Phase One XF 100MP Performance

 
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Phase One XF 100MP Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally slow performance, even for a medium format camera.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

10 / 12 seconds

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

2.4 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

The Phase One XF 100MP took a glacial 10 seconds to power on and take a shot when using the power button on the camera body. And when powered up using the button on the digital back, it took even longer at about 12 seconds. Switching from Playback mode to Record and taking a shot took 2.4 seconds, which is very slow.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
(Spot)

0.333 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All timing measurements taken with the Schneider Kreuznach LS 80mm f/2.8 kit lens.)

Manual focus

0.351 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Pre-focused

0.352 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Live View

Pre-focused

0.251 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The shutter lag numbers above measure time from shutter button press to image capture, with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. This largely removes the issue of differences in lens focusing speed, and measures how fast the camera can measure and act on focus information.

In this metric, the Phase One XF 100MP was a bit on the slow side for a modern camera. Full autofocus shutter lag was 0.333 second using Spot AF mode. While still reasonably responsive, that's about twice as long as the Pentax 645Z took in our tests.

Oddly, when manually focused or pre-focused, shutter lag actually increased slightly to about 0.35 second, which are some of the longest non-AF shutter lags we've recorded. (Note: All lag times were taken with Latency set to Zero for maximum performance.)

In Live View mode, prefocused shutter lag was lower at about 0.25 second, likely because the massive mirror is already up in that mode.

 

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)

Single Shot mode
16-bit IIQ RAW

1.87 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
16-bit IIQ RAW
Focal Plane Shutter

1.91 seconds
(0.52 fps);
Unlimited frames(?)
2 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over about 60 shots.

Continuous mode
16-bit IIQ RAW
Leaf Shutter

1.77 seconds
(0.56 fps);
Unlimited frames(?)
2 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over about 60 shots.

Continuous mode
16-bit IIQ RAW
Mirror Up, EFCS

1.65 seconds
(0.60 fps);
Unlimited frames(?)
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over about 60 shots.

Flash recycling

N/A

Flash at maximum output.

* Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Professional 1066x UDMA 7 CompactFlash card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

Shot-to-shot cycle times were quite slow, taking about 1.9 seconds per frame. (The camera only shoots RAW files so we have no JPEG or RAW+JPEG results.)

Continuous mode speeds weren't much different than single-shot and thus also quite slow, varying from about 0.5 frames per second in Focal Plane Shutter mode to 0.6 frames per second with the mirror up and Electronic First Curtain Shutter enabled. The camera very occasionally produced a cycle that was noticeably longer than the average, but then continued at full speed so the above averages include any minor "hiccups". Again, all cycle times were taken with Latency set to Zero for maximum performance.

Buffer depths in all tested modes were over 60 frames. We didn't continue past ~60 frames to determine if there was an actual limit as this is not a sports camera and we wanted to be mindful of the number of shutter actuations on our (very expensive) loaner, but it appears as if there is no buffer limit with a fast card other than battery and card capacity.

Buffer clearing was quite quick, ranging between 2 and 4 seconds with our fast Lexar Professional 1066x UDMA 7 CompactFlash card.

 

Bottom line, the Phase One XF 100MP is pretty slow at most things even for a medium format camera, however shutter lag is reasonable and buffer clearing is actually quite quick with a fast card. Although obviously not designed for quick action, the camera's performance should be adequate for its intended applications.

Battery

Battery Life

Phase One doesn't appear to publish CIPA battery life figures for the XF 100MP, however battery life wasn't great during lab shooting which is likely why the company includes four 7.2V 3400mAh batteries and a dual battery charger in the standard bundle. (Note that two batteries are needed to power the camera: one installed in the body and one in the digital back.)

 

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