After a long silence during which Sigma seemed mainly concerned with lens production, the company has re-entered the camera market with not just one, but two camera models.

Sigma’s USP has always been the Foveon sensor that goes into all its cameras. The new Foveon X3 sensor yields 14 effective megapixels of resolution through a unique design of stacked silicon photo-detectors. It can capture all RGB colours at each and every pixel, and can therefore offer sharper resolution and more accurate colour. Other sensors features a single layer of pixels, each of which captures one colour of light, thus captures only a third of the colour of the scene. The other colours are interpolated during image processing in camera which is followed by the use of low pass filters to reduce colour artifacts.

Both the DP1 compact camera and the new SD14 DSLR use this innovative sensor technology.

The DP1 is described as a high-end compact camera with 14MP. It is fitted with a fixed 16.6mm f/4 lens that is the equivalent of 28mm in a 35mm equivalent. On the back is a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, and on the top is a mode dial that offers manual functions. It can record both JPEG and RAW (X3F) files.

No other specs have been released, and there’s no information yet if Sigma will offer tele- and wideangle adaptors to increase the range of the lens.

The SD14 follows the SD9 and the SD10, which was release in November 2003. This model also offers JPEG and RAW capture; RAW files can be processed using the bundled Photo Pro 3.0 software.

Sigma has chosen a different method for dust reduction, by including a dust protector that keeps dust far away from the sensor, so that even if dust does get in to the body, it will be held far enough away from the sensor to keep it out of focus.

Other features include a pentaprism viewfinder with dioptric adjustment, a large 2.5-inch LCD monitor, 5-point AF, continuous shooting at 3fps to a maximum of 6 frames in High resolution mode, a built-in flash, and mirror lockup function.

Metering modes encompass 8-segment Evaluative Metering, Centre Area Metering, and Centre Weighted Average, and therefore does not include a genuine spot meter.

The SD14 will be available for £1099.99.