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Click here to launch a gallery of image quality shots taken with the Sigma SD14

We were starting to feel like we were waiting for Godot, but we (finally!) got a hold of a full production model Sigma SD14, the DSLR using the newly upgraded Foveon X3 chip that records red, green, and blue on three separate stacked layers in its image sensor.

We’re running it through the standard battery of tests—resolution, color accuracy, noise, as you read this. In the meantime here are some first impressions of the camera, and of course a gallery of image quality shots we’ve taken with it, so you can see what it can do.

This is a solidly built camera, on a par with cameras in the Canon EOS 30D class. Our roving camera tester Jack Howard commented, “the design is chunky, and satisfyingly large. This is an unabashed DSLR that won’t get confused for an oversized EVF camera. Hard edges have a classic feel that bucks the current trend toward graceful sweeping lines and curves.” In other words, a little tank.

The most obvious improvements come in file capture, viewing, autofocusing, and battery power. The new model can capture JPEGs as well as RAW files, unlike its predecessor the SD10, which was limited to RAW capture. (No simultaneous RAW + JPEG capture though, which is puzzling.)