$63,000 CAMERA :: What do the images look like?


this is quite possibly the most
over-the-top camera that I have ever had an opportunity to share with you guys on
this show today we’re gonna be talking about the Phase One XF medium format
camera with the IQ3 monochrome back the Phase One system if you are not familiar
with it this is a medium format digital camera and it is a modular system so
that means not only can you interchange the lenses you can also interchange the
backs and the back that we’re looking at today and the one I got to use was the
IQ3 monochrome to my knowledge is the only one in the country right now it’s
the first one at least there have been game changer cameras throughout history
obviously you know if you look at more the modern era I think you consider
things like Leica’s the Nikon F Nikon F3 when you get into
digital cameras things like the Canon 5d series particularly the mark 2 which
introduced video but there are cameras that come along that really redefine
things and this back in particular redefines it from me now it is a
monochrome back which means it shoots black and white and there are other
companies that make monochrome cameras but this one is very different and the
reason it is we’re gonna get into this when we look at some images in a second
but basically the IQ3 monochrome is able to capture light beyond the visual
spectrum so if you consider the whole spectrum of light you have ultraviolet
you have infrared and then in the middle is what the human eye can detect and so
it’s just kind of a small space in that entire spectrum of light and this camera
because it doesn’t have a Bayer filter in the way the sensor is designed
actually starts cutting into the infrared spectrum and it’s pretty
amazing it’s not an infrared camera but it does pick up a wider range of light
in monochrome that we are able there sorry a wider range than what we are
capable of seeing and this allows you to start shaping that using filters and
such and I’m going to show you with the sample images it is unbelievably amazing
might as well get this out of the way there’s a little running joke that we
have here that Apple started a couple weeks ago deeper pixels that’s right and
look all the glass and the stainless thanks Phil so on a scale of one to ten
of your deeper pixels deeper pixels with maybe the iPhone sorry Apple being one
and the phase one where does that fall ten didn’t quite catch that TEN that’s
more like it I would give this a 10 not only are the
pixels deeper but they’re also actually bigger on the sensor because you have a
much bigger sensor to work with and even with a hundred and
one megapixels there’s a lot of room the low-light performance on this camera we
will get to in just a second keep that in mind it’s pretty much not an issue so
before we get into the physical features of the camera I want to look at some
images because that really is the important takeaway with this camera and
before we do I want to give a shout out to our sponsor today who are the
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code is AOP and I wanna give a special shout-out and thanks to Squarespace for
sponsoring another episode of the art of photography okay so I want to share with
you guys some of the image files from this camera and I’m actually using an
image editor called Capture One which is made by Phase One I do want to note that
Lightroom will not read these files it does not play ball so you
have to use Capture One for these having said that though I’m very impressed with
Capture One there’s some things that you can do in here that you can’t do in
Lightroom and it’s pretty amazing just the image quality and what you can do
with it as an editor anyway this first image this is one that I have done some
edits to and the way this was shot is actually so it’s later in the afternoon
and the Sun was starting to set and it was right behind this flag and so I
really wanted to get this image where I had these dark shadows in the front and
you can see the flag kind of with this glowing quality to it and one of the
things that I love about this camera is that this sensor is able to do things
that typical cameras can’t in that you retain a lot of detail in the really
dark shadows and also they’re really bright highlights okay so I’m gonna zoom
in here to a hundred percent so you can kind of see the detail you’re getting
one thing I’m going to note here is that even when I move this around I mean it’s
amazing at 101 megapixels of course you would expect to have this kind of
quality but what’s also interesting is that Capture One even when I move it it
takes just a second to render the image but it keeps up really well and it
responds really quickly and it’s it’s a pretty amazing combination this camera
and Capture One but this is an example of an image I have done some editing on
and I want to look at some images now that are straight off the camera so
this is my friend David Brookover you might remember him from the artist
series David is an incredible guy and he’s also probably one of the greatest
living landscape photographers today he’s really amazing anyway he was in
town with a couple friends and I did a video on that last week and you saw us
in that video just shooting some portraits casually in the backyard and
we were doing them actually for this purpose of kind of showing you the
difference of what’s going on here so what I want to show you is that you know
I mentioned that this sensor is actually picking up light that is beyond the
visual spectrum and so when you start getting into infrared territory this
means things that emit infrared light are going to go to a brighter into
