/Capture, Events PHASE ONE XF CAMERA SYSTEM LAUNCH EVENT [Smashbox Studios]

We and our partners at Smashbox Studios love demanding customers. Tight deadlines, high pressure, unique needs – this is where we thrive. Meeting and exceeding those demands requires attention to every part of the business, from the training of our employees and the upkeep of our facilities, to the selection of the world’s best photographic equipment for our rental inventory. That’s why we’re so excited about the Phase One XF; its features, build quality, and specifications are ready for the rigorous demands that our clients will surely place on it.


Our sister division in LA, Smashbox Studios, is proud to be the first place you can see the Phase One XF on the west coast. Digital Transitions hand carried two of the very first units directly from Copenhagen, Denmark for the open house. Friends in the west, please stop by to see the new EQ in action on June 3rd: 1pm -9pm! Doug Peterson, Digital Transitions Product Manager, will give a presentation on the Phase One FX; Origin Story & Features Overview and Capture One 8.3: New Features & XF Integration.


The XF boasts a host of features that will make it shine in any location. The body has a Profoto Air transmitterbuilt in. No more transmitter poking up from the camera, obscuring the view, and requiring battery changes. Moreover, it syncs at 1/1600th which means it will be easy to use flash and stop motion even in bright daylight.


Medium format cameras have always had nicer viewfinders than 35mm cameras. The physically larger light path provides a larger and brighter view. The standard Phase One XF viewfinder, however, is in a league of its own. The optics have been improved over the previous DF+ viewfinder, making it crisper and even brighter.

There is also a waist-level viewfinder (WLF) which provides both autofocus and metering. For those that haven’t used one, a WLF is a joy to use when shooting models, allowing the photographer to interact with the model without a camera directly in front of their face, allowing them to shoot from a more natural height without bending over. This should greatly reduce our clients’ chiropractic bills. The view is highly three dimensional; the subject almost appears to pop off the ground glass, though newcomers will have to get used to the one major drawback – everything is backwards!


The new Phase One IQ3 digital backs and Phase One XF body can share power. So when the battery in the back is running low the power is drawn automatically from the body. This means much better battery life, fewer on set battery changes, and less chance a low-battery indicator will halt a shoot.


Our digital techs have unrivaled skill in Capture One, providing our clients with the most seamless and powerful tethered shooting in the industry. The XF body and IQ3 digital backs provide even tighter integration, giving us more tools with which to serve our clients while shooting tethered. For instance, every single control available on the body can be accessed from Capture One including exposure, autofocus mode, mirror-up, the channel of the Profoto Transmitter, and the modification of every button function (e.g. to change focus to the rear button). When a change needs to be made we don’t need to go to the camera position to execute, making such changes faster and less disruptive.

Better yet, tethering speed of the IQ3 and XF have been further improved. As we wrote about in our Capture One Speed article, Capture One and Phase One already provide the fastest tethering experience for our clients. But with speed, you can never have enough, so this latest round of optimizations are greatly appreciated.


The XF is the largest jump in medium format autofocus we’ve ever seen. The body snaps immediately into focus even in traditionally challenging situations. The reason is a bit of technical obscurity involving the use of a pixel array rather than the line sensors used in every other SLR.  But to really understand the level of improvement you’ll need to try it yourself. It’s fast and ultra precise, which is so important for our clients shooting 80mp images wide open where depth of field is razor thin.


Check out Digital Transitions for everything you want to know about Phase One’s announcements. The DT Blog features a First Look: The New Phase One XF Camera System including the Top 17 Things to Love as well as The Phase One IQ3 – What You Need to Know.

Also, see all of the latest specifications for the XF Camera System, IQ3 Digital Backs as well as on the new 35mm and 120mm Leaf Shutter Lenses.