Sigma fp – a pocketable full frame cine/stills hybrid

Sigma has announced a new camera, the fp. Sigma is touting it as a pocketable full frame camera. According to Sigma, the fp changes the paradigm of what a ‘digital camera‘ should be.

Sigma FP - a pocketable full frame cine/stills hybrid

Sigma wanted to create a high performance, interchangeable lens camera that had the form factor of a smartphone. Sigma claims that it is the world’s smallest full-frame mirrorless camera.

Key features

  • Main features
  • World’s smallest and lightest full size
  • Electronic shutter
  • Image and video expression
  • Image / Video generation function
  • L mount
  • Full-scale video production
  • Optimized UI
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The camera uses a back-illuminated full frame (35.9mm×23.9mm Bayer CMOS sensor with 24.6 effective megapixels. The sensor has an aspect ratio of 3: 2.

Sigma FP - a pocketable full frame cine/stills hybrid

This camera is clearly being targeted as a cine/stills hybrid. It has a dedicated button that switches between both modes. As well as a dedicated video record button.

Sigma FP - a pocketable full frame cine/stills hybrid

The fp weighs in at just 370 g (13.05 oz) and it has dimensions of 112.6mm x 63.9 mm x 45.3 mm (L x H x W).

L-Mount

Sigma FP - a pocketable full frame cine/stills hybrid

As Sigma is part of the L-Mount alliance, it is no surprise that the fp lens utilizes an L-mount. The L-mount features a short flange back, large diameter, and high durability. In addition to being able to select Sigma’s abundant lens products for interchangeable lenses, the L mount alliance with Leica Cameras Inc. and Panasonic Corporation enables lens products from other companies to be used. Furthermore, by using the Sigma MC-21 EF Mount Converter, or the SA to L-mount converter, both Canon EF and Sigma SA mount lenses can be used.

When a DC lens (APS-C lens) is attached, the fp will automatically crop to the APS-C size angle of view. It is unclear whether you can manually select this function.

Video Features

Sigma FP - a pocketable full frame cine/stills hybrid

For video shooters, the new camera can record 12bit Cinema DNG Raw in UHD externally. There is, however, a bit of confusion as to what the camera can record internally. According to Sigma’s official specifications for the ff it states:

Movie Recording Format [Camera Internal Record]
Movie Format CinemaDNG(8bit / 10bit/ 12bit) / MOV:H.264 (ALL-I/ GOP)

I believe that the internal recording of CinemaDNG will be coming in a firmware update. Sigma states that ※ The in-camera playback function of CinemaDNG shooting data will be implemented later with a firmware upgrade. If you will be able to play back CinemaDNG in camera then that certainly alludes to Raw recording happening internally.

CinemaDNG is a strange choice in 2019. I’m surprised Sigma didn’t do a deal with Blackmagic so they could record Blackmagic RAW.

According to Sigma, the following external recorders are compatible:

  • Atomos Ninja Inferno
  • Blackmagic Video Assist 4K

The fp supports the ATOMOS Open Protocol. You can use the camera’s operation to start and stop shooting on an external recorder.

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The camera also supports high-speed recording on an external SSD. It is unclear whether you can use this to record CinemaDNG.

It also supports ALL-I recording, for editing H.264 compressed video.

RECORDING OPTIONS

  • CinemaDNG (8bit / 10bit / 12bit)
  • MOV: H.264 (ALL-I / GOP)

Frame Rates

  • UHD 4K 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p
  • Full HD 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, 59.94p, 100p, 119.88p

Dynamic Range

Sigma FP - a pocketable full frame cine/stills hybrid

Sigma is quoting 12.5 stops of dynamic range for the fp when it is recording in CinemaDNG.

Use it as a Webcam

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Sigma uses USB 3.1 (GEN1) to send signals to an external recording device.
Just connect it to your computer and use it as a webcam. Not only video but also audio can be inputed at the same time.

※ The camera menu setting at the time of UVC connection will be implemented later by the firmware upgrade.

Timecode

the fp supports time code recording. You can select “Free Run” or “Rec Run”. Furthermore, it also supports switching between the two methods of “Drop Frame (DF)” and “Non-Drop Frame (NDF)”, and it is also possible to output time code overt the HDMI output.

