Phase One Industrial announces new iXM Metric camera with 100-megapixel BSI sensor


posted Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 8:59 AM EST


In news that is not directly relevant to consumer photography, Phase One Industrial has announced UAV-based aerial imagery innovations, including a new aerial camera platform. The new iXM series is headlined by a 100-megapixel medium-format sensor and a range of high-resolution lenses.

The new iXM 100MP metric camera incorporates the first medium-format sensor with backside-illumination technology. This sensor is stated to have high light sensitivity and extended dynamic range. The camera itself is weatherproof (IP53 compliant) and robust. It is designed for high-quality aerial imaging, mapping, surveying and inspection applications. The camera includes HDMI outputs, XQD storage and USB-C and 10G Ethernet ports. You can see a full list of technical specifications here.

Alongside the camera, Phase One Industrial has also announced four new RSM lenses with focal lengths ranging from 35mm to 150mm. The lenses are available with either fixed-focus or motorized-focus functionality. The fixed-focus 35mm and 80mm lenses are ideal for surveying applications whereas the motorized-focus 80mm and 150mm lenses are more versatile, ideal for various types of aerial inspection.

The new iXM 100MP and iXM 50MP metric cameras are available for order now ahead of June delivery. They will cost $40,000 and $21,000 USD respectively. Each lens is $10,000.

Understandably, this particular product is not in the wheelhouse of many photographers and is clearly very specialized. However, it's worth taking a closer look at the sensor itself. The sensor is a 33 x 44-millimeter sensor. It appears to be the first camera using Sony's newest 100-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor of this size. You may note that this sensor size is the same one found in recent mirrorless medium-format cameras, such as the Fujifilm GFX. Fujifilm themselves have stated their GF lenses are designed for sensors up to 100 megapixels. Might this new sensor in the Phase One iXM line find its way into a more consumer-focused medium-format camera in the near future? Only time will tell.