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Phase One XF IQ4 150 megapixel camera system prototype field test

stevenfr

Active member
Last week Tim Wolcott and I had an opportunity to test the Phase One XF IQ4 150 megapixel camera system prototype. We were shooting with it in the Smoky Mountains for a couple of hours.

I wanted to provide to you a list of features and enhancements to the IQ4 150 back that I felt were interesting to my landscape photography.

1. Of course the extra resolution from 100 to 150 megapixels is a big improvement. For my work delivering fine art prints to a gallery is the end result. The extra resolution will be very beneficial to delivering extra detail to the larger prints, and the wall size murals.

2. I conducted a ISO sweep with the camera from 50 to 3200 ISO. Given that the camera is a prototype and the final firmware was not installed in the camera, I won’t get into to many specifics. When I looked at the images, I was very excited to see very little degradation in the file at the higher ISO’s. For my work a lot of my images are images of trees, moving leaves is a constant issue. The improvements in the higher ISO would allow me to spend less time waiting for leaves to stop moving. Longer exposures in a forest are common. Its a trade off between depth of field and shorter exposure times to get the leaves sharp. Now with the better ISO performance it will allow me to still maximize the depth of field with shorter exposures.

3. The faster write times with the XQD cards and the faster processors in the camera enable me to shoot images quicker. This is key when shooting stitched panoramic images. The shorter write times should result in getting stitched images as quick as possible, without the wait times between exposures. On a recent shoot, I spent over two hours waiting for the leaves to stop moving. I believe with a higher ISO and the quicker write times, I would of been able to get the images quicker, which would allow me to move onto my next location.

4. Dark Frame reduction. I was told by a Phase One representative that the dark frame will be reduced to a minimal amount of time. As an example in the past I would do a 4 second exposure with 6 image captures as a stitched panorama. In between exposures, I would have to wait the entire 4 second for the dark frame to finish. I am now told the dark frame will be almost instantaneous on the shorter exposures. Thus saving me 24 second over the entire time to capture the 6 images. Once I get my 150 back this will be something I will test.

5. Live View is now cleaner and much faster. Zooming into the images and moving around the image to check sharpness has no lag. There also an ability to pinch-to-zoom, and left and right gestures to access the camera settings. Its all very intuative. Also, the ability to see a focus mask is now available in the live view of the image before capture.

6. Live Histogram on the Raw file is really exciting. In the past you would have to shoot the image to evaluate your histogram. Now it will be possible to do it live using the exposure simulation, which allows one to see the histogram change as you change the exposure. As well, there is an ability to see a live clipping by channel. Its a graphical view by channel, very cool.

7. Dual card storage (XQD and SD) was also a nice feature. The Phase One representative also mentioned that the wireless writing of images was a possibility. I asked if there was an ability to wirelessly write to a hard drive. The Phase One representative thought it would be possible, but would need to confirm.

8. Capture One Inside the camera. There were a few presets that were available in the camera. I experimented with the B&W setting. When I looked at the images with the preset in Capture One the image was tagged with the B&W settings. I think this will be useful if you have a preset you like, and want to see it in the camera when you are shooting, and not have to wait for the images to be downloaded.

I do feel that the extra resolution is welcome, but to me the features mentioned above are the real story with the new back. I believe these features will make image capture easier, and quicker with increased accuracy.

I have attached three images I processed through Capture One.


Steven Friedman
Http://www.friedmanphoto.com
 
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dave.gt

Well-known member
Thanks, Steven!

In an alternate world where I was in a position to start a new business, the IQ4 makes plenty of sense, presuming of course that it would fit into my business plan. Your review is quite helpful in understanding the real working impressions you have posted.

Nice images, thoe pastels are delicious!:thumbup:
 

TheDude

Member
I conducted a ISO sweep with the camera from 50 to 3200 ISO ..... When I looked at the images, I was very excited to see very little degradation in the file at the higher ISO’s.
Wonder whether this is due to ISO invariance of the new sensor?
 

TheDude

Member
the features mentioned above are the real story with the new back. I believe these features will make image capture easier, and quicker with increased accuracy.
I think, we will look back at the IQ4 as the start of a new epoch in medium/large format (style) photography.
 

stevenfr

Active member
Three more images from the shoot with the Phase One XF IQ4 150 prototype.

All images were taken in the Smoky Mountains in late October. The lens used for the shoot was the Schneider 150mm LS f 3.5.

Steven
 

Bill Caulfeild-Browne

Well-known member
Interesting you used the Schneider 150 3.5 LS, Steven. Despite it being (I'm told) inferior to the F2.8, I find it a very sharp lens and certainly one of my most used.

It's always good to see great minds think alike.....
 

stevenfr

Active member
I own the 150 3.5. The 2.8 is a bit sharper from images I have seen. Its about how much weight can I carry. I have six lenses 35, 55, 80, 110, 150, and 240. I am thinking about getting the new 45 and the doubler. I have no more room in my pack. My wife will have to carry any new lenses I get. She also carries bear spray, food and extra clothing if its needed. I never worry about bears, she has the concern, so I feel its fine for her to carry the bear spray.

I have printed many images from the 150 3.5 and have no complaints with the lens, its very sharp and like you I use it a lot. Especially, for stitching and tree images, I like the compression it gives. The 110 and 150 are my go to lenses for forest imagery and stitching.




,
Interesting you used the Schneider 150 3.5 LS, Steven. Despite it being (I'm told) inferior to the F2.8, I find it a very sharp lens and certainly one of my most used.

It's always good to great minds think alike.....
 
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Steve Hendrix

Active member
I own the 150 3.5. The 2.8 is a bit sharper from images I have seen. Its about how mich weight can I carry. I have six lenses 35, 55, 80, 110, 150, and 240. I am thinking about getting the new 45 and the doubler. I have no more room in my pack. My wife will have to carry any new lenses I get. She also arries bear spray, food and extra clothing if its needed. I never worry about bears, she has the concern, so I feel its fine for her to carry the bear spray.

I have printed many images from the 150 3.5 and have no complaints with the lens, its very sharp and like you Imuse it a lot. Especially, for stitching and tree images. The 110 and 150 are my go to lenses.




,

With bears, my general policy is that the slowest runner should carry the bear spray. :rolleyes:

While the 150/2.8 is a better performer - especially wide open - it is considerably smaller/lighter, and still worth considering as a good sharp lens stopped down when ergonomics are a consideration. And I would add that when the 150/2.8 BR lens first dropped, we had numerous 150/3.5 upgraders and some of those lenses ended up in our inventory at a great price (and are still available).


Steve Hendrix/CI
 

lky888

New member
1. Of course the extra resolution from 100 to 150 megapixels is a big improvement. For my work delivering fine art prints to a gallery is the end result. The extra resolution will be very beneficial to delivering extra detail to the larger prints, and the wall size murals.

2. I conducted a ISO sweep with the camera from 50 to 3200 ISO. Given that the camera is a prototype and the final firmware was not installed in the camera, I won’t get into to many specifics. When I looked at the images, I was very excited to see very little degradation in the file at the higher ISO’s. For my work a lot of my images are images of trees, moving leaves is a constant issue. The improvements in the higher ISO would allow me to spend less time waiting for leaves to stop moving. Longer exposures in a forest are common. Its a trade off between depth of field and shorter exposure times to get the leaves sharp. Now with the better ISO performance it will allow me to still maximize the depth of field with shorter exposures.
Hi Steven,

I heard this new Sony sensor can cause the temperature of the back to go up quite seriously, similar to Sony A7R2. What was your experience?

Thanks,
KY.
 

stevenfr

Active member
I only had the camera for a couple hrs, I didn’t notice anything.

Hi Steven,

I heard this new Sony sensor can cause the temperature of the back to go up quite seriously, similar to Sony A7R2. What was your experience?

Thanks,
KY.
 

stevenfr

Active member
I will be in Vancouver on Wednesday November 28th to to give a talk at a Phase One event at Ray Lum Studios from 4pm to 8pm. My talk will be my experiences with the new Phase One IQ4 150 megapixel camera. As well, the print titled Crimson Dogwood printed at 43" x 57" will be at the event. Ulf Lijegren Phase One Global Technical Support Manager will be at the event to discuss his knowledge behind the new camera.

