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Foveon and Sigma reveal SD-9 pricing

By dpreview staff on Sep 20, 2002 at 23:08 GMT

Pre-Photokina 2002: Foveon and Sigma have today revealed the list price and shipping date for the SD-9 digital SLR, the first digital camera to use Foveon's ground-breaking X3 sensor. The SD-9 (body only) will have a list price of $1800 in the US and £1299.99 inc VAT in the UK and should be available in late October. Taking into account the difference street price will make this places the SD-9 in an extremely competitive position compared to the Nikon D100 and Canon EOS-D60.

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The Foveon / Sigma SD-9 Story so far

Jump to: Foveon Press Release, Sigma UK Press Release

Press Release (Foveon USA):

WORLD'S FIRST DIGITAL CAMERA TO INCORPORATE FOVEON® X3™ IMAGE SENSOR TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE IN OCTOBER

New Sigma SD9 digital camera with Foveon X3 technology captures the highest level of sharpness and color detail in its class

Photokina, Cologne, Germany, Hall 10.1, Stand C8 - (September 24, 2002) - Foveon, Inc., a technology leader in high quality digital photography and Sigma Corporation, a world class optical manufacturer, jointly announced today that the new Sigma SD9, high-definition digital Single Lens-Reflex (SLR) camera powered by the new Foveon X3 image sensor will be available for sale on October 21, 2002 for a list price of (U.S.) $1,800.

The Foveon X3 image sensor in the Sigma SD9 contains over 10.2 million color photodetectors, which are organized in 3 layers within the sensor to form 3.54 million full-color pixels. By dedicating three color photodetectors for each pixel, the SD9 produces images that are sharper, have better color detail and are more immune to color artifacts than currently available six megapixel digital SLR cameras. The Foveon X3 image sensor is the world's first full-color image sensor that captures red, green and blue light at every pixel in a single exposure. The Foveon X3 technology breakthrough is accomplished by embedding three photodetectors in silicon at each pixel.

"We are delighted that internationally renowned Sigma Corporation has chosen to incorporate the Foveon X3 image sensor technology into their new Sigma SD9 digital camera," said Jim Lau, Foveon's CEO. "The Sigma SD9 is the first product to reflect the major breakthrough in price performance that is made possible by Foveon X3 technology. With the introduction of the new SD9 digital camera, Sigma is offering photographers an unparalleled photographic tool to help capture digital images of exceptional quality."

Unlike image sensors used in current digital cameras that use a single layer of photodetectors and only capture one color per pixel, Foveon X3 image sensors use three layers of photodetectors and capture all three primary colors (red, green and blue) at every pixel. As a result, Foveon X3 image sensors deliver increased image sharpness, better color detail, and much greater resistance to unpredictable color artifacts. In addition, Foveon X3 image sensors capture the full color of an image without the expense, complexity, and limitations of multi-chip systems such as a 3-CCD camera or a multi-shot system.

"The Foveon X3 technology enables the compelling image quality advantages of a three-sensor or multi-shot digital camera, but at the price of a single sensor. That is the heart of the price/performance advantage of the Foveon X3 technology," continued Lau. "Until now, digital cameras have been capturing only one-third of the color for each pixel. With the Sigma SD9 and Foveon X3 technology, consumers are getting a camera that captures all the color for each pixel and they will see a tangible difference in what they have been missing."

Press Release (Sigma UK):

Price breakthrough for Sigma SD-9

Award winning technology producing outstanding image quality at an affordable price.

Sigma's SD-9 is already the talk of the industry as the only digital SLR to feature Foveon's X3 sensor. The SD-9 is able to take advantage of over 10 million photodetectors by capturing the information from 3.3 million pixels in red, green and blue. This advanced technology is only available from Sigma. The SLR system can take advantage of over 30 different lenses from 8mm circular fisheye to 800 mm ultra telephoto, plus two digital flashguns, power pack and accessories.

The SD-9 uses a lossless RAW compression format to maximise image quality, is compatible with both PC and Apple Mac, can use Compact Flash I and II or IBM Microdrive and can download files using USB or FireWire.

The Foveon X3 sensor has already collected three leading International Awards for advanced digital technology from DIMA, TIPA & EISA.

Sigma has broken through yet another barrier, the all important price factor. If the technological advantages of the SD-9 were not enough to place Sigma head and shoulders above the traditional digital SLRs currently available, then the ground breaking price of £1105.53 + VAT (SRP £1299.99 inc VAT), for the camera body, will make top quality digital photography affordable to a whole new army of photographers both professional and amateur.

The SD-9 will be available in the shops from 25th October 2002.

Come and see the SD-9 demonstrated on Sigma's stand E21/F20 in Halle 2.2 at Photokina.

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