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Thread: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Sigma have just released a firmware upgrade for the Quattro series and a new version of Sigma Photo Pro, version 6.2.1.

    Yesterday I upgraded both software and firmware. There does seem to be some real improvement in shadow detail, but so far as I can see, there is no improvement in the clipped highlight department.

    This image illustrates the problem well. It is a medium contrast image of a slightly messy kitchen work surface (mine - sorry!). At first sight, it is richly detailed and with excellent colour. But look again at the lemons and the tulip tips. The yellow of the lemon skin is completely bleached with jagged edges, as are the tulip tips, in a very unnatural looking way



    If you then look at the following enlarged crop, one sees that there is some kind of etched outline detail in the bleached lemon skins. I have never seen this with any other camera and can only surmise it has something to do with the redesigned sensor layout.



    One sees this exact same problem with blown out skies in landscapes, but with the added issue of false colour infill, for example, between tree branches.

    You don't see this problem with the Merrill series.

    Perhaps someone would be good enough to get hold of Kazuto Yamaki, President of Sigma, and ask him to focus his engineers' efforts on this issue before he wastes time and money developing new cameras based on the re-designed sensor.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Is it the same with iso200? Merrills had some issue at 100

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by adsf View Post
    Is it the same with iso200? Merrills had some issue at 100
    Hi

    Not tried as yet. I may try a litle later.

    An answer, of course, is bracketing using the excellent auto bracketing feature that the Quattros have - assuming this is an option (tripod required, etc).
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Hello
    I sold my DP2 Quattro because of the limited DR (especially clipped highlights)
    but it's not the first time that a Sigma camera has this kind of problems. It was the same with the "AFE" series like SD15 and DP1x.
    Unfortunately the problem has never been solved, so i don't think it will be solved with the Quattro either. Except maybe a different metering (underexposing) via firmware.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneage View Post
    Hello
    I sold my DP2 Quattro because of the limited DR (especially clipped highlights)
    but it's not the first time that a Sigma camera has this kind of problems. It was the same with the "AFE" series like SD15 and DP1x.
    Unfortunately the problem has never been solved, so i don't think it will be solved with the Quattro either. Except maybe a different metering (underexposing) via firmware.
    I have not experienced similar problems with the Merrill series. Quite the reverse, in fact. It could be that the Merrill's were set up intentionally to underexpose, but if that was the case, it does not explain the fact the Quattros are scarcely any better at higher ISO.

    One only has to shoot two comparative shots with the Merrill and Quattro to see how much worse the Quatto is at clipping the highlights.

    Having solved the problem with the Merrills, why was this not addressed in the development of the Quattro's?

    I have not given up with the Quattro's. Their auto bracketing is useful if you have a tripod handy.
    Last edited by Quentin_Bargate; 4th March 2015 at 08:59.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    I have not experienced similar problems with the Merrill series. Quite the reverse, in fact. It could be that the Merrill's were set up intentionally to underexpose, but if that was the case, it does not explain the fact the Quattros are scarcely any better at higher ISO.

    One only has to shoot two comparative shots with the Merrill and Quattro to see how much worse the Quatto is at clipping the highlights.
    Yes thats right, but the previous 4.7 MP sensor in the SD15 and DP1x had the same issues. And these cameras have an AFE (analoge front end), like the quattro.

    The cameras without analog front end (SD14, DP1(s) DP2(s)) and all Merrills are very good regarding highlight recovery.
    Maybe it has something to do with that.
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Thank you Quentin for keeping this issue in the forefront. I'm still hoping it might be a firmwear issue but this looks increasingly unlikely. It's a great pity as I would like to move to the Quattro and retire the Merrills. Mostly because the Qs offer some user improvements and are supported by Sigma.
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneage View Post
    Yes thats right, but the previous 4.7 MP sensor in the SD15 and DP1x had the same issues. And these cameras have an AFE (analoge front end), like the quattro.

    The cameras without analog front end (SD14, DP1(s) DP2(s)) and all Merrills are very good regarding highlight recovery.
    Maybe it has something to do with that.
    I had the previous generation DPX cameras with the AFE and when I moved to the Merrill cameras it took me an age to get used to setting my exposure with the extra headroom.
    My first solution was to stop using ISO200 in favour of ISO125 where the headroom is less but still plentiful enough for me. So it may be that this issue is not an issue for me but I am still hanging on to the Merrill's for now.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Stoneage

    I thought an AFE would only affect higher ISO? However, I'm no expert on signal amplification. If it's x1 at base ISO, would it have an impact?
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    I have not experienced similar problems with the Merrill series. Quite the reverse, in fact. It could be that the Merrill's were set up intentionally to underexpose, but if that was the case, it does not explain the fact the Quattros are scarcely any better at higher ISO.
    There's been some related discussion over on DPR, where I mouth off quite a bit.

