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Sigma Fp review (part 1) and interview - Cinema DNG RAW internal recording!


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@Lars Steenhoff: thanks for the great footage you've shown here ?

How to say, i am still on the fence. as an ex-5dmk3 RAW user, now GH5... i am pondering if i should go S1H (with the awesome vlog/lut workflow (i love using false color luts for exposure on my gh5) ... or if i should return to a RAW workflow with the Sigma... both entice me. (i know i should just get both >.>)

I was wondering about colorspace. With 5kmk3 RAW, i used the cinelog LUT to conform ML RAW to cineon log in Resolve. Do we have any conforming LUTs for Sigma yet, or even better some ACES input transforms? or what is your workflow? ?

 

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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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5 hours ago, MikhailA said:

There  is another thing I noticed — a lag of displaying photos in full quality during in-camera playback. When you scroll from image to image it takes about a second ( a bit less) to display each photo in full quality (before this you see sort of blurry preview version), whether using raw, jpeg or both at any resolution. But when you do the same thing in zoom-in mode everything is ok, no lag at all. I use Sandisk extreme pro uhs-ii 64gb, formatted in camera. It is really annoying (especially with the viewfinder)  when you need to fast review multiple stills you’ve just shot. Has anyone run into this?

I double-checked mine and it has no lag when clicking through images. It moves from pic to pic instantaneously. The only slight, much less than a full second lag is when the next file is a video. 

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9 hours ago, seku said:

@Lars Steenhoff: thanks for the great footage you've shown here ?

How to say, i am still on the fence. as an ex-5dmk3 RAW user, now GH5... i am pondering if i should go S1H (with the awesome vlog/lut workflow (i love using false color luts for exposure on my gh5) ... or if i should return to a RAW workflow with the Sigma... both entice me. (i know i should just get both >.>)

I was wondering about colorspace. With 5kmk3 RAW, i used the cinelog LUT to conform ML RAW to cineon log in Resolve. Do we have any conforming LUTs for Sigma yet, or even better some ACES input transforms? or what is your workflow? ?

 

I just import with blackmagic film in resolve and try to get it look good from there. works well enough for me.

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Been away over the break and also shot a bunch of scenes for a longer form thing whilst at it, i'll post some frames later but now i've spent quite a bit of time with the sigma.

I'm liking it more as a stills now, i left a summicron 50mm on it mostly and that combination is lovely - the leica is better on it than the A7s - perhaps the lack of OLPF and filter stack has something to do with that. It's the perfect camera for M mount lenses for sure. I brought a limited lens set with me, just what i needed for shots - 21mm voightlander, 50mm summicron and 85mm APO HyperPrime. The 85 is an insanely good 85mm, one of the best i've used and the sigmafp works well, resolves everything the lens sees no problem.

In terms of footage i shot some MOS as 23.98 to get 12 bit, sped up to 25 in Resolve is usually not noticeable and i'm working with snow at times - so range with sun and everything is tough. The rest was 10 bit with sync audio. I shot some plates for vfx elements as well. I even ran the camera with a car going over it.

Overall it performed really well. The 12 bit cine vs 14 bit still is nigh unnoticeable and 10 bit is great so long as you don't push the shadows up too much.

I want to do a dynamic range test - i have a step wedge around here somewhere. I feel the range is the same as the a7sII which is also a 14 bit RAW container. I suspect the range is pretty much the same as all the current sensors like this and in fact 12 bit in cine mode seems very very common too.

Issues:

Well, i find myself hanging the SSD off a cable sometimes - when moving fast and rigging it's easier to leave it dangle and that's probably bad.
My screen exposure seems to change and flicker (in terms of the brightness of the LCD itself)
A RAW exposure tool is really vital IMHO

But shooting RAW is so damn simple, as filming should be. Just nail exposure and you're good to go.

I read in Film & Digital times that sigma themselves recommend interpreting this as Blackmagic Film - i think that's nuts - what does everyone else feel?
 

cheers
Paul

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11 hours ago, MikhailA said:

Well.. probably  you have the same situation .It works between 1,5 and 2.0.  Looks like it was by design..

