SIGMA sd Quattro
Ultimate image quality.
New SIGMA sd Quattro camera.
Ultimate image quality. Ultimate camera.
In developing any product, SIGMA always has a primary objective in mind: fundamental performance that gives everyone the opportunity to take the perfect photograph. Offering breathtaking resolution, rich gradations and colors, and exceptional realism, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor is a symbol of this never-ending pursuit of excellence. It delivers image quality so distinctively intense that even the temperature, humidity, and scent of a scene seem to impress themselves upon the viewer.
Presenting the ultimate digital camera experience, the new SIGMA sd Quattro series leverages the image quality of the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor to build a complete system compatible with all SIGMA GLOBAL VISION high-performance interchangeable lenses. The sd Quattro series allows photographers to express themselves with even more freedom and precision.
Believing that the lens is the key to the photograph, SIGMA has created a new camera for the true photographic artist that leverages the power of high-quality lenses. Test its performance with your own hands and eyes—and be amazed.
Leveraging the light absorption characteristics of silicon, the sensor comprises three layers of photodiodes, each at a different depth within the silicon and each corresponding to a different RGB color. Since it is the only sensor to use this superior vertical color separation technology, it is also the world’s only direct image sensor. The Foveon direct image sensor captures color vertically, recording hue, value, and chroma accurately and completely for each pixel, enabling the expression of rich gradation and tone. Moreover, there is no low-pass filter needed to correct the interference caused by a color filter array, unlike the data from other sensors, which requires artificial interpolation to “fill in” missing colors. The data from the Foveon direct image sensor is complete with light and color information for every single pixel.
The essence of photographic expression:
fine lenses for a truly powerful system camera.
The SIGMA GLOBAL VISION series of high-performances lenses comprises three distinct lines and concepts: Contemporary, Art, and Sports. SIGMA has developed each of the lenses in these three lines using the Foveon X3 direct image sensor to ensure their world-class optical performance. Offering the outstanding expression that photographers demand, the SIGMA sd Quattro series is a complete and powerful system compatible with these fine lenses.
The culmination of the SIGMA philosophy:
"The lens is the key to the photograph"
Top-performing lenses developed using the highest - resolution image sensor
Since their introduction in 2012, the SIGMA GLOBAL VISION series of lenses has received an enthusiastic welcome from photographers around the world. In order to create these fine lenses, SIGMA revolutionized its production system and aimed to endow them with ultimate quality in every respect:
1. Design: All lens designs are based on a stringent and comprehensive development concept.
2. Manufacturing: All lenses are made in Japan using the most advanced production technologies.
3. Assessment: Performance standards for each lens are carefully developed and stringently applied. For example, all lenses are tested with the A1* proprietary Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) measuring system using 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensors.
*A1 = AIZU 1
A system that treats lenses as true assets:
Optional SIGMA USB DOCK for customizing focus position and more
Available Mount Conversion Service for growing and maintaining lens assets
SIGMA supports the SIGMA GLOBAL VISION lineup with comprehensive products and services that help photographers get more value out of their fine lenses and enjoy using them over the long term.
The SIGMA USB DOCK is a dedicated accessory for lenses in the Contemporary, Art, and Sports lines. Simply placing a lens in the DOCK and connecting it to a personal computer via a USB cable, photographers can use the exclusive SIGMA Optimization Pro software to update lens firmware and customize the focus position and other settings. Photographers can also select the autofocus speed and adjust the focus limiter and Optical Stabilizer (OS) function on lenses that have a custom mode switch.
The Mount Conversion Service is available for all SIGMAL GLOBAL VISION lenses. For a fee, SIGMA will convert a lens mount to a mount for a different camera body. This service helps photographers use valuable lens assets for many years to come, unrestricted by their original choice of camera system.
An image processing system ready for higher resolution.
Outstanding performance, next-level imae quality.
With its three-layer structure, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor captures all of the information carried by visible light. This film-like capture system offers rich gradations and color and truly distinctive image quality. Optimized to match the enhanced resolution and other characteristics of the image data, the image processing system of the new SIGMA sd Quattro leverages the outstanding fundamental functions of the camera while taking overall image quality to the next level.
Two sensor sizes available
The SIGMA sd Quattro incorporates an APS-C sensor for outstanding medium format level image quailty, while the SIGMA sd Quattro H features a new APS-H size sensor for 51 megapixel-equivalent ultra-high image quality.
Other cameras typically use a single-layer photo sensor covered by a Bayer filter mosaic, which comprises 50% green, 25% blue, and 25% red squares. In contrast, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor uses no low-pass filter and is able to capture 100% of the data for blue, green, and red in each of its three layers. Due to this unique structure, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor can generate up to twice the resolution data of sensors using a Bayer filter. The SIGMA sd Quattro has an APS-C-size sensor with 19.6 megapixels in its top layer, giving it an equivalent total of approximately 39 megapixels and the outstanding image quality expected of a medium format camera. The SIGMA sd Quattro H features a newly developed APS-H size sensor (26.7 x 17.9mm) with 25.5 megapixels in its top layer for an equivalent total of approximately 51 megapixels. This larger sensor takes Foveon image quality to the next level, delivering more detailed images than ever before.
