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Author Topic: P65 vs IQ160... comments?  (Read 5704 times)
Yoram from Berlin
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« on: October 29, 2012, 01:36:17 AM »
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I'm in the final round of decisions... and the price delta between a refurbished, guaranteed P65+ back vs a new IQ160 is notable. I usually shoot tethered in a studio, but not exclusively...

Does anyone have any comments? Is there a must-have feature regarding the IQ system that the P65+ is no good at... ? 

I shoot hand-held on to a CF card occasionally, and I shoot quickly, so the bigger buffer is something to be aware of...
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Kagetsu
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 03:31:35 AM »
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Hi Yoram,
I had a similar choice to make a while back. Ultimately I went for the IQ, but it wasn't as black and white as I'd have preferred it to be.

I personally found the interface to be significantly more intuitive on the IQ, which for me was the ultimate reason I went that path. That said, I don't shoot tethered much at all (have done so now and then, but primarily free of it), and it works quite well. Image file wise, you won't notice any difference I think (certainly not significantly).

Goodluck.
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paul_jones
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 03:40:45 AM »
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i have a p65+. i have thought long and hard about the justification of flash screen and few extra features of the iq160, but just cant quite see the return for my photography business for the extra 10k price difference. I never hit buffer (and i shoot fast), so besides the screen, theres not much in it. the files are amazing, but the iso is low (as is with all medium format backs). i wouldn't shoot higher than 200iso.

there has been times when i'm shooting location plates for jobs and its just me and the camera - where i would love a great screen, but 10k is too much to pay for this imo. almost every time i shoot on location- i  have a computer to tether to, and the laptop screen blows away a camera screen.

paul
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gazwas
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 04:02:51 AM »
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There is absolutely no difference between a P65 and IQ160 when shooting tethered other than a tethered IQ charging the battery.  

Shooting to CF card the obvious difference is the screen for checking focus etc but I don't think there is any difference in shooting speed with both being 1.0FPS. Of the two, the P65 has the bigger buffer (1.3GB vs 1GB) but possibly slower spec RAM? Real world will be unnoticeable.
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torger
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 04:08:14 AM »
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Out of curiosity -- how bad is the P65+ screen? Is it unusable for focus/sharpness check, or can it work although perhaps a bit slow and cumbersome? My experience from low resolution screens is that the low resolution is not the problem, but rather that the built-in demosaicers render so fuzzy images that when you look at 100% you see a fuzzy image, regardless of how sharp the file actually is. Some backs do sharp rendering though, and then it works even if the screen has low resolution.
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gazwas
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 05:24:40 AM »
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Out of curiosity -- how bad is the P65+ screen? Is it unusable for focus/sharpness check, or can it work although perhaps a bit slow and cumbersome? My experience from low resolution screens is that the low resolution is not the problem, but rather that the built-in demosaicers render so fuzzy images that when you look at 100% you see a fuzzy image, regardless of how sharp the file actually is. Some backs do sharp rendering though, and then it works even if the screen has low resolution.

The P65 it is possible to check focus. I wouldn't say its 100% accurate because like you said the screen is a little fuzzy when at 100% magnification but still doable. The IQ/Credo are light years ahead in this regard. There are three points of magnification on the P65 and all are quick to render the image so I wouldn't call the screen/back slow.

I would put the quality of the screen on par with the Canon 1DsIII where images always look sharper on the computer and a bit fuzzy on the camera screen.
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Kagetsu
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 06:30:13 AM »
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Not sure I'd agree on the 1Ds3 screen... 1Dx sure... I personally think it's one of the best screens on any camera out there.
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 07:00:30 AM »
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Yoram,

You could also consider the Leaf Credo 60 which gives you similar to IQ interface with I believe same sensor as in P65+ and IQ160, but at likely lower price than IQ160. Image characteristic will be slight different but Leaf and Phase One is on pair in image quality.

