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Gear Reviews

Sigma DP1 Quattro: Surprising On The Inside, Unique On The Outside

By Anthony Thurston on December 4th 2014

I recently got my hands on Sigma’s new DP1 Quattro, featuring the company’s latest incarnation of their Foveon technology in the X3 sensor. I have been intrigued by this technology, and by the unique design of these cameras for a while now. These are my initial thoughts on the DP1 Quattro.

sigma-dp1-quattro

Initial Impressions of the Sigma DP1 Quattro

As you can see, and no doubt have seen, the Quattro series (not just the DP1) is probably one of the most uniquely designed camera bodies in recent memory. I was really not sure what to expect when I first picked up the camera, but I am happy to report it is not nearly as bad as you would think. That said, it isn’t exactly comfortable either.

The fixed 19mm F/2.8 lens is equal to 28mm (35mm full frame equivalent), a perfect focal length if you ask me, because it’s wide without being so wide that you have a ton of distortion. It is a body/lens combination that is great for environmental or group portraits, and even some landscape work (though really it could be wider for that use).

sigma-dp1-quattro-initial-impressions[REWIND: Sigma Halts Production on the 24-105mm F/4 Art]

The one aspect of the camera that I am not fond of to this point, is not the unique design, or even the fixed 19mm lens. No, the thing that annoys me most to this point is the workflow involved. You see, Sigma’s Foveon RAW files are not readable in Lightroom, Capture One, or any other editing software besides Sigma’s proprietary processing software. It adds a whole other step to my workflow because I have to load the images up in the Sigma software one by one, and then export as a Tiff so that I can edit in Lightroom like I normally prefer.

Once you get the files into Lightroom though, it is easy to see that the image quality is stunning. The image that you see below is a newt that I came across on a little nature walk. The detail, and sharpness that you an get out of this body is impressive.

sigma-dp1-newt

ISO 400, 1/125th, 19mm @ F/2.8 on Sigma DP1 Quattro

So, overall, my initial impressions are good. There are definitely some quirks to working with this system, but from what I have seen so far, the quality is definitely worth at least giving the system a shot.

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks while I finish up my time with this review unit and then publish the full review. Until then, for those of you who are interested, you can get a great deal on the DP1 over on B&H.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Chuck Eggen

    I can’t past the look of this thing.

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  2. Jason Boa

    Look ugly but quite interesting

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