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Why Gerald Undone is wrong about the Sigma Fp-L


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4 hours ago, kye said:

I actually think that it's a pretty killer camera for cine uses.  

If you're a P4K / P6K potential customer then I think you're also an FP / FP-L potential customer because you're willing to rig the camera up for external storage, you're willing to deal with large file sizes, you're willing to deal with external power solutions (although that's way better on the FP than the BMs), you're willing to sacrifice RS performance for image, etc.

The compromises that prevented me from buying an FP were to do with the lower bitrate codecs and the elements that are more 'video' than 'cinema', but even those could be fixed in firmware updates down the track potentially.

And yeah, alternatives?  None.  Most cameras have competitors that overlap with all or almost all features, but even the closest alternatives to the FP or FP-L have quite a number of significant differences, so really there's nothing even close.

You hit the nail on the head. To say it has no users is ridiculous. It is in more line with a Blackmagic camera, but, in my opinion much less comprises and more "conveniences".

More reliable and far better built. Smaller and lighter even with grip or cage, better autofocus (seems about on par with my A7rII and A7sII), a more adaptable mount than the EF 6Ks, and the entirety of the stills mode.

But there are more similarities than differences. Mostly in it's use cases. Someone willing to be a little more manual, controlled, and methodical in how they shoot. This goes for photography as well. If you are mostly a single point, AFS/MF shooter like me it's great.

I would also like to see the addition of a more solid compressed video option, but the 4K8bit internal is actually better than most internal codecs of others. It's surprisingly rigid when pushing it in post even being only 8bit. A fair bit of recovery, zero compression, and all the benefits of raw. Changing WB/tint to get your colors set is still better than a 10bit file. I have to test more to see how well it can do with heavy gradations. The only issue is sd storage, but that will get better over time and if you have the money for it. 

The question is if you need 6K or are fine with a downsampled 4K. I like the idea of 6K and been using it on my S1, but shooting raw, carrying the extra data for 6K to downsample it to 4K in post might not matter. There is no way they could incorporate 6K30 or even 4K60 as the sustained data rates are too high even for most current SSDs (in cinemaDNG). So while excepting compression is out of the picture, I'm good with it downsampling and then retaining all the data possible.

There really are no alternatives, especially for full frame cameras. I feel it sits right between Blackmagic cameras and modern hybrid mirrorless cameras. A hybrid cinema camera if you will.

 

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Maybe save that criticism for the Matti Haapoja's and Peter McKinnon's of YouTube and not the guy that does rather dry long form reviews and regularly criticizes the things you think he's trying to se

Beautiful!  Well done on filming the bees like this - I've tried and it's no easy task. Also, don't apologise for posting your own stuff, assuming it's relevant to the conversation..  It separate

Andrew, you're a smart guy.  So I guess you're just pretending not to know the real reason.  Welcome to the WOKE SOCIETY.  No one is allowed to be different anymore.  Free speech?  Not any more!   Sti

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Being only electronic shutter, that's been my main concern with buying the FP (or FP-L) as a hybrid. The rolling shutter on the FP-L does look pretty awful and, since it doesn't have a mechanical shutter, that would translate to photos as well. Maybe not a big deal for landscapes or real estate, but definitely a problem for anything that is slightly moving - which is a lot of things. And I've always had bad luck with electronic shutter in mixed lighting or artificial lighting with banding and other issues. 

Any original FP users that can comment on RS performance?

I love the concept of these cameras and would love to snag an FP sometime. Love that they are different, modular, industrial, and have features no other cameras have, but the 2-3 quirks (mainly RS, line-skipped HDMI raw, and ES in photo mode), makes me hesitant. 

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5 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

The auto translated subtitles are actually pretty decent to be able to follow along.

For fans of Aty, one of the locations they shot in this video looks suspiciously like one of the waterfall areas that he frolics about in.

Weird, my subtitles were stuck to Japanese.

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2 hours ago, currensheldon said:

Any original FP users that can comment on RS performance?

