Phase One goes industrial with aerial, repro cameras

To try to expand its market for very high-end digital cameras, Phase One announces 80-megapixel models for copying art, taking aerial photos, and various industrial uses.

The Phase One iXA is for aerial photography and can be ganged together with other iXA cameras for synchronized shots of a larger area.
The Phase One iXA is for aerial photography and can be ganged together with other iXA cameras for synchronized shots of a larger area. Phase One

Trying to find new markets for its high-end photo gear, Phase One today announced camera systems for aerial photography and for reproducing artwork.

Both cameras use the company's big, expensive, medium-format image sensors, but the camera bodies are modified compared to what it sells to its more typical customers, photographers taking fashion and product photos. For one thing, they're made with rugged aluminum bodies to better withstand industrial conditions; for another, they drop the reflex mirror and viewfinder of ordinary cameras.

The iXR is geared for reproducing artwork or machine-vision needs; it can be controlled via live view using Phase One software. It'll go on sale in May at resolutions of 40, 60, and 80 megapixels with prices starting at $30,000.

The iXA is for aerial photography and can be linked into groups of multiple synchronized cameras. It'll also arrive in May, costing $60,000 for an 80-megapixel model and or $53,000 for a 60-megapixel version. It's also available in a version without an infrared filter.

Phase one has found a niche for its premium camera products among high-end photographers, but it has to work hard to keep that niche as more mainstream SLRs from Nikon and Canon encroach.

In particular, Nikon's new D800 takes 36-megapixel photos, costs a lot less than Phase One's products, and comes in a D800E version that like Phase One products drops the low-pass filter for better sharpness. Hasselblad has been competing for years, and Pentax and Leica also have joined the fight with large-sensor models.

The Phase One iXR is geared for reproducing art and documents or for machine-vision tasks.
The Phase One iXR is geared for reproducing art and documents or for machine-vision tasks. Phase One
About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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