What is a Sigma sd Quattro?
Sigma is best famous as a heading third-party lens producer, though it also has a prolonged story of offered cameras. Having done a integrate of 35mm SLRs with a exclusive all-electronic SA lens mount, a initial DSLR seemed in 2002, formed around a singular triple-layer Foveon X3 sensor.
Its stream dp Quattro fixed-lens compacts have a clear, if rather niche, appeal, with well-developed lenses and glorious picture peculiarity during low ISOs. The camera we’re deliberation here, a sd Quattro, uses a same sensor, though with transmutable lenses. It’s one of a span of outwardly matching cameras, with a sd Quattro-H carrying a larger, higher-resolution 25.5-megapixel sensor with a 1.3x crop.
Related: Best cameras
With a new model, it appears that Sigma has schooled some formidable lessons from a knowledge with a luckless SD1 DSLR of 2010, that was underpowered and overpriced. First, with a body-only cost of £799, a new sd Quattro is many some-more pretty priced. Second, while it’s formed around a same SA mount, a indication is not an SLR during all, though a mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder.
Sigma sd Quattro – Features
The sd Quattro’s many critical underline is a Foveon X3 Quattro picture sensor. Unlike required sensors, that use a settlement of red, immature and blue filters over their light-sensitive photodiodes to establish colour, it’s formed around a fact that a opposite colours of light can dig silicon to opposite depths. It has a tip covering with 19.6 million pixels that’s many supportive to blue light, with dual layers underneath that any use 4.9 million pixels 4 times incomparable in area, and that are supportive to immature and red light. Because of this arrangement, Sigma calls it a 29.5-million-pixel sensor.
This singular proceed means that a X3F RAW files can usually be processed regulating Sigma Photo Pro (SPP). Unfortunately, this is one of a slowest and slightest discerning pieces of module I’ve ever used, and it’s a critical debility of a whole system. It’s able of delivering good results, though you’ll need a fast, present mechanism and a calm of a saint.
On paper, a sd Quattro looks like a pretty well-equipped camera. Its outlay fortitude is 19.6 million pixels, nonetheless a surprising pattern of a Foveon sensor promises to constraint finer fact and colour gamut compared to a required Bayer sensor with a matching pixel count. The attraction operation covers a decidedly medium ISO 100-6,400, and files can be prisoner in a 14-bit losslessly dense X3F RAW format. These can now be converted to JPEGs in-camera after shooting, with copiousness of control over estimate parameters such as liughtness and white balance.
Shutter speeds operation from 1/4000 sec to 30 sec, with a tuber choice and 1/180 sec peep sync speed. Continuous sharpened is permitted during 3.6fps with a 12-frame RAW buffer, and files are permitted to a singular SD card. In gripping with a camera’s marketplace positioning, usually a 4 pivotal bearing modes – program, orifice priority, shiver priority and primer – are on offer.
As is common for mirrorless cameras, both autofocus and metering occupy a categorical imaging sensor. According to Sigma, AF uses a hybrid complement with both proviso showing and contrariety showing on board; users can possibly name from a nine-point mode, or pierce a concentration area openly opposite a space roughly 75% of a tallness and breadth of a frame. The concentration area can also be altered in distance in 3 steps, including a excellent indicate for focusing on a accurate partial of a scene. Face showing is also available.
One surprising further is Sigma’s new SFD mode, station for ‘super excellent detail’. While this outwardly resembles a high-resolution modes found in new Pentax and Olympus models by sharpened a array of exposures and mixing them into a singular RAW file, here it brackets 7 shots during one-stop increments. In essence, this creates it a high energetic operation mode, designed to record additional fact in a shadows and highlights for post-processing.
Other facilities are important by their absence. There’s no built-in flash: we can use possibly a hotshoe-mounted section or occupy a PC sync pier on a front plate. Unusually for a complicated camera, a sd Quattro has no video mode, and Wi-Fi connectivity is blank too, nonetheless support for Eye-Fi cards is included.
Sigma sd Quattro – Build and Handling
When we initial collect adult a sd Quattro, it’s transparent that this is a slightest conventionally designed interchangeable-lens camera around. It’s as vast as an fan DSLR, such as a Nikon D7200, though rather infrequently shaped, with a prosaic top-plate though scalloped bottom and a viewfinder that’s scarcely homogeneous towards a right-hand side.
