Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

Started Jul 11, 2014 | Discussions
Sam Goetz New Member • Posts: 14
Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test
20

First off, this test is extremely casual. I went out on my lunch break without a tri-pod and took a bunch of shots of NYC streets. Specifically I went looking for colorful signage with a lot of contrast and detail. Yes, the compositions are not perfectly lined up. Yes they were probably taken at slightly different f-stops and shutters.

Some people will probably find this test useless, but the good thing about these cameras is that they produce WILDLY different images. You don't need a tripod and perfect science to see the difference. A lot of the "character" that these cameras impose is apparent without any of that stuff.

Without further ado :

Merrill 01 - Wide

Quattro 01 - Wide

Merrill 01 - Detail

Quattro 01 - Detail

Merrill 02 - Wide

Quattro 02 - Wide

Merrill 02 - Detail

Quattro 02 - Detail

Merrill 03 - Wide

Quattro 03 - Wide

Merrill 03 - Detail

Quattro 03 - Detail

Merrill 04 - Wide

Quattro 04 - Wide

Merrill 04 - Detail

Quattro 04 - Detail

Merrill 05 - Wide

Quattro 05 - Wide

Merrill 05 - Detail

Quattro 05 - Detail

Merrill 06 - Wide

Quattro 06 - Wide

Merrill 06 - Detail

Quattro 06 - Detail

I'm very new to Sigma cameras, but what I love about the Merrill are the colors and unbelievable detail you get out of such a small and affordable package. I'm mostly a film shooter, but the Merrill is the rare digital camera I can get behind.

Based on the test images I've already seen I was deeply concerned that Sigma threw the baby out with the bath water with the Quattro - that the new sensor (although very nice in a vacuum) did not have the qualities that I fell in love with in the Merrill.

Unfortunately, I'd have to say that this test 100% confirmed those fears for me. I'm going to shoot some more tests this weekend (specifically I'd love to see how it does with portraits), but I've seen enough to know that the Quattro makes some deadly compromises in terms of color and detail that simply ruin the whole camera for me.

It's a real shame cause I legitimately love everything else about the Quattro. The form factor is awesome (I've got small hands and I love it), the LCD is so much better. The AF is better (although still pretty funky), the white balance is much better, and feeling comfy shooting at 200 or 400 ISO would be awesome.

I can post the .x3fs if anybody is interested. Yes, I'm brand new to these cameras and this forum. Just trying to be helpful to anybody looking for comparison shots...

OP Sam Goetz New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

The colors in the slideshow are looking funky.

The Flickr album is here : https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZEpe6R

mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,230
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

A very nice and perfectly legitimate test, and with the same conclusion many of us have also reached. The Quattro wins on color and ease of operation, but loses in the vitally important areas of microcontrast and detail. I just wish Sigma could have somehow combined the best of both.

docmaas
docmaas Veteran Member • Posts: 6,504
Images mislabeled?
1

By the exif info I see on my browser (chrome for mac) both images 3 and 4 are Merrill images and both the last images are quattro images.  Could be the browser is wrong but you might want to check your original images.

Mike

adegroot Veteran Member • Posts: 3,012
Re: Images mislabeled?
1

docmaas wrote:

By the exif info I see on my browser (chrome for mac) both images 3 and 4 are Merrill images and both the last images are quattro images. Could be the browser is wrong but you might want to check your original images.

Mike

I noticed the same discrepancies.

 adegroot's gear list:adegroot's gear list
Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp0 Quattro Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma SD15 +13 more
Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,563
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

Thank you for posting these Sam. I think the photos from the Quattro look "nicer" . . . so I think beauty portraits from the Quattro will look better than the same sort of portraits from the Merrill cameras. I can see how an architectural photographer, who specializes in old buildings, would prefer the Merrill sensor. I can also see how a photographer who likes to shoot photos of old folks and rough characters would prefer the Merrill cameras too. I hope Sigma continues to develop the Merrill line of sensors. I hope they make a full-frame Merrill camera AND a full-frame Quattro camera. What a development!

