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  • Cheryl Tan

Sigma FP Hands On: Probably the Smallest Full-Frame Out There

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

Sigma has entered the L-mount alliance with a camera, the Sigma FP. We’ll leave most of the in-depth stuff for our full review with the accessories, but here’s our hands-on and thoughts on what makes the FP so special.

The FP is a funky camera and it’s been a lot of fun to shoot with. It’s the smallest full-frame camera on the market if you don’t put on all the accessories. Once the viewfinder and external hotshoe attachments are removed, it’s close to the same size as Sony’s A6000 series. But because of how small it is, there are some stuff that Sigma has left out.

Sigma has their own magnesium alloy that is used in the Sigma Quattro cameras as well as lenses, and it feels sturdy and robust in the hand. There’s a 24.6MP Bayer full-frame sensor, which is a departure from the Foveon sensors that Sigma traditionally uses.

ISO runs up to 102,400 and while most people will never use an ISO that high, it’s there for those who will. There’s 18fps burst shooting and eye and face tracking. It’s electronic shutter and image stabilisation only, unfortunately. No mechanical shutter or in-body image stabilisation, so for those worried about the rolling shutter effect, there will be times that the user will have to adjust for it.

For stills and portraiture, however, the camera handles those fine and there’s no issue with the rolling shutter effect. The autofocusing isn’t going to be better than Sony’s, Canon’s or Nikon’s, but it’s decent.

Battery life is decent, it won’t hold up for an entire day of shooting thousands of photos. But if the camera requires a recharge, there is a USB-C input and an external power bank will easily do the trick.

There’s no viewfinder on the camera, with only a 3.15″ 2.1 million dot display that’s non-articulating. Photos displayed here aren’t quite as sharp, and you’d be better off using your iPad or computer to determine whether the focus is accurate or not before deleting your photos.

But when you attach the external viewfinder, the images will appear more accurately there in terms of sharpness although it does take a minute to load fully.

There’s ventilation around the body because it also doubles up as a cinema camera. Once you turn on video mode, the FP turns into a full cinema camera that can record up to 12bit externally but also shoot up to 4K 30fps internally. There’s also 24fps included. But when you shoot at 120fps on this camera, you’re going to have to open the file up in post to see the slow-motion effect.

For a lot of people out there, this will be the ultimate gimbal camera because it’s so lightweight. But because it’s modular, you can use plenty of different lenses and build the camera up to suit your own needs.

Initial impressions? It’s good, decent quality, not bad at all. But there are some downsides. The rear dial is too easy to move, and there’s no way to lock the dial or program it to do nothing. We have it set to change exposure, and we realised that it constantly changes the EV because of how easy it is to move the dial.

The menu system is pretty intuitive, but it’s not touch-sensitive. The screen is a touch display, but you can’t go through the menu via touching the screen. Hopefully, it can be updated via a software update because it’s not particularly user-friendly.

More information about the Sigma FP (S$2,888) can be found at Sigma’s website.

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