Complete D-SLR System Guide
With 10 companies offering D-SLRs today, there’s something for everyone
System Accessories: Sigma is best known as a lensmaker, so it figures that a full line of lenses is available for the SD14. The sensor's 1.7x focal-length conversion factor means Sigma's line of around 40 lenses from 8mm fisheye to 800mm supertele provides SD14 users with focal lengths equivalent to 13.6mm to 1360mm on a 35mm SLR.
The SD14's built-in flash unit can fire an off-camera TTL Sigma EF-500 DG Super flash unit wirelessly, and that unit or the EF-500 DG ST can be attached to the camera's flash shoe for more on-camera flash power. The built-in flash has an ISO 100, GN of 36 (in feet, 11 in meters); the EF-500 DG Super has a GN of 165 (in feet, 51 in meters) at the 105mm setting.
To enhance the camera, Sigma offers the Power Grip PG-21 (which holds one or two standard SD14 batteries), the Remote Controller RS-31 and Cable Release CR-21 for remote operation, and the AC Adapter SAC-2—handy in the studio, where the SD14 should work very well.
Sony acquired Konica Minolta's D-SLR technology when the latter left the camera market and added its own touches to produce the first Sony D-SLR, the DSLR-A100, complete with a line of lenses and several accessories. The camera also is compatible with many Konica Minolta D-SLR lenses and accessories.
The DSLR-A100 offers excellent image quality, a full range of features and good AF and metering performance. Incorporating some mechanical and design elements of the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D and 7D, the A100 adds a lot of new Sony features, including a 10.2-megapixel CCD image sensor, super-quick hardware-based Dynamic Range Optimizer image-analysis technology, a new Bionz image-processing engine and an effective two-pronged sensor dust-removal system (a special anti-static coating, plus the camera vibrates dust off the sensor each time you switch it off). The A100 also improves on the excellent moving-sensor image-stabilization system of the Konica Minolta D-SLRs. Because this system is inside the camera body, it provides the great advantage of anti-shake with all system lenses.