Phase One pushes the limits with 151-megapixel XF IQ4 camera system, by Stephen Shankland

 Gear, News  Comments Off on Phase One pushes the limits with 151-megapixel XF IQ4 camera system, by Stephen Shankland
Aug 302018
 

Enough people apparently can afford a $51,990 medium-format camera to keep this ultrapremium company in business.

If you want a new camera to take your photography to the next level, you could get a 42-megapixel Sony A7R III for $3,200, a 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5DR for $3,900 or a 46-megapixel Nikon Z7 for $3,400.

But if you want to enable some serious pixel peeping, you can go all out and buy the XF IQ4 camera system unveiled Tuesday by Danish camera maker Phase One. The IQ4, the new digital back that attaches to the XF camera body, packs a whopping 151 megapixels.

Perhaps spending $51,990 might put you off — a price that doesn’t include extra lenses that’ll add thousands more to the price. But there are customers who spring for this kind of gear. Among them are those who need enormous high-quality prints, who photograph models for fashion magazines, who shoot expensive products like luxury cars and jewelry, and who make high-quality reproductions of museum art and artifacts.

“If you need highest resolution possible, this is the only one providing 151 megapixels,” said Lau Norgaard, the camera’s architect.

The camera system goes on sale in October.

Most of us prefer a 12-megapixel camera on a pocketable iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9 to a bulky, high-end Canon, Nikon or Sony camera. But the continued existence of Phase One — a 300-person company founded 25 years ago in Copenhagen — shows there’s also a market for the highest possible image quality.

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Jun 032015
 

phase-one-capture-one-XF-IQ3-medium-format-photography-slrlounge

When we consider the economic gap between the have littles and have way mores, the average photographer falls under the former. For those of the have way, way more persuasion, today is a good day. Phase One has released a much anticipated new camera system called the XF, which is accompanied by the new IQ3 series of digital backs, new 35mm and 120mm leaf shutter lenses, and an updated version of Capture One. That’s a big day of releases for any manufacturer (even Nikon, who likes to put out 63 variants of essentially the same camera), but it’s tremendous for a company like Phase One.

The line has been described as, “robust, aerial-grade mechanics, advanced electronics, a new autofocus platform, new modularity options, new software and customizable touch controls,” and President and CEO Henrik Håkonsson wagers it’s like a, “Stradivarius in the hands of an expert.” High praise, but then again from what we can tell so far, deserved.

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