Sigma sd Quattro Field Test: A tale of two cameras, slow and frustrating, but fantastic in the right situation


posted Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 5:40 PM EST


I have finished my Sigma sd Quattro Field Test, and it was certainly an interesting experience. Sigma's first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is powered by their venerable Foveon X3 image sensor, which despite being an APS-C sensor delivers images with incredible detail that can rival many higher-megapixel Bayer-pattern sensors.

While the Foveon sensor gives the sd Quattro its most appealing quality -- excellent, detailed images at base ISO -- the camera does have some frustrating characteristics. Its high ISO performance is poor relative to its peers, and it is a very slow camera to use. Shot to shot cycling is slow, particularly when shooting RAW images, and this makes the sd Quattro ill-suited for a lot of different types of shooting, in particular, anything involving action. The camera's 9-point autofocus system leaves a lot to be desired, as well.

Nonetheless, after my time with the sd Quattro, as frustrating as it sometimes was, the camera made quite the impression on me. I've never used a camera, let alone one with an APS-C sensor, that captured more detail. I've also very rarely used a camera that presented as many limitations. For US$800 for the body only, the sd Quattro is one of the best buys out there for photographers who are almost always seen with a tripod in tow and don't need speed or sophisticated autofocus performance.

To find out if the Sigma sd Quattro might be right for you, read my full Sigma sd Quattro Field Test. You can also view my images in our Sigma sd Quattro Gallery.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens at 35mm (52mm eq.), f/4, 1/250s, ISO 100.
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Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens at 32mm (48mm eq.), f/8, 1/50s, ISO 100, -0.3 EV 
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Sigma sd Quattro Field Test