Phase One IQ3 100mp… What’s the reality?

 In News, Phase One, Phase One IQ3

10. Yes, you DO need the resolution

I have been hearing the following from end users for years.

2002:  “I don’t think that I will ever need more than 22mp”

2006:  “I don’t think that I will ever need more than 39mp”

2008:  “I don’t think that I will ever need more than 60mp”

2011:  “I don’t think that I will ever need more than 80mp”.

You can’t imagine what insane photographer would need that many pixels.  Then you actually shoot the system yourself.  You bring those images up on your monitor for the first time, you zoom into the fine details, and you realize…… I AM that person who wants 100mp of resolution.

Why should 100mp matter to you?

To assure your clients that they will always be able to repurpose any of your images…

To assure your clients that you are always on the leading edge of the technology and quality…

To be certain that you won’t shoot your “iconic” or “signature” image with an inferior system because it was easier…

To keep the highest quality archival image of your work because the future matters to you…

To have the ultimate in creative choice after the image is made in terms of crop and composition…

Yes, I want 100mp of detail.  In fact, I want more than 100mp.  But today I will be happy to go create imagery with today’s highest quality tools.  And that system today is a Phase One IQ3 100mp back.

9. HDMI, Live View, and 30 fps

Are you one of those shooters who wants more focusing options in the field?  Have you struggled with live view working on a CCD sensor?  Have you wanted better live view but were not willing to use a cropped and lower resolution sensor?

CMOS technology refresh rates open the door to a new quality in Live view.  The increased read-out speed yields fluid and consistent motion at our standard video viewing speed of 30fps.  Have you seen the difference between 30fps and lower slower medium format frame rates?   Take a look at this difference:

With the addition of a micro HDMI port under the CF door, the IQ3 100 will allow you to add an EVF monitor in the field.  Or maybe you would like an even bigger monitor in the studio attached to your studio stand or at the placement of the camera.  Full live video output via HDMI is a welcome new feature.   But even more than this, all of the unique features of your external monitor will just add benefits to your existing system.  How about 100mp with focus peaking, auto gain, clipping guides, false color, or pixel mapping? Live View to an HDMI port opens doors to a variety of different options that I am positive we will not fully grasp until our amazingly creative clients tell us how they have decided to use it themselves.

Furthermore, the HDMI 1.4 output will allow for external devices to record the high resolution output.  Yes, one device for 100mp resolution of stills and high resolution motion capture without having to move your capture device.

8. Body Compatibility

As with all IQ3 backs, the Phase One AF or any of the Mamiya AFD’s are not compatible. Yes, your current DF or DF+ will work. You can use it as your primary or your back up.  And of course,  The XF Camera System was built with optimal 100MP performance in mind. As such, features like the HAP-1 AF, Vibration Tracking, Vibration Detection and Electronic First Curtain Shutter technology were all build for this moment, to ensure the ultimate 100MP performance.

However, if you are still using the Hasselbad V or the Contax 645 system, then your options for the future are unfortunately limited to lower resolution options.   You can currently order new IQ2 or IQ1 systems in these mounts but this is where these bodies compatibility will end.  It just isn’t cost effective to create new higher resolution backs for these mounts as fewer and fewer of them are used each year.

7. 15 stops of Dynamic Range is Real

I shoot with many different cameras.  I don’t always shoot with my Phase One back.  It depends on my needs for that day.  In fact, I enjoy shooting a variety of different systems from many different manufacturers.  With this said, I am often disappointed when I get back to my laptop.  Once you get used to shooting with Phase One DB quality, it is often frustrating not being able to push and pull the data later in post.  When shooting Phase One, I have the comfort of knowing I will be able “to expose for my highlights and develop for my shadows.” (Thanks RIT)  I know that if I change my mind later, I am able to pull 2-3 stops of usable gradation out of my blown out highlights in Capture One.  And now with 15 stops of Dynamic Range, I am excited for that extra stop of real usable data.  If you haven’t shot side by side to see this difference, please give us a call and schedule a time to see it for yourself.

