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Comparing Sigma SD15 with SD14



as you all know, we have a cooperation with Sigma Germany. Therefore we will get a demo SD15 deliivered soon, to experiment with it.

Since delivery of this demo body takes longer than expected, another cooperation partner of us in Germany, the dealer Besier-Oehling kindly lent us one of the first SD15 samples available on the German market.

I got the body on Friday evening and shot for you a few demo snapshots with the Sigma SD15, some side by side with a SD14, so that you get a better indication what is this all about.

We uploaded already images on an external server for you to downlod the RAW files, as mentioned yesterday in the other thread. I will post the link again at the end of this thread.

More images will come, but I had not that much time to make everything perfect. This is around 2GB of RAW images, so you can play with them as much as you want.

In the meantime, I want to show you also the major differences in handling between the Sigma SD15 and Sigma SD14 and what I find worth mentioning, what until now has not been really addressed on the english internet sites of other early SD15 users.

So the purpose of this thread is to give a rought overview about the differences between SD14 and SD15. So that you can make a better decision, whether it is worth for you to upgrade/ buy into the Sigma system beside of the subject "image quality".

So I will post over the next hours in different postings about the SD15.

More to come...


o.k., let's go...

Let us start with the most obvious difference, the display of the Sigma SD14 vs. the display of the Sigma SD15 side by side. Althoug the dislpyl of the Sigma SD15 is significant bigger than the one of the SD14, it is not comparable with the top 5 of the semi-pro models of the competition. But IMHO it is definitely good enought to enjoy it. I can easily live with this display. See also later the other images below.



Front view and top view. I do not really see or feel significant differences...




The slot for the SD card is new. The Sigma SD14 (on the left) uses CF cards, the Sigma SD15 uses SD Cards. I think this is an improvement. I much prefere SD Cards. Additionally it gives in the long run Sigma the needed space to increase sensor size without increasing body size too much in the future. So hope for a fullframe SD over the next years? :z04_sabber:



Here you can see again a comparison between the two displays. I find teh SD15 screen a lot better than the one of teh SD14.


Especially if you look from a different angle onto the display, the SD15 display is a lot better. On the image below you see how well the Sigma SD15 display is still readable compard to the SD14 display...



more to come....


Now some details...

You can see here the left back of the Sigma SD14 vs. the left back of the Sigma SD15. The us of differnt colours make the buttons easier to differentiate. The fuction buttom is at the same place, but its functioning is now different. More about this later...

DSCF4503_sd14links.JPG DSCF4501_sd15_links.JPG


On the right side, there has been more significant changes. The button for ISO settings is now separate and on the upper right hand corner, so that it is easier to use it with your right thumb.

This is a great new feature. You can press this ISO button and while holding it, you will see the ISO setting in the viewfinder. Even better, you can change thanks to this the ISO setting with the front wheel while pressing this ISO button and you see the changes in the viewfinder at the place of the shutterspeed without taking the eyes from the viewfinder.

DSCF4502_sd14rechts.JPG DSCF4500_sd15rechts.JPG

This is a great improvement over the SD14. The same logic applies to the new metering button, although you will not see the metering mode in the viewfinder. Still it is an improvement. You know after a while how many turns the spot metering is away. So you can use it again without taking the eyes from the viewfinder. With the SD14 you needed always the function button on the left side, which means you have to take the eyes from the viewfinder. Big improvement for the usability !


At the top, there is now a sign for the light-button...



More to come...


Now you will probably ask yourself, what the measing of the function-button is with the SD15, if those features got a separate button.

With the SD14, you press the function button and then change on the small upper LCD with the front-wheel the settings. Not really comfortable, especially with that small LCD :)

With the Sigma SD15 by pressing the function button you get a really big overview of the most important settings on the big rear display. You can then change those settings easily and fast.



The menu changed too. But I had no problems with the older SD14 way of displaying it. Of course it looks better with teh SD15 becaus of the bigger screen and higher resolution of that screens. This is not very good visible with this photo, because i was too far away from the SD15 compared to the SD14 distance.

