Photographing in medium format for a fraction of the price

Sigma sd quattro sample photo

The Sigma sd Quattro is a fabulous compact expert camera, 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 dp quattro sample image test
Sigma sd quattro sample image

Speed 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 power off the camera (more than 1sec)
Sigma sd quattro Sample image
30mm - 1/200s - f/3.5 - 100 ISO
Sigma sd quattro detail photo

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 rare bird image
60mm - 1/160s - F/5.6 - 100 ISO
Detail Sigma dp quattro photo

Verdict   7/10

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 happens.

Between the almost perfect ergonomics, the reassuring handling, the flawless construction and, above all, the incomparable quality 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.

Full Specifications

Format Interchangeable Lens SLR Type Digital Camera
Compatible Lenses SIGMA SA mount interchangeable lenses
Lens Mount SIGMA SA bayonet mount
Angle of View Equivalent to approx. 1.5 times the focal length of the lens (on 35mm cameras)
Image Sensor
Image Sensor Foveon X3 direct image sensor(CMOS)
Image Sensor Size 23.4×15.5mm (0.9in. ×0.6in. )
Number of Pixels Effective 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 Ratio 3:2
Recording System
Storage Media SD Card, SDHC Card, SDXC Card, Eye-Fi Card
File Format Lossless compression RAW data (14-bit), JPEG (Exif2.3), RAW+JPEG
Color Mode 11 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.