UPDATED: Sigma SD10 Review Test Results (same sharpness as the SD9)|
(Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 16:57 EST)
After posting my results on the new Sigma SD10, I received a call from Foveon (makers of the SD10's sensor), puzzled by my findings that its images seemed less sharp than those from the earlier SD9, since this didn't match their own findings.
While I had a general impression of greater softness, I didn't have absolutely identical images to compare. There was no doubt though, that my res target images from the SD10 were considerably softer than the same shot from the SD9, even though it was taken with the same lens. (And at f/4 vs f/8 as was the SD10's shot, so it should realistically have been softer still.)
To shed some light on the matter, I had Foveon ship me an SD9, so I could test the two cameras side by side with the *identical* lens (not just the same model, but the same physical lens) under absolutely identical conditions, to see how the two sensors fared. I'll do a more complete test when I get back to the office (I'm writing this from New York, prior to the Photo Plus show tomorrow) and post full results with sample photos, but for now, the short story is that the SD10 and SD9 performed almost identically when all variables were controlled.
Assuming that there are in fact no differences between the SD9 I originally tested and the current one, it seems to me that there could be two causes of the sharpness differences I observed:
I'll experiment some more with both cameras when I get back to Atlanta, but wanted to get the review updated and this note posted, to correct any misconceptions that might be out there about lower sharpness with the SD10. (It's not just my own shots that produced this perception, people have commented on a number of images from the SD10, from around the internet that looked "soft" to SD9 fans. Not wanting to trust to just artificial targets, I'll grab a couple of pictures of natural subjects with both cameras to compare as well. Stay tuned...
- There are differences between different samples of the same lens. (Not at all unheard of in the camera world.)
- There were differences in the image processing settings I used with Photo Pro to generate the JPEGs.