 Scottelly's gear list:Scottelly's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sigma SD1 Merrill Sigma sd Quattro H Nikon D810 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +20 more
Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,563
Re: Images mislabeled?

docmaas wrote:

By the exif info I see on my browser (chrome for mac) both images 3 and 4 are Merrill images and both the last images are quattro images. Could be the browser is wrong but you might want to check your original images.

Mike

I'm using Firefox 30.0 on a Mac, and all the EXIF inforation is showing up as DP2 Quattro for me too.

 Scottelly's gear list:Scottelly's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sigma SD1 Merrill Sigma sd Quattro H Nikon D810 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +20 more
Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,563
Re: Images mislabeled?

Sorry . . . the blue newspaper stand photos say DP2 Merrill. There is definitely something fishy going on here.

 Scottelly's gear list:Scottelly's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sigma SD1 Merrill Sigma sd Quattro H Nikon D810 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +20 more
petr marek Regular Member • Posts: 179
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test
1

Thanks for the test. I agree with you.

From many samples I have seen I made this personal conclusion:

Quattro doesn´t have better image quality than Merrill, resolution feels the same - more than sufficient.

Q has often subtle but visible magenta/green blotches even from ISO 100, M has clearer color resolution.

Subjectively Q´s image feels digital, sometimes like with subtle sandy pattern, M´s image feels real (amazing microcontrast).

Ceistinne Senior Member • Posts: 1,880
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test
1

Sam Goetz wrote:

First off, this test is extremely casual. I went out on my lunch break without a tri-pod and took a bunch of shots of NYC streets. Specifically I went looking for colorful signage with a lot of contrast and detail. Yes, the compositions are not perfectly lined up. Yes they were probably taken at slightly different f-stops and shutters.

Some people will probably find this test useless, but the good thing about these cameras is that they produce WILDLY different images. You don't need a tripod and perfect science to see the difference. A lot of the "character" that these cameras impose is apparent without any of that stuff.

Without further ado :

Merrill 01 - Wide

Quattro 01 - Wide

Merrill 01 - Detail

Quattro 01 - Detail

Merrill 02 - Wide

Quattro 02 - Wide

Merrill 02 - Detail

Quattro 02 - Detail

Merrill 03 - Wide

Quattro 03 - Wide

Merrill 03 - Detail

Quattro 03 - Detail

Merrill 04 - Wide

Quattro 04 - Wide

Merrill 04 - Detail

Quattro 04 - Detail

Merrill 05 - Wide

Quattro 05 - Wide

Merrill 05 - Detail

Quattro 05 - Detail

Merrill 06 - Wide

Quattro 06 - Wide

Merrill 06 - Detail

Quattro 06 - Detail

I'm very new to Sigma cameras, but what I love about the Merrill are the colors and unbelievable detail you get out of such a small and affordable package. I'm mostly a film shooter, but the Merrill is the rare digital camera I can get behind.

Based on the test images I've already seen I was deeply concerned that Sigma threw the baby out with the bath water with the Quattro - that the new sensor (although very nice in a vacuum) did not have the qualities that I fell in love with in the Merrill.

Unfortunately, I'd have to say that this test 100% confirmed those fears for me. I'm going to shoot some more tests this weekend (specifically I'd love to see how it does with portraits), but I've seen enough to know that the Quattro makes some deadly compromises in terms of color and detail that simply ruin the whole camera for me.

It's a real shame cause I legitimately love everything else about the Quattro. The form factor is awesome (I've got small hands and I love it), the LCD is so much better. The AF is better (although still pretty funky), the white balance is much better, and feeling comfy shooting at 200 or 400 ISO would be awesome.

I can post the .x3fs if anybody is interested. Yes, I'm brand new to these cameras and this forum. Just trying to be helpful to anybody looking for comparison shots...

