igma has announced it will introduce what it describes as a 46-million-pixel DSLR early in 2011, in the shape of the SD1. This will be the most sophisticated SD camera yet, and will be the sixth Sigma camera to use the Foveon X3-type imaging sensor.

Sigma SD1 46 million pixel DSLR

Sigma shows ?46 million pixel? SD1 DSLR

Sigma has announced that it will introduce what it describes as a 46-million-pixel DSLR early in 2011, in the shape of the SD1. This will be the most sophisticated SD camera yet, and will be the sixth Sigma camera to use the Foveon X3-type imaging sensor. The SD1 will use an APS-C sized sensor and will be equipped with 15.3 million pixels, each with three photosites buried at different depths in the silicon structure of the sensor. Sigma claims that although there are only 15.3 million pixels, the design of its unique sensor, and the fact that each pixel records red, green and blue light simultaneously, means it would take a traditional Bayer sensor of 46 million pixels to record the same amount of information. The company also states that as no low-pass filter is needed the camera will record much more detail than is usual.

Larger sensor

The camera?s sensor formation will contain 4800×3200 pixels in a space measuring 24x16mm. This new Foveon X3 sensor is larger than the 20.7×13.8mm unit used in previous Sigma SD cameras, and will take the focal length magnification factor from the Sigma?s usual 1.7x to the more standard 1.5x used by other APS-C camera manufacturers. In a move away from industry trends though Sigma has switched the storage medium of its new camera to Compact Flash from the SD type cards used in the SD15.

Made with a magnesium alloy body shell and with weather-proof seals under joints and controls, the new body will be rugged and able to operate in harsh conditions.

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New AF system

A new AF system increases the number of focusing points from five (in the SD15) to 11, and takes the number of cross type sensors from one to 11 ? all of the AF points in the SD1 will be what Sigma describes as ?shifted twin cross type? sensors.

A 98% viewfinder will offer 0.95x magnification, and the company?s S-TTL flash metering system will make the SD1 compatible with the new EF-610 DG Super and EF-610 DG ST flash units as well as the new EM-140DG ring flash. There is no mention at this point whether the system will be compatible with the existing EF-500 series guns.

Sigma has yet to announce the intended ISO range of the camera, but indicates that the SD1 will use two True processing chips, which should help to reduce image noise and speed up operation. Live View and video options have also not been mentioned at this stage.

Sigma SD1 picture gallery

Sigma SD1 picture gallery

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