Phase One has unveiled the IQ250 medium format camera, the first of its kind with a CMOS image sensor, stealing the show from Hasselblad, who made a similar announcement this week.
The whole world has been amazed when Hasselblad has announced the H5D-50c. Unfortunately, the announcement has consisted of development plans and a promise that world’s first medium format camera with a CMOS image sensor will be released in March 2014. Nobody has seen this device and the only confirmed specification consists of the 50-megapixel sensor.
In order to prevent Hasselblad from having such important bragging rights, Phase One has decided to show off and release the first medium format back with a CMOS sensor.
It is called IQ250 and, unlike the H5D-50c, it is available now, its photos are live, and its specifications sheet has been presented. This means that it actually qualifies for the world’s first CMOS-powered medium format back. Now that we have clarified this aspect, it is time to move on and see what makes it so special.
Phase One actually announces world’s first medium format back with a CMOS sensor
Phase One IQ250 features a 44x33mm sensor (about 68% bigger than a conventional 35mm unit) capable of capturing 50-megapixel photos.
All medium format backs are running on CCD sensors, meaning that their low-light capabilities are rather limited. As CMOS is in town, the IQ250 is said to provide the “widest ISO sensitivity range in its class” from a minimum of 100 to a maximum of 6,400.
Shutter speed is also in the extremes, which is another benefit of medium format cameras. According to the manufacturer, this camera’s maximum shutter speed is 1/10000th of a second while its minimum one stands at 3,600 seconds (one hour).
The dynamic range is something to get excited about, too, as the IQ250 offers up to 14 f-stop dynamic range along with 14-bit color depth. All of these are aimed at professional photographers, who do not want anything else other than the best possible image quality.
Phase One IQ250 captures 50MP photos and it is available now with amazing specs, but prohibitive price
The list of features continues with a 1.15-million-dot 3.2-inch touchscreen with a 170-degree viewing angle. The display will double as a Live View Mode so that photographers can compose and focus their frames properly.
Phase One IQ250 offers built-in WiFi allowing users to transfer content to an iPhone or iPad without any cables. Speaking of which, this device comes packed with USB 2.0 / 3.0 and Firewire ports.
Sadly, the Denmark-based company has not managed to solve one of the biggest “problems” for medium format cameras: the price. The IQ250 is already available for purchase, but at a staggering price of $34,990 in the US and €24,990 in Europe.