Sigma dp0 Quattro Review

The Sigma DP0 Quattro is a compact camera that has a 39-megapixel APS-C sized Foveon X3 Quattro sensor as well as a 14mm fixed lens (21mm equivalent) with an aperture of f/4 and a wide angle of view of 91 degrees. These features contribute to the camera’s ability to produce high-quality images.

The lens consists of 4 FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have performance that is comparable to that of fluorite; 2 SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements; and 2 aspheric lens, one of which is a wide double-sided aspheric lens. This configuration was chosen so that the lens could achieve the highest possible optical performance.

The one-of-a-kind sensor found in the DP0 Quattro produces raw photos with a resolution of 5424 by 3616 pixels when set to the maximum possible level. This sensor consists of four separate layers, three of which are devoted to collecting the Red, Green, and Blue colors, respectively.

In addition, the DP0 Quattro is equipped with the TRUE III image processing engine, a 3-inch TFT color LCD with 920,000 dots, a complete assortment of creative shooting modes, a manual focus ring, an external hot shoe, a Quick Set button, and compatibility for the RAW format. The Sigma DP0 Quattro may be purchased through an authorized retailer for £899 or $999.

Sigma dp0 Quattro Build Quality

The only difference between the Sigma DP0 Quattro and the Sigma DP1, DP2, and DP3 Quattro cameras that we have evaluated in the past is that the lens on the Sigma DP0 Quattro is wider and physically bigger at 14 millimeters (21 millimeters). An APS-C-sized Foveon image sensor serves as the primary imaging component of the Sigma DP0 Quattro.

The image sensor of the DP0 Quattro camera has precise dimensions of 23.5 by 15.7 millimeters, making it somewhat more significant than the sensor in the DP Merrill. The DP Quattro from Sigma is said to have a resolution of 39 megapixels, and Sigma is the only company that currently uses the Foveon X3 sensor in its products.

The Foveon solution consists of three layers placed atop one another, with each photodiode collecting all of the RGB data.

When compared to the previous generation, the Quattro sensor is distinguished by the fact that it allocates 20 megapixels to the top layer, which records both blue color and luminance information, but only 4.9 megapixels to each of the other two layers, which record green color information first, followed by red color information.

According to Sigma, this significant upgrade provides a higher resolution than the old Foveon sensor, faster processing times, and less noise, at least in the red and green channels.

When compared to a CCD or CMOS sensor, Sigma and Foveon assert that the 3-layer technique produces better-looking color photographs that may be taken directly from the camera.

This may be the case, but from the perspective of the end user, the finished picture has a resolution of 5424 by 3616 pixels. This places a cap on the maximum size the native image may be printed or cropped without the need for interpolation in Adobe Photoshop or another program.

Sigma dp0 Quattro Image Quality

When shooting in RAW, the image quality of the Sigma DP0 Quattro is exceptional, and it produces excellent results at ISO settings ranging from 100 to 1600. Because there is a lot of noise and color desaturation at the higher ISOs, our recommendation is always to use the DP0 Quattro’s RAW mode if possible. Curiously, the quality drops off noticeably when shooting JPEGs, with only ISO 100-400 being usable because higher ISOs are worth using (despite the so-so Sigma Photo pro software and the huge file sizes).

Chromatic aberrations were handled so effectively by the Sigma DP0 Quattro that it was difficult to locate even a single instance of the phenomenon in any of the hundreds of frames we captured.

When the photographs came out of the camera with the default sharpness setting, they were just a little bit soft. However, you can adjust the amount of sharpening on the camera itself, or you may use Adobe Photoshop later.

The night shot came out well, and the fact that you could use the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds meant that you could catch sufficient light for the vast majority of after-dark scenarios.

Sigma dp0 Quattro Specs

Sensor ResolutionActual: 33 Megapixel
Effective: 29 Megapixel (5424 x 3616)
Sensor Type23.5 x 15.7 mm (APS-C) CMOS
Image File FormatJPEG, Raw
Bit Depth14-Bit
Image StabilizationNone

Lens

Focal Length14mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 21mm)
Maximum Aperturef/4
Minimum Aperturef/22
Focus RangeNormal
7.09″ to Infinity / 18.01 cm to Infinity
Optical Design11 Elements in 8 Groups
Filter Size58 mm

Exposure Control

ISO Sensitivity100 to 6400
Shutter Speed1/2000 to 30 Seconds
Metering MethodCenter-Weighted Average, Evaluative, Spot
Exposure ModesAperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Exposure Compensation-3 to +3 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
White BalanceAuto, Color Temperature, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Overcast, Shade
Interval RecordingYes
Self-Timer2/10-Second Delay

Monitor

Size3.0″
Resolution920,000 Dot
Display TypeFixed LCD

Flash

Built-In FlashNo
External Flash ConnectionHot Shoe

Interface

Media/Memory Card SlotSingle Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
WirelessNone
GPSNo

Physical

Battery Type1 x BP-51 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Dimensions (W x H x D)6.3 x 2.6 x 5″ / 16.1 x 6.7 x 12.6 cm
Weight17.6 oz / 499 g

Packaging Info

Package Weight3.4 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)8.3 x 6.8 x 6.6″

Sigma dp0 Quattro Conclusion

The new DP0 Quattro extends the family even further by providing an ultra-wide-angle lens with a 21mm equivalent that provides a perspective of the globe that is 90 degrees. Otherwise, the camera is very identical to the three prior Quattro cameras.

Sigma is the only camera manufacturer that uses the Foveon sensor technology, and with the release of the new DP0 Quattro, the company continues to pursue a solo approach.

The Sigma DP0 Quattro is a relatively slow camera only suited to static or slow-moving subjects. Additionally, the relatively radical new design prioritizes image quality over usability (apparently, moving the memory card and battery away from the sensor helps to improve the latter). Suffice it to say that we did not get along with the much larger DP0 Quattro with its awkward grip.

Despite these reservations, however, the photographs that the DP0 Quattro creates are simply outstanding. They are the best photographs we have ever seen produced by a simple, compact camera, and they can even compete with pictures taken with a high-end DSLR equipped with an equivalent and pricey prime lens. It may take some time to get used to the DP0 Quattro, but the photographs it produces are unquestionable and of high quality.

Regardless of whether you believe the Foveon X3 Quattro sensor to have the 39 megapixels that Sigma claims it has or the native 20 megapixels of the top blue/luminance layer, the combination of these two components results in photographs that are incredibly crisp and high in quality.

Because of the superior primary lens, chromatic aberrations are entirely absent on the DP0 Quattro. This is a testimonial to the quality of the lens. Although the maximum aperture of f/4 is one stop slower than the f/2.8 maximum aperture of the other Quattro cameras, we believe this is not a deal-breaker for the usage of the camera in landscape and architectural photography.

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