Each pixel in a Foveon sensor can detect red, green and blue light, a different approach compared to most "Bayer pattern" sensors that have a checkerboard of pixels that only capture a single color. The Foveon sensors have been used earlier in Sigma's SLR cameras.
The camera image has a resolution of 4.7 megapixels, but each pixel has all three colors; most cameras have only one color and extrapolate values for the others.
The DP1 also has a 2.5-inch display, a fixed 28mm lens, a hot shoe to mount an external flash and support for "raw" images taken directly from the sensor without in-camera processing.
The camera is due to ship this summer, Sigma said, but the company isn't releasing price details.