Please let me know if you are interested in attending the event.
 
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stevenfr

Active member
Thanks Bill. This image was shot at dusk, I used ISO 800 to get this image. Interestingly, this is the first time I have used ISO 800 for a print that I would sell. A friend of mine went to the Montreal event.




I attended the one in Toronto, Steven, but I'd have loved to see your magnificent print!
B.
 
1

1400700226

Guest
Last week Tim Wolcott and I had an opportunity to test the Phase One XF IQ4 150 megapixel camera system prototype. We were shooting with it in the Smoky Mountains for a couple of hours.

I wanted to provide to you a list of features and enhancements to the IQ4 150 back that I felt were interesting to my landscape photography.

1. Of course the extra resolution from 100 to 150 megapixels is a big improvement. For my work delivering fine art prints to a gallery is the end result. The extra resolution will be very beneficial to delivering extra detail to the larger prints, and the wall size murals.

2. I conducted a ISO sweep with the camera from 50 to 3200 ISO. Given that the camera is a prototype and the final firmware was not installed in the camera, I won’t get into to many specifics. When I looked at the images, I was very excited to see very little degradation in the file at the higher ISO’s. For my work a lot of my images are images of trees, moving leaves is a constant issue. The improvements in the higher ISO would allow me to spend less time waiting for leaves to stop moving. Longer exposures in a forest are common. Its a trade off between depth of field and shorter exposure times to get the leaves sharp. Now with the better ISO performance it will allow me to still maximize the depth of field with shorter exposures.

3. The faster write times with the XQD cards and the faster processors in the camera enable me to shoot images quicker. This is key when shooting stitched panoramic images. The shorter write times should result in getting stitched images as quick as possible, without the wait times between exposures. On a recent shoot, I spent over two hours waiting for the leaves to stop moving. I believe with a higher ISO and the quicker write times, I would of been able to get the images quicker, which would allow me to move onto my next location.

4. Dark Frame reduction. I was told by a Phase One representative that the dark frame will be reduced to a minimal amount of time. As an example in the past I would do a 4 second exposure with 6 image captures as a stitched panorama. In between exposures, I would have to wait the entire 4 second for the dark frame to finish. I am now told the dark frame will be almost instantaneous on the shorter exposures. Thus saving me 24 second over the entire time to capture the 6 images. Once I get my 150 back this will be something I will test.

5. Live View is now cleaner and much faster. Zooming into the images and moving around the image to check sharpness has no lag. There also an ability to pinch-to-zoom, and left and right gestures to access the camera settings. Its all very intuative. Also, the ability to see a focus mask is now available in the live view of the image before capture.

6. Live Histogram on the Raw file is really exciting. In the past you would have to shoot the image to evaluate your histogram. Now it will be possible to do it live using the exposure simulation, which allows one to see the histogram change as you change the exposure. As well, there is an ability to see a live clipping by channel. Its a graphical view by channel, very cool.

7. Dual card storage (XQD and SD) was also a nice feature. The Phase One representative also mentioned that the wireless writing of images was a possibility. I asked if there was an ability to wirelessly write to a hard drive. The Phase One representative thought it would be possible, but would need to confirm.

8. Capture One Inside the camera. There were a few presets that were available in the camera. I experimented with the B&W setting. When I looked at the images with the preset in Capture One the image was tagged with the B&W settings. I think this will be useful if you have a preset you like, and want to see it in the camera when you are shooting, and not have to wait for the images to be downloaded.

I do feel that the extra resolution is welcome, but to me the features mentioned above are the real story with the new back. I believe these features will make image capture easier, and quicker with increased accuracy.

I have attached three images I processed through Capture One.


Steven Friedman
Http://www.friedmanphoto.com
Could you post some RAWs here?
 

stevenfr

Active member
The firmware on the prototype was not complete. My advice, I would suggest contacting a dealer and trying a shipping version.
 
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