I've not noticed any rolling shutter on line, in video or photo. However, I don't really like the photos that come out of it. Something is off with them, and I can't put my finger on it. I get nicer pictures with my XT3 99% of the time, and as you might expect, it's 200x more fun to take a photo with the Fuji.

That said, which ever camera is in my hand will capture a moment better than the one in my bag.

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On 4/19/2021 at 2:30 PM, newfoundmass said:

At least be fair if you're gonna criticize the guy. 

I'm not against him as a person. That's beside the point.

He just feeds the same hype machine by receiving new gear to review when a company launches a new product, except he does it at the technical level. That's were the credibilty as a YT channel starts to crumble.

YT is where a good part of the marketing budget is spent in the tech sector. That budget includes freebies for these guys, trips, special passes, etc. They are not journalists where you can expect at least a modicum of profesionalism and respect for the reader/viewer. They are here to sell hard and fast with links in the description below.

But hey, at least some actual photogs/video pros still write some serious reviews on less well-known sites.

Except they are not on YT and since it's 2021 they apparently don't matter anymore.

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Is the video output from the fp-l worse, better or same than that of the FP one? I noticed that the FP-L has a lower "high" native iso (smaller pixels etc) than the FP but the segment from the Canadian that talks too fast is not that clear. Then again this was definetely not a review. A shame form Gerald who has done good things in the past but then you tubers...

 

Can anybody commend on the video output?

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I wish I had an original fp to compare to the fp L, and due to it's dismissal by most of the "popular" sources I wouldn't hold my breath on many of them doing tests. There are a few videos comparing the still aspects of each so that might tell you something.

Personally, I wanted it for both stills/video but an emphasis on stills, so the fp L made more sense. If you want strictly video the fp would be the better option. As with any high res camera it is not as good in low light, and little more rolling shutter. The only catch I see is the bit worse read off in full sensor 12bit, that the the fp doesn't have. It is most likely a limitation of the sensor. It doesn't bother me, but it might to some. Under good conditions they should be visually identical in quality, and miles better than most. 

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On 4/22/2021 at 6:11 PM, kye said:

I actually think that it's a pretty killer camera for cine uses.  

If you're a P4K / P6K potential customer then I think you're also an FP / FP-L potential customer because you're willing to rig the camera up for external storage, you're willing to deal with large file sizes, you're willing to deal with external power solutions (although that's way better on the FP than the BMs), you're willing to sacrifice RS performance for image,

And yeah, alternatives?  None.  Most cameras have competitors that overlap with all or almost all features, but even the closest alternatives to the FP or FP-L have quite a number of significant differences, so really there's nothing even close.

I’ll weigh in here from a professional point of view and say that while my P4K and now P6KPro get used constantly on professional shoots, I just couldn’t get away with replacing either of them with the FP, but then I’m sure I’m not really who the FP is aimed at. So not sure I’d agree with the statement that the FP is aimed at the same customer base.
 

Just a few weeks back we used the P4K as an A cam on a large global ad campaign for a fast food chain after a Sony Venice with Rialto wasn’t available. (The camera needed to be small). 
DP’s love the easy menu system and image, sound recordists love the Timecode input, XLR’s and easy to use audio features, Post production love the codecs available. 
In the four weeks I have had the P6K Pro, it has pretty much already paid for itself and it’s pretty liberating being able to use it without external storage (internal RAW is killer) , without external power, without an external monitor and without external NDs if need be. Many here might criticise its lack of AF, IBIS or build quality (to which I personally have not had issues with) but the key to all this is that the Pocket Cameras are accepted by the industry and that is one feature that trumps a bigger sensor, AF, IBIS, higher DR, more K’s etc.....

Sure, the Pocket cameras suck as stills cameras so I’d say the FP is more aimed at hybrid shooters.....and this is probably what Gerald was comparing it to. 
 

I’m a big fan of Sigma (mainly their lenses, camera design and ethos)  and glad they are persuing the camera market. 

