New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Started Jul 6, 2014 | Discussions
MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 17,048
New Images - Quattro vs Merrill
10

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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BarrytheB Veteran Member • Posts: 3,582
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Thanks for posting these Rick
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jennyrae Senior Member • Posts: 2,690
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

thanks. Quattro do indeed show real life colors. and Merrill show contrast.

Hardy Steiner Senior Member • Posts: 2,442
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Thanks a lot Rick for the comparison!

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Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 28,984
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill
1

Thanx for taking the time to post.

The Q4/M4 is interesting. Knowing nothing about that flower I do not know if it is pink (Q4) or orange (M4). Or maybe it is red?

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PrebenR Veteran Member • Posts: 4,164
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Thanks.

One question in the exif in pbase it says jpeg quality 8. Is that correct?

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Meuh
Meuh Veteran Member • Posts: 3,161
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill
1

Interesting.
One of the things I love about the Merrills is that they keep detail in distant foliage really well and its a shame that some of that is lost, I guess the Merrill still have better micro contrast over the Q's or is this a possessing difference in sigma pro photo?

jennyrae Senior Member • Posts: 2,690
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

it's camera jpeg.

Meuh
Meuh Veteran Member • Posts: 3,161
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

I wonder if using sigma pro photo and turning off all noise reduction could help with the distant foliage?

jennyrae Senior Member • Posts: 2,690
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

I think Rick did not enhance sharpness. but from other pictures I have seen around, it can be. micro-contrast however suggest Merrill is slightly more elaborate than Quattro when processed.

if you want stronger micro-contrast in pictures, Merrill is selection. if you want slightly less micro-contrast or smoother picture, then Quattro is selection. difference is more of Quattro's Color and smooth tones versus Merrill's hard micro-contrast.

Johan Borg Senior Member • Posts: 2,981
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Meuh wrote:

I wonder if using sigma pro photo and turning off all noise reduction could help with the distant foliage?

That's what Rick did, these are all RAWs from SPP 6. The Quattro in-camera JPEGs have about twice the resolution of those from Merrill, the new engine is just so much better.

Meuh
Meuh Veteran Member • Posts: 3,161
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Johan Borg wrote:

Meuh wrote:

I wonder if using sigma pro photo and turning off all noise reduction could help with the distant foliage?

That's what Rick did, these are all RAWs from SPP 6. The Quattro in-camera JPEGs have about twice the resolution of those from Merrill, the new engine is just so much better.

ah ok thank you.
I'm very interested in it all.. just don't have the concentration I normally would atm as I had an op in my neck and the pain killers are making me drowsy

JohnLindroth Senior Member • Posts: 2,906
warm vs cool differences

Since you used AWB on all the images, is this something in AWB that is different, or is it deeper in the sense of the how the sensor captures colors? If you take a raw from each and set it to an appropriate value for the photo, or capture each with a CWB, do you still see tonal differences?

Overall, I'm not seeing much difference, except in the few you mentioned in your post.

Thanks for taking the time to take and share them.

-John

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larryj Forum Pro • Posts: 11,478
Re: warm vs cool differences

Thanks Rick, for sharing those comparison images for the Q and M cameras.  I am really looking forward to the trial test of the DP2Q set for next week.  i will do a custom WB on the DP and the SD1M and see how the colors differ, if at all.

PS.   I found the DP3M was warmer than the SD1M and 50mm Art lens combo when shoot the same targets.

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stansbca Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill
4

I don't really have a dog in the fight (as I don't own either), but I much prefer the Merrill images. So much so that I'll probably order one soon.

Rick, thank you so much for posting these. Anytime you post something like this you open yourself up for ridicule and drama, so I appreciate you taking the time and energy to do this for us.

OP MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 17,048
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Well the Q which tends to produce cooler tones, has too much blue in it and it gets more pronounced as you move in close. The M tends to move towards orange especially in overcast light. So I think that it is somewhere in between. Here is another comparison. Note the stamen color which is more accurate with the Q.

Q  Stamen more accurate

M

OP MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 17,048
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

I can't figure that out as Mike Earusi commented upon that.  I saved everything as JPEG 12's via a photoshop action using batch mode.  After Mike's comments, I went back and saved one image individually and the size was the same. I just ran two comparisons on another image - Action/non-batch, individual save non-action. Both are the same size as the batch action.  So I don't know what is going on.  Possibly a PS problem?

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OP MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 17,048
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Thanks for re-stating that.  Being a  "scan" reader, I often miss such things.  I often say "I am a scan reader...I read every third line"!

Rick

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OP MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 17,048
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill
1

Thanks:  To each his own.  My eyes are like a Sigma camera - they need strong light. Close-up I  can see indian paintbrush color well but hiking I often miss them.I am worse on green than red and miss some of the subtle tonal differences.

At this point, I would buy the Q over the M just for battery and processing time (5+ seconds). However, I would really like to do a  comparison of a 32x48 equivalent print (via cropping) and will try to get around to that soon.

Both cameras are worth of any photographer!

Rick

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ilsiu Regular Member • Posts: 474
Re: New Images - Quattro vs Merrill

Thank you for your effort.  Are you planning to do high ISO comparisons?

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