de·con·struct | dēkĕn’strĕkt |
verb [with object]
reduce (something) to its constituent parts in order to reinterpret it: the design goal of the SIGMA fp was to deconstruct the concept of the digital camera.
Deconstruct the Digital Camera
Tokyo. July 11, 2019. SIGMA CEO Kazuto Yamaki introduced the original SIGMA fp camera. He said, “Our aim was to deconstruct the parameters of a digital camera and reconstruct it. And so, I am pleased to introduce the SIGMA fp. There are three key features. First, it is Pocketable Full Frame camera. Second, it is Scalable. Third, it is Seamless.”
FDTimes added 2 more key features, 12-bit RAW and Director’s Finder, but lamented the lack of an EVF. Of course, it had the excellent LVF-11 LCD Finder Attachment with diopter, but to paraphrase Oliver Twist, we wanted more.
And now, here it is. SIGMA introduces the sequel to fp, the new SIGMA fpL with EVF, 61 Megapixel sensor and lots more.
Reconstruct the Digital Camera: SIGMA fp L
Tokyo. March 25, 2021.
Mr. Yamaki presents the new camera and accessories.
The new SIGMA fp L has a removable, tiltable EVF, user-defined framelines and image screenshots with text metadata. The fp L is stylish and great fun to use.
A pre-release fp L system arrived at FDTimes a couple of weeks ago.
Abstinence from superlatives is the first commandment in the FDTimes Manual of Style. This was National Geographic mantra: no adjectives. Adjectives can be disputed.
Nevertheless—the SIGMA fp L is one of the best Director’s Finders you could possibly find.
Thanks to the new SIGMA EVF-11 OLED viewfinder, the fp L in Director’s Finder mode is so sharp and true that you may find it a challenge to return to an optical groundglass. At light levels so low that you can barely see your outstretched hand holding the finder, the fp L camera’s Full-Frame 61 MP sensor offers a WYSIWIG view of the world, even at ISO 25,600.
The modular, 0.5-inch, 3.68 million dot electronic finder attaches easily to the fp L camera’s left side. The adjustable diopter eyepiece swivels from horizontal all the the way to full vertical.
SIGMA fp L L-Mount
Who could ask for more? A pre-release fp L system arrived at FDTimes a couple of weeks ago. Any errors that follow are mine.
The SIGMA fp L comes with an L-mount.
Shown here: fp L fitted with SIGMA MC-31 PL to L-Mount adapter and SIGMA 35mm T2.5 Classic Art Prime lens.
As with all L-mount alliance members (Leica, SIGMA and Panasonic), the flange depth is 20 mm and the inside mount diameter is 51.6 mm. This makes it a breeze to add PL, LPL, PV, SP70 or any other adapter you need.
SIGMA fp L (f PL) Director’s Finder
Unlimited Frame Lines
SIGMA fp L 61 MP Camera
But what about the new camera itself, you may ask.
Not forgotten in all the panegyric polytechnics of its Director’s Finder abilities, the deconstructed fp L is itself a protean photographic and cinematic delight.
If the original fp made its debut as fortissimo—pianissimo, the fp L has added a capital “L” for Luminescentissimo. Fortissimo in music means to be played very loudly. Pianissimo means to be played very softly. Luminescentissimo means very bright. It may not be the actual superlative intended by its creators, but we’ll go with that unless you’d prefer Lussureggiantissimo, very luxuriant.
SIGMA Corporation’s CEO Kazuto Yamaki announced on March 25, 2021 that the SIGMA fp L is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame digital single-lens mirrorless camera with a full-frame Bayer pattern sensor of approximately 61 effective megapixels.
The camera continues SIGMA’s fp development concept containing lots of “s” words: smallest and lightest pocketable full-frame camera; seamless STILL/ CINE switch, and scalability.
The optional EVF-11 OLED electronic viewfinder is what all finder-less cameras should have. In keeping with Mr. Yamaki’s wish for a camera he could bring on trips everywhere and that fit in his pocket, the EVF detaches and attaches easily.
SIGMA fp L is expected at SIGMA authorized dealers in mid-April 2021.
