SIGMA fp Impression 02
Director of Photography
The remarkably small size of the SIGMA fp with the SIGMA 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary lens, meant that the camera remained by my side for the better part of 3 weeks. There is a saying, “the best camera in the world is the one you have in your hand”. The fp was always in my hand, or very close by.
I found that it was a perfect portrait camera. It has a quick boot time, excellent low light performance, and with the size of the camera and very small SIGMA 45mm lens, it was actually with me when the moments presented themselves.
Unlike snapping a photo with a phone, having the actual optical characteristics of a full-frame sensor always with you was liberating. Whether it was bumping into an old friend, meeting a new one, seeing a beautiful moment on vacation or finding that perfect sunrise, the fp was there, ready to go.
That same rugged little box was not just relegated to stills.
Adding a tiny 2TB SSD connected to the camera, meant that I had over 90 minutes of cinema-quality 12-bit RAW recording. All with the same pocket-sized camera and lens I just shot a recently discovered landscape or impromptu portrait with. Large format truly in the palm of your hand.
I had the opportunity to build out the fp a bit more, and run it in a controlled studio test with a model. I mounted a PL mount, rails, monitor, follow focus and SIGMA FF Art Primes. It felt like I was shooting on something far more “professional”.
It was surprising to see the abilities the fp has optically because of its full-frame sensor. I hadn’t felt background focus separation like that since I shot on much larger and far more expensive camera systems that have Vista or Large Format sensors. While there are other Full Frame camera systems in form factors similar to the fp, none of them as of this moment that I know of can shoot such high quality RAW. There was a certain feeling that you could take anything shot on fp, and with a little color correction, cut it into a professional project. Sometimes shooting with discretion or remaining inconspicuous is important. The fp draws so little attention.
The CinemaDNG workflow is simple in my editor of choice, Resolve. I was easily able to get real-time 4K RAW playback on my older laptop. You can edit right off the SSD you record to, and color grading the files was a breeze. The finished products often looking a little “too good”.
Is the fp perfect? No. No camera is. It did, however, feel like I had my much larger mirrorless camera AND my much, much larger cinema camera with me at all times. Cinematographers and Photographers all know the feeling. You are out and see something wonderful to shoot, and always feel a bit of remorse that you wish you had your better camera with you to capture it “properly”. Well, the fp can capture that proper image.
The fp is convenient. That’s what it really boils down to. Powerful image creation, in motion or stills in something so small and readily accessible in your daily life. It’s just not practical to carry a large DSLR or even some of the bigger mirrorless cameras all the time. Frankly, it’s NEVER practical to carry a full-sized RAW capable cinema camera around daily. The fp, I found, I could live with, on a daily basis. Much like your smartphone is always there ready to take a reasonable picture or decent video, the fp gave me the ability to take really beautiful high-quality pictures wherever I happened to be.
SIGMA fp, SIGMA 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary, F2.8, ISO250, 1/500s