CP+ 2015: Exclusive Hands On with the New Sigma dp0 Quattro Digital Camera
The Sigma dp0 was kept behind glass in a wonderful case display with all the dp Quattros—0 through 3. Unfortunately, I was told there were none available to handle, but after a few minutes of chatter a wonderful rep from Hong Kong came over and brought me back to a private room behind the stage and showcases and told me that for members of the press, one can be made available. So, in this tiny back room I had five minutes to try the camera, but I had to promise to delete any photo I took with my SD card inserted; this seemed an odd issue, since the camera won’t release its shutter—it won’t work at all—without a memory card inserted.
I have written before about how much I really like the dp Quattro cameras, including their basic controls, unique form, and angular grip, which takes some getting used to but does provide great control over the camera. Of course, the Foveon X3 sensor is what makes these cameras so special, creating beautiful, high-resolution, color-accurate images. As all of the dp Quattros are basically the same camera with a distinct fixed prime lens, the only thing I needed to concern myself with was the wide-angle lens on the dp0, which is a 14mm f/4 lens (21mm focal-length equivalence). While the lens does protrude a bit, it is very light so it won’t throw off the balance of the camera; it still holds well and enables you to bring the camera up and stabilize it quickly. The rep insisted that this lens has no distortion, and while I would like to believe her, it seemed that the edges did demonstrate a tiny bit. However, that is not a drawback for me when shooting so wide. I was pleased with the dp0 and I’m still very taken with this unique line of cameras.
I shot it using the dedicated VF optical viewfinder and the LCD for composition. The viewfinder was fine and its frame lines were clear and accurate; however, the length of the lens and wide focal length means that you are looking right at the lens through the viewfinder. It’s a bit distracting but nothing you couldn’t get used to if you prefer an optical viewfinder instead of the LCD.
While we don't have it listed yet on the B&H website, the dp3 Quattro was also just officially announced by Sigma and it was available to shoot at CP Plus. As I am unlikely to buy four different point-and-shoot cameras to shoot at four unique focal lengths, the dp3, with its 50mm f/2.8 lens (75mm equivalent) is not the camera for me (I prefer the dp1 or dp2) but the short telephoto length really showed off the very impressive quality of the Foveon sensor. Its AF, unlike the other models, did hunt a bit before locking on subject and its body seemed warmer than it should, even after the hundreds of shots it had taken that day. Like the other dp Quattros, it is surprisingly lightweight.
Follow all of the exclusive coverage from B&H of the CP+2015 Show in Japan at this link.