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Author Topic: IQ160 Upgarde to IQ260 worth it  (Read 3290 times)
issa
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« on: April 13, 2013, 02:53:36 PM »
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To IQ160 owners, considering the steep upgrade cost, and yes this new back has long exposure and wireless, will you be upgrading to IQ260 and why?
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Issa

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Paul2660
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 11:10:29 AM »
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It's a tough call. 

After reading the posts on Wifi, and watching the video's both from Phase One and the Joe Cornish Videos, I can see using a ipad, (smaller version) but as many have pointed out, it's not that workable in normal outdoor light.  I feel that besides the size difference the LCD on the 260 and ipad mini will have about the same issues when viewed outdoors.  It's no different than viewing an iphone screen.  Yes you can get a lot more info which in certain situations may be helpful, especially when shooting with a tech camera.  All the video's have featured the setup with a DF camera body, so I am still not sure how well the wifi will work with a tech camera solution. 

1 hour exposures, for me, not a big deal.  For the work I do at night I have long switched over to stacking. and without being able to turn off LENR, stacking really won't work here.  I like the idea of being able to take a 2 to 5 minute daylight exposure again as I could do with the P45+.   

Getting cleaner files at iso 50 to 400 would be a bigger factor for me.  I am still hoping that Phase One will post some raw files that can be downloaded and worked up.  I realize this means using a beta version of C1, but that should be no problem.  What I am wanting to see is are the shots taken at the lower iso's cleaner without having the noise reduction turned on.  Can you pull up the shadows more etc.  The special noise reduction for longer exposures starts at iso 140, which for my work can be a bit too high.  What I would love to see is a series of outdoor shots starting at iso 50 taken with a 160 and then a 260.  I have not seen this so far.  Does this new chip allow for overall cleaner files or do you only gain the clean files after reaching ISO 140. 

As others have pointed out, it appears that the longer exposures starting a iso 140 with LENR on are relying on some noise reduction being done in the camera.  I need to see how much etc. as once it's applied as far as I know, there is no way to get the details back.

The current cost to cross grade is high.  It's what the market seems to want to bear however.   

Getting some test files, especially side by sides would make the decision an easier one for me.   I want to see if there are major differences in color rendering.  I was pleasantly surprised by the color changes after upgrading from a P45+ to a 160.  Still not sure what to expect from the 260.

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 11:56:34 AM »
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IQ260 Prototype raw files no longer require a beta version of C1. Preliminary support was integrated into the 7.1.1 update.

We (Digital Transitions) have been sharing raw files from the 260 with clients for several weeks now. Phase One rarely shares raw files themselves as this falls into the general category of customer interaction which is delegated to the dealer network. I shot most of a wedding on the 260 and have a variety of images from that, and some sample images we've made from specific client request.

That said, this is a prototype and does not use final hardware or firmware. Additionally, while you can open them in 7.1.1 the nuance and tweaking of the software support is not finalized. So while there is certainly value in reviewing raws from the prototype some additional improvements to high ISO and shadow-performance can be expected in the final shipping version. For that reason we've focused our testing, reviews, and raw sharing on the long exposure and wireless features, and not the anticipated 0.5 stop increase in DR (read: better shadow quality, better performance at each ISO).
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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issa
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 01:07:35 PM »
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All valid points, bottom line for someone like who shoots landscape, the long exposure and WIFI are nice to have, on occasions I would like exposure longer than 1 minute, but that is very rare. WIFI excellent idea, but for me not useable until we have decent live view, which I don't think will be available in this generation of sensors.
Doug -  Better ISO and increase in DR is always welcome, I love my IQ160, but what puts me off is the cross grade cost, which is too much. Phase need to re-think their upgrade/cross grade policy for IQ customers, otherwise they will pass on to next generation of sensors/backs.
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Issa

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Paul2660
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 01:10:53 PM »
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Doug,

Is there a link to some of the files you mention on the DT site?  I am currently working with the Dallas DT office on a upgrade, but can't make the 17th due to other commitments.    I am interested in some of the longer shots, but hope to see some normal 1/30 to  1/2 sec exposures in the iso 50 to 400 range. 

Thanks
Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 01:31:22 PM »
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One other thought: a photographer that needs good 1 hour exposures is pretty rare. But better 30-60 second exposures are desired by many with an IQ160.

