New XT/XF System Firmware for IQ4 Digital Backs

UPDATE, 10/21: There is a new firmware that has fixed a critical bug in the Automated Frame Averaging Tool. Please update to version 6.01.1 at this link.

New firmware is available for Phase One IQ4, Phase One XF, and Phase One XT systems, which adds new features for all users, as well as integration with the new Phase One XT system.

One important notes for the XT owners:  If you own multiple XT lenses, please make sure to run the firmware update with each of the XT lenses mounted to the XT camera body.  This will ensure that the X-shutters on your XT lenses are all fully updated.

How to Install the Latest Firmware
To install the latest Firmware for IQ4 System:

  1. Download the Camera System Package file (CameraSystem6.01.1.fwp) from here
  2. Make sure the battery In the IQ4/XF is fully charged
  3. Place the downloaded file in the root folder of the XQD card
  4. Insert the XQD card into the IQ4
  5. If you are updating the XT System, make sure the 23/32/70 lens are attached
  6. From the IQ Digital Back select Menu > Firmware > Update Firmware
  7. The IQ4 Digital Back will now update with the most recent firmware for the XF/XT Camera System

The IQ4 Digital Back will now update with the most recent firmware for the XT/XF Camera System.

Contact DT Technical Support 
If you have any questions or concerns about how to install the firmware(s) you can contact our expert support team.

New Features

Exposure Changes via Hard Button (All Camera Bodies)
In previous firmware, it was inconvenient to change exposure from inside Live View on a tech camera. Now you can make those changes using the silver hard buttons, without leaving Live View. Use the bottom left button to select shutter speed, aperture, or ISO, and the top right and bottom right buttons to increase or decrease that value. (If you’re so inclined, you can also tap directly on the attribute you want to change. It’s an incredibly simple user interface, and one that we think tech camera users will love.

On a Phase One XT or XF you can change shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. On traditional manual tech cameras you can only change the ISO using these buttons since the aperture on such cameras must be manually adjusted on the lens itself.

Virtual Horizon Revamp (All Camera Bodies)
The IQ4 features a digital spirit level more accurate than previous Phase One digital backs. The new firmware revamps the way the level is indicated by adding an optional virtual horizon overlay to Live View. Simply slide the drawer in from the right and turn it on. It’s visually obvious enough to see clearly, but subtle enough that you may choose to leave it on all the time (especially if you use Auto Review, such that you see the image without any overlays immediately after capturing).

As a reminder, the horizon value is written into the metadata of every capture, which allows Capture One to offer (optional) automatic horizon correction that can be batch applied (each image in the batch receiving correction based on it individual horizon metadata). When using the Phase One XT and XF (which know the lens model attached) the spirit level metadata can also be used automatic perspective correction (a.k.a. auto Keystoning).

Bracketing via ES in Digital Back (Only available with XT)
For those using a Phase One XF, bracketing has been available from jump. With this firmware update, bracketing now can be achieved through the IQ4 digital backs when mounted on the Phase One XT Camera Body.

During bracketing, an activity bar shows your progress, which is especially welcome on brackets that include long shutter speeds when using the sensor-based shutter. Without any noise being generated by the captures, it can be otherwise easy to forget you’re in the middle of a capture bracketing sequence.

Time Lapse in Digital Back (Only available with XT)
Like bracketing, the Phase One XF has had Time Lapse capture as a feature since it launched. But until now, the only way to capture Time Lapse images on a tech camera was the DT Time Lapse Capture app, which required tethering. With today’s firmware release, XT users can pull in from the right drawer to access the new native IQ4 Time Lapse Tool. You’ll still want the DT Time Lapse Editor to stabilize and batch edit the massive quantity of raws time lapse produces; it’s the only way to retain the full dynamic range of the sequence.

Both the Bracketing and Time Lapse functions can be access by swipe from the right of the IQ4 main screen

Automated Frame Averaging Improvements (All Camera Bodies)
The release of the native Automated Frame Averaging tool has been called “game changing” by many of our clients. Read about this new tool on our previous articles Here and Here. But up until now the output of the Automated Frame Averaging tool has been limited to the IIQ-14 format, which is 14-bit. That limitation is far less profound than it sounds, due to the way frame averaging works under the hood. But with the release of today’s firmware, that limitation is obsolete.

Automated Frame Averaging now respects the bit depth the camera is set to at the time it is initiated. If you set the file format to IIQ-16, the Automated Frame Averaging tool will capture and output 16-bit raw files – the cleanest 16-bit raw files you’ve ever seen. Even when limited to a 14-bit output, the results from Automated Frame Averaging were already extraordinary, so we’re excited to see what, if any, further improvements recording 16-bit frame-averaged raws will reap.

Live View Histogram Overlay (All Camera Bodies)
The IQ4 Live View has seen several significant improvements during the first year. This update improves the Auto Exposure mode (as opposed to Exposure Simulation mode), making it more fluid in adapting to new illumination. Exposure Simulation also now handles long shutter speeds by auto-adapting the gain in the background, meaning you can use Exposure Simulation with exposure settings such as 4” and maintain both correct exposure simulation (WYSIWYG) and fluid frame rates.

This update also adds a semi-transparent live exposure meter. For those shooting street photography with the XT or other tech camera, hand-held, this meter provides a quick reference for whether exposure needs to be modified. For tripod-based work that is slower and more considered, the live raw histogram and Raw Clipping tool are still probably preferred. Note that the exposure meter, live raw histogram and Raw Clipping tool will only work when the Live View is set to Exposure Simulation mode.

Minor Tweaks
Like most large firmware updates, this one comes with several smaller tweaks:

  • Capture Button now shown in Live View by default
  • Order of tools in Live View changed
  • Several graphics redesigned
  • Prerecorded black reference icon now uses a white line over the moon
  • Various bug fixes and performance tweaks

More to Come
Phase One is hard at work on the next several firmware updates for the IQ4. This will bring some long-awaited features, as well as some new drool-worthy features that have never been publicly discussed.

What improvements are most important to you? Take the Phase One IQ4 firmware feedback survey to provide your feedback to the R+D team; your voice matters!