Sigma DP quattro

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by tomO2013, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    So the camerastore guys hated it - pretty much finding it unusable unless you have a tripod and time to spare between shots writing to the card and focus.

    Unanimously most people rave about the IQ ; I'm normally relatively skeptical of hype, but at ISO200-400 the files do look extraordinarily detailed with absolutely gorgeous tonal transitions. It looks to be particularly well suited to black and whites which is ironic in one way given that the sensors primary design / strength is to record all colours at each pixel. Then again, maybe it's not that surprising that it works well for B&W as you are capturing more accurate colour details so you would have more control in post for desaturating.

    For landscape or studio portraits where you can take your time, this may well be a nice second/third camera body to play with. In many ways it reminds me of the same design philosophy as something like a Leica Monochrom. Extremely specific in its purpose and pretty much useless for anything outside of that envelope. You buy into it knowing exactly what it can and cannot do.

    Also fully appreciating non-existant LR support and a horribly slow and clunky Raw development studio from Sigma.

    Has anybody been tempted/considering this. I'd be really interested in seeing some of your results :)

  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    For me, cameras are about performance and not getting in my way. I have a very specific way of shooting and the Sigma camera fails on all accounts. As you've stated, if you are pretty much shooting this thing like you would a medium format TLR, then it might be something for you.

    IQ alone is not at the top of the list of the must haves, falling in behind, fast AF, quick access to exposure functions, quick response from sleep/power off.

    The only cameras that have satisfied my requirements are my Nikon DSLRs and the Olympus OM-D cameras. I've tried Fuji X cameras and their AF performance and wake from sleep did not pass muster (The XT1 is getting closer).
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I recently picked up a nice used DP1M. As all the reviews say, the IQ can be stunning, but pretty much everything else is way below par compared to almost any other modern digital camera. It's slow, eats batteries, has very poor tolerance of overexposing, can give odd colour casts and the workflow through Sigma's raw developer software feels like you've gone back in time 10 years (which is pretty much the time it'll take to process a memory card full of X3F images!).

    The word amongst the Sigma aficionados is that the Quattro hasn't actually solved the majority of these issues but has managed to lose something in the IQ department. For me these cameras do offer something different and worth having (jaw dropping IQ when used properly), but they are specialised tools and will probably only ever be a second or third camera behind better balanced systems (such as u43) which deliver good-enough IQ in a much better performing overall package.

    I took the image below this last weekend and believe me, displayed full screen on a decent-sized monitor, it conveys a sense of 3d and realism that a u43 image would simply not deliver.

    Trees and Furrows by Paul Kaye, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 3
  4. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I'll probably pick up a DPnX of some form in the coming 6 months as an entertaining niche camera for trying some gigantic prints. Right now DP2M is the most likely candidate as the Quattro's still seem half baked (as all "new" Sigma products are, and for Sigma "new" often means less than 18 months old). With current FW and SPP the Quattro is not looking as good detail wise for landscapes (especially foliage) as the Merrils. The DP1M focal length probably more my liking but from reviews seems the lens not quite as well matched to the sensor resolution as the DP2M and DP3M. Since for me this is all about a resolution machine and I do have a number of nice landscapes around 40-50mm equivalents seems like the DP2M is the best fit at the moment.

    Will it replace my m43? Well, of course not. It is a specialty camera only good at very few things and shooting a particular way. But I do shoot those things that way from time to time with my m43 already so it seems like it would be interesting to try. Not looking forward to SPP - but sounds like people have reasonable success doing nothing but WB in SPP and sending the TIFF to LR for real PP work.

    New Quattro FW and SPP versions suppose to be on the way, perhaps that will tip the balance to Quattro for me. Especially if the DP1Q lens ends up better than the DP1M.
  5. ivoire

    ivoire Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Naperville, IL
    The only way to decide to own a Quattro or DPXM is to try one. I'd suggest borrowing, renting or buying one from a dealer with a good return policy. The Quattro doesn't interest me as it's improvements are not what I hoped for. I won't be getting rid of my DP2M anytime soon despite its limitations. I do have a u43 system that serves for 'general' photography but the sigma is carried along with it. Regarding tripod use, I rarely ever use one with the DP2M
  6. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    • Like Like x 2
  7. picturewow

    picturewow Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2013
    Resolution is great, but dynamic range is bad from what I have seen from the camerastore review. Highlights blow out really ugly. For me to consider the quattro with all it's flaws, low iso iq should be impeccable.
  8. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    For many, it's a let down only because it's hardly an improvement over the last gen cameras. Still has color clipping issues, poor iso, slow fps etc. And off putting design to many. And when Leica went cmos, IQ changed and it seems that fovean look has as well.. more cmos like now.