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It has a nice clear and concise menu system that comes up on the rear LCD screen that lets you change all of the key video parameters.

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For example, functions such as shutter angle display, waveform display, exposure, color information, zebra pattern, waveform etc. that can be clearly seen. The camera also has peaking.

The screen is a TFT color liquid crystal display with an aspect ratio of 3: 2. It is touchscreen and it has approximately 2.1 million dots.

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As far as picture profiles are concerned, there is:

  • Standard
  • Vivid
  • Neutral
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Cinema
  • Teal and Orange
  • Sunset Red
  • Forest Green
  • FOV Classic Blue
  • FOV Classic Yellow
  • Monochrome
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The fp has a Director’s viewfinder function that can simulate the angle of view and appearance of a cinema camera. This function supports most major manufacturers cameras, including the latest large format cameras such as ARRI ALEXA LF and RED MONSTRO 8K, it also supports film cameras and anamorphic lenses.

Compatible cinema cameras |

  • ARRI
  • ARRICAM / ARRIFLEX, ALEXA LF / ALEXA Mini LF, ALEXA SXT, ALEXA Mini, AMIRA, ALEXA 65, ALEXA XT
  • SONY VENICE
  • RED MONSTRO 8K, HELIUM 8K, DRAGON 6K, EPIC MX 5K, GEMINI 5K


※ The video recording / playback function during the director’s viewfinder function will be implemented later by a firmware upgrade.

The fp has a 3.5mm mic input, a built-in stereo microphone, and a monaural speaker. In somewhat of a strange move there is no headphone jack.

HDR

HDRl images and videos can be generated within the camera by capturing and combining 3 frames for still pictures and 2 frames for moving pictures with different exposures using electronic shutters.

※ HDR shooting in Cine mode will be implemented later with a firmware update.

Managing the heat

To keep everything cool, Sigma is utilizing a special heat sink. They have covered the front and back sides with die-cast aluminum alloy because of its thermal conductivity.

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The body of the SIGMA fp is built with a signature heat sink structure with sealing at 42 points.

Still photography

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It has an ISO range of 100-25600, it can shoot 14bit Raw (DNG).

Still image files can be taken in t Lossless compression RAW (DNG) 12/14 bit, JPEG (Exif 2.3) RAW (DNG) + JPEG simultaneous recording is possible.
Image aspect ratio [21: 9] / [16: 9] / [3: 2] / [2: 1)] / [4: 3] / [7: 6] / [1: 1]

For still photography, the camera has face detect AF, Eye AF, a full-time silent shooting mode, as well as HDR modes. The auto focus is contrast detection based.

Image stabilization & Electronic Shutter

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Sigma has given the fp what they are calling a Full Time Fast Electronic Shutter and electronic image stabilization.

Battery & Power

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The camera uses a dedicated lithium battery (Li-ion Battery BP-51). You can charge the fp Cthrough USB, but this is only possible when the camera is turned off.

What media does it record to?

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The fp can record to an SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card (UHS-II compatible), as well as a portable SSD (USB 3.0 connection, bus power compatible).

What do you get?

  • LI-ION battery BP-51, strap, strap holder, USB AC adapter UAC-11, USB cable (AC) SUC-11, hot shoe unit HU-11, body cap, instruction manual, warranty card, warranty sticker

Optional Accessories

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Sigma has a host of accessories for the fp, including a hand grip, as well as an LCD viewfinder.

  • Hand Grip HG-11
  • Large Hand Grip HG-21
  • LCD Viewfinder LVF-11
  • Base Plate BPL-11
  • Cable Release CR-41
  • Base Grip BG-11
  • DC Connector CN-21
  • Battery Charger BC-71
  • AC adapter SAC-7P

Thoughts on the fp

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This looks to be a very interesting camera. On paper at least, it certainly has a lot going for it. Just how all of these features and specifications translate over into real-world performance will be interesting to see.

You have to applaud Sigma for thinking outside of the box and coming up with something completely new.

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The fp looks like it could potentially be a good gimbal or drone camera, as well as a A, B, or C camera depending on your requirements.

Price & Availability

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There is no indication of pricing yet, but the camera is supposed to start shipping September or early October.

Sigma fp at B&H Photo

WE WILL BE UPDATING THIS POST AS WE GET MORE INFORMATION

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