things so this means like skin tones anything like foliage grass trees so a
lot of those things will start to be more bright and so this is just straight
through the camera now one of the things you can do if you want to dial that back
is you can use an infrared cut filter and when you apply the infrared cut
filter we go from this to this image and you can see that these skin tones are
much more tamed down and really the trees in the grass and everything in the
back kind of went a lot darker but what’s interesting is if you check out
the histogram on here everything is exposed properly but those mid-tones are
what shift and it allows you to really start dialing in a specific look that
you might want to get with this camera and of course once you start applying
other filters – we were going for various yellow filters and you can even
go a little bit darker into red or something like that and it really starts
to shape that image and it gives you a lot of flexibility and this to me is the
key with this camera now it does slow you down to have to dial in with filters
and stuff but if you’re doing landscapes particularly or architecture or even
portraits I think it really becomes beneficial to what you’re doing because
it allows you to really shape that tone this is very similar to why I got so
excited the first time I developed black and white film and started getting into
that and realized that there’s different looks you can get using different film
types different developers different development times and you can really
start to dial in different things just using one kind of film and I think that
this is in many ways a digital equivalent to what you’re able to do in
a darkroom so the first shoot that I did with this
camera we all actually went to Weatherford which is just outside of
Fort Worth David is doing a project right now for the gallery where he’s
doing a series of prints and they’re themed around really old trees that grow
in the south so he’s gone to Texas New Orleans and traveling over
toward South Carolina and so forth and so we found a pecan tree that literally
is over a thousand years old up until another discovery recently it was the
oldest tree in the United States it’s just on this property
anyway that’s what these images are and you can see that this is where a 100
megapixel back really starts to excel is when you’re doing landscapes now I want
to show you something I shot this image wide open at F 2.8 and you go in here
and look at the tree in the bark and I mean the detail on here is just like
it’s outstanding you can also start to see when your focus is off and it
becomes very frustrating sometimes to work with a camera like this especially
with the really shallow depth of field but it has have a beautiful look to it
the lens that we used on this was the Schneider 110 I believe 2.8 and it is
just absolutely gorgeous but when you start to stop that down by the way this
was shot with no filter at all and it is unedited this is straight off the camera
so there’s a lot of room for processing and if I go down here I’ll find another
image this was done at f/8 and you can see that everything gets very sharp and
very detailed in focus and it becomes kind of one of the interesting things on
here is in post-processing when you’re looking at essentially an image that has
15 stops of light and what you’re able to do with that in post-production
typically right off the camera things look really flat it’s kind of like if
you’ve ever shot video using log profiles when you’re getting
that much dynamic range in your image it almost does require some editing at some
point and with a landscape like this I mean there’s a lot of room to go on but
you start to get just a lot of especially when you get all this detail
back in the foliage and stuff is really getting this tree to stand out but it
does give you room to go on that and there’s a lot you can do one other thing
I want to show you this is a shot that I set up so using this camera is typically a
little bit slow to set up David was back here he’s got a really right stuff
panorama shooter he was shooting a Pentax camera and doing some panoramic
stitching with it and so we set this up so basically we took the filter off at
one point and I got him to turn around and then the amazing part about this
that I noticed later in post is I’m going to zoom in to a full 100% here on
your screen and I want you to look at the glasses around David’s neck those
are sunglasses you can see right through them in this exposure it is amazing the
other thing worth noting too is the David shirt
is actually black and you’ll see that I have another video that I’ll do on this
shoot and you can see that in some of the supplemental footage but it is
really amazing the kind of dynamic range that you get out of this camera just
know that there is a lot of post-production involved but it’s also
built for that another thing I want to address is ISO performance because it’s
pretty much not an issue at all in this camera so this is a picture that I took
of my cat in the window this was about 6:00 in the morning it was extremely
overcast there wasn’t a lot of light I also stopped down the camera so I could
keep everything in focus this is shot at 12,800 ISO 12800 now if you zoom in and
look at the shadows that’s typically where noise starts to hide there isn’t
any in here I mean that is a clean image and considering hid and hosts the
cameras that I own really 3200 is about as high as you can push it maybe 64
depending on what it is this is it 12,800 the camera
will actually go up to 51,000 which is amazing he goes to stop higher than
