The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

GFX 50R vs IQ1 40 or IQ2 50

Hemmi

Member
Hello,

Would you buy GFX 50R or a second hand IQ1 40/IQ2 50 (same sensor size) for product photography ?

For me the only advantage of GFX 50R was the contemporary electronics/interfaces and warranty.
But recently a photographer told me that colors are just better with phase one and not everything can be corrected in post, there's something special in how phase one processes an image. And that it's more important than convenience of use.

Also GFX 50R has only 10.8 f-stops dynamic range. While IQ1 40 got 12.5 f-stops (in this pdf). And IQ2 50 got 14 f-stops.
IQ is also 16bit OptiColor+, compared to Fuji 14bit.
This seems like a lot of difference ?
How would you compare GFX50R vs IQ2/3 image quality ?

Also I would like to know how bad are old IQ1 and IQ2 compared to GFX50R in terms of convenience.

LIVE VIEW : is it bad on IQ1/2 CMOS sensors ? There's a big lag ?
HEATING: I've heard IQ1/2 are heating too much with live view on, how bad is it ?
CONNECTION: Can I connect them to a PC (not Mac) with usb for tethering/live view? I've heard there are problems with PC.. Is tethering very slow because no USB-C ?
POWER: is there any way to power IQ1/2 in studio ? I think there's a possibility to power them with firewire, but I have a PC. Are there any AC adapters ?

Thank you very much !
 

ASTeamwork

Active member
Hello,

Would you buy GFX 50R or a second hand IQ1 40/IQ2 50 (same sensor size) for product photography ?

For me the only advantage of GFX 50R was the contemporary electronics/interfaces and warranty.
But recently a photographer told me that colors are just better with phase one and not everything can be corrected in post, there's something special in how phase one processes an image. And that it's more important than convenience of use.
If you're using for product photography, then in my view Live View will be a useful feature. Therefore I would disregard IQ1 40MP. From the GFX/Phase One 50MP you will get similar live view quality. I believe because of the GFX's manual dials, you have to switch to a certain setting to be able to chance exposure/aperture/ISO settings in Capture One - perhaps someone who owns the camera and is familiar with this can expend.

If Live View isn't important to you, then I know people who make fantastic product/still life work with an IQ1 40MP, working traditionally using the viewfinder only. If you have found one at the right price it will produce brilliant images.

Also GFX 50R has only 10.8 f-stops dynamic range. While IQ1 40 got 12.5 f-stops (in this pdf). And IQ2 50 got 14 f-stops.
IQ is also 16bit OptiColor+, compared to Fuji 14bit.
The Phase One 50MP backs are also 14bit. In this sense, you could say the IQ1 40MP has an advantage, but I would personally say usable Live View outweighs this.


How would you compare GFX50R vs IQ2/3 image quality ?
Just to clarify, whether it's an IQ1, 2 or 3 50MP back is irrelevant to the image quality. IQ1 = original generation. IQ2 = Additional Wi-Fi module + Exposure Zone Tool + Capture from Live View. IQ3 = Additional power share with XF body. Comparing Phase One 50MP files to GFX 50 files they will be much of a muchness. You could argue there is some secret sauce in Phase One files when processed in Capture One, but some people will also like the 'Fuji colours' so...best thing is to try and arrange a test of both before you make a decision.

IVE VIEW : is it bad on IQ1/2 CMOS sensors ? There's a big lag ?
There is some lag, but I have never found it to be lacking what I need to compose the shot properly. I can't say how this compares to GFX, but I'm sure someone else can clarify.

HEATING: I've heard IQ1/2 are heating too much with live view on, how bad is it ?
There will be heat build-up eventually - if you were running live view all the time. Phase One backs are designed to do this to keep heat away from the sensor, and I wouldn't be concerned at all with CMOS sensors that this will impact image quality.

CONNECTION: Can I connect them to a PC (not Mac) with usb for tethering/live view? I've heard there are problems with PC.. Is tethering very slow because no USB-C ?
USB 3.0 is fine for tethering/live view. Of course there are speed benefits with USB-C, but I wouldn't say it is 'slow' with USB 3.0.

POWER: is there any way to power IQ1/2 in studio ? I think there's a possibility to power them with firewire, but I have a PC. Are there any AC adapters ?
There is a Firewire adapter which plugs into the firewire port on IQ backs, which then is powered using the mains supply from the battery charger.
 
Last edited:

ASTeamwork

Active member
And what about dynamic range ? IQ1 50 got 14 f-stops dynamic range vs 10.8 f-stops in GFX 50R. Do you think IQ really outperforms GFX that much ?
I wasn't aware that the Fuji DR was that much less than Phase One 50MP.

Yes that is the adapter.
 

chrismuc

Member
I wasn't aware that the Fuji DR was that much less than Phase One 50MP.

Yes that is the adapter.
The Fuji and the IQ (and Hasselblad) use the same Sony 50 MP sensor. Same dynamic range. All 14 bit. Equivalent excellent image quality, just very slight differences in color reproduction, which is more a matter of taste. I only would invest in IQ if using the fullframe 5440 sensor, preferably the 150 MP. Otherwise Fuji GFX 50 or 100(s). Best IQ for the money, excellent, affordable lens range ... a.s.o.
 

Ben730

Member
Live view on the IQ1 50 is much better than the GFX 50R.
The IQ1 50 has the better resolution in live view.
For critical focusing with Scheimpflug I recommend the IQ1 50.
To power the Phase One backs you can use this adapter:

I own both cameras. The dynamic range seems identical.
The Phase one backs have some color profiles, especially for reproduction work.
I prefer them over the Fuji colors.
The IQ1 50 gets hot, but I had never problems with it.

Regards,
Ben
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
My 2p,

I used an IQ1 40 and 60. Both had superb color and useless live view. X1D color is pretty good. The only output I like as much as the Phase One is Leica S (this includes both CCD and CMOS iterations). While I love a tech cam for landscape shooting, it's not a great walk-around setup. I prefer the Leica ergonomics, and thus never went with the XF + lenses. Fuji, for all its capabilities, and they are magnificent, never satisfied me on color. Cyan skies being a perennial problem, although some profiles are better than others. Adjusting Fuji color in post was frustrating - certainly compared to Phase One and Leica, where every adjustment seemed natural. This is, of course, as much a function of the software (Adobe or Capture One) as it is the camera, but we have to use SOME pipeline, so it doesn't matter which is the culprit.

No bad choices here,

Matt
 

docholliday

Active member
I use IQ CMOS backs on H5 and the H6 system. Live view is perfectly functional and while it does get hot, I've had LV running for hours during long composition builds in studio. The IQ backs are solid block milled aluminum and act as a heatsink for the sensor. It'll get hotter than hell, but hasn't caused any issues. My oldest IQ back is my backup IQ250 and has been used and abused for many years in this manner. It's also my "vacation" camera paired with a H5X so it gets beaten around and dragged all over the world.

I can't stand the Fuji ergronomics nor the EVF, as I prefer OVF for almost everything I do unless I need detailed composition preview at which point I use LV - but tethered only. Mirrorless has it's uses, but not in my workflow. If you plan on working in dark environments, EVF can be a real battery nuker as well as destroying any low light vision you have. I also don't use the P1 camera systems as I hate their handling and ergonomics. I also use my IQ backs on view cams as necessary so that is an advantage of a back/camera system instead of mirrorless.

As far as color goes, the P1 system has to me the most "accurate" color whereas Hasselblad's flavor is more pleasing for anything with skin tones. I tend to use an IQ when I'm shooting product/tabletop and H when I have a model or skin in the shot. Any camera can be profiled to produce matching colors, but takes time to do so. Direct out-of-the-can imaging for each manufacturer results in their "flavor" and I'm not a fan of Fuji's color - it reminds me too much of bad Nikon tonality with pastel'ish tones. I've spent weeks tweaking profiles for both LR and C1 to allow my cameras (H, P1, Canon) to match across the board as I sometimes have shoots where all are used.

The PDN article is interesting saying the GFX50 has lower DR, as their GFX100 test also is showing <10 for DR. Yes, the sensors on the 51.2mp cameras are all 14-bit output, but I wonder if the data handling by each manufacturer is causing some DR loss. I would like to see that reviewer re-test and indicate how they came up with such a low number (or to see what their test results are for an IQ3100).

I tether all the time with both H cameras and IQ on Windows - there are no Mac products allowed in my studio. Note that "USB-C" is NOT a speed standard. It's a physical connector pinout standard. USB-C is USB 3.2 with the added capability to pass Thunderbolt on certain controllers as well as offering higher current (and USB-PD for higher voltages). The USB 3.0 (which is also USB 3.1/3.2 "Gen 1") is fast enough to send the files over to the computer in less than 1 second to Capture One. It's actually faster than you can wait for - I take the shot and by the time I turn my head to look at the monitors, the file is already loaded. It's unlike Lightroom's horrible tethering functionality where the file takes forever to render and will sometimes drop the connection for no reason.

Since Win10 has removed the ability for any Firewire direct DMA transfers to happen since the 1903 ("20H1") version, you'll have to either use an older version of 10 (and remove it from the internet so it won't self update - or install a LTSB version) or use USB.

I have both the USB AND Firewire 800 cables connected to my backs at the same time - the USB for data transfer and the FW for power. If you use the USB alone, there is a high probability it won't charge (or maintain battery state) as many of the earlier IQ backs don't support the USB charging standard to allow enough current. So, I leave the FW cable connected, but disable the 1394 device in Device Manager so that it can charge at the full 12W. I have the adapter plug that allows the AC adapter to FW800, but didn't want to have an AC adapter running to another location, so it was easiest to "sister" the cables back to the main box as I have matching cables that are very long (beyond both USB3 and FW standards, but it doesn't matter as I'm not doing sustained high speed transfers).
 
Last edited:

docholliday

Active member
I still find it interesting that Image Engineering tested both the GFX50R and GFX100 to have a DR < 11 so it's not a typo. There is a link at the top of the article that describes their test procedures and standards on "How we test a camera for TIPA". There is a bit in the dynamic range section on the test methodology where they mention:
While the ISO standard defines the threshold based on the signal theory with SNR=1, we use a slightly more difficult threshold of SNR=3, based on Image Engineering’s two decades of experience in digital photography.
I would still like to see IE test an IQ back and see what their results reveal. Obviously, both IE's tests and everybody else out there can't be both right if they are both describing the same measurement and the PDN/IE test isn't a typo. Plus, the thousands of files I've shot on MF says that their measurement can't be close to right.

Soooo.... (the scientist in me gets curious)

Searching the Image Engineering website for "dynamic range" results in quite a few technotes, whitepapers, and doctoral thesis. It looks as if they are the official test laboratory for TIPA. Their papers and methodologies all look sound and they seem to also design/produce/sell their own test equipment and standardized test charts.

Then, you find that PDN has a page with "The Best Still Cameras for DR" which lists the GFX50R way down on the list, bested by cameras like the Canon 6DM2. That's really suspicious until you note the following in their "The Caveats" section:
No list is perfect. In this case, there are a few things to note about these rankings. Image Engineering test results only measure JPEG performance, not RAW files (which will have wider dynamic range). There are several reasons why Image Engineering restricts their measurements to JPEG files, including the (lack of) availability of camera profiles in RAW processing software when the camera arrives in their lab. If/when RAW results become available, we’ll update and amend these rankings.

Another thing to bear in mind is that Image Engineering has only tested one medium-format camera to date (Fujifilm’s GFX-50R). Medium-format cameras can offer wider dynamic range than their smaller format counterparts.[...]
Wait... huh? How is that a valid testing strategy to provide test data, but only base it on JPEG performance? So it's "OUTPUT DR" with their test images crushed into a bunch of 8-bit sRGB files? They don't even mention how their JPEG is configured for compression, color space, etc...not that it would matter. Isn't that like checking for the floral bouquet of a fine wine AFTER you've consumed and processed it? (I'd recommend doing that scientific test in a "large porcelain crucible with self-cleaning capability and auto-reagent flushing") ;)

To the OP, @Hemmi : I'd definitely be disregarding the (any) PDN data as it's quite questionable, misinformative, and improper! I'd guess that Image Engineering must a division of TOTO.
 
Last edited:

Hemmi

Member
Live view on the IQ1 50 is much better than the GFX 50R.
The IQ1 50 has the better resolution in live view.
Are you speaking only about camera Live View (display resolution) or IQ1 50 has a better resolution in Tethering live view as well ?
 

