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Press Release - February 12, 2002

SIGMA Corporation Japan Announces Interchangeable Lens Digital SLR Camera SD9

This high-definition digital SLR camera has is powered by Foveon X3TM image sensor, which can capture all RGB colors at each and every pixel. SIGMA SD9 will be introduced at booth #1635 at PMA 2002 in Orlando, Florida, USA Feb 24-27, 2002.

Sigma SD9 SLR

  1. SIGMA SD9 with FOVEON X3TM Technology
    The breakthrough Sigma SD9 camera with Foveon technology has the world's first image-sensor that features three layers of photodetectors. The layers are embedded in silicon to take advantage of the fact that red, green and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths allowing full-color to be measured at every pixel. The layers are positioned to take advantage of the fact that silicon absorbs different colors of light at different depths, so one layer records red, another layer records green and the other layer records blue. This means that for every pixel on a Foveon X3 image sensor, there's actually a stack of three photodetectors, forming the first and only full-color capture system.

    SIGMA SD9 powered by Foveon X3 image sensors capture red, green and blue light at each and every pixel. All other image sensors feature just one layer of photodetectors, with just one photodetector per pixel. To capture color, pixels are organized in a grid, or mosaic, resembling a three-color checkerboard. Each pixel captures just one color-red, green or blue. The filters let only one wavelength of light (red, green or blue) pass through to any given pixel, allowing it to record only one color. As a result, mosaic sensors capture only 25% of the red and blue light, and just 50% of the green.

    That approach has inherent drawbacks, no matter how many pixels a mosaic-based image sensor might contain. Since they only capture one third of the color, mosaic-based image sensors must rely on complex processing to interpolate the two-thirds they miss. Interpolation leads to color artifacts and a loss of image detail. In fact, some digital cameras intentionally blur pictures to reduce color artifacts.

    That's why the SIGMA SD9 powered by Foveon X3 technology delivers twice the sharpness, better color detail and greater resistance to unpredictable color artifacts.

  2. RAW Image Format
    With the RAW data recording system of the SIGMA SD9, it is possible to obtain high picture definition and compact file size. Lossless compression system of RAW data, eliminates image deterioration, provides superior pictures without sacrificing original image quality.

    RAW data is convertible into high TIFF and JPEG formats by dedicated image processing software "SIGMA Photo Pro". According to the requirements of the photographer, it is also possible to change the characteristics of the image, such as white balance, brightness, contrast etc. when they are converted into TIFF and JPEG formats. Even if the photographer makes some additional adjustments to the image, the quality of the image will not deteriorate, if the photographer makes the adjustments based on the saved RAW data.

    Foveon X3 image sensor

  3. Image Recording With Three Resolution Settings
    Depending on the intention of the photographer, the SIGMA SD9 allows photographers to select the resolution of RAW data images in one of three resolutions:
    1. HI mode delivers highest resolution with (2263x1512 pixels) x 3
    2. MED mode has high definition and recording capacity
    3. LOW mode allows consecutive shooting

  4. Sports Finder
    The coverage of a viewfinder of a digital SLR camera with interchangeable lens is almost the same as the picture seen on its image sensor.

    However, the coverage of viewfinder can be maximum 100%, and no portions of the outside area reflected on the image sensor can be seen. SIGMA SD9 is equipped with a "sport finder" for easily following the situation outside the picture area.

    The range that is out of the image sensor coverage range is marked by transparent light gray, to distinguish it from the active picture taking area.

    It is also important to control the surrounding situation of the photographic subject. In this respect, the sports finder will be ready to provide a good opportunity to take a good picture anytime. When taking a picture of a fixed object or close-up photography, composition can be easily determined because the outside of the range of the picture can be seen.

  5. Dust Protector
    Dust and dirt entering through the lens mount of a digital camera, can create serious defects in image quality. If dust and dirt adhere to the image sensor and are not removed, it will deteriorate the image quality. In order to prevent dust entering and adhering to image sensor, the body mount of SIGMA SD9 is equipped with an integral dust protector. The dust protector of the SIGMA SD9 prevents dust from entering and adhering to the image sensor. Even if dust adheres to the dust protector it will not have an influence on image quality because the dust protector is located away from the image sensor.

  6. Controls
    Each button of the Sigma SD9 is devised and arranged to provide a functional and easy-to-use setting.

    By means of the 4-Way Controller on the back of the body, menu settings and camera settings can be adjusted very quickly.

    By using the Zoom-in View mode, the details of the image can be magnified by moving the cursor and choosing the location with the 4-Way Controller.

    The command dial can quickly select the resolution settings, and the ISO sensitivity setting. It is also possible to make program shift in the Program AE Mode.

  7. 1.8" Color TFT Monitor
    The SIGMA SD9 is equipped with a large 1.8" 130,000 dot low temperature polysilicon TFT-LCD monitor with white LED on the back panel, which displays images, menus and histogram. The coverage area of the LCD monitor is 100%, and it will have similar coverage to that seen from the viewfinder and thanks to the LCD-monitor, the composition can also be seen easily.

