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01-24-2014, 07:13 AM   #1

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Phase One announces IQ250 50MP CMOS medium format back with Sony sensor

Phase One has announced the 'world's first CMOS-based digital camera back' - the 50MP IQ250. It uses a 44x33mm sensor, which is 68% larger in area than 35mm full frame, and equates to a 1.3x crop of the standard 645 format. Until now medium format backs have invariably used CCD sensors, and the adoption of CMOS promises much improved image quality when shooting at high ISOs in particular.

The IQ250 promises the widest ISO range of any medium format camera system (100-6400), together with up to 14 stops of dynamic range and 14 bit colour depth. It also sports a high-resolution 1.15MP 3.2" touchscreen for live view, playback and changing settings, and has built-in Wi-Fi for connection to an iPad or iPhone. It's available now, with prices starting at €24990 / $34990.

Phase One's announcement comes hot on the heels of Hasselblad's statement earlier this week that it will also be making a 50MP CMOS-based model, to be called the H5D-50c.
Phase One announces IQ250 50MP CMOS medium format back: Digital Photography Review

Who makes the Phase One IQ250 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.
Phase One IQ250 - 11 things to know - DT Blog

Phase One today announced the world's first shipping CMOS sensor equipped medium format back. Called the IQ250, the back is part of Phase's current 200 series backs, and shares the construction, cosmetics, and user interface of other models in the series.

But, the real news is the sensor. Till now all medium format backs and cameras have used CCD sensors. The new IQ250 is the first announced to have a CMOS sensor. This device is manufactured by Sony, and, as the model number would suggest, has a resolution of 50 Megapixels.

It is not full 645 frame. Rather, like the IQ240 and other backs and cameras, it has a 1.3X crop factor with a physical size of 44X33mm.

Last edited by jogiba; 01-24-2014 at 07:19 AM.
01-24-2014, 07:49 AM   #2
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Clearly Pentax have a move to play !
A 645DII with this sensor for 10k like the previous 645D could be such a kick in some butts !

Well, and this kind of body don't need to be change every two years. It could helps Pentax to take some market share.

It would need a thethering support however
01-24-2014, 10:02 AM   #3

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The 645D has tethering support - through optional software.
01-25-2014, 06:35 AM   #4

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Original Poster
Well, that didn’t last long. Only a few days after Hasselblad revealed the exciting news that a 50MP CMOS Medium Format camera was in the works, PhaseOne has made a very similar announcement. Like Hasselblad, PhaseOne is calling this one a “world’s first,” only this time the title is “world’s first CMOS-based medium format digital camera back.”

It’s called the IQ250, and words like “game changer” and “class dominator” are already being bandied about in first-impression and introduction posts for this puppy.

Some of the more important and impressive specs include: 50MP 44x33mm CMOS sensor that offers 68% more image capture area than full-frame, ISO range between 100 and 6400, exposure time between 1/10,000s and 1 hour, 14 stops of dynamic range, 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD, improved LiveView capability, 1.2fps max shooting speed, built-in WiFi and USB 3.0.

Here are a few videos from PhaseOne. The first two introduce the new digital back, and the rest show world-class photographers taking it for a test ride:
PhaseOne Rains on the Hasselblad Parade with a New 50MP CMOS Digital Back

Last edited by jogiba; 01-25-2014 at 06:51 AM.
01-25-2014, 03:23 PM   #5

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In the first video, the guy says 14 stops of DR across ALL ISO sensitivities. Now that's a killer feature.
01-25-2014, 07:42 PM   #6
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Phase One has seriously upped their game. The 645D had killer features when it was released because MF systems before that had horrid AF and rear screens.

I'm sure the 645D II will use the same sensor though..
01-26-2014, 10:54 AM   #7

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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote

I'm sure the 645D II will use the same sensor though..
Let's hope Ricoh develops the 645D line enough to offer users a choice. CCD or CMOS option. And I really hope this new tech trickles down to smaller sensors too.

01-26-2014, 11:40 AM   #8
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I think this poster nailed it.

"If Phase want's to dismiss the ccd vs. cmos thing, shoot something worthwhile with both a ccd and cmos camera."

Phase One IQ250 - 11 things you need to know and Q&A
03-04-2014, 12:30 PM   #9

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The IQ 250 costs $34,990

Just days after competitor Hasselblad tried to upstage it with similar news, medium-format camera maker Phase One announced a new digital back that, for the first time, employs a CMOS image sensor. Unlike the Hasselblad model, however, Phase One's new 50-megapixel IQ250 is shipping now.

Until now, the medium-format camera market stuck with an earlier sensor technology called CCD (charge-coupled device) for converting photons into data. Now this high-end market segment is following the rest of the digital camera industry to CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) technology, the same manufacturing approach used to build conventional microchips.

The IQ250's new Sony-built sensor offers options for medium-format shooters, including high-sensitivity performance up to ISO 6,400; exposures as short at 1/10,000 of a second and as long as one hour; and a dynamic range spanning 14 f-stops for a better ability to capture details in both shadows and highlights. It doesn't take advantage of CMOS sensors' superior ability to shoot video, but that's no surprise or even shortcoming given that Phase One sells machines designed solely to capturing the best still photos possible.

Medium-format cameras use larger image sensors than even high-end conventional full-frame SLRs like the Nikon D800 or Canon 5D Mark III. Those full-frame SLRs' sensors measure 24x36mm, whereas Phase One's top-end IQ280 uses an 80-megapixel sensor from Teledyne Dalsa that measures 53.7x43.4mm.

The IQ250 uses a significantly smaller sensor, though, measuring 44x33mm, which means lenses will have a somewhat narrower field of view. And it only captures 14 bits per pixel data, compared to 16 bits per pixel for the IQ280 and IQ260. However, its 14-stop dynamic range is a notch better than IQ280's 13-stop range, and Sony has been doing a good job with sensors it's supplied to Nikon and itself.

Phase One's core products are digital backs, a module with a sensor housing, touch screen, CompactFlash slot, and USB 3.0 port that can be mounted onto a separate camera body. That approach can be convenient when a photographer wants to move to a new image sensor but doesn't want to pay for a new camera body, too.

Medium-format cameras are generally for dedicated professionals with big budgets. The IQ 250 costs $34,990 -- a high price but still short of the $36,990 60-megapixel IQ260, the $44,990 IQ260 Achromatic that shoots only black-and-white images, or the $43,990 IQ280.
Phase One IQ250 - Digital cameras - CNET Reviews

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