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Sigma Fp L adds long awaited phase-detect AF


Andrew Reid
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On 3/27/2021 at 7:48 PM, KnightsFan said:

I have to agree with Gerald a bit actually. It's not a bad camera, but it's expensive considering the feature set. I almost exclusively use an EVF for photography, so with the cost of the (really cool and well designed) EVF, it's the price of an A7r4, and more than a typical S1r on ebay. I'd have to see tests in photo mode I suppose, but the slow readout and lack of mechanical shutter make it less than ideal for photos also. That's maybe not a deal breaker... but with the a7r4 at the exact same price I don't know why I would get an fp L.

Yes, however sorry to repeat myself but what's the point of the Sigma Fp being just another A7R IV clone?

We don't need another copy cat.

Not denying the Sony offers a lot of spec for the money if you need a 60MP full frame camera with good 4K.

But the Sigma Fp-L offers something different... at least for those who recognise that it's an artist's camera for studio, landscape, portraiture... and for videographers... whereas the Sony is more of an all-round work tool for pros and commercial work.

The Sigma offers better colour science, more flexible grip designs, smaller size, internal RAW video, phase-detect AF for L-mount lenses, and there's many other differences to the Sony.

It is aimed higher than the original Fp, so of course there's the higher price.

The rolling shutter issues and lack of mechanical shutter does hold it back for certain types of shoots, that's for sure. However it is just the first of the future breed of all-electronic cameras. Global shutter cameras will outnumber mechanical shutter cameras in a few years time.

They should do a version with the Sony A9 sensor next, faster readout.

I think the Fp-L is in the top 5 for image quality... GFX 100, A7R IV, Leica SL2, Fp-L, EOS R5... all good sensors and ultimate in stills resolution.

So maybe the price, being lower than all of those is not so bad after all.

And it comes in a very small box, with very wide feature set and nice modularity.

Besides you get to support directly a family run business which is in it for us and their employees rather than to line the pockets of shareholders.

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2 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Yes, however sorry to repeat myself but what's the point of the Sigma Fp being just another A7R IV clone? We don't need another copy cat.

I agree with that, it's just that for me the fp L comes off a little worse. I'm not telling anyone not to like it, and really I'm rooting for sigma. I just find the fp L to look less useful both on the photo and video side for me. Add in good 10 bit log at reasonable bit rates, and then it would make sense for someone like me even with a few hundred added to the cost.

2 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

The rolling shutter issues and lack of mechanical shutter does hold it back for certain types of shoots, that's for sure. However it is just the first of the future breed of all-electronic cameras. Global shutter cameras will outnumber mechanical shutter cameras in a few years time.

100% agree. Once you get the speed down to a few ms, it's perfect for anything other than strobe lights and flashes and at that point, mechanical shutters will just be another failure point (off topic--I read that someone is suing Sony over faulty shutters). I think that's pretty close to a technical reality, with true global shutters in consumer products being a little farther off.

Faster readouts and ubiquity of higher quality codecs make the next generation fp's very promising. Perhaps something to finally replace my NX1!

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Something that is quite interesting and I missed previously is the ‘pinch to zoom’ capability with no loss of quality giving a fixed focal length prime a 2.5x range.

That is pretty neat.

I think you have to come at this camera from another angle and that is what can it do instead of direct comparisons with anything else.

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Yeah, the claim (Gerald Undone) the camera is useless in every regard is a red flag to me. And multiple reviewers keep claiming it's useless for photography.

On CDNG, it is so easy to edit and grade in Resolve. With hard drive prices so low (WD My Passport for example), you can really store (back up) your raw footage on 1 drive per project. 

I don't know if the FP-L is a step backwards, but I read many of the same comments about the OG FP. That it is only for landscape photography.

But I am making a lot of videos based around my music, and using it as a great quality webcam for interviews. There is a lot of photography that doesn't involve panning the camera - I shoot reportage, cityscapes, portraiture. The FP takes fantastic pictures in almost every field other than fast moving subjects.

I bought the Niceyrig grip which is pretty cheap, works great, also adds several mounting points.

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1 hour ago, Chris Whitten said:

There is a lot of photography that doesn't involve panning the camera - I shoot reportage, cityscapes, portraiture. The FP takes fantastic pictures in almost every field other than fast moving subjects.

This is where I was most...and still am, interested in it, ie, not as a pure video tool, but a photography one with a hybrid element.

