80 Megapixel Phase One Medium Format Example Images and Review

As promised in our What to Know When Renting the Hasselblad H4X Medium Format Camera post, we’ve put together a few example images from our latest 80MP addition to our Medium Format inventory.

The Hasselblad H4X and the 80MP Phase One Digital Back is a powerful combination. Hasselblad full frame, bright, and clear viewfinder makes composition and focusing easier – not to mention Hasselblad’s True Focus feature, which allows you to recompose your camera position while maintaining a predetermined focus point.


An ultra-bright viewfinder with 3.1x image magnification makes a poor-sighted photographer (such as myself) jump for joy.

RAW files are about 80MB (10328 x 7760) each. For comparison, the D800’s considerably hefty 36MP produces 40-45MB RAW files (7360 x 4912). They are in Intelligent Image Quality format which is completely lossless and can be read with Capture One. They can be processed into a 16 bit TIFF, though they will only end up being half the size of the traditional RAW.


Capture One is available for free for 60 days. You will need the latest version (unless you have your own creative ways of reading IIQ files) to read the RAWS coming out of the Phase One IQ280.

The 3.2″ LCD has a 170 degree viewing angle, gradations in 16 million different shades, and 1.15MP resolution at 290ppi.


The tactile photographers out there will love the touch screen.


The histogram overlay (red) will confirm your blown out areas while a Focus Mask (green) shows you what is really sharp. All are easily turned on and off via the touch screen.


Again, for the tactile: swiping between images is fast, looks cool, and feels cool.

Image Examples from the Phase One IQ280

All of the following images are resized in order to fit onto the blog and also edited. Provided are also image closeups. You can download (zipped, around 300MB) all of the RAW, completely unedited files for pixel peeping purposes and to test drive the settings in Capture One. Included are the RAW files of any comparison shots done with other cameras and the edited JPGs. Do NOT use these images for anything other than personal education.


Taken a 1/25th of a second, f/4, and ISO 400 with the 120mm lens. Lit with a couple of Ice Lights. © Alexandria Huff


Fabric detail is incredible.


Taken a 1/25th of a second, f/4, and ISO 200 with the 120mm lens. Lit with a couple of Ice Lights. © Alexandria Huff


You can see some graininess in the background and hair but I also shot this at a somewhat higher ISO due to low light. The reflection of the nose jewelry on the bottom of the nose is a detail I am surprised got picked up.


Taken a 1/80th of a second, f/4.5, and ISO 400 with the 300mm lens. Lit with Kino Flo. © Alexandria Huff


Some chromatic aberration in the hair.


Great detail in the clothing though I lost some texture in the paint of the shirt. The dynamic range is good enough on these sensors, however, that I probably could have pulled some back into it in post.


A quick product shot (these were all quickly shot due to camera demand) of Gundam. Taken a 1/20th of a second, f/8, and ISO 50 with the 120mm lens. Auto WB wasn’t so great here (you’ll see in the RAW). Cleans up very easily. © Alexandria Huff


I am fairly impressed by the good differentiation of all of the white-on-white here.


You can even see scratches in our poorly-cared-for plexi!


Cityscapers in need of printing wall-sized murals would benefit from the IQ280. The retained detail in the shadows is good.


Taken at 1/80th of a second, f/9, and ISO 35 with the 300mm lens. © Jim Goldstein


This cityscape was taken on a Canon 5D Mark II and with a 70-200mm lens. © Jim Goldstein


The same scene on the IQ280 (the RAW file will show a very different WB). © Jim Goldstein


The top image is with the 5D Mark II and the bottom is with the IQ280. © Jim Goldstein


This was a mistake shot that is way overexposed. However, there is a lot of information still in this image. One is still able to pull back in a lot of detail (see next image).


The above image edited to bring back the detail lost from overexposure. © Jim Goldstein


A quick test in dynamic range when shooting into the sun. Taken with a 5D Mark II at .4 seconds, f/32, and ISO 50 with a 70-200mm lens. © Jim Goldstein

CF000274 1_final

The same scene with the IQ280. The details through the rays are better on this image and more detail is retained in the bridge. Taken at .5 seconds, f/45, ISO 35 with the 300mm lens. © Jim Goldstein

Below are the basic stats of our Hasselblad H4X with the Phase One IQ280 Digital Back. Experience it for yourself, for your commercial clients, and for your portfolio.

Sensor 80MP
ISO 35-3200
Sync Range Up to 1/800th
Ports FireWire 800
Speed 1.1 FPS
Software Capture One
Viewfinder 3.1X and 90º
LCD 3.2″ Touch Screen
Mount HC/HCD
Memory 1 CF
Weight 4 lbs

Alexandria Huff's photography and lighting tutorials can be found on 500px and her blog. See her lighting tutorials here. She is a Marketing Associate Manager at BorrowLenses.com. She learned about lighting and teaching while modeling for photographers such as Joe McNally and has since gone on to teach lighting workshops of her own in San Francisco. Before focusing on studio portraiture, she shot motorsports for X-Games, World Rally Cross, and Formula Drift. See her chiaroscuro-style painterly portraits on her website.


Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get 20% your first rental with promo code BLOG20

Mirrorless, Medium
Format and more.

Anamorphic, Cinema,
Wide Angle and more.

Aputure, Manfrotto,
Profoto and more.

About BL

BorrowLenses is an online camera gear rental service that started in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007. We offer a wide selection of camera gear ranging from camera bodies, lenses, lighting and accessories. We make it easy to rent gear by shipping your order straight to you.