Sigma SD9 Digital SLR
First Foveon X3 (3 x 3.3Mp) DSLR
Introduced February 2002


SIGMA SD9 with FOVEON X3 Technology

The breakthrough Sigma SD9 camera with Foveon® X3™ image sensor is the world’s first image-sensor that features three layers of photodetectors. The layers are embedded in silicon to take advantage of the fact that red, green and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths, allowing full-color to be measured at every pixel. The layers are positioned to take advantage of the fact that silicon absorbs different colors of light at different depths, so one layer records red, another layer records green and the other layer records blue. This means that for every pixel on a Foveon X3 image sensor, there’s actually a stack of three photodetectors, forming the first and only full-color capture system.
SIGMA SD9, powered by Foveon X3 image sensors captures red, green and blue light at each and every pixel. All other image sensors feature just one layer of photodetectors, with just one photodetector per pixel. To capture color, pixels are organized in a grid, or mosaic, resembling a three-color checkerboard. Each pixel capture just one color-red, green or blue. The filters let only one wavelength of light (red, green or blue) pass through to any given pixel, allowing it to record only one color. As a result, mosaic sensors capture only 25% of the red and blue light, and just 50% of the green.
That approach has inherent drawbacks, no matter how many pixels a mosaic-based image sensor might contain. Since they only capture one third of the color, mosaic-based image sensors must rely on complex processing to interpolate the two-thirds they miss. Interpolation leads to color artifacts and a loss of image detail. In fact, some digital cameras intentionally blur pictures to reduce color artifacts.


That ‘s why the SIGMA SD9 powered by Foveon X3 technology delivers twice the sharpness, better color detail and greater resistance to unpredictable color artifacts.

2. RAW Image Format
With the RAW data recording system of the SIGMA SD9, it is possible to obtain high picture definition and compact file size. The lossless compression system of RAW data, eliminates image deterioration, and provides superior pictures, without sacrificing original image quality.
RAW data is convertible into high TIFF and JPEG formats by dedicated image processing software “SIGMA Photo Pro”. According to the requirements of the photographer, it is also possible to change the characteristics of the image, such as white balance, brightness, contrast etc. when it is converted into TIFF and JPEG formats. Even if the photographer makes some additional adjustments to the image, the quality of the image will not deteriorate, if the photographer makes the adjustments based on the saved RAW data.

3. Image Recording With Three Resolution Settings
Depending on the intention of the photographer, the SIGMA SD9 allows photographers to select the resolution of RAW data images in one of three resolutions.
Hi mode delivers highest resolution image performance with (2268×1512 pixels) x 3. MED mode has high definition and recording capacity. LOW mode allows consecutive shooting.

4. Sports Finder
The coverage of a viewfinder of a digital SLR camera with interchangeable lens is almost the same as the picture seen on its image sensor.
However, the coverage of viewfinder can be maximum 100%, and no portions of the outside area projected on the image sensor can be seen. SIGMA SD9 is equipped with a “sport finder” for easily following the situation outside the picture area.
The area that is out of the image sensor coverage range is marked by transparent light gray, to distinguish it from the active picture taking area.
It is also important to control the surrounding situation of the photographic subject. In this respect, the sports finder will be ready to provide a good opportunity to take a good picture anytime. When taking a picture of a fixed object or close-up photography, composition can be easily determined because the area outside the range of the picture can be seen.

5. Dust Protector
Dust and dirt entering through the lens mount of a digital camera, can create serious defects in image quality. If dust and dirt adhere to the image sensor and are not removed, it will degrade the image quality. In order to prevent dust entering and adhering to image sensor, the body mount of SIGMA SD9 is equipped with an integral dust protector. The dust protector of the SIGMA SD9 prevents dust from entering and adhering to the image sensor. Even if dust adheres to the dust protector it will not have an influence on image quality, because the dust protector is located away from the image sensor.

6. Easy To Use Interface
Each button of the Sigma SD9 is devised and arranged to provide a functional and easy-to-use setting.
By means of the 4-Way Controller on the back of the body, menu settings and camera settings can be adjusted very quickly.
By using the Zoom-in View mode, the details of the image can be selected magnified by moving the cursor and choosing the location with the 4-Way Controller.
The command dial can quickly select the resolution settings, and the ISO sensitivity setting. It is also possible to make program shift in the Program AE Mode.

7. 1.8”type TFT Monitor
The SIGMA SD9 is equipped with a large 1.8” 130,000 dot low temperature polysilicon TFT-LCD monitor with white LED on the back panel, which displays images, menus and histogram. The coverage area of the LCD monitor is 100%, similar to that seen from the viewfinder and thanks to the LCD-monitor, the composition can also be seen easily.
By operation of +/- Controller, three types of screen display can be chosen; thumbnail display (9 images simultaneous display), Single-Image display, and a Zoom-in display (the area to magnify can be freely chosen by the 4-Way Controller). By pressing the INFO button, detailed image information can be displayed on the TFT-LCD monitor, such as shutter speed, aperture value.

