Phase One Announces the IQ3 100MP Achromatic MF Digital Back, A Fine Art Photography Powerhouse

Phase One Announces the IQ3 100MP Achromatic MF Digital Back, A Fine Art Photography Powerhouse

Phase One announced today their new, first-of-its-kind 101-megapixel achromatic medium format digital back. The IQ3 100MP Achromatic, which is manufactured without a Bayer filter, does not record any color information which allows “all available light to be captured unaltered and unobstructed.”

The Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic has a new CMOS sensor design that has the capability to shoot up to ISO 51,200. This is unheard of for medium format digital backs. The previous ISO champion in the Phase One lineup was the regular IQ3 100MP with its ISO 12,800 top sensitivity. The previous achromatic medium format digital back, the IQ2 60MP Achromatic, only has a top ISO of 3,200. This will prove to be very interesting what new kinds of images will be possible when this gets into artists’ hands.

According to Phase One, having no recorded color information frees the sensor to “focus solely on capturing the highest level of detail, nuance, and luminance.” Further, Phase One Vice President of Marketing and Product Management Stefan Sandor said: “The IQ3 100MP Achromatic enables photographers to capture a timeless expression. The detail, tonality, and image quality must be experienced first-hand, as seeing is not only believing, but truly inspirational.”

While of course Phase One would put it that way, there’s added merit seeing as how the IQ3 100MP Achromatic is produced without an infrared cut-off filter which allows it to capture light outside of the visible spectrum. Having a sensor that can see infrared light allows the IQ3’s Live View to actually display the light that is normally invisible to the naked eye. Phase One suggests powerful new opportunities for fine artists working with landscapes, portraiture, and architecture using the IQ3 100MP Achromatic.

The price of the IQ3 100MP Achromatic is $49,990 for the digital back only, and $54,990 for the package deal that also includes the Phase One XF camera and a free Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring prime lens of your choice. It's available to purchase now in limited quantities and will begin shipping in early August.

If you’re interested in learning more about today’s announcement, head over to the Phase One website.

Ryan Mense's picture

Ryan Mense is a wildlife cameraperson specializing in birds. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

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I'm dying to see some real-world samples of this beauty.
Preferably portraits with a funky-bokehlicious lens adapted to it :D

Some portraits shot by Mark Seliger can be seen on Phase One's website here: ;)

I'm pretty sure those are from old shoots

Given the resolution available when zooming in, I'd bet they are 100MP, and I honestly doubt Phase One would use pictures made with any other products than the one advertised.

That Lenny Kravitz one is from 2014 (, so I think it's fair to assume that they are old.

I think the article is meant to give Seliger's general endorsement of black and white as a favorable medium rather than an endorsement of the product. The Kravitz portrait was converted to black and white from color.

Nah that Lenny image is from like 2014 or something. I think he may have even used MF film. I think there is a video of it on youtube. Weird I was thinking the same thing you were ,they wouldn't use other products to promo their stuff... but I'm pretty sure it was shot with a Mamiya and some Profoto lights. I don't know why Phase One would do it either but they never said he was using the new digital back.

Amazing anyone would photograph Kravitz in the 21st Century at all.


When Kravitz went on first to back up The Stones in 1989 at Foxboro, most people skipped his act & stayed out in the parking lot & partied. And he's done nothing since. His father was a huge exec at ABC or some other media giant, that's why he exists.

Only $55k? I'll take three, so that my kids can learn to take fine art selfies in B&W :-)

I shot identical shots with the Leica Monochrom and Leica M10 at one of their shops. I then converted the M10 to Black and White in post and compared the two. I found negligible differences. I suspect this to be the same. In some ways it simplifies the workflow by having it already in 1 channel but you also lose some functionality by being able to adjust those individual RGB channels prior to conversion.

It would make for an interesting in-depth article, comparing this back to the color one.

if FStoppers wants to loan me both I'm happy to write that article!

Color is the best method to attain b&w. You have to interpret colors to get to monochrome and the best interpretation for skin is not the best for sky etc.

I would love to have this. The Leica is another one.

The Emperor's New Clothes...

On their page, this section shows an article from an artist who actually used the camera. The tonality is really something. No clue if it's possible with a conversion from color or not, but the results are beautiful none the less: