Most Expensive Mondays: The Phase One XF IQ4 150MP costs about $72,000. Ridiculous, but you get what you pay for

By Yogeswaran 8 October, 2019
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No matter how capable your smartphone camera is, quality can hardly come close to what you’d get from a full-fledged camera

With the iPhone 11 Pro’s triple lenses and Samsung Galaxy Fold’s array of six cameras, the future for the smartphone camera shines brighter than ever. But no matter how capable your phone is, quality can’t possibly come close to what you’d get from a full-fledged camera, like the Phase One XF IQ4 150MP.

At USD52,000 (S$71,788), it sounds like an overkill. But medium format is making a comeback, with sensors and resolutions beating even the best DSLRs on the market. Medium format cameras are known for producing a near-perfect accuracy in terms of colour, and Phase One continuously gives the photographer access to technology that’s in a class of its own.

In this case, the XF IQ4 uses the highest resolution full frame medium format sensor available, making it the world’s first 151MP camera.  To have that much access to quality is a joy, and it can never be too much.

Phase One, founded in Denmark in 1993, led the digital transition for medium format photography and provides access to technology that’s in a class of its own

The Phase One XF IQ4 150MP

There’s plenty to expect from the XF IQ4. Its backside illuminated sensors allow for uninterrupted capture of light within each pixel. In other words, you can take photographs with minimal digital noise levels, accurately depicting colour and details. Its ‘Infinity Platform’, which incorporates the core of Capture One’s processing software, provides autonomy over the raw files.

It is equipped with Phase One’s Honeybee Autofocus Platform, with its autofocus area right smack in the middle of the frame. There’s also a focus-recompose option, which automatically adjusts the focus whenever a shift in composition occurs. But if you like a challenge, you can, of course, choose to operate manually.

The modular XF Camera System is seamless, feature-rich and customisable

Other features include two user-friendly touch-sensitive screens, a seismograph to combat shaky pictures and a built-in Profoto air remote that helps sync and control your lights from where you are. Think of it as the nerve centre of your camera.

And at 152 x 135 x 160mm and 1.89kg, sans the lens, the camera’s heavy. But it offers good grip, which comes in handy if you’re lacking a tripod.

To buy, or not to buy?

As far as great cameras go, the XF IQ4 sure can carry its weight in all aspects. But is it worth forking out S$71,788? If you are an aspiring professional photographer, get it. If you’re looking to just take photos of your dogs, who are we to judge? Whether you’re an enthusiast or professional, the results will be nothing short of stunning. You’ll be happy, and so will your dog.

Phase One