There  is another thing I noticed — a lag of displaying photos in full quality during in-camera playback. When you scroll from image to image it takes about a second ( a bit less) to display each photo in full quality (before this you see sort of blurry preview version), whether using raw, jpeg or both at any resolution. But when you do the same thing in zoom-in mode everything is ok, no lag at all. I use Sandisk extreme pro uhs-ii 64gb, formatted in camera. It is really annoying (especially with the viewfinder)  when you need to fast review multiple stills you’ve just shot. Has anyone run into this?

Me too, my left eye doesn't need glasses and it's close to -2 for it to work properly and i'm short sighted in my left but still at -2 so i really don't know what that diopter is correcting for...

Also yes, the first time you view a DNG file it takes time to preview it. It's like there's a very low res thumbnail then it gets debayered on demand.

cheers
Paul

 

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14 minutes ago, Lars Steenhoff said:

Why would it be nuts to import as black magic film raw? It's a flatter image in resolve than the rec709.  Please let me know your thoughts

The BM Film setting is specifically designed for BMD sensor response. I believe someone from BMD also confirmed this. The fp sensor is not the same and making assumptions about that response will lead to colour errors - albeit perhaps minor.

Depending on project (709 vs P3) i have been debayering into the target colourspace directly, which AFAIK uses the matrixes inside the DNG files to handle the colour according to sigmas own settings. So if i am on a P3 project i would debayer directly into P3.

There is also an argument to say that you should *always* debayer into P3 because it is a larger space and then you have the flexibility to then massage the image into 709 the way you want to - this is really about bright saturated lights and out of 709 gamut colours - which the sensor can see and record, especially reds.

In Resolve my timeline is set to 709/P3 as the grading controls are really designed for 709.

In the camera RAW setting for each clip i would massage the exposure/shadows/highlights to taste. I see no purpose into going to a log image when the RAW is linear. If you need to apply a LUT that is expecting a log image then you can actually change a single node to do that. 

IMHO of course, your own needs could be different! Grading RAW is dead easy

Cheers
Paul

23 minutes ago, Lars Steenhoff said:

And in stills mode with manual lenses the camera always shows a brighter preview than the actual shot image. and it adjust the exposure when it should not.  This seems like a bug

There is something going on here for sure - i sometimes see the screen vary in front of me without doing anything.

There have been stills that are more underexposed than i expected and i reported a bug to them about the stills preview being brighter than cine for the same settings but i couldn't reproduce it.

So yeah, there is a bug somewhere!

cheers
Paul

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16 minutes ago, mercer said:

Maybe @BTM_Pix will pick up an extra one for me when he heads Japan.

I'm hoping supply of used ones increases over there by the time I arrive as its a bit hit and miss when I check stores at the moment.

God forbid I have to buy a new one and only save £800 ;)

 

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11 hours ago, mercer said:

@paulinventome those shots look gorgeous. What is your post workflow? 

I think an FP may be in my future if you keep posting more shots like this.

Maybe @BTM_Pix will pick up an extra one for me when he heads Japan.

Btw, that last shot is insanely good!!!

That's very kind of you, thank you.

Post is minimal at the moment however i think one 'trick' is that i have this as a Resolve project which is YRGB Color Managed, my timeline is 709, output colourspace is 709 but my Timeline to Output Gamut Mapping is RED IPP2, with medium and medium. (Input colourspace is RedWideGamut but AFAIK when dealing with RAW and DNGs this is ignored)

This is because most of the project is Red based. BUT the sigma fp footage is debayering into 709 (So in Camera RAW for DNG is it Colourspace 709 and Gamma 709 with highlight recovery by default).

What happens is that the DNGs are debayered correctly, with full data. But that IPP2 mapping is handling the contrast and highlight rolloff for my project as a whole, including the DNGs. IMHO i do this all the time with various footage, not least because it's easier to match different cameras but mostly because that IPP2 mapping is really nice.

Whilst i'm sure you can massage your highlights to roll off softly, it makes more sense for me to push footage through the same pipeline.

Take some footage and try. When you push the exposure underneath IPP2 mapping the results look natural and the colours and saturation exposes 'properly' Turn it off and then you're in the land of saturated highlights and all sorts of oddness that you have to deal with manually. This is not a fault of the footage but the workflow. Running any baked codec makes this more difficult - the success of this approach is based on the source being linear and natural.