There’s little to protest about in terms of build quality, with a dust- and splash-proofed magnesium-alloy physique feeling plain in your hands, helped by a corpulent grip. The twin electronic control dials stagger with gratifying detents, with sufficient insurgency that they won’t get incidentally knocked, though though being too stiff. All a switches click definitely into place, and a buttons that decorate a physique have a low transport with certain finish points.
Sigma’s interface is really transparent and logical, with realistically laid-out menus and appealing viewfinder displays that are ominous though being overwhelming. There’s a decent volume of customisation on offer too: we can conclude accurately how a control dials work in any bearing mode, and configure a on-screen QS menu to give rapid entrance to your most-changed functions.
However, it’s a positioning of a buttons and switches that’s mostly perplexing. The energy switch is placed awkwardly on tip of a extending lens mount, and there’s a second shifting close switch behind a shiver symbol that, by default, disables roughly all a control buttons though not a shiver symbol or dials. we set it to send a camera to nap mode and preserve battery, that creates some-more clarity to me, though I’d rather see a singular simply permitted energy switch.
The D-pad on a behind of a physique is vast and positive, and ideally placed for relocating a concentration indicate around a support while you’re shooting. But distinct many cameras we can’t do this directly; instead, we initial have to press a little symbol towards a bottom of a camera physique that requires substantial transformation of your ride to locate. As a D-pad buttons have no other approach function, this seems like an unnecessarily ungainly additional step.
The ISO symbol is also feeble placed in a center of a mainstay of 5 matching little buttons beside a screen, so is formidable to brand by hold alone. On other cameras this would be a critical criticism, though reduction so on a sd Quattro, as a bad high-ISO opening means we substantially wish to keep a camera set to ISO 100 as many as possible, anyway.
After spending a bit of time regulating a sd Quattro and tweaking a setup, we found it to be a ideally serviceable camera. But we can’t assistance meditative that Sigma’s radical pattern pays few genuine dividends. The existence is that DSLRs and DSLR-shaped mirrorless models are renouned for a reason – their figure and blueprint assistance make them really discerning to use.
Sigma sd Quattro – Viewfinder and Screen
Specs-wise, a sd Quattro has a crash present viewfinder and screen. Its EVF uses a 2.36-million-dot row and offers a magnification homogeneous to 0.73x. The 3-inch behind shade has a 1.62-million-dot resolution, nonetheless it’s bound rather than articulated, and isn’t touch-sensitive. One good underline is a further of a little OLED sub-monitor alongside a LCD that displays pivotal settings such as shiver speed, aperture, metering mode, ISO and bearing mode.
In practice, both a viewfinder and shade are bright, transparent and sharp. But they’re badly let down by a low-resolution live-view feed, that appears pixelated and over-sharpened. This is quite apparent when regulating a EVF, and is a contrition since a rest of a on-screen interface is so good.
One good hold is a vast switch beside a eyepiece that allows we to name between observation with a EVF or LCD or changing between a dual automatically regulating an eye sensor. It’s many some-more discerning and acceptable than carrying to cycle between modes by dire a button, and we wish some-more camera makers would follow suit. When regulating a EVF, a behind shade can be set to arrangement a camera’s minute status, or incited off totally to preserve power.
Related: Best movement cameras
I mostly elite to use a electronic viewfinder, reverting to a behind shade for tripod work. The EVF’s position to a right of a camera does feel odd, though it works OK when we get used to it. The vast eyecup does a good pursuit of restraint glare, and since it protrudes so distant from a behind of a camera, there’s no problem accessing any of a buttons with a camera to your eye.
The sd Quattro will preview your exposure, white change and colour mode, giving a good thought of how a picture should spin out before we press a shiver button. Lots of useful extras can be overlaid on a live-view display, including gridlines, a dual-axis electronic turn arrangement and a live histogram. Indeed, users can configure adult to 4 tradition views any for a EVF and LCD, and cycle by them regulating a arrangement button.
Mystifyingly, we could find no approach of enchanting depth-of-field preview; instead, a camera always views with a lens set far-reaching open. This is one area where mirrorless cameras should have poignant advantages over DSLRs, as their electronic viewfinders can uncover accurate abyss of margin during vast apertures and don’t indispensably go dim during little apertures.