Best regards,
Anders
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torger
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 07:11:25 AM »
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With the Canons (and many other DSLRs) you can configure how the image is rendered (it does not affect the raw of course). The best way I think is to set strong sharpening, so you get a bit over-sharpening with halos. This also works in live view. With strong sharpening applied it becomes easier to see when it is exactly in focus, if you see haloing you have a sharp image. Without sharpening or with low sharpening it becomes a bit harder to see the difference between something that is almost in focus and something that is exactly in focus.

On my Aptus 75 I cannot set sharpening, but the simple built-in demosaicer renders images in such a way that it is still possible to see focus. If there's a lot of color moire and generally a contrasty ugly mess, then it means it is perfectly sharp Smiley. I think this is great, the Leaf designers already in 2005 understood what 100% view is used for... on my friend's Hasselblad back the 100% view is rendered nice and smooth, but you cannot know if it is in focus or just almost in focus.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 08:39:58 AM »
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There is absolutely no difference between a P65 and IQ160 when shooting tethered other than a tethered IQ charging the battery.  

almost every time i shoot on location- i  have a computer to tether to, and the laptop screen blows away a camera screen.

There are actually many differences. Whether they are worth paying the premium for is of course up to the user.

When shooting with a P65+ tethered you can see the most recent tethered capture on the small screen and have few options for reviewing that image.
With the IQ you can see the most recent 10 captures. You can zoom in to any of those 10 images up to 400% and accomplish that zoom by tapping on the part of the screen that you want to see magnified (rather than first zooming to the center and then panning around as with most cameras).

My model/portrait shots are nothing special, but when I'm doing them I notice that the connection to the model (especially my less-experienced ones) is very important and any break in the action can break the rhythm and connection. With a P65+, in practice I would always do any image review on the monitor at the tethered station; even if it was a quick check this was a problem for the rhythm/connection. With the IQ I find that I can simply bring the camera a few inches away from my face and do a quick double tap on the area of interest and continue to shoot immediately, just fast enough that the model is still in the moment. Also, this can all happen before the image shows up in Capture One. The image is available for zooming just moments after capture on the back itself and it takes the usual 2-3 seconds to show up on the computer monitor. 

Moreover the IQ's Focus Mask feature, and customizable highlight warning, works on those 10 most recent captures, and the default view shows the entire full frame (with nothing overlayed) and a small histogram on the side, which means you can check either the histogram or the unencumbered composition without any button pushes at all (on most cameras you either have to push a button to see the histogram or have to live with seeing the histogram always overlayed on top of the image).

The IQ also has a much nicer artificial-horizon / electronic level (2 axis) and embeds those values in the raw file, allowing Capture One to auto-correct (for a single image at a time, or many images at a time) the rotation and/or perspective of the raw after-capture. This won't matter much for shooting people usually, but comes in handy more often than I thought it would.

Finally the very long overdue USB-enabling firmware update will provide the IQ series tethering compatibility with a variety of smaller laptops that are not compatible with the Firewire only P65+ (note either back can connect using thunderbolt via adapter to firewire). It also promises very very good tethered speed (meaning final-shot-to-review-on-monitor time; the absolute frame rate is determined by the sensor/electronics not tethering speed).

Hitherto most digital back tethered shooters considered mission-control to be the computer and the digital back was just a feeder for that computer. With an IQ you can do so much more on the back itself you may find yourself going to the computer far less often. When you need to review in great detail nothing beats a 30" tethered monitor, but much of the time you're just looking for quick confirmation ("are the eyes sharp?") in which case the IQ screen is even better than the tethered monitor.

Shooting to CF card the obvious difference is the screen for checking focus etc but I don't think there is any difference in shooting speed with both being 1.0FPS. Of the two, the P65 has the bigger buffer (1.3GB vs 1GB) but possibly slower spec RAM? Real world will be unnoticeable.

I agree that shooting speed won't be meaningfully different. Technically the IQ supports the UDMA7 spec for CF cards which means if you were shooting 50 images in a row without any pause the IQ would finish writing the last image several seconds faster than the 65+. However, in practice its very hard to fill the buffer. For most CF card sizes you'll run out of room on the card before you run out of buffer depth.

i have a p65+. i have thought long and hard about the justification of flash screen and few extra features of the iq160, but just cant quite see the return for my photography business for the extra 10k price difference. I never hit buffer (and i shoot fast), so besides the screen, theres not much in it. the files are amazing, but the iso is low (as is with all medium format backs). i wouldn't shoot higher than 200iso.

