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Contemplating upgrading from IQ3-100 to IQ4-150 - Thoughts?

Boinger

Member
Um... You guys are thinking too linear. It's not just about MP.

Are you forgetting Global shutter? That will be a huge upgrade.
 

rsinclair

Member
Hello Jawad,

On a tech cam the IQ4-150 is magical. My perspective is from upgrading from my 4-year old IQ180 and previously using the 45+ and 65+, all over the last 10 years on a Linhof, so it is different from your IQ3 considerations. But, if one considers that DB's are computers, ask yourself, When was the last time you decided to quit upgrading those?

The 4-150 is a game changer for tech cam users. I chose to not upgrade the 180 to the IQ3, but once DT and Doug came to town last Fall and I demoed, it was readily apparent that the 150 is on a different level and its not just about MB's. I received mine in December and having also changed tech cam platforms to Arca's, I am now tech-camming much more than the XF-ing, certainly no question when out in the wild for landscapes.

As mentioned by many, the LiveView for focusing is outstanding. Even on the dial-in focus on the Arca R and more so the Universalis, for confirming when tilting, its quick and flawless.

No doubt I'd like the Copal capability ASAP, but am really enjoying the process and outcome of the ES until Copal is made available. Who knows, I may not go back to the manual Copal...

As to smaller print sizes and no need for the larger sensor, the depth in the shadows and recapture of the highlights makes reduced sized image stand out. Its not always or just about the size, but the amount of information gathered within.

The biggest issue I've encountered is the back reveals my errors, mostly focusing, but also not having a perfectly clean lens. Smudges on the lens that aren't necessarily apparent to the eye become smeared pixels in the capture. While most of those were only apparent at 100% on the screen and not on a print, the back is requiring me to up my game. I now have multiple cleaning cloths in a Zip-Lock in my bag. But to reinforce, make sure your tech cam has great precision for focusing b/c this back will reveal the mistakes.

More than any other camera I've experienced over nearly 50 years, the IQ4-150 produces a WYSIWYG outcome; if the desired outcome is thoughtfully planned, the back will produce it - and with the added benefit that less post-production is necessary than anything experienced before.

I expect Phase will produce fixing and enhancing improvements w/ firmware updates, but in the meantime I am happily and more frequently shooting away with an elevated sense of thoughtfulness b/c I know the outcomes will simply be better.
 

rsinclair

Member
:sleep:
When the IQ3-100 was announced, as a then Credo 60 owner I knew I would definitely upgrade. The question was "when" (not "if") I would upgrade. Features such as drammatically better live view , the ability to bump up the ISO from 50 to 200 (even 400) and better battery life were very meaningful and practical. This meant no need for a surface pro to judge focus and carrying fewer spare batteries on a hike. And later on when Phase One added the awesome Electronic Shutter (which happened after I upgraded) IQ3-100 simply became a far better tool compared to any prior Phase One digital backs opening options on the telephoto end of the lens spectrum and almost eliminating the need for carrying/using the one-shot sync cable.

Ever since the announcement of IQ4-150, as a card carrying member of Dante's club, naturally I have been very intrigued by some characteristics of this new tool but somehow I don't feel the unstoppable urge to upgrade. While my heart says "do it" my mind is not convinced and the question is "why?". Usually new things are decidedly better than prior models, but I am struggling to make the case here.

As a tech camera user, to me, IQ4-150 is better than IQ3-100 in the following meaningful ways:
  1. Much less need for LCC because of much reduced lens color cast
  2. Better dark frame management i.e. less need to capture dark frames
  3. Improved dynamic range
  4. Improved high ISO performance
  5. Higher resolution => meaning even bigger prints at comparable DPI/PPI

On the flip side, I feel IQ3-100 is better than IQ4-150 in the following ways:
  1. Diffraction: With a pixel pitch of 4.6 microns (versus 3.76 microns for IQ4-150) diffraction kicks in later e.g. f9 vs f8
  2. Adhoc Wifi: for triggering ES from Capture Pilot or using Capture Pilot for Composition (I am sure Phase One will rectify this via firmware at some point)
  3. Slightly better battery consumption.