Foveon direct image sensor
The world's only image capture system to use vertical color separation technology
Starting with our very first digital camera, we have featured the Foveon direct image sensor, which offers radically better image quality than any other sensor available. Leveraging the light absorption characteristics of silicon, the sensor comprises three layers of photodiodes, each at a different depth within the silicon and each corresponding to a different RGB color. Since it is the only sensor to use this superior vertical color separation technology, it is also the world’s only direct image sensor.
Almost all other image sensors are mosaic sensors, which use an array of RGB color filters in a single horizontal plane to capture color information. Each pixel is assigned only one of the three colors and cannot capture all three colors at once. In contrast, the Foveon direct image sensor captures color vertically, recording hue, value, and chroma accurately and completely for each pixel.
In the Foveon direct image sensor, there are no color filters which would cause a loss of information transmitted by light. Moreover, there is no low-pass filter needed to correct the interference caused by a color filter array. Finally, unlike the data from other sensors, which requires artificial interpolation to “fill in” missing colors, the data from the Foveon direct image sensor is complete for every single pixel and requires no interpolation. The unique technological principle of this sensor produces consistently outstanding image quality.
Newly developed Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor
Now featuring 39 megapixel-equivalent ultrahigh resolution
The new sensor structure features a ratio 1:1:4 for the number of red, green, and blue megapixels, respectively. The top layer captures luminance and color information, while the bottom two layers capture color information only. This unique structure prevents the deterioration of the signal-to-noise ratio that is typically associated with an ultrahigh 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 resolution and enhancing noise characteristics, this 1:1:4 solution was the inspiration for the name of the current generation of Foveon sensor: “Quattro.”
The new 1:1:4 structure (bottom 1: middle 1: top 4) offers higher resolution that is equivalent to 39 megapixels for conventional color filter array sensors.
In addition to this ultra-high resolution, the sensor offers enhanced noise characteristics and faster processing of high-volume image data.
The difference between the Foveon X3 Quattro
direct image sensor and a conventional color
filter array sensor (Bayer filter sensor)
The Foveon X3 Quattro leverages the selective absorption of light by silicon: shorter wavelengths penetrate less deeply into the element, whereas longer wavelengths penetrate more deeply. Comprising three silicon layers for each of the three primary colors of light (blue, green, and red), the Foveon X3 Quattro sensor vertically captures full color information for every single pixel. Unlike a conventional sensor, this full-color capture system requires no color interpolation at the data processing stage. Having complete color information for every pixel location makes possible highly precise and delicate resolution and color expression.
The special characteristics
of the 1:1:4 structure
High resolution is a necessary condition of outstanding image quality. At the same time, adding megapixels to increase resolution also results in a bloated image file size. The risk of file bloat is especially pertinent in the case of image data in the .raw format containing RGB information for every pixel location.
As the spectroscopic chart indicates, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor is able to detect a broad range of light wavelengths. We came upon the idea of having the top/blue layer capture luminance information, which in turn led us to the idea of the 1:1:4 structure. While the top layer captures both luminance and color information, the middle and bottom layers with their larger surface area capture color information only. During the image data processing stage, the luminance data captured in the top layer is applied to the top, middle, and bottom layers, resulting in luminance and color data for each individual pixel.
The Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor retains the three-layer vertical color capture of previous Foveon sensors while featuring the new ability to capture luminance information in the top layer and apply that information to the middle and bottom layers. This new structure has been the key to preventing file bloat, which may eventually have proved a problem for the 1:1:1 structure of the previous generation of Foveon sensors.
Dual TRUE III for high - speed processing of high - volume data
TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) III is the dedicated image processing engine for the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor. SIGMA’s original algorithm processes data without loss of color detail or other image degeneration to deliver extremely detailed image expression with a noticeable 3D pop. In addition, by using two separate TRUE III engines, the camera is able to process data from the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor at extremely high speed.
Combination of two AF detection methods
Speed versus focusing performance: two AF detection methods available for more nimble and accurate autofocusing.
Phase detection AF is superior for speed performance, while contract detection AF is superior for focusing accuracy. Combining these two methods in a single system delivers AF that is fast and precise at the same time. In addition, this approach to autofocus takes full advantage of the characteristics of high-performance lenses. The Single AF mode is optimal for everyday photography, while the Continuous AF mode is optimal for focusing on a moving object. In the latter mode, pressing the shutter button halfway causes autofocus to operate continuously, while Movement Prediction AF operates at the same time for more accurate autofocusing. A variety of other AF modes are also available. 9-Point Selection AF mode allows the user to select among nine focus frames. Free Movement AF mode allows the user to select the focus frame with high precision. Face Detection AF mode detects human faces and prioritizes focusing on them. The AF assist light incorporated in the camera body makes possible the use of AF even in low-light conditions.
