Trying out Sigma Photo Pro 6.6

There are many changes with the new 6.6 version of Sigma Photo Pro. Most of the new features (take a look at the change log down below) are supposed to make SPP more versatile and more like Lightroom. But since I prefer to use Adobe’s application for additional editing, I’m going to focus on performance enhancements.

But let’s first take a look at the change log:

  • It has incorporated the “pre-processing” function. By using this with the RAW data (X3F/X3I files) taken by dp Quattro or sd Quattro series cameras in, the software is able to offer faster image display in the review window as well as saving the pictures at higher speed.
  • It has added the “Tone Curve Editor” to the Adjustment Palette that allows partial adjustment of an image.*
  • It has incorporated a function for image comparison in the Quick Check Mode and simultaneously displays two images in the Quick Check Window for comparison.
  • It is possible to display the image at 100% in the review window, and the point clicked on the image will be centered in the image.
  • It has incorporated the “Rating” function to rate images between 1 and 5 as well as the “Labelling” function to sort images in 5 different color groups.
  • It has improved the effect of the Detail Slider.*
  • It has added new buttons, “Select all” and “Deselect all”, to the “Batch Settings”.

* Only for the RAW data (X3F/X3I files) taken by dp Quattro or sd Quattro series cameras.

* From SIGMA Photo Pro Ver. 6.6.0, it is possible to operate only with Windows OS 64 bit version and no longer compatible with Windows OS 32 bit version.

As I said earlier, the new batch processing, rating and labelling options are a welcome improvement, but in my opinion these workflow steps should be done in a piece of software like Lightroom.

The new Tone Curve editor is interesting, but again I prefer to take care of adjustments such as that in Lightroom. This is part of fine tuning, which I never do in a RAW converter (meaning SPP).

Let’s talk performance now. I have made some quick changes to the same photo in SPP 6.5.4 and SPP 6.6 and stopped the time while applying the most important changes. Since adjusting the settings in the Tonal Adjustments panel (from Exposure to Fill Light) is done in real time even on my slow laptop, having no special equipment for measuring time I can’t say which version is faster. But I can say how long opening an X3F and other more time consuming steps take.

It is important to note that my notebook has a rather slow Intel U processor with two cores and four threads and a TDP of not more than 15W. As you can tell this is not exactly the perfect machine for doing photo editing in SPP. This becomes abundantly clear when saving a JPG in SPP 6.5.4 at the latest, which takes whopping 42 seconds.

What’s interesting is that version 6.6 is not always faster. But where it is, the difference is clearly noticeable rather than being purely academic. When switching the Display Mode it needs to be said that the second mode works a bit different in 6.6. The frame needs to be processed after every change, when viewing the image at 100%. I didn’t discover a similar “catch” when it comes to saving. It really works faster in the new version. With all other steps, aside from opening X3Fs, the differences are so small and inconsistent that they are hardly worth mentioning. Opening an image was repeated several times and the new version was slower every single time.

By the way the same photo was used in both versions. You can see it in the crop at the beginning of this blog post

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