Hello everybody, it’s been a while since I posted something here. But a new Sigma camera is of course a good reason to show my face here once again. Earlier this week I received my dp2 quattro. I was very intrigued by it’s new sensor.

I liked the SD1 a lot although the processing of it’s files wasn’t easy. But the DP Merrills were a mixed bag for me. I had lots of trouble getting the colors right, each model had a very different response. And for my shooting style the noise reduction methods introduced a lot of unwanted detail/structure. The shadows were clipping to a blackish mud too easily too. As I like subtle tonality that was not too much to my liking. So I was wondering if this new sensor would solve some of the ‘problems’.

The good news

Well it actually does solve some of the ‘problems’. The colors look very natural with minimal effort. Your starting White Balance still is key but AWB most of time does it’s job perfectly well. Shadow are pretty rich in colors and tones, you can actually push the exposure quite far without breaking up the shadows. In fact I would suggest (after only limited testing of course) that the quattro likes a bit underexposed RAWs more than overexposed ones. It tends to clip highlights faster and harder than the Merrills.

I am very impressed by the resolution it gives. It is way beyond my day to day workhorse the Nikon D600. The sharpness/resolution is of a completely different quality. It just is fun to zoom in to 100%, not something I like doing with the Nikon  Especially on my retina Macbook pro.

SPP…

And that leads me to my biggest complaint… SPP. It is still is a mess unfortunately. I have not seen the Windows version but the Mac version is definitely a less than mediocre app. First, and that is for a RAW converter a big big big problem, it’s color management is not working right. The working color space is not translated to the screen the right way. As my screen is calibrated to close to sRGB this is the only working environment that gives a result that approximately right. Choosing any other working color space results in differences between onscreen results and exported results. Something is really wrong there. The application is also incredibly slow. But at least in the latest version doesn’t crash too often, as long as I don’t mix jpgs and Raws in one folder and keep the amount of Raws in a folder under ca. 200. And when it crashes I get developer debug info etc. (it asks to install Xcode…) Why? I know what it was but Olga really didn’t understand what was going on. Another strange problem is with the JPGs coming out of it. I regularly get JPGs that are unable to be opened in standard Mac environment (finder, preview,aperture). They do open in Photoshop though and simple reserve from there makes them normally accessible. I have to add to this that this happens on the public beta version of OSX 10.10. Didn’t have this under 10.9.

A very preliminary conclusion

After only a few days of really just trying out I am pretty impressed with this camera. It feels like a real premium product and it is relatively easy to shoot. Out of camera JPGs are good. The quality you can achieve with it is very high. Unfortunately its full potential is not yet unleashed I think due to problems with SPP. I am looking forward to further testing and finding out in which way to get the most out of it. And sharing it of course.

Have a look at https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobnl/ too, I’ll be posting some of the results of my quest there.

 

 

  • Tom Sebastiano

    Hi Bob
    Thanks for the review, I’m very interested to know the performance of the new sensor at 400 + ISO do you have any views on this aspect?
    Regards
    Tom

  • Jim Roelofs

    Greetings to you and Olga. Thank goodness I can count on you (and some others on the Sigma forum) to trumpet the positives of the Q, contrary to so many negative, ulterior motives and postulations expressed by the five minute experts. I’m really looking forward to the SDQ even though, when going by past releases, I might have to shoot with the SD1M for some time yet.

    The baby looks cute and beautiful too!

    Sincerest regards, Jim Roelofs

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