Sigma’s New sd Quattro Camera and EF-630 Wireless TTL Flash

by Photo Life
Sigma's New sd Quattro Camera with Foveon X3 Technology

Sigma’s New sd Quattro Camera with Foveon X3 Technology

Press release by Sigma Canada

Sigma Canada
is pleased to announce the Sigma sd Quattro new high-image-quality digital camera that incorporates the Foveon X3 direct image sensor (generation name: “Quattro”).

Building on the concept of the SIGMA SD1 Merrill, the SIGMA sd Quattro features a mirrorless structure and uses interchangeable lenses. The camera is as compact and lightweight as cameras in the Sigma dp Quattro series and offers the same level of outstanding image quality. 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.

The Sigma sd Quattro features an APS-C-sized sensor and offers medium-format image quality with 39 megapixels.

The new Sigma sd Quattro (Model: SDQ) has a suggested retail price of $1,149.95 and is expected to be available in August. The sd Quattro will be available in a body-only configuration and as a kit with the Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC HSM | Art (Model: SDQ30DCK) with a suggested retail price of $1,499.95.

Foveon X3 Quattro Direct Image Sensor
Leveraging the light absorption characteristics of silicon, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor comprises three layers of photodiodes, each at a different depth within the silicon and each corresponding to a different RGB colour. Since it is the only sensor to use this superior vertical colour separation technology, it is also the world’s only direct image sensor. Requiring no low-pass filter to correct the interference caused by a colour filter array, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor is able to take full advantage of the information carried by light, including colour 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.

High-Resolution 39-Megapixels Foveon Sensor
Other cameras typically use 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 has an APS-C-sized sensor with 19.6 megapixels in its top layer, giving it an equivalent total of approximately 39 megapixels and the outstanding image quality expected of a medium-format camera.

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 colour 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.

Combination of Two AF-Detection Methods
Phase detection AF is superior for speed performance, while contract detection AF is superior for focusing accuracy. Combining these two methods in a single system delivers AF that is fast and precise at the same time. In addition, this approach to autofocus takes full advantage of the characteristics of high-performance lenses. The Single AF mode is optimal for everyday photography, while the Continuous AF mode is optimal for focusing on a moving object. In the latter mode, pressing the shutter button halfway causes autofocus to operate continuously, while Movement Prediction AF operates at the same time for more accurate autofocusing. A variety of other AF modes are also available. 9-Point Selection AF mode allows the user to select among nine focus frames. Free Movement AF mode allows the user to select the focus frame with high precision. Face Detection AF mode detects human faces and prioritizes focusing on them. The AF assist light incorporated in the camera body makes possible the use of AF even in low-light conditions.

Dual Monitors
In addition to the 1.62 mega-pixel 3.0-inch TFT LCD main monitor, the rear of the camera features a sub-monitor that displays the number of remaining shots on the SD card, shutter speed, aperture value, ISO level, and more. This extra monitor makes it easy to watch the live view and confirm key information at the same time. A sheet of special material lies between the two LCDs and the protective glass that covers them. This sheet prevents air pockets from forming and minimizes reflections, ensuring excellent display visibility in sunlight.

The MINI HDMI Type C port allows the user to connect the camera to an HD television with an HDMI cable (sold separately) and view photographs, camera menus, and even the viewfinder image in high definition on a big screen.

USB 3.0 Port
The USB 3.0 Micro B port allows the user to connect the camera to a personal computer to download high-volume image files at high speed.

Canadian Warranty
The Sigma sd Quattro has a one-year Canadian warranty.

Optional Accessories
POWER GRIP PG-41: This accessory boosts the battery capacity of the camera by holding up to two dedicated batteries. In combination with the battery inside the camera, this accessory makes it possible to enjoy up to 300% more shooting time.
ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-630 (SA-STTL): The high-power EF-630 flash enables S-TTL automatic flash metering. It has wireless flash connectivity and a high-speed synchronization function that can be used at high shutter speeds, giving photographers further scope for creative expression.