As i say the fp is like an old cine camera, the bells and whistles are minimal but if you're happy manual everything i think it can produce lovely images and it's so quick to pull out of a bag.

If the above doesn't make sense let me know and i'll try to put together a sample.

Cheers
Paul

insta: paul.inventome

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Gimbals then....

I'd like to get one for the fp that isn't going to totally undermine the whole ethos of it being tiny so I'm not going to be putting this on my Ronin S and so I'm looking for something as compact as possible.

In terms of weight (almost identical with battery) and dimensions, the fp is probably closest to the Sony a6500.

586861811_ScreenShot2020-01-04at13_01_43.png.996c3fb55c235bbf1c41f950038165ea.png

Looking around, the Crane M2 would seem to fit the bill as it seems quite popular with the A6500 and as I'd be using small M mount lenses like the Voigtlander 21mm or even the 15mm then it will be under the payload rating.

Does anyone have any experience of it on the fp or in general before I waste my money on it ?

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6 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

I'd like to get one for the fp that isn't going to totally undermine the whole ethos of it being tiny so I'm not going to be putting this on my Ronin S and so I'm looking for something as compact as possible.

 

IMHO you generally shouldn't run a gimbal anywhere near its payload capacity. I'd have thought the S would be perfect?

Would you be loading up the fp? wireless follow focus? cage? power?

cheers
Paul

insta: paul.inventome

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On 1/4/2020 at 1:32 PM, paulinventome said:

IMHO you generally shouldn't run a gimbal anywhere near its payload capacity. I'd have thought the S would be perfect?

Would you be loading up the fp? wireless follow focus? cage? power?

cheers
Paul

insta: paul.inventome

The quoted payload of the M2 appears to be quite conservative at 720g as a lot of YouTubers are running the A6500 + Sigma 16mm f1.4 combo which is 870g.

The fp and the 21mm is about 580g, which would be the most used combo for me, is about 80% of the conservative capacity and 65% of what many are using it at with the A6500/16mm combo.

Using the 15mm would be more or less at the 720g point so should be workable but I doubt I would use it anyway.

I agree that the Ronin S is the way to go for real use, particularly as soon as any native L mount lens goes on it, but the M2 would purely be when using the fp for casual and travel stuff so it would be all about the minimalism but if I did want to add wireless follow focus to it the Nucleus-N motor is under 80g so should still work with the 21mm. The M2 has a USB power output which can power the motor so that is kept off the total payload.

I'm pondering whether a used version of the original Weebill Lab might actually be the compromise option but it is significantly bigger (in relative terms) and I am quite keen on the M2/fp/21mm as a higher end Osmo Mobile !

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58 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

The quoted payload of the M2 appears to be quite conservative at 720g as a lot of YouTubers are running the A6500 + Sigma 16mm f1.4 combo which is 870g.

The fp and the 21mm is about 580g would be the most used combo is about 80% of the conservative and 65% of what many are using it at with the A6500/16mm combo.

Using the 15mm would be more or less at the 720g point so should be workable but I doubt I would use it anyway.

I agree that the Ronin S is the way to go for real use, particularly as soon as any native L mount lens goes on it, but the M2 would purely be when using the fp for casual and travel stuff so it would be all about the minimalism but if I did want to add wireless follow focus to it the Nucleus-N motor is under 80g so should still work with the 21mm. The M2 has a USB power output which can power the motor so that is kept off the total payload.

I'm pondering whether a used version of the original Weebill Lab might actually be the compromise option but it is significantly bigger (in relative terms) and I am quite keen on the M2/fp/21mm as a higher end Osmo Mobile !

Personally i don't tend to use gimbals. A lot of what i do can be monopod. I have a carbon fibre one with what's like a gel cushion on top that allows me to level the camera easily. Of course moving is a different case and i have some edlekrone slider/heads which work fairly well. I have some bigger ones too but for the fp they're overkill.

However one day i'll get one, if for no other reason than they'd make a nice motorised head. If the software works well

cheers
Paul

insta: paul.inventome

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On 1/4/2020 at 1:24 PM, BTM_Pix said:

Gimbals then....

I'd like to get one for the fp that isn't going to totally undermine the whole ethos of it being tiny so I'm not going to be putting this on my Ronin S and so I'm looking for something as compact as possible.

