DPP Home Gear Cameras Ultimate-Resolution Cameras

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ultimate-Resolution Cameras

When it comes to resolution, for most pros some is good, more is better and too much is just right


This Article Features Photo Zoom
That said, medium-format digital cameras and backs are expensive, starting at around $10,000 and going above $40,000. The 80-megapixel units run from around $33,000 to $44,000 (street prices, in some cases including the camera body, in others just the back). They're worth it to photographers who have the budget (or clients) to pay the entry fee, and the need for huge prints and the ultimate image quality in good light. Some photographers (pro and amateur alike) rent medium-format cameras when they're the right tool for the task rather than buy them outright. And reconditioned, used medium-format digital cameras traded in for new models can be relative bargains.


Phase One IQ260 back
Ultra-Resolution Medium-Format Units
Phase One IQ280. Phase One's new IQ280 adds some nice features to the original IQ180 80-megapixel back, including wireless reviewing and selecting/tagging images, remote operation and increased dynamic range (now 13 stops). Based around a big, 53.7x40.4mm, 80-megapixel CCD sensor, the back offers ISO settings from 35-800, Phase One's Sensor+ Mode (which provides a higher ISO 140-3200 range at 20-megapixel resolution with no degradation of pixel-level quality, thanks to clever pixel-binning), and 0.7 fps shooting (0.9 fps in Sensor+ Mode), with a 1 GB buffer. Live view on the 3.2-inch, 290 ppi touch-screen display simplifies operation, as does tethered control via USB 3.0 or FireWire 800, and wireless operation via iPad or iPhone. Focus Mask shows in-focus areas of the image at a glance, there's an on-screen level, and you can activate a B&W display, if you wish. The back is constructed of aircraft-quality aluminum, with all connectors and ports protected by auto-retracting hatches or rubber covers. Image transfer to memory cards is very fast.
 
If you can settle for "only" 60 megapixels, the new IQ260 back is the medium-format long-exposure champ, able to make exposures as long as one hour at ISO 140—remarkable considering the heat that a big sensor can develop over such a long period.
 
If you can settle for "only" 60 megapixels, the new IQ260 back is the medium-format long-exposure champ, able to make exposures as long as one hour at ISO 140—remarkable considering the heat that a big sensor can develop over such a long period.


Leaf Aptus-II 12 80 back
Mamiya Leaf Aptus-II 12 80. The top unit in Mamiya Leaf's long-running Aptus line, the Aptus-II 12 80-megapixel back features a big 53.7x40.3mm CCD sensor that delivers images measuring 10320x7752 pixels and file sizes as large as 480 MB (16-bit TIFF). Its big, 3.5-inch touch screen provides an intuitive interface, but live view is provided only via tethered computer. ISO range is 50-800, and dynamic range is 12 stops. The Aptus-II R version lets you rotate the sensor internally, so there's no need to remove and replace the back (exposing the sensor to dust) each time you want to switch between horizontal and vertical formats. Aptus-II backs are available separately or as a DM kit with the Mamiya 645DF camera and 80mm lens. The Aptus-II backs also support a number of other medium-format cameras from Mamiya, Phase One, Hasselblad, Contax, Bronica, Fujifilm and view/technical cameras. The Aptus-II 12 80 is by far the lowest-cost, 80-megapixel digital back.

Mamiya Leaf Credo 80. Featuring essentially the same 80-megapixel sensor as the Aptus-II 12, the Credo 80 is a new design, with live view on the iPhone-like touch-screen display (which includes touch strips outside the image area so you don't have to put fingerprints in the image display area). With Phase One Capture Pilot, you can use wireless devices such as iPad, iPhone or iPod touch as remote image viewers and operate the camera remotely, or you can work tethered to a computer. The Credo 80 can shoot those big files at 0.7 fps. ISO settings range from 35-800, and dynamic range is 12.5 stops. The unit is weather-sealed, and the battery is internal rather than mounting exposed outside the camera. There's no R (internal rotating sensor) version like the Aptus-II R, but you can mount the Credo on the camera in horizontal or vertical format. Like the Aptus-II backs, Credo backs are available separately or as a kit with the Mamiya 645DF camera and 80mm lens. And like the Aptus-II backs, the Credos also support a number of other medium-format cameras from Mamiya, Phase One, Hasselblad, Contax, Bronica, Fujifilm and view/technical cameras.

 

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