New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

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rick decker
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New Images - Quattro vs Merrill
2 months ago

The last few days I have spent some time shooting the Q and M together. I have put together a selection of 10 comparisons, minimally-compressed jpegs, labeled Q/M 1-10 in the Sigma User Group set of galleries at:

http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr/dp2q_vs_dp2m

You might want to load this before you read the rest as I make reference to specific images. These images are not champagne bottles or color charts but ones you would see walking around.

My shots were a combination of hand-held and tripod.  Once you figure it out, the camera is quite easy and comfortable to hand-hold. All images were processed with NR off and 0 settings in SPP (6.01). Full-size, minimally compressed JPEGs.  They are not necessarily meant to be a comparison of sharpness although some decisions can be made about that. Images were shot using A/AF/AWB/ISO100/Evaluative metering and a variety of f-stops. The light varied from strong sunlight to overcast. AWB results varied somewhat by camera as the light shifted.

One of the most appealing differences of the Q is that the shadows are not as strong as the M and show more detail. Part of this could be the result of a flatter being produced. In general, the Q produced cooler tones and more accurate color although there were a few cases under very strong sunlight that its colors appeared somewhat warmer than the M (Q3/M3). The Q is more reliable in its metering and in producing the image you expect to get. I had a number of times where the M gave me some unusual/unexpected settings and I had to re-shoot. The Q often meters about 1/3 to 1/2 ev faster than the M.

AWB seems to be more accurate with the Q than the M. The M can produce a shift towards warmer tones with overcast light (Q2/M2; Q4/M4: Q5/M5). The deep red of the heliconia was a problem for both cameras as the Q image tended to be a little too cool and the M, more so, too warm.

The Q is the clear winner in holding highlights, even when taking into account exposure differences (Q/M 6/8/10) It does not resolve detail quite as well as the M, most noticeable in the distant foliage and thin blades of grass (distant foliage in Q/M 3 near yellow bus and tarp cover). On the other hand if you browse around 3, you will find the Q with better color and some parts that are actually sharper than the M. The one comparison indoors in low light did not show much of a difference IMO (closet part of Q8/M8).

http://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr/dp2q_vs_dp2m

With its slightly better color, battery life and 2x processing speed, I would take the Q over the M.

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