    ISO12232-2006 doesn't allow a manufacturer to intentionally underexpose shots. Thus a shot at 100 ISO should give a certain exposure with a specified amount of headroom. ISO does, however, allow several different methods of coming up with that number (noise-based, standard output sensitivity and others).

    Then there is the matter of ISO's "reporting latitude" which, depending on the method of determining ISO, allows 100 ISO selected on a camera to be actually in the range 80 to 125, about +/- 1/3EV?.

    On my SD1M, some recent testing (noise-related) showed ISO 100 to be close enough to the Standard for my purpose (less shadow noise).

    No experience with Quattro and will never buy one.

    One only has to shoot two comparative shots with the Merrill and Quattro to see how much worse the Quatto is at clipping the highlights.

    . . . .
    Folks on other sites seem to prefer 200 ISO on Merrills for better "highlight recovery" perhaps not realizing that, on the ISO-less Merrill, that underexposes the RAW capture by 1 EV! Why would anybody do that?

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post

    Folks on other sites seem to prefer 200 ISO on Merrills for better "highlight recovery" perhaps not realizing that, on the ISO-less Merrill, that underexposes the RAW capture by 1 EV! Why would anybody do that?
    to have more headroom in highlights. Of course you can just use 100 and set exposure compensation down a bit and shift the exposure slider a bit to get it brighter again. But i dont know if it is the same. never tried it. I just now that iso100 clips highlights sometimes.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by adsf View Post
    to have more headroom in highlights.
    I use RawDigger to see the RAW exposure histogram. What you get with 200 ISO is still 1EV less exposure at capture. So a highlight that, at ISO 100, might be perfectly ETTR at 4095 will be 2047 at ISO 200 - all other things being equal. Thus the headroom "gained" is fully half of the sensor's linear range. I'm not advocating ISO 100 - just pointing out what doesn't get lost by it's usage.

    Being a bit silly, even more headroom can be had of course by shooting at ISO 400, 800 or even 1600 - if more headroom is a "good thing".

    Of course you can just use 100 and set exposure compensation down a bit and shift the exposure slider a bit to get it brighter again. But i dont know if it is the same. never tried it.
    Correct. All my tests indicate that it is exactly the same.

    I just know that iso100 clips highlights sometimes.
    With all due respect, it is over-exposure that causes highlight clipping, not 100 ISO. I use 100 ISO all the time with no EC and have to take more notice of the scene with spot metering preferred. And yes, it's much easier to overexpose. A user on DPR goes as far as to use 100 ISO and +1/3 EV compensation which gives an effective 80 ISO! Swears by it on the basis of "ETTR is best".

    My posts often read a bit pompous - the last thing I'm doing is to try and tell you what to do. Just hoping that something is gained by sharing experience.

    My standing joke for my SD9 is that a squirt of WD40 is needed to shift away from ISO 100

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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    I told you Quentin Nothing gonna improve anything on the Quattro. Ppl see "improvements" with the differents upgrades of SPP but those improvements are as subjective as bokeh.

    The thing is even the DP3Q will not bring concord into this mess. The DP3Q is already a superb purple fringing generator, more than the 2Q or 1Q unified. Personally I never seen that much CA on a DP since I use DPs. Example : http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/walk/DP3Q0155b.jpg

    This generation should be skipped, completely. Actual Quattro is unfinished prototype. Next gen will be ironed, I hope.

    The SD15 was great but only with his LAST firmware.
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Glad I recently bought a DP3M then, Hulyss

    Can't understand how Sigma could have got is so wrong with the Quattros, having got it so right in many respects with the Merrills
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Its a sort of contrast. On a side you have the lens manufacture giving excellent products since the 35 Art. On the other side you have the camera manufacture, experimentations land, a play ground. They loose money running it, as SIGMA CEO said this morning.

    I do not like this contrast. They want to be a real camera manufacturer. Yet, they are ! The SD1 is a very well made DSLR, light, ergonomic, rugged. The DPs Merrill are serious products.

    The Quattro, with all accessory, is actually very good. Yes I said it. Design wise, the DP3Q with the loupe and the 90 extender look like a mini Hassy. really. It look like a very good tool. But the most important is that the cosmetic is not accorded to the performances; this is sad.

    So all in one, seriously, Sigma should have spent the time accorded to Design on "Electronic and sensor" instead.

