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Old Jan 15, 2004, 8:59 AM   #1
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Default SD10 or Canon 10D for weddings and portraits

Hello to all, this is my first posting on this site!

I am a digital video production guy and been shooting and editing video for about 12 years. I will be adding digital photography to my business around the middle of this year. Can someone please comment on using the two cameras for portrait and weddings. I see a lot of poeple using this camera for landscape more than anything, and wow the quality I am seeing it wonderful. I am not to concerned about using the SD10 for portraits because I will have light control. My first chose so far is to buy a SD10 and invest in some good lenses but I have read things about auto focus problems and as we all know weddings can get you in a lot of bad lighting situations. I have heard the canon 10D is much better as long as you have good lenses. Anybody out there shooting portraits and weddings with either one of the cameras. Please let me know.

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Old Jan 15, 2004, 5:51 PM   #2
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I am not a professional but an amateur.
However I take many shots in low light and I make sometimes photo of weddings or other cerimonies so I know the problems in these situations.
The major problem with the SD10 is the hight noise when used with hight ISO speeds. It is a lot worste than Canon 10D or Drebel or Pentax *istD, and than some compact also.
Give a look at this post:

I think that the 10d is the best choice for you
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Old Jan 20, 2004, 8:43 PM   #3
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Under good lighting or controlled lighting- the SD9/10 will perform excellently usually surpassing what any other DSLR can output- I've had a ton of DSLR's and the SD9 has proven the best at image quality.....I haven't tried a Contax N Digital or Kodak DCS14N but i doubt they'd beat the foveon sensor's clarity....

here's a shot with regular lighting in the room and a flash- nothing exotic- the camera did a great job on exposure and clarity-

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Old Jan 27, 2004, 11:41 PM   #4
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Default Problems that can arise...

The SD9 and SD10 are so sharp, capture so much detail and more colours than you can shake a stick at that they can be TOO good for weddings.
I have seen several wedding samples over on Dpreview that can be described as very unflattering to the bride as the Siggy captured everything warts and all.
Veins showing throught the skin were a problem in one case and in another it was, upper lip hair showing, peeling skin due to sunburn on the end of her nose , face powder "floating" on top of her skin and of cousre every single little skin imperfection.
If I ever do a wedding I will be tempted to use a wide open lens to soften it up a bit or even a soft light effect filter.

Alf B.
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Old Jan 28, 2004, 8:05 AM   #5
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SD10 is to good for weddings? I understand what you are saying but can all that detail simply be adjusted by softening it up in the software provided. If so that seems that it would be a simple thing to do. Does the camera for weddings do ok for the lower lighting situations using a flash? I am thinking that to much detail is an easy adjustment to cover up things but a camera that doesn't capture detail at all is where the problems come in??? I do things that the extra detail would be welcomed.
What do all of you SD10 users think about what I am talking about.
Does this seem to be good thinking or do I just need to go ahead and buy a Canon 10D?
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Old Jan 28, 2004, 11:11 AM   #6
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Hi offthewahl
Ok here is a demonstration of what I mean using samples posted on the Sigma SLR talk forum on Dpreveiw.

Sample 1....Veins showing through skin (SD9 and comparison with a EOS 300D) :


Sample 2....The SD9 here captured his and her skin imperfections. (I dont think the Sigma is to blame for her make-up though!)


Sample 3. Look at the lady on the left, the bride I believe. The SD9 used here with flash managed to capture her facial hair, her sunburnt, peeling nose, her skin imperfections and how her face powder seems to float over her skin. (Photo Copyright of Perry Lawrence all rights reserved. This is posted here for comparison purposes only and should not be copied or reproduced. Many thanks to Perry.)


Now I think you can see where I am going with this.
Yes, you could spend time post processing each SD9 or SD10 pic using PS say and patching over all the blemishes but a Bayer sensored camera like the 10D would not be able to capture the details in the first place so saving processing time.
That does NOT mean I recommend getting the 300D or 10D or any other Bayer sensored camera, just that if you do intend to use a Sigma SD9 or Sigma SD10 at a wedding you should be aware of the potential pitfalls of using a very high resolution camera.
For any other subject matter the Siggy SD's simply ROCK!

Alf B.
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Old Jan 28, 2004, 12:37 PM   #7
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Default super, feedback!!! THank You

You know, it would be pretty cool if sigma would have a setting
on the camera that would smooth out some of that fine detail.
I am wondering if a lens filter that softens the textures and keeps the edges still soft wouldn't help out. For some reason I am just a big fan of the technlogy in the chips and think it could be a good selling point as well.
One thing just came to mind, what happens when you turn down the resolution on the camera. Does the image soften up or does it start to fall apart?

I Love your points though, it would be very time consuming to play in PS with all the images for a wedding. I could see doing it in a studio situation but not for the images captures for a full wedding day.
After all time is money to me.

