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Sigma DP2 Quattro Unveiled

Sigma has always struck me as a straightforward designer, with the exception of the Foveon Sensor, which seems to have a polarizing effect on the photographic community.  That aside, what they’re doing with the DP line of compact, APS-C sensor cameras right now is, well, pretty freaking cool.

Sigma DP2 Quattro:  Slick, Sexy, and Serious

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Camera design is going places.  Everyone it seems, with the exception of the Nikon and Canon behemoths, is trying new things.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the Sigma DP2 Quattro, which not only sports a breakaway appearance from the well-established DP series of camera, but switches up the sensor technology to boot.

Let’s talk about the grip for a second.  Grips are a big deal these days, and we whine and complain when they’re lacking.  We miss the stability and we miss the control, and one manufacturer has remedied that with a grip swept off to the side on the Sigma DP2 Quattro.  While it might remind you of the early days of digital photography and the wacky (obscene?) designs of yesteryear’s dusty digicams, what we’re looking at here is obviously a move toward not only more control, but better ergonomics in the compact pantheon.  A welcome move indeed.

sigma dp2 quattro image

Then second big piece of news coming from the announcement of the Sigma DP2 Quattro is the modifications that have taken place to the Foveon sensor – now named the Foveon X3 – allowing the top layer to record 19.6 megapixels of luminosity, while the bottom two layers handle 4.9 megapixels of color apiece.  The gist of this setup is that the top layer will be primarily concerned with resolution, while the bottom layers snag the colors.  The Sigma DP2 Quattro, according to it’s creators, then spends less time processing in between shots, and increases noise performance.

sigma dp2 quattro image

The camera is coming in three distinct packages, with fixed focal lengths equivalent to 28, 45, and 75 mm on a full frame sensor.  The DP2 Quattro will sport the 45 mm equivalent focal length, with the DP1 Quattro and DP3 Quattro sporting the 28 and 75 mm equivalent focal lengths, respectively.

Another new amenity offered by the Sigma DP2 Quattro will be a 39 megapixel super-JPEG (JPEGodzilla?) that will give the gearhead in all of us an eye-rolling, tongue-lolling uber-high-res image.  Whew.

As far as the LCD screen goes, there will be no change in resolution, and the only real change other than those listed above will be a different battery and a slightly heavier (but more balanced) camera body.

Olympus E-M10 Review and Samples

Today (tonight?), I took the Olympus E-M10 out for a spin around Midtown.  Actually, I took around Times Square for a little bit, before getting depressed at how garish and commercial that place is.  But I digress.  Here’s my working review of the Olympus E-M10, with specific regards to how well this camera works on the street and in low light.  So if your an urban shooter, or a night shooter, this review is for you.

Olympus E-M10:  a Proper Camera in its Own Right

A lot of reviews and commentary on this camera are going on about where it sits in the Olympus lineup.  Depending on who you are (and in some cases, whether or not you already purchased an E-M5), this camera is either the camera that has replaced the E-M5, or a lacking upstart.

olympus e-m10 sample image

The Olympus E-M10 has a similar overall design to that of the 5, the big points of interest being a loss of weather sealing and accessory port, but the added features of a pop-up flash and built in WiFi.  I didn’t test either of these features this time around, because we all know how they work, and the big question for this camera, more than any other, is who should buy it.

Should you buy it?  What is it good for?  How does it perform in real world scenarios?  Is it on-par with other similarly-priced cameras out there?

Here are your answers.

olympus e-m10 sample image olympus e-m10 sample image olympus e-m10 sample image olympus e-m10 sample image olympus e-m10 sample image olympus e-m10 sample image olympus e-m10 sample image olympus e-m10 sample image OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

So what reasons would compel someone to buy this camera, or, why should anyone anywhere buy it?  Do not be mistaken – despite the fact that it’s a decent little camera, it certainly isn’t for everyone.  While the E-M5 began the OM-D series, and the E-M1 offered numerous advantages, the E-M10 is that entry-level model for those who want to go Micro Four-Thirds, but haven’t yet.  It’s a camera aimed at people who want something along the lines of a DSLR, but in a slightly more stylish and a little bit more expensive body.

Image quality is alright, with moderate but permissible grain around 3200, but getting worse from there – to the point of marring your images.  Considering that most people who will buy this price-conscious camera are going to be uploading to Facebook and Flickr, and probably not doing large prints, this camera could work for a certain demographic.  Is image quality on par with an entry level DSLR from Canon or Nikon?  No, but it doesn’t have to be, either.

For street shooting, like all other Olympus cameras, it’s a decent little shooter, with the strongest selling point being its portability.  Travel photographers will also appreciate this characteristic, and for those who want something marginally more robust than a Stylus or compact or even a Pen camera, the Olympus E-M10 would be the route to go.

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