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Sigma dp2 Quattro: Huge Step Up From Sigma DP Merrill, and More

My review of the Sigma dp2 Quattro has begun.

Update: working on comparison between the DP2 Merrill and the dp2 Quattro. It’s a terrible slog working with Sigma Photo Pro 6. I’m liking the dp2 Quattro image quality a lot.

My context has been extensive field work with the DP Merrill predecessors. My review will bring that context to bear on ergonomics and operational characteristics, best practices and of course, image quality.

I also plan to evaluate the dp2 Quattro against some DSLRs, because from what I see already, DSLRs short of 36 megapixel ones will be challenged to deliver this kind of detail.

Some very quick impressions, much more detail in my review:

  • Camera operation is considerably faster than DP Merrill cameras.
  • Rear LCD is far sharper and clearer than the DP Merrill cameras.
  • The 5424 X 3616 JPEGs from Raw + JPEG are incredibly good, perhaps the best in-camera JPEGs I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how good they look, and I am most definitely not a fan of JPEG from most cameras. So good I’d be tempted to shoot JPEG (supersize JPEG yet to be evaluated).
  • The sensor has a different look from the DP2 Merrill sensor (not just color), something to be evaluated.

I am starting my coverage with controlled shots and comparisons in order to fully understand the range of the camera, then I will move on to field work

The dolls scene was chosen because it has seriously challenged the Sigma DP Merrill cameras (blues and greens).

This image from JPEG is slightly blue due to auto white balance being slightly off. Click for a larger image.

Sigma dp2 Quattro @ f/4 from camera JPEG

Sigma Photo Pro 6

I’m sorry to say that Sigma Photo Pro 6.0.1 (OS X version) is unusable on my Mac Pro. If it isn’t hanging, it’s crashing or putting windows off both screens. Sigma documents certain issues which are problematic, but there are about 20 more problems (I gave up counting).

I was unable to process even a single X3F file on my 2013 Mac Pro; any attempt to open an X3F file hangs for a time then typically posts an error 14 “reboot Sigma Photo Pro” dialog. The window also shows up almost entirely off the screen except for a small bottom portion, at least on my dual display system.

I had better luck on my late 2013 MacBook Pro (4K display attached: SPP does not properly support screen scaling modes as Photoshop and other programs do, so images are blurred on screen, making editing difficult). I was able to save a TIF from SPP however.

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