Sigma announces sd Quattro and sd Quattro H Foveon mirrorless cameras
Sigma has announced two mirrorless ILCs: the Sigma sd Quattro and the sd Quattro H. Both cameras use the company’s full-depth SA lens mount as used in its SLRs, and are built around APS-C and APS-H sized sensors, respectively. The cameras share a body design with a built-in viewfinder that, while unusual, appears more ergonomically conventional than the recent DP Quattro series of large-sensor compacts.
Both cameras feature on-sensor phase detection as part of a hybrid AF system, which should mean they work effectively with existing SA-mount lenses. The down-side is that it reduces the range of lenses that could be added via adapter.
Both cameras use the latest, ‘Quattro’ version of Sigma’s Foveon technology, which measures different color information based on how deeply into the sensor it is able to penetrate. The Quattro design features full resolution at the top (predominantly blue-sensing) layer but then 1/4 of that resolution for the two deeper layers used to interpret information about red and green color components.
The APS-H sensor features 25.5MP in its top layer, which the company considers equivalent to the capture of a 51 megapixel sensor using the conventional Bayer design. This 26.6 x 17.9mm sensor is around 30% larger than the more common APS-C size, but it’s currently unclear what proportion of Sigma’s ‘DC’ lenses designed for APS-C offer a large enough image circle for use with the camera.
The APS-C version uses a phase-detection capable variant of the sensor used in the existing DP Quattros, offering 19.6MP on its top layer. Sigma says this should offer a level of detail comparable with a 39MP Bayer chip. (Foveon explained the logic of these claims when we spoke to them a few years ago).
The cameras feature two rear screens, one of which displays the camera’s current settings. They also feature USB 3.0 interfaces. A vertical/battery grip will be available.
Sigma Announces Two New Mirrorless Cameras: Sigma sd Quattro and sd Quattro H
Interchangeable lens APS-C and APS-H Foveon Quattro sensors in state-of-the-art camera systems
KANAGAWA, JAPAN — February 23, 2016 — Sigma Corporation of America, a leading camera, DSLR lens, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced the new high-performance, compact Sigma sd Quattro and Sigma sd Quattro H mirrorless camera systems with Foveon Quattro sensors. The Sigma sd Quattro features an APS-C sized sensor and the Sigma sd Quattro H touting a larger APS-H sized sensor for even greater image quality. Thanks to the mirrorless aspect of the cameras, both the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H are designed to take full advantage of all Sigma Global Vision lenses.
“With the introduction of these two new cameras, Sigma continues its rich history of innovation. The Foveon sensor is renowned for its imaging characteristics, and the mirrorless interchangeable format offers photographers the full line of Sigma Global Vision lenses to help realize their creative visions,”stated Mark Amir-Hamzeh, President of Sigma Corporation of America. “The sharpness of detail and nuanced color tone captured by the Foveon sensors is a key component of Sigma Global Vision. The sd Quattro, and the sd Quattro H, with the newly announced Foveon Quattro APS-H sensor, will be greatly appreciated by photographers who demand the utmost in imaging purity, with the added benefit of portability for both in-studio and on-location photography.”
Both the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H feature similar design aspects with a compact form consistent with the dp Quattro line, making them highly portable and utilizing the Foveon Quattro sensor for exceptional imaging quality and fast processing. A magnesium alloy body makes the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H durable and rugged, while a dust- and splash-proof design makes it ideal for photographers facing harsh conditions. In addition to the new body design, both cameras boast a list of useful advancements. These include a two-mode Autofocus detection that combines Phase Detection for focus speed and Contrast Detection for focus accuracy. The focus settings have also been enhanced with such modes as Movement Prediction, Face Detection, Free Movement, Focus Peaking and a variety of others. The new 2.3 megapixel viewfinder displays close to 100% of the field of view and when placed in “Auto” will toggle between the viewfinder when the user has the camera to their eye and then to the LCD when the user lowers the camera. A new “Super-Fine Detail” mode brings out the full potential of the Quattro sensor by capturing seven different exposures with one shot and merging them for exceptional dynamic range (images can be extracted individually as well). Meanwhile an updated algorithm for the Auto White Balance allows for greater accuracy, even with multiple light sources.
While the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H are similar in physical design details, they stand apart when their Foveon sensors are compared. The sd Quattro utilizes the same sensor found in the dp Quattro line and produces image quality comparable to that of a 39 megapixel Bayer-pattern sensor on resolution testing. The stacked silicon Foveon Direct Imaging sensor captures all detail information on the top 19.6 megapixel layer along with all color information for the Blue channel, while the two five-megapixel layers below capture Red and Green color information, all without the need for a low pass filter. Merged together they create incredible image quality that is comparable to medium format files. The sd Quattro H boasts a larger APS-H sensor (26.6×17.9mm) than the sd Quattro and can produce images equivalent to that of a 51-megapixel Bayer-pattern sensor camera on resolution testing. The sensor structure is similar to that of the sd Quattro but uses a 25.5 megapixels on the top layer of the sensor that captures the detail information. Both cameras use the latest Dual TRUE III image processor and take full advantage of the Art, Contemporary and Sport line Global Vision lenses that are made for high megapixel cameras. Like all Sigma Cameras, RAW (X3F) data can processed via Sigma Photo Pro, which offers editing options, including Monochrome mode to take advantage of the incredible monochrome images the Foveon sensor captures.