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This is probably the ultimate black and white camera. Unfortunately, there's no video.

2 minute read

Phase One. Phase One IQ3

Black and white digital cameras are fascinating. With no Bayer filter, you capture the full resolution of the sensor. The Phase One IQ3 has an astonishing 100 Megapixel sensor. Surely this is the ultimate black and white camera? Even if, unfortunately, it doesn't capture video

When I think of black and white still images, I think of famed photographer Ansel Adams. Not only was his entire work done in the gray scale, but he was infamous for his phrase “the best camera is the one you have with you.” But would he feel that way about Phase One’s pricey new 100 MP black and white camera? Probably.

"The IQ3 100MP Achromatic enables photographers to capture a timeless expression,” said Stefan Sandor, Vice President Marketing and Product Management. “The detail, tonality and image quality must be experienced first-hand, as seeing is not only believing, but truly inspirational.” 

The Phase One IQ3 is expensive - a typical characteristic of Medium Format cameras. I’m talking take out a second mortgage expensive. But Phase One promises that the 100 mp achromatic still camera is worth it by capturing “absolute detail, luminance values, and a subtle tonal beauty.”

It can do this thanks to a 101MP CMOS sensor which promises 15 stops of dynamic range and ISO levels up to 51,200.  Phase One’s VP of Marketing Stehan Sandor, says that without the need of Bayer color filter, or infrared cut off, the IQ3 can capture an image quality that must be experienced first hand to believe it.

The IQ3 uses a 3.2 inch touchscreen with Live View, which  can display infrared light that can’t be normally seen by the naked eye. That’s quite a boast. But when you’re shooting in pure black and white at higher ISOs, Phase One says that the details offer an analog like smoothness similar to Ansel Adams beautiful black and white images.

“The absence of color makes it possible to stretch the images to the extreme and at the same time retain the pure black and white image quality demanded by the world's best photographers,” the press release said.

In addition, the IQ3 deploys an electronic shutter that can take long exposures up to 60 minutes, and has HDMI output, WiFi, and supports all standard IAQ Digital backs.

MSRP is £38718.19 plus VAT and preorders are being taken in limited quantities now.

You can also get a Schneider Blue Ring prime lens in a kit. Though it’s a bit confusing whether the lens is for another $7,000 or is free in the kit. They mentioned it two differing ways.

Shipping is expected this August.

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