So, the IQ4-150 is actually better for a technical camera use. When I think about IQ4-150 advantages individually, I feel they are "nice to have":
  1. While capturing LCC shots is not fun, but LCCs also help with dust spots. Will I stop capturing LCCs? Probably not.
  2. The need to capture a dark frame after small changes in shutter speeds is annoying. I'd certainly appreciate/prefer IQ4-150 behavior.
  3. I feel IQ3-100 has plenty of dynamic range. I am not sure I'd value the improved dynamic range IQ4-150 has to offer.
  4. I almost always shoot at base ISO 50, and rarely shoot higher than 200 - so I dont think I'd value the improvement.
  5. I value every pixel of resolution. So, I think I would value the improvements here.

This is my current mindset and thought process on this matter.
Would be nice to hear from those who have already upgraded or made the decision to upgrade share their thoughts.

Cheers!
Hello Jawad,

On a tech cam the IQ4-150 is magical. My perspective is from upgrading from my 4-year old IQ180 and previously using the 45+ and 65+, all over the last 10 years on a Linhof, so it is different from your IQ3 considerations. But, if one considers that DB's are computers, ask yourself, When was the last time you decided to quit upgrading those?

The 4-150 is a game changer for tech cam users. I chose to not upgrade the 180 to the IQ3 and found I used my Linhof less and less, but once DT and Doug came to town last Fall and I demoed, it was readily apparent that the 150 is on a different level and its not just about MB's. I received mine in December and having also changed tech cam platforms to Arca's, I am now tech-camming much more than the XF-ing, certainly no question when out in the wild for landscapes.

As mentioned by many, the LiveView for focusing is outstanding. Even on the dial-in focus on the Arca R and more so the Universalis, for confirming when tilting, its quick and flawless.

No doubt I'd like the Copal capability ASAP, but am really enjoying the process and outcome of the ES until Copal is made available. Who knows, I may not go back to the manual Copal...

As to smaller print sizes and no need for the larger sensor, the depth in the shadows and recapture of the highlights makes reduced sized image stand out. Its not always or just about the size, but the amount of information gathered within.

The biggest issue I've encountered is the back reveals my errors, mostly focusing, but also not having a perfectly clean lens. Smudges on the lens that aren't necessarily apparent to the eye become smeared pixels in the capture. While most of those were only apparent at 100% on the screen and not on a print, the back is requiring me to up my game. I now have multiple cleaning cloths in a Zip-Lock in my bag. But to reinforce, make sure your tech cam has great precision for focusing b/c this back will reveal the mistakes.

More than any other camera I've experienced over nearly 50 years, the IQ4-150 produces a WYSIWYG outcome; if the desired outcome is thoughtfully planned, the back will produce it - and with the added benefit that less post-production is necessary than anything experienced before.

I expect Phase will produce fixing and enhancing improvements w/ firmware updates, but in the meantime I am happily and more frequently shooting away with an elevated sense of thoughtfulness b/c I know the outcomes will simply be better.
 

GrahamWelland

Subscriber & Workshop Member
:sleep:

Hello Jawad,

On a tech cam the IQ4-150 is magical. My perspective is from upgrading from my 4-year old IQ180 and previously using the 45+ and 65+, all over the last 10 years on a Linhof, so it is different from your IQ3 considerations. But, if one considers that DB's are computers, ask yourself, When was the last time you decided to quit upgrading those?
I think that skipping versions pays dividends long term. Let’s face it, none of the current or older MFD are anything less than excellent.
 

f8orbust

Member
If I had the $£€ I'd do it, as for my purposes this is easily the most lens friendly DB since the 60MP and 40MP ones.

(As an aside, I don't think there'll be a big leap in MP in the next generation - probably to something like 180MP - but with a stacked sensor giving ~20x greater read out speed (compared to the 150) - which means the ES would finally be a workable replacement for a mechanical one in most situations).

Jim
 

tcdeveau

Active member
Oh yes ... :ROTFL:
I’ve bought 3 cameras since buying the last camera I’d ever need and will probably be looking for a digital back in the next couple years. Such is life. Such is Dante :ROTFL:

From what I’ve read so far it seems most everyone that has made the IQ3 to IQ4 move is loving the image quality and usability enhancements, despite current firmware hiccups, and the IQ4 would make op’s 23mm Rodie shine.

It’s already been said, but by virtue of being a GetDPI member, OP probably knows resistance is futile and I think the question is “when” and not “if”. If it were me I’d probably wait at least until the firmware gets further along, but I think it would depend on ones spring/summer shooting plans.

Good luck with your decision op!
 

dave.gt

Well-known member
The early bird gets the worm!:thumbup:

The second mouse gets the cheese.:thumbs:

Worm or cheese? Hmmm.....:ROTFL:

So glad I don't have to make the upgrade decision, but I sure am waiting anxiously to see the great results that will surely be shared here on the forum!

Can't wait!:):):)
 

Jamgolf

Member
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and feedback.
As usual excellent contributions and some friendly banter :)

Its a mix of objective and subjective but I'll try to summarize some of the salient points that have been brought up so far:

  1. there’s no question that the IQ4 offers higher *potential* image quality
  2. it’s also faster at doing just about everything
  3. More pixels = more color information therefore resulting in higher color accuracy and nuances
  4. potentially gain movements and 0 color casts ... eliminating the need for lcc
  5. long exposures in the daylight without the use of ND filters in camera and capture as a raw file
  6. diffraction is never a disadvantage of a higher resolution sensor, only a limiter of when a higher resolution sensor will have an advantage
  7. focus peaking in live view works well and is helpful to judge focus cone when using tilt/swing
  8. possibility of free firmware feature update that had not been thought of yet
  9. can finally use a phase camera like a regular camera. Focus peaking, live view, ES, speed of the double tap zoom, no dark frame(!)
  10. shoot tethered, the USB C connection is a huge improvement
  11. user interface is much better
  12. possibility of a Global shutter (we can hope)
  13. On a tech cam the IQ4-150 is magical ... a game changer for tech cam users
  14. LiveView for focusing is outstanding
  15. IQ4-150 produces a WYSIWYG outcome

and last but not least:

  • offcourse this will be the last camera we'll ever need/buy :)
 

f8orbust

Member
It's more lens friendly than the 40mp and 60mp backs. ;)
Oh no it isn't ... oh yes it is ... etc. etc.

IMHO there's not been anything more lens friendly than the P45+ (and backs that used the same sensor - was it a Kodak one - can't remember). You could throw anything at it - even the S/K 24mm shifted to beyond the edge of the IC - and all was good. And it could do great (really) long exposures too. Anyone wanting to get into MFD on the 'cheap' couldn't go wrong with picking a used one of these up.

That said, I have to admit I've not seen a shifted S/K 24mm on the 150, but I will quite happily eat my left foot if it works as well.

Jim
 

onasj

Active member
I suspect (but without any data!) that if you downscaled the 150 MP BSI image to 45 MP the IQ4 would be at least as good. Not into cannibalisn though :)


Oh no it isn't ... oh yes it is ... etc. etc.

IMHO there's not been anything more lens friendly than the P45+ (and backs that used the same sensor - was it a Kodak one - can't remember). You could throw anything at it - even the S/K 24mm shifted to beyond the edge of the IC - and all was good. And it could do great (really) long exposures too. Anyone wanting to get into MFD on the 'cheap' couldn't go wrong with picking a used one of these up.

That said, I have to admit I've not seen a shifted S/K 24mm on the 150, but I will quite happily eat my left foot if it works as well.

Jim
 

Boinger

Member
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and feedback.
As usual excellent contributions and some friendly banter :)

Its a mix of objective and subjective but I'll try to summarize some of the salient points that have been brought up so far:

  1. there’s no question that the IQ4 offers higher *potential* image quality
  2. it’s also faster at doing just about everything
  3. More pixels = more color information therefore resulting in higher color accuracy and nuances
  4. potentially gain movements and 0 color casts ... eliminating the need for lcc
  5. long exposures in the daylight without the use of ND filters in camera and capture as a raw file
  6. diffraction is never a disadvantage of a higher resolution sensor, only a limiter of when a higher resolution sensor will have an advantage
  7. focus peaking in live view works well and is helpful to judge focus cone when using tilt/swing
  8. possibility of free firmware feature update that had not been thought of yet
  9. can finally use a phase camera like a regular camera. Focus peaking, live view, ES, speed of the double tap zoom, no dark frame(!)
  10. shoot tethered, the USB C connection is a huge improvement
  11. user interface is much better
  12. possibility of a Global shutter (we can hope)
  13. On a tech cam the IQ4-150 is magical ... a game changer for tech cam users
  14. LiveView for focusing is outstanding
  15. IQ4-150 produces a WYSIWYG outcome

and last but not least:

  • offcourse this will be the last camera we'll ever need/buy :)


One correction there will be no global shutter in this back.

I was talking about the people saying it will be the last back they buy (me included)
 

Nutcracker

New member
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and feedback.
As usual excellent contributions and some friendly banter :)

Its a mix of objective and subjective but I'll try to summarize some of the salient points that have been brought up so far:

  1. there’s no question that the IQ4 offers higher *potential* image quality
  2. it’s also faster at doing just about everything
  3. More pixels = more color information therefore resulting in higher color accuracy and nuances
  4. potentially gain movements and 0 color casts ... eliminating the need for lcc
  5. long exposures in the daylight without the use of ND filters in camera and capture as a raw file
  6. diffraction is never a disadvantage of a higher resolution sensor, only a limiter of when a higher resolution sensor will have an advantage
  7. focus peaking in live view works well and is helpful to judge focus cone when using tilt/swing
  8. possibility of free firmware feature update that had not been thought of yet
  9. can finally use a phase camera like a regular camera. Focus peaking, live view, ES, speed of the double tap zoom, no dark frame(!)
  10. shoot tethered, the USB C connection is a huge improvement
  11. user interface is much better
  12. possibility of a Global shutter (we can hope)
  13. On a tech cam the IQ4-150 is magical ... a game changer for tech cam users
  14. LiveView for focusing is outstanding
  15. IQ4-150 produces a WYSIWYG outcome

and last but not least:

  • offcourse this will be the last camera we'll ever need/buy :)
The IQ4 150 is so effective on tech cameras including quite large movements, not needing LCC that if funds allow, I do not think there is much if anything to gain by waiting for more improve to arrive. Life is short, little additional value to gain by delay , I think😀
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
Oh no it isn't ... oh yes it is ... etc. etc.

IMHO there's not been anything more lens friendly than the P45+
We have a bit of cross talk going here (pun intended), no doubt in part due to the confusing naming scheme of Phase One backs in the ~2008 era and earlier.

I'm using the following shorthand:
- 40mp backs like P40+ and IQ140
- 39mp backs like P45 and P45+

My statement was re the P40+ and IQ140 ("40mp backs"). From everything I've seen from my testing with the IQ4 150mp it is more flexible with lenses (re color cast, falloff, and artifacts) than the P40+ and IQ140 were.

I honestly do not remember enough about the P45/P45+ ("39mp backs") characteristics on tech cameras to compare to the IQ4 150mp. My memory of that ~2007 era has faded and the conclusions I have from testing in that era would have not had the same point of comparison as I would have now. I would have to go do an IQ4 vs P45+ test specifically to see how they compare.

It's funny how quickly we become accustomed to new tools and the workflows they provide. I was training Jarob Ortiz, the Head Photographer of the National Park Service this week (the "New Ansel Adams") on an IQ3 100mp on an Arca Swiss tech camera. It was funny how annoying the dark frame and LCC were, when, just last year, they barely bothered me at all. Don't get me wrong: the IQ3 was and still is, and for years to come still will be, a fantastic image making machine. But once you get used to the IQ4 anything else feels downright sluggish in workflow in comparison.

Of course, they were previously shooting sheet film, so the IQ3 was a quantum leap forward in workflow. That appointment was bittersweet for me as I think there's a good chance it will be the last institutional client I'll be helping to transition from film; they were our "last remaining target" for years, and now they are happily in the digital camp.
 
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TheDude

Member
... It's funny how quickly we become accustomed to new tools and the workflows they provide. I was training Jarob Ortiz, the Head Photographer of the National Park Service this week (the "New Ansel Adams") on an IQ3 100mp on an Arca Swiss tech camera. It was funny how annoying the dark frame and LCC were, when, just last year, they barely bothered me at all. .... But once you get used to the IQ4 anything else feels downright sluggish in workflow ....

That's also the attraction and danger of smartphones for photography and industry, respectively!
 
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