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Phase One stuffs a 151-megapixel sensor into a medium format camera

The XF IQ4 captures ridiculous levels of detail.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 29, 2018
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Paloma Rincon/Phase One

Many of the medium format cameras that shoot at well over 100 megapixels tend to achieve those high resolutions through multi-shot techniques rather than upping the resolution of the sensor itself. Phase One, however, is turning to brute force. Its new XF IQ4 camera system revolves around a 151-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor that should capture the finest details of a portrait without any extra tricks. This also uses a new platform that moves the imaging processor into the main digital camera back, giving you RAW image editing and processing right on the device.

The camera muster an ISO 50 to 25,600 sensitivity despite the extreme resolution, and you can use both timelapse and bracketing tools independently of the main camera body. The IQ4 also scratches the itch for pro photographers with XQD and SD card slots as well as tethering through Ethernet, USB-C or wireless.

If it sounds ridiculously expensive... well, it is. The regular XF IQ4 will set you back $51,990 when it ships in October, while an achromatic (black and white) variant hikes the price to $54,990. A more vivid 101-megapixel Trichromatic variant will cost $47,990. As is usually the case with most medium format cameras, these are meant for either larger studios that can justify the cost or rental customers who might only need those megapixels for a one-day portrait session.

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