It's not like at 59 seconds the IQ160 is perfect and at 61 seconds it's horrendous. You can see some single pixel noise and loss of shadow recovery ability start well before the 60 second mark which is considered, for the IQ160, to be the longest "usable" exposure. At 50 seconds with an IQ160 you're pushing the back pretty hard - it can take it, but the pressure is shown in the form of getting "good" image quality, not "excellent" image quality. In comparison at 50 seconds an IQ260 is still well in it's full stride, not challenged in the least.

This is especially true in warmer clients where the higher ambient temperature reduces the maximum long exposure of the IQ160 from 1 minute to 20-30 seconds (depending on exact temperature).
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 01:34:39 PM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 01:34:01 PM »
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Is there a link to some of the files you mention on the DT site?  I am currently working with the Dallas DT office on a upgrade, but can't make the 17th due to other commitments.    I am interested in some of the longer shots, but hope to see some normal 1/30 to  1/2 sec exposures in the iso 50 to 400 range.  

We'll be glad to get you some exposures like that. Some of that range we already have, the others we'd be glad to capture for you. At this point we are not putting them on the website for general access but delivering them 1v1 by direct link. Contact me by email (dep@digitaltransitions.com) to continue the discussion (e.g. what kinds of subjects you'd prefer to see, what kind of lenses etc).
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 01:42:24 PM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 01:45:45 PM »
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As others have pointed out, it appears that the longer exposures starting a iso 140 with LENR on are relying on some noise reduction being done in the camera.  I need to see how much etc. as once it's applied as far as I know, there is no way to get the details back.

The Long Exposure Mode in the IQ260 is not using noise-reduction, it would be more accurately called noise-prevention (or maybe "noise avoidance"?). By shepherding the electrons into the back of the storage pool they are kept away from the surface of the sensor where most of the heat is. By keeping the electrons further from the heat the amount of noise which is built up during a long exposure is greatly reduced.

If you haven't read it I detail the technology and the story of it's development in my article on the IQ260 sensor.

Of course none of this is really important (though interesting from a technical view point to read if you're so inclined). What matters is the way the images look, hence my offer to send you the raw files.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 01:48:38 PM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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Paul2660
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 02:39:21 PM »
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Doug,

You bring up an interesting subject, i.e warmer temperatures/humidity can cause the maximum of 1 hour to drop considerably.

On the P45+ 1 hour was only available in temps of 69 degrees F or lower and humidity was also an issue. 

Is the 260 tracking the same, the 1 hour exposures are only going to happen in temps of 69 degrees or less?  Or will it handle a more robust ambient temperature?

I agree, for daylight work, it would be nice to be able to take a 160 past the 30 to 60 sec maximum. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 03:26:35 PM »
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Doug,

You bring up an interesting subject, i.e warmer temperatures/humidity can cause the maximum of 1 hour to drop considerably.

On the P45+ 1 hour was only available in temps of 69 degrees F or lower and humidity was also an issue. 

Is the 260 tracking the same, the 1 hour exposures are only going to happen in temps of 69 degrees or less?  Or will it handle a more robust ambient temperature?

I agree, for daylight work, it would be nice to be able to take a 160 past the 30 to 60 sec maximum. 

The maximum long exposure on the Phase One IQ260 will drop as temperature rises. However, because of the design of the 260 sensor it will be less sensitive to ambient temperature than the P45+.
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gazwas
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 04:11:25 AM »
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The Long Exposure Mode in the IQ260 is not using noise-reduction, it would be more accurately called noise-prevention (or maybe "noise avoidance"?). By shepherding the electrons into the back of the storage pool they are kept away from the surface of the sensor where most of the heat is. By keeping the electrons further from the heat the amount of noise which is built up during a long exposure is greatly reduced.

So you are saying the IQ260 does not use any form of LENR at capture?

The RAW files I've looked at in C1 7.1.1 at 4min exposure times have something going on as even when the NR in C1 is set to zero the files still have a slight painterly feel to them suggesting blurring of detail (LENR). Adding more NR in C1 just increased the effect. The overall look is very clean at smaller magnification but pixel peeping or if printing large, the painterly effect is there IMO.
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design_freak
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 06:41:30 AM »
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I wonder if there is already migrating to a smaller matrix ( IQ180 to IQ260)  Roll Eyes
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 09:01:46 AM »
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So you are saying the IQ260 does not use any form of LENR at capture?

