Sigma’s full-frame mirrorless camera with a Foveon image sensor has been sent “back to the drawing board” and delayed indefinitely. In an update posted to the brand’s website, Sigma’s CEO apologized for the delay, saying that he was “not in a position to offer any specific release plan.”
Sigma first announced plans for a full-frame L-Mount mirrorless camera with a Foveon X3 image sensor at Photokina in September of 2018. Later, at CP+ 2019, the company promised that this camera would materialize in 2020. However, according to CEO Kazuto Yamaki, this will not be the case.
“As a result of careful and rigorous testing based on the latest development information, however, it has become clear that the launch of such a camera would be infeasible within this year,” says Mr. Yamaki. “At this point, we cannot say for certain when the full-frame Foveon X3 sensor will be put into mass production.”
“At this point, we cannot say for certain when the full-frame Foveon X3 sensor will be put into mass production.”
The statement goes on to say that Sigma is currently “not in a position to offer any specific release plan at present,” and has decided to “start over the project with a clean slate, putting the production plan for this new camera back to the drawing board and going back to the development of sensor technologies.”
This sounds like a serious delay that goes beyond hard-to-source components or some minor design challenge. Based on Mr. Yamaki’s comments, Foveon sensor technology simply isn’t ready to be scaled up to a full-frame L-mount mirrorless camera, and there’s no indication of when (or if) Sigma will be able to get over these roadblocks.
“I would like to express my deepest apologies for failing to meet your expectations and having to share this disappointing news,” continues Mr. Yamaki. “I would like to emphasize that Foveon sensors are in a class of their own and that they are part of the identity of SIGMA cameras that embodies our ideals and philosophies. We are determined to continue dedicating ourselves to technology development to bring better image sensors to life.”
On the bright side, it seems that Sigma is definitely committed to making this sensor and camera a reality; however, that reality may still be years away. To read the full statement for yourself, visit the Sigma website.