6. 16 Bit True Color Depth

Many claim to have it but few do.  Often a camera manufacturer will claim 16 bit color due to the fact that they have a 16 bit A to D conversion.  However, just because you have a bucket that will hold 5 gallons of water doesn’t mean you have the ability to fill it.  My grand dad used to say, “that man is a 10lb bag of sugar with only 5lb’s in it.”   That is what I think of every time I hear these low end systems claim that they have full 16 bit resolution.  The IQ3 100 will be the FIRST CMOS sensor with 16 bit  capture.  While we have had this in CCD’s for a while, we have never been able to achieve it in CMOS sensors.  In fact, Phase has introduced a new file format custom built for the 100MP CMOS sensor, the “IIQ L 16bit”.  The capture times for this format will be a little longer than past capture speeds.  Thus, the end user will now be able to choose between 14 bit capture or 16 bit capture.  For those situations where speed is more important to color depth, you will now be able to capture images at twice the rate when dropping to 14 bit capture.

5. An unprecedented warranty in our industry

What other product in the photo industry has this kind of reassurance?  All Phase One IQ3’s have a 5 year warranty and 5 year uptime guarantee.  This means that you will be in full production with this product for the next continuous 60 months without any downtime.  I don’t even know a single product that I have ever purchased that has this kind of warranty.   Sit back and think about that for a second…. Can you think of one?

4. But my laptop won’t handle these files..

With the Phase One XF 100MP Camera System there are three user selectable formats: IIQ L-16bit, IIQ L and IIQ s. Both IIQ L-16bit and IIQ L are lossless compression formats, capturing 100MP resolution in 16-bit and 14-bit color depth respectively. The IIQ s format is exclusively developed, and has been optimized by Phase One for more than a decade. Image data is analyzed on the fly to provide 33% to 25% file compression sizes while retaining full resolution and impeccable image quality at a near lossless, 14-bit, compression. With the launch of the XF 100MP Camera System, we are proud to report the IIQ s file format has been refactored to provide results that are even better than before.

3. 50-12,800 ISO

The 50mp CMOS sensor yielded great ISO performance.  When shot side by side against the competition, who stated a much higher performance, it yielded the same exact results.  However, Phase One is incredibly particular of their specs and their designation as the highest quality capture device on the market.  They were not satisfied with the higher ISO’s of the smaller CMOS sensor and, thus, did not give the end user the ability to shoot at higher sensitivities. I am now very happy to see that they have seen the CMOS capabilities and now will allow us to expose to the right and yield the highest possible quality with an amazing 12,800 ISO.  On top of this, due to the dynamic range and bit depth, a lower ISO does not give us much improvement in noise or quality.  But what it does do is double our exposure time when we need it.  Want  more motion in water?  Want to use less ND filtration?   A base ISO of 50 helps us dramatically in these areas.

2. Vibration is our enemy – Direct capture though Live View

The higher the ability to resolve details in your image, the more you can resolve the problems in your system.  So now with 100mp of resolving power, Phase One has taken the next step in technology in reducing vibration.  The XF 100MP Camera System benefits from advanced Vibration Reduction Communication throughout the entire system to ensure that the right tools are used at the right time, ensuring crisp, clean and detail rich images with each capture. The entire XF Camera System is key to ensure the full potential of your 100MP resolution is met.

CMOS sensor technology allows for an unmatched Live View experience. With the IQ3 50MP, and now the IQ3 100MP, Live View is greatly improved with the ability to capture during Live View operation. Whether you are using Live View on the digital back itself or through Capture One Pro, a simple click of the shutter will capture your image at full resolution just as you are seeing it in real-time. Once the image is captured, you’ll seamlessly return to live view to continue your required workflow.

1. Electronic First Curtain Shutter

The addition of “Electronic First Curtain Shutter” to the XF 100MP Camera System means a further reduction in adverse vibration effects on high-resolution images. The benefit of EFCS is a significant reduction in camera vibration as it allows less mechanical dependency, which greatly improves sharpness when using shutter speeds that demand the steadiest conditions. The EFCS is worry free as it automatically activates when using Vibration Delay or activating Mirror Up.  With such a significant increase in resolution, we’re proud to provide the tools and technologies that ensure the best image quality is delivered.

And It is shipping now!

What is the upgrade path?  Will it work with my system?  How soon can I get one?  How well will it work with my technical camera?

We will receive our first demo units this week and will be working on testing immediately. All of these questions can be answered by your sales partner at Capture Integration.   Please give us a call and lets see how we can help!

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