Photography News issue 72

Sigma fp Big test




›  Price £1999 body only ›  Sensor 24.6-megapixel Bayer CMOS sensor ›  Sensor format Full-frame, 3:2 aspect ›  Lens mount L-Mount ›  ISO range 100-25,600 (6-102,400 expanded) ›  Shutter range 30secs to 1/8000sec and Bulb ›  Drive modes ›  Exposure system Evaluative, spot, centre-weighted average ›  Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 1/3 stops ›  Monitor 3.15in LCD, 2.1M dots, touchscreen ›  Viewfinder No (optional LCD viewfinder LVF-11) ›  Focusing Contrast-detection system, single AF, continuous AF (withmoving object prediction function), manual focus, face/ eye detectionAFmode, tracking AFmode ›  Focus points 49 points ›  Image stabiliser Yes, electronic ›  Video UHD 4K (3840×2160) at 23.98p, 25p and 29.97p; Full HD (1920×1080) at 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, 59.94p, 100p, 119.88p; CinemaDNG (8-bit/10-bit/12-bit /MOV:H.264 (ALL-I/GOP) ›  Connectivity USBType-C, HDMI Type-D, 3.5mm jack ›  Other key features HDRmode, Cinemagraphmode, Fill Light mode, Color and Tone settings, 42-point weather sealing, ›  Storage media SD/ SDHC/SDXCmemory card (UHS-II supported) ›  Dimensions (wxhxd) 112.6x 69.9x45.3mm ›  Weight 422g (including battery and SD card) Contact Single, continuous high (18fps), medium (5fps) and low (3fps), self-timer, interval timer

Best known for its lenses, Sigma’s latest foray into the camera world is a unique design built around the L-Mount, and it offers innovations aplenty. We took the new Sigma fp for a test drive

SIGMA HAS A justified reputation for innovation, and the latest in that trend is the Sigma fp, a camera that’s claimed to be the world’s smallest and lightest full- frame mirrorless model. We certainly can’t think of any full- frame production camera that betters it in those terms. However, cutting the size and weight comes in the form of a radical modular design, wherein the fp body lacks several things that other bodies would include, such as an electronic viewfinder, a handgrip and even a hotshoe. It’ll cost you £1999 body only, or £2399 with the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens, and we tested it with the latter. At the Sigma fp’s heart is a full-frame 24.6-megapixel back-side illuminated CMOS sensor, kicking out 6000x4000 pixel images and 4K video up to 30p. It’s built around the company’s L-Mount, which it shares with Leica and Panasonic. Unlike previous Sigma bodies, the sensor uses a regular Bayer filter array, not the company’s own Foveon technology. The sensor provides an ISO range of 100-25,600, but this can be expanded to


ABOVE The Sigma fp’s modular design means the basic body is very small and light for a full-frame camera, and you then add accessories to suit your shooting, like this hotshoe mount

6-102,400. Those upper settings aren’t unusual – or all that usable in terms of quality – but the low end is really interesting for wide aperture or long- exposure work. Yes it’s not a typo. The expanded ISO really does reach 6, which is a full four stops below 100. My first impression of the fp was that it felt more like a piece of technology than a traditional camera. This is mainly to do with the modular design, but also because it’s a camera that’s been made to satisfy filmmakers as much, or even more so than, those shooting stills. In that way, the lens-less body looks more like a cinema camera without all the gubbins like cages and screens attached, and the look is reinforced by the obvious heat sink vents around the screen.

There’s a utilitarian pleasure to be taken from its boxiness, but without a grip, and with a thumb rest that’s apologetic at best, it’s ultimately not the most comfortable camera to handhold. To fix this, the fp can be fitted with the HG-11 or HG-21 handgrip, but these will set you back an additional £60 or £100. We didn’t have access to them to test, but they would almost certainly improve matters – for instance, when back-button focusing, and would be vital if using longer, heavier L-Mount lenses. Aside from that, handling is actually very good. The button layout is like nothing I’ve used before, but it’s clearly arranged and therefore easy to grasp. On the left of the top plate there are two large switches, one for power and the other

60 Photography News | Issue 72

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