PhaseOne Announces New IQ2 Medium Format Digital Backs

PhaseOne Announces New IQ2 Medium Format Digital Backs

There are a few companies out there known for high-quality medium format digital solutions. But few are as highly regarded as PhaseOne, whose popular 'won't get crushed by an elephant' and various freezing and heating Youtube videos helped people see its products' durability. Today, they've sent a round of emails announcing their revised IQ series, offering wireless capabilities, revamped sensors, and top-of-the-line 16-bit image production with 13 stops of dynamic range...

The IQ2, based on the original IQ series that came after the P30-generation backs, come in 80-megapixel (IQ280), 60-megapixel (IQ260), and 60-megapixel achromatic (IQ260 Achromatic) versions, each with full-sized 645-format sensors. The IQ280 features ISO sensitivity as low as ISO 35, giving unprecedented, crisp images. Other features include Firewire 800 and USB 3.0 connections, Sensor+ technology for high-ISO shots, and a high-resolution 3.2" touchscreen. Check out the series at for more information. Oh yeah, and pricing starts at $40,000. I didn't want to depress too many of you too early on... It seems medium format digital photography has yet to be ready for the masses. Have the cash now? Shipping starts in June.

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Starting at $40,000... Where are they ending at?

on the renting store! :)

Adam's picture

No one one wants to know....and don't ask because you'll make me cry more than I already have. No. But really, I'll update the post when I find out :-)

somewhere around 50,000 - 55,000

I'm about to suck so major dick for this 

Hmm so they update the IQ series you say...? I smell a small price reduction on their current IQ line-up! :D  (Fingers crossed fingers crossed!)


Any chances there will ever be consumer MF digi backs? and if not why?

You can get a MF setup for around $10k which if you are considering an $8k pro 35mm system isn't such a huge leap. 

Yep... but i just couldn't ever justify it :(

I wonder why can't a company make a 16 or 20 mp digital back and focus the processing power on dynamic range and speed? Hell, leave out the LCD screen too! Don't need it if we can still use a light meter, a polaroid back or even our 35mm DSLR's, to check exposure. At this point in digital technology I'm surprised no one has figured out a less costly but more practical way to bring medium format to professionals. (I'm just moping because I'd love to break out my Hasselblad 500CM again but with a digital back.) 

oh trust me. it's been figured. it's just not good for business

One reason they are so expensive is that the sensors are CCDs (from Dalsa).  CMOS chips are less expensive and the electronics to drive one are much simpler (i.e. cheaper).  Unfortunately, no one (yet)  makes a large, quality CMOS chip.

Paul Hance's picture

@  Nicholas if you want a cheaper MF go and get the Pentex 645d. for about 10k it is good.

Thats a Mercedes Benz?

Jorge Queiroz's picture

I really appreciate good stuff, but it's hard to believe that a small piece like this can cost like a really nice car, that use much more material and it's also full of technology.

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

 For really nice car you have to spend at least twice as much. For this price you can get only mass produced GM or Japanese cars. ;)

Jorge Queiroz's picture

Hum, that's the reason they are 'giving' the kit (lenses and the 645 body) if you buy the IQ1 back.

R. J. Kern's picture

For those interested,  I share some of my thoughts in choosing my PhaseOne IQ medium format system for shooting weddings (It's just gear, but an important piece of gear):

PhaseOne is a great company that listens to end users, creates customer loyalty, and has an amazing product in a class of their own.

R. J.

Both my wife and best friend worked at Kodak, fabricating the sensors for Hasselblad. Upon hearing their stories about what it takes to create a sensor of that size, it is very understandable why these backs cost $10k+. Typical yield is around 20-30%.. that is, for every 10 sensors they try to make, only 2 or 3 work. They have to do some serious ninja tricks in the fab to get them working. That one speck of dust that would ruin one out of 1000 cell-phone-size image sensors on a silicon wafer would ruin one of the 2 or 3 medium-format-sized sensors on a wafer of that size.

There's no way to economically mass-produce them. The difficulty and low yield in fabricating large sensor sizes is part of the reason why full-frame digital cameras are also so (relatively) expensive.