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Sigma announces SD1 pricing and availability

June 21st, 2011

Sigma has announced details of the pricing of its SD1 APS-C 15x3MP DSLR, saying it is aiming at users currently shooting medium format. The camera, based on the technology of Sigma’s sensor development company Foveon, captures information about three colors for each of its 15 million pixels, rather than just one color per pixel in conventional, ‘Bayer’ designs. This gives 46 million pieces of color information. It is the company’s first move away from the 4.7x3MP sensors used in its existing DSLRs and DP-series fixed lens large sensor compacts. The SD1 features the ability to shoot at 5 frames per second, offers a 3.0″ 460,000 dot LCD screen and an 11-point AF system. It is based around the company’s own SA lens mount. Cameras will available from the end of June at a price of $9,700 in the US and £6,199.99 (inc VAT) in the UK.

NY, May 20, 2011Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, is pleased to announce that its flagship DSLR, the Sigma SD1, will be available for purchase for the MSRP of $9,700 in early June.

This 46-megapixel DSLR is delivered in a splash-proof, easy-to-handle build that is similar to that of a classic 35mm camera. Professional and high-end enthusiast photographers will utilize the SD1’s exclusive Foveon 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor to capture exceptionally rich and detailed images that have a film-like quality. Users will also benefit from Sigma’s wide selection of interchangeable lenses that are compatible with the SD1.

“The SD1 will carve out a new category in the marketplace by providing high-end photographers with an alternative to very expensive medium-format cameras and digital backs, while offering unrivaled image quality,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “By embracing the SD1, serious photographers will also be able to take advantage of Sigma’s extensive lineup of affordable lenses, which are compatible with this new camera. The selections of lenses for medium-format cameras on the market are somewhat limited, so this will be a huge advantage for SD1 users. This is undoubtedly a very special camera, and we’re thrilled to share it with the photo community.”

In addition to the 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor, the Sigma SD1 features dual “Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine (TRUE) II” image processing engines, which improves processing speed, provides high resolution power and produces high-definition images with richly graduated tones.  It also allows simultaneous RAW and JPEG recording, which is a first for Sigma cameras. Additionally, the photographer has the option to select full-size, half-size or quarter-size RAW files making it a more versatile camera for a wide range of photographers. The Foveon sensor uses three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. This technology efficiently reproduces color more accurately and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required.

The optical format of the Foveon sensor has been upgraded from that which was used in previous SD cameras, and has increased from 1.7x focal length to the 1.5x focal length multiplier. The SD1 also benefits from improved image processing and noise reduction algorithms, with an ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 6400. This is two full stops more sensitivity than the SD15, which has a maximum 1600 ISO.  An intuitive user interface and an impressive lightweight, yet solid magnesium alloy body and O-ring sealing connections that make the camera durable and splash proof are also key feature upgrades of the flagship SD1.

The SD1 adopts the TYPE 1 Compact Flash Card, and is UDMA-compatible enabling fast processing of large amounts of data. The autofocus system features an 11-point shifted twin cross type sensor, which improves AF accuracy. The SD1 features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition. The SD1 can be used with more than 40 Sigma SA mount lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheye.

Sigma’s image processing software, Photo Pro 5.0, comes bundled with the camera and its simple operation allows quick and easy capture of the desired imaged.  Additional functions such as Loupe, Slideshow, Print, Convert to JPEG file and Batch White Balance settings are also incorporated into this software.

The Sigma SD1 will be available for the MSRP of $9,700 through select authorized Sigma dealers. For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit www.sigmaphoto.com. For more information about the Sigma SD1 DSLR, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/sd1-dslr-sigma or view the camera’s special page at www.sigma-sd.com/SD1.

Product Summary

46 megapixel 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 Full-color image sensor
The 46 effective megapixel (4,800×3,200×3 layers) and 44 recording megapixel (4,704×3,136×3 layers) 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor featured in the Sigma SD1 captures all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location, ensuring the capture of full and complete color. Using three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths, it efficiently reproduces color more accurately, and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moiré is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and color, generated by the 46 megapixel APS-C X3 direct image sensor is captured with a three-dimensional feel.

Dual TRUE II
image processing engine
The SD1 incorporates a dual “TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II” image processing engine which improves the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. The unique image-processing algorithm provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images with richly graduated tones.  In addition, the SD1 is Sigma’s first camera to allow simultanous RAW and JPEG recording.