    Letter to Sigma :


    Yes Kasuto San. Beyond your kindness and wonderful communication skills I'm sure you see this contrast. People love you actually. Look at the forums !! You have the chance that most of those people never used any of your DSLR or compact. They buy only your lenses so do not see the contrast. IF those people were also buying into your cameras, comments would have been kind of more ... nuanced. And you know this.

    The mass would not be unable to understand this delta between your flawless lenses and outdated camera performances (sensor) and features.

    You dropped the traditional foveon for a very good reason. I'm sure. I'm also sure that you (and your staff) had to choose between more than one new chip design and you chose the 1/4/4. Ok ! For your engineers it is the best bet on the future chip developments but actually, it is not.

    You should absolutely work more on sensor and SPP; a lot more. If SPP was a very good tool, with cropping and rotation, who allow plug-ins for example (ppl should be able to make scripts or plug-ins that can be installed on SPP, once validated by SIGMA and available for download on SIGMA website...), or just try to make DNG raws !

    Trust me, this is why you loose money on cameras. This is also why you disappoint your clients, those other clients who buy into your lenses but also your cameras (pragmatic ones, not the fanboyz).

    I'm sure you do not like to disappoint, at all. So you need to erase this contrast. It is always risky to invest but you should allow more funds on cameras, to sort it for ever !

    Then, be sure we will be here. Serious reviewers/technicians, professional photographers, art photographers will be here to praise your products, as we did for Merrills at the expense of great efforts. Your loses will transform into profits and, as a CEO, you know that is the way to go.

    You increased resolution but you should increase other aspects of IQ such as DR (actually Merrills perform better than Quattro ...!!!) and ISO (and this grain). PERIOD.

    Became a legend ! Make every thing I said above real with the upcoming new SD. It should perform BETTER than the Merrill (large).
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

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    Senior Member The Ute's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    Its a sort of contrast. On a side you have the lens manufacture giving excellent products since the 35 Art. On the other side you have the camera manufacture, experimentations land, a play ground. They loose money running it, as SIGMA CEO said this morning.

    I do not like this contrast. They want to be a real camera manufacturer. Yet, they are ! The SD1 is a very well made DSLR, light, ergonomic, rugged. The DPs Merrill are serious products.

    The Quattro, with all accessory, is actually very good. Yes I said it. Design wise, the DP3Q with the loupe and the 90 extender look like a mini Hassy. really. It look like a very good tool. But the most important is that the cosmetic is not accorded to the performances; this is sad.

    So all in one, seriously, Sigma should have spent the time accorded to Design on "Electronic and sensor" instead.

    Letter to Sigma :


    Yes Kasuto San. Beyond your kindness and wonderful communication skills I'm sure you see this contrast. People love you actually. Look at the forums !! You have the chance that most of those people never used any of your DSLR or compact. They buy only your lenses so do not see the contrast. IF those people were also buying into your cameras, comments would have been kind of more ... nuanced. And you know this.

    The mass would not be unable to understand this delta between your flawless lenses and outdated camera performances (sensor) and features.

    You dropped the traditional foveon for a very good reason. I'm sure. I'm also sure that you (and your staff) had to choose between more than one new chip design and you chose the 1/4/4. Ok ! For your engineers it is the best bet on the future chip developments but actually, it is not.

    You should absolutely work more on sensor and SPP; a lot more. If SPP was a very good tool, with cropping and rotation, who allow plug-ins for example (ppl should be able to make scripts or plug-ins that can be installed on SPP, once validated by SIGMA and available for download on SIGMA website...), or just try to make DNG raws !

    Trust me, this is why you loose money on cameras. This is also why you disappoint your clients, those other clients who buy into your lenses but also your cameras (pragmatic ones, not the fanboyz).

    I'm sure you do not like to disappoint, at all. So you need to erase this contrast. It is always risky to invest but you should allow more funds on cameras, to sort it for ever !

    Then, be sure we will be here. Serious reviewers/technicians, professional photographers, art photographers will be here to praise your products, as we did for Merrills at the expense of great efforts. Your loses will transform into profits and, as a CEO, you know that is the way to go.

    You increased resolution but you should increase other aspects of IQ such as DR (actually Merrills perform better than Quattro ...!!!) and ISO (and this grain). PERIOD.

    Became a legend ! Make every thing I said above real with the upcoming new SD. It should perform BETTER than the Merrill (large).
    Unfortunately Hulyss this seems like a case of unrequited love.
    I'd expect the new SD1 to simply incorporate the quattro sensor.
    A groundbreaking product would be a full frame, mirrorless design w
    live view and an EVF option.
    Not happening though.
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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Well, we can dream

    I admire Sigma's vision. Their recent line of 35mm lenses are exceptional. I use several with my Nikon D810. They innovate and that takes courage.

