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I am considering to spend more time on macro photography of everyday items, centimeter sized, in most cases larger, say 5 cm and up. (No tiny ladybugs etc). Photography authorities say a macro lens is required.

But maybe a sigma dp3 quattro can be used?

According to the specs and some reviewers, it has a manual focus mode, the minimum focus distance is ~22 cm, it is a tele lens.

Possible drawbacks are: There are no ring flashes (made by Sigma) for this camera. The sigmas are notorious for being noisy at ISO values > 100, and many macro shots require a lot of light (or high ISO).

Note that I know this camera is not marketed, and not even designed for this purpose. It is more a point and shoot camera for the slow, conscious photographer. But I like to hack and tweak things.

An obvious alternative would be to buy the dedicated macro lens for my main camera. But I have already a portrait telephoto prime-lens with a similar focal length. So buying the macro would be redundant.

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The Sigma DP3 Quattro has a reasonable maximum magnification of 0.33x but with it's large APS-C sensor that means you aren't going to be able to fill the frame with anything smaller than 70mm x 45mm

If you want to shoot something around 1cm in size you will have to crop the image massively at the expense of resolution. For this reason I'd say the DP3 Quattro is not a good camera for macro photography on it's own. You may be able to get close up adapters that screw on the front of the lens to decrease the minimum focus distance. Image quality will suffer though, in the end there are few substitutes for a dedicated macro lens.

See this question for other macro lens alternatives:

What macro techniques offer an alternative to expensive optics?

  • you will have to crop the image massively - but the foveons have such high resolution- I speculate there are still more than enough pixels left after cropping - that was the basis of my idea. – knb May 26 '15 at 12:31
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    @knb Cropping to a 1cm x 1cm square at maximum magnification will drop you from 20 megapixels down to 0.6 megapixels, not exactly what I'd call "more than enough pixels"... – Matt Grum May 26 '15 at 13:52
  • that's the extreme case. my objects are larger. and there is still the option to apply a focus-stacking technique. – knb May 26 '15 at 17:19
  • @knb Focus stacking is used to extend DOF, it wont help with resolution at the focal plane. Essentially the DP3 Quattro will photograph a 70mm x 45mm area, any smaller than that will require cropping, how much cropping is required depends on how much smaller, and how much loss of resolution is acceptable is up to you. That's about all I can say to answer your question, other than the poor high ISO performance of the camera can avoided by using a tripod and longer exposure at ISO 100. – Matt Grum May 27 '15 at 9:17
  • I meant Superresolution. Maybe it can be used here for noise reduction and some resolution improvement. Never tried it, only know that this method exists. Didn't remember its name yesterday. To me it's like focus-stacking with focal plane held constant, and then different algorithms applied. – knb May 27 '15 at 11:33

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