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Poll: What are the most critical IQ5 features you'd upgrade for?

What would make you upgrade to an IQ5 (don't select if not important)

  • Sensor: I'm ok with 3:2 and would upgrade (54x36mm)

    Votes: 4 10.3%
  • Sensor: Needs to be 4:3, 54x40mm

    Votes: 30 76.9%
  • Battery life: Important for me that its improved - don't want to burn through 4 batteries in a shoot

    Votes: 20 51.3%
  • Screen: Durable, weather resistant tilt screen with higher resolution

    Votes: 16 41.0%
  • Colour science - onboard LUTs, or inbuilt filmic

    Votes: 6 15.4%
  • I/0: Faster and more energy efficient WiFi for wireless tethering

    Votes: 19 48.7%
  • CPU: Faster onboard processing for expandability, snappiness down the road

    Votes: 18 46.2%
  • EVF feature

    Votes: 10 25.6%
  • Pricing - keep P1's upgrade policy of 23k-25k upgrade from last-gen

    Votes: 16 41.0%
  • Higher Dynamic Range

    Votes: 23 59.0%

  • Total voters

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
So the cat is out of the bag. Sony announced a 250 megapixel 54x36mm sensor - 3:2 crop instead of 4:3.

Its not confirmed whether a photographic sensor would also have the same dimensions and megapixels, but it looks like the successor to the 150 megapixel sensor.

It would be interesting to see whether certain features are seen as deal killers or key features worth upgrading for.

Below a poll to get a better understanding of the interest in an IQ5.

Most likely it'll cost 45-50k and 25-30k with IQ4 trade in. 35k ish with an older back.

For that amount of money, there's little room for compromise in key wanted features.

If there's no trade-in policy as has been the case forever with P1, which brings you to a max. of ca. 25k, its gonna be a very difficult sell in today's market as we have arrived at diminishing returns of higher resolution + new alternatives (Fuji, Hassy, upcoming S4).

So what would make you want to upgrade, if at all, to a 54x36mm IQ5?
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Paul Spinnler

Well-known member

As a reference, via extrapolation, this is what the next-gen cameras could look like in terms of megapixels if each manufacturer adopts the Sony 811 BSI tech. Remember the IQ4 was released in 2019, so it took for example until 2023 until the M11M came out or even 5 years for the new Hassy crop BSI back. So we are talking about the cycle 2025-2030 of camera sensor tech.

Aesthetic preferences aside, the 4:3 format is a more efficient use of a mount meaning the difference between say an IQ5 in 3:2 vs. an S4 or Fuji, Hasselblad next-gen would be 248 vs. 220 or 183, respectively.

We do not know the S4's mount specs yet, but they could, based on the new info from Sony, still change the mount during development to accomodate for 48x36 in which case you'd barely have a difference between crop MF and the cut down full frame sensor with 36mm height.

There are now a few scenarios how it could all develop IMHO:

A) Historic chip sizes remain the same:

+ 275 Phase vs. 185 crop MF system, including S4 -> assuming P1 has the possibility to order a true 54x40mm from Sony given order size, etc. (ideal scenario)

B) Worst case scenario for "large chip MF":

+ 250 Phase vs. 220 (S4 / Fuji / Hasselblad team up to order 48x36 chips) – this would basically mean the full frame USP of P1 backs is impacted by inefficient 3:2 ratio vs. efficient 4:3 ratio; since the introduction of the IQ4 they focused on 54x40mm as USP which would be not possible anymore

C) Fuji, Hasselblad and Leica stay in their crop MF segment

+ 250 Phase vs. 185 crop MF (the most likely scenario right now) – problem here is that Delta is too small between the top and mid-tier solution then

The next gen of Leica and Sony camera will break the 100 megapixel barrier in the next 3-5 years it looks like. So M12M could be a 100 megapixel system.

I truly hope we stay in the A) scenario approaching 300 MPX with Leica using the time given their product not being out yet to do a 220 S4 ...