 

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6 hours ago, A_Urquhart said:

I’ll weigh in here from a professional point of view and say that while my P4K and now P6KPro get used constantly on professional shoots, I just couldn’t get away with replacing either of them with the FP, but then I’m sure I’m not really who the FP is aimed at. So not sure I’d agree with the statement that the FP is aimed at the same customer base.
 

Just a few weeks back we used the P4K as an A cam on a large global ad campaign for a fast food chain after a Sony Venice with Rialto wasn’t available. (The camera needed to be small). 
DP’s love the easy menu system and image, sound recordists love the Timecode input, XLR’s and easy to use audio features, Post production love the codecs available. 
In the four weeks I have had the P6K Pro, it has pretty much already paid for itself and it’s pretty liberating being able to use it without external storage (internal RAW is killer) , without external power, without an external monitor and without external NDs if need be. Many here might criticise its lack of AF, IBIS or build quality (to which I personally have not had issues with) but the key to all this is that the Pocket Cameras are accepted by the industry and that is one feature that trumps a bigger sensor, AF, IBIS, higher DR, more K’s etc.....

Sure, the Pocket cameras suck as stills cameras so I’d say the FP is more aimed at hybrid shooters.....and this is probably what Gerald was comparing it to. 
 

I’m a big fan of Sigma (mainly their lenses, camera design and ethos)  and glad they are persuing the camera market. 

 

I wasn't saying that it was aimed at the same user, or that the overlap would be 100%, but it's a lot closer than other parts of the market.

My point was really that cine cameras have a bunch of things that make sense for cinema, but are a royal PITA for other things, and on this point the FP is quite well aligned.   I shoot travel content with a GH5, and if I list every reason that a P4K wouldn't be suitable for me then almost all of them apply to the FP.  If I then listed all the things I would be looking for if I shot a narrative piece, the P4K and FP share most of them.

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50 minutes ago, kye said:

I wasn't saying that it was aimed at the same user, or that the overlap would be 100%, but it's a lot closer than other parts of the market.

My point was really that cine cameras have a bunch of things that make sense for cinema, but are a royal PITA for other things, and on this point the FP is quite well aligned.   I shoot travel content with a GH5, and if I list every reason that a P4K wouldn't be suitable for me then almost all of them apply to the FP.  If I then listed all the things I would be looking for if I shot a narrative piece, the P4K and FP share most of them.

Yep, fair enough. I can kind of see  where you're  coming from

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On 4/19/2021 at 12:50 PM, MrSMW said:

The only issue with that is that camera companies only tend to hand out demo models to established 'influencers'. At least early on.

But otherwise, I agree and it would be more 'fair' if these tools reached the hands of shall we say, more real world users rather than kit reviewers.

The latter does happen, but only later down the line and usually after the user has purchased for themselves but by then, a preconceived idea of the tool is already established whether it's 100% accurate or not from those early 'reviews'.

Which is why I personally take all these kinds of things with a pinch of salt and make my own mind up. I've never bought a camera or piece of kit based on anyone's opinion but my own. 

Yes, it makes total sense from the perspective of advertisement to give new cameras to established reviewers with bigger followings. And the byproduct is as you say. Kudos for Sigma green lighting Gerald's review. I don't have anything bad to say about Gerald, but I do wish (whilst specs tell you a lot about what you need to know about a new camera) that more reviewers would consider looking at things differently sometimes. I actually like to wait until the later reviews to see filmmakers use it for a few months and allow whatever camera the company has made to really emerge.

I was excited to see the FP-L announcement but a little disappointed Sigma used it to focus on the bigger megapixels. I hope they continue the FP line by advancing the video side to create an even better alternative tool.

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Just wanted to comment. this is probably one of the most honest article about the FPL. it is too expensive for me but I definitly see who would use such a beautiful camera. 

I moved last year from FUJI (that is just trying to milk its APSC users with 10year old overpriced lenses + new body designs that copy sony) to Sigma and got an FP with i-series, a 85 1.4 and a 35 1.2 and from day 1 where I shot some small videos with the FP and the 45 2.8 I knew I made the right decision.

