I was able to get a test Quattro camera from Sigma. I didn’t have time to use it thoroughly because they only gave 3-4 days to use it. I was going to take it to one of my shoots, but I decided not to. Why? Because it’s super slow.
I was very curious about the Sigma Quattro and its Foveon sensor. When I got the camera and picked it up, it felt weird in my hand. I wondered why they chose an awkward design.
I snapped a few shots and saw it was about the same speed as my Fuji X-E1. And that was fine. But I noticed it was on the JPEG setting. So I switched it to RAW because I only shoot RAW. What happened? It took about 1 second for the camera to write the image to the card. I couldn’t shoot again until it has finished writing. I was using a Extreme PRO UHS-I 95mbp/s card too, which they provided.
That is unacceptable for me. For my style of shooting, I need something more responsive. When the model is flowing, I need to be able to capture them at the right moment. With a camera this slow, there was no way I could do it. I thought about bringing this camera to my next shoot, but I felt I couldn’t risk it.
Also, the low light performance sucked. It’s definitely not like my Fuji cameras (or any other modern cameras for that matter). The image looked like a noisy mess around ISO 1600. I don’t like to go that high in my shoots, but what if I had to? Heck, I probably can’t go over 400 with the Quattro.
I’m sad to say, I didn’t get to use my Quattro enough to get an objective opinion about the image quality and such. With only 3-4 days to use it, I felt I couldn’t take it to shoots I wanted it to. Oh well.
I think with the Quattros (or the Merrills), you have to treat it as a film camera with ISO 400 or below film. Perhaps some people will like that. You have to shoot deliberately, one shot at a time. Heck, with its write time, it’s like winding the film every time you shoot since you have to wait. You can’t shoot too many moving objects either.
I’m disappointed with Sigma. I was excited about their innovative sensor. But their handling and speed need to be on par with the rest of the newer cameras. This camera was release in 2014! There is no excuse for it to feel like a 5 year old camera.