this but it just is mind-blowing the quality that you get even at really
high ISO settings like that I’ll show you the same thing on a little bit
darker image and again this is shot very low light so this is f/4 1/100 of a
second ISO 12800 and if I zoom all the way in here you can see that in these
shadow areas they’re really isn’t any noise and there’s a couple reasons why I think
that this works on this camera really well first of all you have a much bigger
sensor so it is a medium format sensor you’re also not having to capture red
green and blue channels so it’s just capturing light so my guess and I’m not
an engineer so somebody may correct me on this I’m imagining that the algorithm
that the camera uses to deal with noise reduction is probably a lot simpler than
it would be on a color camera the other thing is just physically the way this
sensor is designed even with a hundred and one megapixels it’s a huge sensor so
you’re able to not only have sorry about the joke deeper pixels you are able to
have much bigger pixels and the way they can be spaced on the sensor so I mean
it’s just it’s insane that I could be shooting at 12,800 ISO handheld and not
have any issue at all another question I get asked a lot is can you use the Phase
One as a street photography camera and I’m not really sure why you would want
to do that because it is massively heavy but I did try it anyway and it works
just fine I mean the autofocus works great had it set up for back button
focus and did bunch of shooting just around Fort Worth
and it came out really cool another thing I want to show you is this shot I
was shooting in manual mode you don’t have to you can use aperture priority or
shutter priority but I was shooting manual in these because I really wanted
to get a feel for what the sensor would be able to do and this one was
overexposed obviously I want to show you what you can recover on this so you can
see even in the histogram I have clearly blown the whites clear over but if I
just lower the exposure on this and I’m not even dealing with just lowering
highlights or using a curves channel or anything you can see that you get a lot
of it back so the amount of data that this sensor is capable of capturing is
just incredible – I’m not saying you would want to go out and not pay
attention to your exposure but it is very forgiving in just this insane way
another thing that is very cool is I saw this guy coming and this is an old dairy
factory that we were shooting in front of so I kind of set up I was ready for
it when he came by there was no tripod involved with this this was all hand
held one of the really cool things that capture one has is this keystoning
feature and Lightroom has similar lens adjustments but this is kind of your
instant 8 by 10 and there are basically three modes that you can choose in here
you can do Keystone vertical you can do a horizontal or you can do a combination
thereof and this one is a combination basically it’s hard to see on here but
if you look at these little circle points it’s going to give you a square
and basically you look for lines to line that up and you apply it you can see
that this was rotated a little bit and centered in but you have a hundred
and one megapixels to deal with on here so it’s it’s pretty amazing so you know
if you’re not using a tripod it can be forgiving just as much as I think
exposure can on the sensor this camera is really just like it’s so amazingly
impressive it’s unbelievable I wanted the bulk of this review to be centered
around looking at images and seeing what this camera can do because that is what
separates it from anything else on the market that’s available it really is a
special image and I wanted to look at a lot of those to show you what is
involved with that now the camera is no slouch either now most of the image
quality we’ve been talking about here is the back it’s the IQ3 monochrome you
could easily swap that out for a color back if you wanted to those are
interchangeable but this is centered around the XF system and the XF camera
is amazing it is probably the most elegantly designed user interface I have
ever used on any camera it’s like using an iPhone not a camera and most of you
know that are familiar with like Sony’s menus or even Nikon and
Canon they get very complex they get very deep they’re non-intuitive
everything on here is just a tap away or swipe away and the way it works is
basically you have your main menu functions and you tap on any of these to
change what that is so this could be you know your priority mode this could be
the metering mode this could be autofocus and then you can swipe to go
through the extra modes which include things like an HDR mode there’s a
time-lapse mode you can do focus stacking there’s also a pro photo mode
which is very cool because this enables you to actually radio-control the
Profoto system lights from the camera itself also very cool is there is a
seismograph built into the camera now this is one of the drive modes and what
this does is it senses any motions so if you’re shooting landscapes in windy
conditions or something that’s not stable it will actually wait until
there’s no movement in the camera before it makes the image which is very cool
and you also get a digital bubble level everything is very accessible and
extremely well thought-out on the physical design of the cameras well all
the dials the back button focus everything is easy to access and what I
kind of felt like using this cameras that it’s just an extension of you as a
photographer and that’s what a camera should be it is a tool to get the job
done I never once felt like I was fighting with the camera to find