Advanced DDR III buffer

To handle large volumes of color data at high speed, the SD1 uses DDR III buffer memory technology, which delivers class-leading performance. The SD1 features a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second and can capture up to 7 RAW images per sequence in continuous shooting mode.

CF card

The SD1 adopts the TYPE I CF Card. This camera is compatible with the UDMA enabling fast processing of large amounts of data.
* It is not possible to use Microdrives and TYPE II CF cards.

Intuitive user interface

The improved user interface provides faster and more convenient operation. Aperture and shutter speed can be set by their own dials. The exposure compensation button and exposure mode button are on top of the body for quick access. A Quick Set (QS) menu lets you easily change commonly used functions. To display the QS menu, simply press the QS button. QS menu 1 is for ISO setting, flash mode, metering mode and AF mode; QS menu 2 offers white balance, image quality, image size and color mode.

Magnesium body

The Sigma SD1 adopts a lightweight yet solid magnesium alloy body designed to withstand rough use and shocks in harsh conditions.

Splash proof design

Buttons and connections benefit from O-ring sealing connections to prevent dust and water getting inside the camera body.

Bright, wide-coverage viewfinder with integral pentaprism

The SD1 features a pentaprism viewfinder with 98% (vertical and horizontal) coverage, 0.95x magnification and an 18mm eye point. Diopter adjustment is provided over a range of -3 to +1.5 dpt.

Four metering modes

The SD1 features 77-segment Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering, Center Area Metering and Spot Metering.Exposure can be manually adjusted to suit your needs. When difficult lighting conditions make appropriate exposure unclear, auto bracketing lets you take a sequence of shots of the same subject at three or five different exposure levels. Bracketing can be set in 1/3EV increments up to ±3EV(3levels) or ±1.7EV(5 levels).

11 point twin cross sensor

The autofocus system features an 11 point twin cross sensor. The shifted twin cross type sensor improves AF accuracy. Selecting the AF point can be done manually or automatically.

77-segment AE sensor

The SD1 features a new 77-segment AE sensor using advanced AE algorithms to improve exposure accuracy. Exact control coordinated with the 11 AF points achieves accurate exposure even in difficult lightning conditions.

Dust Protector

Most digital SLR cameras are vulnerable to dust entering the body. If dust and dirt adhere to the image sensor, it may appear in the photos. The lens mount of the SD1 is equipped with a dust protector and the area around it is sealed to prevent dust from entering the body. Even in the unlikely event of dust adhering to the image sensor, the dust protector can be removed easily for sensor cleaning.

Focal Plane shutter

The durable focal plane shutter mechanism has a life cycle of over 100,000 exposures and dramatically reduces generation of dust. The photographer can enjoy taking pictures with confidence that the image sensor is clean and protected from dust or dirt originating inside or outside the camera.

Two-motor system

Using a two-motor system with dedicated motors for mirror-drive and shutter charge reduces the vibration of mirror movement, thereby preventing camera shake. A mirror lock-up mechanism prevents further vibration when the shutter is released. Preventing camera shake is especially important for macro photography and when using ultra-telephoto lenses.

Noiseless image processing

ISO sensitivity can be selected from 100 to 6400. The SD1 captures light effectively and ensures noiseless image processing. The image sensor provides high definition with rich, graduated tones.

Large, highly visible 3.0” TFT color LCD Monitor

The SD1 camera features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition.

Built-in flash with 17mm angle of coverage

The Sigma SD1 camera’s built-in flash has a guide number of 11 to cover a 17mm lens angle (equivalent to 25.5mm with a 35mm camera). The built-in flash can be synchronized to a shutter speed of up to 1/180 sec. The S-TTL automatic exposure system enables control of advanced flash photography.

SIGMA Photo Pro5.0 (Supplied)

The supplied image processing software, SIGMA Photo Pro 5, converts RAW data quickly and easily and describes full data of 46 megapixel resolution. A renewed interface design provides functional and convenient operation. Sigma PhotoPro allows easy operation, simply by moving a slider from left to right while looking at the particular image you took, you can get a photographic expression just as you like.  In addition, other functions such as Loupe, Slideshow, Print, Covert to JPEG file and Batch White Balance settings are incorporated into this software.

Dedicated BP-21 lithium-ion battery

The dedicated BP-21 lithium-ion battery is supplied as standard with the SD1. It takes about 150 minutes to fully charge with the supplied BC-21 battery charger. The optional SAC-4 AC adapter lets the Sigma SD1 run on AC power from a wall socket.