8. IEEE1394 & USB(1.1) Interface
The SIGMA SD9 can transmit the images from camera to computer with high-speed IEEE1394 (S400) and widely available USB (1.1) interfaces.
SIGMA SD9 is equipped with IEEE1394 interface to deliver super-high-speed image data transmission rate.

9. Image Storage Media; Compact Flash TM Card.
SIGMA SD9 employs CF card as an Image Storage Media. Since the SIGMA SD9 is compatible with the Compact Flash TM Type I/II card, use of IBM MicrodriveTM is also possible.
The outstanding storage capacity of IBM MicrodriveTM enables photographers to use the camera even more effectively.

10. CR-V3 Batteries
Two CR123A batteries, which are located in the grip part of a camera, are used as a power supply for the camera drive part. In addition, two CR-V3 lithium batteries located in the lower part of the camera, are used as a power supply for the digital parts, such as a display of LCD, and image processing. Lithium batteries enable photographers to shoot many images.
A shutter release button is supplied with optional Power Pack SD for vertical shooting.
Since this Power Pack SD can be equipped with four CR-V3 batteries, extensive photography can be attained.

SIGMA SD9 camera’s video output system can be switched between PAL system (used in Europe, etc.,) and NTSC system (in Japan and the U.S., etc.). This means that video output of the SIGMA SD9 Picture is possible anywhere in the world.

Camera Type Interchangeable-Lens SLR-Type Digital Camera
Storage Media CompactFlashTM (CF) (TypeI/II), IBM MicrodriveTM
Image Sensor Size 20.7mm ×13.8mm
Usable Lenses Sigma SA mount lenses
Actual Field of View Equivalent to 1.7x the focal length of lens when used on a 35mm SLR
Lens Mount SA Bayonet Mount
Image Sensor FOVEON X3 (CMOS)
Resolution Total Pixels: 3.54 million pixels ×3 Effective: 3.43 million pixels ×3
Aspect Ratio 3 : 2
Image Recording Format Lossless compression RAW Data (12bit)
Image File Size HI:2268×1512 ×3 (Approx. 8MB)
MED:2268×756 x3 (Approx. 4MB)
(3) LOW:1134×756 x3 (Approx. 2MB)
Burst Rate Approx. 3.5 frames/second up to Hi: 7 frames, MED:14 frames and LOW: 28 frames
Interfaces IEEE1394, USB (1.1), Video Out (NTSC/PAL)
White Balance 8type
Viewfinder Type Pentaprism SLR Viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame coverage 98% horizontal, 97% vertical
Viewfinder Magnification 0.77x (50mm F1.4-∞)
Eyepoint 18mm
Diopter Adjustment Range -3dpt ~+1dpt
Auto Focus Type TTL phase difference detection system
AF Operating Range EV2 ~ +18 (ISO100)
Focus Mode Single AF, Continuous AF (w/ AF Predict function)
Metering Systems 8-segment Evaluative Metering, Center Metering, Center-Weighted Average Metering
Metering Range EV-1 ~ 20 (with 50mm F1.4 at ISO100)
Exposure Modes (P)Program AE with program shift function, (S) Shutter Speed Priority AE, (A) Aperture Priority AE, Metered Manual

ISO Sensitivity ISO 100, 200, 400
Exposure Compensation ±3EV (in 1/2steps)
AE Lock Pushbutton type (exposure settings are locked while the button in depressed)
Auto Bracketing Three Different Exposure Levels; Appropriate, Under and Over Exposure; Maximum variation of ±3EV in 1/2 EV steps
Shutter Type Vertical-travel metal focal plane shutter electronically controlled through entire speed range
Shutter Speeds 1/6000 to 30sec., Bulb
External Flash Synchronization Hot shoe (contact X, synchronized at 1/180-sec. or less, with dedicated flash linking contact)

LCD Monitor Type 1.8″, Color TFT LCD with 130,000dot low-temp. polysilicon
Coverage Area : 100% Backlight : White LED
Reviewing Images Single-Image Display, Zoom-in Display, 9 images thumbnail display, Slide Show

Menu Languages Japanese / English / French / German
Power Source Battery: Lithium CR123A × 2pcs batteries
: Lithium CR-V3 × 2pcs, or “AA” Alkaline Dry Cell X4pcs or Ni-MH X4pcs

AC Adapter
Dimension and Weight Dimensions : 152(W)mm × 120(H)mm × 79(D)mm / 5.9in (W)X 4.7in (H)X3.1in(D)
Weight : 803g /28.3 oz

Remote Controller RS-21
Dedicated Flash EF‐500 SUPER SD
Battery Grip Power Pack SD