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The world’s weirdest professional camera

On the inside, it integrates a unique sensor – no other camera of any other brand has it. On the outside, words are unnecessary. The Sigma dp2 Quattro is authentically weird no matter from where you look at it.

Sigma is one of the brands with more tradition and prestige en the world of photography, up to the level of brands like Canon, Nikon or Fujifilm, which have various decades more of experience. Even if Sigma is highly known on the image realm because of its lenses (and also interesting flashes) that are compatible with other brand’s mountings, they have always had a camera line – with a really reduced model catalog, but all of them with a certain aura of desired object coveted by advanced and professional users around the world-. Mastering all of its potential has been a challenge for many. Sigma cameras have always been… different, and their last proposal has multiplied this.

Years ago, Sigma placed its bets on integrating in its cameras a sensor different to the known CCD or CMOS, which have been equipping 99% of the digital photographic cameras since the birth of this system. It is manufactured by the company Foveon, and it is called… Foveon. It is the only sensor in the world that uses a color vertical separation technology, so that it is divided in three color layers (red, green and blue, RGB, primary colors) and gives each layer, a resolution. It is rumored that Canon is researching a sensor with a similar structure.

Sensor has mixed opinions.

The Foveon X3 Quattro, which is the last version of this unique sensor and which is the heart of this striking camera, generates a total of 39 megapixels, divided in 20 for the red layer, and 4 and 9 for the green and blue respectively.

Most recognize that Sigma cameras with Foveon sensors have always shined for their spectacular quality on low ISO levels. And many (not all, as it is subjective) have signaled it with accusing fingers because of it’s disheartening performance on high sensibility ISO, where they were betrayed by the presence of evident and annoying noise.

Sigma sources have assured that this new sensor improves in 30% both the resolution and level of detail and the color graduation, and almost completely manages to diminish the noise at high level ISO. In fact, the engineers that have designed the dp2 Quattro do not hesitate to assure that the quality of this photographic creature is superior to the machines that integrate a complete format sensor. Major words.

Is dp2 Quattro a camera for professionals?

Any of us can drive a Formula 1 car, but very few will be able to really exploit its potential. The same happens with this camera. To extract the great possibilities of this camera, the firm “suggests” shooting on RAW mode (Photography in the rough without any processing). Also, only the Sigma Photo Pro software is capable of arriving to an understanding with these shots.

Regarding external physiognomy, we refer to the pictures of the camera. It is not small (161.4 x 67 x 81.6 mm) nor specially light (395 grams). In spite of its shocking grip, its weight distribution forces one to shoot with both hands.

Other details that reassert both its power and its oddball condition reside, for example, in its speed (up to 7 photograms per second in RAW mode), in its manual focus with the lens itself, in its fixed focus lenses (no zoom), in that it is capable of recording video and, the icing, in its price: 1090 dollars.

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