A year ago, if you had asked me who do I think would be releasing the world’s smallest full-frame camera that could also be used to produce quality video work, I honestly would not have guessed Sigma, and even when it was announced, I was still skeptical. That is until I got to attend the press event for it and see first hand what the little camera was capable of.

Sigma has been producing better and better lenses over the last few years and has released some interesting yet not-well-known cameras, but you can tell that they are a company that learns from their mistakes, they listen to their customer base, and delivers what their users are asking for!

This is where their new mirrorless camera body comes in, the Sigma fp. This tiny rig shoots very decent stills, but clearly, this is a videographer’s camera. This lightweight body with L lens mount has a full-frame 24.6MP sensor, 49-point AF system, and shoots UHD 4K 30p video with 12-Bit CinemaDNG. Putting this little camera in a league of its own. Especially since shooting 4K in 12-Bit raw is usually reserved for cameras with a price tag of 4-5x the price of the Sigma’s reasonable $1,799 cost.

We’re just starting to test this camera out, but from what we’ve seen so far, the key takeaways are this camera is incredibly powerful despite its size, and incredibly versatile for filmmakers and directors. It’s got a great selection of built-in tools for video making, can handle 8-bit shooting with no Log option, has a high iso range, switching from Cinema to Stills mode is quite easy (notice the LARGE button in the image below), and yes, despite the large vents, the camera is weatherproof! (to an extent).

Update – Sigma Just Released Firmware 2.0 (June 26, 2020)

Since sending this camera back, Sigma has released an update to the firmware to add a bevy of new features and enhancements to this impressive little system. You can read the full update notes here along with the download and installation instructions, but here’s an overview of what stood out to us here at SLR Lounge;

New Functions and Capabilities in SIGMA fp Firmware Ver. 2.00:

  • Cinemagraph creation and playback
  • CinemaDNG footage playback
  • Still capture during live view and movie shooting in Cine mode
  • Still image capture from movie files (CinemaDNG, MOV) shot with the SIGMA fp
  • HDR in movie shooting
  • Still and movie shooting in Director’s Viewfinder mode
  • Supports DCI 4K 12bit / HDMI Raw output
  • Supports RAW over HDMI recording with Atomos Ninja V monitor-recorder*

*A free AtomOS firmware update for Ninja V is required

  • Supports recording Blackmagic RAW codec over HDMI with Blackmagic Video Assist 12G models*

*Requires firmware update of Video Assist 12G models using Video Assist Update 3.3.

  • Camera movement control is compatible with ZHIYUN Weebill S gimbal*

*Firmware update of the corresponding device is required. Please refer to ZHIYUN firmware release information about functions supported. Since not all functions will be supported in this firmware update, both SIGMA and ZHIYUN will need to continue working on this to make more and more functions to be compatible in future firmware updates

  • Instruction message explaining error appears when attempting to use greyed-out items in SHOOT menu
  • Supports camera control in USB mode*

*The SDK (Software Development Kit) for controlling the camera is scheduled to be available by early July

Function Updates and Enhancements In fp Ver. 2.00:

  • Supports Dual Base ISO (ISO100 and 3200)
  • Improved AF performance
  • Improved accuracy with evaluative exposure metering
  • Improved image quality
  • Supports CinemaDNG 25 and 29.97 fps (UHD 12bit) shooting
  • Supports CinemaDNG 100 fps (FHD 12bit) shooting
  • Supports CinemaDNG 100 and 119.88 fps (FHD 8bit and 10bit) shooting
  • “OFF” option now available in Color mode
  • Exposure adjustment now available in QS (Quick Set) Menu
  • Tone control setting now available during movie shooting
  • Supports USB Video Class (UVC) setting adjustments while the fp is connected to USB
  • Supports time code generation
  • Compatible with BWF format
  • Supports file size changes at aspect ratio 7:6
  • Optional shutter sound effect

Bug Corrections in fp Ver. 2.00: 

  • Flickering phenomenon in dark video footage has been corrected

 

 

Sigma fp Full Frame Camera

 

 Sigma fp Technical Specs:

