Sigma DP2 Quattro - Raw files or jpgs.?

Check out the link at the bottom of the page for news on the Fuji X100T L-Plate grips.

Gear Used - Sigma DP2 Quattro

Location - Lickey Hills Country Park, UK

All images shot with Sigma DP2 Quattro. Processed from raw using Sigma Photo Pro 6.

I finally got round to processing a large batch of Sigma raw files in Sigma Photo Pro 6 software. It took a while!! 50 files took around one and a half hours. I set the software running and went and did something else. So was it worth it?

For me it's yes and no. Yes there is a (very) marginal improvement over the OOC jpgs. but No, it's not enough for me to go through this time consuming process. 

As you can see there is very little in it. It also shows that the DP2 Quattro OOC jpgs. are VERY good indeed. Some have suggested this isn't the case, but as ever it always helps to actually test out a camera properly. It's one of the usual suspects, who seems to be more concerned about how he looks on camera than actually giving a decent appraisal of a camera who said the jpgs. were rubbish. But hey he gets huge viewing numbers so what do I know?

I suspect Sigma had in mind their VERY slow software when they came up with their jpg. rendering and they have (thankfully) produced probably the best OOC jpgs. of any camera ever (I know that!). The shots above, because they were captured as both raw and jpg. are 56MB's in size, but what I've been doing before and will go back to, is shooting the double size jpgs. which again are excellent. Maybe if / when Iridient Developer support these files I'll have another look, but I'm perfectly happy with the jpgs.

Using the camera again confirms my belief that Sigma really need to put together an interchangeable lens system for this sensor. I'm pretty sure that they won't, but it is frustrating to have just this one lens. For serious high quality landscape, for which this camera is perfect, I always want a variety of lenses and in particular a wide-angle. That is coming, as I imagine is the short telephoto option they provided for the Merrills, but this is a real waste of one of the best sensors out there, at least at low ISO settings. I guess they had a bad experience with the SD1 DSLR, but surely it's worth another go with something that takes more than one lens. I have no intention of carrying three of these cameras around and the chances are I won't even buy the other versions - DP1 / DP3 ?? Much as I like the image quality and I have enjoyed producing these amazingly detailed files, it isn't a system that gives me the flexibility to shoot what I want.

I'm pretty much using the camera in much the same way that I would use my Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone. Don't be fooled by the tripod shot at the top of the page, I only ever did that once! I've shot handheld with the Sigma ever since. So I could carry on like that, but it seems likely that I will follow my usual pattern with Foveon sensor cameras. Use the camera, marvel at the image quality, get frustrated by the lack of lens options and sell the camera. And it's a real shame, because the DP2 Quattro does produce astonishingly sharp and detailed files. But the point is that in terms of what I do and what people buy my pictures for, that isn't that important. Most of my picture sales will be reproduced at a size where the sharpness really doesn't show up and to be honest I doubt most of the people who buy my images care anyway. If it's 'sharp enough' then they are probably happy.

So the Sigma Foveon sensor cameras are probably destined to remain niche cameras. I really do think a classy, rangefinderesque body with a choice of top class primes would be very attractive to many buyers. However, Sigma almost certainly disagree. In the light of all the speculation that it's Sigma who actually make the Leica T (Typ 701) lenses for Leica, that's a shame. How about a special edition of the Leica T with the Foveon sensor?? Now that's a mouth watering fantasy, but a fantasy none the less. A shame because Mr Merrill's sensor deserves more.


News - Matthew at the PhotoMadd shop has emailed me to say that the custom Fuji X100T L-Plate grips are due in early next week. Due to some repositioning on the X100T, the X100 /X100s grips won't fit. If you click through to the shop on the link above you can see the current situation on the grip. Matthew is hoping for a February 9 delivery.