HUGE news from Sigma - New lenses and….. a Pocketable Full Frame Camera! (Live Blog)
posted Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 1:49 AM EST
I'm here in Tokyo for a press event put on by Sigma Corporation, starting in just a few minutes. (That's 4pm Japan Standard Time, which is 3am US Eastern Time or 8am Central Europe time)
I think this is going to be something really BIG, because this is the first time I know of that Sigma's ever brought journalists in from around the world for an event here in Japan.
Unfortunately for Sigma, some details leaked in advance, namely three full-frame mirrorless lenses that they'll be announcing, but I haven't seen anything on them other than focal lengths and apertures, assuming that even that information is in fact correct, so stay tuned below for the
But I personally think there's something a LOT bigger afoot. Even though these will be the first "native" lenses for full-frame mirrorless from Sigma (which is big news itself), they've had plenty of big lens announcements before, without going to the extent of flying people to Japan for them.
Sigma's been keeping a VERY tight lid on things, absolutely refusing to release any details, even under NDA. (Perhaps understandably, see the above note about the lens information leaking.)
A new full-frame mirrorless body? With a non-Foveon sensor?
About the only thing I can imagine that would justify the huge PR would be a new camera body. - And the fact that Johnnie from Cinema5d.com is here makes me think it must be something video-related.
If so, this will be a Really Big Deal, here's why
1) Given their founding membership in the L-Mount alliance, anything Sigma is doing with a camera body will pretty much have to be an L-mount, which means full-frame.
2) Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki announced back at this year's CP+ that their Foveon full-frame sensor chip won't ship until sometime in 2020.
So here's my prediction of the huge, gigantic news: Sigma is going to announce their first camera body using a non-Foveon sensor!
OK, let's see if I'm right in my speculation; the press conference will be starting in just a few minutes...
(This page won't auto-refresh in your browser as I add information to it, so hit "refresh" frequently, to see the latest as it happens.)
(The WiFi is also a little iffy, so everyone please cross their fingers that it'll work...)
Live blog from Tokyo
OK, computer problems, now starting in finally...
35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art
First f/1.2 from Sigma, three SLD (super low dispersion) elements, three aspherics, one double-sided. 17 elements in 12 groups. Emphasized low distortion, low vignetting, low coma. Highlighted 50 megapixel resolution.
Big HSM (hypersonic) AF motor for torque to drive big focus group. Focus by wire, but noted it has fine control (typically big gripe of mine with fly by wire MF). Aperture has de-click option for video.
AFL button on lens body, can be reprogrammed. (Sony cameras too, or only L-mount?)
Dust/splash proof, water/oil-repellant front element coating.
11-blade rounded diaphragm, brass mount. Sigma mount conversion service available.
Other specs: min focus 30cm/11.8in, Max mag ratio 1:5.1, weighs 1,090g, 38.4oz, 82mm filter.
45mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary
All-new design (of course, it's for FF mirrorless)
Small! Almost pancake-like.
Emphasized nice bokeh, minimized spherical aberration. Not only good bokehn front and rear of subject, but smooth bokeh in near background. Close focusing of just 24cm nice for tabletop photos. Low vignetting, avoids swirly bokeh. Showed examples on-screen, very nice, see images we'll upload here once the presentation is over.)
Stepper-motor AF, touting as compatible with Face/Eye-detect AF, video AF.
Other specs, features: Only 46mm/1.8in long(!). "Full time manual mode" (mechanically coupled MF?) 8 elements, 7 groups, 7 blade diaphragm, metal lens barrel, min focus 24cm/9.4in, max mag ratio 1:4, 215g/7.5oz, Tight QC with Sigma A1 system testing (same as Global Vision lenses), Sigma Mount Conversion Service available.
Available July 26s, $559 in US.
14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art
An all-new design (no surprise, it's for full-frame mirrorless). Special low-dispersion glass, one FLD (fluorite-equivalent dispersion) and five SLD (super low dispersion) elements.
Standard Sigma super multi-layer coating, plus newly developed nano-coating. Big emphasis on low flare and ghosting.
Stepper motor AF drive for high speed and quiet AF. Emphasized compatibility with Face/Eye-AF and video AF. AFL button on lens can be assigned various functions. (Sony menus too, or only L-mount?)
Dust and splash-proof, plus water/oil-repellant coating on front element.
