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Thread: Foveon under unnatural light

  1. #1
    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Foveon under unnatural light

    From the start, two issues kept nagging me regarding this otherwise fantastic sensor; unsatisfactory noise performance and difficulty in getting the white balance right under unnatural lighting conditions. It is still the same sensor, but I guess firm- and software upgrades did the trick. Still not up to its rivals' performance, Foveon does not fail me as frequently as it did two years ago.

    A case in point; I'd like to post a few shots from Istanbul Archeology Museum and let you decide.






  2. #2
    D upton-Hackett.
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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    They look ok, nice colour/shadow rendition can't fault any not that I'm qualified to judge.

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    Thank you, Derek.

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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    Osman,

    The Foveon chip has struggled with 'weird' lighting (especially blue-deprived lighting), but they seem to get better with each iteration of the cameras. I'm finding the SD15 much better than the SD14 (miles better), even though it's the same chip inside. That's one reason I'm excited for the SD1 with a new chip design.

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    Now this is most interesting! I am considering the SD15. Any more advantages over SD14?

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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    Osman,

    I think I posted to you earlier, but considering that it's the same sensor in a very similar body---it's an entirely better camera.

    1. Improved buffer (21 shot) means that I'm never waiting for the thing to clear (buffer clearing is similar to the SD14).

    2. Way better battery life. I'm getting 700-900 shots per battery, when there were times where I'd just get 100-200.

    3. Better LCD

    4. Better controls (ISO button, QS menu).

    5. Better continuous focusing mode. AF might be slightly better (but not huge---I'm expecting the SD1 to be much better).

    6. Much better colors from 'auto' settings, including white balance. It's easier to get stuff right in SPP than previous versions of the camera.

    7. Color modes (which I don't use much). In fact, I leave the camera in Neutral because the histogram most closely matches the 'raw' data (IMO). The other color modes seem to cook the high end by about 2/3 of a stop, and that might cause you to reduce exposure if you have the camera set to a difference color mode than neutral (the histogram on the back is a processed jpg according to those settings).

    8. No lockups. My SD14 would lock occasionally. The 'generic' fix is to update firmware and not use the auto-review on the LCD (and not fill the buffer). The SD15 hasn't locked up for me, even when I do abuse the buffer in testing.

    The only bad that I know of so far with the SD15 is that the Sigma flashes don't work with the TTL mode on the camera. The 530 version issues can be fixed with a firmware upgrade to the camera (which is not yet publicly available). The 500 version needs a firmware upgrade to the flash as well, so you'd have to send it in. I use my flashes off camera with cybersyncs, so it's unlikely that I'll go through the trouble.

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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    Kofronj,

    How is the viewfinder (size & quality) compare to a film 35mm camera ?

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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    If these are the improvements of the SD15. Then I can't wait for the SD 1.

    I hope the new flashes work TTL with the SD 1.

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    Senior Member fordfanjpn's Avatar
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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    Silver Efex will fix that color cast for you quite nicely!

    Bill

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    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    Quote Originally Posted by docrjay View Post
    If these are the improvements of the SD15. Then I can't wait for the SD 1.
    Same here.

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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    The viewfinder size for the SD14 and SD15 are the same, and they're smaller (substantially) than a 35 mm camera (full frame vs 1.7 crop). They're better than the entry level Nikons/Canons IMO. The SD1 should be better than the SD15, both a larger crop size (1.5) and slightly larger coverage.

    They're working on the flash stuff. The TTL stuff for Sigma has never been particularly easy/intuitive, so they have a low bar to make it better. I'm sure the SD1 will have all the improvements listed, plus even better ergonomics, better AF, and incredible IQ. My only question will be with the disappearance of the top LCD, will the viewfinder get more information (like ISO).

    Cheers,

    Jim

  12. #12
    Senior Member otumay's Avatar
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    Re: Foveon under unnatural light

    Posted a few more on Flickr and reached the conclusion that DP1/SD14 will be among my main cameras together with Nikon D700 and Leica M8.






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