Top Ten: The significance of the IQ3 100 Trichromatic announcement

 In News, Phase One, Phase One IQ3

A New Bayer Filter set?

So there isn’t an earth shaking 1,000 megapixel announcment?

I am not getting 50,000 ISO either?

And they only changed a silly filter pattern?

I have anticipated hearing some extreme reactions to today’s announcements from Phase One.   On the surface it might be hard to understand why subtle changes to a filter pattern on a sensor can really matter.  And to these questions let me pose my own.

At what point should we stop trying to achieve the best quality image?

Megapixels aside, shouldn’t we try to keep improving every single aspect of capture quality?

Yes, I understand the color improvements are not sexy.  But the highest quality result should always be our goal in anything we strive to achieve.  And I applaud Phase One for keeping the bar set higher in every area of image capture.  They are always the innovator and not the imitator.    They released the first 100mp sensor and were exclusive with it for almost a year.   They introduced the highest quality B&W capture system ever created in the Achromatic digital back.  And now they have pushed that sensor further to improve color depth, reproduction, and other color anomalies in the Trichromatic.  I am really looking forward to my continued testing with the new sensor.

But can you see it in the file?

Can I see it?

Will it print?

Does it really matter?

Well, this is why we test it ourselves.   A simple copy set up in the studio with Profoto B1 lights. Base ISO on each system, with bumped light output for base ISO compensation

Other Areas of Important Color Improvement

Unfortunately, with Irma bearing down on us we have not been able to test the new Trichromatic like we have wanted.  There are multiple other areas of improved color nuances and fidelity that this new filter set has been able to yield.

  1. Color Noise Improvements:  One area that is a “tell tale” digital file sign is color noise in the shadow detail.  If I want to push my ISO, its the first area of concern.  If I want to change my aesthetic of my image and open up my shadows, its a large area of concern.  Of course, I can use color noise reduction to get rid of this problem but this often also removes important details that I want to keep.  Knowing that I feel comfortable shooting at 12,800 ISO and only have a linear noise to work with is a great feeling at the 100mp level.   We will truly push these files in the upcoming days to see how much color noise reduction it truly has and we will report back to you.
  2. Purple Fringing: My biggest loss from moving away from CCD to CMOS technology was clean overexposed highlight gradation.  CMOS sensors are much more prone to a hard purple fringing effect on the area where my highlights gradated from holding detail to blown detail.   We should see a significant decrease in this anomaly with the new technology.  And this will save many of my clients time in post fixing these highlight areas.
  3. Color Contamination:  Yes, we will see more accurate reproduction of colors.  However, this also means that our ICC profiles don’t have to work so hard to shift certain color issues.   Without those hard shifts in ICC profiles for difficult colors, our whole scene will improve in color.   WE should see this in areas like blue sky and the transition out of the deep blue.  When our skies clear up in Atlanta …… we will be outside shooting!

Continued XF Platform Improvements

Never in the history of my market have I seen any camera system receive updates for free that yield the kind of advancements as I have seen in the Phase One XF platform.  This is now the 4th free firmware upgrade for the XF that give us some amazing new features.   If this were Hasselblad, you would have had to pay for 3 new bodies and viewfinders and none of them would be compatible with each other today.   And that isn’t exaggerating.    I am not going to go into detail about the new features as Brad Kaye, the XF Xpert, has his own articles that will be far more intelligent than anything that I can add here.  But let me just say that this is by far the most advanced Medium Format body that has ever been produced in our marketplace and it continues to expand and improve without cost to its owners.   (The HAP-2 is an option…..)

New Pricing on Certified Pre-Owned Systems

Yeah…. don’t forget that part.   Prices have gone down on may Certified Pre-Owned digital backs today.   Here are a few strong examples:

Phase One IQ3 100 – Certified Pre-Owned starting at $29,990

Phase One IQ3 50 – Certified Pre-Owned starting at $16,990

Phase One IQ180- Certified Pre-Owned starting at $15,990

Phase One IQ260- Certified Pre-Owned starting at $14,990

Please call us if you would like to trade in your current pre-owned system for one of these pre-owned backs,  or if there is a back that you don’t see on this list that we can help you price.

Everything is shipping today

There ins’t a wait.  The current XF systems are already shipping with the HAP-2 upgrade.   We have a demo Trichromatic in our stock today.  Firmware is downloadable and available today.   No promises for the future.  Its available to current customers and is already shipping.

Missed information or questions?

Please call us with any questions that you might have.  We have tested the Firmware Upgrade #4 extensively today.   And will be continuing our testing on the new Trichromatic tomorrow.

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