If a 275 megapixel system sees the day, I cannot wait to see a re-do of the vs 8x10 comparison ...

My hunch is that the reason we see a 54 x 36 mm chip is because Sony is optimizing production as they can then going forward sell:


As you can see, in all these sensors it tops out at 36mm on one end and on the 44x33 sensor they can just turn off some pixels to keep it at 33mm from 36mm.

48 incidentally is also 2x the length of 24mm in the 35mm chip size 36x24 .... so its like cutting a film strip or tape ... :)

This means the 48x36 would be the new optimum in terms of space utilization and it would be 4:3 which is preferred by many tech cam shooters and fine art photographers.

Any manufacturer that can integrate this will have a mind-blowing 220 megapixel system. Let's say Fuji and Hasselblad take a bit less mm and you have them at 200 MPX which is not too far anymore from 250 megapixels...

This makes me think that it will be super critical to keep the USP for P1 to talk to Sony to get a custom size ordered ... I have somehow the hope they will pull it off.

Their IQ4 is such a phenomenal product. Let's hope IQ5 will be 54x40 too.

Interesting times.
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Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
The poll is interesting, seems the P1 value proposition is: 4:3 sensor with highest res and dynamic range possible. People want snappy operation, better battery life and keep the upgrade policy. P1 clearly is the product where the sensor and high res / high dynamic range is the star. The rest doesn't matter that much.

No one cares about EVF, screen, colour science, etc.

So P1 just has to drop an IQ5: 275 for 25k (trade-in)-45k with a better battery and a new ARM processor so its flies (like fast zoom, multple FPS, etc.).

Let's hope 2025 is the year we'll see this.

Can't wait to scan color negs with 275 megapixels!

So looks like we'll have GFX at 180, hopefully IQ5 at 275 and Leica Ms with 100 megapixels. M12M is gonna be the bomb, especially if they integrate hybrid EVF/VF for the first time.

Amazing times.

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
Looks like all Phase needs to do is to slap a new 54x40 sensor in the same chassis with better DR and a bit snappier CPU.

P1 has a super clear value proposition. Biggest commercially available sensor for photographers in a big box surrounding it to ensure highest DR and fast processing.

Let's see what the futue holds ...

No one wants 54x36 it seems.


Well-known member
To be honest, I moved from the IQ3 100 to the IQ4 150 for 2 reasons - the BSI and the frame averaging.
The improved noise performance was a bonus.
The pixel count did not matter.
If the IQ5 will have a 3:2 aspect, it would definitely be a big negative for me.

However, it will probably take more than just a faster, higher resolution back, to make me upgrade.


Well-known member
Among other things, I voted to keep 4:3, the format I am used to and love.

However, in a way and leaving the best effectiveness of 4:3 aside, having either 250 Mp in 3:2 or 275 Mp in 4:3 would be more Mp than most would ever need anyway, even cropped whichever way.

For me, what would be most important is keeping IQ4 unique features such as Frame Averaging. Then, the IQ5 would need better CPU speed, as good or better dynamic range than the IQ4, better battery life and USB-c battery charging to get rid of the last-century Hahnel wall brick.

More, the availability of an easy solution for external EVF, either with stable and simple WiFi (better) or cable tethered (not preferred, but acceptable), would also be a game changer for a new IQ5 vs the current IQ4, at least for the work I do.

If we are looking at it from the other side - e.g. what would we be ready to accept as missing in an eventual IQ5 that we have in the IQ4 - then for me lack of Frame Averaging would pretty much mean I'll keep my IQ4.

Best regards,


Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
Fully agree that dropping FRA would be a deal killer. I think that's not going to happen since it is the same sensor manufacturer and they should know how to handle the files.

In the end it'll come down to whether one wants to let go the IQ4 if the upgrade option is the 250 sensor with 54x36.

This said., they have a lot of upgrade potential from non-IQ4 owners, meaning people with an IQ3-100 or IQ260 ...

