Sigma SD10 and LaCie Monitors, opinions welcome please

36 replies [Last post]
rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Met up with someone I knew was a professional (film) photographer and surprised (but pleased) to hear he had gone digital.

He set up a couple of years ago and uses Sigma SD10 (available for under £1000) and the monitor is a Lacie Photon Blue 19" LCD/TFT. Although he said he may get a Barco model costing about two grand!!! I was especially pleased to hear he uses the Epson 1290 as it is what I use at present.

However, the reason for my post is regarding the Sigma Camera SD10. I see that not many people list it and it does not get mentioned here at all and wondered if anyone has experience of this? He uses it with a Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX MACRO Lens which is daul switching for Macro and Portraits.

Also the LaCie Monitor sounded interesting, cost about £430, but I see it only has .294 dot pitch.
He also uses the LaCie Electron Blue 19" CRT about £260.

Has anyone experience of these items? All the best, Ron.

JMCP
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Joined: Nov 21 2000

Hi Ron,

you can buy the SIGMA SD10 for £776 from park cameras. You should have a look at the sigma forum on the dpreview website, the thing I like about those forums are that people often post some of their pictures and also their websites so that you can view their galleries, this I believe is great for really seeing how good the images are from a camera.

Did you realise that this camera is the 2nd generation DSLR from SIGMA that uses the Foveon *3 technology. In it's 1st generation camera SIGMA called it a 3.43 megapixel camera but if I remember correctly in this 2nd DSLR they have called it a 10.2 megapixel camera even though they have used the same chip. The chip records a full 3.43 megapixels for each of red,green and blue. I also believe that this camera does not capture jpegs, only raw files, so plenty of memory required.

As for the LCD/TFT monitor, a .294 dot pitch is fairly typical for this size of LCD/TFT. This size of LCD/TFT usually tops out at a resolution of 1280*1024, to get any more resolution you usually have to go to a 20inch or above.

Cheers John

shaunconnell
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Joined: Jul 17 2004

Hi Ron

Stating the obvious! If you have existing SLR lenses that you wish to use with a DSLR then you will have to choose a camera model that's compatible with your existing lenses.

If not then you have a wide choice of cameras to choose from. I would recommend taking a look at the following website that features comprehensive, practical and spot on reviews of digital cameras - http://www.steves-digicams.com/

The LaCie monitors are good. You could also consider Formac as an option (formac.co.uk).

Regards
Shaun

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

Ron

I'd stay away from the Sigma if I was you. The new Foveon sensor promised to change the face of digital photography, but in practice it didn't live up to that promise at all.

Also, if you buy a Sigma camera you are limited to using only Sigma lenses.

If you get a Canon or a Nikon you can get the best glass available from the people who make your camera, as well as a wealth of third party lenses from Tamron, Tokina, Cosina and Sigma.

I've actually got the Sigma 105mm Macro/Portrait Lens that your friend has, Sigma make it in a Canon fit, Canon also make a really good 100mm Macro/Portrait lens, but they don't make it in a Sigma fit....

There's always plenty of second-hand stuff for the likes of Canon too.

The guy might well be a pro, but the reality is that most professionals shooting digital use Canon.

Watch any sporting event, look at the photographers and count the off-white lenses that you can see. They are all Canon L series telephoto lenses on Canon cameras.

Watch the news and when you see press photographers, again most of them are using Canon, many with the wide angle Canon L series lenses which have a distinctive red-stripe round the top of the barrel.

Chris

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Thanks everyone for your advice/suggestions. Yes although the chap I spoke to is a professional and has been so in the sports world using film, I did get the feeling that he is now treating things more as a hobby/interest than he used to in days gone by. (he is now well into his 70s, yes even older than me!!) That is the reason I posted here.

As far as my main interest goes, although I still operate within the world of athletics I would not even try to match the pro's in this field of work. The same applies to my video work, I am very happy producing training/coaching videos and DVD's with my JVC 2000 Camera and with good enough results.

