Photographing in medium format for a fraction of the price

The Sigma dp Quattro are fabulous compact experts, although deliberately atypical, which shine by the ingenuity and the quality of their Foveon X3 Quattro sensor associated with a fixed focal length.
With the sd Quattro mirrorless camera, Sigma transposes the virtues of its eponymous sensors in a case with interchangeable lenses in SA mount while remaining faithful to the principles of the brand: irreproachable quality of manufacture and very finely thought out ergonomics… it’s a bit like photographing in medium format for a fraction of the price.
This camera was first introduced in 2016 and it is now available with an APS-H sensor (51,2 Mpx)

Ergonomics 7/10


  • Very well designed and excellent handling
  • The main screen is great (1 620 000 points )
  • Focus peaking
  • Double wheel system
  • Secondary screen monitor 
  • Weather sealed body


  • Not good for left eye dominant shooters
  • Hard to find SA mount lenses
  • Non-tactile or adjustable screen

Sigma foveon camera

Responsiveness 3/10


  • AF speed is okay in good light
  • 4,2 fps continuous shooting


  • Useless for sport photography
  • Very slow to power-on (5sec)
  • Slow to trigger off the camera (more than 1sec)
30mm – 1/200s – f/3.5 – 100 ISO

Image quality    9/10


  • Close to medium format for a much lower budget
  • Ultra sharp and detailed images
  • SFD mode (39 Mpx)
  • No Anti Aliasing filter
  • Foveon X3 sensor makes every pixel has complete red, green and blue data available


  • High loss of quality from 800 ISO
  • Greenish tones on photos
big bird art photography
60mm – 1/160s – F/5.6 – 100 ISO

Shooting with a Sigma sd Quattro means giving up a lot of things: capricious AF (although in progress), slow to start, unsuitable viewfinder for those aiming with the left eye, bulkiness of the body, no video, etc. Yet … the magic operates.

Between the almost perfect ergonomics, the reassuring handling, the flawless construction and, above all, the incomparable rendering of images, photographing with the Sigma sd Quattro is a bit like photographing in medium format. A crush camera that requires self-discipline and a lot of passion, but it will repay you in spades.


FormatInterchangeable Lens SLR Type Digital Camera
Compatible LensesSIGMA SA mount interchangeable lenses
Lens MountSIGMA SA bayonet mount
Angle of ViewEquivalent to approx. 1.5 times the focal length of the lens (on 35mm cameras)
Image Sensor
Image SensorFoveon X3 direct image sensor(CMOS)
Image Sensor Size23.4×15.5mm (0.9in. ×0.6in. )
Number of PixelsEffective Pixels: Approx. 29.5MP
T(Top): 5,440×3,616 / M(Middle): 2,720×1,808 / B(Bottom): 2,720×1,808
Total Pixels: Approx. 33.2MP
Aspect Ratio3:2
Recording System
Storage MediaSD Card, SDHC Card, SDXC Card, Eye-Fi Card
File FormatLossless compression RAW data (14-bit), JPEG (Exif2.3), RAW+JPEG
Color Mode11 types ( Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Portrait, Landscape, Cinema, Sunset Red, Forest Green, FOV Classic Blue, FOV Classic Yellow, Monochrome )

Full specs on Sigma Global

Jacques Julien

French photographer based in Paris specialised in black and white photographs, animal photos, architecture, portraits.