Slowly getting there.
Initial long exposure tests at 70ish degrees were very good at 60 seconds, good at 90 seconds, and so-so at 120 seconds. Based on past experience with the 65+ and it's initial performance versus it's spec of 60 seconds this was about what I expected. I spoke with the development team and some modest improvements are likely to come in the next firmware/software release to ensure that the 120 second spec is a real-world number. For now I think the max good quality is somewhere between 90 seconds and 120 seconds, and we need to determine where within that range it falls. For the heck of it also tried a 3 min exposure (a full minute past the spec) and while the back did not explode, the results were not photographically useful.
We've been very impressed by ISO1600 and the ISO3200 has been moderately better than the ISO3200 on the 65+. The 3200 is still not usable for straight commercial work, but I personally like the way it looks if handled with care and assuming you don't mind grain/noise as long as it's nicely structured.
For the heck of it we shot some at effective ISOs of 4000-7000 (meaning ISO3200 setting on the camera, then underexposing the raw and pushing in Capture One). ISO4000-5000 was still pretty (meaning I'd use it for personal shooting) if
converted to black and white, noise reduced in Capture One and some fine grain and contrast added in Capture One. Anything past that was just plain funky.
ISO32 has shown incredible dynamic range. Still getting used to the nuances of the file and trying to determine proper handling compared to a 65+ for best results.
We also have a studio shot of the IQ180 we hope to post next week in raw for download.
Battery life has been a surprising positive. We were very nervous with the larger screen, beefy processors, and new technology that battery life would be at best mediocre. Further testing is definitely warranted, but here are two tests:
- leave the LCD on and at normal brightness without doing anything: 5 hours of battery life
- real world: we started with a fresh battery, started hand-held fashion shooting, using the LCD to review the images including focus mask and zooming to 100% with "normal" frequency (meaning composing a shot, shooting 15-20 shots, pausing and reviewing those shots, then at breaks checking through the shots again) for a total of 300 frames over about an hour. Then took the back up and did eight long exposures (known for being battery intensive), leaving the LCD on the whole time (turns out you can review shots while the dark-frame is capturing), followed by another 50 casual shots seated at a table eating dinner followed by reviewing images on the LCD for a full 30 minutes (including constant change of the image and zooming, rating, focus mask use) trying to wear down the battery. We were all surprised that the battery had not run out and ran out of time to continue testing battery life.
Steve did a lens test comparing the three autofocus 80mm lenses available for the Phase platform. We are working on getting the raws up for download from that test.
- Phase One Lens Test with IQ180
Dave and I have been traveling a lot this two weeks and that leaves Steve to handle a disproportionate amount of the work in the Atlanta office. So we haven't been able to jump on this as fully as we'd like. My travel is largely over in mid June and I have very high hopes for the amount of direct and in-depth testing I'll be able to contribute at that point. My personal biggest focus will be on tech cameras, movements, dynamic range, and noise.
I'll be off the forums for a bit as I have a lot of non forum stuff piling up. So excuse me if you ask a question here and I don't get back to you right away.
Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
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