However, I really do enjoy most of all Portrait Photography and see this as why I will no doubt improve on. I do have quite a few contacts in the Theatre and Modeling world, most are women I have known and coached in athletics and now changed profession. I recently did a few port-folios for some of them. I enjoyed doing this and the photos turned out very well. But I know that I will need to improve both knowlegde and equipment if I wanted to get more into this line of work.

So thanks for the advice and will always welcome any tips etc in connection with portrait work.

All the best, Ron.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

Ron

Are you going to be taking your portraits indoors or outdoors? If the camera is going to spend most of the time indoors then a 300D with a couple of good lenses is going to give you excellent results. You'd be able to improve on these by getting good ligthing/flash equipment.

Chris

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Hi Chris. Answer to that is both. I am afraid that until photography went into digital, I had no interest what so ever in taking photos. Infact a role of film would last through about 3 years of holiday-birthday-christmas snaps. But digital changed all that because I found an interest with computers about 6years ago and developed from there. But I have grown up into thinking that automatic everything was so much better than having to set things up using manual. To me, it seems that advancement was that cameras, both still and movie, were always considered best if they could do everything in auto mode.

But, of course it has meant that I have missed out on all the basics of camera work. ie, I really have no idea what would be the best lens to have for portrait work. OK, I have read up a bit since and now realise that an important part of photography is to know how to set things up in manual mode, so hence, my interest in what is the best lens etc, or even cameras.

Thanks again everyone, all the best, Ron.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

With portraiture, generally you don't want to use a wide angle lens, this can distort people.

You usually want the person to be in focus, but the background blurred.

Using a 50mm or 100mm lens with a wide aperture often has the desired result.

Have a look at this webpage http://www.photonhead.com/beginners/shutterandaperture.php which includes a 'simulator' that shows you the effects of manually selecting different combinations of shutter speeds and apertures.

Chris

shaunconnell
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Joined: Jul 17 2004

Ron

You could also consider the Nikon D70. It is generally regarded as a superior camera to the EOS 300D. It has a logical upgrade path to the EOS 20D (and it's future equivalents).

Being a Minolta fanatic, I can't finihs this without mentioning the Dynaxx 7D. That's in a different league altogether. Understand that it's mentioned purely out of loyalty!

Shaun

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

I would go for the SD10 - not sure why Chris Longley suggests the Foveon sensor didn't live up to its reputation. When you look at the 'mechanics' of Beyer sensors, it is a small miracle that they work at all. I have an SD9 and a D70 - the resolution of the Sigma beats the Nikon hands down. Anyway, if it helps look at www.sd9.org.uk

JMCP
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Joined: Nov 21 2000

Hi John,

just had a look at your website, it looks excellent. I had a peek at your cv and noted that you once had a commodore pet, that just sent me on a short nostalgia trip as I used to program on those way back in 1982, even wrote a really neat version of the breakout game on it.

Cheers John

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

What I actually said about the Foveon was that it hasn't lived up to the promises made. Typical articles that appeared three years ago based on Foveon's press releases said the likes of:

Digital Sensor Is Said to Match Quality of Film
... "It will completely transform the industry," George Gilder, an economist and
an information industry analyst, said of Foveon's sensor. ...
www.larta.org/pl/NewsArticles/ 11Feb02_NYTimes_Digitalsensor.htm

It hasn't transformed the industry. Rightly or wrongly it's gone largely ignored.

Why you'd suggest Ron buys one is beyond me, how many advantages does the SD-10 have over the competition?

It doesn't even shoot JPEGs - you have no choice but to shoot RAW then post-process every image on the computer

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

Chris - I agree that it hasn't transformed the industry. But it beggers belief that any serious photographer would want to spend £1000 on a decent camera + lens, then throw away most of the benefits by only shooting JPEG. JPEG is fine for popping low-res pix on a website or sending Granny an email attachment. Have a look at Bruce Fraser's book; "Real World Camera Raw" - you won't want to shoot JPEG. However, if an end user can't see the difference between a properly processed RAW file and a JPEG there probably isn't much point wasting more than £150 on a camera.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

But John, you want to have the option. If I'm doing low light work or landscapes I will shoot RAW, but for Christmas day snaps of the family unwrapping slippers, JPEG. I'm intrigued to know why you bought a D70, why didn't you get an SD10 yourself?

