Upgrade to SD15..? (whitebalance better? Greencast gone?)

jeroen.k

Member
Hi all,

I am a SD14 user. Use it with great pleasure, but more and more I find myself spending hours and hours behind the desktop, just to get the colors of the photo right.

My camera realy has issues with the green (and magenta) cast. Specialy outdoors where the colors are sometimes so shifted that I simply cannot get "true colors" out of it, without hours of work (I think 30 minutes per photo, using SPP, RawTherapy and GIMP).

I espacialy dislike this, because I have the SD14 for it's magnificant depth and colors, but I find the camera simply unuseable with anything other than custom whitebalance (and even than from time to time). As light conditions change a lot outside, I do not have the intention to shoot a custom white balance before every picture I take...

The lenses I most frequently use are the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM (non Macro) and the 24-70 f2.8 (non HSM)


Now I am thinking about upgrading my body to a SD15, why?

I could realy use the better LCD and the faster writing speed...but if I look at whitebalance, and colour accuracy...is the SD15 better than the SD14? I mean, it does have another image processor. I'm not at all concerned about noise, I don't have the Sigma camera for high ISO's (almost never go higher than ISO200) but I am realy interested in (auto) whitebalance...because this will improve the image quality and reduce the time I have to put in processing the images (I only shoot RAW).


A couple of things I noted about my SD14:

* Whitebalance is NEVER correct. Usualy greencast, sometimes magenta cast and then even sometimes so much off that I can't explain why it did that.

* SPP has no good whitebalance adjusting, yes there is the colour wheel, and yes this works okay using a grey card, but outdoors I don't intend to use a grey card all the time.

* Whitebalance seems okay in the jpeg imbedded in the RAW file, but when opening the RAW file it seems that SPP screws it up big time...


Will an upgrade let my get rid of these whitebalance issues? That's the moest important question for me :)
 

tc95

Well-Known Member
jeroen.k -

Here are a few things I do...with mine...I don't use the Auto WB...every camera I have ever had...gets the colors wrong...no matter Sigma/Nikon/Sony....The best I have seen is from Nikon D3x - but for 7K-USD it better be almost right on...(but it is not...)...

Usually I am shooting in a room where I experience my worst cases of color issues...so what I have done is use a color light meter...you can pick-up an old Gossen Sixti-Color meter for under 100USD...it only looks at blue and red...but it is enough to help you get things right...if you don't want to go that route...the custom WB is a good feature to use...I pick an area where I am shooting and try to get a good reading for the camera...

The easiest thing to do...though is to set-up a batch program in PS5 or LR3 that will auto adjust the colors to fit...when you import the picture over...(I still think SPP4 is better...but to reduce time in editing this works great...)

To answer your question....if you want speed and the newer chip...for rendition of the red/orange colors...then yes...as far as WB I have not seen anything that says the SD15 will improve in that area...the people I know that shoot with it...have said that it is the same...(but technicaly I don't know)...

I hope this helps a little-bit....Tony C. :z04_cowboy:
 

ombud

Member
SD15 has improvements in picture quality BUT: it is a mixture of
the true2 engine incamera matrix
and
the latest SPP software optimized for true2 pictures.

The result looks mostly better than SD14 but the bad side is that e.g.in order to make higher ISO`s less noisy images are heavily blurred and the color saturation is way more dull than SD14.
Conclusion: the hardware has improved only a tiny litte bit but not really and achievable quality depends heavily on the tools you use.
Try SD15 raw images with any older SPP version and you will find out for yourself...
 

Taz

Active Member
Before you give up on the SD14, try Silkypix Raw developer. It is slow but it does a fantastic job with color and it also lets you choose the amount of filtering and sharpening. Pictures that I shot at 1600 ISO that were just good for B&W conversion using SPP4 now have realistic color using Silkypix.
 

Arvo

Well-Known Member
* Whitebalance seems okay in the jpeg imbedded in the RAW file, but when opening the RAW file it seems that SPP screws it up big time...
Offtopic (because you asked about SD15, not fixing SD14 quirks), but is your monitor calibrated? If not, has Windows at least set sRGB as default profile?

Although in-camera JPEG does have brightness and contrast altered when shooting AWB, its color balance should be about same as for raw file. SPP uses monitor profile for displaying raw images however - but not while it displays preview images; this may explain some difference
Have you tried SPP2.5, which doesn't use monitor profile at all?

Another offtopic - I'm not using AWB for my SD14. I'm shooting in Sunlight or Overcast WB and often correct 3C3M on color wheel. Of course resulting images aren't usually neutral, but IMHO they reflect real lighting conditions this way. In some cases when 3C3M correction doesn't work (late evening light for example), then I try to find single correction value to entire session.

About SD15 - reading dpReview comments, most users agree that AWB is greatly improved.

About Silkypix - great (best) software, just a bit too expensive for [my personal] home use.
 

su0826

New Member
Cutting casts and process time.

Hi Jeroen,

Suggest trying Pictocolor EditLabPro for your predicament,

Cheers
 

Neosea

New Member
If anything the SD15 white balance is worse than the SD14! I find myself going back to the SD14 even with its quirks unless it is a bright sunny day and I need the speed of the SD15.
 

wayne2

Member
SD15 vs SD14

Going over images from both (all RAW), I find there is little difference between them. But, from an ergonomic point of view, the SD15 wins hand down (especially with the new firmware). The quick set menu is now expanded to two, giving easy access to common parameters. The higher resolution LCD display better shows what you really captured.

As for auto white balance, 99% of the time, it functions fine with either camera (subjects range from portraits, both rural and urban settings, landscapes, and wildlife). But, that cn vary with your location (I am at 6500 feet so we have more blue in the light) and weather conditions. The only times when I have to manually adjust the white balance has been at dawn and dusk (to get those warm colors).

With that said, SPP gives far better results than Adobe raw, so post processing tools can influence your images (SPP gives that 3D film look while Adobe raw images look flat, much like a Bayer sensor). If only Sigma would add some editing tools, then we could have the ideal solution - just give us the tools that Adobe put in Lightroom.

Is the SD15 and upgrade? Yes, but maybe not for the reasons you expect. It upgrades the functionality of the camera, ease of use, and most certainly the display. It does not really provide better RAW images than the SD14, but maybe jpegs are another story (don't shoot jpegs).

Incidentally, most of my shots are taken with the same lenses that the original poster uses (expect my 24-70 is the non-hsm macro version).

Wayne
 
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