updated 08:10 am EST, Mon January 24, 2011
Phase One IQ180 tops 80MP in medium format
Phase One today pushed the limits of medium format cameras on Monday by launching its new IQ series digital backs. The trio moves the baseline for resolution and starts at 40 megapixels for the IQ140, moving up to 60.5 megapixels for the IQ160 and an unprecedented 80 megapixels for the IQ180. Photographers are now more likely to keep shooting as well, since the backs now have USB 3.0 along with FireWire 800 and have optimized memory card interfaces that can keep shooting at 0.7 frames per second up until the storage is full.
All of the IQ range now has an extra-sharp 1.15-megapixel preview touchscreen. As with most digital medium format camera technology, the light sensitivity range is normally low at between ISO 50 to 800, but Phase One is using the familiar concept of combining pixels to up the range to between 200 and 3,200 to capture scenes in low light at a quarter of a given camera's resolution. Anyone using a 645DF body can now also turn on the IQ from the body and charge it while tethered to a computer.
The range leading IQ180 will be the first to ship and should be ready in April. Both the IQ140 and IQ160 will ship a month later. Pricing for the full range hasn't been given out but will start at $21,990 for the IQ140; existing users can upgrade for less.