Body and Handling

The SD Quattro is a fascinatingly unconventional piece of design, solid and (presumably intentionally) un-camera-like, it seems to signify a utilitarian dedication to function. However, it's nothing like as avant garde as its DP Quattro cousins and is all the more comfortable to use for that.

The camera has a substantial grip to house the camera's usefully large 14Wh battery and it provides a pretty comfortable way to hold the camera. Sigma doesn't give a battery life figure for the camera but the large battery means you don't have to constantly worry about it going flat. The tube that extends from the front of the body, to provide the depth for its SA mount, gives a convenient place to cradle the camera with your left hand, giving a stable way to support it, two-handed.

There's room for a large BP-61 battery at the bottom of the camera. There's also a connector on the left, which usually sits under a rubber cap that allows an external grip which has portrait orientation controls and room for an additional two batteries.

On top of the camera are twin control dials, which are well positioned and easily accessible from the shooting position. Ranged down the right-hand side of the rear screen is a series of buttons that give you direct access to key shooting functions, which are then set using the dials.

Immediately behind the front dial is the 'QS' button that accesses the camera's quick settings menu, which gives access to many of the key settings that don't have their own dedicated buttons.

The rear screen is actually made up from two LCD panels: the left-hand one is a conventional full color unit while a strip down the right-hand side is a monochromatic status panel. The backlight of the status strip can be turned on and off independently of the main screen.

The 2.36m dot viewfinder is pretty good, giving a detailed impression of the scene and a fast-enough refresh rate that you don't really notice it. It can't represent black as well as OLED displays, so it can't quite match their contrast but it's well shrouded, so that it's not overly affected by stray light coming in, even if you wear glasses. A large three-position switch controls whether the camera uses its rear screen, EVF or auto-switches between the two.

The Quattro H includes all the features you might expect, including level meter, 'thirds' grids and a histogram. Pressing the display button cycles through the available options and the camera remembers a different screen setting for the rear panel and the viewfinder.

Down the left-hand flank of the camera are its ports that, impressively, include a USB 3.0 socket (still a rarity on modern cameras and hugely useful for a camera that generated such large files).

Finally, there's a lock switch on top of the camera. This prevents accidental operation of the camera's buttons but it still accepts input from the dials and doesn't lock the power switch, so it's still possible to accidentally turn the camera on, at which point it'll commit itself to steadily converting all its battery's energy into warmth.