Sigma has said it will create a full-frame Foveon camera and will adopt the Leica L mount for its system. Sigma will allow existing users to adapt or convert SA mount lenses to the L mount.

The full-frame L-mount Foveon will arrive in 2019, according to Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki. The company will produce its first native L-mount lenses in 2019, too.

He also said the company would not create any more cameras using its proprietary SA mount. However, existing SA-mount users will not be left out in the cold: the company will be able to convert some SA mount lenses to L mount. Those who want to retain SA compatibility will alternatively be able to use an SA-L mount adapter.

Sigma will also make a Canon EF to L mount adapter available, which will be interesting to Sigma, Leica and Panasonic users.

Foveon at full frame

The existing Sigma SD Quattro models required buyers to invest in a proprietary lens mount.

The move to full frame should offer further improvements to the image quality of the Foveon design, which interprets color by capturing light at three different depths in the sensor and then mathematically deriving which wavelengths are most likely to have reached each of these depths.

A larger chip won't in itself reduce read noise or noise that stems from the color convolution: things that have hampered dynamic range and low light capability in previous Foveon chips. However, it should let the camera capture more light, which will reduce the impact of noise from other sources.

We were impressed with the performance in good light of the Sigma SD Quattro H, which used a larger-than-APS-C-sized APS-H sensor but were put off by the need to invest in proprietary lenses. The move to L mount, both as an end in itself and as a mount that allows DSLR lenses to be adapted to it, should ease these concerns.