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Phase One IQ4

Phase One IQ4 Image Quality: Extreme Dynamic Range in the Field (Lundy Lake)

I was curious whether the Phase One IQ4 frame averaging feature could be used outdoors in order to achieve exceptional dynamic range.

In particular, I wanted to capture an intense glare off an icy lake while also retaining outstanding detail in the deeply-shadowed mountainside, a challenge that in my experience over decades no camera has ever met before to my satisfaction. Well, this example shows why pros who want the best shoot Phase One.

Exposures were captured using the built-in camera frame averaging mode over a duration of 5.655 seconds (1/1000 sec shutter speed). If the transit time is 400 milliseconds (unspecified by Phase One) to read out the sensor, that implies about 16 frames. I say “about 16 frames” because an irritating shortcoming of the IQ4 is that it does not record in the EXIF how many frames were shot, only total exposure time:

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  • In-depth lens evaluations covering behaviors not likely to be found anywhere else, based on real-world field shooting.
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Variants RGB,BW available in full article
f11 @ 1/1000 sec electronic shutter frame averaging 5.655 seconds, ISO 50; 2019-12-06 13:37:51
Phase One IQ4 + Schneider Kreuznach LS 35mm f/3.5
ENV: Lundy Lake, altitude 7600 ft / 2316 m, 35°F / 1°C
RAW: LACA corrected, USM {10,50,0}, SmartSharpen{40,0.7,0}

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