The fact that the new model is 60mp makes it more appealing to me than the original because one of the elements to my overall kit requirements, is for something 50mp or above for hi res stills.

The static/tripod 96mp files from the S5 cover that off in some regards, but then there is this middle ground between the standard 24mp and the hi res 96mp for handheld hi res pics which none of my current kit offers.

Toying with the idea of this L model in that regard...

Not the viewfinder though whilst clever, defeats the size of the thing for me.

The 24-105mm f4 despite being relatively compact and light for what it is, I have decided is too big and too slow for my needs so being sold.

I can add the Sony ZV1 into the sales pot also and cover off most of the costs of the body alone FP-L.

I have my Sigma 45mm f2.8 I was thinking of selling but would make an ideal partner for an FP.

I don't 'need' as such, but would like a compact, light, 50mp+ stills camera and if it can cover off static video, even better and better still, if it's L Mount so it can share lenses with my S5 and S1H.

Still thinking about it but I reckon it's actually a good option for my needs.

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3 hours ago, MrSMW said:

This is where I was most...and still am, interested in it, ie, not as a pure video tool, but a photography one with a hybrid element.

The fact that the new model is 60mp makes it more appealing to me than the original because one of the elements to my overall kit requirements, is for something 50mp or above for hi res stills.

The static/tripod 96mp files from the S5 cover that off in some regards, but then there is this middle ground between the standard 24mp and the hi res 96mp for handheld hi res pics which none of my current kit offers.

Toying with the idea of this L model in that regard...

Not the viewfinder though whilst clever, defeats the size of the thing for me.

The 24-105mm f4 despite being relatively compact and light for what it is, I have decided is too big and too slow for my needs so being sold.

I can add the Sony ZV1 into the sales pot also and cover off most of the costs of the body alone FP-L.

I have my Sigma 45mm f2.8 I was thinking of selling but would make an ideal partner for an FP.

I don't 'need' as such, but would like a compact, light, 50mp+ stills camera and if it can cover off static video, even better and better still, if it's L Mount so it can share lenses with my S5 and S1H.

Still thinking about it but I reckon it's actually a good option for my needs.

This is where I'm at. A supplement to my S1. The S5 is nice, but not small enough and the same 24MP sensor. I want a high res option and the S1R doesn't offer any size advantage. I would probably use the fp L 75% for photography for that sensor, with 25% a more "controlled" video tool with the raw. I would probably only pair it with small primes so the 24-105 can stay on my S1.

I think this is what the reviewers don't get. It's use is a great secondary camera. They have no problem to recommend video cameras as a B-cam, but a hybrid camera has to do it all or nothing. If it was an E-mount camera it would be a different story, but not a lot of people use multiple mounts and there's nothing like it on L mount. I've never heard some much regurgitated uses of the word "confused" in my life. It's not hard to make sense of it's strong points. (It makes more sense to me than the FX3)

Sigma knows it can't compete with 1st party cameras, and it's not going to try. If it put a mechanical shutter, IBIS, dual card slots, evf, grip, larger battery like everyone wants, it would be the same size and price as a a7rIV for sure, but still wouldn't compete in AF and most other specs due to Sony's experience and R&D. Then it would really wouldn't make sense because it would be the lesser clone. But they took the approach that Sony or any brand would probably never go, and for that offers something unique.

Sigma knows this is the future and by the next model or two have no need for mechanical shutters. I might upgrade then, but I think I can make due without flash and a bit of rolling shutter. Anyone in this game has been doing it for years. (DSLRs had no evf, IBIS, huge rolling shutter, sub-par continuous AF, but were far from "unusable" in video)

I might go without the EVF too, not sure.. But since you can detach it, then it might be worth having for just those times you need it.

I will wait on a few more reviews, and maybe an "open box" priced option, but I'm pretty sold on it fitting within my style of shooting.

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16 minutes ago, amweber21 said:

This is where I'm at. A supplement to my S1. The S5 is nice, but not small enough and the same 24MP sensor. I want a high res option and the S1R doesn't offer any size advantage. I would probably use the fp L 75% for photography for that sensor, with 25% a more "controlled" video tool with the raw. I would probably only pair it with small primes so the 24-105 can stay on my S1.

