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Sigma Fp review and interview / Cinema DNG RAW


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So i said i'd post some stills, these are basically ungraded. This frame is in a sequence with car lights, i like the tonality of this very subdued moment. Shot 12bit to manage shadow tonality.

Modified Sigma's smaller grip to allow it to hold a T5; haven't printed it yet so not so sure how comfortable it is.

Ah gotcha. I'm not really directing this at you but just to anyone in general who isn't aware or wants to learn more, and I'm probably being a 'stickler for accuracy' here but obviously a sensor/

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Yeah, considered selling mine as well.

While it's a decent-enough mini RAW video camera (except for the file sizes of uncompressed CinemaDNG), it's a lousy performer as a stills camera - most annoyingly lacking responsiveness, with the abysmal autofocus and 0.1 seconds shutter delay.

I've remorsefully gone back to my Sony A7iii for stills shooting, a much better camera in that department....

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On 12/9/2019 at 7:56 PM, rawshooter said:

Btw. - has anyone found a way how Resolve (16.1) properly recognizes the Sigma fp raw video files as CinemaDNG files, instead of DNG sequences with separate .wav files?

Hi,

I'm curious - did you find a solution to that problem in the meantime?
I just had to sync 130 clips manually which was a lot of fun ;)

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For me, the shutter delay currently is a deal breaker for using the camera for serious, daily photography.

You can easily test it: Turn 'Shutter Blackout' off in the camera menu (section 'Shoot', 5th tab), shoot a digital stopwatch like this one, and you will see that the actually recorded picture has been taken 0.1 seconds later than the picture/frame shown (and briefly frozen) in the camera display after pressing the shutter button.

It literally means that you can't take snapshots of moving subjects with the camera, at least not in a predictable way. Unreliable focus and inconsistent metering make this a camera with an unusually high amount of pictures you have to throw away in post because of missed moments, missed focus and wrong exposure. 

I have to second DPreview's opinion that the fp is one of the worst cameras released in 2019, from a stills photography perspective. It's most likely the worst full-frame photography camera currently on the market, maybe even the worst full frame digital photography camera ever released.

In fact, a $250 EOS-M100 (with its similar-sized body and a pancake lens like the Canon 22mm/f2) beats it as a stills camera, except for the sensor size. Since I had both cameras, I know what I'm talking about... [and would already regret having given the EOS-M100 to my girlfriend after I bought the Sigma - if it hadn't been for my girlfriend...]

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Yes I noticed the shutter delay too, And its really annoying to see your shot that you thought you captured suddenly missed.

I wonder if this can be fixed or that it will be a flaw that will stick.

And the other thing I noticed is that the brightness on the lcd is changing in manual focus mode with exposure simulation on. This is also not expected and annoying.

 

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31 minutes ago, Lars Steenhoff said:

And the other thing I noticed is that the brightness on the lcd is changing in manual focus mode with exposure simulation on. This is also not expected and annoying.

Is your LCD brightness set to "Auto"? That can be changed in the camera menu (section 'System', third tab 'LCD Settings', submenu 'Brightness').

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

Why are you selling it?

Take a look at rawshooter’s above posts, they encapsulate my feelings pretty well, on the stills sides.

Even on the video side, I’m not liking how unforgiving and easy it is to clip the highlights, I feel like the dynamic range isn’t all that great as things end up really dark if you’re trying to save the highlights, and even though the raw is great for recovering those shadows, I feel like it’s coming out darker, straight out of camera, than it really should be. Maybe it’s user error, but I’m not seeing a great dynamic range.

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1 hour ago, Brian Williams said:

Even on the video side, I’m not liking how unforgiving and easy it is to clip the highlights, I feel like the dynamic range isn’t all that great as things end up really dark if you’re trying to save the highlights, and even though the raw is great for recovering those shadows, I feel like it’s coming out darker, straight out of camera, than it really should be. Maybe it’s user error, but I’m not seeing a great dynamic range.

It's a shame Sigma didn't include better exposure tools for its raw video and haven't developed a recommended post workflow, or even a plug-in, for different NLEs.

What camera are you thinking of getting?

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

It's a shame Sigma didn't include better exposure tools for its raw video and haven't developed a recommended post workflow, or even a plug-in, for different NLEs.

What camera are you thinking of getting?

You think its the software rather than the image? That would make sense as given the sensor a RAW image should have plenty of information to work with. 

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There is no plugin needed, resolve and adobe ACR open the files just fine. 

The problem is that in order to preserve the dynamic range from the sensor you should use linear 16 bit or non linear other formats. 14 bit linear is also good

but the others (12 bit, 10 bit, 8 bit ) should use a non linear way to preserve the highlights in the raw.

