SIGMA fp LOG Picture Profile and RAW Output Recording via HDMI Coming Next Year

November 18th, 2019

During Inter BEE 2019, we had the chance to talk with SIGMA about the upcoming firmware update for the fp camera. We’ve been told that a firmware update will bring exciting new video features such as in-camera playback of cinemaDNG footage, and something that a lot of shooters are waiting for: a LOG picture profile and RAW output video recording via HDMI. Let’s take a closer look at it!

SIGMA fp – A true pocket size camera – Image Credit: cinema5D

SIGMA fp Features

Inter BEE 2019 is now over, the SIGMA fp is shipping for some weeks now, and it’s a trendy camera amongst filmmakers.

The SIGMA fp is a compact full-frame mirrorless camera capable of recording Cinema DNG 12bit RAW to an external SSD at up to 30 frames per second in 4K UHD, and up to 120 fps in HD – Cinema DNG 8bit internal recording to SD card is possible too. The camera features an L-mount, it is competent in low-light conditions, and, the build quality is top-notch.

For more information, you can take a look at our review here and our exclusive behind-the-scenes on how the SIGMA fp is being made.

SIGMA fp Upcoming Firmware Update

During Inter BEE 2019, we had the chance to talk to Takuma WAKAMATSU – SIGMA’s product planner – about the upcoming firmware update for the SIGMA fp cinema camera. Earlier this month, the camera already received a firmware update to fix a couple of bugs mainly related to CinemaDNG RAW recording.

SIGMA has already announced that the following features are coming on the next round of firmware update:

  • The possibility to playback CinemaDNG RAW footage directly in-camera. For most of us, this seems like a “normal thing” to be able to playback your RAW footage in-camera, but it requires a lot of power for such a tiny and compact camera.
  • You’ll be able to take still photography during cine recording.

But the BIG news is, that at a later stage further enhancements to the camera will be made. Those will be pushed via a firmware update too:

  • And what every filmmaker has been waiting for: a LOG picture profile in MOV mode. This picture profile should improve the dynamic range of the fp camera and allow greater flexibility when going through the color correction process.
  • RAW recording via HDMI. This update will allow connection to an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja V and record to a compressed RAW format (Namely ProRes RAW) if needed.

Nice to see that SIGMA is listening and doing its best to enhance the video capabilities of their new camera!

Pricing and Availability

Those upcoming firmware updates should be free of charge and will come during next year.

What do you think of this upcoming firmware update? Do you already own the SIGMA fp camera? Let us know in the comments below!

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Paul Corneille
Paul Corneille
Guest
November 22nd, 2019

Using a raw capable FF camera to record with h264 in 2019 come on are you kidding?
Who’s that dumb?
Question for who have already one:
The monitoring fonction through HDMI during raw usb recording is now enabled???

 Miklos Nemeth
Member
December 17th, 2019
Reply to  Paul Corneille

I think the idea from Sigma was that for ultimate versatility use cDNG, for maximum convenience use H.264 MOV. H.265 is dead slow playback included even on i7, 16G computers.

Brian Williams
Guest
December 24th, 2019
Reply to  Miklos Nemeth

h265 should not be “dead slow playback”, or if it is you need to have your computer checked. Before I bought the FP I had the X-T3, which shoots HEVC (h265), and I never had an issue. Maybe you would have to prerender your footage in Resolve or FCPX depending on your machine, but even iPhones now shoot h265. A 2019-released camera shooting H264 is behind the times.

Ivan Friedman
Guest
November 20th, 2019

One thing I’d love to see improved in this already powerful little camera is electronic stabilisation. It’s a must if we think of the size and portability of the camera and the shooting style a lot of customers would like to use it for. Any chances that could technically be improved by an upcoming firmware update?

 Miklos Nemeth
Member
December 17th, 2019
Reply to  Ivan Friedman

My understanding from a couple of excellently educational comments from above, that electronic stabilization can be implemented on the computer when processing cDNG. In-camera electronic stabilization would be meaningful for H.264 MOV recording, though.

Brian
Brian
Guest
December 24th, 2019
Reply to  Miklos Nemeth

Electronic stabilization is already in place on the camera for h.264 recording. He’s asking for it to be improved.

 Paul Curtis
Member
November 19th, 2019

Just to be a bit controversial here…

A log profile on this camera is irrelevant IMHO. The whole point of this is cDNG RAW output. I have one now and been testing and playing. The ability to have uncompressed RAW is a godsend. You will never get any better quality off this than that RAW. And the RAW allows for highlight reconstruction (because it’s RAW) you cannot do highlight when the white balance is baked in. This can make a large difference.

What i find amazing is that the 8 bit RAW to SD card is really robust, much more than it ought to be. Calling it 8 bit is not doing sigma any favours. Technically it’s 8 bit but because that’s 8 bit in the RAW stage (with two G channels) then when that gets debayered to view it’s full range, not 8 bit at all. You really have to try it and see for yourself.