I think this is what the reviewers don't get. It's use is a great secondary camera. They have no problem to recommend video cameras as a B-cam, but a hybrid camera has to do it all or nothing. If it was an E-mount camera it would be a different story, but not a lot of people use multiple mounts and there's nothing like it on L mount. I've never heard some much regurgitated uses of the word "confused" in my life. It's not hard to make sense of it's strong points. (It makes more sense to me than the FX3)

Sigma knows it can't compete with 1st party cameras, and it's not going to try. If it put a mechanical shutter, IBIS, dual card slots, evf, grip, larger battery like everyone wants, it would be the same size and price as a a7rIV for sure, but still wouldn't compete in AF and most other specs due to Sony's experience and R&D. Then it would really wouldn't make sense because it would be the lesser clone. But they took the approach that Sony or any brand would probably never go, and for that offers something unique.

Sigma knows this is the future and by the next model or two have no need for mechanical shutters. I might upgrade then, but I think I can make due without flash and a bit of rolling shutter. Anyone in this game has been doing it for years. (DSLRs had no evf, IBIS, huge rolling shutter, sub-par continuous AF, but were far from "unusable" in video)

I might go without the EVF too, not sure.. But since you can detach it, then it might be worth having for just those times you need it.

I will wait on a few more reviews, and maybe an "open box" priced option, but I'm pretty sold on it fitting within my style of shooting.

DSLRs didn’t have to deal with rolling shutter in photos though. 

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17 minutes ago, TomTheDP said:

DSLRs didn’t have to deal with rolling shutter in photos though. 

You're correct. I jumped back and forth, and should have clarified strictly video usage in that comparison to DSLRs. It will be no full fledged stills camera for sure. It does have it's uses. I just don't like the "useless" labeling it's been getting.

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They are coming at it from a marketeer's perspective because that's what they are. Chris at DPReview is an ex-camera salesman.

Of course it doesn't occupy the same broad market territory as a Sony.

It's a niche camera and they don't get it.

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30 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

They are coming at it from a marketeer's perspective because that's what they are. Chris at DPReview is an ex-camera salesman.

Of course it doesn't occupy the same broad market territory as a Sony.

It's a niche camera and they don't get it.

That's true. You would think they would be able to "sell" a camera by pointing out what it can do different and what sets it apart though. Diversity is a big thing we need more of in the camera market.

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Buyer "I'm interested in this 2021 compact Toyota."

Salesman "I can't recommend it for anyone. This used 2019 Lexus is larger, has AWD, dual climate control, GPS navigation, and other features you can't call it a car without. Oh, and it's still more expensive. The Toyota is undrivable"

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2 hours ago, amweber21 said:

This is where I'm at. A supplement to my S1.

I think my problem with this camera is that although I really liked the concept of the original FP, it did not cut it for me as a hybrid.

I had high(er) hopes for the FP-L but was still thinking hybrid.

I am no longer thinking hybrid.

Well I am, but not in the same sense as I previously was as it can’t replace the combo of my S5 (approx 75% documentary photography where 24mp is enough and 25% video use, ie is my B cam in that regard).

It can’t replace the S1H as my video workhorse. It could for someone else, but with the current available spec, nope.

But I do have the Sony ZV1 for static full length ceremony & speeches at weddings and having a 1” sensor, has low light limitations.

The Sony is also supposed to be my personal and travel camera but it doesn’t inspire me. In fact, it’s boring as fuck. It’s perfectly decent but that’s about it.

So as I was cutting my grass this afternoon, I made the firm decision to sell it along with the 24-105, chuck a couple of hundred into the pot and go for an FP-L with the little grip and nothing else.

I will use it in the static role at weddings for full length ceremony & speeches and then simply have fun with it as a personal and travel camera as it will inspire me to shoot whereas the little Sony does not.

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20 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

I think my problem with this camera is that although I really liked the concept of the original FP, it did not cut it for me as a hybrid.

I had high(er) hopes for the FP-L but was still thinking hybrid.

I am no longer thinking hybrid.

Well I am, but not in the same sense as I previously was as it can’t replace the combo of my S5 (approx 75% documentary photography where 24mp is enough and 25% video use, ie is my B cam in that regard).

It can’t replace the S1H as my video workhorse. It could for someone else, but with the current available spec, nope.

But I do have the Sony ZV1 for static full length ceremony & speeches at weddings and having a 1” sensor, has low light limitations.

The Sony is also supposed to be my personal and travel camera but it doesn’t inspire me. In fact, it’s boring as fuck. It’s perfectly decent but that’s about it.

