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Sigma fp and Cinema DNG: Production and Post and This Pocket-Sized Camera

“The images had great dynamic range, and colors appeared exactly how I like them.”

Read more: Sigma fp Footage: The Impact and Value of CinemaDNG in a Tiny Package

The “overnight adoption of small, affordable cameras was amazing for production and the initial phases of post-production, but carried a heavy cost in post,” writes Mitch Hannon on the SIGMA blog.

“While footage was easily to rearrange and play back, it generally fell apart in color grading. The same compression that made file sizes convenient lead to shots that couldn’t be pushed very far beyond how they were originally captured. If you nailed it in-camera you were good to go, but any extensive changes would lead to a grainy, blocky mess. For content destined to appear in already-compressed formats these losses were often acceptable for the selfsame reasons of convenience, and like many teams we adapted to these limitations because cameras which could provide rich color detail were too complicated, out of reach financially, or both.

“Enter the Sigma fp,” Hannon continues. “Initially, the straight-from-camera footage looked like what I would consider to be ‘normal,”  It had excellent sharpness, virtually no noise, and played back smoothly once it was on a drive fast enough to feed all that data through the computer. (Side note: an investment in this camera would be wisely adjacent to an investment in high-quality computer storage, as all those bits have to go somewhere.) Performance in Resolve was excellent, especially when it came to the CinemaDNG files that aren’t treated as kindly by some of its competitors. The images had great dynamic range, and colors appeared exactly how I like them flat enough that we can fine-tune later, but rich enough to be client-friendly without coloring each clip of a rough cut.”

To read the full article, click here.

The world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless digital camera (as of July 2019), the SIGMA fp incorporates a 35mm full-frame Bayer sensor with 24.6 effective megapixels in a compact body, boasting versatility and scalability that allows mixing-and-matching of a variety of interchangeable lenses and accessories.

In reviewing the camera, B&H’s Doug Guerra says, “it’s not just another full-frame mirrorless camera. It’s kind of a new concept on what a camera can be.”

“It’s very small, built very sturdy,” he continues. “But don’t be mistaken, it’s not limited in what it can actually do. It actually has a lot under the hood.”

Meanwhile, cinematographer Timur Civan was most impressed with the capabilities of the fp as a still and video camera. “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,” he writes.

“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.”

Here’s a taste of what Civan shot with the fp:

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