I’ve received an update from Sigma marketing:
Following up on last week’s announcement, Sigma has just released pricing and availability information for the sd Quattro H camera. The Sigma sd Quattro-H will be available beginning early January 2017 for $1199.
This pricing makes the Sigma sd Quattro H a highly attractive option. But what a shame it does not sport a Nikon F or Canon EF (or Sony E) lens mount; I do not want to invest in yet another series of lenses incompatible with my Canon and Nikon and Sony bodies. It’s too expensive, and too inflexible given the rapid change in the camera market. Also, I want to shoot Zeiss Otus and other Zeiss lenses on the sd Quattro-H. This is impossible with the Sigma SA mount (only) decision by Sigma.
Ironically, making the sd Quattro H with a Canon or Nikon or Sony mount would probably vault Sigma into a market leadership position, making the Quattro H ten times more appealing and ditto for the Sigma Art lens line. What a failure of strategic vision.
When will this insanity of non-interchangeable lenses end in the camera market? Sigma is the only vendor that I see as viable for doing this. The Sigma sd Quattro H requires Sigma SA mount lenses, which means buying Sigma Art lenses for the sd Quattro-H limits them only to the Quattro H. But I want lenses usable on the sd Quattro H OR Canon or Nikon bodies. I already have the Sigma 35/1.4 Art and I would readily buy the rest of the Art line if Sigma would only make the sd Quattro H available with a Canon or Nikon mount. That would also sidestep the CaNikon idiocy of still not having an EVF-capable camera that can take their DSLR lenses.
SIGMA sd Quattro H The SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce the SIGMA sd Quattro H, the new high-image-quality digital camera that incorporates the Foveon X3 direct image sensor (generation name: “Quattro”).The SIGMA sd Quattro H is the first camera to feature the newly developed APS-H size Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor with incredible 51-megapixel-equivalent resolution. Featuring the SIGMA SA mount, the new camera is compatible with all of the SIGMA GLOBAL VISION lenses in the Contemporary, Art and Sports lines, and it is designed to take full advantage of these lenses’ superb optical performance.
In addition to Sigma’s original RAW format (X3F), the sd Quattro H now supports DNG (Digital Negative) format, which makes Sigma RAW files compatible with programs including Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop, Capture One and more. Combined with the Sigma Capture Pro App, photographers can tether the camera to their computer to further expand workflow option.
51 megapixel-equivalent ultra-high image quality
Other camera typically uses 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 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.
Requiring no low-pass filter needed to correct the interference caused by a color filter array, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor is able to take full advantage of the information carried by light, including color information. The sensor features a pixel ratio of 1:1:4 in the bottom, middle, and top layers and applies the brightness data captured by the top layer to the middle and bottom layers. This unique structure makes possible fast resolution and high-speed data processing.
More on the DC crop mode
The new DC crop mode takes full advantage of the Sigma Global Vision Lens optical capabilities – both DG (FF) and DC (APS-C). The Sigma sd Quattro H automatically switches to DC crop mode when it detects a Sigma DC lens is attached. Users can also manually turn on/off of DC crop mode. When a Sigma DG lens is mounted and the DC crop mode is selected, the LCD monitor and the viewfinder automatically adjust coverage to APS-C.
“With the release of the sd Quattro H, Sigma is setting a new bar of what can be achieved in terms of image resolution,” states Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president, Sigma Corporation America. “The sd Quattro H Foveon Sensor is a groundbreaking technical advancement that, when combined with superior optical performance of the Sigma glass, maximizes the true resolution power of both. Professional photographers who need superior image quality will appreciate the great IQ, outstanding sensor technology and new support for the DNG workflow.”
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.
14-bit RAW data
RAW data records the light information captured by the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor. Using 14-bit (16,384 gradations) signal processing to convert the analog output signal to digital results in photographic data with fine gradations that effectively represent the smooth, natural gradations of the original subject. RAW data uses lossless compression that prevents image degradation. Moreover, processing RAW data with SIGMA Photo Pro results in images with incomparable natural balance.
Below, the fundamental downside to the Sigma sd Quattro-H as I see it: the only lenses good enough for the sensor are the large and heavy (but excellent) Sigma Art series lenses. I want to see an f/2.8 Art series with even better performance—two stops slower by 1/3 to 1/2 the weight. This would be far more appealing when one wants to carry a 20mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm set (and perhaps more)?
What would this look like if the sd Quattro-H accepted a Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8?! Awesomely appealing in two words.
Below, an image from the Sigma dp0 Quattro. I think the fixed lens solutions are even better, because the lenses are optimized for the sensor. I hope to see a Sigma dp Quattro-H lineup.