Reinvented body, reinvented Foveon sensor, the new Sigma DP series

Just in time for the CP+ show in Japan Sigma announced a completely rethought DP line of cameras. The cameras feature a completely new and radically different design. But also inside the camera got a complete rethought with a new type of Foveon sensor.

The ‘Quattro’ sensor

The new sensor, which got the name ‘Quattro’ added, is an evolution of the Foveon sensor with a new arrangement of sensors. It still captures color in a vertical array but the blue top layer now has 4 times the amount of the sensors as the green or red layer.

From the Sigma Global Vision site:

Our proprietary sensor structure features a ratio 1:1:4 for the number of red, green, and blue megapixels, respectively. This unique structure prevents the deterioration of the signal-to-noise ratio that is typically associated with an ultra-high megapixel count. At the same time, it makes possible high-speed data processing required for faithful color replication. Able to maintain the same exacting standard of image quality while increasing megapixels and enhancing noise characteristics, this 1:1:4 solution was the inspiration for the name of the current generation of Foveon sensor: “Quattro.”

According to Sigma resolution will be 30% higher, and its noise characteristics are further enhanced. Another advantage of this new array is improved processing speed and writing times. Anyone who used the DP cameras knows that this a very welcome change.


The body

Very different. Sigma clearly choose to not go with the current trend of designing retro styled cameras and started thinking outside of the box. the camera has an extremely slim body but is quite long. The grip is actually pointing backwards and is the only part which is a bit more bulky. It looks very modern and minimalistic. I did not have the chance to handle one yet so I will refrain from having a definitive opinion on the ergonomics but it looks pretty good to me. The camera will for sure stand out among others.


Other bits of info

From the info Sigma released I noticed a few interesting things. The RAW files now are in 14bit, this hopefully helps reducing shadow noise. There are a few more White Balance presets. To be exact Auto (Lighting Source Priority) & Color Temperature. The latter option has been requested a lot in the community so that should make a lot of people happy. Color modes also got a few additions with Cinema, Sunset Red, Forest Green, & FOV Classic Yellow. Interestingly enough I couldn’t find any info about video for this camera. It looks like this feature did not survive this redesign.

All the info is pretty fresh and I will add to this post when new info surfaces.


All images courtesy of Sigma Corporation.