Sigma DP2 Quattro first impressions

I received the new Sigma DP2 Quattro yesterday, and did some side by side comparisons with my DP2 Merrill. The Quattro has a definite edge in resolving details in a scene over the DP2M. It’s not a huge difference, but enough that the Quattro is a keeper, and the DP2M will go up for sale. It may be the difference in the resolution of the sensors that I am seeing, the Quattro at about 19.6 megapixels, and the Merrill at about 15.4. I always had the sense that the DP2M needed a bit more resolution to contend with the fine details of foliage and other details of a scene, as good as it is.
The 45mm equivalent lens in the Quattro is superb, with similar edge to edge sharpness seen on the Merrill version.
I shot the workbench in my garage, which is a scene with many fine details, small letters on bottles and cans, marks on rulers, various colors on objects, and the improvement of the DP2Q was apparent in fine detail. The color is also much better with the Quattro.
The Quattro seems to have a less harsh rendering of the scene vs the Merrill, less of the crunchy, over sharpened look that the Merrill can have with some subjects. First impressions of the jpg’s from the Quattro are very good. I’m shooting raw plus jpg so that I can quickly review the jpg’s in Lightroom, and then process the best candidates in the clunky, very slow Sigma Photo Pro.
The usability of the camera has improved somewhat, the LCD is better for manual focus and review. My camera lives on a tripod, I treat it like a large format camera, so issues with hand holding are moot for me, but I do like the design of the new camera, and the reversed grip feels fine in the hand.
Other things that I noticed – I like the bokeh of the Quattro better than the Merrill. It’s a subtle difference, less harsh and hard edged with the Quattro.
This camera puts out files with the most detail of any camera I have used to date. It leaves my Canon 5D MK2 files in the dust, even with the new 24-70 II lens on the canon. Details aren’t everything of course, there are times when you don’t want every blade of grass rendered in fine detail. At times it can become a distraction to the final image. My recent photographs using an old Polaroid camera are examples of how images lacking detail might be successful. But when you want to go large with prints of exquisite detail, the Sigma DP2 Quattro will get you there for a lot less than a medium format solution.

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