If you’re looking for a small camera with a big image sensor, Sigma unveiled a new option Thursday. The 24.6-megapixel Sigma FP features a full-frame sensor, which at 35.9×23.9mm is only a hair smaller than the ones in high-end cameras from Sony, Nikon and Canon designed for high-image quality. But the camera body is genuinely diminutive.
At 112.6×69.9×45.3mm, the body is about the size of two decks of playing cards stacked on top of each other. From top to bottom, it’s only as tall as the metal mount for attaching lenses. That’s small enough for Sigma to call the camera “pocketable,” though you might disagree once you actually attach a lens. You might also miss a viewfinder and sensor-shift image stabilization, a very useful feature that larger camera bodies have more room to accommodate.
The Sigma FP uses the L-Mount for attaching lenses, which means that you can expect a range of lenses from Leica, Panasonic and Sigma itself. You can also mount the vastly broader range of Canon EF-mount lenses using a Sigma lens adapter.
The Japanese photography company didn’t announce pricing or availability for the camera.
Sigma is a respected maker of third-party lenses for cameras made by companies like Canon, Nikon and Sony, but its own camera efforts have largely fizzled. Models using the Foveon image sensor line were designed to transform imaging technology, but traditional image sensors with what’s called a Bayer pattern still dominate the market. With the Sigma FP, the company opted for a traditional Bayer sensor.
The Sigma FP, while small, is designed to be accessorized for different needs, including serious videography. For still photos, its raw format is Adobe’s DNG (Digital Negative), and for video, it can shoot H.264/AVC format or, for more flexibility, Cinema DNG, as long as you attach an external recorder with the camera’s USB-C port.
Mirrorless cameras do away with the reflex mirror that long was a staple of high-end cameras. While Canon and Nikon still sell a lot of those SLR cameras, they’re getting into the mirrorless game in earnest with the recent introduction of mirrorless full-frame models that compete with Panasonic and Sony.
To cater to this full-frame mirrorless market, Sigma also announced two higher-end lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras using the L-Mount or Sony’s E-mount, the $1,500 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art shipping in July and the $1,400 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art shipping in August. Also new is the midrange 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens, shipping in July for $550.