DSCF4523_SD14_menue.JPG DSCF4508_sd15menue.JPG


More to come....


With the other features, ther is no real difference between the SD14 and SD15. It is just a slightly different design



Only the setting optiuon neutral, standard and vivid is easy to access. I have not tested yet the different output, but will upload RAWs with it...





Although I had only a few hours with the camera, I am very positive so far with it.

I do not comment on image quality yet. I think this is too early to make a serious juudgement. Everbody needs to do this for himself. That is why we offer the RAW file downloads.

My experience is, that with every camera and every RAW converter, you have a learning curve to go through. It would be superficial to judge a camera only by a handful of images - even with hundreds.

I think, that over the next weeks and months, the Sigma community will get used to the SD15 and how to get the most out of this camera. The same way as it was the case with the Sigma SD9, SD10 and SD14 or the DP series. Actually it is the same with every brand and model no matter where you look.

So I will give here just my judgement on the handling side of the camera. I do think that the Sigma SD15 is a bif improvemnet.

The bigger buffer is heaven for SD14 users. No more waiting to make the next shot. But also the AF seems to be faster. And of course the new way of ISO settings and metering mode is great and a big step foward for me with my SD14. The display is also a big step forward for SD14 users.

SD cards are more convenient, especially if you have P&S cameras too. It is just The way to go in the future. Nobody wants to construct bigger cameras. Everybody wants to have smaller cameras ;)

So depending of the price, only because of those features, the Sigma SD15 is already worth to buy it immediatly. I assume, that image quality is also better with the SD15, so put this on top of it. Noise is definitely better. The rest has to be verified in longer tests. I did not have the time for this this week-end. Download the RAW fies and judge yourself.

A short comment about the new SPP version 4.1.1. It is a leap forward in speed. I only installed it on my netbook, but speedwise, it blows away my SPP 2.5 ;)

I had fun with the SD15. As soon as we get the demo body from Sigam Germany, our moderators will make more images and we will show them here.

The download we offer already is abot 2GB of RAW data. Not everything is uploaded yet.

Please bear in mind, that the purpose of these snapshots was just to give an indication of what we can epect from the SD15 in terms of colours (i.e. grafitty wall), reds (streetsigns, red car etc.) and ISO noise (cars/autos).

The purpose was not to make art :)

I used the following lenses:

  • Zeiss ZS 35/2.0 with M42 adapter. Almost always at F4, very seldom at F5.6 This is te same lens as you can buy also in Nikon, Canon and Pentax mount for digital SLRs.
  • Sigma 50-150/2.8 HSM II. Almost always with F4.

As long as it was not the same picture with different ISOs, I tried to shoot always with ISO 100. In the SD15 I have set the camera to no processing at all and Neutral colours.

The images are not adjusted or whatsoever. Plain Raw, only zipped with "7-zip" and uploaded.

More images will come and more images about the camera itself and its features compared to the SD14.

So play with teh RAW files. I recommend either LR3 (not calibrated yet for SD15) or SPP 4.1.1.

Here is the link:

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Best wishes

P.S.: If you forward this link to someone else, please make sure that the source is also written to and shown with it:
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Tacky links

Thanks for introducing me to Mega upload and party poker. A new experience for me. Interested as I am in articles about my SD14 and Sigma lenses, I'll pass on anything from here in future.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the nice review of differences and the sample raw photos. It will be interesting to see what these look like.



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We are not associated in any way with those. We only were looking for a possibility to upload and share those huge files for free. I know that they finance themselves with banners. But up to now, I did not find yet a better place to share 2GB of data pretty fast ;)

If someone knows better alternatives, I am happy to use it.

There will be even more images over the next days. I just had not the time yet to upload them...

Best wishes



What I see is no differences worth mentioning.

Sigma sd15 is obviously a sd14 with bigger screen an extra button, and SD card.
The only thing which might be useful is better software which from the RAW files seems to me present here.