Sigma's EF-630 Wireless TTL Flash

Sigma’s EF-630 Wireless TTL Flash

Sigma Canada is pleased to announce the SIGMA EF-630 TTL flash for Nikon, Canon and Sigma cameras. The SIGMA ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-630 is a multifunctional hot-shoe style flash, offering a greater output of light and is designed to work with current digital SLR cameras. Among the diverse features loaded on this flash is TTL exposure control as standard as well as high-speed sync, rear-curtain sync and wireless flash functions. Meanwhile, the Autozoom function, bounce-flash function and Catch-light Panel of the EF-630 are perfect for various kinds of photography. The rear LCD offers an intuitive user interface for fast and easy operation.

The new Sigma EF630 TTL Flash has a suggested retail price of $599.95 with the optional FD-11 Flash USB Dock retailing for a suggested $119.95. The flash and dock are expected to be available in the Sigma flash mount for August. Canon and Nikon flash mount availability is still to be announced.

Equipped with new TTL Auto Flash Exposure Systems
The EF-630 is designed to work with the latest TTL auto exposure systems of most well-known manufacturers’ digital SLR cameras, allowing auto TTL exposure control for bounce photography in conjunction with a diffuser or reflector.

Intuitive User Interface for Ease of Use
The new dot matrix liquid crystal display ensures improved visibility of menu functions. Moreover, the D-Pad and dial on the side of the flashgun make changing settings easier than ever. An intuitive user interface enhances the compatibility between the EF-630 flash and the Sigma sd Quattro series. The flash is designed to disengage easily by one-click on the shoe lock lever. In addition, a flash sync terminal and a notification sound when the flashgun is fully charged improve the ease of use.

Bounce-Flash Function With Movable Flash Head
The flash head of the EF-630 can be tilted up by as much as 90° and swivel both left and right by 180°. Bounce photography, where light is reflected off a white wall, ceiling or a reflector increases the range of photographic expression. The flash head can also be tilted down by 7° for close-up shots.

TTL Wireless Flash Function
The TTL wireless flash function will adjust the desired flash exposure automatically even if the EF-630 is disengaged from the camera. Remote control operation is possible between the camera and flash. When multiple flash units are used, the camera calculates the correct exposure automatically.

Modeling Flash Function to Check for Shadows
The EF-630 also offers a modeling flash function, enabling the user to check for intense reflections and shadows before taking a photograph.

Rear-Curtain Sync Flash Function for Natural Representation of Motion
When photographing a moving subject, the Rear-curtain Sync mode allows the flash to be triggered immediately before the rear-curtain of the shutter closes. Unlike Front-curtain Sync, this mode records blurred trails behind a moving subject rather than in front for a more natural expression of motion.

Wide-Angle Illumination Coverage
Sigma has further extended the flash illumination angle of coverage to be compatible with lens of 24-mm to 200-mm focal length. When the built-in Wide Panel is utilized, the flash covers an angle of up to that of a 17-mm lens.

Slave Flash Function
Slave Flash allows the flash to be fired away from the camera by the master unit. The Designated Slave function allows the photographer to use two or more EF-630 flash units simultaneously. It is possible to designate flashguns by using different channel settings. Since the EF-630 is equipped with this function, it can be used with all camera models. In the Normal Slave mode, it is also possible to use the camera’s built-in flash or another flash unit as the Master. (Flash Exposure must be adjusted manually.)

FP Flash Function for High-Shutter Speeds
Flash synchronization speed is usually limited to coincide with the full shutter opening of focal plane shutters, limiting the use of high shutter speeds with flash. The FP flash function makes flash photography possible at shutter speeds greater than the normal synchronization speed. When the lens diaphragm is set to larger apertures to limit depth of field in synchronized daytime shooting, high shutter speeds can be used to balance the daylight and the flashlight at any shutter speed.

AF Assist Light for Accurate Auto Focus in Low-Light Conditions
AF may not function smoothly in dark conditions. However, the AF assist light of the EF-630 allows control of AF even in situations where autofocusing is difficult.

Regular Firmware Updates
Photographers can update the firmware via the newly developed optional Flash USB Dock FD-11 (sold separately). The firmware can be updated by attaching the EF-630 to the FD-11 and then connecting the FD-11, via a USB cable, to a personal computer on which the latest version of the exclusive software Sigma Optimization Pro has been installed.

Related Articles