So as I was cutting my grass this afternoon, I made the firm decision to sell it along with the 24-105, chuck a couple of hundred into the pot and go for an FP-L with the little grip and nothing else.

I will use it in the static role at weddings for full length ceremony & speeches and then simply have fun with it as a personal and travel camera as it will inspire me to shoot whereas the little Sony does not.

I hardly ever bring my a7r or a7s with me.  They have their uses but nothing special to me. Boring is the correct word. I can actually feel I would bring this everywhere.

A locked down shot with near unlimited recording is it's strong point. The reliability of it in this use cannot be overstated. If you want to and have the storage you can do this oversampled 8/10/12bit cinemadng for 2 hours. None of this 20 minute crap. 

I suspect it's thermal design helps in stills also. Especially with high iso where heat is the enemy.

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This is my first post on any camera or filmmaking forum ever, and I registered just to write about this camera. I would have bought it already if I had any money, but last year ruined me – I'm sure there must be people with the same needs as me who aren't totally broke.

First of all I think this camera, just like the original FP, is going to be immediately appealing to some people and not to others. If you don't like the way it looks and feels you'll come up with something that's a dealbreaker, and if you do feel drawn to it like I do, you'll come up with reasons why it would work for you.

For me, this camera has three features that I want, and that no other camera really hits right now: it fits in my coat pocket with a lens on, it can produce ridiculously high quality video if you put in the work, and it can take higher resolution photos than any camera I've ever owned. This camera is not about doing the same things that my GH5 does but better, it's about doing completely new things that I've never tried before.

That said, I totally understand that the lack of a mechanical shutter is be a dealbreaker for many people, and that the lack of a really good lightweight video codec is a dealbreaker for others, and there's any number of other things of course. But I don't think this is ever going to be somebody's first and only camera, anyone who buys something in this price range probably knows at least a little bit about what they want and what they can do without.

And I'm not actually sure that it would appeal to more people if it was cheaper. It's 2500€ where I live, and at 2000 or even 1500 it would still be too expensive for people who shop based on price, and too limited for people who want a do-it-all camera.

Personally I'm not interested in the viewfinder as it is now, but if the viewfinder came with a cable that let me hold it separate from the body I'd be very interested, and if that cable viewfinder had a shutter button on it I'd probably be borrowing money right now and buy it anyway.

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I was looking for one camera to do it all.

Well 3x identical bodies anyway as I like to use the same in that regard if I can, or at least very similar.

The S5 and S1H are similar, especially as I have the battery grip on the S5 now which makes it actually slightly bigger and heavier than the S1H.

I never intended to mix the Sony footage in with the Panasonic because to me, that is like crossing the streams, especially 1" sensor stuff with full frame. It's bad enough when it's the Mavic Air footage but at least it's a completely different type of footage and viewpoint. And no, I don't want any 'better' drone as I don't much like using it (the capture) but it plays a part in the package and clients like & want it, so...

But at least keeping it all FF has appeal and within the L Mount family, even more so. Plus in my use case it is essentially just 2 long static pieces which is easier to match than 50 clips from X and 50 clips from Y.

It just makes sense and I like things that make sense.

It was always an outside bet it was going to be the FP as a 'one and done' body. Certainly not with the original.

Could I have made it work? Of course/probably...but there would have been major compromises.

Now it's simply going to be 1 of 3 principle parts of the jigsaw.

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Wanting one camera to do it all is certainly reasonable!

And I realise that my own desire for a camera that isn't reasonable is pretty unusual, and shouldn't really matter to the camera makers as long as I'm not actually buying anything.

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I think it is great they are thinking outside the box. However everyone is talking about how small this thing is. With a small grip and the EVF, wont that make it larger than say the RIV? 

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2 hours ago, DFason said:

I think it is great they are thinking outside the box. However everyone is talking about how small this thing is. With a small grip and the EVF, wont that make it larger than say the RIV? 

With the larger of the grips available, or the cage inc. grip from Smallrig, plus the EVF, pretty much...which is why you then have to ask yourself the question, "what does it do, that something else does not?"

Maybe it's the colour science or some other aspect?

Maybe because you are just one of those people that say "damn convention!" and just make it work.

I've just looked at the work of twice voted best wedding videographer in Europe and he's moved to shooting the FP handheld from Black Magic.

Some will want to rig it out, but for me, the appeal of it is pretty much straight out of the box, other than the smallest hand grip attachment which barely adds any size. Bare bones simplicity.

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