“fp Festival: Spring 2020”
– an event exclusively
for SIGMA camera users

On February 8th, 2020, SIGMA launched the very first event based around the SIGMA fp (released in October 2019) in Tokyo’s Hibiya district
– the “fp Festival: Spring 2020”.
The festival proved a great success, with a great number of professional photographers
and videographers and SIGMA enthusiasts gathering to share their experiences and enjoy the show.
In this column, we would like to look back on the event’s main program and share a few impressions from the day.

text: SEIN Online / photo: Tsutomu Sakihama


Following huge interest in the event, the 120 available audience tickets were distributed at random among the large number of ticket applicants. It truly was an event exclusively for enthusiasts of the SIGMA fp and other SIGMA cameras.

The area in front of the reception desk began to fill with eagerly waiting guests even before the event started. Once the doors had opened, the venue became lively. Also present at the venue was GIN-ICHI Corp, a company specializing in a broad selection of photography and video gear. At their booth, GIN-ICHI presented a variety of video systems compatible with the SIGMA fp as well as other periphery for photo and video productions to interested visitors.

The main program of the event began when SIGMA CEO Kazuto Yamaki appeared on stage. After expressing his deep gratitude to the audience, Yamaki continued with an announcement regarding the development status of the full-frame Foveon-sensor mirrorless camera currently in development. [Click here for a written statement regarding the status of the full-frame mirrorless Foveon-sensor camera]
Yamaki then opened a Q&A session in which he answered as many questions from the audience regarding SIGMA’s products as time permitted.

Next on stage was Hisashi Tatamiya, SIGMA’s Product Planning Division Manager and the project leader behind the development of the SIGMA fp. Tatamiya introduced the original starting point of the fp’s development – a note by CEO Kazuto Yamaki regarding a “Scalable Concept”.

Tatamiya continued to talk about many different development episodes and behind-the-scenes drama, from the differences between Foveon and Bayer sensors to the arguments for and against a mechanical shutter and the effectiveness of the fp’s built-in heatsink. The audience listened closely as Tatamiya outlined the development story of the world’s smallest and lightest pocketable full-frame camera.

After the presentation, SIGMA staff lent their ears to suggestions and requests regarding future features, lenses and gear during a segment labelled the “Feature Request Corner”.

The program continued with a special talk by Go Ando, a UX designer and enthusiastic SIGMA fp photographer. Ando, who co-founded the creative farm “THE GUILD” and works as CXO for the mountaineering platform “YAMAP,” talked about his photographic history and the cameras he has used over the years before outlining what makes the fp a special camera, why he loves working with it so much and so on.

His argument that the fp “changes the connection between camera and photographer,” and its potential as a camera to “change the connection between people and the world” especially left a strong impression on the audience as well as the SIGMA staff.

During the break before the second part of the event’s program, we entertained the venue with an “fp touch and try” corner featuring a varied line-up of lenses to attach to the fp. Many attendees were very excited at the chance to try out many lenses for the first time, and conversations with the attending SIGMA staff heated up, with many detailed requests for new lenses duly noted.

The second part of the main program featured a special screening of the film “sin-sin” and a conversation with director and screenwriter Yu Yamanaka.
Yamanaka, who was also involved in SIGMA image movies like “SIGMA Aizu, Japan” and “blur,” shot the entirety of his short movie “sin-sin” with the SIGMA fp, and this festival was the first time the film was publicly shown. As the anticipation from the audience reached its peak, the film finally began playing.

The film’s depiction of the life of a clumsy father and his son living a little apart from the world, the boy’s delicate emotional turmoil, the darker parts of society and so on are painted with gentle movements and beautiful, film-like color tones. As the film finished 35 minutes later, the entire hall erupted into applause.
Unfortunately, Yu Yamanaka was ill on the day of the event and could not attend the screening in person. In his stead, chief producer Madoka Katsumata entered the stage and took part in the conversation with Kazuto Yamaki on his behalf. Katsumata began by reading a message from Yamanaka. “We created this film as an encouraging cheer aimed at many of its Japanese viewers to ‘go on, don’t give up’ and ‘give it your best.’”

Yamanaka’s message continued,
“I am simply astonished by the fp’s image quality. Very, very, very, very astonished. It pours all that information from its full-size sensor into CinemaDNG with almost no compression at all. It’s like the difference between 100% fruit juice and juice from fruit concentrate. At any rate, it delivers an extremely high image quality perfectly suitable for the cinema screen.”
About the SIGMA cine lens lineup, Yamanaka said,
“Given their sharpness, their brightness and their size, what else could I say but ‘wonderful’?” He went on to praise the high mobility of the fp and the cine lenses: “Especially in combination with the fp, you get an extremely light camera system capable of very high quality. Thanks to its compactness, I could easily use it with Ronin stabilization gear for this shoot. I was able to cut down the time I needed at locations, and could drastically reduce the necessary shooting time for the movie.”

Following the conversation, the audience was introduced to behind-the-scenes footage from the film’s production, with “sin-sin’s” director-of-photography Seiji Shibuya joining the stage for further commentary.
As “sin-sin” is currently being submitted to international movie festivals, there are currently no plans to release the film online, and it will be screened exclusively at events like SIGMA’s fp festival for the time being.

With the film and its behind-the-scenes discussion, the “fp Festival: Spring 2020” event ended as a great success. It helped connect SIGMA staff and SIGMA enthusiasts and served as an invaluable platform of communication. The experience encouraged us to hold similar events in the future that allow us to engage directly with the photographers and videographers most familiar with our products and listen to their suggestions, requests and experiences. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to anyone who attended the event. Thank you!

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