Sigma fp First Shots: Sample images from Sigma’s first non-Foveon-based digital camera
posted Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 2:43 PM EDT
Click here to browse through our Sigma fp Sample Images
After spending some quality hands-on time last week with the tiny Sigma fp full-frame camera, Dave Pardue shared an initial batch of real-world gallery images. And while he continues to work on his field test, he let me borrow the new Sigma fp for the morning to give it some lab-testing time in the form of our First Shots series of sample images. As usual, our "First Shots" series offers a look at a camera's image quality performance across its full ISO range using our standardized Still Life test scene, giving you a more complete look at a camera's image quality.
Over on the Sigma fp's Samples page, we have both RAW and JPEG files available for download, and while we typically have sample image sets with both default noise reduction processing as well as minimal/zero noise reduction, the the Sigma fp currently does not offer adjustable noise processing for JPEGs in-camera.
In terms of the imaging pipeline for the svelte Sigma fp, the camera centers around a 24.6-megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor, which is quite notable as it's not a Foveon-style sensor like in previous Sigma digital cameras. (There were plans for a full-frame Foveon-based camera, however Sigma announced back in February that this future camera has been "delayed indefinitely.") Nonetheless, the Bayer-sensor-equipped Sigma fp is therefore competing, resolution-wise, against a number of popular full-frame mirrorless cameras, such as the Sony A7 III, Panasonic S1 and S1H, and the Nikon Z6.
Sigma doesn't specify the image processor used inside the fp, but it's clearly powerful and efficient, allowing for lossless-compressed 14-bit raw capture, CinemaDNG video recording, 4K capture and more. The fp's native ISO range is a healthy ISO 100-25,600, which is pretty standard amongst competing cameras. However, the fully expanded ISO range is quite different, especially on the low end. High expanded ISO hits ISO 102,400, while the extended low ISOs dip all the way down to ISO 6. (Yes, just 6!) At these lower ISOs below ISO 100, the fp uses a composite image capture process, in which the camera takes multiple shots in rapid succession at base ISO and combines them in-camera.
So, are you curious as to how the Sigma fp handles noise across the ISO scale? Traditionally, high ISO quality has been a weak point for Sigma's Foveon-based cameras, but with this Bayer sensor, the fp is looking quite pleasing in those higher sensitivities! Down below we have a few quick crop comparisons of the Sigma fp against a couple competing cameras: the Sony A7 III and the Panasonic S1. To see how the camera stacks up against other popular full-frame cameras, or heck, pretty much any camera we've tested over the years, jump over to our Comparometer.