Recently Sigma released a firmware update, v1.04, for the sdQuattro. Amongst the list of improvements and bug fixes was the added functionality of saving files in the DNG format. A feature introduced for Sigma’s cameras with its big brother the sdQuattroH. The advantage of the DNG format is that you can process them in other RAW processors than Sigma’s own Sigma Photo Pro.
One of the disadvantages is the enormous file size. On the quick test I ran the files where all 110MB and more. I also was not able to open the DNG in a few common RAW processors, most notably Apple’s system wide RAW engine. It seems though that both problems can be solved by running the files through Adobe’s free DNG converter. The files shrank to about 45MB and I was able to open them with Apple’s RAW processor engine. I checked a few of the files in Lightroom and couldn’t find any difference between them. One note of caution though, it can be that Sigma included the original X3F within the DNG file (hence the size). But that there is no tool for extracting that file yet.
At this moment you do have to make the decision in camera if you want use DNG or not. Unfortunately there is no way to have both a X3F and DNG or convert a X3F to a DNG. This might be a concern for those that are looking for ultimate image quality. For those that would like a RAW workflow but did find SPP a bit of a hassle to use the DNG files may be a viable solution. By the way you will not be able to open the DNG files in Sigma Photo Pro.
For me personally this is a very welcome addition to the sdQuattro and will be using it for non-critical work as it speeds up my workflow by a factor of 10. And till now I have found the conversion quality pretty good.
A few examples
Complete list of benefits of Ver.1.04 firmware update
- It is possible to save images in DNG format (RAW 12bit).
- It is compatible with the Live View Display of Sigma Capture Pro.
- It is compatible with the SFD mode of Sigma Capture Pro.
- It offers faster AF speed of lenses from the Contemporary, Art and Sports lines by about 10 – 30%, and has improved the AF accuracy as well.
- When used with the SIGMA ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-630 for SIGMA, it has improved the color rendering of the White Balance’s Flash mode in (it requires the latest firmware for the EF-630 for SIGMA as well).
- It has corrected the phenomenon that the AF Shooting button did not work while the camera was using AF Lock.
- It has corrected the phenomenon that adjustments on the marked images could occasionally freeze the software when the card has an X3I file in it.
- It has improved the general operation of the software to achieve better stability.