SD Q Colour

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Macrae Forum Member • Posts: 86
SD Q Colour

There has been some celebrating SDQ colour recently. As I have said in the past that this has never been my experience. That said, and with a friend trying to get a handle on his new SDQ, I attempted once again to discover what I must be doing wrong. Seems thirteen years experience with Sigma and working daily with the cameras and having worked professionally for 33 years and my own studio for 25+ years just isn't enough,

So instead of beginning with my own test, I grabbed the x3f file DPR created when they "reviewed" the SDQ h. I also grabbed a few other files for comparison. It does not help that DPR cannot light their test scene target evenly. In spite of that, I worked with the x3f file in SPP6.7 and tried to match patches 19 and 24 to DPR's benchmark PhaseOne exposure, and white balanced off of patch #22, N5 as this helped CC the midtones and is the value the SPP exposure dropper is calibrated to. I also tried to balance the RED patch for saturation and density. The numbers are not exact but they are very close. I worked the Hasselblad file in the latest version of their SW, Phocus.

I found the BLUE patch from the SDQ h in the DPR exposure suspect, so I set up my own scene in the studio and shot it with my SDQ. The post production - tedious as it was- was minimal, again trying to match 19 and 24 patches and white balancing the SDQ from patch #22 and the studio standard camera on #23. The gray card right is an old Eastman Kodak and is not CC.

As I have said in the past, colour in not unlike music, it has to be in "balance" to be beautiful and harmonious. Below, you will see how the colour from the SDQ h/ SDQ sensor is out of balance in a way that cannot be reconciled. RED. RED. RED. And yet the RED patch is within spec. The wooden table in the studio scene is brown going green not red. The hair in the DPR scene is brown - not red, and the picture of the black man is over saturated in a strange way, but the MBCC is not.

Look at the files in the gallery view or do your own tests for confirmation. If you are honest however, the pictures posted here often betray these same problems especially if they contain earth tones with RED.

Sadly, I find the SDQ to be the only unusable camera I have ever owned for the reasons listed above and illustrated below. When it is time to change my equipment, I cannot imagine buying into Sigma again. When compared to Hasselblad, Pentax, PhaseOne and Fuji medium format cameras, the SDQ/h just can't compete with the subtle smooth beautiful accurate colour they produce. Would that the SDQ could produce an image like the landscape by Steve Pereira at the bottom.

Sigma sd Quattro H

Hasselblad X1D-50c

Sigma sd Quattro

Studio Standard accurate to scene

Steve Pereira Pentax 645D

Pentax 645D Sigma sd Quattro Sigma sd Quattro H
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