    By operation of +/- Controller, three types of screen display can be chosen; thumbnail display (9 segments simultaneous display), Single-Image display, and a Zoom-in display (the area to magnify can be freely chosen by the 4-Way Controller). By pressing the INFO button, detailed image information can be displayed on the TFT-LCD monitor, such as shutter speed, aperture value.

  8. IEEE1394 & USB(1.1) Interface
    The SIGMA SD9 can transmit the images from camera to computer with high-speed IEEE1394 and widely available USB (1.1) interfaces.

    SIGMA SD9 is equipped with IEEE1394 (FireWire) interface to deliver super-high-speed image data transmission rate.

  9. Image Storage Media; Compact Flash Card.
    SIGMA SD9 employs CF card as an Image Storage Media. Since the SIGMA SD9 is compatible with the Compact Flash Type II card, use of IBM Microdrive is also possible.

    The outstanding storage capacity of IBM Microdrive enables photographers to use the camera even more effectively.

  10. CR-V3 Batteries
    Two CR123A batteries, which are located in the grip part of a camera, are used as a power supply for the camera drive part. In addition, two CR-V3 lithium batteries located in the lower part of the camera, are used as a power supply for the digital parts, such as a display of LCD, and image processing. Lithium batteries enable photographers to shoot many images.

    A shutter release button is supplied with optional Power Pack SD for vertical shooting.

    The Power Pack SD can be equipped with eight AA or four CR-V3 type batteries, extensive photography can be attained.

  11. NTSC/PAL
    SIGMA SD9 camera's video output system can be switched between PAL system (used in Europe, etc.,) and NTSC system (in Japan and the U.S., etc.). This means that video output of the SIGMA SD9 can be used anywhere in the world.

    Main Specifications
    Camera type Interchangeable Lens SLR Type Digital Camera
    Storage media CompactFlashTM (CF) (Type I/II), MicroDrive
    Image sensor size 13.8 x 20.7mm
    Usable lenses Sigma SA Series
    Angle of view Equivalent to 1.7x the focal length of a lens when used on a 35mm SLR camera.
    Image sensor FOVEON X3 (CMOS)
    Total pixels: 3.54 Megapixels x3
    Effective: 3.43 Megapixels x3
    Aspect ratio 3 : 2
    Image recording format Lossless compression RAW data
    Resolution (1) HI: 2268x1512 x3
    (2) MED: 1134x756 x3
    (3) LOW: 756x504 x3
    Interfaces IEEE1394, USB, Video out
    White balance 8 types
    Viewfinder type Pentaprism SLR viewfinder
    Viewfinder frame coverage 98%
    Viewfinder magnification 0.75x
    Eye point 22mm
    Diopter adjust range -2dpt ~ +1dpt
    Focusing screen Fixed, Full matte screen
    Auto focus type TTL phase difference detection system
    AF operating range Ev-1 ~ +18 (ISO100)
    Focus mode Single AF, Continuous AF (AF predict function)
    Metering systems 8 segment evaluative metering, Average metering, Center area metering
    Metering range Ev1-20 (with 50mm f1.4 at ISO 100)
    Exposure mode P: Program AE (with program shift function),
    S: Shutter speed priority AE, A: Aperture priority AE M: Manual exposure 
    ISO sensitivity ISO 100, 200, 400, 800
    Exposure compensation +/-3Ev (in 1/2 steps)
    AE Lock AE Lock (Exposure settings are locked while the shutter button in depressed.)
    Auto bracketing Three different exposure levels: Appropriate, Under and Over exposure: Maximum variation of +/-3Ev
    in 1/2 steps.
    Shutter type Vertical traveled metal focal plane shutter, electronically controlled through entire speed range.
    Shutter speed 1/6000 to 30sec., Bulb, X=1/180 sec.
    External flash synchronization Hot shoe (contact X synchronized at 1/180sec or less with dedicated flash linking contact)
    LCD monitor display 1.8" Color TFT LCD with 130,000 dot low-temp polysilicon
    Reviewing images Single-image display, Zoom-in display, 9 segments simultaneous display, slide show
    Language Japanese/English/French/Germany
    Power source Battery Lithium CR123A x 2 pcs
    Lithium CR-V3 x 2 pcs. or "AA" alkaline dry cell x 4 pcs or Ni-Mh x 4 pcs. or AC adapter
    Dimensions and weight 152mm/6" (W) x 120mm/4.72"(H) x 79mm/3.1" (D)
    Weight: 803g/28.4oz

    *The appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.

    Optional accessories for SD9
    Remote controller  RS-21
    Dedicated flash Sigma EF500 Super SD
    Battery grip Power pack SD
    eight AA cells or
    four CR-V3 type

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