Sigma Fp L adds long awaited phase-detect AF to L-mount system, 61MP sensor and 4K RAW

Kazuto Yamaki with the new Sigma Fp L

Kazuto Yamaki with the new Sigma Fp L

Now we know what the L stands for in Sigma Fp-L. Landscape, or possibly large prints! Although the new sensor takes aim at photographers needing 9.5K resolution, it maintains all of the 4K Cine modes, frame rates and codec options of the original Fp. The big news for cinematographers is the addition of phase-detect AF for the first time with an L-mount camera, which is what many have been asking of Panasonic. This is a very good move and should make the Fp-L much better at subject tracking in video mode.

4K is most likely pixel binned as with the Sony A7R IV. The 61MP / 9.5K total resolution for stills is output via an electronic shutter from the new BSI CMOS sensor. As with the original Fp there is no mechanical shutter inside the body, so I’d be curious to see how rolling shutter and banding is at the full 61MP resolution for stills.

The higher resolution sensor enables some nice 4K lossless crop modes. There is still the 120p full HD too, but this comes with an APS-C crop this time. The new EVF attachment costs $699 separately or an extra $500 in the kit bundle. Together with the EVF, the Fp-L is $2999. Happily the EVF, although on the expensive side, is a masterpiece. Very high resolution and fully articulated.

UPDATE: The HDMI label on the EVF is for a slot to place the rubber cover from the camera ports. It is not an HDMI passthrough as previously thought.

Read moreSigma Fp L adds long awaited phase-detect AF to L-mount system, 61MP sensor and 4K RAW

Sigma addresses Leica SL2 battery power error with MC-21 adapter firmware update

Leica SL2 with Sigma 45mm F2.8

For some background on this Leica SL2 problem, see my interview with Leica here.

I am currently re-testing the Leica SL2 with vertical grip, to see how the battery performs with various lenses. Following on from the earlier situation where 4K recording is met with an error message on the SL2 depending on the lenses used, Sigma has now optimised this with a firmware update for MC-21 (Canon EF mount adapter for L-mount), which should allow the adapter to be used for 4K recording. The question is, for how long!

Read moreSigma addresses Leica SL2 battery power error with MC-21 adapter firmware update

What next for Sigma? What would you like to see?

Sigma Fp

In my opinion the Sigma Fp was a great camera milestone for creative shooting. As the first Sigma camera to shoot cinema quality 4K and the first full frame stills camera to record 4K RAW internally to SD card, Sigma have gained the attention of filmmakers and set a tone for a very bright future.

Read moreWhat next for Sigma? What would you like to see?

Interview with Stephan Schulz, Leica Camera on the SL2 and filmmaking

Stephan Schulz of Leica Camera - Interview

When I began shooting with my own Leica SL2 earlier this year, I found a lot to like about the high-spec mirrorless camera for filmmaking, and of course the SL2 is superb for photography. However, the battery power management has prevented shooting in 4K and 5K reliably, varying depending on the type of lenses used. After making Leica aware of this issue, Leica’s Head of Product Management, Professional Photo System and co-designer of the SL2 Stephan Schulz has been on my case and I have been on his!

The good news is that Leica are investigating the possibility of a firmware update to alleviate the problem and I will be carrying out testing duties for Leica on the video side going forward.

The Leica SL2 battery grip is on the way from Wetzlar and could offer an instant solution, but this needs to be tested. Here we hear directly from Stephan at Leica Camera AG, in this exclusive interview on EOSHD…

Read moreInterview with Stephan Schulz, Leica Camera on the SL2 and filmmaking

Leica SL2 has power flaw – Until fixed I recommend not using for professional 4K shooting

I was very excited for the Leica SL2 and bought mine in December 2019. I have been using it ever since and it is every bit as beautifully designed as the previous model, but this time with high-spec 4K video features, IBIS and an anamorphic 5.5K mode. As usual, I paid the full retail price out of my own pocket and didn’t take a camera on loan. This is something I am now regretting because the SL2 has a major show-stopping problem which effects ALL models out there and isn’t isolated to mine. By the time I was sure of the problem, the 14-day window to return my camera to the retailer had lapsed. I then reached out to Leica in Wetzlar to alert them via my contacts at Leitz Cine lenses. UPDATE: Leica has got back to me and the issues are being looked into – the battery grip is one possible solution and there will be an update on the blog this coming week.

Read moreLeica SL2 has power flaw – Until fixed I recommend not using for professional 4K shooting

Sigma Fp Review (Part 1) – Cinema DNG RAW internal recording!

There were two highlights of IBC 2019 for me. The Sigma Fp, and the Z-CAM range. From the ground-up the Sigma Fp seems to be aimed at us, at artists. A small and incredibly light camera that hits the big full frame notes, some of the niche features like the digital director’s viewfinder are unheard of in consumer full frame cameras from major manufacturers.

This is clever and will get the camera a lot of use by top-flight talent. Most exciting for me is the focus on the video recording features – which are big step for Sigma and indeed push the boundaries of what we expect from a “prosumer” camera.

  • Cinema DNG RAW 4K 12bit to USB C SSD media
  • Internal 1080p 12bit internal RAW Cinema DNG uncompressed
  • Internal 4K RAW uncompressed (bit-depth drops to 8bit at the moment)

Read moreSigma Fp Review (Part 1) – Cinema DNG RAW internal recording!

An update on L-mount lens compatibility (Leica SL and Panasonic S1)

Just like my forum users, I read a few days ago at DPReview that Sigma won’t be making the MC-21 Canon EF adapter compatible with any Leica mirrorless cameras including the Leica SL.

There is now quite some confusion over whether the adapter is going to work with a firmware update, or never? I am waiting for Leica, Panasonic and Sigma to clarify this. In my view the L-mount alliance shouldn’t be plagued by compatibility issues between cameras and lenses with the same mount, nor should there be political reasons for disabling certain products (or a ‘specification change’ as Sigma put it)!

Read moreAn update on L-mount lens compatibility (Leica SL and Panasonic S1)

Did Leica just veto the Sigma MC-21 Canon EF adapter for L-mount? So much for an alliance!

Above: The Sigma MC-21 adapter was to give Canon EF lens owners the ability to use their lenses on all L-mount mirrorless cameras including the Panasonic S1

What’s the point of having an alliance around a single lens mount if the adapters and lenses don’t work on every camera?

That’s the big question Panasonic, Leica and Sigma should be asking themselves today.

Read moreDid Leica just veto the Sigma MC-21 Canon EF adapter for L-mount? So much for an alliance!