Hi all -
So Phase One, through our local dealer here in Dubai ( HotColdRental ), kindly loaned us the new IXU-1000 along with the Schneider 35mm/3.5, which we installed in one of our Shotovers*** and went on a helicopter tour of the city to test it out.
Right now, there is no solution for full camera control (you can't send USB3 through the Shotover unfortunately), but we were able to wire up HDMI and a trigger. The IXU cameras are really interesting - I've not had the chance to try one out before, but they have some really useful firmware additions to the regular backs - not the least of which is a really smart auto-exposure mode that enables you to set upper and lower boundaries for ISO, shutter and aperture, and then set the order in which the camera will adjust those parameters.
So basically you could set it up with a 2-stop range on each, and get the thing to hold the fastest shutter speed and smallest aperture whilst ramping ISO, then when you hit the ISO maximum that you've set, ramp the aperture, and then only when you hit the largest aperture, start ramping shutter speed.
I've not come across an auto exposure mode this flexible before - perhaps it's common these days, and I've just not kept up with the times!
The auto-exposure settings are applied to the NEXT shot, not the one taken. The back basically analyses the shot, and then works out what adjustments to make for the next shot - on the assumption of course that the EV is basically the same between the two shots.
This sounds a bit odd at first, but it actually works out really well. If the EV of what you are shooting changes dramatically, just fire off a quick throwaway shot of the new EV to let the back re-calibrate the exposure.
The HDMI is of course of absolutely vital here - this is not a set-up that would work with a previous back.
One thing that blew me away was the quality of the Schneider lens - gut feel looking at the images is that this lens is as good as the Rodie 32mm if you don't need movements.
I hope that next week I will be allowed to share some shots from the test. Being able to shoot with a 100MP MFDB in the Shotover is, in my view, a game changer for aerial still photography.
(*** The Shotover is a 6-axis stabilized gimbal developed primarily for aerial filming - Shotover Camera Systems I'm not sure many people have used one for stills yet!)