Phase One launches 150-megapixel IQ4 camera system


Professional photography doesn’t start and end with full-frame cameras. There’s another rung above this populated with high-end ‘medium format’ cameras that have larger sensors still, and resolution to match, and with 150 million pixels Phase One’s new IQ4 150MP offers 50% more resolution than its already record-breaking predecessor. 

The XF IQ4 Infinity Platform is “a flexible and customizable photographic solution designed to evolve and adapt over time”, says Phase One. It uses a modular design where a ‘digital back’ is attached to an XF camera body which takes interchangeable lenses. In fact Phase One has announced three new IQ4 products for its Infinity Platform.

The IQ4 150MP is joined by the IQ4 150MP Achromatic, which has no color filter array and captures entirely in black and white. The absence of a color filter enables the camera to produce much higher image quality than would be possible by capturing color images and converting them to monochrome. There’s also an IQ4 100MP Trichromatic which uses a special color filter array developed in partnership with Sony to capture color data with a much greater ‘purity’ than regular sensors.

The IQ4 system includes a regular 150MP unit, a 150MP mono-only 'Achromatic' option and a specially developed 100MP 'Trichromatic' version

The IQ4 system includes a regular 150MP unit, a 150MP mono-only ‘Achromatic’ option and a specially developed 100MP ‘Trichromatic’ version

Capture One Inside

The IQ4 system’s outright resolution is not the only story. Phase One says it has also moved the “core” of its Capture One raw image processing engine into the IQ4 itself so that the camera can now process images with improved JPEG quality and offer improved previews, faster live view and faster frame rates. Phase One says this new Capture One Inside feature will challenge ideas about dynamic range and other traditional camera limitations.

Phase One’s camera systems are designed to be used both on location and in the studio for ‘tethered’ shooting with the camera controlled from a computer. The new system offers USB-C, Ethernet and wireless tethering options, as well as the ability to connect to external storage devices like hard drives and NAS systems.

It also supports both XQD and SD memory cards, adding momentum to the take-up of the relatively new XQD format.

The new IQ4 system will be available from October 2018, and not surprisingly the prices match the technology and the specifications. The IQ4 150MP will cost $51,990 USD, the IQ4 150MP Achromatic will be $54,990 USD and the IQ4 100MP Trichromatic goes on sale at $47,990 USD – prices for the UK and Australia are to be confirmed.

That’s way outside the budget of enthusiasts and most pros, but the technology and advances made by Phase One are exciting nonetheless, and show that sensor and camera development isn’t just confined to the consumer market. 


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