Hemmi

Member
To the OP, @Hemmi : I'd definitely be disregarding the (any) PDN data as it's quite questionable, misinformative, and improper!
Thanks a lot !
So the real dynamic range of GFX 50R should be close to 14 f-stops, because it's the same sensor as IQ 50, and Phase One claims it's 14 f-stops ?

As far as color goes, the P1 system has to me the most "accurate" color whereas Hasselblad's flavor is more pleasing for anything with skin tones. I tend to use an IQ when I'm shooting product/tabletop and H when I have a model or skin in the shot. Any camera can be profiled to produce matching colors, but takes time to do so. Direct out-of-the-can imaging for each manufacturer results in their "flavor" and I'm not a fan of Fuji's color - it reminds me too much of bad Nikon tonality with pastel'ish tones. I've spent weeks tweaking profiles for both LR and C1 to allow my cameras (H, P1, Canon) to match across the board as I sometimes have shoots where all are used.
So yes... this color issue really puts me off GFX... Since Phase One is the industry standard and I'm not sure I am competent enough colorwise to tweak the Fuji profile... Even if I play with color board and try to get the most natural colors out of GFX, I will never be sure it's a match to Phase One, especially across various lighting senarios. Also my assumption is that there's much more than just "realistic colors" happening in Phase One image processing, things that contribute to aesthetics of an image.

Do you think a second hand IQ will last as long as a new GFX ? Since there are no mechanical parts (like focal plane shutter in GFX), and also I guess build quality is pro, compared to Fuji which is more of a consumer electronics, is Phase One still reliable after years of use ? Have you happened to get IQ repaired ? Is it extremly expensive ? Right now there's IQ2 50 with 6 months warranty on mpb.com and it's only 1000 more expensive than a new GFX... If I make around 100 shots a day, every day, I wonder what will eventually fail first due to heavy use, the GFX focal plane shutter or a used IQ electronics, or maybe a copal shutter.

Another thing is, with Phase One you are limited to Copal shutters when used with Cambo and strobes. Maybe it's more future proof to get GFX for this reason, because of ever shrinking pool of cheap SK & Rodenstock digitals. Also, if you use Copal 0 shutters, don't you have to arm them manually after each shot ? Or do you have them in a Copal Press shutter ?
 
Last edited:

Hemmi

Member
Thank you all for your feedback !

So if GFX and IQ 50 have a comparable image quality, roughly same tethering live view and both cannot be usb powered,
is there any reason I should choose a new GFX 50R vs used IQ ? I will use it only in-studio with Cambo. Their price is also roughly the same.
 

docholliday

Active member
So the real dynamic range of GFX 50R should be close to 14 f-stops, because it's the same sensor as IQ 50, and Phase One claims it's 14 f-stops ?
Well, the Sony sensor is around 14-stops and P1 shows it as that. As long as the software and processing for GFX doesn't completely trash the data, it should result in close to the same output.
So yes... this color issue really puts me off GFX... Since Phase One is the industry standard and I'm not sure I am competent enough colorwise to tweak the Fuji profile... Even if I play with color board and try to get the most natural colors out of GFX, I will never be sure it's a match to Phase One, especially across various lighting senarios. Also my assumption is that there's much more than just "realistic colors" happening in Phase One image processing, things that contribute to aesthetics of an image.
I don't know if I'd call P1 "the industry standard" as I'd said the Hasselblad H platform does just as well and even better if skin tones are involved.
Do you think a second hand IQ will last as long as a new GFX ? Since there are no mechanical parts (like focal plane shutter in GFX), and also I guess build quality is pro, compared to Fuji which is more of a consumer electronics, is Phase One still reliable after years of use ? Have you happened to get IQ repaired ? Is it extremly expensive ? Right now there's IQ2 50 with 6 months warranty on mpb.com and it's only 1000 more expensive than a new GFX... If I make around 100 shots a day, every day, I wonder what will eventually fail first due to heavy use, the GFX focal plane shutter or a used IQ electronics, or maybe a copal shutter.
I'd say that an IQ would last longer than a GFX since it has no moving parts and is solid aluminum. I've never had to send mine in thus far. My IQ250 is over 320K shots (the backup back). Remember that with the IQ you're looking at, if it is only the back, you'll need a camera platform to shoot it on. And there are multiple mounts for it so be sure that the back you find matches the camera platform you are using it on.