Sam,

Something seriously wrong with your captions as to which is Merrill and Quattro.

1 - 4  Merrill  @ 16:14:56

5 - 8 Quattro @ 17:41:43

9 - 12 Merrill @ 16:14:52

13 - 16 Quattro @ 17:56:31

17 - 20 Quattro @ 17:43:06

21 - 24 Quattro @ 17:46:48

S

 Ceistinne's gear list:Ceistinne's gear list
Sigma SD1 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sigma SD15 Sigma SD14 Sigma SD10 +3 more
OP Sam Goetz New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Images mislabeled? Not mislabled, metadata got all effed in Photoshop.
1

Sorry for the confusion! The reason the metadata is all off is cause to line up my compositions as best as possible I would bring in both high resolution .tifs into ONE photoshop file in different layers. I guess whichever photoshop file I started with took on the metadata.

The labels in the captions are absolutely correct. I'll post my raw files later on. Sorry for the confusion, I didn't realize my .psds were taking on the metadata of the photos I was dragging into them. Seems kind of weird it would do that.

OP Sam Goetz New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

Sorry, see my note above and please ignore the metadata. I used a Photoshop file with layers to organize this test not realizing that the metadata would come through with imports.

OP Sam Goetz New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test
2

I agree the Q feels a lot more like standard DSLRs. Looking at the photos at 100% you can see why. Details that are sharp on the Merrill have digital artifacts that you would never see on film. Maybe "artifacts" is not the right word, but basically the 100% details on a Q look like the 100% details you see on most digital cameras. The Merrill is the exception to this rule with amazingly sharp film-like images at 100%

SigmaTog
SigmaTog Contributing Member • Posts: 861
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

Is there a dead fish here or a troll alert ! ?

ΣigmaTog

OP Sam Goetz New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

Not a troll, I promise! Just trying to share a test I did primarily for myself with the community.

Sorry I messed up the exif data I had no idea these .jpgs had any in the first place and now it's too late to fix my original posting. Trust me, the caption labels are 100% perfectly correct. I made these test files in layered photoshop .psds that took on the exif of the first file dragged in.

SigmaTog
SigmaTog Contributing Member • Posts: 861
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

The camera model & settings & the exif details are missing from the Flickr images too ?

ΣigmaTog

Hng Contributing Member • Posts: 645
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

Sam Goetz wrote:

Not a troll, I promise! Just trying to share a test I did primarily for myself with the community.

Sorry I messed up the exif data I had no idea these .jpgs had any in the first place and now it's too late to fix my original posting. Trust me, the caption labels are 100% perfectly correct. I made these test files in layered photoshop .psds that took on the exif of the first file dragged in.

Thanks Sam, I share warning about Q, like early days of SD1M, it takes time for them to realize that. Will be appreciated for coming X3Fs.

maple Veteran Member • Posts: 3,325
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

Q renders enough (as in the right amount of) details. M renders more, more than what meet our eyes. And that has a price to pay, in other respects of image quality.

-- hide signature --

Maple

Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,563
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

After looking at these again and considering the fact that the images are so small (about 3 MB), I have to say that I'm not going to judge the difference between the two cameras based these images. There are just too many variables that make these images suspect, so I don't feel comfortable making judgments based on differences I see in these images. I've decided to wait until I see a more "scientific" test, shot with the exact same "framing" of subjects, with real out-of-camera JPEGs and RAW files available to look at closely.

I'm sorry Sam, but this was at least a good exercise to show me what I CAN'T use to judge the two cameras.

 Scottelly's gear list:Scottelly's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sigma SD1 Merrill Sigma sd Quattro H Nikon D810 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +20 more
OP Sam Goetz New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not scientific, very casual Quattro vs. Merrill test

Yeah, I uploaded the same .jpgs I uploaded here so it's exactly the same problem.

.x3fs are coming if you really want to check the raws. I'm downloading the card now (I did the earlier posting at work).

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