Phase One Launches 80MP Digital Back

Digital camera megapixel counts are continuing to increase, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Phase One has upped the ante in the megapixel game with the announcement of its new generation of medium format digital camera backs. The Phase One IQ180, IQ160 and IQ140 digital camera backs feature maximum resolutions of 80MP, 60.5MP and 40MP respectively.

According to the press release distributed by Phase One, the IQ180 captures at full-frame 80 megapixel resolution, with a dynamic range of 12.5 f/stops. It is the first camera back to also feature a USB 3 connection, in addition to a FireWire 800 connection. For untethered shooting, the IQ180 digital back’s new memory card interface is said to be so fast that it eliminates buffering delays, supporting continuous shooting until a card is filled.

The digital backs utilize a newly-designed 3.2-inch retina type, multi touch screen with a resolution of 1.15 megapixels. Using Phase One’s unique Focus Mask and instant zoom function, you will be able to instantly check focus and details on the digital back’s LCD during a shoot. The digital back’s Context-sensitive controls let you use the instant zoom function to zoom into an image using only one finger. You can also enlarge small histograms and highlight warnings to full screen view by a simple touch. The new Focus Mask, which is accessible during preview helps validate depth-of-field and image focus. The wide format display allows for a full 4:3 aspect ratio VGA resolution image next to histogram, highlight warning, focus mask, EXIF data, and touch controls. This touch screen display is complemented by Phase One’s intuitive 4-button navigation.

Phase One’s patent-pending Sensor+ technology, built into the Phase One IQ180 lets you capture images with the full 80 megapixels resolution or, using Sensor+ mode, switch instantly to capture images with 20 megapixels resolution at 4 times higher sensitivity, up to ISO 3200. This flexibility lets you use the Phase One IQ180 to shoot subjects that you’d normally capture with a 35mm camera, so there’s no need to swap cameras in the middle of a project. Simply change the resolution and you get a faster workflow at the 20MP resolution.

Compatibility has also been improved between the IQ digital backs and the Phase One 645DF camera body. The power state of the digital back can now be controlled directly from the 645DF camera body. And an integrated battery charger ensures that the battery is charged while shooting tethered, for more convenience.

Phase One has optimized its Capture One 6 software for shooting with the Phase One IQ digital backs.

Phase One is expected to ship the IQ180 at the end of April. The Phase One IQ160 and IQ140 are expected to ship at the end of May. Prices for new digital backs start at $21.990. For more information, visit


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