Optional lenses
The SD1 can be used with over 40 Sigma lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheyes which adopt the latest technology such as the FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have the performance equal to fluorite glass, SLD glass, Aspherical lenses, Sigma’s own unique Optical Stabilizer function, Hyper Sonic Motor and Sigma’s Super Multi Layer Coating. They meet the various and demanding requirements of all types of photographers.

Sigma SD1 camera specifications

Format Interchangeable lens SLR camera
Storage Media Compact Flash (Type I, UDMA compatible)
Image Sensor Size 24 x 16mm (1.5x APS-C)
Lens Mount SIGMA SA bayonet mount
Compatible Lenses SIGMA SA mount interchangeable lenses
Image Sensor X3 direct image sensor (CMOS)
Effective Pixels 46MP (4,800×3,200×3 layers)
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Still Image Format Exif 2.3, DCF 2.0
File Size RAW
• High
• Medium
• Low
JPEG
• High
Fine
Normal
Basic
• Medium
Fine
Normal
Basic
• Low
Fine
Normal
Basic
Approx 45 MB (4704 x 3136 x 3)
Approx 24 MB (3264 x 2176 x 3)
Approx 12 MB (2336 x 1568 x 3) 

Approx 10 MB (4704 x 3136 x 3)
Approx 5.6 MB (4704 x 3136 x 3)
Approx 4.2 MB (4704 x 3136 x 3)

Approx 5 MB (3264 x 2176 x 3)
Approx 2.7 MB (3264 x 2176 x 3)
Approx 2 MB (3264 x 2176 x 3)

Approx 2.5 MB (2336 x 1568 x 3)
Approx 1.4 MB (2336 x 1568 x 3)
Approx 1 MB (2336 x 1568 x 3)

Continuous shooting speed High: 5 frames/sec, Medium: 6 frames/sec, Low: 6 frames/sec
Continuous buffer High: Max. 7 frames, Medium: Max. 14 frames, Low: Max. 14 frames
White Balance 8 types (Auto, Daylight, Shade, Overcast, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash and Custom)
Color Mode 7 types (Standard, Vivid, Neutral Portrait, Landscape, B&W, Sepia)
ISO Range • 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• 3200
• 6400
Viewfinder Type Pentaprism SLR viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame Coverage 98% vertical, 98% horizontal
Viewfinder Magnification 0.95x (with 50mm lens at infinity)
Eye point 18mm
Diopter Adjustment Range -3.0 dpt – +1.5 dpt
Metering System 77-segment Evaluative Metering, Spot Metering, Center Area Metering, Center-Weighed Average Metering
Metering Range EV 1 to 20 (50mm F1.4 : ISO 100)
Shutter Type Electronically controlled focal plane shutter
Shutter Speed 1/8000th – 30 sec, Bulb (up to 30 sec, or 2 min in extended mode)
Exposure compensation +/– 3EV (in 1/3 stop increments)
Auto Bracketing Three or Five frames (in 1/3 EV steps, 0, –, +)
Auto Focus Type TTL phase difference detection system
AF Point 11 points twin cross sensor
AF Operating Range EV -2 to +19 (ISO100)
Focus Mode • Single AF
• Continuous AF (with AF motion prediction function)
• Manual
Focus Mode • Single AF
• Continuous AF (with AF motion prediction function)
• Manual
Focusing Screen Fixed, all matt screen
Mirror Quick return
Depth of Field Preview Yes
AF Point Selection • Automatic Selection
• Manual Selection
Active AF point indicator Superimposed in viewfinder
Focus Lock Shutter Release Halfway-Down position
Built-in Flash • Manual Pop-up Built-in flash
• GN11
• 17mm lens angle covered
Flash Metering System S-TTL Auto Flash
Flash Compensation ±3EV (1/3 stop increments)
Flash Sync Terminal Available
Flash Connectivity Hot shoe (contact X synchronization at 1/180 sec. or less, with dedicated flash linking contact)
LCD Monitor • 3.0″ TFT colour LCD monitor
• Approx. 460,000 dots
Language • 3.0″ TFT colour LCD monitor
• Approx. 460,000 dots
Battery • Li-ion Battery Pack BP-21, Battery charger BC-21, AC Adapter SAC-4 (Optional)
Dimensions 146 mm(W) × 113 mm(H) × 80 mm (5.7″ (W) × 4.4″(H) × 3.1″)
Weight 700g/24.7oz. (without battery and card)
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