Sigma sd Quattro - ISO 100 device noise profile and filter settings preset

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Shy
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:43 pm

Sigma sd Quattro - ISO 100 device noise profile and filter settings preset

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Important note: This profile is only for X3F files processed in the Sigma Photo Pro software and saved as TIF.

Recommendations:
If you want to get maximum quality for your sd Quattro pictures, set these settings to minimum in Sigma Photo Pro: Detail, Sharpness ("-2.0"), and of course Noise Reduction Luma and Chrominance.

The filter settings preset is meticulously adjusted to avoid any visible reduction of detail, while reducing enough noise to avoid any perceivable annoyance. It's similar to using a bit stronger setting than the middle noise reduction settings in Sigma Photo Pro, but without any of the (sometimes really bad) luminance detail loss, and without the absolutely massive chrominance detail loss. The image looks identical to the unfiltered image, detail-wise, but without the dirtiness.

Why no "Detail": It's just a very destructive process that applies a sort of aggressive "local contrast" function (different method than "Contrast" in Photo Pro, which is also not great) and greatly emphasizes luminance aliasing artifacts. You better apply contrast processing using a high quality contrast plugin that doesn't destroy your image (Not easy to find, most of them do. I recommend the Power Retouche contrast plugin). Quattro series cameras have no color aliasing / "moire" artifacts at all - a huge advantage. Luminance aliasing is abundant, but thankfully it's very rarely annoyingly obvious. It easily becomes obvious when applying terrible processing like this "Detail", poorly designed contrast processes, or sharpening.

Why no "Sharpness": Because it's ridiculous to apply sharpening to images from a camera that already produces sensationally sharp images when you use a good lens. You can only ruin the look of your image. Secondly: This specific sharpener is especially terrible. If you really must ruin your image, at least use something like the sharpener included in Neat Image, it won't be as terrible.

As you may know, these cameras are really ISO 100-only cameras. Quality (luma and chroma detail) is severely degraded at ISO 200, but in fact, even ISO 125, which maintains much more detail than ISO 200, has a very severe increase in noise compared to ISO 100. This indicates that the analog and digital "formulas" even at ISO 125 are severely compromised, and that Sigma didn't optimize these cameras at all for anything other than ISO 100. That's why I didn't even bother to create noise profiles for anything except ISO 100, I only care about ISO 100 with the sd Quattro.

This device noise profile, with quality 96% is as good as it gets. I used two sd Quattro cameras and two high-end monitors and attempted to increase the accuracy, but it's impossible. It doesn't really matter, because this "96% quality" is more than good enough.

The profile and filter settings may also work well with sd Quattro H, which has a sensor that's either identical or at least very, very similar to sd Quattro's, just bigger (APS-H instead of APS-C).

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