something or to scroll through a menu to get to something and a lot of that is
just very typical of just beautiful Scandinavian design we were kind of
joking around calling it the IKEA of cameras because it there really isn’t
another interface like this out there now the interface we’ve been looking at
is on the top of the camera and that’s mainly the camera functions itself for
the XF series there is a screen on the back of the IQ3 as well of all the
backs do and it controls mainly the functions related to the sensor so this
is going to be everything from image playback to live view and so on and so
forth and just like the touch screen on the top of the camera there’s a touch
screen here and it’s more responsive and intuitive than anything I’ve ever used
and it’s just like working on an iPhone the live view is exceptional and I used
it quite a bit as a focus aid and what’s really cool is you just basically when
you’re in Live View you can tap and scroll in and not only is the quality
image good but it maintains an incredible resolution while you’re
zooming in and is very useful as a focus aid the image review layout is extremely
useful as well it has everything from histograms to warning overlays to under
and overexposure light level temperature map even and that enable you to like
really be super critical if you’re making images especially in the field
now a lot of times a camera like this if you’re using in the studio you may be
tethered to a computer so you can actually see your images and analyze
them there but what I really like about that touchscreen on the back is it does
enable you to have a lot of control and a lot of access to things if you don’t
have a setup like that and you’re shooting in the field so if you thoughts
and observations about Phase One first of all they are not a consumer camera
company and I am not their target audience and most people watching this
are really not either they deal with cultural institutions like art museums
or historical societies that need to get extremely high resolution images for
documentation purposes that’s probably their biggest customer base second to
that is probably architecture photographers and then you have high-end
fashion and people who are making enough money to support it and some fine art
photographers now that’s why the pricing is high and that’s why what they’re
doing is very cutting edge we’re really not their target audience having said
that though companies like Phase One represent the cutting edge of imaging
technology and so this is typically stuff that in the next couple of years
you’ll start to see trickle down on to the consumer level and I do have to
admit part of me wishes that I didn’t have the chance to play with one of
these because you immediately start thinking about how you can possibly
finance something to the tune of fifty sixty five thousand dollars as a camera
setup which is completely impractical but the other cool thing is Digital
Transitions the company that were nice enough to loan this camera to us to look at they also rent them so if it’s something
high-end that you need just for a day or two for a specific shoot that is a possibility so check out Digital Transitions because
renting one of these is really not that bad of an option and speaking of I want
to give a shout-out and thanks to Digital Transitions again they did not
pay me to do this video they simply loaned me an extremely
expensive camera to play with for a few days because Rod and I asked and that
was really nice and gracious of them to do so for those of you who are sponsors
I’ve got some downloads for you and if you don’t know what I’m talking about it
will explain just a second but if you’re sponsoring this channel if you go over
to the community tab you will see downloads to not only a gallery of
images that I showed you today you can download these at full resolution
they’re JPEGs but I also have put a raw file available for download please note
that Lightroom will not read this file it’s about 131 megabyte file but you’ll
need a copy of capture one to read it and they have a 30-day free trial for
Capture One so if you need to download that to try it in fact you should check out Capture One because it’s pretty amazing software if
you don’t know what I’m talking about with this whole sponsor business if you
look below this video next to the subscribe button you’re going to see
another button that says sponsor on it and this gives people the opportunity to
sponsor the channel and you can get some additional downloads and content when
they do them it’s really there’s no videos behind a paywall I know there’s
been some confusion on that it’s still the regular Channel it just enables me
to make great content for you guys and you get access to extra things so when I
review cameras and stuff I will let you download RAW files and such so anyway
it’s kind of a cool way that you can help me help you if you know what I mean
so I really do think this is one of those groundbreaking cameras that comes
along and completely changes the game and I would like to get your impressions
as well so please leave me a comment below I’ve got some more videos coming
up we’ve got photo assignments on Monday so be ready for that and then I also
have some follow-up videos I’ve got another one where we’re actually taking
this camera out in the field and shooting with it and we’re doing some
landscape work and things like that so you can kind of get some more Phase One
if you want and then also I have some stuff coming up on Rod’s filter set and
so it’s going to be a lot of videos this month and I’m really excited until the
next one I will see you guys then later

