Sigma announced details of the dp2 Quattro, the first of three large-sensor compact camera models that will update the Japanese camera maker’s current lineup. The Quattro cameras all feature a new version of Sigma’s APS-C Foveon sensor that offers higher resolution files (20MP) than previous models. Unlike the traditional Bayer-type sensors used by virtually every other camera maker, Foveon chips capture RGB information at each pixel location on the sensor, eliminating the need to infer full-color information from neighboring pixels. The result is a noticeably more detailed image – at least at low ISO settings – even when compared against traditional sensors of nominally higher resolution. With an updated image processing engine, Sigma promises both faster image processing and lower power consumption for the Quattro cameras.
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The dp2 features two control dials, a hotshoe, and has an F2.8 fixed focal length lens that gives a 45mm equivalent field of view. The dp1 and dp3, set to be released later this year, will come with fixed lenses of 28mm and 75mm equivalent focal lengths, respectively, but in all other regards will be identical to the dp2. The cameras have a maximum ISO of 6400 and a 3-inch rear LCD with a resolution of 920,000 pixels.
With the Quattro models, Sigma has opted for a sleek, ultramodern design with an emphasis on rounded edges and minimalist controls. The result is striking and looks like it could have come straight out of Apple's design studio. This may be the sexiest pocket camera you’ll ever fondle…er, handle. While small cameras with large APS-C sensors were the stuff of photographers’ dreams just a few years ago, the Quattro models now join a field that includes the Fujifilm X100S, Nikon Coolpix A and Sony RX100 II. And while some photographers will be drawn to the impressively high image quality that the dp2 should be able to deliver at ISO 100, previous versions of Foveon sensors have left much to be desired (to put it mildly) at even moderate ISO settings. It will be interesting to see if Sigma’s engineers have had as much of an effect on the camera’s performance as its designers have had on its appearance.
Sigma has not yet announced pricing or availability.