Phase One’s Six-Figure Camera
For those that have the desire, the need and the means for the very best.
Danish medium-format camera specialist, Phase One, has designed the XT camera system specifically for landscape photography.
Costing over $100,000, the system arrives with the camera and one lens, with further lenses available for around $20,000 each.
What does 5-series BMW priced camera actually give you? Well, an enormously high resolution, 151-megapixel digital back; a sleek, sturdy body; and the sharpest lenses anywhere.
Medium-format cameras employ larger image sensors than “full-frame” 35mm-format cameras, so named because its image sensor is the 24x36mm size of a frame of film. Phase One’s sensors are a monstrous 53.4x40mm, a factor of 2.5 larger in surface area.
Photographers have traditionally gravitated towards Phase One’s other camera – the XF – for commercial applications like fashion photography, high end products, museum artefacts and expensive cars. Everything about that system is big and hefty.
The Phase One XT, while still large by smartphone standards, is small enough that more photographers will be willing to carry it into the wilderness — about the size and weight of a conventional full-frame camera from Canon, Nikon or Sony.
It comes in three parts and relies on core components from two other companies:
- The Phase One IQ4 digital back, the module that houses the 151-megapixel image sensor.
- A choice of five Rodenstock lenses in popular focal lengths: 23mm, 32mm, 50mm, 70mm and 90mm. Each lens features Phase One’s new X-Shutter, an electromagnetic shutter derived from the company’s industrial camera business that’s designed for extreme ruggedness. These are the finest optics money can buy and are manual focus only to ensure ultimate precision.
- The “camera body” which is manufactured by Dutch company, Cambo. It has a shutter button, electronic connections for the lens, and shift adjusters that let you change perspective easily and accurately stitch multiple images together to create an even bigger resulting printed image.
Given its unapologetically minimal design, optimised for easily getting the highest quality images in a landscape photography setting and its unapologetically serious price tag, the Phase One XT Camera isn’t for everyone. But for those that have the desire, the need and the means for the very best, there simply is no other choice.