Sigma dp2 Quattro Field Test Part I

Getting a grip

by Eamon Hickey |

If you review a lot of cameras, it's a welcome pleasure to use one that's a break from the ordinary, so I tossed my name in the hat for the Sigma dp2 Quattro. I was curious to find out how well its unusual design would work in real-world shooting; I wanted to get a close look at images from the new Quattro sensor; and I wanted to see if Sigma has been able to improve on the performance limitations of their past cameras, including the DP1 Merrill that I reviewed last year.

Design & handling. I knew from the previews and videos created by my colleagues for the other sections of this review that the Sigma dp2 Quattro was not pocket-sized. Or pocket-shaped, for that matter, unless your tailor is prone to drink. The unusual shape did take a bit of getting used to first thing out of the box, but I found that my right hand fits the angled grip with no real discomfort. I also watched our video where Dave Etchells describes a somewhat unconventional way to hold the dp2 Quattro -- which I will henceforth refer to as The Dave Hold -- and from that video I learned to rest the camera on the ball of my left thumb. It turns out that this is acceptably comfortable, too, although it's a hard habit to get into if, like me, you've been shooting with your left hand under the lens for somewhere around 35 years. That said, whenever I do camera reviews I try to keep in mind that while something unfamiliar may seem awkward to me at first, it might be easy to get used to if I owned the camera and used it long term. My left hand could probably be re-trained.

Sigma dp2 Quattro Field Test Part II

In the details

by Eamon Hickey |

Performance. In my reviews of previous Sigma Foveon cameras, especially the DP-series, I've complained about squandering what's left of my youth shooting with them. I was talking about needing to change batteries every 60 shots and waiting much too long for the camera to turn on, focus, save images to its storage card, or display the picture I just took. Performance has been arguably their biggest weak spot.

And when I unpacked the DP2 Quattro and found that Sigma had seen fit to include three batteries with it, I knew not to expect too many miracles on the performance front. Still, on my first two or three outings with the camera, I found that battery life on the DP2 Quattro is definitely better than it was on the DP1 Merrill that I reviewed last year. In six different shoots with the DP2 Quattro, I’ve had to change batteries three times, but that's typically after a couple of hours of fairly steady shooting and reviewing the LCD. Nearly all other contemporary cameras do better than this, but I would feel perfectly comfortable carrying just one spare battery for the DP2 Quattro on any photo outing I'd be likely to take. If you often take a lot of pictures without ready access to an AC outlet, you might feel differently.



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