It was only a matter of time before Sigma revealed its new camera plans. After all, it had agreed an alliance with Leica and Panasonic back at Photokina 2018, confirming its commitment to making lenses for the Leica SL and, in turn, Panasonic S1 series.
The next step is its own camera, called the FP. But we didn’t expect anything like this. The FP is the smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera, ever. Which is no mean feat when it has to accommodate such a massive lens mount as the Leica L fitting.
Thing is, as much as we doff our hats to the Japanese company for having such a take on this type of camera, it seems to go against the grain of the generally massive nature of the Leica L mount lenses. Pop any of those on the front of this camer and, we suspect, the balance will feel totally off. Perhaps Sigma will be making some super small-scale lenses of its own to feel better matched with this system?
The company’s press release does boast that the camera is “scalable, open and liberal”, continuing that it “allows one to pair the camera with lenses and accessories, whether from Sigma or other brands, using a variety of attachments”.
Part of the reason it’s so small is that there’s no mechanical shutter. Instead, to keep things simpler, it’s an electronic shutter. Which is great for silent shooting at super-fast frame-rates, but not so good when it comes to banding, flicker and flash.
Designed as a go-anywhere camera, the FP is built of die-cast aluminium alloy and is dust- and splash-proof.
It also featured 4K video capture at 24fps, including many of the things advanced videographers would want (12-bit external recording via HDMI, ALL-I, H.264 compression) all available at the flick of a switch.
So there we have it: the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless sounds like a miniature marvel, but a quirky one too. No word on pricing or release just yet, but here’s hoping its accessible to a wide audience with an, erm, “liberal” price tag.