New IQ Firmware

NOTE: As of 11am ET September 10, 2019 Phase One has let us know that the new firmware will be released to dealers today as a beta, and a wider release will follow after additional testing has been passed. 

New firmware is here for all Phase One IQ4 backs! In addition to adding compatibility with the Phase One XT, the firmware adds new features for users on all platforms. Users of tech cameras (of any brand) will, in particular, enjoy the new features and user interface tweaks.

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

  1. Download the Camera System Package file
  2. Make sure the battery in the IQ4 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. From the IQ Digital Back, select: Menu > Firmware > Update Firmware.

The IQ4 Digital Back will now update with the most recent firmware for the XT 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.

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).

Bracketing via ES in Digital Back (Phase One XT only)
For those using a Phase One XF, bracketing has been available from jump. However, when using a tech camera, bracketing has been previously unavailable. This firmware update adds bracketing via the sensor-based electronic shutter (ES). Since the ES does not cause any vibration, and since the IQ4 eschews in-situ dark frames, the images are captured back-to-back with almost no gap, at around three frames per second. So even larger brackets (e.g. a seven-shot bracket) complete quickly.

During bracketing, an activity bar shows your progress, which is especially welcome on brackets that include long shutter speeds. Without any noise coming from the shutter, it can be otherwise easy to forget you’re in the middle of a capture sequence.

Time Lapse via ES in Digital Back (Phase One XT Only)
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, tech camera users can pull in from the right drawer to access the new native IQ4 Time Lapse Tool.

Now that the IQ4 has its own native Time Lapse Capture tool, we are discontinuing our Time Lapse Capture app so we can focus development on our DT Time Lapse Editor, which allows you to deflicker time lapse footage at up to 14k resolution and accomplish time-lapse related editing such as ramping exposure or stabilizing white balance.

It’s a great time to be a high-end time lapse shooter!

Automated Frame Averaging Improvements
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 **INSERT** [link] and **INSERT** [link]. 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
The IQ4 Live View has seen several significant improvements during the first year. This update, like those before it, improve 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 red line over the moon.

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 our Phase One IQ4 firmware survey **INSERT** [link] to provide your feedback to the R+D team; your voice matters!