Also be aware of the shutter differences between the camera platform. If you plan on syncing studio strobes or using portable flash, note that P1 cameras have some lenses with leaf shutters and Hasselblad H has all leaf shutters whereas you'll be limited on cameras that use focal plane or electronic shutter.
 

docholliday

Active member
Thank you all for your feedback !

So if GFX and IQ 50 have a comparable image quality, roughly same tethering live view and both cannot be usb powered,
is there any reason I should choose a new GFX 50R vs used IQ ? I will use it only in-studio with Cambo. Their price is also roughly the same.
In pure studio usage, you'd never find me even looking or considering a Fuji GFX or Hasselblad X camera...to me they are totally useless there. They are convenient and great for landscape, travel, and fine art, especially due to their size and weight. But they lack many of the basic features to be useful in studio as I see it. I'd say that the Hasselblad X is actually better off in studio due to the all leaf shutters and direct adaptability to the H lenses.

The IQ250 will let USB charge at a lower rate. Well, actually it's not "charge" as it's more "power". It'll reduce the drain on the battery, but is unable to charge the battery due to the limited current. It roughly doubles the time the battery lasts. If you either add the barrel-to-FW800 and AC adapter or leave a FW800 attached while feeding data over USB, you'll get full 12W power and be able to run the back AND charge a low battery.
 

med

Active member
I agree that the IQ250 "should" last longer than the GFX50R, however if something does come up, repairs will not be cheap for anything Phase One. My two Phase One repairs, one for a blown shutter in a lens, and one for a sensor glass removal and cleaning on my IQ250, were thousands of dollars. Both were covered by either warranty or my dealer though, so take from that what you will. There are digital backs from 20 years ago that are still working fine after 10's or 100s of thousands of exposures.

Fuji mirrorless cameras haven't been around nearly long enough to know what the really, really long term reliability is like, but their track record so far is quite good.
 

med

Active member
What kind of features GFX lack in studio compared to IQ 50 ?
Thank you !
I am not docholliday, and I am not a daily studio shooter, but I agree in that the GFX or X series of camera would not be my choice as a studio workhorse. Their image quality is great, to be sure, but I find EVFs and focus by wire lenses to be rather annoying to use in the studio.

The live view in the IQ250 is certainly good enough for checking critical focus and the lag/delay is not too bad. The post shot focus mask and exposure evaluation tools are great, and extremely useful if you aren't tethering.

For me, I tried a GFX100 last year against my IQ250 + APSC Fuji combo for my mixed landscape/architecture/portrait/studio use and ultimately parted ways with the GFX100, and have since upgraded toe IQ250 to an IQ4-150. The GFX had amazing IQ and some real gems in the lens lineup for great prices, but working with a tech cam became my ultimate priority.
 

docholliday

Active member
What kind of features GFX lack in studio compared to IQ 50 ?
Thank you !
For me, that's a kludgy power source solution, EVF, no leaf shutters, and too small of a body for long lens stacks.

I have enough wires around the studio that I don't need AC adapters and extension cords going every which way. Sistered USB+FW800 going to the same box is much more handleable, especially if climbing up a ladder to do a downward shot.

EVF is a definite no-no. Not only is OVF faster without lag, I see exactly what I need, not a sensor's interpretation of it. I'll use Liveview if I need direct viewing. I occasionally shoot dancers and models and EVF lag will make you lose a lot of shots. For still product, I darken the studio environment and my vision will adapt. EVFs get noisy at lower light conditions and looking at the screen absolutely destroys vision sensitivity.

Not having leaf shutters sucks. Period. Focal plane and electronic may be fine for landscape shooters, but syncing strobes at high speed or when room lighting is turned up, like when shooting food requires leafs to eliminate ambient contamination. Electronic shutter is absolutely useless to me...

I prefer larger bodies as handling them with a macro + tubes + bellows hood hurts the wrist after a bit of holding an unbalanced body. When using a view cam, it's easier to simply lock the DB on the rear standard, plug in cables, and go to work. With mirrorless, you have to adapt the body/lens mount to camera, deal with lens mount diameter getting in the way, etc.
 
Last edited:
Top