    However, it also takes courage to admit when you are wrong.

    I was also an early evangelist for the Merrill series - exceptional, unique cameras with extraordinary image quality, and i still use them frequently. I thought that Sigma were really on to something and looked forward to more and better - perhaps a full frame Merrill, or similar.

    Instead, Sigma have developed the new line of sensors for the Quattro series, not it appears because they are better, but to reduce the data processing load on the camera. It thus appears to be a decision not driven by considerations of quality so much as considerations of data load and processing speed. I really do not understand this, given SD card sizes are increasing and processors are becoming more powerful.

    So Hulyss, your proposed message should in my view be a little less respectful and a little more critical. If Sigma can deal with the key issues affecting the current sensors - mainly premature and extreme highlight clipping and cyan/purple shadow blotching - then great, otherwise it should be back to the drawing board - and maybe back to a true X3 Foveon sensor design.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    The Quattro sensor design does seem to be a disappointment, especially for Merrill fans.

    At a bare minimum, I think there are two areas that Quattro needs to improve upon to achieve parity with Merrill:

    1) Actually use the full luminance information contained in the top layer in a smarter manner.

    2) Actually recover blown highlights with data from lower layers.

    If they can't do both of these, I think the new layout has failed the plot line of "why Foveon?"

    I feel SPP is a beta product for Quattro, and limiting what we can "see" for Quattro. SPP has always felt like a beta product, but even more so for Quattro.

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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Damn Just when I decide to be a little more diplomatic !!

    But all in one yea, that sucks.

    I think it matter of pricing. A better product would be more expensive because the foveon is costly to craft at first.

    Well... enough questions; lets go to the facts :

    When a DP hit the market, it is priced 900/1000 $ per unit. That mean that the shop get it around 800 $ sumthing. Around 6 to 8 month after launch the price drop, approximately like a VAT cut. That mean the DP is around 750 $ public, 580 sumthing for the shop.

    All in one it look like a recursive scheme decided by SIGMA. There is an economical science behind it.

    So like the lenses, they produce a first big initial batch of cameras ( DP2 for example) and then complete the production with additional little batches. Actually SIGMA is batching DP0 on the DP line and finishing the first initial big batch of DP3Q (maybe packaging).

    I will be gentle, large, and will make an educated guess : 5000

    5000 Units might be the size of the initial batch of each DP. Additional batches might just only few hundreds, depending on the demand. Some DPs will have more batches than other DPs.

    So roughly, at the end you have around 6500 to 7500 of each DPs around the world.

    7500 x 800 $ = 6.000.000 $ income for SIGMA on each models, theoretically. They do not sell all so lets estimate between 12.000.000 $ to 17.000.000 $ income for a whole DP family.

    On that you need to pay :

    ¤ The sensor foundry.
    ¤ The materials.
    ¤ Engineers.
    ¤ Factory workers (on the assembly chain).
    ¤ Packaging.
    ¤ World wide shipping.
    ¤ ... and a lot more stuff.

    Then you have the yen. I suspect that every SIGMA outposts, like SIGMA America, Germany ... are independents and buy themselves the DPs to SIGMA JAPAN (according to the hypothetical stock they can flush on a given period) at even better prices. I can't go to much more into details here because it's maybe a bit secret but I spoke with some pll who like to speak, inside a certain SIGMA outpost.

    So there is a clever economical plan behind it. There is no way, at the end, that SIGMA loose money over here. I would be stupid for Kasuto to really confirm that. Really stupid.

    That mean, as a CEO of a company who try to iron his position inside a competitive market, that he accept with full consciousness to loose money on his business. >>> utter non sense. This is stupid.

    An other interpretation can be arrogance:

    "I'm the CEO of SIGMA, we are a cool traditional company who respect valour and you know what ? We have even the luxe to play and experiment things. We even loose money lol, we do not care".

    ... confusion.

    They simply do not want to really engage themselves as a real camera company. They like the niche market, the little mass of users, because it is less problem for them to manage. This is laziness OR diffidence.
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Sigma doesnt solve problems but create new one.
    Instead of bringing improved models of the Merrills ( eg. working live view, improved and tiltable monitor ) they jumped into the Quattro disaster,

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    The last time I owned a camera with a serious sensor flaw was the Kodak 14n. After a while, Kodak replaced it with the near identical SLRn which used a modified sensor and offered a sensor upgrade for owners of the 14n. I paid for the upgrade. The upgraded camera was known as the 14nx.

    Unfortunately for Kodak, the whole 14n debacle ended their involvement in pro digital cameras.

