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Sigma's SD1 digital SLR. Photo provided by Sigma Corp. Sigma SD1 availability and pricing announced
By Zig Weidelich, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, May 20, 2011 - 03:00 EDT)

Sigma Corporation of America has today announced availability and pricing for its new flagship digital SLR that marks a number of firsts for the company, and brings a new resolution high for its Foveon image sensor -- the Sigma SD1.

The Sigma SD1 was announced at Photokina 2010, and is the company's first entry into the high-end DSLR market. The SD1 features a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, and a newly developed APS-C sized Foveon X3 image sensor which is quite a bit larger than those used in past Foveon DSLRs. The new sensor in the SD1 outputs images with 15 megapixel (4,704 x 3,136 pixel) resolution -- a 78% increase in linear resolution as compared to the previous generation Foveon chip used in Sigma's SD15 DSLR.

Other significant features of the Sigma SD1 include dual TRUE II ("Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine") image processors capable of bursts of up to 5 frames per second for 7 RAW frames, a new 11-point, twin cross-type, phase detection autofocus sensor, ISO sensitivity from 100 to 6,400 equivalents, shutter speeds from 30s to 1/8000s, a pentaprism viewfinder with 98% coverage, and UDMA compatible Type-I CompactFlash storage.

The Sigma SD1 is expected to ship in early June with a list price of US$9,700. For more details, read our Sigma SD1 preview.

Sigma SD1
Sigma's SD1 digital SLR. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
Camera Type Pro SLR
Manufacturer Sigma
Model Number North America: SD1
Dimensions 5.7 x 4.5 x 3.1 in.
(146 x 114 x 80 mm)
Weight 24.7 oz (700 g)
Planned Price $9,700
Planned Availability June 2011
Image Capture
Sensor Type Foveon X3 CMOS
APS-C (approx. 1.11 in. diagonal)
48.00 megapixels (total)
15.40 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type Full Color
Focal Length Multiplier 1.50
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Dimensions 4704 x 3136 (14.8 megapixels)
3264 x 2176 (7.1 megapixels)
2336 x 1568 (3.7 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 5.0 frames per second for 7 frames
Image Quality 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, SLR type; Pentaprism, 98% coverage, 0.95x magnification, 18mm eyepoint, -3 to +1.5 diopter
LCD 3.0 in. diagonal
460,000 dots (approx. 153,000 pixels)
Lens Type Interchangeable Lens
Varies with lens, thread size unknown
Lens Mount SIGMA SA bayonet
Focusing System Phase-detection with 11-point Twin Cross AF Sensor; Single AF, Continuous AF (with AF motion prediction function)
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
ISO Sensitivity 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/8000 second, Bulb (up to 30 sec. With Extended Mode: 2 min.)
Exposure Modes Program, Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes 77-segment Evaluative, Center-Weighted Average, Center Area, Spot Metering; EV 1 to 20 (50mm F1.4 : ISO100)
Exposure Compensation +/- 3.0EV in 0.3EV increments
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Overcast, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash and Custom
Internal Flash Guide Number: 11
Modes: S-TTL (17mm lens angle covered)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Recording Medium CompactFlash Type I
File System FAT16, FAT32
File Format RAW (.X3F), RAW + JPEG, JPEG
Video Standard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Other Wired Remote, DC Input jacks
Battery Type Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary BP-21
Product Bundle
Software Sigma Photo Pro 5.0
Battery / Charger 1 x Proprietary BP-21 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Tripod Mount Yes, Metal
Remote Control Yes, Optional RS-31 IR Wireless, CR-21 Wired
Notes 46-megapixel 23.5 x 15.7mm APS-C full-color sensor, weather-resistant magnesium alloy body, dual "TRUE II" image processing engines, 11-point Twin Cross AF sensor, CompactFlash Type 1 with UDMA support.
More Photos
 Sigma's SD1 digital SLR. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
Sigma's SD1 digital SLR. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
Sigma's SD1 digital SLR. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
Optional Accessories
Electronic Flash EF-610 DG SUPER
Sigma's EF-610 DG SUPER Flash. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
The high power EF-610 DG Super flash enables S-TTL automatic flash metering. It has wireless flash connectivity and a high-speed synchronization function which can be used at high shutter speeds.
Electronic Flash EF-610 DG ST
Sigma's EF-610 DG ST Flash. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
This is a high-powered auto zoom flash featuring automatic flash metering using S-TTL operation. The flashgun effortlessly allows perfect flash shots and includes an automatic zoom and bounce-head function
Power Grip PG-31
Sigma's Power Grip PG-31. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
This specially designed battery pack (PG-31) with a vertical grip is dedicated for SD1 use and can hold two BP-21 batteries.*PG-31 cannot be used with any cameras other than SD1. In addition, PG-21 cannot be used with SD1.
Remote Controller RS-31
Sigma's Remote Controller RS-31. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
The remote control allows the photographer to take self-portraits or get into group shots. Used with the mirror lockup function, it can reduce the possibility of image-blurring caused by camera shake, making it particularly useful for macro or telephoto shooting.
Cable Release Switch CR-21
Sigma's Cable Release Switch CR-211. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
The CR-21 cable release switch helps prevent camera shake, making it ideal when shooting long exposures. It is also possible to lock the release button.
AC Adapter SAC-4
Sigma's AC Adapter SAC-4. Photo provided by Sigma Corp.
This provides a constant electricity supply when shooting in the studio or taking pictures indoors. It is also recommendedwhen connecting the camera to your computer to transfer data.

Original Source Press Release:

Sigma Corporation of America to ship SD1 camera in early June

46-megapixel DSLR creates new market for medium-format photographers

Ronkonkoma, NY, May 20, 2011 – Sigma 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 23.5x15.7mm 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 23.5x15.7mm 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.

About Sigma Corporation
For 50 years, Sigma Corporation’s expertise and innovation has driven the company’s core philosophy of “knowledge, plus experience, plus imagination,” with an emphasis on producing high-quality, high-performance photographic technology at moderate prices. This family-owned organization is the largest, independent SLR lens manufacturer in the world, producing more than 50 lenses that are compatible with most manufacturers, including Sigma, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Sigma Corporation also produces digital SLR cameras and high-definition digital compact cameras. The company is headquartered in Japan, with offices strategically located throughout Europe, Asia and North America. For information, please visit www.sigmaphoto.com.

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