New Super - Fine Detail exposure mode
New SFD mode for lower - noise, higher - definition images
The new Super-Fine Detail (SFD) exposure mode brings out the full performance of the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor. One push of the shutter generates seven different exposures, creating RAW data in the X3I file format. Using this data with the SIGMA Photo Pro software package, the photographer can create noiseless images with an extensive dynamic range. With this new mode, the more detailed imaging potential of the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor is fully leveraged. From each X3I file, individual X3F files may also be generated. The value of SFD exposure mode is especially apparent in studio photography.
Note: To prevent camera shake, SIGMA recommends the use of a tripod
Continuous shooting of up to 12 images in RAW format
The DDR III high-speed, high-volume memory is approximately twice the capacity of that of the SIGMA dp Quattro. This allows the SIGMA sd Quattro to capture up to 12RAW images (X3F files) in High size during continuous shooting (SIGMA sd Quattro H: up to 10 images). As a further option, when Low size is used, the SIGMA sd Quattro offers a continuous shooting of up to 24 images (SIGMA sd Quattro H: up to 20 images).
Aiming for the ideal interchangeable lens digital camera
An sd Quattro series camera provides a feeling of solidity and superior usability when you take it in both hands to compose and shoot. Each is developed to have just the right weight and shape for portability and to offer better expandability as a complete system. Moreover, each features an ergonomic design to support an intuitive photographic experience.
High-resolution Super High size images
JPEG files in S-HI size (SIGMA sd Quattro: 39 megapixels; SIGMA sd Quattro H: 51 megapixels)
A variety of file sizes is available to accommodate a wide range of user needs. Using High-size files brings out the best performance from the image sensor, while using Low-size files increases the number of shots that can be stored in memory. In both of these file sizes, the camera can simultaneously create RAW and JPEG data. In addition, the camera can create JPEG files in S-HI size (SIGMA sd Quattro: 39 megapixels; SIGMA sd Quattro H: 51 megapixels), appropriate for large prints, as well as in S-Lo size, which is ideal for online sharing.
High-resolution electronic viewfinder
The high-resolution 2.36 mega-dots electronic viewfinder features near-100% viewfinder coverage and a 1.10 magnification ratio (sd Quatto H: 0.96x). The viewfinder incorporates three lenses with the outermost lens specially coated to ensure a clear field of view. Using a switch next to the viewfinder, the user can toggle between displaying the image in the viewfinder and the monitor. In AUTO mode, the camera automatically switches to the viewfinder display when the user is looking through it and to the monitor when he or she is not. This mode allows seamless use of the viewfinder to take photographs and use of the monitor to access settings and confirm results. For extra convenience, many functions of the monitor are available via the electronic viewfinder itself, such as setting values, grid lines, electronic level, zoom, focus peaking and more.
Focus peaking function
This function puts a colored outline (white, black, red, or yellow) around the subject in the viewfinder for instant confirmation of the person or object currently in focus.
In addition to the 1.62 mega-dots 3.0 inch TFT LCD main monitor, the rear of the camera features a sub-monitor that displays the number of remaining shots on the SD card, shutter speed, aperture value, ISO level, and more. This extra monitor makes it easy to watch the live view and confirm key information at the same time. A sheet of special material lies between the two LCDs and the protective glass that covers them. This sheet prevents air pockets from forming and minimizes reflections, ensuring excellent display visibility in sunlight.
Intuitive user interface helps user focus attention on creative work
Building on the success of previous SIGMA user interfaces, the new UI is more intuitive than ever. Located next to the shutter button, the Quick Set button provides instant access to the Quick Set Menu, which allows the user to quickly adjust commonly used settings while continuing to look through the viewfinder. Located on the top of the body, the LOCK switch prevents the accidental pressing of buttons, helping keep the user’s attention on the creative work. The buttons that are locked with this switch may also be customized by the user. Located on the rear of the camera near the selector are several controls for commonly used functions. Easily accessed with the thumb of the right hand, they include the menu button, focus frame button, and AEL/AF button with lever.
Click below link to see a complete list of the AF Operation of SIGMA lenses on the SIGMA sd Quattro:
SIGMA sd Quattro
Barcode No : 00-85126-932138
SIGMA sd Quattro + 30mm F1.4 DC | Art lens
In The News
Click on the above image to read "SIGMA sd Quattro Impression" which focuses on the concept, usability, and the power of Foveon sensor.Included are a selection of images that are available for download.