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Sigma is expanding its camera line today with a new model, the fp L. It’s the second in the company’s ultra-small series, and joins, rather than replaces, the first-generation fp, introduced in 2019.
With the fp L, Sigma isn’t reinventing the wheel. The basic concept is the same—a small, no-frills full-frame camera body that can squeeze into tighter spaces (useful for cinema projects), or be built out into a larger kit with accessories. The body itself is just 2.8 by 4.4 by 1.8 inches and 15.1 ounces—with a small lens attached it’ll slide into a coat pocket. It works with L-mount lenses made by Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma.
The big change is the image sensor. The fp L ups resolution from 24.0MP all the way to 60.2MP, and adds on-sensor phase detection for speedier, hybrid autofocus. Unlike most high-resolution sensors, it includes an optical low pass filter in its design, a choice that limits false color in images and video.
The fp series is billed as hybrid, as geared for stills as for video. Sigma keeps the two modes separated, the Cine/Still toggle switch swaps between them. It’s a benefit—exposure settings for stills and movies are generally quite different. This approach keeps a different set stored for each.
Photographers can leverage the high-resolution sensor to crop photos and still net plenty of pixels for prints. Sigma has added a Crop Zoom function for video too, for lossless HD capture with a 5x digital zoom effect.
There are some limitations for photography, though. The slim body doesn’t include a stabilized image sensor, so you’ll want to bring a tripod along, and fully electronic shutter has a meager 1/15-second flash sync speed. But these trade-offs allow Sigma to squeeze a full-frame sensor into such a smaller camera.
There are fewer drawbacks for video use, though stabilization is still missed. The fp L records Raw CinemaDNG footage to a memory card or SSD. Compressed formats are supported too, with 4K capture at up to 30fps and 1080p as quick as 120fps. You’ll also be able to pair it with an external recorder, and it supports continuous USB-C power for webcam or studio use.
There are some other changes from the fp here and there. The fp L supports two more color modes, Powder Blue and Duotone, and the trendy teal-and-orange cinema grade option continues to the new model. You can apply these looks to stills or video for an in-camera grade, or work in Raw if you prefer to work with color when editing.
The camera is still a bit underserved on its own. If you like to work handheld you’ll want to add a handgrip at the very least. To bolster the accessory library, and address one of our major gripes with the fp, Sigma is also introducing an electronic viewfinder accessory, the EVF-11.
The EVF attaches to the side and has very good looking specs. It’s an OLED with a half-inch display and 3.68 million dots of resolution. Its magnification is equivalent to a 0.83x SLR or mirrorless camera, and it supports tilt. It blocks some ports, but offers a USB passthrough so you can still record to an SSD and a headphone jack. It will also work with the fp, via a forthcoming firmware update.
You can buy the EVF on its own for $699, or in a bundle with the fp L for $2,999. You can also get the camera on its own, without a lens or any accessories, for $2,499. Sigma expects to start shipments in mid-April.
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