In terms of weight (almost identical with battery) and dimensions, the fp is probably closest to the Sony a6500.

Looking around, the Crane M2 would seem to fit the bill as it seems quite popular with the A6500 and as I'd be using small M mount lenses like the Voigtlander 21mm or even the 15mm then it will be under the payload rating.

Does anyone have any experience of it on the fp or in general before I waste my money on it ?

I had crane m2 and returned it.  It was extremely difficult to balance (even iPhone pro and gx85), because of its small arms. Subsequently, I purchased Ronin SC and have no problems with balancing.

 

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What a bunch of incompetent BS in the above video: 

  • The L mount more adaptable than MFT? Are you kidding me?
  • Low light capability: he doesn't even know how to expose the cameras and blows out the highlights, and rather compares ISO calibration of the two cameras. (What you actually would need to do is shoot bracketed exposures with both cameras, then find material that matches in exposure when interpreted as Rec709 and compare noise levels).
  • He doesn't know the difference between highlight recovery as a software function and highlight rolloff of a camera and mixes up the two. Besides, identical ISOs between two different cameras are never comparable, see above.
  • "The color science of the Sigma fp looks, I don't know..., too sharp to me" - well, at that point one should probably stop watching the video.
  • "[With the Pocket 4K]  you can access that flat, raw, no colors whatsoever and start from scratch" - again, he doesn't know what he is talking about.
  •  "The Sigma fp doesn't have high frame rates in UltraHD, DCI 4K, whatever you wanna call it". (He doesn't know the difference between UHD and DCI 4K.)
  • "When it comes to extra features I have to give it to the Sigma fp, because it's a pretty legit stills camera and I shot my Christmas cards with it". That might be most relevant to him, but one shouldn't forget the video-centric extra features of the Pocket 4K such as timecode synchronization, ProRes, XLR input with phantom power, wireless/Bluetooth remote control, 4K raw recording to SD cards, CFast slot, user-uploadable display and recording LUTs, 4K DCI, 2.7K windowing, anamorphic desqueeze, false color, simultaneous zebras and focus peaking, customizable function buttons + dedicated buttons for ISO, shutter and white balance , high framerate/slow motion button + external power connector...
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On 1/4/2020 at 6:39 AM, paulinventome said:

That's very kind of you, thank you.

Post is minimal at the moment however i think one 'trick' is that i have this as a Resolve project which is YRGB Color Managed, my timeline is 709, output colourspace is 709 but my Timeline to Output Gamut Mapping is RED IPP2, with medium and medium. (Input colourspace is RedWideGamut but AFAIK when dealing with RAW and DNGs this is ignored)

This is because most of the project is Red based. BUT the sigma fp footage is debayering into 709 (So in Camera RAW for DNG is it Colourspace 709 and Gamma 709 with highlight recovery by default).

What happens is that the DNGs are debayered correctly, with full data. But that IPP2 mapping is handling the contrast and highlight rolloff for my project as a whole, including the DNGs. IMHO i do this all the time with various footage, not least because it's easier to match different cameras but mostly because that IPP2 mapping is really nice.

Whilst i'm sure you can massage your highlights to roll off softly, it makes more sense for me to push footage through the same pipeline.

Take some footage and try. When you push the exposure underneath IPP2 mapping the results look natural and the colours and saturation exposes 'properly' Turn it off and then you're in the land of saturated highlights and all sorts of oddness that you have to deal with manually. This is not a fault of the footage but the workflow. Running any baked codec makes this more difficult - the success of this approach is based on the source being linear and natural.

As i say the fp is like an old cine camera, the bells and whistles are minimal but if you're happy manual everything i think it can produce lovely images and it's so quick to pull out of a bag.

If the above doesn't make sense let me know and i'll try to put together a sample.

Cheers
Paul

insta: paul.inventome

Thanks for this. I just tried your settings with some of my ML Raw footage and it's VERY promising!. A couple questions though... 

1. Do you have Luminance Mapping turned on?

2. With my footage, these settings cause the highlights (mostly in the skin tones) to blow out. Lowering the highlights in the Raw Panel cures this but with additional saturation added, they easily blow out again. Granted, the settings don't really require much more saturation (if any) than the default amount, but do these settings affect your footage in a similar manner?

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