What is the Phase One XF IQ3 Trichromatic?

The Phase One XF IQ3 Trichromatic is a modular medium format camera with a 100Mp sensor housed in a removable back. This isn’t the first 100Mp sensor from Phase One, but the Trichromatic’s has a new design that has been developed in partnership with Sony. The aim was to capture more natural colour with an emphasis on colour fidelity.

According to Phase One, the CFA (Color Filter Array) material used for the Bayer filter on the Trichromatic’s sensor is designed to capture subtle colours and gradations to achieve a close match to the scene. This saves time editing post-capture as colours a recorded correctly when the exposure is made. 

I reviewed the original Phase One XF 100MP back in December 2016 and the monochrome-only XF 100MP IQ3 Achromatic in November 2017. This is our Phase One XF IQ3 100MP Trichromatic review and I’ll focus on the image quality rather than the camera’s handling as that has been covered previously.


I’ll not go into details about the specification of the Trichromatic but it’s worth mentioning that its sensor measures 53.4 x 40.1mm. That means it’s about 2.5x the size of a full-frame DLRs sensor. 

It’s also almost 1.5x the size of the sensor in 50Mp cameras like the Fujifilm GFX and Pentax 645Z.

The colour technology involved is complex, but a key element is that there’s less overlap between the colours. Each pixel under the Bayer filter array captures more of the colour it is intended to collect than on other sensors. As a result, the Trichromatic sensor is able to replicate subtler colours and produce more natural looking images.

In addition, the better separation between the colours at the capture stage means that post-capture adjustments are easier.

Resolution101 Megapixel
MountPhase One XF
Sensor typeCMOS
Sensor size53.4 x 40.1mm
Active pixelsActive pixels 11608 x 8708
Pixel size4.6 x 4.6 micron
Output image at 300ppi98.3 x 73.2cm
Output image at 600ppi49.1 x 36.9cm
SensitivityISO 35 - 12800
Dynamic range15Ev
Long exposure60 minutes
Screen3.2-inch touch display
AutofocusSingle AF point on HAP-2 1MP CMOS Sensor
Exposure meteringAverage, Spot and Auto
Exposure compensation+/- 5 EV
Live viewYes
Wi-Fi802.11 n

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Phase One IQ3 100MP Trichromatic
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