 

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On 4/27/2021 at 8:50 PM, oustaeff said:

Just wanted to comment. this is probably one of the most honest article about the FPL. it is too expensive for me but I definitly see who would use such a beautiful camera. 

I moved last year from FUJI (that is just trying to milk its APSC users with 10year old overpriced lenses + new body designs that copy sony) to Sigma and got an FP with i-series, a 85 1.4 and a 35 1.2 and from day 1 where I shot some small videos with the FP and the 45 2.8 I knew I made the right decision.

 

Fuji copying Sony in its bodies? You are way out of touch with the reality there and I am trying to be civil. Also, there have been lots of new lenses for the x-mount either available or under development.

Good for you in getting an FP, Sigma is a great company that deserves our support, but let's not go about badmouthing the ex for no real reason.

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On 5/1/2021 at 4:19 AM, alanpoiuyt said:

Sorry to post my own stuff again but here's my latest pandemic lock down piece. Confined to my backyard.🙄 The FP continues to inspire.

Beautiful!  Well done on filming the bees like this - I've tried and it's no easy task.

Also, don't apologise for posting your own stuff, assuming it's relevant to the conversation..  It separates you from the people here who don't shoot anything and just talk about film-making without actually doing it 🙂 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dude! This was awesome. I felt the same way about Mr. Undone. I thought it really hurt his credibility (at least, with me) that the Sigma FP L was such a disappointment to him. You hit the nail on the head in every way. Took the words right out of my mouth. Same thing goes for Bloom. I typically love these guys and what they offer but I agree with you that Sigma is doing something different and I appreciate such things. I can put the Fp together the way I want. Isn't that also the way you have to do RED? I was Panasonic for years with my DVX100 then Lumix GH4. Up to the release of the original Fp, I was looking to go Fuji but wanted to be full-frame. Then, Fuji drops the bomb with Medium Format moves. That will be my play at some point. But, when you drop full frame cinema into the mix the way Sigma is doing, you can put together your situation they way you want. Most cinema cameras force you to do manual focus, Fp does but also is ramping up the lens support where the lens provides stabilization. Not to mention, putting the4 Fp on a gimbal like the Weebill S. This is all good in my view and really puts in the throws of being a real filmmaker. That's the point for some of us.

 

Then, when you add the photo imaging part, this puts the Sigma Fp in it's own little power-packed space. I really appreciated Steve Huff's perspective on the Fp in this regard. This man is a serious Leica guru. Lenses and Cameras and he thought his experience with the Sigma fp was akin to his Leica SL. Yikes! I was like, "okay!". Now, we're talking.  He used his array of lenses on the Fp and the look was amazing. Color science and all. After reading your comments here, I recommend folks add Steve's YouTube review of the Fp. It's here: https://youtu.be/Q01kVaFtkvg 

So, kudos Andrew. I really appreciate your view and coupled with Steve Huff's view on this, I think it showed how powerful the Sigma Fp and Fp L is in the hands of those who love to be different and know how to put their systems together for their needs.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, Sigma France very kindly in the common parlance, 'reached out to me' and asked me if I'd like to test the FP-L and any lenses.

So for the last couple of weeks, I have been doing just that. And it's not for me.

It has several positives, but far more negatives FOR ME AND MY NEEDS.

First of all, I need a camera to either be a pure stills unit, pure video, or hybrid.

It doesn't really tick any of these boxes for me and I hoped it would tick at least one.

The video specs don't really suit my needs and from a photography perspective, I got banding in low light due to the electronic only shutter.

I'm getting ahead of myself however and straight out of the box, it was both bigger and heavier than I imagined.

Everyone goes on about how Panasonic's S line FF cameras are HUGE, but I don't find them so and have the biggest of the lot, the S1H.

And everyone says how tiny Sigma's FP line is and for me, it was bigger than expected and not much smaller or lighter than the Panasonic S5 with the same lens attached.

From that point onward, it really began to fall apart...

