When we first got to play with Sigma’s dp2 Quattro camera, we admitted that they’re some strange looking monstrosities with lots of power at the core. And from what Sigma is announcing today, you’ll be paying a high price for medium format image quality in the palm of your hand (or in this case two hands because the camera are quite massive.) The Sigma dp2 Quattro camera will sell for $999 when they launch in August here in the US.
The dp2 Quattro has a fixed 30mm f2.8 lens–which translates to 45mm due to the APS-C sensor. This further translates into a full frame depth of field equivalency of f4.2 when shooting wide open. In a case like that, you’ll almost find no reason to stop the lens down.
But the biggest draw to the camera is the new Quattro sensor. According to Sigma, “The Quattro sensor is a three-layered, panchromatic silicon chip whose green-sensitive middle and red-sensitive bottom layers each have 4.9 MP and record only color/chrominance information.” They further state that the top blue layer captures chrominance and resolution/luminance information with 19.6 MP, which they claim translates into greater detail capture and resolution capabilities that are higher than the Merrill DP camera line.
Sigma’s Foveon sensors were able to render some of the best colors that we’ve seen along with a ton of resolution–but where they always fell flat is with high ISO output, incompatibility with Adobe Lightroom, and autofocusing speed. But this time around, Sigma is claiming one to two stops of ISO improvement. We will hold our final thoughts for the final review. So stay tuned–in the meanwhile check out our first impressions.