Paul, when you've got some spare time you might want to look back at some of your ISO400 shots from the 65+ and run them through Capture One 7. Here is a comparison of an IQ160 at ISO3200 in sensor+ mode:



For your commercial work I doubt you'd be be happy with the max ISO (unless the creative intention called for a grainy image) but you may find you can go one stop higher in C1v7 than in any previous tests you made in C1v6.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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torger
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 08:57:57 AM »
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Actually I would think the crop to the left would produce the better print. Problem with noise reduction is that when you kill the color noise you also kill color. If you pixel peep you see that lots of ugly blotch noise has disappeared, but if you zoom out you see that you lose color reproduction too. Heavily noise-reduced images has a tendency to get a brownish-pastel-like look, a look which you get out of mobile phone cameras which capture like one photon per pixel Smiley. However I would guess that the example is made for the web and therefore noise reduction sliders has been pulled a bit over the top to really show a strong effect.

I should say though that my taste in noise reduction is that I almost never apply any noise reduction at all. I rather have more noise and better color than the other way around. I know others that have the exact opposite view, rather dead color than any visible noise, so it is indeed a matter of taste.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 10:14:05 AM »
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However I would guess that the example is made for the web and therefore noise reduction sliders has been pulled a bit over the top to really show a strong effect.

I should say though that my taste in noise reduction is that I almost never apply any noise reduction at all. I rather have more noise and better color than the other way around. I know others that have the exact opposite view, rather dead color than any visible noise, so it is indeed a matter of taste.

Absolutely. These are my images and I was the one that tweaked for presentation. No question I error'd on the side of higher color noise reduction than I would normally do for my own (personal) use. My target audience with that graphic is only going to look at such a graphic for a second or two, so the effect has to be very clear.

I strongly encourage you to do your own testing v7 vs v6 (or LR or whatever you're currently using). The color noise reduction algorithm is now MUCH better regarding preventing the "bleeding" color present in v6 at high values.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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Don Libby
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 12:02:38 PM »
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The following is speaking solely as a landscape photographer.

I've owned both the P65 and IQ160 and routinely use them on Cambo WRS and Phase DF bodies.  The biggest thing that had me switch to the IQ was it's larger screen, the ability to double tap for focus, and focus mask just to name 3-things.

I never shoot tethered and always save to the CF card.  I'd also say that 90% of my work is shot on tripod (100% WRS 50-50 with the DF).  While the majority of my work is landscape I have been know to do the occasional wildlife, buffalo, elk, moose, goats and have found them at times very unwilling subjects.  This is where a larger buffer is very handy.

There are some deals out there for used/refurbished IQ160 which is exactly how I got mine. I've only had my IQ for less than 6-months but there's no way I'd ever give it.  For me, it's way better than anything else.

Listen to Doug - don't take our word (or anyone's else) find a dealer and do a demo.

Don
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Yoram from Berlin
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 03:25:50 PM »
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Thanks for the comments guys. I have demo'd both backs, the files are obviously the same. It's really just a question of interface. I like the argument about focus, because that's 90% of why I'm shooting tethered.

I'm ready to make a decision but my sales guy hasn't answered my emails in a couple of days... and now I need a camera my local rent place doesn't have a P1... so I am forced to try the H4D... Hmm...  Sad
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 03:31:39 PM »
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Thanks for the comments guys. I have demo'd both backs, the files are obviously the same. It's really just a question of interface. I like the argument about focus, because that's 90% of why I'm shooting tethered.