100 thoughts on “$63,000 CAMERA :: What do the images look like?

  1. I just have a Fuji XT20 and it cost me about $1300, I think that's a good one tooo. Though it's far more cheap than $62000

  2. Amazing DR monochrome camera that being said, it is very exclusive camera for those who really urge for this specific cameras

  3. The shirt and sunglasses are as bright as they are because they reflect/don't block IR, they are just dark in the visible spectrum

  4. To all y'all complaining about the price.

    You complain as if there are no other cameras and this is too steep.
    You complain as if YOU are the target consumer segment of this company's products. Ted clearly said you're not.
    You complain as if you actually shot it and it didn't deliver.

    It costs so much because the bigger the sensor you want to make, the less perfectly produced units you can get, and the less the margin of error the company can afford to let through. Phase One medium format is bigger even than Hasselblad's X1D.

    Also, my Sony a7III starts getting quite noisy at 12800 ISO, and this thing here shot with practically 0 noise. I mean, what the fuck levels of performance.

    Yes, diminishing returns. But just like vloggers don't vlog with fucking RED or Arri, why the hell are you complaining that a state of the art medium format camera that you in particular do not actually need costs that much?

    Seriously, if you don't like it, don't complain. On TAOP video no less.

  5. There’s a video saying we can’t see in 100k megapixels! So no point! Can’t see in 4K either. Saw that on the internet too

  6. Digital sensors are still too small. Wake me up when they've manufactured a 6x7cm 4x5in and 8x10in digital sensor compatible with legacy format cameras

  7. Attention everyone! I'm writing this from the future and I confirm that 50-100 megapixel cameras are still being used in fridges and backup cameras.

  8. Compare it with the Pocofone f1 in a Blind Test
    Let's see if anyone can spot the Differences as most people don't zoom 200x

  9. Now this is really ludicrous. This camera might be 0.1% better than a Pentax Kll. For an eagle the difference might be detectable. Not for the human eye though. I guess my smartphone cam can achieve 90% of what this camera can achieve. Please cut the crap. I'd rather buy 100 bottles of Château Haut-Brion at 500£ piece! It may be worse for my liver but still…

  10. all DSLR cameras sensors see the full spectrum. The manufacturer puts a filter over the sensor to block parts of the spectrum they don't want you to see

  11. so, basically, IR contamination, which was the main problem of Leica M8 and even forced the manufacturer to present each M8 owner with two UV/IR-Cut filters free of charge is hailed as an advantage of this back? That's surely redefining things big time 😀
    As to using filters to change the look of a B&W image… Isn't it what we used to do shooting B&W film back in a day? Totally groundbreaking )

  12. Oh, I get it ! $63,000 for the Phase One XF back includes a 2019 JLU Jeep Rubicon. Holding the shadows is great, but never blow the highlights.

  13. Unfortunately the limitations imposed on your uploaded photos, leaves a lot to be desired. Having said that however, the quality is quite frankly astonishing and I’ll be looking out for a full blown version of a before/after shot that you’ve done before.
    It’s a pity that this is a video of artefacts invisible to the human eye and that YouTube restrict your uploads to a basic level. Could you point us towards a website that shows the camera/lens combo before it is processed as it’s useful to see what the start point is, but then show the wide shots or the final processed images of the original image!?!.

    Whatever you decide to do might I just say thank you for all your efforts in showing some of the limits of the image as well as the amount of actual image details that can be recovered pre-central processing. Many of us will never be able to afford the cost of the camera/lens/back sensor, but we wouldn’t hold that against you! LOL!!!
    Please keep up the good work, you’re an inspiration to the rest of us poor schmucks with our 5DIV’s, 5DSR’s, Hasselblad’s, Mamiya 645’s, etc as we can see just what might be achieved without going completely silly with the filters, lenses, or camera bodies.

    Cheers mate, for all your hard work and your willingness to share the results.
    Best regards from Yorkshire,

    David S.
    Ilkley.

