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Firmware Update

Sigma Fullframe Sensor Based L-Mount Camera Coming in 2020

Sigma L-mount camera coming in 2020 with 60 Megapixel Multilayer Foveon sensor. CEO of Sigma Mr. Kazuto Yamaki  explained their future plans on slides during the CP+ event. Sigma will take help of TSI Semiconductors  for the development of next generation of Foveon sensors.

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source dpreviewforum

3 comments to Sigma Fullframe Sensor Based L-Mount Camera Coming in 2020

  • David B Haynie

    Sigma is pretty liberal on the term “pixel”… the Foveon sensors originally had R, G, and B photodiodes for each pixel. So a 20 megapixel camera had 60 million photodiodes. Their marketing people decided to call that a 60 megapixel sensor, which it very much is not. Later Quadro chips would have made that a 20 megapixel top layer and five megapixel layers for the next two, due to light loss. So using that math, a so-called 60 megapixel sensor would actually be 20 real megapixels with RGB sensor, 40 megapixels with the Quadro sensor.

    It’ll be interesting to see Sigma’s strategy. The Foveon sensors so far have many issues, but it’s always been one of those that looks good under the right conditions– like, I’d consider buying one Foveon body if it was available with my preferred lens mount.

    Sigma could be that one body that every Panasonic S or Leica SL shooter buys. Or they could get aggressive on quality for the price as with their lenses, but it might be tricky making a Foveon sensor work as a general purpose sensor (including clean high ISOs and video).

  • While David Haynie’s comments about Sigma’s Foveon sensor cameras are generally true, he omits a several facts.
    1. This camera, the first L-Mount camera to be announced, is not a Foveon sensor camera. It is a traditional Bayer sensor, made by Sony, that is already being used in several other cameras. While this makes the Sigma fp camera less special than the other Foveon sensor based cameras for still photography, Sigma seems to be focusing this camera at the high end “Cine” market, a market segment that Sigma has not been involved in from a camera standpoint before. Now, i’m not a movie maker, but this seems to me to be an excellent area for Sigma to expand into.
    2. While it is somewhat true that Sigma overstates the resolution of the Foveon sensor cameras, it is also true that if you ignore the 3X multiplication factor that Sigma applies to their Foveon sensor cameras, they do have far greater resolution than the competitors Bayer sensor cameras. For example, the Sigma SD Quattro H has a sensor with 24M photo sites, and has the effective resolution in excess of 40MP pixels. This is far higher than other 24MP pixel Bayer cameras. So, while it is true that the 24MP Foveon sensor doesn’t have the resolution of a 72MP pixel sensor (24MPx3), it is well beyond any existing 24MP Bayer sensor camera. If you have any doubt about this, you can look a DPReview for proof.
    Finally, David leaves us with a minor dig at the low light performance experienced by owners of Sigma cameras with the Foveon sensor. While it is true that the high ISO capability of Foveon sensor cameras is generally poor, two points stand out for me. First the future Sigma fp (with a Foveon sensor based) full frame camera will, if it has a 24MP sensor, have a larger pixel area than any previous Foveon sensor, and should therefore have better low light capability than their current APS-C cameras. And, second, people that buy Sigma Foveon sensor cameras don’t buy them for their high ISO performance. They buy them for their sharpness and color quality in good light. So, it may also be true that Sigma could introduce a Foveon sensor full frame camera with far more than 24M photo sights, giving it at least a 2X improvement in actual image resolution over any equivalent Bayer sensor camera. I can hardly wait!

  • Tom

    The problem with the SD1 is that it accpted only lenses in Sigma’s proprietary mount. THat made it impractical to carry it alongside a more versatile and higher performing camera from one of the other makers, as it would entail doubling up on lenses. The new Foveon camera is to have the L mount, so it will accept my Canon lenses, making it a much more practical proposition. I just hope it has a genuine 3-layer Foveon/Merrill sensor – the real attraction of Sigma cameras – and not a Quattro style or 2-layer varsion.

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