Phase One reveals world's first CMOS medium format camera back
By Simon Crisp
January 26, 2014
It's all about CMOS sensors in the medium format camera world at the moment. Just a couple of days ago, Hasselblad announced that it would launch the world's first CMOS-sensor-toting medium format camera in March. Now, Phase One has muscled in on the action and revealed the world's first CMOS sensor medium format camera back, the IQ250 ... and this one is already available.
At its core, the Phase One IQ250 features a 50 megapixel CMOS sensor which measures 44 x 33 mm. It has a resolution of 8280 x 6208, and a 5.3 x 5.3 micron pixel size. This means the sensor is 68 percent larger than that of a full-frame 35-mm-format DSLR. However, it's still smaller than the 54 x 40 mm sensors used in some other Phase One IQ2 backs, resulting in a 1.3 lens factor.
The adoption of a CMOS sensor (rather than CCD) is important because it enables the IQ250 to boast better low light performance than any of its currently available rivals. Its ISO range of 100 to 6,400 is the widest usable of any digital medium format camera, and the IQ250 should perform well in available light conditions that would have other medium format cameras (which often never leave the studio) running scared.
The Phase One IQ250 also has an impressive 14 stops of dynamic range, enabling photographers to retain details in highlights and shadows. Exposure times from 1/10000s to 60 min are available, and Live View capability is much improved. While it might not sound like much to DSLR and mirrorless shooters, the IQ250's capture rate of 1.2 frames per second is also something to shout about in a medium format camera.
As part of the IQ2 camera system line-up, the IQ250 digital back has a 3.2-inch touchscreen on the rear. There's also built-in Wi-Fi for remote viewing, along with USB 3.0 for connecting to a computer running Capture One. The IQ250 can be used with a variety of medium format camera bodies, though Phase One would probably like to see it paired with its 645DF+.
The Phase One IQ250 is available now and comes with the Capture One software for raw image processing and editing. It will set you back a not insubstantial USD$34,990.
Check out the promotional video below to see a bit more of the Phase One IQ250.
Source: Phase One
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