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Phase One Shatters the 100MP Barrier | News & Opinion

The company’s new high-end IQ4 medium format cameras, available in October, offer full-format 645 image sensors with more than 150MP of resolution.


Phase One IQ4

Phase One cameras are the highest of the high end, used to capture runway models draped in the latest haute couture and create the finest of fine art landscape prints. Today the company is announcing the IQ4, its latest generation of digital back for use with its XF camera body.

The IQ4 system offers some upgrades over the previous generation IQ3, including what Phase One is calling Capture One Inside. It’s an improved image processor with some real benefits for pro photographers, including improved quality of preview images shown on the rear LCD (so you have a better idea what the camera is capturing), a better Live View experience, and a JPG engine. Previously, photographers could only shoot in the IIQ Raw format with a Phase One system.

The backs have upgraded connection ports for tethering. Instead of USB 3.0 and FireWire-800, you get USB-C and Ethernet. Internal storage has shifted from CompactFlash to the more modern XQD format, with a secondary slot for SD also available.

But the big news, of course, is the new image sensors. Phase One will offer three editions of the IQ4—the XF IQ4 150MP, the IQ4 100MP Trichromatic, and IQ4 150MP Achromatic. The Trichromatic is simply an upgraded version of the IQ3 Trichromatic, which PCMag reviewed earlier this year.

The two 150MP backs—the standard edition for color photography and the Achromatic for monochrome capture—both sport full-format 645 image sensors with backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS designs. We’ve seen the benefits of BSI in smaller format sensors, offering notably high ISO image capture with less noise and more resolution, so it will be interesting to see how the BSI capability translates to the larger sensor size.

An IQ4 system includes the back of your choice, an XF camera body, a lens of your choice, and a five-year warranty with guaranteed uptime. But this type of camera doesn’t come at a low price. The XF IQ4 150MP Camera System is priced at $51,990, the XF IQ4 150 Achromatic prices in at $54,990 and the XF IQ4 100MP Trichromatic is the relative bargain of the bunch at $47,990.

All three systems will start shipping in October.


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