The second I learned that I could borrow a Sigma dp2 Quattro for five days for a test drive, I thought, “I’m doing this!”
It’s always been a dream to be one of those photographers who receives loaner gear to test, review, generate buzz and attention. So I signed up almost immediately.
Here’s where you can sign up to do your test drive of this cool little camera. The catch is that you pay its price tag. If you don’t return it, Sigma gets your $1000.
And by little camera, I mean big. This is one of those cameras that packs a huge punch in a small body. Yes, it looks like a point and shoot. Yes, it has a fixed lens. But the features and pixel size are nothing short of astonishing.
My brain doesn’t exactly get around all the technicalities of how and why, but it shoots a 44.4 megapixel image. The dp2 Quattro appears to pack information into every cranny of the files in ways that only very adept clowns pile into cars.
I’ve looked at the previous iterations of this camera and definitely gear lusted after them. They feature large megapixel counts and fixed lenses. Three of them with their wide, mid and portrait-y focal lengths slide into your camera bag and take up far less room than one regular DSLR body and three lenses.
If it weren’t for this test drive, I would probably NEVER EVER hold one in my hands. I think this is one the best things Sigma has ever done, and if other companies did the same thing, so long as I have a credit card to hold the charge, I’d do a borrow/review of any gear I could get my hands on.
One of my favorite photographers Ming Thein does the best reviews of gear. He’s been reviewing the Sony RX100 Mark III and the new Pentax 645Z, and I love how not only shows examples, talks about the gear in length, but photographs the gear.
The Pentax was a camera I thought I really really wanted until I read that it only syncs with flashes at 1/125th of a second. I love studio lighting and sync’ing a bit fast, so I guess that camera is out of the running for me.
Although it still has a lot of features that tittles the tattles of my gear side.
I also think trying out different gear is like, say, traveling. It exposes you to different ways of thinking, and it changes the way we photographers view the world. Until I shot with a medium format camera, I tended to shoot in a particular way and attack a situation similarly. Now that I shoot MF, I slow down even with my DSLR work. If I’m shooting a band performing, I get my shots, then I stop and enjoy the music.
There’s nothing worse than having front row seats for some amazing talent and only experiencing it through your viewfinder and a flutter of actuations.
I recently read Joel Grimes sorta-kinda review of the Pentax 645Z, and agreeing whole heartedly with his assessment of using different cameras for different reasons. He wrote:
One of the things I have noticed every time I have stepped up in format is that my approach to the creative side of things changes. Partly it is because with a larger camera you tend to slow down and think through the process a bit more. Back when I shot portraits using a medium format camera, I went into a complete different mindset than I did using a 35mm type camera. I feel that with a smaller camera, I tend to get a bit sloppier. When digital came along, I kicked and screamed the whole way because I hated giving up my medium format camera. It just fit my style of shooting.
I wonder if using a monster like this in a point and shoot body will cause me to slow down enough to capture the things I want.
One thing I’m looking forward to is the 45mm equivalent focal length. I’ve been shooting my DSLR with a 50mm lately about 50% of the time. And I almost exclusively shoot the 80mm — around 50mm equivalent — on my Hasselblad unless it’s an interior. So it’s a range that I’m growing to love more and more. It’s the focal lenth photographers tend to learn on. It features a walking zoom feature. That’s to say, walk closer to zoom and away to zoom out.
Standby. I’ll be reviewing the heck out of this little guy as soon as I get it.