STANDOUT FEATURE: A new Foveon sensor in a unique body.
Sigma dp2 Quattro
List Price: TBA
Sigma’s original DP cameras introduced the concept of a big DSLR sensor in a truly compact body. The DP Merrill cameras tripled the sensor resolution, putting the sensor from the SD1 Merrill DSLR into the same tiny bodies. Now comes the dp2 Quattro series, with an all-new Foveon sensor and a unique form factor.
Like previous Foveon X3 sensors, the new X3 Quattro sensor features vertical color separation technology, using the fact that different light wavelengths penetrate silicon to different depths—rather than color filters—to derive color information. Like previous X3s, the new sensor stacks three pixel layers, the top one recording mainly blue, the middle one, green, and the bottom one, red wavelengths.
But where previous X3 sensors had three layers of identical pixel count, the new Quattro features a 4:1:1 ratio: The top layer has four pixels for each pixel in the lower layers. This allowed Sigma to up the pixel count while reducing noise and speeding up processing and writing times, thanks to less total data per image file, and all while retaining the essential Foveon assets: each primary color recorded at every pixel site, no moiré and no need for a blurring optical low-pass filter.
A new TRUE III processor designed for the Quattro sensor optimizes image quality and speeds performance. (For the record, the 14-bit RAW files output by the new X3 Quattro sensor measure 5424×3616 pixels, compared to 4704×3136 for the X3 Merrill sensor’s 12-bit files.)
Like the previous DP cameras, the dp Quattro series comes in wide-angle (19mm/28mm equivalent on a 35mm camera), standard (30mm/45mm equivalent) and mid-tele (50mm/75mm equivalent) models, and the standard 30mm dp2 is the first to be released. Each lens was designed by Sigma specifically for the camera, optimizing performance, and has a maximum aperture of ƒ/2.8 and a minimum of ƒ/16. The dp2 Quattro measures 6.4×2.6×3.2 inches and weighs 13.9 ounces.