Constructing the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera
Sigma’s fp remains the smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera across all manufacturers. And Sigma doesn’t require caveats to make that claim. And while many are waiting for a full-frame Foveon, the Sigma fp (buy here) and Sigma fp L (buy here) remain popular cameras.
In this fascinating video from Process X, we see the Sigma fp being built from scratch. It’s quite astonishing to still see so many manual parts in the process. In these days of AI and automation, I expected most of it to be done by computer.
The Sigma fp – L mount mirrorless camera
The Sigma fp was announced in 2018 when Leica, Panasonic and Sigma jointly announced their new L mount alliance. It was released in 2019 to much fanfare. It was small. Extremely small and very lightweight.
It was also one of the first mirrorless cameras on the market to lack a mechanical shutter. From personal experience, I can tell you this wasn’t always a good thing. While the rolling shutter was not always obvious on the Sigma fp, it made itself known when it wanted to.
Sigma fp Construction – 2019 vs 2024
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Sigma fp being built. Johnnie Behiri at CineD (known as Cinema5D at the time) took us for a brief tour of the Sigma fp assembly process shortly after it was released.
You can see even then that there were a lot of hand processes. But that 2-minute video doesn’t impress exactly how much manual work and attention goes into every camera’s construction the way this latest video does.
It’s interesting to have those perceptions from watching 2019’s video challenged by this recent video. It’s also nice to see it confirm a few parts of the process that weren’t originally obvious in the old video.
I don’t own a Sigma fp, although I have used one quite a bit. It’s an interesting camera and offers a lot of potential, especially for its price. Its small size and weight make it great for putting into video rigs, but it’s comfortable to handhold for stills, too.
Personally, though, I think I’ll still wait until we have a full-frame Foveon camera. Maybe 2024 is finally the year?
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.