US pricing: SIGMA fp L $2,499
EVF-11 Viewfinder $699
SIGMA fp L + EVF-11 Bundle $2,999
SIGMA fp L New Features
• 61 Megapixel Full-Frame, back-illuminated Bayer CMOS image sensor. Equipped with a low-pass filter to reduce moiré.
• New hybrid (phase detect + contrast detect) autofocus system enhances AF speed and tracking ability.
• USB-C continuous power. The fp L can be charged via the USB-C connector while the camera is powered on. This is helpful, for example, on uninterrupted time-lapse photography or extended use as a high-quality webcam for streaming.
As a very expensive webcam, fp L looks beautiful. Connect a USB-C cable from camera to computer, set CINE mode and USB Mode to Video Class UVC.
• Crop Zoom function is available in both STILL and CINE modes. It’s on the 2nd page of the Menu and can be assigned to a dial. In Still mode, you can crop up to 5x. This is like a digital zoom, so if you’re shooting with a 24mm DG DN SIGMA I series Prime, the 5x crop provides the magnification equivalent of a 120mm telephoto. You don’t lose any light and depth of field remains the same as with the original 24mm focal length.
Resolution decreases, of course, but that’s the beauty of beginning with a 61 MP sensor image of 9520 x 6328 resolution. Cropped 2.5x, the result is approximately the equivalent of a 15.5 MP sensor.
Things get really interesting in CINE mode. Full-Frame uncropped records the entire sensor area and downsamples it to 3820 x 2160 UHD 4K. Maximum cropping CINE mode is 2.5x. And yet, 2.5x crop zoom also results in a 3820 x 2160 UHD 4K image. (It’s 4096 x 2160 DCI 4K RAW when recorded externally via HDMI).
• Save and share custom camera settings. With the SIGMA fp L, settings can now be saved as a QR code image. This QR code makes it easy to save, share and load custom settings.
• 24p recording. The fp L can now record in actual 24p as well as 23.98p.
• Director’s Viewfinder. As heralded on previous pages, this includes custom framelines, compatibility with both the LVF-11 and new EVF-11 viewfinders, screenshot function, and custom settings recall.
• Screenshot. Simultaneously press the Display Button and the OK Button to grab a screenshot of the fp L camera’s LCD screen as a visual reference of the image and all the visible text parameters. This includes metadata as text, for example: timecode, fps, shutter angle, aperture, ISO, color temperature. All cameras should have this: instantly gratifying visual metadata.
Screenshots are saved as low-rez 1024 x 682 reference jpegs to the internal SD card. The file structure might look this this: DCIM > 100SIGMA folder> SS_0041.JPG.
SIGMA fp and fp L Commonalities
• Identical body design. SIGMA fp and fp L have the same exterior body dimensions, connector placement and control layout.
• Open 3D schematics enable OEM and aftermarket accessories to be used on both cameras.
• Compatibility with the growing family of L-mount lenses from SIGMA, Panasonic and Leica.
• Attach EF lenses by using SIGMA’s MC-21 EF-L mount adapter and PL lenses with SIGMA’s MC-31 PL-L adapter.
• Both camera bodies are dust resistant and splash-proof. The bodies are machined from aluminum die-cast housings and have a large, fan-free heat dissipation system.
• No mechanical shutter. Completely silent shooting.
• USB webcam support as described earlier. The fp requires a firmware update.
• 24 fps frame rates for fp camera will require firmware update.
• MOV, CinemaDNG, ProRes RAW and BRAW recording.
• 4K UHD All-I and GOP MOV at 22.98, 24, 25, 29.97 fps.
• Full HD All-I and GOP up to 119.88 fps .
• Internal 8-bit CinemaDNG to 4K UHD at 23.98, 24 and 25 fps.
• 12-bit CinemaDNG uncompressed UHD 4K at 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 on external SSD via USB-C.
• Blackmagic RAW and ProRes RAW via HDMI output.
• Dual base ISO automatically sets from from 100-1250 and 1250-25,600.
• Time code input.
SIGMA fp L Concept Movie:
fp L Camera Views
SIGMA fp L with EVF, PL Mount and External SSD for RAW CinemaDNG 12-bit UHD
EVF-11 OLED Viewfinder
Watch the SIGMA Stage Online Presentation by Kazuto Yamaki. Begins at 14:47 in the YouTube Timeline: