Sigma fp L vs Sony A7
The Sigma fp L and the Sony Alpha A7 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2021 and October 2013. Both the fp L and the A7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Sigma has a resolution of 60.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sigma fp L and the Sony Alpha A7? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sigma fp L and the Sony A7. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7 is considerably larger (51 percent) than the Sigma fp L. Moreover, the A7 is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the fp L. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the fp L gets 240 shots out of its BP-51 battery, while the A7 can take 340 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Sigma fp L||113 mm||70 mm||45 mm||427 g||240||Y||Mar 2021||2,499||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony A7||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||474 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon R6||138 mm||98 mm||88 mm||680 g||360||Y||Jul 2020||2,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X100V||128 mm||75 mm||53 mm||478 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399||amazon.com|
|5.||Leica M11||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||640 g||700||Y||Jan 2022||8,995||amazon.com|
|6.||Leica M10-R||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jul 2020||8,295||amazon.com|
|7.||Nikon D780||144 mm||116 mm||76 mm||840 g||2260||Y||Jan 2020||2,299||amazon.com|
|8.||Nikon D6||160 mm||163 mm||92 mm||1270 g||3580||Y||Feb 2020||6,499||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic S5||133 mm||98 mm||82 mm||714 g||440||Y||Sep 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|10.||Sigma fp||113 mm||70 mm||45 mm||422 g||280||Y||Jul 2019||1,899||amazon.com|
|11.||Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||ebay.com|
|12.||Sony A7S||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||489 g||380||Y||Apr 2014||2,499||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony A7R||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||465 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony RX1R||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony RX1||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The A7 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 32 percent) than the fp L, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A7 is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 60.2MP, the fp L offers a higher resolution than the A7 (24MP), but the fp L has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.79μm versus 5.97μm for the A7). However, the fp L is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 5 months) than the A7, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Sigma fp L implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the fp L for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 47.6 x 31.6 inches or 120.9 x 80.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 38.1 x 25.3 inches or 96.7 x 64.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 31.7 x 21.1 inches or 80.6 x 53.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A7 are 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The A7 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Sigma fp L has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 6-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A7 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-51200.
In terms of underlying technology, the fp L is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the A7 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Sigma fp L||Full Frame||60.2||9520||6328||4K/30p||25.3||14.4||3001||96|
|2.||Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
|3.||Canon R6||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4k/60p||24.2||14.3||3394||90|
|5.||Leica M11||Full Frame||60.3||9528||6328||none||26.3||14.8||3376||100|
|6.||Leica M10-R||Full Frame||40.9||7864||5200||none||25.3||14.3||2924||95|
|7.||Nikon D780||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||2877||95|
|8.||Nikon D6||Full Frame||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||2886||95|
|9.||Panasonic S5||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.1||14.5||2697||94|
|10.||Sigma fp||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.2||14.2||2829||94|
|11.||Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|12.||Sony A7S||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||1080/60p||23.9||13.2||3702||87|
|13.||Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
|14.||Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|15.||Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the fp L provides a higher video resolution than the A7. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7 has an electronic viewfinder (2400k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the fp L relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the fp L can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-11. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sigma fp L and Sony A7 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Sigma fp L||optional||n||3.2 / 2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|2.||Sony A7||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Canon R6||3690||n||3.0 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X100V||3690||n||3.0 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Leica M11||optical||n||3.0 / 2333||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.5/s||n||n|
|6.||Leica M10-R||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.5/s||n||n|
|7.||Nikon D780||optical||Y||3.2 / 2359||tilting||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||n|
|8.||Nikon D6||optical||Y||3.2 / 2359||fixed||Y||1/8000s||14.0/s||n||n|
|9.||Panasonic S5||2360||n||3.0 / 1840||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0/s||n||Y|
|10.||Sigma fp||optional||n||3.2 / 2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||n|
|11.||Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||Y|
|12.||Sony A7S||2400||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|13.||Sony A7R||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||4.0/s||n||n|
|14.||Sony RX1R||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony RX1||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The fp L has a touchscreen, while the A7 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the fp L is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Sigma fp L has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The fp L writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A7 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The fp L supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the A7 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sigma fp L and Sony Alpha A7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sigma fp L||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony A7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon R6||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X100V||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Leica M11||Y||- / -||-||-||-||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Leica M10-R||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D780||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Nikon D6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Panasonic S5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Sigma fp||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||-||-||-|
|11.||Sony A7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Sony A7S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony A7R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX1R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony RX1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
The fp L is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sigma. In contrast, the A7 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A7 was succeeded by the Sony A7 II. Further information on the features and operation of the fp L and A7 can be found, respectively, in the Sigma fp L Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony A7 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sigma fp L better than the Sony A7 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Sigma fp L:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (60.2 vs 24MP) with a 59% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2100k vs 1230k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x70mm vs 127x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 47g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 2.0).
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 5 months of technical progress since the A7 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A7:
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (340 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (32 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2013).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the fp L is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sigma fp L and the Sony A7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the fp L or the A7 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Sigma fp L||4/5||..||4/5||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2021||2,499||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony A7||5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon R6||5/5||+ +||4/5||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2020||2,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X100V||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2020||1,399||amazon.com|
|5.||Leica M11||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2022||8,995||amazon.com|
|6.||Leica M10-R||4.5/5||..||4/5||..||..||4/5||Jul 2020||8,295||amazon.com|
|7.||Nikon D780||5/5||..||5/5||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2020||2,299||amazon.com|
|8.||Nikon D6||..||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2020||6,499||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic S5||4.5/5||+ +||4.5/5||88/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|10.||Sigma fp||4/5||..||4/5||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2019||1,899||amazon.com|
|11.||Sony A7 II||5/5||+||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999||ebay.com|
|12.||Sony A7S||4/5||..||..||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||2,499||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony A7R||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony RX1R||5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony RX1||5/5||..||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Sigma fp L vs Sony A7
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Sigma fp L||Sony A7|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica L mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2021||October 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 2,499||USD 1,699|
|Sensor Specs||Sigma fp L||Sony A7|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||35.8 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||855.62 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||60.2 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||9520 x 6328 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.79 μm||5.97 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.97 MP/cm2||2.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||6 - 102,400 ISO||50 - 51,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||90|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||2248|
|Screen Specs||Sigma fp L||Sony A7|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2400k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||2100k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sigma fp L||Sony A7|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/8000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sigma fp L||Sony A7|
|USB Connector||USB 3.2||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Sigma fp L||Sony A7|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||340 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
113 x 70 x 45 mm
(4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 in)
127 x 94 x 48 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||427 g (15.1 oz)||474 g (16.7 oz)|
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