    I still have my 14nx around somewhere. It might soon be joined by the Quattros.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    yeah i think the physical design is much better on the merrils

    id like a few extra buttons, tilt screen, hsm focusing with the window etc, evf, optional battery grip, another scroll wheel, bulb mode, remote trigger, onboard flash

    and a model with a M mount or E mount

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    T...Unfortunately for Kodak, the whole 14n debacle ended their involvement in pro digital cameras..
    Fortunately for us Sigma isnt in pro digital cameras^^

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    Senior Member The Ute's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    While out for a walk Sigma took the wrong fork in the road.
    They need to get back onto the correct path ASAP.
    Give us what we truly want. Not some DoDo bird know as the Quattro.


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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by The Ute View Post
    ..Give us what we truly want...
    a Quattro with a wooden grip like SD1

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    Senior Member Malina DZ's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Bearing in mind that the Quattro sensor is still based on 3 layer architecture, I wonder why Green and Red layers don't capture luminance information? Is it cancelled out somehow to avoid file size bloating?
    "While the top layer captures both luminance and color information, the middle and bottom layers with their larger surface area capture color information only." (Source: Technology | dp Quattro | Cameras | SIGMA GLOBAL VISION)

    Well, Sigma really does cancel that luminance detail out to slightly reduce high ISO noise (1 stop) and processing time. From IR interview:
    DE: I see. Because each layer has all the colors, you can correlate. So you can look at the top layer and say "Okay, we know we've got some red here," then you look at the red layer to see how much is there, and you can sort of take that out.
    SR: Precisely -- it creates the correlation automatically, and therefore, you can remove some redundant information that you didn't actually need. Part of the advantage that you get from that is that you are then able to increase the signal.
    Sigma Q&A Part II: Does Foveon’s Quattro sensor really out-resolve conventional 36-megapixel chips?

    That's where the Quattro failure lies in (in my eyes) - omitting red and green color channels luminance detail. If Quattro sensor architecture is indeed as presented, there is a chance for Sigma to adjust image processing for collecting full RGB information, even though high ISO noise advantage and processing speed will be sacrificed. If implemented, I would consider adding a Quattro-based camera to my arsenal.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina DZ View Post
    Bearing in mind that the Quattro sensor is still based on 3 layer architecture, I wonder why Green and Red layers don't capture luminance information? Is it cancelled out somehow to avoid file size bloating?
    "While the top layer captures both luminance and color information, the middle and bottom layers with their larger surface area capture color information only." (Source: Technology | dp Quattro | Cameras | SIGMA GLOBAL VISION)

    Well, Sigma really does cancel that luminance detail out to slightly reduce high ISO noise (1 stop) and processing time. From IR interview:
    DE: I see. Because each layer has all the colors, you can correlate. So you can look at the top layer and say "Okay, we know we've got some red here," then you look at the red layer to see how much is there, and you can sort of take that out.
    SR: Precisely -- it creates the correlation automatically, and therefore, you can remove some redundant information that you didn't actually need. Part of the advantage that you get from that is that you are then able to increase the signal.
    Sigma Q&A Part II: Does Foveon’s Quattro sensor really out-resolve conventional 36-megapixel chips?

    That's where the Quattro failure lies in (in my eyes) - omitting red and green color channels luminance detail. If Quattro sensor architecture is indeed as presented, there is a chance for Sigma to adjust image processing for collecting full RGB information, even though high ISO noise advantage and processing speed will be sacrificed. If implemented, I would consider adding a Quattro-based camera to my arsenal.
    Color theory is not an easy subject to grasp.

    And the Sigma/Foveon statements are incorrectly dumbed-down for non-engineers. The best statement of what the sensor captures is their spectral response graph which is virtually unchanged since the SD9, including that of the Quattro.

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 12th April 2015 at 10:06.
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Color theory is not an easy subject to grasp.
    Let's look at B&W performance of the Quattro then. There are high ISO RAW files available for download, e.g. Sigma dp2 Quattro Review: Now Shooting! - Gallery
    Try converting them to B&W and look how much color wheel effects SNR.
    A good file comparison of Merrill to Quattro I found in this article: https://outlivingblog.wordpress.com/...-with-merrill/

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina DZ View Post
    Let's look at B&W performance of the Quattro then. There are high ISO RAW files available for download, e.g. Sigma dp2 Quattro Review: Now Shooting! - Gallery
    Try converting them to B&W and look how much color wheel effects SNR.
    A good file comparison of Merrill to Quattro I found in this article: https://outlivingblog.wordpress.com/...-with-merrill/
    Sorry, I don't have SPP version 6 but thanks for the links.

