Phase One XF 100MP First Shots: Holy moly, you’ve never seen our test images like this before!


posted Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 4:24 PM EST


Well, here's something a bit different. Say hello to the Phase One XF camera paired with a 100-megapixel IQ3 digital medium format back, or Phase One XF 100MP for short. While we tackle pretty much any type of digital camera from small, pocketable point-and-shoots to large, full-frame DSLRs, the medium format world isn't something we regularly deal with. 

On the other hand, we have had the opportunity to review both the Pentax 645D and its 51MP successor, the 645Z. These medium format DSLRs captured some amazing images, and until now, some of the highest-resolution photos of our Still Life target we've ever seen. We were able to spot textures and other fine details barely perceptible to the naked eye!

Now, we've gone a big step further with the 100-megapixel IQ3 back from Phase One, and the fine detail that this system is able to capture is absolutely breathtaking. Unlike some digital medium-format camera sensors, including the ones in the Pentax 645D and 645Z cameras, this new IQ3 100MP sensor has no lens crop factor; it is a true full-frame medium format digital sensor that measures 53.7mm x 40.4mm. This new 100MP back offers 16-bit color output, 15 stops of dynamic range, and an ISO range from 50 to 12,800. 

A 100% crop at 625x700px of the Focus Stacked photo of our Still Life target at base ISO 50.

We're still in the middle of testing this new Phase One XF 100MP camera, but for now, jump on over to our Phase One XF 100MP Samples Page to see the imaging prowess of this nearly $50,000 camera system. In addition to our First Shots set of Still Life images that span the camera's ISO range, we also have an ISO series of our Multi Target test image and a RES chart image, as well as a rather impressive Focus Stacked shot of our Still Life target. Built right into the camera, the Phase One offers an automatic focus stacking tool that automatically adjusts focus through a predetermined distance range and with a customizable number of frames. We then converted the raw files (40 frames in this case) into full-resolution TIFF images and sent them over to HeliconSoft's Helicon Focus image processing software to build the final composite. 

*Note: The Phase One only shoots in raw. We've provided these raw .IIQ files for download, as well as offered full-resolution sRGB JPEGs converted using Capture One 9 at default processing settings.

It's also worth noting that we've discovered that displaying full-resolution images from the XF 100MP in the 32-bit version of Google Chrome on Windows will crash the browser tab. Basically, these images are so huge they will break your browser! 64-bit versions of Chrome (Win/Mac) as well as Safari, Firefox v47 and Internet Explorer 11 all work fine, however.

A 100% crop at 625x700px of the Focus Stacked photo of our Still Life target at base ISO 50.

Stay tuned for more coverage of our Phase One XF 100MP review in the coming weeks!

Phase One XF 100MP PreviewSample Images