Feature Update 8 for Phase One XT, XF, and IQ4

Feature 8 Official Release

Phase One is making waves this holiday season by announcing the imminent availability of a new lens and the release of Feature Update 8. Here is a quick rundown of some top features from the newest update:

  • XF Responsiveness – All parts of the XF platform have been re-examined for areas for optimization. Expect a more nimble and responsive experience, especially when using Leaf Shutter lenses.
  • AdHoc Wifi (the Hardware) – This feature update will complete the work required on the hardware and firmware side to allow a future Mobile App (think “Capture Pilot” but better); expect that app in late Q1 or early Q2 of next year.
  • CFexpress compatibly – The IQ4 already supports XQD and SD cards. This update will add support for CFexpress cards which use the same physical form factor (i.e. look the same) but provide faster performance and larger max capacity. More importantly, CFexpress is expected to slowly displace XQD as the main/leading card type, and this update ensures the IQ4 will keep up with the times.
  • XT Camera Integration: Expect an Aperture priority, Shutter priority, and Program mode for the XT. 
  • 4K JPGs: While the IQ4 has always had a RAW+JPG writing mode, the JPG size was hitherto quite limited. This update will support writing 4k JPGs, including with whatever Capture One style you’d like applied.
  • USB-C Power: For those doing longer field trips you can now use the same kind of USB-C power banks that you might for your phone or laptop. 
  • Next-Gen ETTR (LAB Feature): A feature we at DT are particularly eager to try out, as our Head of R+D, Doug Peterson,  has been advocating for this idea for years. It’s been long-documented that digital cameras produce the least noise if you choose the brightest exposure that does not clip a highlight; the IQ4 will become the first camera that makes the process of selecting that exposure fully automated. This feature will debut in the LAB (experimental) Feature area so that users can provide feedback and suggestions before it is finalized.
  • X-Shutter: We would also expect this will be the firmware required to support external X-Shutter use on non-XT lens panels.

For the full firmware release notes and instructions to download; follow the link here.

The Infinity Platform

The Phase One family of products, including the XT, XF, and IQ4 digital backs are unique in the industry for their extreme field upgradeability and consistent, significant, updates. The IQ4 provides the brains of this family, and was over-built for its launch features so it would have plenty of room to grow for many years to come; it uses a Unix operating system with as much raw hardware processing power as an iPad Pro. This vision of a nearly infinitely-upgradable camera was driven by Lau, the Chief Visionary Officer of Phase One, whom we interviewed in August of this year; you can see that interview below.

Here’s a short summary of the major Feature Updates put out over the last five years (all of them free) and the AF Hardware upgrade from 2017. 

Feature Update 1 (October 2015); XF

  • Vibration avoidance Drive Mode
  • Hyperfocal Tool 
  • Bullseye Level

Feature Update 2 (March 2016); XF, IQ3

  • Focus Stack Tool
  • Timelapse Mode
  • HDR Sequence Tool
  • Honeybee AF Platform update
  • OneTouch UI

Feature Update 3 (Oct 2016); XF, IQ3

  • Profoto Air Control Tool
  • Flash Analysis (flash duration) Tool
  • Electronic Shutter (ES) 
  • Icon Control 
  • Hyperfocal via hard button

AF Hardware Update 2017

  • New AF Hardware (HAP-2)

Feature Update 4 (2017); XF, IQ3

  • AFr (Focus & Recompose)
  • Auto Zoom to Focus Point on Review
  • Focus Trim (automatic focus calibration)
  • Auto mode for Focus Stacking
  • Focus Nudge
  • Remote Release from Profoto Air 
  • Browse control from XF dial
  • MUP support for External Release
  • ES support for External Release
  • Improved Darkframe control in Timelapse mode

Feature Update 5 (July 2019); XF, IQ4

  • Automated Frame Averaging
  • Custom Styles (imported from Capture One)
  • Direct Image Transfer (use IQ4 as a card reader)
  • Use SD to backup XQD
  • Exposure Zone Tool

Feature Update 6 (October 2019); XF, XT, IQ4

  • Automatic Frame Averaging
  • XT and X-Shutter Support

Feature Update 7 (March 2020); XF, XT, IQ4

  • Dual Exposure+
  • Improved Live View sharpness

The Future

Have ideas for what should come next? Email us at info@digitaltransitions.com and we’ll pass them on to R+D!