New Phase One Camera Delivers 80-Megapixel Medium Format Images from the Sky

April 1, 2015

By Greg Scoblete

Looking for a medium format camera to hitch to your drone? Phase One Industrial’s newest aerial camera system, the iXU 180, is being hailed as the “world’s smallest” 80-megapixel medium format system designed for aerial photography.

The iXU 180 features an 80-megapixel CCD image sensor in a two pound, compact camera body that’s just a shade wider than the lens barrel. 
According to Phase One Industrial, the iXU is built for aerial applications and oblique systems that combine multiple cameras for greater coverage. So, while you could connect it to your quadcopter (and pray it doesn’t fly away), Phase primarily intends the iXU to tackle other commercial imaging applications such as monitoring oil and gas pipelines, surveilling coastlines, inspecting wind turbines or mapping disaster areas.
The camera is compatible with leaf shutter lenses from Schneider-Kreuznach and supports shutter speeds up to 1/6000 sec. The iXU 180 offers a native ISO range of 35-800, USB 3.0 connectivity and will be sold with or without an IR filter. It ships in mid-April but prices have yet to be finalized.