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
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.
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.
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.
Sigma today announced the latest in their Art line of high-end lenses, a 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM, which covers the popular wide-angle to medium telephoto zoom range. It is designed for both full frame and cropped sensor Canon DSLR cameras.
The lens boasts a constant f/4 aperture, fast enough and with enough depth of field for most applications, but perhaps not fast enough for those looking for the faster f/2.8 aperture found in some 24-70 lenses. Curiously, no price was included in today’s announcement, but expect it to sell for far less than f/2.8 lenses.
The 24-105 has an inner focusing system that eliminates front lens rotation, which enhances stability and allows for easier use of circular polarizing filters. More significantly, the 24-105mm has Sigma’s Optical Stabilizer (OS) technology to compensate for camera shake. For autofocusing, the lens uses a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), which delivers high speed focus with minimal noise, making it well suited for continuous shooting and video recording.
Sigma also claims that “it was designed to surpass the required quality inspection of every Global Vision lens with Sigma’s own modulation transfer function (MTF) “A1” measuring system to create new optical standard to align with the high-spec cameras on today’s market.”
The 24-105 is compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro software for adjusting focus position, and updating its firmware to better suit your needs.