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

Hi Chris
I don't really have many opportunities for Christmas Day snaps (too busy fighting for food). If I need to show others my shots, I take Raw PhotoDesk on my USB keyring - it is cheap and very fast in previewing RAW files (X3F and NEF so I'm 100% covered).
Ah- the D70 is another set of spanners in the toolbox. It does things the SD9 doesn't do very well (it has a good ISO range and very low noise levels) ... it has a low-light focus assist lamp, and it was cheaper than the SD10! So I have a set of lenses that I use with the SD9 and a set with the D70. It may be a bit lavish, but I earn my living from digital photography/video.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

Lol John

It's a bit of a puzzler really, because on paper and in tests the Foveon sensor should always produce a better picture. So why was there no interest in it from the majors? Canon have their own CMOS technology reknowned for it's "silky smooth images", but Nikon have had to go to Sony for their sensors.

You'd think Nikon would have jumped at the chance to buy up the Foveon technology, presumably Pentax and Minolta turned it down too for it to end up in a body made by Sigma who've never made a camera before in their lives.

If Canon or Nikon were to start using the sensor, I'm sure they'd have the necessary experience to marry it up with a body that had all the bells and whistles we've come to expect, excellent autofocus and metering systems, full ISO range, clean low light / long exposure performance. They'd also have an in-camera CPU capable of converting the RAW sensor data to JPEG on the fly (as they do already with their existing cameras).

So why did Foveon end up in bed with Sigma?

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

Now you've tapped the cynic in me Chris! I did some cooperative work last year with a University in Spain on demosaicing algorithms. I didn't understand more than 20% of what they were doing. In short, since mosaic sensors are essentially colour blind, they need Beyer filtering and demosaicing, which produces all sorts of by-products(the D70 exhibits this as problems with moire effects). So I reckon that Canon, Nikon, etc, want to keep their own 'on-board' technology to tackle the problems in their own way. If Nikon went for Foveon it would be a super product, but tantamount to an admission that they got it wrong.

I have no scientific evidence for the above - just a hunch.

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Hi everyone. It has been very interesting to read all the comments, especially those between Chris and John. It is very useful and given much to consider.

For the past 2 years I have used a Fuji 6900z and for everyday use because I always have it with me, a Pentax Optio S4. Both will produce A3 prints but mainly I use A4.

I am very involved with some of my grandchildrens schools, mainly due to my athletic background and I advise on coaching/training methods. This has put me in touch with quite a large group of parents/teachers some of which are members of a local camera club (most are still film related) However, the point I am coming to is that I have entered a few of their exibitions and the photos I produced on both cameras, mainly the 6900z have always had very good reviews. As has been mentioned here, unless you are doing professional work, there is not really any need to go into the much higher grade cameras.

But, as I have now started to get an opportunity very late in my life (68) to expand on portraits it is going to be very important for me to consider just what I need. But, I also feel that it is not just the camera to consider, the printer, inks, media, monitor and related profiles, all help produce a good photograph. I am lucky to have good studio facilities at home, which includes lighting, tripods, reflectors etc.

So it is now just sorting out the camera and than maybe the monitor and profiles.I have just added Lyson inks/media but as yet not used them, but feel it will be a good move.

Sorry to have rambled on, all the best, Ron.

shaunconnell
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Joined: Jul 17 2004

Ron

Here's the conclusion from the review of the SD10 on Steves Digicams.

"The SD10 can produce stunning images because of the sensor, but on balance the camera's overall performance still lags the competition. I think it will find a place in the market as a consumer dSLR capable of producing amazingly sharp images at times, or for studio work under controlled lighting conditions."

I have to confess, the Sigma didn't make my shortlist of cameras to upgrade to. From the posts you have made, I personally draw the conclusion that a D70 would be a good investment.

"Nikon's D70 has redefined the amateur dSLR market. It offers excellent shooting performance and image quality, while providing the photographer with fully-functional auto exposure and auto focusing controls. Users of consumer digicams will find that the D70's responsiveness, viewfinder clarity, and image quality at high ISO settings overcome the limitations of their current equipment."

Shaun

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

All I can say is don't trust reviewers - I was one once! We get stuff for 72 hours and then decide the fate of the Company and users. While the Nikon D70 is good, it isn't perfect - does anyone know a perfect DSLR? It suffers from lousy moire patterns, and Nikon sees fit to charge you £100+ for their Capture software - at least Sigma offers Photo Pro for free and it outclasses everything else. Sadly about 80% of reviewers forgot that Sigma does about 5% on board processing, and 95% via software, and then they had the neck to complain that images lacked contrast, or that they showed 'yellow bias'. Just look at the pictures yourselves and make up your own mind. Start off by presuming that mags/web sites/ reviewers know next to nothing - then progress to denting their assumptions. Remember that Ron's first posting here was that a professional photographer had opted for a Sigma DSLR. Why would a Professional opt for crap?

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003
Quote:
Originally posted by John Nuttall:
All I can say is don't trust reviewers - I was one once! We get stuff for 72 hours and then decide the fate of the Company and users.

True in general, I can think of some really appallingly bad and inaccurate reviews. But as far as I can tell, "Steves Digicams" is one of the best sources I've come across, and I've yet to see a gross error there. Furthermore he seems far more scientific than many other reviewers, and that is evidenced by the sample images he puts up for each review - theres so much more than just the subjective "I think the xxx produces really nice pictures"! We get the chance to draw our own conclusions rom his tests.

You say "Just look at the pictures yourselves and make up your own mind". Well, I've been to Steves Digicams and looked at the comparisons between the SD10, the Nikon D100 and the Canon E20, and in particular the tests at ISO 1600 of his same test scene, which seem to have been done under controlled conditions by somebody who well knows what they were doing. As a result, I am extremely glad I chose the E20 over the SD10, the low light performance of the latter seems little short of abysmal. From all the evidence I have seen and heard, far from being "tantamount to an admission that they got it wrong", Nikon (and Canon) sticking with Beyer sensors seems more akin to "sticking with a winner".

You ask "Why would a Professional opt for crap?" Good question. Every other Fleet St photographer I've met to date seems to have had Canon or Nikon gear, and I'm far more prepared to believe in their collective judgement than that one maverick has got it right, whilst every other professional has got it wrong!

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

The Digital SLRs that have been mentioned are all capable of stunning professional results. They are also all capable of producing complete rubbish if you don't know how to use them or you use them with bad lenses.

Excuse the pun, but you need to look at the whole picture. You're buying into a system, Canon's EOS, Nikon's Nikkor, Pentax's Thirds thing or whatever.

If you want to do landscapes and get the best wideangle lenses money can buy get a Nikon.

If you're serious about shooting sport, whether it's soccer or Formula 1 and you need outstanding telephoto performance it's got to be Canon.

Whether you plan to shoot wildlife, portraiture or weddings you have to do it through a lens.

If you're serious about SLR photography you have to discount the jack of all trades master of none 'hyperzooms' and instead opt for two or three good quality lenses that suit your subjects.

Garbage in, garbage out right?

Look at the real world user reviews at http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/

Look on the camera and lens database at http://www.pbase.com/cameras and view real people's real images.

Pick a sharp lens to suit your subject and your budget, then buy a body that will get the best out of it.

Chris

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

Infocus - I totally agree with your comments about high ISO noise on the Sigma range - it is well documented. Not so sure that Fleet Street photographers are the measure of cutting edge technology - they use what they are given whereas most of us can make a choice.
If you have time, please take a look at
http://www.sd9.org.uk/sensors.htm
- I would be interested in your thoughts that Bayer sensors are 'winners'.

