Yet Another DPQ2 Review

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Erational
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Yet Another DPQ2 Review
3 months ago

Well, I waited patiently while the rest of the World seemed to get their own Sigma DP-2 Quattro. Finally, it shipped to America for more than tantalizing testing. So, here is a regular guy's first day of shooting with the Quattro.

It's said that you should be careful of what you wish for, this is true in my case with this DP-2Q. I was hoping to loose some of that coal-miner look the DP-3M imparted to faces. The augmented yellows, the oversaturated reds, and the limited palette were all things I was hoping to trade in for more resolution.

So far, not so good. I had seen one or two reviewers speak to how badly the Quattro was handling highlights, but I thought "It can't possibly be worse than the Merrill for blown highlights." I was WRONG. It's much worse for blown highlights than my DP-3 Merrill, even when you dial the EV way down. It reminds me of a cellphone camera from the previous decade insofar as blown highlights goes- and 'Highlight Reduction' in SPP will not save you. My workflow for daylight shots with the DP-3M was to shoot raw at about -1.7EV and bring the low/midtones back up with +X3 Fill Light in SPP. Using this workflow results in awful pictures with the Quattro. YMMV.

With the DP-3M, I had forgotten about Chromatic Aberration, but here it was back with the 2014 Quattro and no amount of slider fiddling in SPP would banish the CA. Sorry, have not used the DP2M to compare levels of CA. Yes, the camera and SPP are at the latest versions of firmware & software.

"But how about the good stuff", you say ? Yes, the colors are FAR better and one does not need to do additional processing in other photo editor software to get colors approaching reality. To me ANY camera has better color than the DP2M, which is why I had bought the DP3M. Sure red/magenta is still blown-out on the Quattro, but gone was the sickening yellow of the DP3M. Also gone is that look of dirt smeared on buildings and people. Skin tones are great!

On the polarizing subject of the camera body shape, I find the shape eminently gripable. It's shape has grown on me, from the first revulsion I felt when I first saw a picture of it.  No contortion is needed to hit the shutter button.  It's a pleasure to walk with the camera and not worry about the camera slipping. And SURE the camera is faster. But, you will not be mistaking the Quattro for a DSLR. No, SPP processing is not faster as Sigma had promised, but that may change in time.

Was excited when Sigma said metering was more accurate on the Quattro, but, my copy's metering is way more erratic than my Merrill. White balance has definitely improved, as Sigma said it would. Facial Recognition accuracy has not improved over the DP3M, but the DP2M does not have Facial Recognition anyway, last time I checked.

I thought the "Beer Garden Effect" was internet B.S., but I saw it on my second set of photos. I thought the 'Color Bleeding' issue was more Luddite drivel of posters unwilling to admit to progress, but there it was in my own photo. Didn't need a 100% loupe to see the Bayer-like effect. Strangely, edges are SHARPER with the Q compared to the M. Bleeding isn't a constant with all subjects, yellow and white seem to be the most problematic.

The below photo isn't making any point, although if you look close you will see clipping in the white reflection from a flash. The hummingbird did not have any chipped paint.

DP2 Quattro ISO 100. JPEG SPP Converted from RAW.

Tentatively, I have to say that yes, there does not seem to be as much resolution as a Merrill. Please do not flame me for writing the previous sentence. Indeed, I have seen comparison photos to the contrary on the web. It's just my initial impression. Thought I could do without the excess detail inside the lines, but I may have been wrong.

Will shoot tomorrow in the SuperHi JPEG setting and see if I can have any better luck with blown-highlights.

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