One other thing, I noted you said you had to color correct. Do you have to do that a lot with this camera and not the Canon? I believe the SD10 is supposed to be improved with color but I wander how much. In a studio situation I would probaby be white balancing a lot but don't mind because in video it is done a lot.

Last question, If I where only to use this camera for studio work
using soft lighting, would you pick the SD10 or 10D.

Thanks and always appreciate the feedback

Terry Wahl
Off The Wahl Media, Inc.
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Old Jan 28, 2004, 2:23 PM   #8
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Default White balance and Colour

Like other DSLRs The SD10 has several pre-set whte balance settings but I have not found any reason to use them.
I always keep the WB set to AUTO and let the camera sort it out, which it does really well.
The 1st sample was taken with the SD9 which sometimes gives skin a yellow cast.
This is why he had to correct it.
The SD10 has no such problem.
If you turn down the resolution you just reduce the image size not the image sharpness and clarity.
The sharpness attained with the SD10 approaches that of medium format so yes it is a fantastic studio camera.
Another niggle is that is that Sigma make so MANY lenses you may have trouble deciding which to use.
Personally I cannot afford to buy new Sigma lenses but fortunatly I can use second hand M42 screw fit lenses, and soon I will be able to use all the following:

CANON EF ( Auto )
NIKON-F (Manual )
MINOLTA MD( Manual )
LEICA-R ( Manual )
CONTAX/Yashica ( Manual )
PENTAX-K/M42 ( Manual )
TOPCON-UNI ( Manual )

Via adapters made by D-shell:


So the SD10 will become an even more versatile camera than it already is.
Using RAW only with the SD10 and Sigma Photo Pro 2 software may be slower than using jpegs directly from the 10D but it allows total control of the final image and sometimes even a really underexposed image, visually black on the monitor can still be used and often with very little loss in quality.
SPP2 often amazes me.

Alf B.
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Old Jan 28, 2004, 2:38 PM   #9
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Default You are telling me what I want to hear

Ok you are telling me everything I want to hear.
You aren't a sigma sales person or work for the company in any way do you?
Are you just an end user of the product?

Any body else out there have an opinion???????
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Old Feb 10, 2004, 12:30 AM   #10
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Default OK this is sounding to good to be true!


I'm going through the same process you are, and it's a really tough one. There seem to be dozens of important decisions that could affect the profitability of your wedding photography business. What I hear over and over is that time savings may be the most important factor towards higher profits - this is where my inner-artist turns and slugs my inner-businessman.

What kind of wedding packages do you want to offer? The film wedding packages I've seen would be to have your highest fee include a combination of 4x6 machine prints (or just contacts) and the negatives, and maybe offer no enlargements - just recommend a local lab (or outrageous print charges). Someone that shot my friends wedding played the middle ground by having a fee level that included all images as 4x6 prints without "proof" stamped on the front, but she did handle all enlargement orders with a hefty margin. And at the other end, the traditional proof prints with the photographer handling all the print orders and making money on lots of printing and the print margin. I still need to do my research on digital packages.

If you want to shoot digital and just work for a days shooting fee and nothing more, then you are going to want to favor a workflow that allows this. Could it really be as simple as burning a cd of high-res jpegs, and throwing everything up on shutterfly? Maybe, but probably not with the sigma. the sigma seems to require more post production.
From what I've seen on this website and http://www.pbase.com/cameras the sigma sd10 at iso 100 handles light and detail more beautifully then anything near it's price-point, and from what I've seen it even rivals the canon 1ds on a more subjective basis. You know the detail and sensitivity is there, so maybe the question becomes what lens and software techniques you apply to create your signature look. If the above post is accurate, then there are lots of lenses to chose from. Being a "hair-splitter" I've primarily used only leica for years. With leica, it's all there if I want it, but it's really a matter of matching the film, processing, & enlarging to the look I want (softer look for weddings, more severe look for street work, etc.). So, can you achieve the look you want with digital? What would best achieve that look? A software workflow applied to the most detailed files possible, or equipment that gives you what you want right off the memory cards?

Where I'm at in this decision making process:
If truly possible, I want the sigma with some leica r glass (did you notice that even steve's digicams wasn't sent the two zoom lens kit with the sigma sd10 for his review). Do I want it for weddings? I'm not sure yet. I need to first know if software can approximate the smooth soft b&w tonality I get from specific film, processing and a diffusion enlarger. I have seen some sigma b&w images on pbase.com that give me confidence. Can I then standardize a workflow that can be applied to all images from the shoot - and quickly too?! If not, I may just stay with film, a per roll charge, 4x6 machine prints (I'm lucky to have a b&w lab doing machine prints in the bay area), and photo cds.

And the sigma? I'll find the best fit for it's strengths and for what I think will be an awesome camera to use. Maybe it's my dedicated color reportage camera - 'cause that's when I want it all (and sometimes in color too).

If you, or anyone else reading this knows all about ps and workflows - please share your thoughts.

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