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For outdoor photographers, the accuracy of the color captured by a digital SLR is crucial. So a camera that promises higher color accuracy and great performance definitely piques our interest. The Sigma SD14 is a camera that delivers on those counts with the help of its innovative Foveon technology. Improved image quality with a selection of new features should prove attractive to enthusiasts and professionals alike.
1) The unique Foveon X3 CMOS sensor features three separate silicon embedded color layers, allowing for each individual pixel to capture a value of color (red, green, blue) rather than using an interpolation of colors like other cameras. Each 4.3-megapixel layer (2652 x 1768), when combined, provides an effective color resolution of 14.1 megapixels—good for producing quality enlargements.
2) In addition to providing RAW capture, the latest-generation Sigma D-SLR now allows images to be saved as JPEGs at four different quality modes. This includes a super-high-quality JPEG setting, which delivers an interpolated resolution of 14 megapixels (4608 x 3072) for workflows that demand the speed and ease provided by the compressed file format.
3) Sigma addresses the aggravating issue of dust by incorporating an innovative image sensor dust protector. Situated right behind the lens mount, the removable protector prevents the intrusion of external dust. And because it’s located light behind the lens mount and away from the sensor, if any dust settles on the protector, it will be out of focus in the final image.
4) The 2.5-inch LCD has a large, bright screen for reviewing images. It also offers access to the improved menu system, making it easier to navigate through often-used camera features and controls.
5) Eyeglass wearers will appreciate the redesigned pentaprism, which provides 98% coverage with a generous eyepoint of 18mm. The viewfinder also features a built-in diopter with a range of -3 to +1.5 to customize the viewfinder to your eyes.
6) With three different metering modes (8-segment Evaluative, Center-Area and Center-Weighted Average), the SD14 provides the versatility needed to ensure accurate exposures under a wide variety of lighting conditions.
7) For photographers who enjoy macro photography, night scenes or use super-telephoto lenses, the inclusion of mirror lock-up is a big plus. This simple feature helps ensure sharp pictures at slower shutter speeds when the camera is susceptible to camera vibration during exposure.
8) The camera’s built-in flash offers convenience and generous coverage for focal lengths as wide as 17mm (28mm/35mm equivalent). The camera’s S-TTL metering system helps to deliver accurate flash exposure, whether the flash is used as a primary light source or as fill.
Contact: Sigma, (631) 585-1144, www.sigma-photo.com.
The Foveon X3 sensor is based on a unique tri-layered sensor—the pixels of each layer capture the red, green and blue spectrum. All other sensors use the Bayer pattern, where a photosite captures only one color (R, G, B) and must have complete color interpolation in order to have a full-color image. The SD14 dedicates each layer to a specific color, eliminating the need for interpolation to achieve accurate color. While an anti-aliasing (blurring) filter is needed for a Bayer pattern sensor, none is needed for the Foveon sensor, resulting in a cleaner, better-resolved image for each pixel. Therefore, according to Foveon, the resolution of the camera isn’t strictly based on actual photosites, but on the combination of each layer (2652 x 1768 x 3), for a rated resolution of 14.1 megapixels.