FRIDAY JANUARY 31, 2014
Phase One IQ250 - 11 Things to Know
1. When is the Phase One IQ250 shipping?
The IQ250 prototypes have been quietly circulating the world for months. Several photographers have been shooting with it under strict NDA, giving feedback for the final production version, and getting some great sample images.
Using feedback from the prototypes the IQ250 has been fine tuned, thoroughly tested, and will begin shipping in final form on January 27th!
This will make it the first shipping CMOS digital back, and the only one with Live View on the back itself, modern touch interface, retina grade LCD, USB3, auto perspective correction, wifi, focus mask, adjustable exposure warning. As such, we expect significant back-order to form nearly immediately.
The first shipment will be our demonstration units which we will have starting the week of January 27th. We will be giving away a free rental of the very first unit the week it arrives - enter on our facebook page to win. Once all dealers have received demonstration units, customer orders will begin to ship, so if you're interested please contact us ASAP so we can save your place in the delivery queue.
2. Will the IQ250 work on a Tech Camera?
Digital Transitions will be doing extensive testing with Arca, Cambo, and Alpa to determine which lenses can be used with what amount of movement. We expect performance to be in the same ballpark as the IQ180 – this will be a back for which you'll want to use Rodenstock wide angles rather than Schneider. Light falloff is likely to be higher (but less of an issue because of the increased dynamic range), but color cast is likely to be lower. It's unclear how wide of lenses, and how much movement will still produce excellent results - but rest assured we're on top of finding out for you!
If you'd like a specific lens tested, or would like to come in and test your specific system please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Does the IQ250 really perform at ISO6400?
With previous Phase One digital backs it was an open secret that the highest stated ISO was questionable in quality (as is usually the case with whatever a manufacturer says their highest ISO is). But the results at ISO6400 have been truly amazing. We already have several staggering raw files shot at ISO3200 and ISO6400 and will be capturing even more in the coming days and weeks. We also will have a demonstration unit at our office, at the launch party, at our Denver and Texas Roadshow and available remotely via our RDC. We'll be glad to show you, rather than tell you about, the quality of the IQ250 at high ISO.
4. Who makes the Sensor? What size is it?
Phase One has been working closely with Sony since the start of their larger-than-35mm CMOS sensor project began. As the world's largest and leading, manufacturer of digital backs Sony has been very interested in collaboration with Phase One on this sensor's specifications, implementations.
But, as the head of R+D at Phase One says, "selecting a sensor is only the start of creating a great digital back, not the end." Taming the hardware, finding the best way to use the raw signal from the sensor, finishing it with the proper bayer filter (CFA) and IR filter, selecting and refining the supporting electronics, and building a set of robust, beautiful, and nuanced color profies is just as important. Read more about the multi-year project to bring CMOS to Medium Format in our feature article on Luminous Landscape on Monday, January 27th.
The sensor is the same size as the P30+ and IQ140: 33x44mm. Need help translating focal lengths or seeing image circles? Try our Visualizer which will be updated with the IQ250 shortly.
5. What mounts will be available?
- M: for Phase One and Mamiya
- H: for H1, H2, H4X
- V: for classic 500 series bodies
- C: for Contax 645
6. What else was announced alongside the Phase One IQ250?
- An updated version of Capture Pilot, with support for iOS7 and several new features (more on this later)
- Capture One 7.2 Beta (final version expected next week) with support for the IQ250
- New firmware was announced for the IQ1 and other IQ2 digital backs with a few minor improvements like movable guides - release in the next month or so.
7. Will Live View be available on the LCD?
Yes, and it’s very good. Click here to watch it in action.
It can handle high contrast lighting, strong or weak lighting, depth-of-field preview, and has a refresh rate of around 20-24 frames per second, and has very very low latency - meaning changes in focus, composition, or subject movement are nearly instantaneous. In short, it’s everything you’ve come to expect from using a Canon or Nikon in the last few years.
This feat is largely owed to the ultra-modern interface and powerful underpinnings of the Phase One IQ, and was aided by Phase One’s experience with Capture One providing Live View for Canon/Nikon in it’s industry leading Capture One Pro software. You can read more about the backstory of how the development of the IQ was driven, in part, by the desire to be ready for CMOS (including CMOS live view) in a feature article we are publishing on Monday.
Live View is available on the IQ250’s LCD screen whether you are tethered or untethered, and you can use Live View via USB3. If you’re using a Phase One DF+ you’ll find the shutter automatically opens and closes when live view is started or stopped.
Live View at a slower frame rate will also be available via Capture Pilot, but this functionality will not be available at the time of the launch, but instead will come via a later free firmware and iOS software update.
Best of all, Live View will not require as much battery power as with the IQ1 and IQ260/IQ280. Close cooperation with Sony, and expertise from Phase One’s in-house sensor experts including the VP of technology Thomas Andersen helped to implement a very power-efficient routine for live view, extending battery life significantly.
8. How much does the Phase One IQ250 cost?
The IQ250 is $34,990 with a classic 1-year warranty. Bundles are available with a camera body and lens. An optional value added 5-year warranty is also availble, which includes additional accessories and a loaner during any service/repairs during that 5-year period.
Upgrade pricing is available for those who already own a Phase One digital back and competitive trade-ins will be given for those who own a competing digital back.
Looking for the image quality of a digital back, and the rock solid reliability Phase One is known for, but need a lower cost of entry? DT has factory refurbished and certified pre-owned IQ1 and P+ backs. We also has leasing programs to help you own a back, while managing your cashflow. Contact us and we'll work together to lay out your best options. This is what we do every day!
9. What about Long Exposures?
Yes. Extremely well.
With the IQ260 a custom sensor design was used that allowed extremely good long exposures, by enabling a special Long Exposure mode which raised the ISO from 50 to 140. With the IQ250 long exposures do not require a special mode. The specification for the IQ250 is one hour long, but it’s possible it might go even longer. Moreover long exposures can be done at higher ISOs without significant drop in quality. We have seen 30” exposures done at ISO800 that look amazingly clean. We’ll be doing additional testing soon.
10. Will the IQ250 have the same interface and feature set as the IQ260 and IQ280?
The IQ250 is a full-fledged member of the IQ2 family, featuring the same great Retina LCD, touch screen interface, FW800 and USB3 tethering, wireless review/edit/control via iPad/iPhone, fast CF card read/write (UDMA 7), and internal battery.
Inside the RAM, CPU, and other internal components have all seen upgrades to handle the faster speed, and to allow for Live View at 20-24 fps. We’ll have more about that on Monday in a feature article.
11. GPS Logging
The new version of Capture Pilot adds GPS Logging via sync with your iPhone. Just stick your phone in your pocket, and Capture Pilot will sync your locations to the raw files you’re capturing automatically. Either in real-time or at intervals of your choosing (to save battery). Capture One will then link your image to it’s location in google maps.
GPS logging will also be added to the IQ260 and IQ280 via free firmware update in a few weeks.
Still have questions? Shoot us an email at email@example.com or ask on our Facebook page and we'll get back to you, quite possibly immediately (we’re so excited we aren’t really sleeping right now!)
Phone: 1.877.f/ortless (367-8537)