It uses the same dark-frame calibration method as all (modern) Phase One backs. But nothing radically new/different regarding in-camera noise reduction is used on the 260 vs the 160 or previous backs.

The "new" thing is in the design of the sensor well itself, which, again, I don't think could be accurately described as noise reduction since it's avoiding the noise from building up in the first place.
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issa
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 03:28:57 AM »
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Guys - I think we have moved on alittle from the original posting.

There is no doubt that the IQ260 is better than the IQ160 ( subject to final shipment and testing) long exposure, increased Dr and WIFI, all these are excelllent if you were new to the market or upgrding frpm P45+, my OP question, is it worth the upgrade from IQ160 considering the huge cross grade price, for me the answer no. Would I like one, yes, but not at that cost, I guess it all depends where are moving up from. I say this again, there need to a better cros grade/upgarde to users movimng up from the latest generation of phase backs.
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Issa

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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 03:14:51 PM »
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how much is the cross grade price?
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issa
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 03:21:19 AM »
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how much is the cross grade price?
@ $15000, give or take littlle based on dealrership deals
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Issa

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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 06:05:08 AM »
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WOW! I am impressed.

Fred: How many D800Es can you buy for that?
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2013, 11:07:02 PM »
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WOW! I am impressed.

Fred: How many D800Es can you buy for that?

One and $ 12,000 for fine food, travel, Surfboards, kitesurfing kites, that fixer upper Fiat 500 from the 70s... Wink
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ondebanks
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2013, 06:48:16 PM »
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...and not the anticipated 0.5 stop increase in DR (read: better shadow quality, better performance at each ISO).

Doug,

The 0.5 stop DR improvement intrigues me. It might not sound like much to most folks, but to get it out of essentially the same FTF9168C CCD as used in the P65+ would involve quite remarkable figures for sensor readout noise.

Readout noise would have to fall from 11 electrons to 7 electrons, a new record by some margin for an MFD sensor!

Sensor+ pixel binning further halves that to 3.5 electrons effective readnoise at 15 MP resolution - now that's getting into CMOS DSLR territory!

Reduced readout noise would indeed yield "better shadow quality, better performance at each ISO".

So to answer the OP's question: in my view, coupled with the long exposure ability [yay! Cheesy], that would be worth it.

But but but!!

There is another way to get a 0.5 stop DR improvement: increase the full well capacity from 50,000 electrons to around 75,000. That would give an electron density which is impressive for a 6-micron-pixel class device, but still similar to the densities achieved in some older Dalsa CCDs with 9 and 12 micron pixels.

That unfortunately would do nothing for ISO performance, or shadow quality in a given exposure time...

So my query is, Doug: are you certain that the DR improvement is all at the shadow end? Can you point me to some information from Phase One or Dalsa which confirms whether they improved the readout noise, or the full well depth? It's really important that we are clear on this question.

Thanks,
Ray
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Graham Welland
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2013, 10:02:49 PM »
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Guys - I think we have moved on alittle from the original posting.

There is no doubt that the IQ260 is better than the IQ160 ( subject to final shipment and testing) long exposure, increased Dr and WIFI, all these are excelllent if you were new to the market or upgrding frpm P45+, my OP question, is it worth the upgrade from IQ160 considering the huge cross grade price, for me the answer no. Would I like one, yes, but not at that cost, I guess it all depends where are moving up from. I say this again, there need to a better cros grade/upgarde to users movimng up from the latest generation of phase backs.

The challenge I have with the crossgrade is that the pricing is essentially the same as getting a good P45+ in ADDITION to the IQ160 that I already have. Obviously having a single back with the full IQ experience and new wifi and long exposure support is ideal but at what point is it a better solution than having an existing IQ and P45+ combination? Colour performance is different too I know, although for the super long exposures that I use my current P25+ for tend to end up as B&W or pastel in nature vs 100% accurate so this may or may not be so important. the DR increase of half a stop really wouldn't be enough to tempt me although I can understand how it might matter more to others.

I think that we'll need to see some compelling examples of the IQ260's imaging ability before you can make any absolutes about whether it's 'worth it' or not.
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