Having in mind this, Sigma could spare themselves the effort to produce SD15. Instead they could make just a simple firmware update for SD14.

The camera is still bulky and uncomfortable to use. Probably still as slow as SD14.
We all can live with this because they make so good images.

The real problem in SD14, which is present in SD15 still, is the 4 MP resolution which is getting stupid already. A 4 MP camera use is very limited if you are to do real job with it.

So if there was something which really needed change in the new model this was the resolution/sensor size.

I am definitely not buying Sigma SD15. I have learned to use well SD14 and the "new" one can't give me more and worst of all can't help me when I need bigger prints since it is still lousy 4 MP.

The FOVEON is very nice sensor. Maybe Sigma should sell it to someone who can actually make real cameras?


Well-Known Member
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All depends on what use need to (for mine is perfect.... I understand yours), anyway for me it's not so far from other brands, the problems are known, and they will fix it in next projects ....I wish.

I think Sigma is waiting even a new Foveon sensor to be made, I don't know, maybe Foveon can have some tech-problems to upgrade......???

SD15 really don't have big differences, I like the half time writing, big screen.... ....but need to spend double and upgrade from my SD14????

Maybe who didn't try a Foveon yet, start directly from the SD15 is a good Idea with some more money..... :)

I'm waitng a new Foveon Sensorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!!!!! :) Wish Full frame, or 6x6

p.s. Thanks to Dirk


Active Member
In cammera JPEGs

I'd like to see an out-of-the-cammera jpeg. My biggest dissapintment with SD14 was that after a 1 week and 1600 shots vacation it took me about one month to convert them to jpeg. I know that foveon is an RAW sensor, but for vacation shots jpeg is ok for me.


Re: In cammera JPEGs

A month?!
Why don't you do a batch conversion?

You need perhaps a new faster computer.


Active Member
Because doing a batch conversion would be the same thing as shooting jpeg as batch conversion doesn't auto precesses the image, it just converts X3F to JPEG. And not all shots were taken in the same conditions. The computer is fast enough, I belive (Phenom X4 9550, 8GB RAM, 4 500GB HDDs in RAID 0, HD4870).
So, jpegs please!


I can't help you with jpg. I never shoot jpg and I have SD14 and do not plan to buy 15.
However you might be able to optimize the workflow.

If you use SPP you can batch-convert all in one time, choose the worthy images, ditch the others and work with image per image conversion and settings after.

You can use also Lightroom if available - much faster and generally better from my point of view.

If you want to do all the tweaking in the camera while shooting and have a ready product without post-processing I don't see a camera which can help you. No matter which one you get you'll never have much control on the jpg engine in the camera.

I also used to have problem with overwhelming quantity of images and time consuming choosing and editing in post-processing. That was before I learned when NOT to shoot.
I don't know about you, but for me, if I go out for a week and return with 2 000 images there will be 1900 good for the trash, 100 worthy a second look and about 15 which are good (and probably 1-2 of portfolio quality).
So often I prefer to not shoot and I would return with 300 or so images, which is much easier from processing point of view.


Active Member
They are vacation photos, and 99% of them are meant for keeping, not for portfolio. I'm not a professional photographer and it kills me to carry an SD14 + 18-200 OS and an Nikon D200 + 18-200 VR when I take a trip. And when i get home and look at the pictures, the ones made with Nikon look soooo soft that scary me (they make me believe that something might be wrong with the camera).
That's why I'm interested in SD15 JPEGs. If they look good enough to dump my D200 they'll make my life a lot easier.
JPEG's anyone? Please!


New Member
over exposure warning


the one thing that annoys me the most in SD14 is the broken overexposure warning. SD10 always marked overexposed areas in red but SD14 stubbornly ignores even the most obvious.

is it fixed in sd15? this would be good enough reason for me to upgrade. I have way too many underexposed photos just to be sure my highlights were preserved (and many clipped in highlights before i was over cautious)...