I'm ready to make a decision but my sales guy hasn't answered my emails in a couple of days... and now I need a camera my local rent place doesn't have a P1... so I am forced to try the H4D... Hmm...  Sad

Hy6 + Leaf ?  Wink
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2012, 06:14:47 PM »
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With the Canons (and many other DSLRs) you can configure how the image is rendered (it does not affect the raw of course). The best way I think is to set strong sharpening, so you get a bit over-sharpening with halos. This also works in live view. With strong sharpening applied it becomes easier to see when it is exactly in focus, if you see haloing you have a sharp image. Without sharpening or with low sharpening it becomes a bit harder to see the difference between something that is almost in focus and something that is exactly in focus.

On my Aptus 75 I cannot set sharpening, but the simple built-in demosaicer renders images in such a way that it is still possible to see focus. If there's a lot of color moire and generally a contrasty ugly mess, then it means it is perfectly sharp Smiley. I think this is great, the Leaf designers already in 2005 understood what 100% view is used for... on my friend's Hasselblad back the 100% view is rendered nice and smooth, but you cannot know if it is in focus or just almost in focus.


I believe you can set sharpness (as well as tone curve, etc) in all Leaf Aptus/Aptus-II models.

Regarding noise reduction, I agree, but mostly with regard to luminance noise (mine is always set to zero reduction). For color noise, I season to taste with the Color Noise Slider (or Single Pixel Slider), and also the Moire tool at times, depending on the subject.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
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ChristopherBarrett
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2012, 08:41:53 PM »
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I've got about 44,000 captures on my P65+ and got to use the IQ backs when I taught a PODAS last year.   I've also signed up for the Monument Valley PODAS and am looking forward to playing with the IQ again next week.  It all comes down to workflow.

For my commercial work I always shoot tethered.  There is absolutely no way with any system that you will achieve ultimate sharpness unless you shoot tethered.  Period.  Given that, the P65+ and IQ 160 share the same sensor.  So, yeah, I'm still rocking the P65+ with really no reason to upgrade.  If you really need to work untethered out in the field then the IQ series is a no-brainer.  You will easily achieve sharper images with the enhancements offered by the IQ series.

So... if you need absolutely the best sharpness you can achieve then always shoot tethered and the P65+ is great, unless you need the res of the IQ 180.  If you can give up a little sharpness to remove the computer from your photographic process then I would highly recommend the IQ series.

Word.

CB
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torger
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 01:48:34 AM »
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I believe you can set sharpness (as well as tone curve, etc) in all Leaf Aptus/Aptus-II models.

Interesting! I must test that as soon as I get my back back Smiley
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bcooter
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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 02:09:09 AM »
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Four years ago if I was told I could buy a medium format camera or back with a good lcd I'd have jumped on it.

But now that it's out, I decided to wait for numerous reasons.

First,  medium format usually needs a lot of light, especially with Dalsa chips and if I have the equipment or luxury of a lot of light 90% of time we're tethering anyway.

Second is the Dalsa chip.  I know everyone thinks their more "film like", I use to think that also, but I believe the Kodak or ex-Kodak sensosr go to slightly higher iso easier and I get a great look out of my 31mpx back, even my p21+.

If I really wanted to go to a new back it would probably be something with the 40mpx Kodak sensor.

I routinely shoot my p30+ at 400 iso, even with studio flash to get some slight grit into the images and once again, if I don't have a lot of light, I won't be using a mfd back anyway.

Third is the cost.  I know that R+D and making a new back is expensive but 6 to 10 grand more for essentially the same performance with just a different interface and a better screen is a lot, considering today's commercial needs and that you can buy a 4k raw shooting complete Scarlet camera for 14 grand.

IMO

BC
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torger
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2012, 02:17:21 AM »
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if you need absolutely the best sharpness

I guess you could use an RM3di or Alpa with HPF rings and a laser distance meter too. Since I started using a 20x loupe for my Techno I feel quite confident with sharpness also on the view camera, although mistakes can happen, so indeed a good focus check is a valuable tool. With my amateur eyes I think it's quite a lot of money to pay for an iphone-like interface and a better focus check tool, but for a pro it can certainly be worth it. It would have been cool though with some sensor improvement too, like long exposures or something, image-related improvements are always making it easier to part from my money I think Smiley
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