Sigma’s New mirrorless sd Quattro H Camera is a dream, especially now that you can process these large files directly in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw Processor. The file size is roughly 140MB when opened, with a level of detail and color comparable to a 51MP Bayer pattern sensor image. These DNG files help to speed up my workflow now that I can download and process them in RAW converters beyond Sigma Photo Pro.
The sd Quattro H gives you the option of shooting in the Sigma X3F raw file format or in the more accessible Adobe DNG raw format; and in fact, the entire Quattro line now offers DNG capture format via firmware updates!
The picture below shows me holding an image sized at roughly 33.5 x 44.5 inches. It’s like having a medium format camera in terms of image quality and huge file sizes but without all that weight and expense. I included a screen shot of one of the models at 100%. The combination used here, the Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM Art Lens and the sd Quattro H Camera makes for a dynamic duo.
Having used the dp Quattro cameras in the past, I love the ability now to use interchangeable Sigma lenses with this new mirrorless sd Quattro H Camera. I also love the grip on the right side of the camera making it easy to hold. It feels good in your hands. It’s very light and is the perfect design for someone like me that is used to a heavier camera. I know that may sound strange, but having photographed for 10 years with a very heavy medium format camera that I could not handhold and needed a tripod to balance, makes all the difference in the world. I find it a wonderfully easy camera to operate.
I wrote a blog not to long ago about Sigma’s 24-35mm F2 DG HSM and the wide-angle perspective for creating fashion imagery. This combination, Sigma’s 35mm 1.4 DG HSM Art Lens and the sd Quattro H Camera complements that element and gives you an added focal length, roughly 46mm due to the Foveon quattro aps-H sensor witha 1.3x conversion factor. The image colors are vibrant and image quality is off the chain.
One of the many features that I love about working with this camera is a new feature, “Auto view”, (a small switch to the left of the viewfinder) that allows you to switch between the view finder when you raise the camera to your face and then switch back to the LCD screen when you lower the camera. You can also designate Monitor/Finder if you wish to use only one when composing and focusing.
I know it may sound strange to be creating Fashion imagery using a 35mm lens, but when your studio is small and you need that kind of perspective, it works extremely well, especially when the sensor crop is factored in. I’ve never been one for using a specific lens only for a specific subject. I have found over the years, using a different lens will give me a perspective I wasn’t quite expecting forcing me to do something different. With this image above, I was able to photograph my model full length and then some. Since I was literally back against the wall, I was delighted this lens allowed me to capture exactly what I wanted with so much clarity and without distortion. My assignment was to photograph the dresses for the designer. We were both very pleased with the results.
After testing the camera inside with two softboxes, I decided to go outside in the bright sunlight. Being primarily a natural light photographer this is where I am most comfortable. I also changed my lens to the Sigma 50mm F 1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. (Focal length roughly 66mm). I am blown away by the sharpness and the detail in the file. The light quality is beautiful even in the direct sun and the detail in the shadow areas is also incredible. At close range the image you are looking at is the full crop and it’s quite impressive. It helps of course to have a gorgeous subject. I have also included a screen shot of this same image so you may see it at 100%. I love working with these large files. There is so much detail and I am constantly amazed at the image quality this small but powerful camera can produce. My business model is to sell large wall portraits to my clients, so you can understand why I am so excited about Sigma’s new sd Quattro H Mirrorless Camera.
Back inside for these next two shots, and still using only natural light, I finished my session using a hallway outside of the studio. Sometimes my favorite images are taken in between all the planned shots. Shay, taking a break here not realizing I still have my camera in hand, just had a look on her face of pure exhaustion, yet something about it moved me. She is totally unguarded, my favorite look and the model facade is gone. I love my low light lenses. This image was created at f 1.4 and ISO of 100. These f 1.4 lenses give me the confidence I need when out photographing in natural light that I can pretty much shoot anywhere I need to. Even in a hallway with only window light coming in from down the hall. No pixel dust and no digital noise, a perfect exposure.
This final image for the day was created in the same hallway just minutes before the one above. Using the same settings and the same lens and always looking to create something a little different, we went for a Black & White high key image. I purposely processed the image with a bleached out look to it, yet using the contrast to draw the viewer’s eye to subject’s beautiful face.