Sigma SD Quattro Digital Camera with 30mm F1.4 DC HSM

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Sigma SD Quattro Digital Camera with 30mm F1.4 DC HSM

Sigma SD Quattro Digital Camera with 30mm F1.4 DC HSM

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The BIOS was the key and it wasn't possible to get compatible computer without IBM licensing until Compaq (later bought by the HP) reverse engineered it in clean room method and that was then the problem for IBM as it allowed Microsoft to license the PC DOS (MS DOS) to second parties. It was game over that time.

As with all Foveon chips, the sensor interprets color based on the fact that different colors of light have different amounts of energy and so can penetrate the sensor to different depths. This is radically different from conventional designs that place filters in front of the sensor, throwing away around half of all the light so that each pixel only 'sees' light of a predetermined color.

Sample Images

It's fair to say that movies aren't exactly the Sigma sd Quattro's strong point, in that Sigma have completely ommitted video recording. The battery life is also poor, with a CIPA quoted life of 200 shots - we managed 180 images before needing to recharge. Sigma have decided to only supply one battery in the box, so you'll need to budget for a few spares to get through a days shooting. Dynamic range on the Sigma SD Quattro is comparable with the X Pro2 and other high-end APS-C cameras but not quite up there with Sony’s best full frame sensor. There is quite a sudden burn in the highlights, so be careful exposing the camera. DNG raw benefits In summary, the Sigma sd Quattro H ports the 3-layer Foveon technology from the fixed lens, compact camera design of the DP-series to a more adaptable mirrorless design, which should broaden its appeal. Compared to the cheaper Sigma sd Quattro camera, the H version increases the megapixel count thanks to the larger sensor, and additionally offers Adobe DNG support, although the resulting file sizes are huge. It's still something of a hard sell when compared to its direct competition, but no other camera delivers quite the same image quality as the Sigma sd Quattro H (except the Sigma sd Quattro)...

These files are 19MP or approximately 5.5K, and no JPEG is recorded in DNG mode unlike the standard RAW+JPEG X3F mode. On paper, the sd Quattro has a bang up-to-date viewfinder
and screen. Its EVF uses a 2.36-million-dot panel and offers a magnification equivalent to 0.73x. The 3in rear screen has a 1.62-million-dot resolution, although it’s fixed rather than articulated and not touch-sensitive. One nice feature is the addition of a small OLED sub-monitor alongside the LCD that displays key settings such as shutter speed, aperture, metering mode, ISO and exposure mode. However, the camera does have a Focus Peaking option which allows live view focusing with a digital zoom for accomplishing precision focus in manual focus mode.The Sigma sd Quattro has a very unusual design that's quite unlike any other compact system camera that we've seen before. Measuring 147mm (W) x 95.1mm (H) x 90.8mm (D) and weighing 625grams, it's wide and heavy, with a very pronounced hand-grip with a leatherette covering which helps you to keep a firm hold and accomodates a wide range of hand sizes. There's also a generous thunb-grip at the rear of the camera. The Sigma X3F raw files are of the same resolution but Sigma Photo Pro using the Super-Hi export setting, the software can produce upscaled 16bit TIFF files at roughly 36MP or 7K. Sigma do a higher-end model now with an APS-H size sensor (1.3x crop over full frame). This doesn’t have much of a low-light boost but the EVF is larger, the rendering from the larger sensor is closer to full frame for Sigma ART lenses and it has a resolution bump over the standard APS-C SD Quattro. Does APS-H make a difference over APS-C? Yes it does, very noticeable. See for instance the Canon 1D C 4K mode vs only Super 35mm. The “SD Quattro H” camera with the 18-35mm is pushing the corner sharpness down a bit but it doesn’t vignette much especially at 35mm. On the full frame lenses like the 35mm F1.4 it will give you close to medium format performance for resolution at F2.8. In use, the sd Quattro is a reasonably responsive camera, and the slow processing and write times that plagued the SD1 Merrill are gone. It’s not going to challenge similarly priced enthusiast DSLRs for speed, especially when used in its resource-hungry SFD mode, but it won’t leave you waiting much, either. They have a built in intervalometer for timelapse and a very good JPEG engine to avoid the raw processing time in post for long sequences. Even better news is now the SD Quattro and SD Quattro H shoot DNG raw compatible with Adobe software and DaVinci Resolve. Previously you had to use Sigma’s own software to process the raw files and although it produces superior results, it’s painfully slow and doing a timelapse sequence would take forever!

And if you have used any Foveon sensor camera you would know how sharp the photos from the Foveon sensor really is. Below is an sample photo I took using the SD Quattro and the 30mm f/1.4 DC ART kit lens. Top is the uncropped photo, bottom is a 100% crop near the middle. Look at how sharp everything is and the amount of fine details the camera managed to record. No idea where you found "terrible chroma detail". Sure, if you pixel-peep the DNGs, then yes, you can see the flaws that are typical to how foveon sensors work, but no observer is going to do that. As far as my eyes tell me - the detail is just fine. Not the "amazing" kind of fine, but more than usable. Combine that with spacial detail, and the results are quite amazing. Auto-focus is also subpar and often seems to favor the contrast-detection aspect more than the phase-detection aspect of its hybrid focus system. There isn’t much hunting, but in low light, it does struggle more than I would like. I often found myself defaulting to manual focus when I knew the light was not ample. While it has understandably
not been very prolific with new models, Sigma has maintained a constant, if low-key presence in the camera market. Its current
dp Quattro fixed-lens compacts have a clear, if somewhat niche appeal, with exceptional lenses and superb image quality at low ISOs. The camera we’re considering here, the sd Quattro, uses the same sensor, but with interchangeable lenses. It’s one of a pair of externally identical cameras, with the sd Quattro-H differing in having a larger, higher resolution 25.5-million-pixel sensor with a 1.3x crop.All of the sample images in this review were taken using the High JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 13Mb. But if you love shooting landscape photos and would quite often carry your tripod with you, or maybe you also shoot in the studio quite a bit, then despite all its flaws, this is probably one of the best camera you can find in the market right now. This unique approach means that its X3F raw files can only be processed using Sigma Photo Pro (SPP). Unfortunately, this is one of the slowest and least intuitive pieces of software I’ve ever used, and it’s a serious weakness of the entire system. It’s capable of delivering good results, but you’ll need a fast, up-to-date computer and the patience of a saint.

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