  14. Tough sell on me. It's 2019. No camera is worth nor should be that much. Technology is advancing too fast for it to be anywhere near that price. It probably cost them $100 to make.

  15. These are the classic cat pictures or maybe the portrait of that guy one would get framed. And may be pass down 2-3 generations.
    It's actually that marvellous.!!

  16. No the camera isnt worth 63k to most people. But if youve got money and want to spend it on things like this – this is your camera.

  17. Not what it looks like but what it feels like. That picture better reach out and touch me in real life for that much money.

  18. Phase One’s goal has always been to make their cameras more expensive than Hassselblads without it being anywhere close — in any feature.

  19. The specs are impressive . My closest images to this was from a Lumix LX3. It took awesome monochrome and black and white images.

  20. Those images straight off the camera are amazing but…..63K for a camera and then stick a IR filter on the front of it, Ahghhhh!

  21. Wow, you guys can shift around your midtones with a $63,000 camera system! We peasants just have to do it with Lightroom sliders.

    No hating, but seriously $63,000!!!! That's the equivalent of a gold Lambo in photography.

  22. Hi Ted, love your videos my friend. This one stands out on top, your lighting and set up for the vlog is 👌🏼 The sound is also 🙌🏼 Thank you youtubing 😀👍🏼

  23. 8:40 – He probably should not use those glasses. If you can see through the sunglasses that means they don´t block UV light. IIRC his wearing dark sunglasses that don´t filter UV light could be damaging your eyesight.

  24. how does this differ from the typical astrophotography mod of removing the IR filter from the camera sensor to see more of the red of nebulas? Isnt it kinda of the same thing?

  25. But you can do very much the same thing with a conventional camera……. Pentax and Sony make pixel shifting models that render 120+ megapixels. These cameras have color sensors that can be turned to black and white, BUT IN LITEROOM, YOU CAN ALSO JIGGER THE TONAL VALUES OF EACH COLOR CHANNEL IMMITATING THE USE OF ALMOST ANY FILTER. 12,000 ISO means little when “ordinary” 35 mm lenses are two or three stops faster than those on a medium format camera to begin with. (An f1.4 lens on a Pentax gives you the same low light capability at ISO 3200 that this back does with its f2.8 lens at ISO 12,800)

  26. Seems like it would be a nice camera for hotel photography but not on any coast where there's salt spray/mist in the air. I shoot MLS so this sort of camera would not yield a result that could be distinguished from my D7100 or D750; plus, I'd have to finance the Phase Camera over about 72 months to still pay my monthly mortgage. Really fascinating though.

  27. Sooo…. a very expensive camera without a Bayer filter? You know every digital camera can shoot well past the visible spectrum, right? In fact, most modern CCD's mitigate this problem by adding a piece of glass on top of the CCD to filter out any unwanted IR spectrum light. Besides the specifications, the price is just a gimmick.

  28. Your comment that that a Pecan tree you photographed is oldest tree is oldest in US is false.
    Until 2013, Methuselah, an ancient bristlecone pine was the oldest known non-clonal organism on Earth. While Methuselah still stands as of 2016 at the ripe old age of 4,848 in the White Mountains of California, in Inyo National Forest, another bristlecone pine in the area was discovered to be over 5,000 years old.

  29. I prefer the Leica S series. It has a 16 stop lattitude, close to film, giving you much smoother details and outstanding flesh tones. Phase-1 made ultra high expensive (27k) backs for Hasselbald back in the day. I used one and was totally not satisfied with the quality and so not worth the price.

  30. As always it's not the camera which takes the photographs – I fail to understand why so much emphasis is put on gear and not the 'idea'. I used to lecture for Fujifilm hundreds of years ago – and people would always come up to me at the end and ask what camera is the best – and I would always say – "I care not what camera you have but I care passionately about what you put in front of it" – that said – I would sell both my children for this camera….both – also FYI Alpa is best!!!

  31. No amount of money can make you a good photographer. That takes skill. Money and technology can't buy that.

  32. Nobody in my universe could afford to buy a $63k camera. People who can, live on a whole nother planet where things like buying groceries and paying the rent dont exist. I would think that with a $63k camera , you shouldnt have to post edit ANYTHING lol.

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