Different performance in same sensor SD14 and DP2?

ZaphodBBB

Member
HI
Just wondering if anyone knows for sure, I purchased a DP2 which I love, in fact I like it so much I went and got a SD14 as well. What I notice is that the SD14 has far more colour 'blotches' in the shadow areas than the DP2 yet I think they have the same sensor?

I have heard that Sigma has 2 different manufacturers for the sensor, national Semiconductor and one other. Can it be that the sensors from the 2 companies are not totally matches or that one company makes the 'better' sensor?

Also I find using SPP latest still does not allow some features for the SD 14 as it does for the DP2. Why is that, Canon's software DPP allows old SLR full function in their latest software.

Anyway I love the colours from the sigma and aharpness just not the colour blobs which in my SD14 can even occur at iso100 in shadows.

THanks and regards to all
Mike
 

tc95

Well-Known Member
Mike the difference is the proccessor's in the two camera's...the SD14 has been out since Sept. 2006 and the DP2 since Sept. 2008...in the two years the True II processor and other upgrades to the mother board have helped the Foveon Sensor...

The DP2 handles JPG very well...but the SD14 does not..make sure on your SD14 you are only shooting RAW...then make sure that your first step in the editing process is putting it thru SPP (Sigma Photo Pro) make sure you have version 4.2 or later...the camera can capture great colors...but you have to play with it and learn it's limitation and how to overcome them...think of it more like a digital-film camera....

I hope this helps out a bit...

Tony C. :z04_cowboy:
 

ZaphodBBB

Member
Different Sensors?

Hi Tony

Thanks for the reply. I already do shoot only raw and have latest firmware and version of SPP. But even at iso 100 I still get sttrong magenta/purple blotches of colour in the dark shadow that I rarely see with the DP2. Never mind as you say you need to work it like I guess a neg film that produces images like a E6 film. Funnily enough I notice with the new cameras such as Panasonic LX5 with their back lit sony sensors CCD (i think) they also get a strong magenta cast in deep shadow also.

I would have thought that shooting raw would have evened the playing field but I guess there must be a certain amount of processing going on even before the raw is written.

Do you know if the SD15 is closer to the DP cameras in noise performance?

Tanks again
Mike
 

tc95

Well-Known Member
Mike,

I have heard that the SD15 does a better job in recording the image and it does have the True II processor in it...so I would think it would do a better job...I don't have one, and I never played with one...so I don't know first hand...but my source is very knowledge-able...

If you do get one let me know what you think...since the SD1 is so expensive I have been toy-ing with getting an SD15...

Tony C.
 

ZaphodBBB

Member
SD14 and DP2

Hi Tony

Thanks again. I was tossing up about getting the SD15 but a look at B & H web site and on ebay has put me off a little, as new they are still selling for more than I am prepared to pay at the moment. But as you say perhaps if they are fitted with the true2 processor, maybe that allows better processing or has lower intrinsic noise and so renders better performance.

Appreciate your reples thanks.

Cheers
Mike
 

Arvo

Well-Known Member
HI
Just wondering if anyone knows for sure, I purchased a DP2 which I love, in fact I like it so much I went and got a SD14 as well. What I notice is that the SD14 has far more colour 'blotches' in the shadow areas than the DP2 yet I think they have the same sensor?

I have heard that Sigma has 2 different manufacturers for the sensor, national Semiconductor and one other. Can it be that the sensors from the 2 companies are not totally matches or that one company makes the 'better' sensor?
From what I've understood, same kind of sensor is produced by same manufacturer (Dongbu for all 4.7M Foveons probably). Earlier models were produced by NatSemi - but of course I can be mistaken.

But even for same sensor there are some differences.

First is IR/prefilter, which is clearly different for SD14 and DP2 (SD15 should be more similar to DP2 one). For DP2 this perfilter helps more with green-red sepration and probably lessens color noise in shadow areas this way. For SD14 bigger part of color separation between red-green is done in postprocessing software (SPP), this approach is more prone to errors (= noise = color blotches).

Then there are somewhat different processing algorithms for SD14 and DP2 raw data. I don't know details of DP2 algorithm, but I think (hope) that that is more advanced; at least DP2 raw file metadata contain alot more (mysterious) parameters to use by SPP. This is one reason too, why some SPP options (color modes) are disabled for SD14.

You may play with older SPP version for SD14 files. You can freely install SPP2.5 for example (you can find it on Carl Rytterfalk or
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
), it doesn't kill SPP3 or later ones (but may reassociate windows explorer file extensions). SPP2.5 has a bit different development engine and some images may look different; it doesn't work with DP2 files however.
 

ZaphodBBB

Member
DP2 and SD14

Hi Arvo thanks for the detailed reply.

I do have the disk with SPP 2.5 on it so I might try that out as a start and see if any difference noticed against the newer versions. Good to know it wont wipe out the newer versions.

Again thanks for responding. If I do find a difference I'll post back here.

Cheers
Mike
 

nikolayri

Member
I also have dp2s and SD14 - same thing - big difference plus bothches. Tested DPP 2.5 - no diff to 4.2. Might have to sell SD14 and get sd15...
 

ZaphodBBB

Member
DP2 and SD14

Hi Nikolayri

Thanks for the reply, nice to hear for sure of some one else with same issue. The DP2 is much better as you say. Maybe I'll do the same thing, but not for a while yet. All the best. Mike
 

nikolayri

Member
After some time using SD14, I've decided to test what some people suggest - to shoot constantly with overexposure +0.3 (in order to get better results from SD14)
Now when I click 'Auto' on the DPP Adjustment settings - it sets the exposure to either 0 ot -0.1 - which means - yes this camera should be used with +0.3 exposure compensation. Just now have done a test with auto bracketing and the Auto in DPP showed again -0.1 for the frame that was +0.3 and the color blotches were far less than the normal one. I did one +0.7 - DPP 'Auto' showed -0.3 and no color blotches.
These test I've done in a room with a normal bulb light at ISO 200, 400 and 800 all X3F files - I have similar experience outside on bright sunny day.
 

sattvakarma

Member
After some time using SD14, I've decided to test what some people suggest - to shoot constantly with overexposure +0.3 (in order to get better results from SD14)
My SD14 is set to +0.7 exposure compensation AND i use custom white balance AS MUCH as practically possible.
(I could not be more pleased with my SD14...perhaps more happy if i can get to hack the user interface software in the camera!!)

This figure i arrived at after extensive picture taking and processing...trial and error testing that really tested my patience also with the SD14 :)

Surprisingly...the dynamic range profile of the SD14 as created by the Sekonic instrument reflects the same...almost!

Best wishes.
 

sattvakarma

Member
I've read article somewhere on the internet that overexposure is not needed on ISO 50 at all?
My mainstay ISO setting is 100. Its serving me well in landscapes, portraits and daily life...mostly pictures taken on the move...as my work revolves around adventure travel.

ISO 50 for me has a narrower latitude...i guess its best for controlled light situations. (AND i have not spent much time experimenting with it to figure out its nuances and how i can put it to best use...to be honest!)

Sattva.
 

afshalders

Active Member
Forget SPP

Hi,

If you have any Sigma but the SD1 and SD9, try Silkypix (paid version) instead of SPP. The IQ difference is astonishing. Worths every cent.
 
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