    Ted

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina DZ View Post
    A good file comparison of Merrill to Quattro I found in this article: https://outlivingblog.wordpress.com/...-with-merrill/
    His findings are pretty much the same as mine - unfortunately.

    the one area where I might use the Q instead of the Merrill is tripod / studio conditions with exposure bracketing.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Hi Quentin, regards the highlight clipping, does this occur in 5MP RAW mode? I've seen comparisons showing different rendering of colour and tone in this mode so it would appear that the data is processed differently.
    Seem to recall that others have dug into the RAW files and found information in the "Green/Red" layers that goes unused if the "Blue" layer is blown - presumably because it's a quarter of the resolution.
    If the 5MP mode is processed as a true Foveon image then perhaps the blown highlight issue is resolved? Personally a mix between 5MP and bracketing would allow me to consider a DP0.
    Cheers,
    Tom.
    Last edited by tagscuderia; 13th April 2015 at 05:59.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Interesting question, Tom. I have never tried as I cannot see any situation in which I would use 5mp raw, I am afraid. And if you are right about the red and green layers not being used if blue is blown, that might possibly explain why this issue affects the Quattro and not true 3 layer Foveon sensors.
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by tagscuderia View Post
    Hi Quentin, regards the highlight clipping, does this occur in 5MP RAW mode? I've seen comparisons showing different rendering of colour and tone in this mode so it would appear that the data is processed differently.
    Seem to recall that others have dug into the RAW files and found information in the "Green/Red" layers that goes unused if the "Blue" layer is blown - presumably because it's a quarter of the resolution.
    If the 5MP mode is processed as a true Foveon image then perhaps the blown highlight issue is resolved? Personally a mix between 5MP and bracketing would allow me to consider a DP0.
    Cheers,
    Tom.
    Tom,

    I've looked at a HI res. Quattro file in RawDigger and, as expected, the "red" and "green" layers are indeed 5MP. As far as I know, in LO res. on the Quattro, the "blue" (top) layer gets binned on-chip 2x2 and the conversion to RGB thereafter is done in the same way as for all previous Foveon sensors - with all that that implies

    If anybody cares to post a Quattro 5MP raw file somewhere, I'll be glad to look at it and report back here . .

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 13th April 2015 at 11:32.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Logically this highlight clipping only applies to the Quattro. A combination of the luminance layer's small well-size and 1/4 res "Green/Red" layers; a true Foveon sensor has the ability to fall back on the lower layers to render the pixel. N.B, I'm guessing based on what Ted and others have found.
    Unfortunately, if I'm correct then it's an oversight by Sigma's engineering team and a critical (fatal?) flaw in the Quattro architecture!
    @Quentin, if you could provide a 5MP RAW of a scene that exhibits the issue at 20MP for Ted, we could at least establish how Sigma is treating data in this mode. I would but I'm waiting on the DP0.
    Cheers,
    Tom.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Tom,

    <blah>
    If anybody cares to post a Quattro 5MP raw file somewhere, I'll be glad to look at it and report back here . .

    Ted
    Nobody?

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Nobody?
    Unfortunately not it would seem.
    The only things holding me back from the DP0 (besides availability) is this highlight issue and weather sealing. I don't need 20MP files and 5MP Foveon files can still be printed at decent sizes so I had everything crossed for the Small RAW mode. If I take the plunge I'll be sure to post my findings here.
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by tagscuderia View Post
    Unfortunately not it would seem.
    The only things holding me back from the DP0 (besides availability) is this highlight issue and weather sealing. I don't need 20MP files and 5MP Foveon files can still be printed at decent sizes so I had everything crossed for the Small RAW mode. If I take the plunge I'll be sure to post my findings here.
    I never use the smaller files, but if I get the chance, I will post a couple of 5mp raw files this weekend.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Links to two not very interesting smaller RAW files taken with a DP1 Quattro


    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...s/_SDI0781.X3F

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...s/_SDI0780.X3F
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by tagscuderia View Post
    Unfortunately not it would seem.
    The only things holding me back from the DP0 (besides availability) is this highlight issue and weather sealing. I don't need 20MP files and 5MP Foveon files can still be printed at decent sizes so I had everything crossed for the Small RAW mode. If I take the plunge I'll be sure to post my findings here.
    Hello again Tom,

    Thanks to Quentin I was able to look at a couple of LO res. Quattro shots with RawDigger (RD).

    The raw numbers for saturation are 14,336. Just for info. Sigmas raw numbers rarely match the ADC outputs, there's always something done in-camera before writing to X3F. The channels are like Merrills in relative size, namely they are the same pixel size which indicates to me that the blue sensels are binned on-chip using Foveon's VPS technology. In the lesser-exposed image there are spikes at 14,336 in the R & G channel histograms. These are the more sensitive "over-exposure" sensor pixels doing their job and can be ignored as far as image quality is concerned.

