Phase One IQ4-150 File Format Options

 In Brad Kaye, News, Phase One, Tech, XF IQ4 Blog Series

File Format Options

IQ1 & IQ2 Series digital backs had IIQ L or IIQ S as available raw file formats, IQ3-100 introduced IIQ-L16 as the top tier format and now IQ4-150 offers up to 5 different versions of near lossless file compression for your raw files.

The default on the back is actually S14 which is the 2nd lowest quality on the digital back.  ‘Low’ quality is a bit of a misnomer, given the fidelity of Phase One’s even most aggressive file compression format, but you’ll likely want to bump it back up to the high fidelity standard L16.

The format below S14 is ‘Sensor Plus’ which shoots a 37.7 megapixel file at 1/4 resolution (7100px x 5324px). The top resolution L16-EX should only be shot at base ISO, because at any other ISO gain, there is no quality advantage to this format and requires more time from shot to shot than the other formats.


IIQ 16 Large – A completely lossless compression format that saves the full 16- bit signal from the CMOS sensor. It offers excellent image quality when you want to take full advantage of the dynamic range of the sensor.


IIQ 16 Extended – This format is an enhanced version of IIQ 16 Large as it provides an even lower base noise. It offers the very best in image quality when you need to extract extra detail in the shadows.


IIQ 14 Large – Saves a 14-bit version of the RAW file using a completely lossless compression. It provides a smaller file size and faster capture rate compared to IIQ 16 Large and strikes a good balance between high image quality and size.


IIQ 14 Smart Is an intelligently compressed RAW file format, which strikes an excellent balance between file size and image quality. It can be used in almost all applications as the “Smart” compression is so efficient that it can be difficult to notice any difference over the IIQ 14 Large. However, since there is a very small loss of data, Phase One does not claim that IIQ 14 Smart is completely lossless, but what they call “near lossless”.  Real world, if you’re shooting in the studio on a properly lit set, this is the perfect format to save drive space while delivering visibly identical files, just don’t try to drag 5 stops of detail out of the shadows.


IIQ 14 Sensor+ – This Sensor+ RAW format is the perfect solution when you need a lower resolution file but still want to retain all the advantages of the RAW file. When selected, the Sensor+ RAW file will be exactly a fourth of the normal 151-megapixel resolution, giving you a 37.7-megapixel file. You will maintain the advantages of the RAW format, like being able to adjust white balance.


IQ4-150 Shoot Speeds per format, Frames Per Second

L16-EX  .7 fps  |  L16 1.1 fps  |  L14 1.3 fps  |  S14 1.3 fps  |  S+ 1.3 fps

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