Personally, I would miss the 54x40 too much, I think, so not sure I would upgrade if the 54x36 is the only option - I find the format limiting, especially for one shot and for stitching it is inconvenient as you need to do more shots for non 3:2 panos and two shot every time you want 4:3. Yes, you can crop, but why bother then with 180 megapixels vs. 150 on a smaller pixel pitch (more demanding on optics and smaller FoV ( all lenses become longer and less useful for oneself if one is accustomed to certain formats)). One might as well just stick with the IQ4 then which, as Vieri rightly mentioned, is not limiting in terms of end product.

I am assuming tthat after 6 years they've collected all the feedback around, battery life, connectivity, etc. so thats a given, I hope.

On EVF I am not hopeful as it would compromise the solidity of the build quality / weather resistance and it seems tricky to me. if they integrade a more efficient WiFi that allows real time monitoring that would be great, similar to what DJI does with its drone remotes. It should be possible.

It will be very interesting what they'll upgrade. If they don't get a custom chip they will sell a lot less, I think.

One can only hope for a surprise and a 54x40, but most likely it'll just be the 54x36 sensor, which is 180 megapixels cropped to 4:3 in one shot.
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Well-known member
EVF should be possible even in the current IQ4. It needs some firmware changes.
Use the hdmi to drive the display.
Use the touch screen like a tablet to interface the on-screen pointer with the touch on the screen. It will feel a bit disconnected in the beginning like learning to use a Wacom tablet input.

The resolution is not great with just full HD output.
IQ5 could have 4K.

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
EVF should be possible even in the current IQ4. It needs some firmware changes.
Use the hdmi to drive the display.
Use the touch screen like a tablet to interface the on-screen pointer with the touch on the screen. It will feel a bit disconnected in the beginning like learning to use a Wacom tablet input.

The resolution is not great with just full HD output.
IQ5 could have 4K.
I went down the HDMI route. It sucks and is not practical.

The reasons:
1) There's no third party EVF you can attach without battery - battery makes it extremely cumbersome and heavy; I opted for an external pack via cable - a nightmare
2) The best EVF I found was Zacuto's - mounting it onto a tech cam is just very cumbersome with little arms, etc. and it is very heavy
3) The refresh rate and resolution on HDMI are not great and there's no easy way of checking sharpness across the frame and to move from 100% and back. You can only move around the image while touching the back's screen and it is slow to move around the image. It is not practical to look through the EVF, then look at the screen to move around, etc.
4) Back is quickly drained
5) HMDI interface in general seems not thought through.

You'd need to completely re-think it, have it be powered by the back and integrated into a compact XC like body to be useful.

Best solution would be a clip-on EVF like the one on the M11 platform which is powered by the back via a weather resistant hot-shoe type mount at the top of the back and a little rubber joystick on a side grip to remote control via bluetooth where you are in the 150 megapixel image. That's the challenge with such a high res sensor - to zoom to 100% and navigate within the EVF.

Problems to solve are:
1) Powering EVF via back and having a lot more battery life overall in the back so you are not burning through multiple of batteries in a session
2) Making the contraption compact
3) Manual focus to 100% in firmware (easy)
4) Moving around zoomed in image easily (tricky) without taking eyes off EVF (35mm cameras solve this via joystick)
5) Triggering via bluetooth via side grip will looking through EVF

So you need bluetooth, a new EVF solution, new firmware, a new battery system which can also power the EVF, openness to allow third parties (e.g. Alpa TC) to also use a side grip, etc. For a 45k back I'd also want good EVF - meaning sth like in a Leica SL.

Not sure we'll see any of the HW stuff, hopefully at least the Bluetooth for remote triggering, although it would undermine the XT blue trigger button "USP" they use to differentiate va. Arca and Alpa.

But Bluetooth for remote triggering would be awesome. It would be useful in many scenarios, from studio to macro, to solo fine art photography in the field to handheld with Alpa or Arca Factum.

I think IQ5 will be just the new sensor and a bit better I/O. It is very exciting to finally see a new product – let's see what they do!

People now have a year to think about whether they'd be ok with 3:2 :)
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