Phase One Announces The A Series - Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Systems

Phase One Announces The A Series - Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Systems

Announced through Digital Transitions, is the new A series from Phase One. The A series is a line of medium format camera systems, with the power of mirrorless technology. This new system combines the power of Rodenstock optics, and ALPA bodies, making the first digital medium format camera system without the use of a mirror and in a much smaller package.

Information on this system is still incredibly limited - in fact, Phase One themselves haven't even released a press release on these new systems (Will update when more info becomes available). One thing for sure is that they're real, and will be available soon. No other details or images of these systems have been made available yet, but if you already have one, your previous digital backs should fit onto these systems without any issues.

Letter from Phase One

While product teams have been hard at work preparing the new A-series camera systems for market, Phase One and ALPA are happy to see such interest based on the early news shared by some of our U.S. partners. We regret any confusion, including the fact that the photo was of an internal prototype and not the finished product, but official images and more details will soon be on the way.

These new products are the first step in a long-term strategic & cooperative alliance between Phase One and ALPA that was announced at Photokina. Developing premium products for the world’s most demanding fine art photographers is our focus, and the A-series by Phase One and ALPA is taking the first steps in a creative new direction to integrate some of the highest performing and proven products -- across lenses, bodies, digital backs and software -- to make them easier and even more fun to use.

Below are the key highlights:
1 -- As noted, the A-series will be available in three versions: A250, A260 and A280 with 50MP, 60MP and 80MP respectively.
2 -- Each system will be individually configured with pre-loaded lens calibrations for Rodenstock ALPA 23mm, 35mm and 70mm lenses, making it easy to shoot great looking images out of the box.
3 -- Factory shimmed system marked with A-series badges on both body and back.
4 -- All systems will come with the required accessories -- including some new elements made specifically for this system, e.g. flexible lens shades, iPhone holder and new release cable.
5 -- A 5-year warranty on the system.
6 -- A special note on wifi: Phase One IQ250 camera systems have recently started supporting liveview over wi-fi using Capture Pilot 1.7 (which is already available for download to all IQ250 users). Liveview over wi-fi will also be a cool new feature for the CMOS based A250 using an upcoming 1.8 release.

Thanks for the patience. In December we will share even more details on the new systems including the new factory lens calibration feature, accessories, detailed tech specs, product images, pricing and even better, they will begin shipping!

For more information on these camera systems, be sure to check out Digital Transitions announcement on the systems.

Zach Sutton's picture

Zach Sutton is an award-winning and internationally published commercial and headshot photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. His work highlights environmental portraiture, blending landscapes and scenes with portrait photography. Zach writes for various publications on the topic of photography and retouching.

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Wow now that is some cool stuff! Nice to see the mirror-less area being taken up another notch.

I just got this email myself and was like like "WAIT? WHAAAA?" I need to know more.

Truelove !


(Crosses fingers for sub 5k)

ya right :)

Well a guy can dream. Wasn't too long ago that DX digital cameras were "affordable" at $5000. It's only a matter of time.

Lol :-)

The price points are insane. $47K to get in.

Is that an iPhone on top of the cameras in those pictures?

It is. Alpa makes an iPhone holder, which is great for the IQ2 series with wireless live preview and Capture Pilot. I believe it's the SDH:

Chris Valites
Capture Integration
Research, Marketing, & Support

Wish my crappy Hasselblad H4D could do that too...

Doesnt the IQ2 series have live view? What would be the benefit of the iphone on top?

From my understanding, it's new for the IQ2 series of digital backs...which are the newest line from PhaseOne

Sure the IQ2 line is new enough, but the "camera" itself is a slightly evolved design of something thats nearly 20 years old.
... with an iphone on top

must be around the cost of a pentax. patiently waits lol

I wasn't being serious. As a PhaseOne owner myself i know full and well how much things cost. Joke missed, apologies.

So basically Digital Transitions is selling three different parts that are all available separately and calling this a new camera?

I had that thought too. And aren't all tech cameras mirrorless?!

people have been using alpas and phase one backs for a while...

