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!

IQ4 150 First Impressions

Craig Stocks

Well-known member
Now that the IQ4 150 is shipping I wanted to share some of my first impressions and also hear from others with experience with the new back. I haven't had much opportunity to put it through its paces yet so I'm sure some of my thoughts will expand and change over the next several weeks.

Yes, I know a post like this needs sample images but I don't have anything yet that shows a good comparison.

An obvious first question, resolution? Yes, it's better than the IQ3 100, noticeable when you look for it but so far I haven't had a situation where it jumps right out at me. Night sky photography is one of my prime use cases and I just haven't had the opportunity to really use it yet. I did one comparison and the IQ4 150 appeared to do a better job resolving small stars as sharp points rather than dull smudges.

User experience. This is a real mixed bag. So far the "new and improved" user interface just seems different, not better or worse.

The big negative I've found is the lack of tools that were in the IQ3 100. Hopefully this is just the pain of being an early adopter and it will all be fixed in firmware very soon.

Ad hoc networking is not available so Capture Pilot only works if the back is tethered to Capture One. The manual says the ability to connect through an ad hoc network will be available in the future. As it currently stands there is no method to remotely trigger the back when it's on a tech camera.

Focus peaking in live view is a nice feature. However, Live View is only available in exposure simulation mode. While that's a feature with benefits in some cases it also creates two problems. If you're using flash then the live view will be too dark to frame and focus. If you're in a dark situation (such as a blue hour landscape) the screen refreshes at the rate of the shutter speed, so if you have a 30 second shutter speed it only refreshes every 30 seconds. The manual recommends adjusting ISO and/or other exposure settings to be able frame and focus. This really needs to be user selectable.

Recording to card while tethered is now the default, but it appears you can't turn it off automatically. The only settings for the XQD card is either record or don't record, it needs a setting to record only when not tethered. With the current design you have to specifically turn off recording to the card when you tether and then turn it back on.

The focus mask is no longer available on image review. I hope that was simply an oversight. You'd think with "Capture One Inside" things like that wouldn't be a problem. This is a feature I used a lot in the past.

The zone map or heat map view is no longer available on image review. Again, I hope this will be fixed in a new firmware update.

I'm looking forward to getting out with the new setup in the next few months to really see what it's can do.
 

Craig Stocks

Well-known member
I've added a pair of comparison photos of The Pleiades. These were taken with an XF and Phase One 120 manual focus macro with the camera mounted on an astronomical tracking mount, 60 seconds at ISO 1600, f/5.6. Minimal processing in C1, mostly knocked down magenta saturation to resolve chromatic aberration.

Both photos were opened in Photoshop, converted to smart objects, resized and aligned, and then resized to 36 inches wide at 360 pixels per inch. I then took a 100% crop from the area around the Pleiades.

To my eye the IQ4 150 does a better job resolving small stars. It also may exhibit less noise but it's hard to say.

I also included a processed image of the same area taken with a Sony a7r2 and an 800mm focal length telescope for comparison
 

Attachments

bab

Member
When exposing for the stars with the motorized mount how long of an exposure did you figure you had before diffraction? Did you calculate for the 150 sensor based on the earths turn?
 

Craig Stocks

Well-known member
When exposing for the stars with the motorized mount how long of an exposure did you figure you had before diffraction? Did you calculate for the 150 sensor based on the earths turn?
As I understand it diffraction is created only by the aperture and not exposure time. The tracking mount follows the motion of the stars so that I could use a reasonably long exposure. In theory I could use a very long shutter speed but in practice it's limited to a few minutes at the most since the mount's alignment and tracking aren't perfect.

The Phase One exposures were ISO 1600, 60 seconds at f/5.6. The telescope photo was ISO 1600, 30 seconds at f/4. However the the telescope image was processed by stacking multiple frames to reduce noise and the histrogram was stretched to better reveal faint nebula details.
 

earburner

Member
Now that the IQ4 150 is shipping I wanted to share some of my first impressions and also hear from others with experience with the new back. I haven't had much opportunity to put it through its paces yet so I'm sure some of my thoughts will expand and change over the next several weeks.

Yes, I know a post like this needs sample images but I don't have anything yet that shows a good comparison.

An obvious first question, resolution? Yes, it's better than the IQ3 100, noticeable when you look for it but so far I haven't had a situation where it jumps right out at me. Night sky photography is one of my prime use cases and I just haven't had the opportunity to really use it yet. I did one comparison and the IQ4 150 appeared to do a better job resolving small stars as sharp points rather than dull smudges.

User experience. This is a real mixed bag. So far the "new and improved" user interface just seems different, not better or worse.

The big negative I've found is the lack of tools that were in the IQ3 100. Hopefully this is just the pain of being an early adopter and it will all be fixed in firmware very soon.

Ad hoc networking is not available so Capture Pilot only works if the back is tethered to Capture One. The manual says the ability to connect through an ad hoc network will be available in the future. As it currently stands there is no method to remotely trigger the back when it's on a tech camera.

Focus peaking in live view is a nice feature. However, Live View is only available in exposure simulation mode. While that's a feature with benefits in some cases it also creates two problems. If you're using flash then the live view will be too dark to frame and focus. If you're in a dark situation (such as a blue hour landscape) the screen refreshes at the rate of the shutter speed, so if you have a 30 second shutter speed it only refreshes every 30 seconds. The manual recommends adjusting ISO and/or other exposure settings to be able frame and focus. This really needs to be user selectable.

Recording to card while tethered is now the default, but it appears you can't turn it off automatically. The only settings for the XQD card is either record or don't record, it needs a setting to record only when not tethered. With the current design you have to specifically turn off recording to the card when you tether and then turn it back on.

The focus mask is no longer available on image review. I hope that was simply an oversight. You'd think with "Capture One Inside" things like that wouldn't be a problem. This is a feature I used a lot in the past.

The zone map or heat map view is no longer available on image review. Again, I hope this will be fixed in a new firmware update.

I'm looking forward to getting out with the new setup in the next few months to really see what it's can do.

The firmware is a bit ropey, I have been ill, so not used it properly. I had a XF firmware issue and in conversation with support they said they hope to release a new firmware in January... Fingers crossed. I was also told by my supplier that the technical camera cable will be available early in the new year :)
 

drunkenspyder

New member
Picked mine up today. Not really loving [or hating] the changes in the UI, though I do like the default shooting screen at startup, and the boot progress bar is a welcome bit of eye candy. Boot time seems a bit faster than the IQ3 Trichro as well. Looking forward to shooting with it this next week.
 

mpsa

New member
I thought I'd share a few observations from 4 days testing the IQ4 150 on the Linhof Techno with a Rodenstock HR Digaron 40mm lens. Overall, I've found the colour very impressive - very natural/life like - great for landscapes. The files require very little processing - it's almost as if they have been processed already - assuming that Phase One do not have any in built processing, then the RAW files somehow have some 'natural looking' contrast built in. The files also seem to have plenty of natural looking saturation built in. Perhaps this is simply the effect of improvements to colour and DR? Whatever the case, the starting RAW is very impressive.

However, I have had significant issues with (I think) purple fringing e.g. on trees that stick up into a bright sky, and I can't fully correct this in post. I've contacted Phase One, and it sounds like the higher resolution sensor may be a factor here (testing the limits of the lens??). It may be worth others testing for this before committing. I have found this a consistent issue.

Also, once the battery drops below 50%, sometimes I can't power up the back unless I take the battery out. This has happened 4 times with different batteries. Not good.

When using live view, I have had several cases of the screen showing banding, and freezing - the only solution has been a reboot. Not good.

As others have noted, it is not possible to use a copal shutter because the necessary cable is not available (Phase One have not been transparent about this which is really disappointing).

So all in - it feels like the back has lots of potential, but I have experienced technical issues with batteries and live view which are unacceptable. I do wonder if the back has been rushed out, but accept that I may have been unlucky.
 

Phase V

Member
This really sounds more and more as a overhasty released back with firmware at beta-status than a finished product that is production ready.
As for the purple fringing, i thought after the Trichromatic introduction this issue would
be a thing of the past?
 

drunkenspyder

New member
This really sounds more and more as a overhasty released back with firmware at beta-status than a finished product that is production ready.
As for the purple fringing, i thought after the Trichromatic introduction this issue would
be a thing of the past?
Based on reading here, I can understand that perception. I've been shooting with mine all weekend long, but only on the XF back and with P1 lenses. I have not put the back on any of my Cambo or Alpa gear, or shot with any of my tech lenses. But it has behaved completely as expected, with the exception of one Sony 120gb XQD card, which h has proved somewhat unreliable.It works in the IQ4, but occasionally does not want to be read by one of my card readers. [That makes it unreliable to me, until I can completely figure out whether it is the reader or card.]

I am not trying to say that, just because it works properly [so far] with the XF, that it's fine. Just guessing that this use case is where P1 put the lion's share of their testing. So far, so good. We'll see tonight when I head up to Mono Lake for some dusk/night/dawn shooting, and where it is a bit chilly.
 