Handling. Awful. It needs a grip and yes, I am aware there are both native and aftermarket options and I could not imagine using it without one.

Lack of tilt screen = fail in my book. I am no fan of fully articulating screens but if I had an FP/L I would at the very least need to look at that aftermarket option in this regard.

The side attached EVF. If it was in the centre, in line with the lens, I'd be a fan. Attached to the side, not so and it makes the camera wider and bigger feeling than my S5.

The menu. Like any menu system, you would get used to it after a while, but I found it rather infuriating and I did not have this problem when I first picked up a Sony (often criticised for their menus as are sometimes Fuji and Panny but the latter 2 are easily much more intuitive).

Stills image quality for outdoor photography. Absolutely stellar, but not enough to win me over.

I said the same thing in feedback to Sigma France and that is I wanted to like the camera.

Ideally, I'd like to want it enough, or even just find a reason to buy one, but I can't, - it's just too compromised for my needs.

FPL-2 for me would need:

A mech shutter for stills.

Tilt screen.

4k 60p.

Centrally mounted EVF.

I'd like to see a better menu system, but that would not be a deal-breaker and neither is the lack of a grip, - that is the point of modular in both these regards (grip and EVF).

And that's my 'review' of the FP-L.

I also had the 65mm f2 in for test and loved it.

I used it for both stills and video with my S1H and it produced great results.

AF, especially in tracking, was not as good as native Panny, but not utter garbage, in fact, quite useable a lot of the time.

But I sit on the fence with whether I will buy one or not as I'm probably going to stick with Panny and their expanding range of f1.8 primes, mainly for the greater range of all f1.8; 24, 35, 50 and 85mm vs Sigma's f3.5 24mm (nope) and 35mm & 65mm f2 pairing (yep).

I also have as a side note Sigma's 28-70mm f2.8 and it is excellent for both photo and video although I am going to have to send it in at some point as it's an early serial number and has the ghosting issue in certain light.

Final note and that is I like Sigma. A lot. I think they are a great company and offer some really great products, at least in their lens lineup. The FP is probably another generation away for me, but there's always hope...

Merci à Renaud de m'avoir donné l'opportunité de tester ces articles !

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Interesting points of view there.

Apart from the ghosting problem, how did you find the Sigma 28-70? Is the rendering clinical or quite nice? Bokeh busy, or smooth and cinematic? I understand they took a lot of weight out of the lens, so how's the build quality and feel - does it feel light and plasticy?

The original Fp is getting most of the firmware features of the new cam so that's the one to stick to for video I think.

I wonder where Sigma go next with the Fp?

Maybe bring a new camera out based on the larger SD Quattro body with more controls and mechanical shutter, plus articulate that damn screen!

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Well, opinions are subjective of course and I am more of a prime man than a zoom one, but this is a very nice zoom.

The 28-70mm f2.8 feels compact, solid, well built, not plasticky. It is some super hard matt plastic but it almost feels metallic...difficult to describe really, but it's (much) nearer the premium end of the scale than the cheap end.

From all the reviews I have seen and read, it's the L Mount users who seem to rate it more than the Sony users. 

The bokeh and rendering. I'd class it as 'very nice'. I'd call it smooth and cinematic yes, but a little vintage/character in there?

I will have some dedicated video work with it I can show in a few weeks, but client embargo on all my recent shoots until then.

I should add I have been using it with a 1/8th Pro Mist with the S1H which has an OLPF and combined, this takes some of the sharpening down and adds some softness...without the result being soft. You know what I mean.

As a run & gun combo, no cage, no monitor, no gimbal, no nothing, I think it's a superb 28-70mm FF or 42-105mm crop set up, pretty much SOOC with just a little tidying up in post of a few elements, but have not had to 'fix' a single thing other than warp stabiliser to a single clip, last 3 jobs. The IBIS is stellar. 

Tomorrow I actually have a pure video job. Not had a pure video (as in no stills job) with this system so it will actually be the first dedicated shoot, so that should be interesting for me because I can focus on it 100% instead of 50%...

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