The 10 bit DNG is also useless at the moment because that is linear but if sigma can add a linearisation table to the 10 bit DNGs then you will get the best tonality you can get off the sensor in that mode.

I would like them to also add some other frame sizes, like DCI 4K wide.

The RGGB is scaled from full frame, so it would be possible.

Downsides are that DNG RAW workflows can be difficult. And Resolve is skewed towards the DNGs being from BMD cameras. So you need to be wary of that. The ACES pipeline is a good starting point. Also just taking the DNGs into Lightroom can quickly show you what they are capable of.

For it’s size and cost this is an awesome B cam – quirky and not without it’s faults but delivers in image quality.

RAW over HDMI sounds like a great option too. But you loose the basic compactness of it then and you have to get another recorder…

cheers
Paul

Admin
November 19th, 2019
Reply to  Paul Curtis

Of course it is relevant! RAW recording is great but not for all occasions. LOG in MOV will greater enhance the flexibility and recording capabilities of this camera.

Thank you
Johnnie

 Lars Steenhoff
Member
November 19th, 2019
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Yes and no,

no in the technical sense that you already have the log info in the raw file and without compression.

yes because some projects require the smaller file size of the log encoded mov.

The more important part is that we get log encoding for raw, log encoded 10 bit raw files. this would enable more dynamic range to be captured into the smaller container.

-Luts that you can bake in the mov files would be welcome.

-And being able to zoom in the shot while recording to check focus.

Paul Corneille
Paul Corneille
Guest
November 22nd, 2019
Reply to  Paul Curtis

Agreed on everything
But raw DNG workflow is not a real issue in 2019/2020 if you have a robust WS for editing and/or VFX and a good media server (10ge) or a jellyfish.

 Jones Paul
Jones Paul
Member
November 19th, 2019

What am I missing here? I thought raw was the data straight from the sensor, and adjustments were made when you turned this data into usable video (we do this in my photography)? This is how you can do colour balance later on etc. Or has video “raw” already have had some processing from the data off the sensor and thrown some of this out? With my photography I process the raw stills and have so much information in the darks and the highlights, and can process out to a 8bit or 16bit tiff with heaps room to move. I really don’t need a flat/ log profile as all the info is there. Shouldn’t video raw work in the same way?

Simon
Simon
Guest
November 19th, 2019
Reply to  Jones Paul

It should but more often than not it doesn’t. That’s where people get confused. There are many flavours of raw, including compressed, uncompressed, different bit depths, linear, logarithmic, something they call “partially debarred” (whatever that means) etc.
RAW at this point is merely a marketing stunt, it used to mean something specific but not anymore. It has first dropped the unprocessed, then the linear, now it seems some flavours are even debarred somehow. As long as there is some pane in a program that let’s you change white balance and exposure people will believe it is raw, although you can easily achieve this with good log footage, if you know what you’re doing.

 Jones Paul
Jones Paul
Member
November 20th, 2019
Reply to  Simon

Thanks Simon, this is what I suspected. Cheers

Walter Polovchek
Walter Polovchek
Guest
November 22nd, 2019
Reply to  Simon

Well BlackMagic “raw” is BS, as they admit. If it’s debayered, it’s not raw. Period.

Brian
Brian
Guest
December 24th, 2019
Reply to  Simon

I guess, though it is “raw” CDNG’s coming out of this camera, no compression, no debayering. And I think you missed his confusion, he’s wondering why there is talk of a log profile for a raw shooting camera- the answer is that the log is for when shooting h264 on the camera, not raw.

Brian
Brian
Guest
November 18th, 2019

As an current owner of the camera, while updates are definitely always welcome, I feel like these two things (log and HDMI raw) are a bit meh. Why anyone would buy this camera to record h264 is beyond me (even if it is a large bitrate)- stop being lazy and record raw, it’s well worth it. And the HDMI raw is similar, it only really helps Atomos Ninja owners.
Again, no reason to complain about free feature upgrades, but I’d rather see things like the ability to add LUTS or being able to use the touchscreen to actually navigate menu settings or change things like iso quickly. Or having the Cine and Still settings actually be separate so that you can quickly switch between the two settings without having to adjust things like ISO, shutter speed.
But nonetheless, love that Sigma seems committed to making the camera better and better.

 Scott Warren
Scott Warren
Member
November 18th, 2019
Reply to  Brian

Heya Brian, as you’ve been exposing for linear RAW, is it as simple as making sure an 18% gray patch is .18 in the raw file? I’ve been in the Sony S-Log2 mindset for a couple of years so I wanted to make sure. I plan to use Rawdigger to see how far I can overexpose before clipping to get as fat as exposures as possible.

 Scott Warren
Scott Warren
Member
November 18th, 2019

I wonder what flavor of LOG Sigma intends to use? Because of the range of the fp, it would be neat if they used an existing curve like Cineon, especially since support for it exists in all current grading software.

SigmaLOG could be interesting, however.

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