    A blue channel export from RD is the same file size as a green channel export.

    Based on the grass/flowers scene which is slightly blown in raw, the channels saturate far more evenly than those of the Merrill. All in all, I would be quite tempted by a DSLR Quattro but would probably only use it in LO res because I don't print.

    I put some files for you up here: Index of mySite/phot/temp

    Two channel exports
    Two raw histograms
    One RGB export

    Enjoy, they won't be there for ever

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 15th July 2015 at 06:19.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    This image illustrates the problem well. It is a medium contrast image of a slightly messy kitchen work surface (mine - sorry!). At first sight, it is richly detailed and with excellent colour. But look again at the lemons and the tulip tips. The yellow of the lemon skin is completely bleached with jagged edges, as are the tulip tips, in a very unnatural looking way
    Quentin, would it be possible to make the X3F of the kitchen photo available?
    I would like to try an open source converter that some guys in the dpreview forum developed. I have a similar situation where the converter did a better job on the weird highlight clipping than SPP.

    Stoneage

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    N.B, thanks Quentin for going out of your way to produce some samples.

    Thanks Ted, glad that I checked to see if there'd been any updates!
    I'm guessing that neither image would show the highlight clipping issue in 20MP mode so it's difficult to conclude that 5MP RAW would negate the issue.
    You seem happy with the output however, do you think that SPP will treat it as per Merrill data and allow 1EV+ highlight recovery? Or is this impossible to even presume without a more suitable file?
    One thing I learnt, my Mac much prefers the 5MP RAWs!
    I rarely print nowadays so would be happy to play with Lo-Res mode albeit it's a shame given the 20MP output that it's capable of.
    Tom.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by tagscuderia View Post
    N.B, thanks Quentin for going out of your way to produce some samples.

    Thanks Ted, glad that I checked to see if there'd been any updates!
    I'm guessing that neither image would show the highlight clipping issue in 20MP mode so it's difficult to conclude that 5MP RAW would negate the issue.
    That would be difficult, I agree.

    You seem happy with the output however
    Remember that I don't have a Quattro, so all I know comes from other people's shots.

    do you think that SPP will treat it as per Merrill data and allow 1EV+ highlight recovery?
    I am not one who thinks that 1EV+ highlight comes automatically with any Sigma, so you're talking to the wrong guy For example, I only shoot in manual exposure mode and my ISO knob is super-glued in the ISO 100 position.
    But, SPP should indeed treat a LO res Quattro as a "normal" X3F file.

    . . . or is this impossible to even presume without a more suitable file?
    I don't understand what is meant by a "more suitable file", sorry.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Just posted a thread over on Luminous Landscape about the X3F tools demonstrating improved highlight retention AND improved resolution, had to try it out after I saw the results I discuss from the DPR thread.

    http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/...topic=102222.0

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Hi Ted,
    I shoot in aperture or shutter priority, predominantly spot meter but also never shoot at anything other than base ISO (be it 100 or 200).
    The Quattro's limited highlight DR will pose a problem however and the way it clips (with a grey boundary) is ugly. I see S-Raw as a fall back for high contrast scenes when hopefully SPP utilises the lower 2 layers to recover highlights.
    Wrong to try and quantify the gain but also why I wrote "more suitable file" i.e, identical (within reason) 5MP and 20MP shots of a scene that exhibits the highlight issue, to confirm the theory.
    Also your analysis of Quattro 5MP channel saturation seemed positive - that's all I meant by "you seem happy with the output."
    Appreciate you digging into the RAW data, cheers.
    Tom.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by capital View Post
    Just posted a thread over on Luminous Landscape about the X3F tools demonstrating improved highlight retention AND improved resolution, had to try it out after I saw the results I discuss from the DPR thread.

    What Sigma can't do for Quattro, perhaps X3F Tools and Kalpanika can.
    This looks a million times better, but normal mortals like me can't use it, so although it is great work, its just a tease.

    Either Sigma needs to incorporate the code in SPP, or it should be built in to another program.

    Either way, it could be the salvation of the entire Quattro concept - if it can be made user friendly.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    This looks a million times better, but normal mortals like me can't use it, so although it is great work, its just a tease.
    I'm not command line conversant but it's normally more straight forward than it looks and the developers are answering queries on the thread so, give it a try.
    Wasn't sure where claims of greater resolving power were coming from but apparently there's zero sharpening happening which is very good news! Contrast does seem lower but then the NR looks like a breakthrough.
    Linear DNG has great potential if there are no colour casts. Set it up as an action and hey presto, a workable workflow with great results.
    I wonder if Brian could be persuaded to add it to Iridient Developer, perhaps as a plug-in given the open-source release.
    P.S, Sigma should definitely be paying attention to the highlight recovery, they can't afford to keep the status quo!
    Last edited by tagscuderia; 20th July 2015 at 07:28.

