In my normal day-to-day life as a photographer I regularly shoot concerts. That is unfortunately not with Sigma cameras because, as is commonly known, high iso and high speed shooting are not the Sigma’s strength. For those assignments I use Nikon full frame cameras. But after my first positive impressions of the dp2 quattro I was very anxious to try out what it could do at concerts.
Yesterday I had the perfect opportunity. Literally around the corner was a performance of a local band at the yearly village carnival. So I took the Sigma dp2 quattro and set out to give it a try.
The camera performed better than I expected. The focussing was pretty fast and mostly always right. Shot to shot time was also acceptable. Although reviewing was often a bit frustrating as you have to wait till all files are written to the card. I didn’t have my fastest card in so the wait was sometimes a bit long. I used mostly Speed priority and the exposure were quite nice. Nothing went out of the scale in regard to under or overexposure. Later in the evening I used Manual exposure which fits my style best. That worked of course perfectly 😉
During the evening I tried a few different iso scenarios. And was quite happy with the results up to iso 1000. Above that the images started to break down. Iso 1600 was usable at times but showed severe noise problems. Also contrast started lacking at that level. The very positive surprise to me was that even at iso 1600 files stayed very colorful. This was for me a problem with the previous generation of Sigma cameras. Already at iso 400 you started to see a significant loss of color.
The observations above are all based on the in-camera JPGs. Because, and there we go again, Sigma Photo Pro did not do a very good job on the RAWs. I will have to investigate this further but opening the RAWs was a big disappointment. I seemed to loose a lot of color and the noise reduction brought in a smearing I didn’t see on the JPGs. It might also be that problems with color management (on the Mac) play a role in this. As some results I saw gave me the feeling as color space translation problems. I’m not an expert in this regard but have a lot of experience in the prepress industry and it reminded me of some of those difficulties I face(d) there.
PS. All photos on the right are just in-camera JPGs that were run through Lightroom to do a bit of color noise reduction and the scaling.