Phase One has announced what it says is the world’s first 101-megapixel black and white digital back, introducing the Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic, price tag $50,000.

The Phase One IQ3 100MP features a new CMOS sensor design, which is produced without a Bayer colour filter. This allows the sensor to capture all available light, unaltered and unobstructed. Because there is no colour information for the sensor to interpret, the IQ3 100MP Achromatic can use all of its considerable power to focus on detail, nuance and luminance.

Produced without an Infrared (IR) cut-off filter, the Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic can capture light outside the visible spectrum, which Phase One says opens up a multitude of new doors for photographers who shoot fine art, landscapes, portraits and architecture.

What’s more, because the Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic sensor can see this infrared light, its live view function can then display this light which is normally invisible to the naked eye. This, of course, allows photographers to make adjustments if necessary.

The Phase One IQ3 also boasts a top ISO of 51,200, making it one of the most light sensitive medium format digital backs on the market.

Our reviews editor, Angela Nicholson, says: “The Leica Monochrom produces outstanding black and white images, and with the Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic’s specifications, its image quality should be incredible.

“Because there’s no interpolation to create colour you get the full benefit of all the pixels, which will mean amazing levels of detail and super-smooth gradation.”

Because the AQ3 Achromatic records images in purely black and white, even when it captures an image at that top ISO setting, it should preserve details with a smoothness much like the film grains on black and white film.

Other features of the Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic Digital Back include an Electronic Shutter, long exposure of up to 60 minutes, and HDMI output, built-in WiFi capabilities, as well as full IQ3 XF Camera System integration and compatibility with other camera bodies.

Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic Price & Release Date

The Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic Digital Back price tag will be $49,990, with a release date set for early August.

A limited number are available for order now through Phase One Partners:

All Phase One XF IQ3 Camera Systems are supplied with a free lens of choice from the Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring prime lens range, valued up to $6,990.

The suggest retail price for the XF IQ3 100MP Achromatic, including XF Camera body and free lens choice, is $54,990.

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