In a previous article about the Sigma DP2 Quattro I wrote that it may well follow my usual Sigma Foveon sensor camera experience. Buy it, rave about the images quality, get frustrated by it, sell it. However, this time this camera is still around. And it's more likely (though not certain) to continue to do that since I've been exploring the various crop modes. You can shoot in 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9 and as above in 21:9. With the OOC double size jpgs. the camera produces, this crop still gives a large file of incredible quality and I have to say I really (really) like the compositions I can get with it.
And then I got to thinking, what could I do with the DP0, 21mm - 'FF' equivalent and DP3 + Adapter, 90mm 'FF' equivalent? Three cameras is far from ideal, but then every time I look at the files the DP2 produces, I begin to think it doesn't really matter. It will of course if I go that route, but the image quality from the Foveon sensor is so mind blowing that I may well put up with inconvenience. Though what I'm going to do about the Carry Speed video loupe I use as a viewfinder, who knows. Three of them? Unscrew it and rescrew it every time I change lens (sorry camera?) Well, I do like gear with character!!
The point is, if you shoot high quality, high resolution images in good light, these Foveon sensor Sigma cameras are almost unbeatable. And it is staggering that these small cameras produce such amazing files. There really is nothing like this available anywhere else. Even with my ugly loupe viewfinder mode of working, this is still a very light camera. And with the stability gained by holding this contraption up to my eye gives me and the electronic shutter I can shoot with narrow apertures and get an astonishing level of acutance. And I have to say this method of creating panoramas with no stitching and no using these awful 'pano' modes hoping it all joins up properly (it never does) is making me seriously think about investing in this system.
Apart from anything else, I do like creating images with the DP2 Quattro. It looks like nothing else I've ever used, but out in the countryside carrying it around, it performs much better than it looks, which let's be honest, wouldn't be difficult! The point is, even though I shoot very little of them these days, I sell a lot of panoramas. And if I start shooting with three Sigmas, I know I'll sell a lot more.
So the Sigma is still here and maybe (see below) set to be joined by a couple of siblings. I still however really wish that Sigma would go the interchangeable lens route - see:-
This set of fixed lenses / cameras idea is pretty bizarre after all. I can't see how one body plus built in EVF with the Quattro sensor and the five lenses - 14mm, 19mm, 30mm, 50mm plus telephoto adapter isn't a much better option. Surely this would attract more attention, sell more and be a much more commercial proposition. Because, to be honest, despite liking the results above a lot, I may well yet be put off by the nature of a three camera outfit. Apart from anything else, I'll need to carry a larger bag, since the lenses for the DP0 and DP3 + adapter don't look small.
That I'd get fantastic image quality is for sure, but whether I'm prepared to put up with the inconvenience is another matter. And that inconvenience would be considerable. Putting and pulling cameras constantly in and out of a camera bag while walking a few miles is hardly something that I'm anticipating eagerly!
This is just one more example of how frustrating the decisions of camera manufacturers can be. One day the message may (or not) get through to them as to why smartphones are trouncing the lower end of the market. Because they are just so convenient to use. And that convenience and ease of use counts for a lot. Because no matter what the quality advantages of these Quattro's, I still have to get them from A to B and that means carrying them around.
I have no other choice currently than to have three separate cameras with all the hassle that creates. I'm considering it, but I'm sure many just dismiss the concept out of hand. And considering how good the results from this sensor are, isn't that a case of Sigma missing a golden opportunity? I suspect it is, but then many of these companies exist in some corporate bubble and seem to have divorced themselves from the real world that we as photographers inhabit. Sigma aren't the first ones to do this and they certainly won't be the last. Sad really, but unfortunately more commonplace than it should be.