    Years of waiting it's still a DP1 dressed in sheaps clothing.
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    For all their faults (and I'd rate too-easy-to-blow highlights and slow raw processing software as the two biggies), there is just something about these Fovean-sensored Sigma cameras that can't be ignored. I often wonder whether it's a basic limitation of the technology or whether it's that Sigma doesn't have the R&D $/£/Y to invest sufficiently to iron out the remaining wrinkles. Either way, they're flawed geniuses. And like all flawed geniuses, the world is better off for their existence!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    LovinThe EP2 - Your sig is interesting...

    I personally think there are several good lenses below 20mm (real, not effective) - the Oly 12/2, the Oly 17/1.8, the Panasonic 15/1.7 to name but three. Then there's the 12-35 and 12-40 zooms which are also excellent.
  11. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Old sig, I probably should update it. That said, I personally don't think the Olympus 12 and 17 are that great. Especially the 17.. if they kept it a pancake with the 1.8 and bit sharper then they'd have a killer one. The 12 is ok but for a prime, I would have expected a bit more for the price. There are a couple of Pana zooms that are compelling though. That Pana 15 is the one I may consider but not wide enough.. if it were a 13 1.7.. dang it would have been sweet.
  12. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I'm sold as soon as someone posts side by side shots with a d800.
  13. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    As it stands today, no doubt the IQ from this new Quattro is stunning and I'm not sure that I agree at all that it has lost it's look. It still has most definitely a foveon look. I'd go so far as to say that colour and transitions when shooting in its sweet spot are at the very least as good as medium format like the 645z or possibly even better. Sigma also look to have gotten the noise levels improved somewhat over the DP generation - they are still terrible relative to the rest of the industry. Colour handling has supposedly improved with the firmware Sigma released on day 2. I think with the Sigma, that we need to be honest about what it is and what it isn't. It isn't supposed to be the worlds most versatile camera. It's built for a purpose.
    The biggest problem that I can see with it is that foveon sensors force you down the Sigma Photo Pro route..... not even any of the smaller niche RAW processors can support it at present.

    As for the dynamic range... it may be overblown pardon the pun. Supposedly these sensors really need to be treated more like slide film. They respond much better to underexposing and pushing rather over exposing and pulling. Dynamic range is probably in the 14 stop range if you nail exposure. They they rule is in tonal range and the tonal transitions that are possible when each and every pixel is recording a true colour value.

    14974192341_8ca4665bf9_s.jpg Sigma DP2 Quattro (volle Auflösung - full resolution) by
    [email protected]
    , on Flickr

    and amazing for black and white ... truly medium format film quality. Click through for larger :
    Endless biking
    by appleonthetree, on Flickr

    Please note in both of these captures I am linking to the original photographers work who own the full copyright. I'm linking to here in respectful admiration of their work and to illustrate the quality of what the foveon can do with both colour and black and white. If the original photographers are reading I hope they are not offended.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, I guess we could argue that... The 17 is a tad soft wide open, but by f4 it's way better than "good enough" across the frame. When I had my 5dii, I compared output with the 17+E-PL5 with the 5dii+17-40L (at 35mm) at f5.6 and f8 respectively and they were essentially identical. The 12mm is better wide open than the 17 and really very sharp once stopped down to f2.8 or beyond. They both deliver great colour and contrast. Personally, I think these two lenses are good examples of what u43 can do - small, light, fast lenses with excellent build quality and IQ.
  15. I don't think that there's enough in the Sigmas to justify their shortcomings. Intriguing concept, though.
  16. strumstrum

    strumstrum Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 10, 2014
    I had all 3 Merrills until I realised I needed more versatility and sold up and switch to m4/3rds..

    Sigma Pro software is an absolute drag to use, cameras average to below average IQ above base ISO.

    build quality is outstanding, IQ @ ISO 100 shot RAW and PP is out of this world amazing, nothing can touch it 4-5 times its price. some of my fave B&Ws of all time have come from the Sigmas

    this full size is stunning, if out and out IQ is your thing on a budget, you will not do better.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    The biggest issue is that realistically a sigma rarely for anyone can be your only camera so as nice as it is at base ISO ... It's only good there.. As soon as you crank it up 2-3 stop ISO it's no longer the stellar camera.... Quattro didn't really solve many of the fundamental issues.. What.. 1 stop ISO maybe stretching it to 2 a but better screen and a bit better battery and still slow and still restricted 3rd party post processing support..

    Shame because sooo many appear to want to go fovean but sooo conflicted due lack of any real progress on usability..
  18. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    I have been using it when there is good light. I have other cameras when I need to boost the iso. I didn't find the software to be as annoying as others say. I don't use it much though. I simply browse through the jpgs and make note which one I want, then I just copy those raw over and use the sigma's program to convert them to tiff and then use LR to process them.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Do you mind sharing some more pictures with us??

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Has anyone ever worked out what Sigma has tried to achieve with their cameras? With all the talk about how they perform, and the results do look impressive, I can't see why they haven't produced say a medium format camera. That's an area where photographers have long accepted low ISO, slow performance etc to achieve ultimate results and, by the sounds of it, that's where the Foveon sensor would shine.
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