Huh! Rear filter holder included as standard accessory(!) For sheet-type rear filters, seems aimed at astrophotography users. (They're touting it as "the definitive lens for astrophotography", an interesting angle.)
"NPC" (Nano Porous Coating, apparently Sigma's version of nano-coating to cut flare. Lots of discussion about this, simulations they performed.
18 elements, 13 groups, min focus 28cm/11in, max mag ratio 1:7.3. 795g, 28oz
Available end of August, $1,499 US.
ALSO - First Sigma lenses for EOS-M
16/1.4, 30/1.4, 56/1.4
Previously for MFT and Sony E, currently under development, launch sometime this Fall.
Update: Latest on other products
Announced 14 lenses for L-mount (see roadmap illustratiion coming later for timing) Some changes, 35, 50, 85 should be end of August, others should start shipping one by one (no ETA)
Sigma's first "Vintage Look" Cine Lens...
Lots of cinematographers are wanting old, classic look, scouring eBay
Showed shot of 50/2.5. No coating on elements(!) Also warm color tone reproduction.
Lack of coating reduces transmission rate, so T1.5 original Cine becomes T2.5, T2 becomes T3.2.
(Nice short movie, showing the kinds of looks the new lenses can produce - very nice!)
Official announcement at IBC 2019.
(Realy pretty lenses)
One more thing... Sigma's first Bayer-sensored camera (Yes!)
Previously announced full-frame Foveon, coming in 2020.
A camera with a brand new concept... Camera with a Bayer sensor.
Didn't want to just make another standard camera. Sigma needs to do something entirely different.
Market has been slowing down, but look around, and you see users are still taking pictures, so opportunity...
Talking about AI and image processing...
Sigma believes that images shot with phones are taking a significant role...
Mirrorless is getting better day by day, innovative technologies.
From consumers to professional, interchangeable lenses are key.
Expanded Sigma's business to cover Cine industry, large format, etc.
Cine/Videographers can basically build their own systems. But it's not straightforward.
Smartphones have limitations. But making a FF mirrorless that's compact is also difficult.
Cine cameras, while they're great are too big, too expensive for non-pro users.
Deconstruction of the Digital Camera
The Sigma fp!
Flexibility will be sigma's uniqueness
Three keys: Pocketable full-frame, Seamless, Scalable
WOW, this thing is *tiny*
112.6 x 69.9 x 45.3mm, only 370 grams!
Full-time electronic shutter, but very low rolling shutter.
Capable of both still and cine, has a mode switch to switch betwqeen the two.
24.6 megapixels 35mm BSI, ISO 100-25,600, no Low pass filter.
Extended ISO from 6(!) to 102,400.
14 bit DNG RAW.
Lots of in-camera processing previously only in Sigma's raw processor, now in-camera.
Special processed-color modes.(Like Teal and Orange color correction adjustment)
Eye-AF (! advanced AF for Sigma), silent shutter,
OK, that's still mode now about Cinema mode...
Lots of cameras can shoot movies these days. But we aim to connect stills and movies seamlessly.
NEW: Cinema DNG, 4K UHF, 24fps, 12 bit, external SSD recording.
How to deal with heat? Common with all cameras. There's a heat sink on the back of the camera(!) Heat sink has ribs, lets air flow through the back, behind the LCD.
(Wow, this is a new approach!)
New feature: "Director's Viewfinder Mode"
(Showed image of director looking through long optical gadget to see what the field of view would actually be through the cine lens.)
Problem: LOTS of different sensor formats and sizes.
So it sounds like(?) the Sigma fp will be able to simulate different sensor crops, to be a handy tool for directors to visualize the FOV of their main shooting cameras.
Wow, it's very modular. Has tripod sockets on three sizes. Modular grip, hot shoe, external LCD. Very flexible, easy to build lots of rig variations around.
Compact, easy to mount on drones, gimbals, etc.
WOW - interface specs will be published freely, other mfrs can make lots of accessories, build into systems, etc.
What does fp stand for? - Fortissimo/Pianissimo - big features, small format
(Video playing, showing huge range of rigs that can be built around it.)
- Taking advantage of the break, I have to say this is one of the most innovative camera concepts I've ever seen, at least in recent years. And the idea that they're going to fully open up the system to other mfrs is just fantastic!
So when is it coming? Autumn of this year!