Today morning the Japanese website DC.Watch has published the first review of the Sigma DP2 Quattro. According to the test the build quality and write speeds have been improved considerably. The well-known 30/2.8 lens, which was inherited from the DP2 Merrill, has no difficulties exhausting the potential of the new sensor. The sharpness is supposedly top notch even wide open, just like with the Merrill. The shortest shutter speeds of 1/1250s at f2/.8 and 1/1600 at f/4 remain unchanged with the Quattro. I don’t know whether the AF is faster or not, sadly Google’s translator fails completely at translating the section of the article where they discuss the AF. But even if you don’t want to torture yourself with Google’s translation, you should definitely skim through the review. The samples DC.Watch has published are in my opinion the best yet (neither oversharpened nor taken at f/13). Speaking of f/13, the aperture series shows the distinct effect of diffraction at f/11 and f/16. The JPGs look really good, the JPG engine has apparently been improved considerably. The new sensor architecture, however, doesn’t seem to improve noise performance that much. There is maybe a one stop improvement.
Two days ago Sigma has released the 6th version of Sigma Photo Pro. Because of some bugs when processing DP2Q’s files, however, the RAW editor was taken off the download page. Here is what Sigma says, regarding the matter:
Since we have encountered some technical difficulties in SIGMA dp Quattro image processing procedure, SIGMA Photo Pro Ver.6.0 download is temporarily unavailable. We are in the process of fixing this issue and aiming to restart this download shortly.
Furthermore SPP 6 seems to have some problems with Merrill files as well. Many Sigma-Rumos readers have reported about a “code 14″ error, which I can confirm. I’ve installed SPP 6 on an older Windows XP PC at work and couldn’t open a single X3F file. Every time the progress bar stopped in the middle and the application gave me the above error massage. I’ve also installed SPP 6 on a slow Netbook (AMD E-450 APU, veeery slow) in order to better assess potential speed improvements. And in fact, SPP 6 is considerably faster than the previous version. Initialization and opening images take just as long as with SPP 5.5.3, but many adjustments get processed twice as fast. Even on the slow Netbook exposure adjustments get processed in under a second. Switching between BW and color mode and vice versa is performed 4 and 6 times faster respectively! 🙂 The color correction square, which has replaced the notorious color sphere, makes removing color shifts much easier.
Image source: forum.xitek.com
Images and info about an EVF for Sigma DP cameras, made by a small Chinese company, were posted on DPReview forums. The electronic viewfinder is said to have low resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and lack a diopter adjustment, but is supposed to cost between 50-100 dollars and be compatible with all DP cameras. The viewfinder has its own rechargeable battery and a button for manual switching between LCD and EVF. The first production run of around a dozen EVFs was already bought up by Chinese Sigma users over on the xitek.com forum. The manufacturer of the EVF said that it would be possible to integrate a higher-resolving panel into the EVF, but that he wants to assess the demand for the potentially much more expensive accessory item first.