Was there really a need to get the IQ4150 out the door so quickly? I was at a three day event in late May, and P1 was really flogging the IQ3100 Trichromatic and Achromatic backs as the greatest thing ever. Surely they had a few more months of relevance.
 

drunkenspyder

New member
Was there really a need to get the IQ4150 out the door so quickly? I was at a three day event in late May, and P1 was really flogging the IQ3100 Trichromatic and Achromatic backs as the greatest thing ever. Surely they had a few more months of relevance.
My checkbook was certainly in no hurry to have an IQ4 appear. ;-) Still, with Photokina 18 impending, and a true flurry of sensor development and marketing activity over at Sony, I suspect that P1 felt some pressure, even if only from themselves, to stay ahead of the pack. My own sense is that, while more than beta, the firmware is not quite ready for prime time. That's no knock on the sensor; as Craig Stocks notes in a previous post, the color is superb, and 150mpx goes a long way in post.

I experienced some frustrations while shooting in cold [7F] and snowy weather the last two days that stemmed from changes in the UI, as well as some erratic behavior in anything other than manual shooting. I always try some P shots, to see what the camera "wants" to shoot, and then some Tv and Av, before switching to manual. The back's choices of shutter speeds in Av mode were wildly all over the map. Now, some of that might have been the cold [I was out for more than 2 hours], and some no doubt due to ND filtration [but not all shots had ND filters]; the Hassy also was thoroughly confused by ND filtration, sometimes by a factor of 10x compared to manual calcs. And some may have been due to shooting the 240 with the 2x TC. Will sort that out. I also found Live View frustratingly unreliable. Again, it could have been/likely was the photographer; taking my hands out of gloves to go back to menu settings that I thought I understood soon became more than inconvenient. So, yes, I would say the software & firmware might have been rushed after all the resources [including time] that were invested in fabrication of the sensor itself.
 

algrove

Well-known member
My checkbook was certainly in no hurry to have an IQ4 appear. ;-) Still, with Photokina 18 impending, and a true flurry of sensor development and marketing activity over at Sony, I suspect that P1 felt some pressure, even if only from themselves, to stay ahead of the pack. My own sense is that, while more than beta, the firmware is not quite ready for prime time. That's no knock on the sensor; as Craig Stocks notes in a previous post, the color is superb, and 150mpx goes a long way in post.

I experienced some frustrations while shooting in cold [7F] and snowy weather the last two days that stemmed from changes in the UI, as well as some erratic behavior in anything other than manual shooting. I always try some P shots, to see what the camera "wants" to shoot, and then some Tv and Av, before switching to manual. The back's choices of shutter speeds in Av mode were wildly all over the map. Now, some of that might have been the cold [I was out for more than 2 hours], and some no doubt due to ND filtration [but not all shots had ND filters]; the Hassy also was thoroughly confused by ND filtration, sometimes by a factor of 10x compared to manual calcs. And some may have been due to shooting the 240 with the 2x TC. Will sort that out. I also found Live View frustratingly unreliable. Again, it could have been/likely was the photographer; taking my hands out of gloves to go back to menu settings that I thought I understood soon became more than inconvenient. So, yes, I would say the software & firmware might have been rushed after all the resources [including time] that were invested in fabrication of the sensor itself.
Have you tried to use the IQ4 on your tech cam?
 

Craig Stocks

Well-known member
Have you tried to use the IQ4 on your tech cam?
Yes, but it's somewhat difficult since Capture Pilot isn't supported via an ad hoc network and there isn't a shutter delay settings. I also greatly miss the focus mask on image review. It also greatly out-resolves my Canon 24 TS-E lens.
 

Craig Stocks

Well-known member
Here is one of my first images from using the IQ4 150 out in the wild. While it's only one data point I'm very pleased with the way it handles the colors in the sky and the shadow recovery.

This is a multi-frame stitched pano (overkill?). I've included one un-processed frame to show the amount of shadow recovery I was able to realize. I shot some series using a grad ND filter and also some exposure brackets expecting to need to blend foreground and background. In the end I didn't really need either of those techniques.
 

Attachments

drunkenspyder

New member
Here is one of my first images from using the IQ4 150 out in the wild. While it's only one data point I'm very pleased with the way it handles the colors in the sky and the shadow recovery.

This is a multi-frame stitched pano (overkill?). I've included one un-processed frame to show the amount of shadow recovery I was able to realize. I shot some series using a grad ND filter and also some exposure brackets expecting to need to blend foreground and background. In the end I didn't really need either of those techniques.
I’m seeing similar. Color tonality is excellent, and both shadow and highlight recovery are substantially improved over the IQ3 Trichromatic.
 

dchew

Well-known member
Have you tried to use the IQ4 on your tech cam?
Lou, I spent a week with the 4150 on my STC but it was teathered the whole time inside taking leather pictures, so nothing close to my normal use case.

