SIGMA dp0 Quattro First Impressions. First user report and images. November 2018.

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jfa3000
jfa3000 Regular Member • Posts: 103
SIGMA dp0 Quattro First Impressions. First user report and images. November 2018.
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SIGMA dp0 Quattro First Impressions. First user report and images. November 2018.

The Sigma dp0 Quattro is a mirrorless camera that uses a Foveon sensor and has a fixed, 14mm (21mm equivalent) ultra-wide angle lens for maximum sharpness and high quality digital images.

Operation:

A camera that doesn’t get in the way of making high quality images.

The first test of the dp0 Quattro was without the viewfinder LVF-01, and while the output was excellent, I had a hard time seeing details at the edges of the screen. I bought the viewfinder LVF-01, and I can see the composition more clearly. The readout of the screen is not as good resolution as you get in the file, but I’m used to it after one shoot and edit. Buttons and settings are basic, but functional, and once you grasp the menu logic, it is easy to find things. This is a First Impressions report, so, for shooting, I’ve been leaving the exposure settings basic (A, f/5.6, Daylight WB, Evaluative Metering, 100 ISO) and I take it from there. On a tripod, I use the cable release for long exposures. I can use the camera without the viewfinder, but I like it better on. It is bulky when attached, but worth it for me in terms of compositional accuracy. I’m on a learning curve with the AF and the ultra wide lens, so I’ll just say it works fine, but for quick, street shooting, I still need to work on my technique to understand the DOF better. Ergonomics are initially eccentric like the visual design, but now I can find everything logically enough. The low weight is definitely an advantage compared with many other DSLR/ Mirrorless camera and lens combinations that give output of this quality. I bought into the Sigma Foveon concept knowing the technical parameters well, having done lots of research. I use Sigma cameras at 100 ISO, and the lenses at their best apertures, as much as I can. I know they were designed for optimum performance at a focussed set of parameters, and it just so happens I can adapt my work to that.

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about at this stage, take some time to do more research about Sigma cameras, and Foveon sensors, as they’re different from Bayer sensors with their output.)

Technical thoughts:

Sharp lens, great colours and excellent detail in easy to edit images, within limited shooting parameters.

The matched sensor/ lens combination is why I bought into the Sigma DP camera concept, and it doesn’t disappoint with the output. At this point, as it is a first impressions report, I’ll limit what I say in regards to the image quality and output due to lack of accumulated experience with the camera, but overall, I am very impressed, and inspired to shoot more- which is always good.

The lens is really sharp, I use the lens auto correction in SPP on a maxed out Macbook Pro 2015, and then export the X3F file to Photoshop as a TIFF fast enough. JPEGS look good straight out of the camera. I haven’t used the DNG format yet. I tried the HiRes but the camera movement spoilt the shot- looks tricky- I need more practice. Adjusting individual images to a final version is relatively quick, as efficient workflow is an important aspect of digital photography.

The camera exposes for detail in the highlights, and I’ve found there’s enough DR to bring out sufficient shadow detail. The contrast and colour rendering are beautiful- much more ‘alive’ than most of the Bayer images I made. This is the reason I bought into the Sigma idea, and the dp0 Quattro doesn’t disappoint. It reminds me of Kodachrome 64 through a Leica M lens. Lovely. This is subjective, but as the Sigma output exceeds my previous output- I’m happy, although I haven’t made any prints yet.

I’m going to try shots at higher ISO and see what they look like. I’ve heard the Quattro sensor is better than the Merrill at anything above 100 ISO. More time.

Aesthetics:

Definitely an eccentric looking camera, but a functional design.

Normally, I wouldn’t make much of a comment about the aesthetics of cameras (my other camera is made of wood), but the Sigma dp0 Quattro is different. It is a strange shape, for sure. For transporting too, but overall, I find it useable, and personally like the styling of the machine. With the viewfinder it looks like nothing else you’ve seen, but I don’t mind that.

Value for money:

A very affordable technical upgrade.

I also use a Sigma DP3 Merrill camera for a versatile combination. My Sigma dp0 Quattro, LVF-01 viewfinder, DP3 Merrill and extra batteries cost me just under €1200. The DP3 Merrill and the LVF-01 viewfinder were bought second hand. The dp0 Quattro was new from a local store, on special offer. I’d say this was excellent value for money considering the high quality output from these cameras. I sold €2000 of previous gear (Mirrorless camera, 3 lenses + camera cupboard clean-out). I’ve given myself a major technical upgrade, and an €800 smile on my face every time I pick them up.

Conclusion:

A very affordable, high quality camera on its own, or as part of a compact system.

My two Sigma cameras- dp0 Quattro and DP3 Merrill, the LVF-01 viewfinder, batteries, cables and chargers, all fit in a Domke F-802 Reporter’s Satchel, giving a light weight, compact, portable, high quality system.

I shoot architecture, landscapes and people, and can carry this around all day.

Hiking, the kit fits well in a backpack. I put everything in individual Domke wraps and dry bags.

I have serious fun using the Sigma Dp0 Quattro. The image quality is excellent and makes me want to take more images. If your camera inspires you to go out shooting, it must be good.

All kudos to Sigma Corp for providing a fantastic alternative to digital image rendering.

Future recommendations:

Better battery life.

Better Medium/ High ISO.

Better resolution screen for use with optional viewfinder to approximate EVF experience.

SPP/ X3F converter as an Adobe Extension.

1/8th of a second, hand held.

Cheers,

JFA

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jfa3000
www.fredfoto.net

 jfa3000's gear list:jfa3000's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp0 Quattro +2 more
Sigma dp0 Quattro
20 megapixels • 3 screen • 14 mm
Announced: Feb 10, 2015
jfa3000's score
4.0
Average community score
4.0
bad for good for
Kids / pets
acceptable
Action / sports
okay
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
okay
Flash photography (social)
okay
Studio / still life
great
= community average
Sigma dp0 Quattro Sigma DP3 Merrill
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