 

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12 bit data gives you 4096 discreet values, 1/15th of the values, a small fraction of what 16 bit has. ( 65,536 discreet values.)  This presents a problem as to record 14 stops with linear data you need more than 12 bits.

http://www.xdcam-user.com/2017/08/the-pros-and-cons-of-12-bit-linear-raw-or-recording-raw-to-s-log/

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The difference is in the way the data is encoded into 12 bits. Canon outputs 14bit data but it is linear. The human eye sees on a logarithmic scale, so this means that there's quite a bit of "wasted" precision on the high end. BM cameras output data on a logarithmic scale, so there's much less "wasted" bit depth, and so the cameras are making much "better" use of all the values that are possible to encode into 12 bits. You can think of this as a form of lossy compression, because truly that's what it is -> throwing out "unimportant" data so as to maximize the effective use of available space.

https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=13825.msg133487#msg133487

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The bit depth of this conversion is what's being discussed in the video. This conversion is almost always going to involve some kind of logarithmic interpretation because even 14-bit RAW doesn't contain enough code values for linear encoding of 12 stops of dynamic range. On the video side of things there are only 2 recording formats that are truly linear, RED RAW and Sony RAW/X-OCN, which are 16-bit. Sony tried a 12-bit "linear" RAW which was underwhelming and required some pretty significant reallocation of bits to achieve.

https://fstoppers.com/photoshop/what-bit-depth-and-does-it-even-matter-423879#comment-542753

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3 hours ago, mercer said:

It's a shame Sigma didn't include better exposure tools for its raw video and haven't developed a recommended post workflow, or even a plug-in, for different NLEs.

What camera are you thinking of getting?

Honestly, I might just go back to one of the cameras I had before this, with E-M1mii or X-T3. Even the cheap G9 with its newest firmware is sounding good. Obviously not 12bit raw quality from any of them, but usability has taken on a new importance to me I think. 

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The inconsistent metering is very annoying. It seems to work best in low light. 

The issue that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere is having to restart internal recording a few times before it will work. Last night, the first time I hit record, it stopped after about 2 seconds. Then it worked fine. Another time, I hit record 5 times with it doing the 2 second recordings and then it worked on the 6th try and recorded until I stopped it. Those times it was All-I 4k 24p but it also happened on a raw 12bit 1080p recording. Took 2 tries that time.

I love the build of the camera and it is capable of producing beautiful IQ but the metering and lack of modern conveniences (decent video AF, moveable screen, etc) has me leaning toward a return. Thanks to the holidays, though, I have until Feb 1 to make up my mind.

 

SDIM0187a.jpg

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56 minutes ago, Brian Williams said:

Honestly, I might just go back to one of the cameras I had before this, with E-M1mii or X-T3. Even the cheap G9 with its newest firmware is sounding good. Obviously not 12bit raw quality from any of them, but usability has taken on a new importance to me I think. 

I don't blame you. I've been shooting raw video for 2 1/2 years now and every few months I consider convenience over raw but then I look at the files and I get pulled back in. Also after getting used to the post controls, WB... etc... it's hard to go back to compressed video. But it can be tedious sometimes. This idea that raw is for everybody, just isn't true. If you aren't shooting narratives or music videos, I don't know if Raw is worth it. IMO. Even being a narrative filmmaker, if I was buying a camera today, I'm fairly certain I'd be saving up for an S1H.

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3 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

You think its the software rather than the image? That would make sense as given the sensor a RAW image should have plenty of information to work with. 

Idk, I don't own the camera so it's hard to say, but I do know with proper exposure tools, and exposing to the right, I can pull highlights down insanely well with raw video... but I've never used 12 bit linear, so I suppose there are some limitations.

Based on Noam Kroll's review and Andrew's comments, it seems that internal 8bit raw would be the way to go for me... especially considering the limitations linear raw apparently has at under 14bit.

Slap on the Sigma MC adapter and an IS Canon prime and you have a small and inconspicuous camera that could be very useful for certain projects.

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21 minutes ago, mercer said:

I don't blame you. I've been shooting raw video for 2 1/2 years now and every few months I consider convenience over raw but then I look at the files and I get pulled back in. Also after getting used to the post controls, WB... etc... it's hard to go back to compressed video. But it can be tedious sometimes. This idea that raw is for everybody, just isn't true. If you aren't shooting narratives or music videos, I don't know if Raw is worth it. IMO. Even being a narrative filmmaker, if I was buying a camera today, I'm fairly certain I'd be saving up for an S1H.

Yeah, I haven’t shot raw since my days of the original BMPCC, and I will say that being able to change white balance after the fact is the best thing in the world. Just wish their was good hybrid that also did raw. Z6?

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