Sigma DP2 Quattro Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally slow to fair speeds, but fast manual focus and prefocused shutter lag.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~3.0 seconds

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.0 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was quite sluggish for a fixed-lens, single focal length compact camera, but switching from play to record mode and taking a shot was not bad.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Single Area
(center) AF

0.389 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Auto flash enabled

0.565 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. Optional EF-140S flash enabled.

Manual focus

0.047 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Pre-focused

0.047 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Sigma DP2 Quattro's autofocus speeds were a little slower than most cameras these days, but still reasonable. Shutter lag in manual focus mode was however quite fast, though, at only 0.047s, and prefocused shutter lag tested the same at 0.047s.

 

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)

Single Shot mode
High Fine JPEG

0.58 second

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 7 shots.

Single Shot mode
High RAW

0.64 second

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 7 shots.

Single Shot mode
High RAW +  High Fine JPEG

1.60 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 8 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

Sometimes
(inconsistent)

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
High Fine JPEG

0.27 second
(3.73 fps);
7 frames total;
45 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over the buffer length of 7 shots, then slows to 4.02s or 0.25fps while buffer is full.

Continuous mode
High RAW

0.27 second
(3.70 fps);
7 frames total;
42 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over the buffer length of 7 shots, then slows to 4.26s or 0.23fps while buffer is full.

Continuous mode
High RAW + High Fine JPEG

0.27 second
(3.75 fps);
7 frames total;
37 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over the buffer length of 7 shots, then slows to 4.12s or 0.24fps while buffer is full.

Flash recycling

9.6 seconds

Bundled flash at maximum output.

* Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Average shot-to-shot cycle times were not bad for High (Large) Fine JPEGs or High RAW files at 0.58 second and 0.64 second respectively, but they varied a lot ranging from less than a third of a second to well over a second. RAW+JPEG was however significantly slower at 1.6 seconds, and also varied a lot. Cycle time with Super High JPEGs was also significantly slower than High JPEGs, at 1.33 seconds. Note that the DP2Q cannot shoot RAW+Super High JPEGs.

Continuous mode speeds weren't what is considered fast these days, at about 3.7 frames per second for all file types, but they were a little faster than Sigma's 3.5 fps spec. (We also tried also tried Super-High JPEGs, but they surprisingly had little effect on burst rate, buffer depth or clearing times.) Still, it's impressive that Foveon Quattro images can be processed this quickly, given the amount and complexity of processing required.

The Sigma DP2 Quattro's buffer depths were shallow at only 7 frames for all file types. The Sigma DP2 Quattro's full-resolution RAW files are quite large though (they can be over 50MB each), so we're not really surprised here, though we were surprised continuous mode buffer depths didn't improve when shooting just High Fine JPEGs. Buffer clearing was very slow at 45 seconds after a burst of JPEGs, 42 seconds after RAW and oddly a little faster at 37 seconds for after RAW+JPEG, even with our fast Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC card.

Full power recycling of the bundled flash was quite slow, at about 9.6 seconds.

Bottom line, we obviously wouldn't recommend the Sigma DP2 Quattro for any kind of fast action or sports photography as it's not designed for that, but its overall performance isn't too sluggish and shutter lag is actually quite low when you prefocus or manually focus. Buffer clearing does however take a long time, even with a fast card.

Battery

Battery Life
Poor battery life.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture
200

The Sigma DP2 Quattro uses a custom BP-51 rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with two batteries and a charger. Battery life according to Sigma is only 200 shots per charge which while just over double that of the DP1 Merril, is still fairly low, especially considering the camera has no built-in flash, powered zoom or image stabilization which all require juice to operate. It's a good thing Sigma includes a spare battery and dedicated charger.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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