camera Test: Sigma SD14

The long-awaited Sigma SD14 DSLR boasts a unique sensor and a whole lot of megapixels. But how well does it perform?

Sigma-SD14-The-bravest-people-on-the-planet-NY

The bravest people on the planet — NYC cyclists. While not a speed demon, the Sigma SD14 autofocused rapidly, fired without delay. 1/400 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400.

Sigma-SD14-Colors-appear-to-be-very-accurate-whil

Colors appear to be very accurate while still maintaining good saturation. Auto white balance did a good job in overcast light. 1/125 sec at f/7.1, ISO 400.

Sigma-SD14-The-always-popular-fruitstand-photo.-R

The always popular fruitstand photo. Reds, yellows, purples, and oranges have nice snap but aren’t exaggerated. We were using default contrast and saturation settings in this shot at 1/125 sec at f/7.1, ISO 400.

Sigma-SD14-The-SD14-s-evaluative-metering-did-a-g

The SD14’s evaluative metering did a great job in a variety of lighting. This exposure was 1/250 sec at f/8 on program, ISO 200.

Sigma-SD14-The-SD14-s-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-kit-lens

The SD14’s 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 kit lens is the equivalent of about 29mm at its widest setting, good for playing with perspective. 1/400 sec at f/10, ISO 400.

Sigma-SD14-Papers-papers-everywhere-in-the-Big-A

Papers, papers everywhere in the Big Apple. We cropped to make a pseudopanoramic. 1/125 sec at f/7.1, ISO 400.

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, f/8, ISO 100

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, f/10, ISO 100

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, f/3.5, ISO 100At low ISO’s, the Sigma SD14 provides Excellent Image Quality from RAW files converted to TIFF. Note decent shadow detail under awning and high color saturation.

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, f/6.3, ISO 800At ISO 800 and above JPEG images from the SD14 get unusually noisy — particularly in shadow areas (see black cloths on subject in enlarged area). Colors are also a bit washed out.

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, f/4, ISO 100

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, f/5.6, ISO 100

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, f/4.5, ISO 100

Sigma-SD14-The-SD14-captures-detail-in-RAW-like-a

The SD14 captures detail in RAW like a 10MP DSLR but stores JPEGs in 4.7MP (1760×2640-pixel) files. Photos have excellent color accuracy and skin tones. This was shot in RAW with 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens at f/11, 1/1000 sec, ISO 100.

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, ISO 100At low ISO’s, the Sigma SD14 provides Excellent Image Quality from RAW files converted to TIFF. Note decent shadow detail under awning and high color saturation.

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, ISO 800At ISO 800 and above JPEG images from the SD14 get unusually noisy — particularly in shadow areas (see black cloths on subject in enlarged area). Colors are also a bit washed out.

Sigma-SD14-17-70mm-f-2.8-4.5-Sigma-DC-macro-AF-le

17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sigma DC macro AF lens, ISO 800At ISO 800 and above JPEG images from the SD14 get unusually noisy — particularly in shadow areas (see black cloths on subject in next frame). Colors are also a bit washed out.

Sigma-SD14-New-York-City-movie-theater-shot-at-1

New York City movie theater shot at 1/150 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100.

Sigma-SD14-The-Sigma-SD14-got-a-good-color-satura

The Sigma SD14 got a good color saturation of a Mexican restaurant’s bright red awning.

Sigma-SD14-The-Sigma-got-details-in-both-the-shad

The Sigma got details in both the shadows and highlights at an aperture of f/5 and shutter speed of 1/400 sec.

Sigma-SD14-Purple-and-white-flowers-add-some-beau

Purple and white flowers add some beautiful scenery to the streets of New York. 1/500 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100.

Sigma-SD14-A-pink-rose-among-other-flowers-at-1-4

A pink rose among other flowers at 1/400 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100.

Sigma-SD14-Speaking-of-color-how-about-a-hot-pin

Speaking of color, how about a hot pink BWM motorcycle…

Sigma-SD14-Or-a-baby-blue-scooter

…Or a baby blue scooter…

Sigma-SD14-Or-a-sea-foam-green-Cadillac-This

…Or a sea-foam-green Cadillac? This one was shot at 1/200 sec at f/3.2, ISO 100.

Sigma-SD14-A-view-of-the-front-grill-shows-off-th

A view of the front grill shows off the Sigma’s ability to capture details.

Sigma-SD14-Good-color-saturation-in-the-blue-and

Good color saturation in the blue and yellow umbrellas.

Sigma-SD14-A-trip-to-the-Red-Lion-was-a-breeze-fo

A trip to the Red Lion was a breeze for the Sigma SD14. Good color accuracy in those reds and good detail in the highlights.

Sigma-SD14-A-shutter-speed-of-1-160-sec-was-fast

A shutter speed of 1/160 sec was fast enough to stop this local denizen in his tracks.

Sigma-SD14-Hanging-flowers-at-1-160-sec-at-f-3.2

Hanging flowers at 1/160 sec at f/3.2.

Sigma-SD14-An-aperture-of-f-2.8-and-a-close-focus

An aperture of f/2.8 and a close focus distance did a good job of blurring out the distracting background.

Sigma-SD14-We-thought-the-basket-style-pot-was-in

We thought the basket style pot was interesting. 1/160 sec at f/3.2, ISO 100.

Sigma-SD14-Local-color-Orange-shirt-yellow-truc

Local color: Orange shirt, yellow truck, and green awning and street sign. All nicely rendered.

Sigma-SD14-Sunflowers-for-sale-in-one-of-NYC-s-ub

Sunflowers for sale in one of NYC’s ubiquitous flower stands.

Sigma-SD14-This-twisted-tree-was-shot-at-1-80-sec

This twisted tree was shot at 1/80 sec at f/2.2.

Sigma-SD14-The-resolution-on-the-original-raw-fil

The resolution on the original raw file was excellent.

Sigma-SD14-We-like-the-noise-free-shadows-that-fa

We like the noise-free shadows that fall onto this blue door. 1/250 sec at f/3.5, ISO 100.

Sigma-SD14-A-view-of-a-New-York-City-apartment-wi

A view of a New York City apartment window ledge has nice contrast and details.