Pretty sure this isn't a new announcement from Phase One and just a bundle offered by Digital Transitions. The Alpa 12 TC has been out since 2005 and the IQ2 backs earlier this year. The liveview to iPhone is built into the IQ2 backs.

No Mike, this is a Phase One program, DT is only communicating it. These are available through any Phase One fully authorized dealer. The A Series packages, and they are packages with some extras, like the extra warranty and the branding and look/feel changes of the bodies, they are not discounted bundles. The cost of the same standard items (Phase One IQ250/260/280, Alpa TC, Rodenstock 35HR, and accessories) is virtually the same.

Thanks for clarifying Steve. The warranty on IQ2 backs was already 5 years. So the Alpa 12TC has a few modifications... and the other items inherit the 5 year warranty?

So.. Phase One stopped using Mamiya bodies to use Alpas?

Just offering another option I imagine. Phase owns Mamiya...and purchased them for their I couldn't imagine them scrapping Mamiya

The monitor on the top (iPhone or otherwise) kinda offsets the whole compact mirrorless thing. Needs an effective compact EVF. I know a lot of people, especially in studio environments, shoot tethered, but I like to compose though a viewfinder. That's just me, it's how I've done it for a long time. I guess others might be happy with this kind of arrangement.

I'd say this probably has something to do with Sony and Mamiya going down this same road.

That monitor is just an iPhone and is an optional mount to the mirrorless system.

Yeah I see that, but the camera doesn't have a native viewfinder of monitor.

But the IQ2 series (and IQ1, for that matter) has Live View, effectively a very large EVF like those found on various mirrorless cameras.

That might be fine if you're shooting product shots tethered, where the little monitor doesn't matter, but I can't see shooting something like a fashion shoot with a tiny screen, but that's just me. I need a camera with a viewfinder up to my face to compose my shots.

I also think that when you're paying the kind of money you're going to need to dish out for a camera like this, you should have something other than an iPhone to shoot your shots. ;-)

That's why there's different camera systems for different uses. I would likely point someone towards an Hasselblad or Phase camera system for portraiture and fashion, as those systems have a viewfinder and an AF system. I'd also say to shoot those tethered. However, if you're hiking (like I do) or doing architecture, or even street photography, a tech cam is a great choice; you have enough time to manually set the focus, and you can shoot and review on the LCD on the back or use Live View.

It's much a matter of picking the right tools for the right job.

It's good to know this. Thanks!

You can also read more about the PhaseOne A-Series, with more detailed information on my website;

I just looked at the Alpa pricelist: can someone please tell me why a metal square with a few bolts costs 1832 USD?

For anyone's reference:

Der FStoppers.

It is not a mirrorless cam in what we understand nowadays as a mirror less cam. That is a view cam. Like it exists for over 100 years. Grand daddy style. Every iQ2 back can live view over the capture pilot to the iphone/ipad also.
This is the camera btw.. the even more versatile version with shift possibilities.

Here the Cam that phase one will put a sticker on :

Stop drooling guys .. it is a view cam that is already on the market. And not a mirrorless camera as you expect it. Sure - theoretical a mirrorless camera. You will not be having any fun with a cam like this if you do not know what kind of camera a view cam is.

A little back ground check pretty please FStoppers. I mean - even on the images it says exactly what it is. You buy a bundle .. thats all. :

Alpa 12 TC
iQ2 Back
Rodenstock Alpar 35mm

Looks EXACTLY like a Mamiya 7 rangefinder camera with a phone attached. I wonder why Mamiya didn't do that themselves?

This is a strange place to practice standup...

I think mirorless, while technically correct in this case is a misnomer. These systems are nowhere close to the type of technology on say a traditional mirrorless system one would be expecting whos not part of the tech camera world...

From my experience, those backs are CCD's and the live view is so terrible I'd be hard pressed to even call them functional.

I got so excited for a second... and then so disappointed lol.

is anyone else concerned about the ergonomics of this camera? I feel like i would drop it.

what about price? :)

Very nice, love Alpa! Not news, though.

More and more young photographers are starting to see that high resolution can't replace large sensors. I think we will see similar systems from cheaper manufacturers in the years to come.

Full frame? 6x7 (drool)?