Sigma confirms SD14 DSLR with official teaser site and we have unofficial news and access to photos of the new camera
This morning our regular forum poster from Japan, Yoshi, brought news of some unofficial information and pictures of Sigma's new DSLR, the SD14
. So it was less of a surprise, when, later in the day, it was revealed that Sigma has unveiled an official SD14 teaser site for their new DSLR
This will be Sigma's first new DSLR since the SD10 was launched no less than 34 months ago. Sigma UK staff have been enthusiastically waiting for the SD10 successor for 18 months, with some broad, yet ultimately unfulfilled, hints first shared as far back as PMA in spring 2005.
But there is no more uncertainty and what's clear from the unofficial pictures is that the new SD14 camera is much smaller than its SD9 and SD10 DSLR predecessors. They were based on Sigma's S-series film SLR cameras, but the SD14 is apparently new and designed for digital from the ground up.
Same Sigma mount
Anyone hoping for Sigma to abandon their reverse-bayonet lens mount, maybe in favour of the Olympus-inspired Four Thirds mount, will be disappointed. So this camera will only ever be used to its full potential with Sigma's own, admittedly wide, range of lenses.
Removable dust filter?
A small technical curiosity seen in the unofficial photos is that the SD trademark glass filter that sits between the lens mount and the mirror box appears to be removable as it looks like itís on a circular ring with a locking guide.
The camera's relatively compact dimensions would point to Sigma abandoning the use of AA batteries, which had been a source of problems with some cameras caused by an over-zealous battery charge sensor informing you that newly-charged NiMH cells were flat. That said, Pentax manages to find enough space in the hand grip of its DSLRs to hide four AA batteries, so you never know!
Staying with Foveon X3 sensor
What's not at all in doubt is that Sigma is sticking to the Foveon X3, three colours per pixel, sensor technology it has used to date. There is no official word on the megapixel count of the sensor, but it's likely to be more than the 3x3.4MP sensor of the SD10.
One peculiarity of the old SD9 and SD10 was the lack of in-camera JPEG recording. All images were recorded in RAW format only. Although this forced the user to preserve the maximum potential quality of the camera's images, it was also a pain in the backside if you only needed some quick shots without having to process the images in a PC. We'd be astounded if the SD14 didn't include an in-camera JPEG option.
From the unofficial pictures the SD14 still looks to be made to a tight budget and so of plastic construction, but it is now blessed with a larger, probably industry standard size 2.5 inch, review screen, which now doubles as a status display. The previous SD-series cameras were competitively priced, so let's hope that tradition is continued.
Expect to see a more conventional viewfinder view instead of the masked-off 35mm SLR 'sports' finder view of the SD9 and SD10.
What do you think?
Does the Sigma SD14 teaser rock you? Let us know on the DPNow Discussion Forum.