It tethered reliably with no issues, other than constant pilot error because of me doing things with the UI by habit that are now, well, just different. As either Craig or Greg mentioned, the most annoying omission is the lack of shutter delay. Really? Was that so hard to add in at this point?

I hope once this is all worked out we will be able to load the new custom icc profiles and use them to render the image and histogram. That would have been very helpful with my little project.

Dave
 

rsinclair

Member
Have you tried to use the IQ4 on your tech cam?
Yes, some examples are below...

Over a couple of weeks during the holidays I used an Rm3Di and Factum shooting singles, stationary shifted panos, and rotated panos using new Rodi 40 HR W & 90 HR SW. I've also shot some still life in the studio w/ tungsten just to test my older Rodi 135 and 180 I had remounted from Linhof 679cs to Rm. As an aside, I also put the back on my RZ67 in the studio and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcomes.

The Pros...Generally amazing. The IQ4 150 w/ the Rodi 40 & 90 are almost "too sharp". And, the dynamic range allowed me to remove the GND filter in one session as I was capturing both the bright sky (w/ sun behind) and deep shadows well within reasonably boundaries w/out the need for filters; i.e., very little HDR adjustments in C1 v12 w/out the filters. I can best sum up the images as "what I envisioned to set up the shots, is what I got", w/ the added bonus of greater sharpness and clarity than anything I've seen in my 3 past P1 backs or any other MFD or other cameras before. In all cases I used the Hahnel 12-pin XF remote cable to trigger the ES.

The Cons...I expect these will be addressed w/ future firmware and hardware updates;

1) Lack of manual shutter/Copal release. I understand this is both a firmware and hardware (new 12-pin) cable to trigger and these are in process at P1. That said, while not having used ES on other cameras in the past, I've found it to be very usable in some, not all, circumstances. When calibrating the Focus Factor on the Rm, I found the sharpness of the IQ + Rodi lenses revealed camera shake even with the slightest wind on a stable tripod at 1/250.

2) LiveView doesn't turn on if the IQ4 is booted up and the shutter speed is slower than 2 sec. So one must make sure the speed is set faster than that when booting up. If its slower, then reset to faster, shut the back off, then re-boot. Once rebooted one can change the speed to slower and LiveView will work as long as the back remain on.

Pics...

Rm3Di/Rodi 40mm HRW/ISO 64_2-shot (portrait oriented) stitch w/ 5mm L/R lateral shifts

P0000544-1.jpg

Rm3Di/Rodi 40mm HRW/ISO 50_2-shot (landscape oriented) stitch w/ 5mm L/R lateral shifts

P0000706-1.jpg

Rm3Di/Rodi 40mm HRW/ISO 64_9-shot (landscape oriented) stitch w/ 10mm L/R lateral shifts & -20mm/10mm R/F vertical shifts

P0000734-1a.jpg

On the last image, the light at dusk in the woods was very low and diminishing rapidly; in 10 min I went from 2 sec > 6 sec exposures. I did not have filters on me to get the silky water, so shot it at ISO 50 to get the 6 sec. The objects at the bottom were ~7' and the trees in the distance ~+150', the camera was level and no lens tilting, w/ all shot at f11.

This is my first post of images on this site and they appear fuzzy, which I would expect due to jpg and web, or maybe my sizing isn't optimal? So apologies in advance for my learning curve.

Generally, I find the IQ4 150 to be pure joy, fun, and fast to work w/ on my tech and manual cameras, especially those that have highly accurate movements and focusing capabilities. Compared to my days w/ film view cams, using this back w/ newer gear is a game changer. In fact, unless the circumstances require it, I find I am looking for more tech cam opportunities than XF shoots!

Based upon 10+ years of using P1 gear, I consider the the current annoyances to be small, and will be remedied soon along with feature enhancements. I for one am glad P1 got the back into customers hands to work with. It has elevated my own considerations of what's possible, largely because of the ease of use, the WYSIWYG output, all coupled with the little amount of post-production I found to be required in C1 v12.

Cheers!
 

drunkenspyder

New member
Wonderfully informative post, Robert. Thanks much.

Based upon 10+ years of using P1 gear, I consider the the current annoyances to be small, and will be remedied soon along with feature enhancements. I for one am glad P1 got the back into customers hands to work with. It has elevated my own considerations of what's possible, largely because of the ease of use, the WYSIWYG output, all coupled with the little amount of post-production I found to be required in C1 v12.

Cheers!
Agreed.
 
Top