It’s strange how the announcement by Sigma of one of the smallest cinema cameras in the world did not get the buzz it deserved and instead was so quickly submerged by the flood of new cameras we’ve seen in the last few months.
Indeed, it’s a shame since Sigma’s first baby steps in the camera making world have been quite promising. Having a great experience in lens making is not enough, and we could expect a much more lousy result. Instead, that’s not the case with the Sigma fp. Only-Antonis had the chance to try the brand new camera, despite the pre-release firmware available on board, so let’s see his conclusions.
This small camera, so small that Only-Antonis calls this the real pocket camera, weights only 370gr without cards and batteries and measures a mere 112.6×69.9×45.3 mm. It actually fits inside a pocket in your jacket.
But that would not be so mind-blowing, right? After all, a GoPro is comparatively smaller. Well, the thing is this camera has a full-frame sensor at the front. We’ll let it sink down for a moment. It has a full-frame sensor in a body that’s actually almost smaller than most APS-C cameras.
And such a small body hosts an actual cine camera. The ports are the bare minimum. Users will have access to a mini-HDMI and a jack for audio. There is also a USB-C port that can be used to charge it. But that’s almost it.
The Sigma fp has a small touch screen, but you can also navigate through the joystick. At the front, the mount is the new L mount that was presented a while ago, the result of a partnership of Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma.
This mount is one of the new generation kind, just as the EOS-R is in the Canon’s roadmap. Fortunately, though, there is an adapter that allows you to use your previous lenses.
As a cinema camera, it’s up to the game. It shoots 4K up to 30fps internally but has Cinema DNG through an external recorder. We have to admit that Sigma’s spec sheet is not very clear, as it seems to imply that CineDNG is available internally, while the video does not seem to suggest so.
We have to take responsible the pre-release firmware for that probably. What’s sure is that you will be able to record a 12-bit 4:2:2 Raw file through an Atomos recorder, or similar.
One of the features that will be pleasant to the more casual filmmakers is the fact that, unlike its competitors, this camera is a complete still camera. That’s not to say that other cine cam can’t take pictures, but usually, it’s not an easy task.
In this case, the flip of a button from cine to still will completely change the menus and settings getting you a brand new still camera in place of your cine one. And once you’re done with your sightseeing you can go back on set, take the camera from your pocket and rig it up to make a high-quality cinema configuration. How crazy is that?
On top of that, we have an exceptional build quality that makes most of the competitors feel amateurs, and a huge versatility: the size and weight are putting it in the top three of the best cine cameras to use on gimbals.
What’s left to say? Well, we’ll need to have some in-depth reviews and we surely need to double-check the final firmware, but the first encounter with this camera is telling us that Sigma may have just entered the cine camera market, but it’s not going away soon, don’t you think?
Sigma fp Highlights
24.6MP Full-Frame BSI Bayer CMOS Sensor
ISO range: 100 to 25,600 (expandable to ISO 6-102,400)
49-Point AF System
3.15″ 2.1m-dot LCD touchscreen
Recording settings: 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
12-bit CinemaDNG external recording
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port
built-in stereo microphone
3.5mm mic input
Single Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Size: (W x H x D) 4.43 x 2.75 x 1.78″ / 112.6 x 69.9 x 45.3 mm