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003

OK - I've looked at your site, and do wonder about one key assumption you make, but more of that later. Quite simply I referred to Bayer sensors as "winners" because on the basis of most of what I've seen and read, they produce the best results when used in still cameras, and thats what all the best known manufacturers seem to think. You may be interested in posts around the 7th Feb in this thread about the JVC PD1, when a lot was said about sensors, resolution etc. This link gives a neat animation of a demosaicing algorithm at work.

I agree with everything you say about a 6 megapixel Bayer not having a true 6 megapixel resolution, for all the reasons you say in your webpage. In practice (as 50% of pixels are green, and they contribute most to luminance, and hence perceived resolution) the figure is likely to be just over half of that. Hence it's not unreasonable to expect a D100 and an SD10 to have broadly similar resolutions.

But the real criticism from "Steves Digicams" (and other sources) is not regarding resolution. Where the SD10 seems to really fall down is regarding sensitivity - from the samples its performance at ISO1600 is truly appalling compared to its Bayer sensored rivals. But why? I can only guess, but note that in your webpage you make the assumption that for (say) a Red Bayer pixel of given unit size, a Red Foveon pixel of the same size will give the same output. Is there evidence for this assumption? Its my suspicion that the overlying layers of the Foveon sensor may limit the sensitivity - indeed, the more complicated structure generally may adversely affect it.

Hence, the Bayer design will match a given Foveon chip for resolution if there are (roughly) twice the no of pixels - in other words if the pixels are half the size. If these are still more sensitive than their Foveon equivalents, the Bayer design will obviously have the edge. I found your link to Mike Chaneys experiments interesting, but worry about the conclusions you draw. If all the rival cameras did have 3.4MP sensors, then yes - but they don't! Most have 6MP (D70, D100 etc) and the E20 has 8MP. Mikes work is interesting, but what it proves is that to give the same (or better) results as a Foveon, a Bayer sensor needs more pixels - exactly the case in the real world! To me the big mystery is why top end video cameras have beam splitters and 3 CCDs, whilst top end still cameras have single chip sensors. Any ideas?

Finally, regarding the first sentence of your link, Betamax was not a "technically better system" than VHS. Compare like for like and there was little between them. What did happen was that very few companies made Betamax, and they were all made to the same high standard - and high cost, it has to be said. VHS was licensed far and wide, and models ranged from extremely good (and pricey) to not so good (and cheap). But compare two comparably priced machines of the two formats side by side and there was little to choose between them - I know, many years ago a friend and I did just that, with proper test gear!

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

I give up - we are going round in circles. I did say in my posting here, and again on the website that a downside of the Foveon was poor low-light sensitivity. But I would love to see the softening via digital noise on a Bayer at ISO 1600! Adios chaps - it was fun while it lasted.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

John, I've found your posts very interesting and from your website you seem very knowledgeable about sensors. I was hoping you had the answer to Infocus's question about why digital stills cameras haven't appeared with a 3-chip design?

You do need chastising though for that terrible Sensor Sensibility pun

Also you've got to expect people to ask the questions about why the big guns are not using that kind of technology and if the possible flaws outweigh the advantages.

Chris

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

Chris - you might have turned my head. I will wait about 24 hours before posting something else. I'm very tired from running about 10 jobs and keeping the web site up. I have some responses from my UK User Group as to why the big guns don't avail themselves of Foveon sensors. At the moment it looks like one of these might be sensitive data. I need to check with Sigma/Foveon that it is OK to publish. In fuzzy details it looks like S paid cash in big lumps to F to have exclusive rights - nobody else can use it, until F/S decide the time is right. Approaches are plenty, but the contract has to ride out.Expect changes when the contract runs out.

PS - if this lands me in prison, please come with Red Cross food parcels and a few beers.Please don't let me end up in Guantanamo Bay!

