The news in tomorrow’s launch of Sigma’s FP-L camera, reported by Nokishita, isn’t that it’s throwing in a 61-megapixel, back-side illuminated sensor, nor that it’s going to hike the FP’s price by 50 percent. It is that the new video camera will have a combination of contrast and phase detect autofocus.
The L-Mount alliance has been plagued with the liability of Panasonic stubbornness in sticking to its depth-through-defocus (DFD) contrast autofocus system, which has been exclusively used by both Sigma and Leica, the other L-Mount Alliance members for cameras made in that mount. Sigma is bringing modern autofocus to the system.
Panasonic’s DFD system has improved over the years, but often still shows “the wobbles” and is not considered fast, nor highly reliable by sports and action shooters.
The camera is said to be launching at 8 a.m. EST tomorrow.
A big question among many will be why Sigma is putting a 61-megapixel sensor in a camera, when even 8k video requires only about 45 megapixels. Downsampled 8k seems a bit early, given the current lack of adoption of display technology. One might suspect this to be a hybrid shooter, with stills also in mind, but the FP form factor makes it seem less likely to some. Then again, it’s difficult to underestimate the minimalist design sensibilities of Sigma, and its willingness to foist odd shapes into the hands of landscape photographers.