Midway through 2015, Phase One released the XF camera system, an impressive digital medium format system which combines modularity, software upgradability, and image quality into the ultimate shooting package. Last August I spent a couple weeks shooting with the XF paired with the IQ3 50MP digital back, and in January I again spent two more weeks with the newly released mind-blowing XF 100MP system. In this review I cover my time with the new Phase One system shooting landscapes and nature photography and my experience playing with the image files in post-processing.
Let us venture back in time for a minute. 35mm film was always considered small. In fact, it was developed in the early 1900s as a means to make high-volume shooting and consumer photography possible. If you were a working professional, you were shooting at least medium format (6x4.5-6x19 cm) or even more likely, large format, like 4”x5” or 8x10”. The idea is that the larger the format, the more detail you can see. As we fast forward to digital, full-frame is the ideal format for many working pros in a variety of genres. While full-frame can be expensive and yields incredible image quality, there is something more.
Have you ever wondered what a 100-megapixel raw file looks like? In this video, Pratik Naik gives you a glance at raw files from the 100-megapixel Phase One IQ3 digital back. Naik goes through several images and talks about resolution, color depth, dynamic range, detail, file sizes, comparison between cameras, and computer needed to work with these files. If you are a medium format shooter, thinking about upgrading, or just want to learn a thing or two about really big files, check out this video.
Phase One Brings 100-Megapixel Resolution to the XF, DF+, and Hasselblad with the CMOS-Based IQ3 100MP
Sony's 50-megapixel sensor found in the latest 645 medium format digital CMOS bodies brought such cameras down in price considerably for the first time while extending ISO usability to the more DSLR-normal ISO 6,400. Today's announcement brings a new iteration of that technology in the form of the IQ3 100MP, also in a CMOS flavor. Although the resolution is doubled (and file size is quadrupled), Phase One also managed to pull out an extra stop of ISO performance on both ends of the spectrum, which now goes from ISO 50–12,800. Dynamic range also increases a stop over other models to 15 stops.
There used to be a time when getting into digital medium format meant you had to put a mortgage on your house and your family. This time seems far gone now that a full kit can be found for under $20,000. With the promotion Hasselblad is running, it looks like Christmas is early this year.
Phase One just acquired Mamiya Digital Imaging and took over their factory as well. This will strengthen the Danish company by making them the only medium format camera company that has full internal control of all critical components in a world class imaging system.
Today marks the end of a full week at Photo Plus Expo in New York City. In the mayhem that comes with such a large expo, one of the stand out presentations for me was hearing Gregory Heisler speak at the Canon booth on Saturday. I've had the privilege of hearing Greg speak many times and even the chance to interview Greg at Gulf Photo Plus, and each time his presentations absolutely blow me away. In this extended video from BH Photo, Greg discusses how the Canon 50mp 5DsR camera holds up against medium format and large film cameras of the past.
Some photographers like that soft, ethereal feel as they specifically seek out types of plastic to stick in front of the lens, or even go so far as to buy defocus control lenses and LensBabies that will allow them to distort an otherwise true image. That has its value. But this isn’t for that. This is the new go-to guide for absolutely everything to know about how to get your images to be tack sharp. Get ready to dive in: this is a no-questions-left-behind study on sharpness.
The other week, I wrote that I was excited about Phase One's newest gear announcements for a multitude of reasons. Well, thanks to my friends at Digital Transitions and Phase One, I was lucky enough to do a photoshoot with the BRAND NEW Phase One XF body, the updated IQ350 50 megapixel CMOS medium format back, and their newest 35mm leaf shutter lens. As an owner of their previous generation 645DF+ body and IQ140 back, I was incredibly impressed by the notable technology advancements in their newest gear. Read below to see why.
Hasselblad's controversial partnership and reskinning of Sony's consumer and prosumer digital cameras that led to Frankenstein creations such as the Stellar and Lunar cameras also got some of its models on a number of "worst camera of the year" lists. While that was certainly out of the ordinary for a brand that prides itself on being on the exact opposite lists, an interview with DP Review gives insight as to why this all began in the first place. And when you think about it, you can't blame them.
This week, Phase One announced a brand-new camera platform, the Phase One XF, and three new IQ3 digital backs. Every photo media outlet in the world has the press release and various levels of speculation and information, all focused on those two main announcements. Here’s the thing: it was only one of a half dozen announcements Phase One made, and some of the best announcements are getting obscured by the announcement of their body and backs. Read on to see some of the other exciting stuff they have coming out this week.
A major announcement by Phase One has introduced an entire system of state-of-the-art products to their lineup. The all-new, highly anticipated Phase One XF camera body has arrived, along with new IQ3 digital backs, new Schneider Kreuznach 35mm f/3.5 and 120mm f/4 leaf shutter lenses, and an updated Capture One 8.3. This fully modular platform brings advancements in autofocus, power sharing digital backs, highly customizable user interfaces, and much more.
If you're not familiar with Peter Coulson's fashion and editorial work, you have clearly been living under the proverbial rock or simply don't follow portraiture. Coulson has quickly become one of the most respected and successful fashion photographers from down under, and has been fielding an endless stream of requests to visit America. Namely, to teach his voodoo studio mastery to the masses. Thankfully, this June in Chicago and New York, Coulson is doing exactly that.