John Nuttall
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Joined: Dec 30 2004

Perhaps it might be useful to those who dispute my credentials, that I'm an IT Technician at a Secondary School, responsible for AS Level tuition for Digital Still Photography, with specialist knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, and RAW technology, have been in Digital Photography since 1977, reviewer for PCW, ST World, MicroComputer Printout (contributing Editor), and a professional video editor using Umatic, DV, HD - sorry VHS was crap, Betamax was always 100% superior - did any recording profesional do audio on VHS or on a F1? Contributer to Total Digital Photography mag, lecturer in digital photography to a VIth form media College - sorry infocus - you don't know very much. Please save the rest of the world from your bandwidth wasting postings. If you firmly believe that VHS and Betamax are about the same, you are simple wrong - please take up basket weaving instead.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

John, I'm going to start a new thread about RAW as there's a few things I wonder about RAW

Chris

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Well I say that I never expected my original questions to create such responce, but it has all been very interesting and am sure that it has helped some.

However, to get back to my original posting I met the chap I mentioned last night told him about this debate, in fact I should him and he was quite surprised by it all.

The reason he got a Sigma Digital Camera was quite simply because he had mainly used Sigma Lens and felt that it seemed the logical thing to do. So no technical reasons!!

He had many different cameras over the many years he worked but used a Fuji Professional GX680111 for studio work (I think I got the model right} He did not go to Fuji for digital because he said he was advised not to because of the way the effective pixels was used as a measure.

Now retired, he is quite happy with his Sigma and now has got very interested in what he can do with his computer. He is off soon for a trip around the world and I asked him if I could loan one of his cameras as he has several. I did not get a real answer!!!

Well thats it I guess, all the best, Ron.

shaunconnell
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Joined: Jul 17 2004

Ron

That just goes to show that many photographers (pro and amateur) will protect their investment in a lens system by upgrading to a body built by the same vendor.

Only in cases where there is some extreme or seriously technical merit do photographers switch lens systems.

As a Minolta user I have been miffed at the "slow" response from Minolta. Finally the 7D is here and I am very impressed. Suffice to say, I know what my next upgrade is likely to be.

Had I had to wait much longer then a 7D would have been in my kitbag. Which really brings me to one point.

Photographers tend to be more emotive about their system than the images they capture. One thing I have learnt from all of this - pick a camera that fits current needs and offers a logical and structured growth path.

Let the debate continue.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

You're right that many photographers will protect their investment in a lens system.

But Ron's friend wasn't doing that. Any Sigma lenses that he'd used before wouldn't fit the new Sigma camera. Sigma had never made cameras before, just lenses for other people's bodies.

I know what you mean about Minolta's slow response. A lot of Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Minolta users have sold up and switched to Canon when they've gone digital.

Did you know that Nikon's and Olympus's compacts are actually made by Sanyo?

As the film world has moved towards digital most of the traditional manufacturers have needed third party help for the digital side of things. Even simple stuff like software has had to be subcontracted out.

Canon on the other hand already have a digital pedigree stretching back to them producing computer bubblejet printers in the late 80's and including their ground-breaking digital video cameras.

The company has always diversified whereas some of their rivals have only ever made still cameras. This has left them in the best position to exploit the convergence of glass and chip.

Nikon have to buy their CCD chips from Sony (who might just keep the best chips for their own cameras)

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003
Quote:
Originally posted by John Nuttall:
Perhaps it might be useful to those who dispute my credentials, that I'm an IT Technician at a Secondary School, responsible for ................... - sorry infocus - you don't know very much. Please save the rest of the world from your bandwidth wasting postings. If you firmly believe that VHS and Betamax are about the same, you are simple wrong - please take up basket weaving instead.

Uhhhh?! On the 9th January, at 22.12, John Nuttall invites me to look at his website and comment. I go away for a week, and come back to find what I’d considered a relatively ordinary post has drawn such venom, and from “a lecturer in digital photography to a VIth form media College” as well! John – that sort of abuse has no place in these forums, and I doubt has enhanced your views in the eyes of others. I see no evidence in any post of anyone “doubting your credentials”, and no excuse for your anger.

