The Phase One XC is a $62,490 Fixed-Lens, Medium Format Travel Camera

July 2, 2023 0 Comments

Phase One XC Camera

Phase One has announced the XC Camera, a new travel-friendly all-in-one medium-format system that is the company’s most compact digitally integrated camera ever.

“You can carry the camera anywhere to capture anything at any time, recording inspiration as it strikes,” Phase One explains.

In pursuit of compactness, the XC features a fully integrated Rodenstock HR Digaron-S 23mm f/5.6 lens. This is a significant departure from Phase One’s XF and XT camera systems, which utilize interchangeable lenses.

The Phase One XC Camera has been built exclusively for the Phase One IQ4 150-megapixel image sensors, including the IQ 150-megapixel Achromatic sensor for black and white photography.

The large 53.4mm x 40mm image sensor is 2.5 times larger than a full-frame image sensor and 1.5 times bigger than the smaller medium-format image sensors featured in the Hasselblad’s X2D 100C and Fujifilm GFX cameras. The resulting 150-megapixel images are 14,204 x 10,652 pixels.

Due to its massive size, the IQ4’s image sensor has a 0.64x crop factor, meaning that the Rodenstock 23mm f/5.6 lens is equivalent to a 14.7mm lens on a full-frame camera. That is a very wide-angle lens, so it is a safe bet that many photographers who choose to pick it up will use the ample pixel count to crop images and achieve a narrower field of view.

That said, Phase One expects its users to take advantage of the XC’s ultra-wide angle of view.

“We’ve designed the XC Camera to be a companion camera. With its compact size, operational simplicity, and super wide angle of view, the XC Camera can always be by your side and at the ready,” says Drew Altdoerffer, VP of Digitization, Phase One.

“The XC prioritizes unparalleled image quality in a simplified and compact design. It is conveniently sized and remarkably intuitive to use. Crafted for straightforward operation, the Phase One XC frees the photographer to focus on capturing the moment, less on camera settings,” the company explains.

Looking at the Phase One XC Camera, “simplified” is an excellent way to describe the camera’s design. Much of the XC’s volume comprises the IQ4 150MP digital back. Besides the integrated Rodenstock lens, the only notable aspect of the XC is its wooden grip.

Phase One XC
Image credit: Thomas Biasotto

“The compelling thing about the XC is that all I have to do is reach into my equipment rack and pack it into the smallest of bags, and I’m ready for any photographic adventure,” says professional photographer, alpinist, and author, Thomas Biasotto.

“Phase One’s ability to dedicate camera designs to the demands and desires of a specific application makes the blend of sensible Danish design, advanced technology integration, exceptional image quality, and precision mechanics a superior foundation for the travel photographer,” Phase One explains.

The XC Camera features an integrated X-Shutter, which is an electromagnetic shutter that Phase One designed for its geospatial projects. The X-Shutter is also featured in all Rodenstock lenses designed for the Phase One XT, an extremely impressive field camera.

The camera body is little more than a frame with a shutter release and an integrated handle. This is akin to the XT, which, other than dials to control tilt along X and Y axes, basically acts as an intermediary between the lens and IQ4 digital back. While the XC body is simple, the integrated IQ4 digital back includes a touch-based menu system and control over the camera’s settings and exposure. Also, unlike the XT, the XC has a hot shoe, which is an interesting inclusion.

Phase One XT
For reference, this is the Phase One XT Camera with the Rodenstock 23mm f/5.6 lens attached.

Pricing and Availability

The integrated lens in the XC appears to be the same Rodenstock 23mm f/5.6 lens available for the XT camera system. The lens’ aperture ranges from f/5.6 to f/22, and the manual focus lens has a 72mm filter thread. When purchased for the XT, the lens is $11,990.

The Phase One XC Camera is available to order now in limited quantities for $62,490, the same price as the Phase One XT IQ4 150MP and XT 23mm lens kit.

Image credits: Phase One

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