Sigma SD Quattro H – Hands On Review

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The SD Quattro H is a camera that’s advanced but also frustrating, simply because it’s so unique. It makes you work, but it pays dividends in the form of stunning image quality.



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N9olan says:

I dont think it's using color filters…I believe it's using something else that lets the light through…like absorbs, it like silicone…

Colin Gajewski says:

After using my SD Quattro for several months, it doesn't seem slow. On the other hand, my other cameras seem very fast! But the images can be astonishingly appealing. I particularly like the colour fidelity. The colour of the image looks exactly the same as the subject 99% of the time, and when it comes to skin tones, this really matters to me. I have other high-end cameras, but when used within its limits, this Foveon camera is a great performer.

Akhyar Rayhka says:

sony a6500 on steroids

Joe Morton says:

Digital cameras CAN NOT get a red light right (red… It's usually orangish…) IMHO

Brian McCutcheon says:

Doesn't this camera shoot in a panoramic mode as well ?

チュimoc says:

So no high ISO, a key feature of large sensor cameras. And I guess its bokeh effect is on APS-H level too. So why? 🤔

Amphibax says:

That would be great camera for product or food photography, when you have a controlled environment so you don't need to care about iso performance or speed

John Smith says:

I'm left eyed only, the eyepiece is in a terrible position for me.

Test86 One4 says:

i am little confused sorry i am newbie does this camera shoot video or only images

Paula in Austria says:

"This is not the camera for everyone. It is for people who love shooting medium format film"

100% !

José Colón says:

Piece of crap!!!

PhoenixWright101 says:

Sounds fascinating. I hope they keep developing the concept and find ways to mitigate the camera's faults.

Narek Avetisyan says:

Excellent review. If they improve on this camera and release an E-Mount version I would get one

AvgeekJoe says:

Thanks for warning me off of this camera!

prototype9000 says:

Autofocus is for people who are to stupid to use manual focus

Nikolaus says:

I have been shooting SIGMA DSLRS exclusively for about ten years now (since the SD14, though my most recent one is the SD1 Merrill – I haven't even seen the quattro up close) and while you are right that high ISO performance is – in absolute terms – abysmal, I'd say that the noise, while clearly strong and present from ISO 200 upwards, doesn't look as terrible as it does on a Bayer sensor, and up to ISO 800, or on short exposures even 1600, has a distinctly analogue, almost film-grain-y feeling to it. Of course up at ISO 6400 the whole thing becomes an unsightly mess of colour blotches, usable for little more than high abstraction B/W, and only for people with experience in processing X3F format images.

The thing is though, when the sensor is on it is ON. Analogue I mostly shot slide film, and so I am used to getting the exposure just so. Sigmas aren't your fire-and-forget snapshot cameras, nor your rapide fire sports cameras. They are, as you quite rightly said, for the former medium format photographer, the tinkerer, the "pipe-smoking-photographer" as the late, great Fritz Pölking put it.

Sigma's ISO rating for the sensor are a bit off though in my experience. It's often better to underexpose a stop or two, which will save your highlights, keep your blacks black, and still allow you to get truckloads of details from the shadows. The Foveon also tends to get a lot noisier on long exposures, so I have gotten away with -3 EV at times and "pushing" the RAW in SPP, which has yielded better results than the "ideal" exposure.

SIGMAS are not cameras that will instantly give you great photos, but they are well worth getting to know. I wouldn't exchange mine for any camera in their price range, and if someone offered me their full frame kit in echange for all my sigma gear (for whichever reason), I'd probably say no. I might be enticed to part with it for a Hasselblad, Phase One, or something of the sort, but somehow nobody has made me an offer.

SSchithFoo says:

I think of it as medium format camera quality without the snobbery and price.

Anthony Oriens says:

Medium format film? why? that's the camera i want!

Carnival PS 2019 Subscribe NOW Miami Շгเภเ๔ค๔ says:

Can you record video?

San Sone says:

You are good Man, i can feel.
GOD bless you.

BBnose says:

I think most of us already heard a brief history of Foveon sensor and the spec of this camera. Can you put some side by side image quality comparison with full frame cmos sensor cameras? I think most people are curious and want to see the power of Foveon sensor.

ALI says:

Definitely a camera for product photography! No unnecessary gimmicks – just pure shots and that's it!

Seafox0011 says:

A fair taster review. Funny thing is most 'main-stream' reviewers of these Sigma cameras seem to like dwelling on what they are not good at – always looking for the holy grail. Anyway I'm quite happy to work within its strengths – as in the end I'm after the superior resolving and colour clarity it can offer. I use a Nikon DLSR for more every day material – or indeed an iPhone – whatever is more convenient at the time.

Marian Palko says:

Just make a medium format camera.

freeyourmind says:

needs a faster processor.

Un Beatable says:

seems to be like every other sigma camera – outstandingly good in the studio to produce large format images at a pricetag much below what you would have at hasselblad but total nonsense outside of that setting.

peterzpictstube says:

Great review. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head. I too shoot in the Gorge and have wanted to throw my SD14 in the river a few times when it screws up. But I don't because when you get it right with X3 there is something so special about the shots. You just won't understand it until you experience the look. Especially when you print it big and put it on the wall.

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