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by tagscuderia View Post
    I'm not command line conversant but it's normally more straight forward than it looks and the developers are answering queries on the thread so, give it a try.
    Wasn't sure where claims of greater resolving power were coming from but apparently there's zero sharpening happening which is very good news! Contrast does seem lower but then the NR looks like a breakthrough.
    Linear DNG has great potential if there are no colour casts. Set it up as an action and hey presto, a workable workflow with great results.
    I wonder if Brian could be persuaded to add it to Iridient Developer, perhaps as a plug-in given the open-source release.
    P.S, Sigma should definitely be paying attention to the highlight recovery, they can't afford to keep the status quo!
    So long as its Windows compatible. I'm not interested in messing around with command lines and for business reasons, I'm also not interested in apple computers (save my iPad... ). Life is too short.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    So long as its Windows compatible. I'm not interested in messing around with command lines and for business reasons, I'm also not interested in apple computers (save my iPad... ). Life is too short.
    Hi Quentin!

    I´m new to this forum but just wanted to help you to try Kalpanika. I think the developers will make it a part of a Lightroom-workflow, and then one will not have to use a command prompt to convert files, it will probably be an automated process from within Lightroom. But until then, we have to use it from the command prompt. I have a suggestion if you want to try it out:
    Download the Windows ZIP-file (contains the exe-file) from the link over at dpreview. Unzip it. To make it really easy, place the exe-file in the folder where you want to try the converter on the files.
    Start the Command Prompt in Windows.
    Drag the exe-file to the command prompt, it will show the complete folder/file-structure to the file, like below, probably with quotation marks:
    "C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder\x3f_extract.exe"
    Now, without pressing the upward key, just using the sideway keys (arrows) to modify the row to add cd in the beginning and remove the x3f_extract.exe in the end, like below:
    cd ""C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder" <Press Enter>
    Now you are in the right folder. Now you can again write the command and add the operators you would like, for example:
    x3f_extract -denoise -color ProPhotoRGB -wb Auto "filename.X3F"
    ... will give you a denoised DNG (linear) in the ProPhoto-color space, with Auto White Balance. The quotes around the filename will be needed if the filename contains spaces and other "strange" letters, not otherways. You can also use:
    x3f_extract -denoise -color ProPhotoRGB -wb Auto *.X3F
    ... to convert all X3F-files in the folder.
    You can then close the command prompt.

    But it will probably be easier to use in the future.

    /Daniel
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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Forsman View Post
    Hi Quentin!

    I´m new to this forum but just wanted to help you to try Kalpanika. I think the developers will make it a part of a Lightroom-workflow, and then one will not have to use a command prompt to convert files, it will probably be an automated process from within Lightroom. But until then, we have to use it from the command prompt. I have a suggestion if you want to try it out:
    Download the Windows ZIP-file (contains the exe-file) from the link over at dpreview. Unzip it. To make it really easy, place the exe-file in the folder where you want to try the converter on the files.
    Start the Command Prompt in Windows.
    Drag the exe-file to the command prompt, it will show the complete folder/file-structure to the file, like below, probably with quotation marks:
    "C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder\x3f_extract.exe"
    Now, without pressing the upward key, just using the sideway keys (arrows) to modify the row to add cd in the beginning and remove the x3f_extract.exe in the end, like below:
    cd ""C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder" <Press Enter>
    Now you are in the right folder. Now you can again write the command and add the operators you would like, for example:
    x3f_extract -denoise -color ProPhotoRGB -wb Auto "filename.X3F"
    ... will give you a denoised DNG (linear) in the ProPhoto-color space, with Auto White Balance. The quotes around the filename will be needed if the filename contains spaces and other "strange" letters, not otherways. You can also use:
    x3f_extract -denoise -color ProPhotoRGB -wb Auto *.X3F
    ... to convert all X3F-files in the folder.
    You can then close the command prompt.

    But it will probably be easier to use in the future.

    /Daniel
    My brain hurts OK,. already, I will give it a try...
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    My brain hurts OK,. already, I will give it a try...
    Oh no, I made a typo! Never use two quotation marks in a row in the command promt.
    The row to modify should read:
    cd "C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder" <Press Enter>
    ... so no double ""
    Sorry for the confusion. I hope I will not find more typos.

    /Daniel

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