Just a few short weeks ago, Sigma announced that they were going to release an incredibly tiny Full Frame camera. While reactions to the news have been mixed, one thing for sure is that it will make waves once it hits the market. A new product holder page has appeared on Sigma’s website, and it sheds some light on what photographers and media creators can look forward to. Honestly, there are some cool features that may be game-changing; whether the features are for better or worse is up for debate.
A recent thread on Reddit shared a new product landing page for the Sigma FP. Details have been a bit scarce since the camera was announced, but we can now see what Sigma has packed inside a body that weighs just 0.97lbs. The camera will feature a 24.6 Megapixel Bayer sensor, a large heatsink for heat dissipation, and a robust body which is water and dust resistant. You’ll also get a full-time electronic shutter, focus peaking, and face and eye AF. The camera will be able to shoot 4K at 24fps. On top of these features, the Sigma FP incorporates software features and AI that can be found more commonly in smartphones.
There’s no doubt about it: cameras, like phones, have become much smarter over the last few years. Innovations such as face detection, eye detection, and ridiculously fast-tracking systems, have become the norm. Cameras are less about the actual hardware these days. They are more about the processors powering them and the algorithms that pass through them. Smart learning features are making techniques that used to be hard to master, much easier. The Nikon D850, for instance, has an in-camera photo stacking feature. Photo-stacking is something that used to take time and effort to pull off and edit in Photoshop. It’s a nice feature to have, but it’s one that takes away the need to really learn how to do it on your own.
The Sigma FP adds its own flavor of AI into the mix in the form of Cinemagraphs. Ah yes, the still images with one moving element that swept across the web like a bad rash in the not too distant past. You see, the Sigma FP will be able to make Cinemagraphs in-camera, without you needing to know how to make them yourself. Don’t get me wrong; I like Cinemagraphs, but they were quickly done to the point that most people became sick of them. The thing I loved about Cinemagraphs (and any new technique) was the learning process. The what, why, and how, and then learning how to put it all together so that you can make your own art is what’s fascinating. The learning is what makes photography so amazing. Learning how to create the magic is what makes photography special, and now here we are with cameras that take away the thrill of discovering new skill sets.
I have mixed feeling about this. On the one hand, AI will make it easier for creators to get on with creating. On the other hand, I fear the art of photography is dying a little more with every new camera that has some revolutionary, game-changing feature. Sure, a person can still go out and can learn how to do things by themselves, but what’s the likelihood of that happening when the camera can do it for you. Case in point, a photographer friend and I were out shooting, and they became incredibly frustrated with their camera. I asked what was wrong. They were upset because the camera couldn’t grab focus where they wanted it to focus. I took the camera and simply moved the focusing point where it needed to be. They had no idea this could be done and thought that only the camera could do it.
It sounds crazy, I know, but this stuff is happening. A lack of desire to learn about our cameras and craft is diminishing, and it’s painful to see. Let’s innovate and bring forth new game-changing features, but let’s not get so lazy that we stop educating ourselves or others about the joys of photography. Oh, and the less said about the built-in Teal and Orange filter, the better. The Sigma FP is the Instagramers Full Frame camera it seems. Pricing and release details for the Sigma FP are expected this fall.