Sigma SD Quattro Review
The Sigma SD Quattro features the same Sigma SA lens mount, making it compatible with all Sigma SA lenses. The sq Quattro H features a larger APS-H Foveon sensor with 51mp equivalent megapixels.
The heart of Sigma’s cameras is the Foveon sensor, something that is unique to Sigma, with no other manufacturer featuring a Foveon sensor. (Sigma were so keen on the sensor, that they bought the Foveon company in 2008). For more detail on how the Foveon sensor works.
Due to the sensor design, there is no low pass filter. The previous Sigma SD Merrill series was said to give the equivalent of a 30 megapixel camera from a 15mp (x3) sensor, while the sd Quattro H is said to give the equivalent of a 51 megapixel camera when compared to a Bayer sensor camera, thanks to the 38.5 megapixel sensor (25.7mp + 6.4mp + 6.4mp), and full colour information for each pixel.
You can use the Sigma sd Quattro H in DC crop mode, and it will give you a 1.5x crop, and the same resolution images as the sd Quattro.
Sigma has added a new mode called “Super Fine Detail” – this mode takes a number of pictures, in a unique Sigma raw file format, and then you need to process this image to export it as a JPEG or the normal Sigma raw file. The mode takes 7 shots for improved dynamic range with low noise. You can’t view the result in camera, and the file is recorded with a .X3I extension. As the camera is taking a number of shots, a tripod is necessary.
If you’ve already read our Sigma sd Quattro review, then you might want to jump to the Performance section of this review, as physically the cameras are very similar, although the Quattro H has added DNG raw support.
The rear of the camera features a 3inch screen, plus a secondary LCD display with camera settings displayed. There is a high-resolution 2.36m dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) with dioptre adjustment, and 0.96x magnification. The camera has the usual P, A, S, and M shooting modes, plus 3 custom shooting modes. The camera does not feature built-in Wi-Fi, nor a video mode.
An optional battery grip, called the Power Grip PG-41 is available. The camera supports tethered shooting with “Sigma Capture Pro” so that you can control the camera from your computer and shoot remotely, for example in a studio setup.
A unique feature of the SD1 / Merrill series was the ability to remove the infrared filter from the camera, and this continues with the sd Quattro H, meaning it’s quick and easy to remove the filter, and use the sq Quattro H for infrared photography (with the correct infrared filter to block visible light).
The sd Quattro H is a large mirrorless camera, bigger than a compact DSLR. With modern styling the camera looks quite different to anything else on the market. It doesn’t feature the typical SLR shape with raised viewfinder triangle, instead the viewfinder is off-set giving the camera a flat(ish) top plate. The flash hot-shoe is in line with the lens mount. The on / off button is in a rather unusual position, and it can take a while to find it when you first pick up the camera, but once you’ve found it, it is easy to get used to this, and it feels solidly made.
The camera has a metal body, that feels extremely well-built with rounded corners and edges, and the placement of the control wheels on top are very slightly moved away from the edges meaning you don’t accidentally catch them. The camera body appears to offer some weather sealing, with a rubber gasket around the lens mount, and rubber covering the memory card slot.
The sd Quattro weighs 635g without the battery or memory card. The menus are well laid out with colour coded sections, and they are clear thanks to the high-resolution screen. There is no built-in help, so it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with the manual.
The colour reproduction on the screen and EVF match each other, but the resolution is quite blocky. Viewing angles of the screen are very good, and visibility is quite good even outdoors.
Sigma SD Quattro
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||6200 x 4152|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||45 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||45 megapixels|
|Sensor size||APS-H (26.6 x 17.9 mm)|
|Sensor type||CMOS (Foveon X3)|
|Processor||Dual TRUE III|
|White balance presets||6|
|Custom white balance||Yes (3 slots)|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, normal, basic|
|Optics & Focus|
|Number of focus points||9|
|Lens mount||Sigma SA Bayonet|
|Focal length multiplier||1.3×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||1.09× (0.84× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||No|
|Continuous drive||3.8 fps|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV steps)|
|USB||USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)|
|Remote control||Yes (wired)|
|Battery description||BP-61 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Dimensions||147 x 95 x 91 mm (5.79 x 3.74 x 3.58″)|