Regular readers – especially photography enthusiasts – may recall the feature we dedicated to the new Phase One A-series camera a few months ago.
As we reported then, the A-series is a medium format camera designed in collaboration with Swiss manufacturer Alpa that lets you choose between three different high-resolution digital backs.
Two of them, the A260 and A280, have CCD sensors that can give you picture resolution of 60 and 80 megapixels (MP) while the A250 has a CMOS sensor that delivers pictures at 50MP.
All three come with the 35mm Rodenstock Alpar lens, and you can also treat yourself to the optional ultra-wide 23mm and the 70mm Alpa HR Alpagon lenses.
Phase One is a Danish-based high-end camera and software producer and is, surely, one of the most powerful brands in the professional photography field worldwide.
In July, on behalf of Luxurious Magazine, I had the wonderful opportunity to test one of the new high-performance cameras and it was a unique experience – a leap into the past with the technology of the future.
Collectors and vintage camera lovers must be impressed by this new mirrorless camera – not only for its unique retro style but because most of the settings and adjustments are manual and mechanical rather than electronic.
I took delivery of a shock and water resistant professional trolley case with a Phase One A-series A280 and two of the three lenses available, the 35mm Rodenstock Alpar and the 70mm Alpa HR Alpagon.
The A280 (IQ-280 Digital Back) is a CCD full-frame medium format sensor (4:3 aspect ratio) with a resolution of 80MP. It can generate IIQ files (RAW) of more than 100 MB and Tiff files up to 400 MB.
Despite the memory-hungry file sizes, the Capture One Pro 8.3 software designed by Phase One for post-production makes it easy to transfer and process a huge quantity of images.
The Phase One A-series cameras are specifically designed for landscape and architectural photography, especially when there are a lot of varied and intricate details to showcase in the same frame.
In some cases, as I found, the 35mm lens can also capture great still life photographs under studio lighting, limited only by the focal length which means objects have to be at least 30cm away at F4.
To put the camera to the test, I decided to shoot mainly HDR (High Dynamic Range) images with three single exposures in black and white.
The response of the sensor was superb, and Capture One Pro was able to correct and balance high dynamic range in any single exposure, allowing you to manage the exposure in post-production without any loss of quality or detail.
I’ve chosen the shots that best demonstrate the power and potential of this one-of-a-kind camera, designed and developed by Phase One.
In addition to the A-series, Phase One has just launched an even more professional medium format camera system, the Phase One XF, that I hope I’ll have the opportunity to test very soon.
More information on the new A-series and XF Series is at www.phaseone.com.