  • Lens Mount Leica L
  • Camera Format Full-Frame (1x Crop Factor)
  • Pixels
    • Actual: 25.38 Megapixel
    • Effective: 24.6 Megapixel
  • Maximum Resolution 6000 x 4000
  • Aspect Ratio 1:1, 2:1, 3:2, 4:3, 7:6, 16:9, 21:9
  • Sensor Type CMOS
  • Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm
  • Image File Format JPEG, Raw
  • Bit Depth 14-Bit
  • Image Stabilization Digital
  • ISO Sensitivity 100 to 25600 (Extended: 6 to 102400)
  • Shutter Speed
    • Electronic Shutter 1/8000 to 30 Seconds
    • Bulb Mode
  • Metering Method Center-Weighted Average, Evaluative, Spot
  • Exposure Modes Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
  • Exposure Compensation -5 to +5 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
  • Metering Range -5 to 18 EV
  • White Balance
    • Auto, Color Temperature, Custom, Custom 1, Custom 2, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Overcast, Shade
  • Continuous Shooting
    • Up to 18 fps at 24.6 MP for up to 12 Frames (Raw)
    • Up to 5 fps at 24.6 MP for up to 12 Frames (Raw)
    • Up to 3 fps at 24.6 MP for up to 24 Frames (Raw)
  • Interval Recording Yes
  • Self-Timer 2/10-Second Delay
  • Recording Modes
    • H.264
      UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p
      Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/59.94p/100p/119.88p
  • External Recording Modes
    • 4:2:2 12-Bit
    • UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p
    • Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/120p
  • Audio Recording Built-In Microphone (Stereo)
  • Audio File Format Linear PCM (Stereo)
  • Autofocus Sensitivity -5 to +18 EV
  • Monitor Size 3.15″
  • Monitor Resolution 2,100,000 Dot
  • Monitor Type Fixed Touchscreen LCD
  • Flash Modes Red-Eye Reduction, Second-Curtain Sync, Slow Sync
  • Maximum Sync Speed 1/30 Second
  • Flash Compensation -3 to +3 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
  • Dedicated Flash System S-TTL
  • External Flash Connection Hot Shoe
  • Memory Card Slot Single Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
  • Connectivity HDMI D (Micro), USB Type-C (USB 3.0)
  • Wireless None
  • GPS No
  • Battery 1 x Sigma BP-51 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 1200 mAh
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) 4.43 x 2.75 x 1.78″ / 112.6 x 69.9 x 45.3 mm
  • Weight
    • 14.89 oz / 422 g (Body with Battery and Memory)
    • 13.05 oz / 370 g (Body Only)
  • Price – $1,799 – Adorama | B&H | Amazon

Sigma fp Full Frame Camera Reviews

We’ve only just gotten our hands on this camera system so we’ll be completing our review soon. Until then, here are some of our favorites from around the web from other respected sources:

Sigma fp First Look by B&H

The Camera Store TV’s Sigma fp Review

Sigma fp Review by Digital Goja

BorrowLenses Sigma fp Full Frame Camera Review

Sigma fp Review by Only-Antonis

Tech Radar Sigma fp Review

Chris Brockhurst – Sony A7 III vs Sigma fp

Spenser Sakurai – Sigma fp Review and Test Footage

James Cooperider – 48 Hours With The Sigma fp

Tech360.TV Sigma fp Review

Imaging Resource – Sigma fp is a study in beauty

The Slanted Lens – Sigma fp vs Sony A7 III

Philip Bloom Test Shots in London with the Sigma fp

Conclusion

The general consensus seems to be that this camera is a very impressive first-gen cinema camera from Sigma. One that has a LOT of use for beginning directors and filmmakers given its small size and a wide variety of simulation modes. There are some negatives, like the poor battery life (kind of common with “dslr” type video cameras), the LCD isn’t adjustable, the stabilization is decent, but not perfect, and a lot of the accessories are sold separately. The last part isn’t a deal-breaker, but it was a point of frustration for many of the reviewers above.

Personally I’m looking forward to seeing what this rig can do in terms of video, especially when compared to the existing Sony line up that most run-and-gun videographers hail as the current king of portable video rigs. In the meantime, let us know any questions or concerns you have about this system in the comments below so we can try to address them in our upcoming review.

Check Pricing & Availability of the Sigma fp Camera Here

Adorama | B&H | Amazon