Sigma dances to its own drummer’s rhythm when it comes to digital cameras. For the 24.6MP Sigma fp, the company’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, this remains true now more than ever.
The smallest and lightest camera of its kind is the Sigma fp. The fp is also the first camera from Sigma assembled around a BSI Bayer sensor (versus the Foveon sensor used in its previous models).
Crafted to be modular, with a range of optional modules, the Sigma fp comes stripped down to its heart. For sure, it’s a fascinating camera idea.
But whether the Sigma Fp suits your needs alone or with one or more of the different camera attachments is dependent on what your shooting tastes are and your budget, of course. In my Sigma fp analysis, let’s take a closer look at this genuinely special camera.
Sigma Fp: Price
Check Out: Best Mirrorless Cameras
Sigma Fp: Build and controls layout
A mere 4.43 x 2.75 x 1.78 inches tests the Sigma fp base unit which weights just 14.88 ounces. The fp is solidly constructed considering its small size and light weight. And also, it’s weatherproof.
Although the Sigma fp’s brick-like and minimalist form factor does not make it the “sexiest” camera we’ve ever reviewed, the interface and controls of the fp are incredibly practical. On the top of the camera is a battery lever, a cine/still option, and a shutter button/front dial combination.
Along with normal buttons such as AEL, QS (quick pick menu), replay and a power dial, the Menu button is on the rear of the Sigma fp. Tone and Colour are fascinating additions; the latter gives direct access to color profiles such as normal, vibrant, portrait, nature, cinema and more. Like the external buttons, the menus, one set for stills, one set for video, are well arranged and help make this camera intuitive to use.
On the Sigma fp, a microphone jack, mini-HDMI and USB-C ports are available. The latter is used for the camera charging process.
A trio of tripod sockets are used in the Sigma fp: one on each side of the sensor and one on the rim. Although this helps you to capture vertical video with the fp for Instagram, or use a clamp to connect the camera to a fence, I think the best thing about these 14/20-inch threads is that through lugs that screw in with a coin, they are used to attach/detach the neck brace. If/when you choose to use a tripod, gimbal or cage, this makes it convenient to cut the fp’s strap.
Sigma FP: Performance
A mixed bag, while usually strong, is the performance of the Sigma fp. A fast continuous shooting mode on the fp provides 18 frames per second (fps) shooting, but until the camera’s buffer fills up, you can only capture 12 images.
Autofocus (AF) performs well on the Sigma fp for relatively static or slow-moving objects with eye- and face-detection, even though it is AF dependent on slower contrast detection. But when attempting to catch fast-moving topics, such as models on the runway during my fashion week shoot, continuous AF on the fp came a little short for me.
However, during my research, start-up speeds for the Sigma fp were swift and the touchscreen LCD of the camera was simple and sensitive, and quick responsive.
In order to keep the camera body compact, we believe Sigma chose to use an electronic shutter on the fp. Sadly, while shooting motion, that leaves the fp susceptible to an unattractive rolling shutter effect. And speaking of motion, with a flash sync speed of just 1/30th second, the fp is not well suited for recording movement in the studio either.
The battery life is rated at around 280 pictures for the fp, which falls a little shy of what we would like to see. And the camera only features optical stabilisation, so to guarantee in-focus pictures at slower shutter speeds, you’ll need a tripod, a very steady hand or an IS lens.
Sigma FP: Specifications
- Camera type: Mirrorless
- Sensor: 24.6Mp Full-frame (35.9×23.9mm back-illuminated Bayer CMOS
- Lens mount: L
- Screen: Fixed 3.15-inch 2,100,000-dot electrostatic capacitance system touch panel
- Viewfinder: No
- Sensitivity range: ISO 100-25,600 expansion settings of to ISO 6, 12, 25, 50, 51,200 and 102, 400
- Maximum continuous shooting rate: 18fps for 12 images
- Video resolution / frame rate: 3,840×2,160 (UHD 4K) / 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, FHD (1,920×1,080) / 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, 59.94p, 100p, 119.88p
- Video format: CinemaDNG（8bit / 10bit/ 12bit） / MOV：H.264 (ALL-I/ GOP)
- Autofocus system: Contrast detection with 49 points
- Image stabilisation: Electronic
- Shutter type: Electronic only with speeds 30-1/8000 sec and Bulb
- Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II or Portable SSD via USB 3.0 connection
- Dimensions: 112.6 x 69.9 x 45.3mm
- Weight: 370g body only, 422g with battery and SD card
Sigma FP: Conclusion
The Sigma fp is a camera that delivers on several occasions, and the different cinema features it provides, including 4K, can surely be looked at by videographers. But, during my research, I decided to focus on the still picture capabilities of the Sigma fp. This camera provides a beautifully lightweight and highly portable build when combined with the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 lens. The FP will work well for you, if you are in the field or need a compact camera to install on a drone.
We appreciate the creativity of Sigma with the FP. It’s an exciting idea and we’re looking forward to seeing where this model is taken by Sigma. The picture quality is solid in this first version, and while the sleek style may lack the snazzy charm of other cameras, the fp is easy to use and very intuitive for the most part.
Is Sigma FP all for everybody? Hey, nope. For eg, we’re so used to tilting LCDs and built-in EVFs that the pared down set-up of the fp can be a hard sell to others. But, because we never know where it’s going to go, it’s important to keep an eye on companies like Sigma who push the limits of camera technology.