Whilst you may consider that I don’t know very much, I did manage to get a degree in Electronic Engineering, and in the late 70’s/early 80’s my knowledge was sufficiently trusted by a major broadcaster that he employed me as an engineer in one of their test rooms. So it was that with a colleague we were able to compare a Betamax machine with a top end VHS (JVC HR7700, I think). They both cost a similar amount, so we felt it to be a valid test, done with high quality source signals and monitoring equipment, under controlled conditions. We both agreed with the conclusion, perhaps to both our surprise, basically that there was little to choose between them, less than may be down to using different brands of tape. Perhaps you’d like to let us know what tests you personally have done to form your opinions, and assure us they were with comparably priced machines? All that said, subsequently much cheaper VHS machines were made, and I got to see many of them that were bought for off-line and continuity etc purposes. Yes, the quality of them was grossly inferior to the Betamax machine – but also to the top end VHS machines. All it proves is that the VHS camp made a wide range of machines, both in terms of cost and quality, whilst Betamax tended to be of a uniform (high) quality – but also of high cost. Hence, yes, the AVERAGE VHS machine was of lower quality than the average Betamax, but to deduce from this that therefore VHS was a lower quality SYSTEM just does not follow. Look at the commonality in the system parameters – video carrier frequency, deviation, colour under system, tape speed etc etc, and none of what I’m saying should be too much of a surprise.

In your first post of the 10th Jan, you asked “But I would love to see the softening via digital noise on a Bayer at ISO 1600!” If you (or anyone) is indeed seriously interested in doing just this, then just go to Steves Digicams, to the review of the Canon E20, sample photos, and open the version of his still life test scene with the camera rated at ISO1600 - and I can vouch from my own experience that the performance really is that good. Now do the same thing from his review of the SD10 – same test scene, under identical conditions – and ask yourself if Rons friend would still have made the choice he did if he’d seen this comparison beforehand. (In fact, Ron, why don’t you point the comparison out to him? Or would it be kinder to leave him in ignorance?! )

John, if you should post again, I’d like you to consider the question I posed before – “I can only guess, but note that in your webpage you make the assumption that for (say) a Red Bayer pixel of given unit size, a Red Foveon pixel of the same size will give the same output. Is there evidence for this assumption?”

If the assumption is indeed true, then the Foveon sensor is indeed revolutionary (but presumably badly implemented by Sigma?), if not, then at the current state of development it appears its inherent advantages over a Bayer sensor are more than outweighed by its disadvantages.

rongrover
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Joined: Jun 1 2002

Hi infocus, just to answer your comment of pointing out to the chap about the comparison, I really feel that there is little value, although he may be interested. As I mentioned at the start, he is now retired from the ratrace and is using photography more now as interest/hobby. He is now in the states on holiday, but guess what he has taken? Digital, no, but a film camera. The Canon EOS 30V.

As it happens, my Son-in-Law has one of these. My Daughter got it for him for Christmas. Complete with 28-105 lens it cost under £400. Although I think it maybe better dealt with in a new thread, having seen the results obtained with this camera and even when I have scanned them into my computer, good images were still obtainable, it raises the question of what advantages Digital really have over film except for maybe seeing results quicker. Especially as when film is processed you can also get a copy of the files on a CD.

All the best, Ron.

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003

That suggestion was slightly tongue in cheek, it may be kinder not to rub salt in - the problems do after all only start to show at higher ISO settings. That said, I would be interested if you had a look at the examples I pointed to yourself, and I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Regarding the old film/digital chestnut, I have now gone firmly to the digital camp, and only 4-5 years ago I wouldn't have believed I'd be now writing that. For example, it's good to be freed from taking one or two shots, then having to wait until the roll is finished before seeing the results. But there's still a lot to be said for film, except perhaps for Fleet St where the choice is a no-brainer.

shaunconnell
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Joined: Jul 17 2004

Doesnt this show that the advantages of digital are still very subjective.

Personally, I will not ditch my film camera until I have a good means of producing b/w shots and quality shots at a high ISO.

OK so there are digital solutions that can offer that but at what price?

Canon and Nikon have made great strides with the 300D and D70 respectively, however, as noted on this thread, they have gaps when compared to film.

Suffice to say, digital is here to stay and film isn't dead.

Chris.
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Joined: Nov 5 2000

"Seeing the results quicker" might only be four words but it gives you many, many advantages.